The Mayan Calendar System:
There are many different Mayan calendars depending what time cycle is measured. The base of each calendar is a month with 20 days.
The ones in use today are:
- the Tzolkin calendar, which describes the quality of each day and has a cycle of 260 days.
- the sun-year calendar called Haab with the cycle of 365 days and
- the 13 Baktun or long count calendar with a cycle of 5200 years.
But there are many other Mayan calendars, apparently there were 20 different ones in use at one time.
Tzolkin, the sacred Mayan calendar
If one talks about the Mayan Calendar, one generally means the Tzolkin, the sacred calendar of the Maya.
The Tzolkin has a cycle of 13 months with 20 days in each month, which makes 260 days per „sacred“ year. 260 days correspond to the pregnancy and the gestation of a child, so it is a calendar that reflects developmental stages.
The Tzolkin describes the quality and energy of every day and serves as a guideline in all areas of our daily life: family and social lifes, professions and finances, spiritual and material development, and it describes the determination of every person. For several 1000 years the Tzolkin has served as orientation and instructions for a life that is in harmony with nature and its surroundings.
The Tzolkin is also called the “20/13 code” or the “galactic code”, because it´s seen as a vibration that has it´s origin in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy (which the Mayans had knowledge about 1000s of years ago), and it influences us on a daily basis.
Haab, the Mayan sun-year calendar
The calendar for the 365 day-cycle of the sun year is called “Haab”. The Haab calendar has 18 month with 20 days, makes 360 days, plus a short month with 5 days called “Wayeb” The Wayeb is considered a sacred time and is used to clean out the old year and prepare for the year to come. Ceremonies are done on all of this 5 days, the house gets cleaned, people fast during this time and set their intentions for the coming year.
Tzolkin and Haab calendar
The Tzolkin and the Haab calendar are run parallel, one is used to measure time and the other one explains the qualities of each day.
Here is a modern illustration of the two calendars interlocking. The big wheel represents the cycle of 365 days, showing a detail of the months and the Wayeb, the short month of 5 days.
The other 2 wheels show the 20 Nawales and the 13 energy numbers. Numbers are written in dots and bars. One, two, tree, four are dots like our fingertips and if we put our 5 fingertips we get a bar. So the bar is 5, a bar and a dot 6, a bar and 2 dots 7, etc. till we get to 2 bars and 3 dots = 13.
13 Baktun – The long count calendar
The Oxlajuuj (13) Baktun is a cycle of 5200 years, which ended on December 21, 2012 and started again on December 22, 2012. There were ceremonies all over the country in Guatemala to celebrate this special event and to celebrate that the Mayan Culture is still alive after 500 years of repression and persecution.
(The civil war in Guatemala ended in the 1990ies and the peace contract was signed 1996. Only since then it is officially allowed to hold Mayan Ceremonies. So all of that was a real reason to celebrate and there was no thought of the end of the world. On the contrary, the Mayan believe that it was a new beginning. They call it the new sunrise, because they see the chance for humanity to grow back into the balance of the material and spiritual and come back to a harmonious way of living, with our self and with our surrounding.)
The 20 Nawales:
The entities that represent these 20 days of the month are called the “Nawales”, each carries its own quality and favors certain activities. Each day has its name and is represented by a symbol that refers to its quality. The Tzolkin is a combination of the 20 Nawales with 13 energies, this yields 260 different combinations. Each of the 13 energies, also called tones, has its own information. Like the tones of a musical scale, every tone carries another vibration.
We humans are a representation of the 20/13 code as they call the Tzolkin. We have 20 fingers and toes, with the toes we connect to the earth and with our fingers we can reach to other realms. (The Mayan word “Winaq” means 20, month and person at the same time.) And we have 13 main joints in our body: 2 ankles, 2 knees, 2 hip joints, 2 shoulders, 2 elbows, 2 wrists and the neck. So we are spiritually and physically connected to this galactic information.