1-Ben trecena daily digest, begins 25 OCT 2014

When does a new child begin life’s journey? Is it at the moment of birth? of conception? Is it after puberty? or a couple of days after his/her parents first met?

When viewing time as a linear progression of units, it becomes terribly important to agree on a suitable answer to the above query. So most people will say that the moment of birth is the beginning, and the government bureau-cats will have a piece of flimsy reality with which to fill out their forms in hospitals, and file them next to the morgue expiry forms.

To counter the linear perception of time, Ken Johnson stresses that according to the Mayan concept of time there’s no exact moment (for example, 00:00) when one day nawal is replaced by the following one. When the sun sets the nawal of the following day already begins to assert its energy, while the nawal that governed the current day wanes.

So like everything else in nature, days and nights have their unique, flowing dance of energies, which intensifies whenever they mix and switch governance (of day and night/winter and summer). Spring, after all, is known as “The Quickening”, and fall is exactly what it means – a slowing down, a time to stop and take stock, gather gravity in preparation for winter – the standstill.

There are no clear cuts in the natural world. Clear cuts can only be found in the human world of words and dotted lines. They are arbitrarily set by my dualistic, calculating mind (one of my favorite tools!)

According to the Mayan concept of time, when the child is born other members of the family are born with him/her. This means that the mother and father (roles) are born with the child, along with sisters, brothers, grandparents, etc. This is most obvious with the first child (there were no parents before it came), but is also true about any other child joining earth.

At the time of birth something also dies. When a couple gets married the bachelors die, and when the pet is adopted the loner dies.

Destiny 4th to 5th

1-Ben: The Family comes together just before Winter begins


During Barbara Sadtler’s community call about this sun-sign know as Ben (Aj), Don Carlos Barrios and his wife Adriana made an appearance and answered some questions from the people listening/calling in. It was quite a Master class, and the guests from Guatemala offered much of their wisdom, experience, and knowledge.

It took some time for Don Carlos and Adriana to establish connection with the mostly-US-based community call. As a last minute filler, Barbara was kind enough to invite me to share my celebrity Tzolkin birthday database with the fellow callers, and to focus on this mysterious sun-sign known as Ben in Yucatec and Aj in Guatemala.

Well, “mysterious” should be taken with a caveat. I mostly refer to “mysterious to us left-hemisphere dwellers”. I’m sure the complete sense of “Ben” is crystal clear in Momostenango. Well, maybe not immediately upon touchdown, but after a week or two there.

Back to the analysis: Ben (or “Reed”) is not as readily accessible to everyone as, say the serpent or eagle or any other animal sun-sign. I can relate to the essence of Ix by thinking of any kind of cat. But how can I relate with a reed or corn-stalk? Flora is alien to (western) human experience when compared to fauna. So I had to get some anchors.

I found three keywords which helped me in putting together a possible meaning. They are: Leadership, Family, and Destiny.

In the call, Carlos added “authority, the home, do everything as we like… creating possibilities… Aj is our internal alter”, among with many other depictions.

As I mentioned during the call, no less than 8 US presidents were born on this trecena. More leaders in many other fields are born on a Ben day,  mostly in trecenas other than 1-Ben.

8 out of 44 means 18.1818…%. There are 20 sun-signs, so there’s an expected mean distribution of 5%. Big difference between 5 and 18+ per cent.

If I add the leaders that were born on a Ben day I get 2 more US presidents, a French PM, a Syrian one, 2 Israeli PMs, a Queen mother, the godfather of an elite Banking family, and Julian Assange.

Sounds familiar?

1-Ben: Leadership and the Family

Born on this day: Stephen Baxter, Brian O’Leary, Sean Bean, John Rhys-Davies, Richard E. Byrd, Michael Moore, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leadership and the Family

1-Ben: The Stone of Destiny

Leadership, since it is the sun-sign that follows The Road (Eb, human sun-sign), in the sense that after the road is mapped a leader must walk in front of the community.

Leadership, also, since the staff or Reed is a sign of authority (much like the Olympian torch, and Roman fasces). It is the tool in the hands of the guide, or the elder. It is the staff of Moses, which can turn into a serpent (13-Chicchan) when the need arises.

A good leader instructs and bridges differences by giving the kind of advice that can run goosebumps up and down my spine. Regretfully, nowadays I seldom experience this when confronted with those who call themselves our leaders. It’s mostly PR and appearances, distractions and guilt-flinging.

This doesn’t mean I’m not blessed with good leaders in my inner circle. Listening to my mother can sometimes cause me goosebumps. Although she wasn’t born on a Ben day or trecena, and doesn’t have Ben in her Mayan cross – her seniority has bestowed upon her the energy of Ben.

(She was born 9-Eb, BTW, the day before 10-Ben)

2-Ix: Lunar Shaman

Born on this day: Shakira, Cliff Richard, Mike Rutherford (Genesis), Harvey Keitel, Carlos Slim, Richard Nixon (37th US President), Mitt Romney

Lunar Shaman

“The spiraling pace of change allows us to contemplate, within our own lifetime, advances that once would have taken centuries.” – Richard Nixon (2-Ix) on his first inaugural address 1969

The way I see it, the number 2 is associated with the moon and the lunar cycles. First of all, the moon comes second to the Sun. Secondly, it receives its light from the Sun, so it’s a reflective device (like your computer screen).

Thirdly… well, maybe anything beyond 2 is already something other than lunar.

Manly P. Hall (3-Cauac, 1-Caban trecena) once said in one of his lectures: “Pressure can cause an individual to say ‘the End justify the Means.’ The moment he has done so – the madness of the moon is upon him.” In other words, he’s a lunatic.

So the Moon is reflective, and it wields dominion over the Jaguar’s time of prowl. It is little surprise, then, that one of the richest men alive (Carlos Slim) was born 2-Ix, and so did “Tricky” Dick Nixon.

2-Ix comes right after the seed of leadership and dreams which is 1-Ben. It can be thought of as a very shrewd and respectful feline; prone to flattery and high-life, perhaps.

3-Men: Omni-Vision

Born on this day: Matt Stone, Michael Stipe, Peter Lorre


“You’ve got it all, you’ve got it sized. Like a Friday fashion show teenager cruising in the corner, trying to look like you don’t try…” – Michael Stipe (3-Men) from Imitation of Life

The second keyword is “Family”, and here I’ll make a small aside for some background (Under the hood).

The sun-sign Ben is one quarter of a burner quadruplet which also includes Edznab, Akbal, and Lamat. Each quadruplet has a theme which binds its four members together. The quadruplet in question has to do with Dreams, Reality, and whatever’s in-between. Why? well, there’s the Night (Akbal) and the Star (Lamat), the mirror (Edznab) and driving it all – destiny’s conduit a.k.a. Jacob’s Ladder (Ben).

The family is where I find myself when the Night falls and the Stars come out. Under the same roof, the family takes the Night’s journey of dreams, where the Reed and the Mirror are predominant. I have dinner with my wife and talk about what came to pass and what’s looming ahead. We discuss our dreams and our daily reality. We take part in working out the minute aspects of each other’s destiny.

To clarify, “Family” is anything YOU decide it is, with or without blood, and regardless of gender or any other denomination.

Regardless, “Family” means something very, very specific in human experience. This is where 3-Men comes in. The true engine (Activating 3) behind leadership is vision without boundaries. It is the vision and undying drive which is worth sweating out all the small details of daily life.

4-Cib: Four Mothers

Born on this day: Kenny Kirkland, Lisa Lopez, Brian Austin Green, Hal Holbrook, Ali Akbar Khan

Temple of the NEW and S

4-Cib is the community center/shrine which completes the familial cycle

The infrastructure below the current 1-Ben process is finalized today. Beginning tomorrow constructive focus begins to shape reality, based on these roots. It is of little wonder the number 4 embodies completeness and definition.

The question arising today is: What do I define as being sacred to me?

To further define the question, keep the word “Family” in mind while pondering. The family was always considered sacred in all communities. It is my home and its sanctity. It is the wisdom I bestow to my dependents and offspring.

4-Aj’ maj today resonates with 1-Aj on a sound level. It shares the same prefix “Aj” which Barbara related to “Sri” in the Vedic context.

In Hebrew, “Aj”/”Ach” means brother. You know, like Freemasons and G.I.s call each other…

Gone-too-soon brother

Kenny Kirkland (4-Cib) was a talented and successful jazz pianist who passed away 16 years ago at the premature age of 43. In the next clip he plays one of the best piano solos I’ve heard (begins 04:28).

5-Caban: Global Center of Gravity

Born on this day: Byron Katie, Fernando Torres, Robert Smith (The Cure), Demi Moore, Michael J. Fox, Nikos Kazantzakis, Michael Collins

Global Center of Gravity

“Jimi Hendrix changed my life. Each generation influences the following one and as a consequence brings it back to the past.” – Robert Smith (5-Caban) venerating Hendrix (9-Lamat, previous trecena)

The day after wisdom is firmly defined (4-Cib) it’s time to blaze new tracks using the global mind/heartbeat Caban.

5-Caban’s slogan might be:

“You live, you learn” – Alanis Morrisette (13-Caban)

As long as I’m breathing, eating, sleeping, communicating, expressing myself – I’m learning.

And where is the place I go to “do everything as [I] like”, as Carlos put it? I go back to Mother earth. I go back home to get my heart synchronized with whoever I hug there. I can be myself and put some focus on the destiny I share with those under my roof.

We all learn from each other all the time.

If I have to go global and say where can that be on Google Maps, I’ll say this place is wherever I travel with my family on the home planet. This can be many places, even the ones I travel to alone to meditate and remember my family.

This is why I’m into house-swapping.

6-Edznab: Tradition is Real

Born on this day: Kimberley Ann Deal (Pixies), Zachary Taylor (12th US President), James A. Garfield (20th, same) , Benicio del Toro, Lisa Kudrow, Nicolas Godin (Air), Jim Abrahams

Tradition is Real

“The chief duty of government is to keep the peace and stand out of the sunshine of the people.” – James A. Garfield (6-Edznab)

Yesterday was 5-Caban, and since Caban relates to a global heartbeat and to the planet itself, it’s a good time to focus on the universal.

Whatever I find sacred in my personal life has a global counterpart – some kind of “value” which is observed in any and all communities and families around the globe.

When pondering my own personal values I realized I cannot use “family” as a word for value, but rather rephrase to a value within what I call family. Something like giving respect to elders and leaders, giving due attention to children, or thinking about stocking the fridge and pantry (maintenance of abundance in the home).

Edznab [Tijax] is a mirror or reality and truth. I look at a polished mirror and nothing remains concealed. Today’s energy can reveal those places where reality contradicts attitudes and perceptions.

For example, I can go along with my day thinking I look dreadful just because I feel so. When I go to the bathroom I know for sure whether I’m right/wrong about this perception. Looking in the mirror has that quality of changing (and even destroying) whatever misconception came before it.

When coupled with the number 6, Edznab becomes a reliable reflector. It demands the kind of truth that can be appreciated anywhere.

dead presidents’ Wisdom

We’ll go over two of the names above, and begin with the one who is currently least known. Zachary Taylor came from the Whigs party of the mid-19th century. The Whigs basically supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism.

Economic Protectionism, by the way, is called Anti-Globalization

James Garfied, called a Republican in the parlance of the times, was the 20th man in the white house. He got to call the shots for a mere 6 months, right up to the point where he got his two .44 mm shots by a ‘deranged assassin’. That happened on the Tzolkin day 8-Ahau (2 days following his birthday).

James Garfield was the second US president to be assassinated (after
Zachary Tylor was the second US president to die in office.

7-Cauac: Cloudy Horizon

Born on this day: James Buchanan (15th US president), Jerry Seinfeld, Kurt Cobain, Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim), Robert Altman, Mario Savio

Cloudy Horizon

“With the lights out, it’s less dangerous. Here we are now, entertain us! I feel stupid and contagious. Here we are now, entertain us! A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido.” – Kurt Cobain (7-Cauac)

Cauac (Rainstorm) shares traits with the current trecena theme of Ben. It appears on the North/feminine Mayan cross of Aj/Ben. Cauac is considered to be a homey sign, and people born under this sign tend to appreciate the comforts of home and family. This is the flip-side of the stormy nature of Cauac, who knows how stormy it can be outside the family and home settings.

In addition, Cauac, much like Ix on stage 2 and Kan on stage 12 of this trecena – embodies potential and a gathering of energy before release. It is therefore fitting for Cauac to appear on the 7th stage of this trecena, since it is on this day that Destiny reaches its highest potential and gains purpose, as a cleansing and educating force within HOME.

Another aspect of Cauac is a special gift for teaching and learning. This goes well with the description of 5-Caban and “you live, you learn”.

8-Ahau: Infinite Light

Born on this day: Alan Dershowitz, Warren Beatty, Toni Collette, Vincent van Gogh, Douglas Adams, Norah Jones

Infinite Light

“If the Universe came to an end every time there was some uncertainty about what had happened in it, it would never have got beyond the first picosecond. And many of course don’t.” – Douglas Adams (8-Ahau) from Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (1987)

Destiny. A word with much gravity and a touch of romanticism. Is there really a destination that I can single out and abbreviate as being my destiny? The thing with destinations is that once you arrive at one of them you get a view good enough to recognize the next one. So how can there be a destiny in the sense of an ultimate destination, some life-long goal that can be actually realized and materialized? And if there is one, in what way do I continue living without destiny beyond its achievment?

There can’t be such a thing as a future destiny, unless I define death itself as a destiny, followed by nothing. Instead of looking to the future in search of it, I think destiny is everything that has already happened, along with whatever’s transpiring now. So in other words destiny is made up of my karmic accumulation of the past, over which I have no control, and the now moment, for which I have total responsibility.

… and 8-Ahau says: “perfection cannot be realized tomorrow, nor remembered as past glory. It abides now and always, beckoning me to discover it.”

9-Imix: Begin from Zoom-Out

Born on this day: Robert Plant, Johann Sebastian Bach, Aretha Franklin, John Noble, Richard O’Brien, Glenn Close, Ron Silver

Begin from Zoom-Out

“With a bit of a mind-flip you’re into the Time slip. And nothing can ever be the same. You’re spaced-out on sensation, like you’re under sedation” – Richard O’Brien (9-Imix) Rocky Horror Show

The 4th uinal begins today with 9-Imix. The 9th stage, when all cycles of action come to completion, gets a primordial jolt back to the basic aspect of nurturing and initiation (Imix).

So far I’ve been outlining the elusive meaning of the sun-sign Ben using the keywords: leadership, family, and destiny. 9-Imix is the day when these concepts coalesce and integrate to complete the cycles of action, a split second before manifestation (stage 10).

Leadership, since Imix is the first day sign of the uinal, and it contains all the raw materials required to journey through 20 days and arrive at Ahau.

However, being the first and the most raw is just a good start, and this is where family comes in. A good parent is a good leader, and vice versa. Another angle shows that a good leader is usually also good at being led, and the same applies for parents being good children.

“But what does ‘good’ mean?” asked a trendy post-modernist at the back.

Whatever’s best in line with my destiny.

Imix is the cosmic female parent, who lies at the very root of family. She nourishes and protects her offspring emphatically. She follows obediently and leads impartially. Her destiny is strong and radiant.

The pelvic thrust

Riff Raff (9-Imix), Magenta (11-Cib), Columbia (5-Men), Brad (10-Lamat), Janet (12-Men), and the occasional narrator (8-Kan) warping time:

10-Ik: Palpable Change

Born on this day: Lou Piniella, Tom Selleck, Richard Dean Anderson, James Hetfield (Metallica), Egberto Gismonti, Boy George, Billie Joe Armstrong, Beth Gibbons, L. Ron Hubbard, George Lucas

Palpable Change

“The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.” – Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (10-Ik)

What began in the stalk of the Reed manifests today on the breath of the boundless Wind. The ideals and morals that established Leadership and Family during the first stages, the same ones that make the Reed rigid (the proverbial Backbone) all get blown away and diluted today by the complications of language and meaning.

This is what Mr. Hubbard was talking about when he uttered the above quote, at least the way I see it.

The wind bends the flexible Reeds and breaks the rest.

11-Akbal: Commander-in-Chief

Born on this day: Pelé, Danny Kaye, Billy Joel, Jon Bon Jovi, Jay Kay (Jamiroquai), Kai Eckhardt, Jack London, Henry James, Chester A. Arthur (21st US president), Herbert Hoover (31st US president), Abraham Lincoln (16th US president), Andy Serkis, Oliver Platt, Crispin Glover (George McFly), Kevin Costner


“I am your density.” – George McFly (11-Akbal) to the Future Lorraine McFly (9-Lamat)

To have 3 US presidents born on one day, and to have so many of them on the same trecena (wait, there’s more to come) – is a very curious finding, to say the least.

However, it is merely a finding. Everything else that is currently spiraling around my mind is speculation and theory, extracted through everyday discourse and elusive fashions.

11-Akbal is to creatively step into the unknown. Instead of speculations and maybes and starting from scratch, it stands for consistency and structure that arises from whatever’s already manifested.

12-Kan: Deep Harvest

Born on this day: Pope Benedict XVI (265th Pope), Nomar Garciaparra, Charles Mingus, James Doohan, Pia Zadora, Werner von Siemens, Omar Bradley

Deep Harvest

“Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple.” – Charlie Mingus (12-Kan)

The next-to-last stage 12 is like the next-to-final scene of a good suspense movie. It is when all the pieces fall into place, and all loose ends are somehow tied or otherwise dealt with. It concludes when it’s obvious that the only thing left in the movie is to watch some kind of final goodbye, with a hint regarding what happens next.

The moment of understanding for the Reed, that instant when everything falls into place – is when it produces a Seed. The Seed is tomorrow’s potential. It is the offspring that allows the leader of Destiny to depart, knowing that even if his own destiny hasn’t been completely realized within his Time, the seeds of a new destiny have already been sown.

Kan is a sign of gathering potential that has no time boundaries. Something like indefinite storage. After all, a seed can remain buried in the desert for many years, awaiting the ever-possible flood from the old mountains.

13-Chicchan: Winter’s Terror

Born on this day: Heath Ledger, Sylvester Stallone, Jodie Foster, Mark Wahlberg, George W. Bush (43rd US president), Osama bin Laden

Winter's Terror

“I cannot believe in God when there is no scientific evidence for the existence of a supreme being and creator.” – Jodie Foster (13-Chicchan) As quoted in the Calgary Sun (2007), and sounding a lot like Dr. Eleanor Arroway

The United States declared independence on the Tzolkin date 9-Ben (1-Chicchan trecena). So, today these two related sun-signs (Serpent and Reed) meet again, but in reverse.

To find that Bush and Bin-Laden shared the same Tzolkin birthday really got my attention a few years ago. Bush is the 8th US president to have his birthday on this trecena. I wonder if this record will be beaten. His father, BTW, Bush senior, was born the very next day in the Tzolkin – 1-Cimi. In other words – close, but no cigar.

The sun-sign Ben seems to have a lot in common with the United States. Heck, even Obama was born on 9-Ben!

… and what’s this hang-up I have with presidents and politicians, anyway? Time to get off the authority trip. Time for a change.

So the last day of the Tzolkin Fall is 13-Chicchan, which is a divine flavor of fluidity, with an unreal scent for drama – directly contrasting our point of origin (1-Ben, the unitary steel pipe).

… and Moses remained on mount Nebo, and watched his flock cross the Jordan into the promised land.

1-Manik trecena daily digest

Preface: Clearing the air

Keren Ann (8-Ix, next week) is a musician of a magical kind. If you let her in she’ll work her spells on you. Very much like Perry Farrel who shares her Mayan birthday, her musicmanship and sheer skill stand out from the first notes you hear. The sound is clean and precise, the volume levels are just right, and the mastering is BOOM.

To be born on the 1-Manik trecena and sing about not going anywhere is like a contradiction in terms. Manik stands for perpetual travels out in the wild, unknown parts and less-trodden paths of the land. The spirit of the four-legged animals is embodied on this plane to pace the earth within neighboring woods and well beyond them. When a stag (another word for Manik) is not going anywhere he is probably too busy protecting his community and offspring diligently.

However, being a stag, you can never know when he’ll disappear, maybe not ever to return. Then you realize that his young bucks have grown up already, and the pack guard is being releaved by new recruits. It was good timing after all. The aging stag is now off on a new pilgrimage, reliving his days of youth and hormones.

In Hinduism, this is known as being a Varna Prasta – a forest dweller.

His spirit dwells still around his old breeding and child-rearing grounds. Sons and daughters tune into the frequency left behind by their ancestors, and learn the way of their kind by resonance.

1-Manik: Path of blessings

1-Manik: Path of blessings

1-Manik: The lone pilgrim

Born on this day: Bob Schieffer, Matthew Modine, Franz Beckenbauer, Antonis Samaras (incumbent Greek president), Moses Montefiore, Ernst Alexanderson

Today I plant a seed of healing

Today I plant a seed of healing and cleansing

The sun came up clear and warm this morning. The skies were clean and pristine, no clouds and no aerosol debris. Every morning can seem just like the one before it, but this one didn’t. I was different.

Comfort runs deep enough to elude me. It begins with my body vehicle – where I sit and how long I sit there; the paths I take from and to. It continues with the people I talk to and meet. Then comfort gets too comfy dwelling on ideas that are “same, same, but different”. It goes on and on and it’s all-pervasive.

It’s time to try something that really scares me.

Manik is essentially this overall impression. He is the lone pilgrim.

“There’s more to life than this.”

2-Lamat: Doubled rabbit

Born on this day: Elvis Presely, Cal Ripken Jr., Kenny Wheeler

"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image." - Elvis Presley (2-Lamat)

“The image is one thing and the human being is another…it’s very hard to live up to an image.” – Elvis Presley (2-Lamat)

The restless 1-Manik, ever-looking for some new adventure, constantly evolving spiritually – finds his/her match on 2-Lamat. In other words: be careful of what you wish for!

Lamat is an ancient word for multitasking. Lamat-types can have many different interest going around on their mind at any given time. For example, I was born 8-Lamat and I can safely say it’s been that way ever since I can remember my conscious self. All Lamat-types also have Ik on their right-hand cross, so the craving to learn more about many different things (shining star in all directions) can be explained this way, too.

Today I meet Lamat on a 2-day. In numbers, 2 is the one and only natural number that multiplies its predecessor (1). When you go from 2 to 3 it’s already a lesser “leap”.

Two is also related to a question, or “duality” in the parlance of our times. So the lone pilgrim 1-Manik who was edging to try something new and terrifying yesterday wakes up to a showstopper question – “why bother? What’s out there that isn’t right here/now?” So many destinations – and Lamat is bountiful.

However, Lamat’s comfort zone is low self-esteem, a.k.a. the argumentative “black hole mode” Lamat.

You heard me, rabbits.

3-Muluc: Active liquid

Born on this day: Mick Jagger, George Washington (1st US president), Kyra Sedgwick, Rob Lowe, Shirley MacLaine, 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami

"Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!" - George Washington (3-Muluc)

“Make the most of the Indian hemp seed, and sow it everywhere!” – George Washington (3-Muluc)

The third day’s sunrise was a deja-vu revision of that first, transparent one I witnessed the day before yesterday. It couldn’t be identical, though, because sunrises never are. I was different again.

I remembered the first seed of rebellion vs. Comfort I sowed then. Last night’s dilemma (2-Lamat) has to be transcended by action. My spiritual horizons never used to came up to me while I sat and watched them in awe, and this time it’s going to be just the same. I need to meet the horizon at least half way.

So I made some calls and got organized. My 15 minutes of fame in the shower made me think in 5th gear. Water on my skin does that to me every single time. I pick up a thread, pull it until I become self-conscious about it, then pick up a better thread. When I finished I came up with my daily wisecrack:

The sunrise is just a symbol. It means Wake Up!

Waking up can mean so many things, but many of them can be summed up by some kind of “responsibility”. Is it the grownup type? Job, bills, kids? Na, not this time. On the lone pilgrim’s journey this means loving my own destination to the point of not letting go of it. This approach can no longer be called “responsibility”, but it’s so much better than it.  Muluc has to be passionate about her paths of devotion, otherwise she’ll turn to wherever her passion guides her.

Dedication. I can’t get around without it; I can’t get around it without falling right back on comfort and my own personal conformity. When fully awake, Muluc has to be on the move, and she takes me along with her. If I’m wise I’ll let her take the lead.

The number 3 is a dynamic power source that knows no boundaries. Whatever I decide to dedicate myself to becomes total and engaging. I interact closely with that goal I’m focused on, I nurture it and it nurtures me back. Indeed, dedication can easily be both a means and an end at the same time.

Then I just went out the door.

Procrastination is a nice word for a self-inflicted guilt trip. Dwelling on it just doesn’t help anyone.

4-Oc: Complete devotion

Born on this day: Branford Marsalis, Kevin Bacon, Tzipi Livni

Bravery sets the boundaries of spiritual healing

Bravery sets the boundaries of spiritual healing

Devotion offered freely is a powerful engine. But even engines have limits, and so must be treated every once in a while with some tender loving care. I know people who do the devotion thing all day long. Other people love them, they get tons done, but mental fatigue builds up in deep and secret places. Then one late afternoon they realize they’ve got nothing more to give.

Oc is the guardian, defending his clan from ignorance and malicious trespass till his tomb, and then again beyond it. This is the flavor which makes him/her a favorite and down-to-earth kind of pack leader. Tonight I let Oc take care of me, and keep his vigil in case I overdo devotion and forget about having fun doing it.

When coupled with the stabling effect of the number 4 Oc becomes a very astute kind of canine. One who guards boundaries wisely and consistently.

5-Chuen: Power of Art

Born on this day: Flea, Richard Wright (Pink Floyd), Cat Stevens, Tim Roth, Marisa Tomei, Lasse Hallström

"The Koreans have influenced us a lot, through their loving attitude, evil dictatorship, and funky bass playing." - Flea (5-Chuen)

“The Koreans have influenced us a lot, through their loving attitude, evil dictatorship, and funky bass playing.” – Flea (5-Chuen)

The road leading to the temple took several days off my terrestrial tenure span, and gave me many profound memories in return. When I tell stories about my trip people are entertained, especially the ones who don’t believe half of them. Those are usually the ones that don’t share my pet peeve of doing truly scary things.

Before reality became just another entertaining story it was real and present. Walking the road up to the mountain temple wasn’t easy, but the hardships were not as significant as the magnificent way in which they were negotiated. My old self arrived at unfamiliar surroundings, as new strands were woven into my dusty, familiar tapestry. Living the road was like putting brush and paint to a canvas, or like playing live in front of the living.

It was ALIVE, and it still is.

Art empowers me by inspiration. I’m a curious lone pilgrim, in constant awe of new things I learn every day and in every way.

“How’s it hanging, McFly?” – Needles (5-Chuen) to Marty (5-Caban)

6-Eb: Traditional path

Born on this day: David Broza, Jerry Lee Lewis, Liberace, Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Juliette Lewis, Ray Liotta, Mel Brooks, Christopher Marlowe (baptised today), Mariano Rivera

"Hope for the best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We're unrehearsed." - Mel Brooks (6-Eb)

“Hope for the best. Expect the worst. Life is a play. We’re unrehearsed.” – Mel Brooks (6-Eb)

Like the veins of the great mother, roads course through the old country, tracing the same routes for many years. The steps you took yesterday for the first time have been already taken by many feet before yours. Maybe one of your forebearers walked here before, and now you walk with him.

As any stranger in a strange land you rely on community and companionship to satisfy your mundane needs. Total strangers offer hospitality and advice, provide maps and directions. They let you into their world and homes, treating you as a fellow soul feeding off the mother.

After eating your fill and resting, other needs begin to replenish and balance off. Things like having someone really listen to me, and reciprocating. Cravings like sitting still and enjoying company. Loosing track of time by simply sharing life with fellow humans. You realize the mundane and the elevated are one and the same.

Someone once said something about the meek. The Eb energy is very much about respect, which is the only type of foundation any community can have. Respect guides you when you ask a stranger for help. Respect guides the stranger who bravely reaches out back to you.

However, respect has nothing to do with authority.

7-Ben: Purpose and destiny

Born on this day: Hafez al-Assad, Hermann Göring, US civil war ends

"The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!" - Hermann Göring (7-Ben)

“The only one who really knows about the Reichstag is I, because I set it on fire!” – Hermann Göring (7-Ben)

One afternoon I took a hike with my host up one of the hills. I couldn’t tell how he picks his way, cutting through overgrown thickets and revealing hidden paths. But I followed him anyway, maybe because I had no other choice, or perhaps because his staff was made of local wood, and it gave its bearer at least a measure of soft authority.

The view I got just wouldn’t allow me to dwell on any kind of thought.

When we stopped he pointed to the horizon and told me the name of a close community. I knew it was time to go.

Seven has that sense of staying where I am, right up until that point when I gather what’s mine, get up and start walking again. When I arrived it felt right to stay here forever. Now it’s clear my stay has elapsed, and no more rest is needed.

Onwards to whatever experience my destiny has in store over the hill. It was destiny that made me stay and share life with the local community. Now the same destiny shifts polarity and becomes dynamic again. Destiny begins here and now, even if it seems like I’m going nowhere for a while.

Wanderlust, as a perpetual way of life and destiny, is the fuel of the pilgrim, whether he’s by his own fireplace or blazing a fresh, unknown path.

8-Ix: Infinite magic

Born on this day: Keren Ann, Perry Farrell, Margaret Thatcher, Buzz Aldrin, Orlando Bloom

"Oh, but you know, you do not achieve anything without trouble, ever." - Margaret Thatcher (8-Ix)

“Oh, but you know, you do not achieve anything without trouble, ever.” – Margaret Thatcher (8-Ix)

Wild, untamed nature dwells in a realm beyond what the word “beautiful” can ever express. It is magical in the most mundane and spectacular sense of magic; the deep magic that makes the flowers bloom is too much for even the god of spring to fathom.

In the silent, bubbling wells hidden in caverns lies the essence of the Mayan archetype known as the jaguar. The purity of real Mountain Dew, its vitality and freshness – all embody the hallmark of Yucatan jungle evolution. A feline so magical it is a demigod in the bush.

The jaguar’s magic is present in any manifestation of nature. Besides the springs, the jungle itself is guarded by the energy of Ix, along with sacred shrines, overlooking the entire green and brown vista.

9-Men: Macro-vision

Born on this day: Chick Corea, Teri Hatcher, Stephen Baldwin

The eagle's perspective bestows patience.

The eagle’s perspective bestows patience.

Then I saw it.

A white and yellow temple on the side of a high cliff. A sacred place for generations of truth seekers and pilgrims. It looked exactly like the old library in Alexandria, only completely different. An unknown treasure was waiting silently for an enthusiastic seeker to show up.

All that I saw from the other side of the ravine. Fantastic visions aside, I still had to find my way there. I still had to communicate with whoever was there and gain access and maybe a bed and some food.

I am still

gaining altitude, circling around peaks and finding thermals.

A bridge spans the chasm above me.

10-Cib: Forgiveness now

Born on this day: Marshall McLuhan, Zoe Saldana, George Gershwin, Daniel Barenboim, Fred Durst, Arthur C. Clarke, Thomas Young, Robbie Gee, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton)

"It is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behaviour." - Marshall McLuhan (10-Cib), Understanding Media (1964)

“It is experience, rather than understanding, that influences behaviour.” – Marshall McLuhan (10-Cib), Understanding Media (1964)

Here is my own personal version of what happened (history).

After Kennedy was out of the way, back in late 1963, the people of the world wanted to see the American flag on the moon. Well, maybe just half of them wanted that flag. If Kennedy said it’s possible to do so before the hedonistic 70’s begin, then his successors must deliver on that promise.

So the shadow gov turned to the egg-headed scientists of NASA, some of whom were former party members (and we all remember that party). Can we place an American flag on the moon and make it look like Iwo Jima? A lunar selfy, maybe?

Von-Braun said: “Sure, it can be done. I can setup a McDonald’s outlet right on the beach of the Sea of Tranquility. The sales department will love it.”

“Beautiful” said shadow gov Y. “When can we expect delivery?”

Werner’s facial muscles were softly solid and calm. “Around Rosh HaShana, 5775.”

Y’s face was a-puzzled. He turned to look over his right shoulder and conferred silently with a balding, yet ageless-looking consultant.

“That’s almost 15 years into the next millennium.  Unacceptable. The martyr movie-star president said ‘by the end of this decade’, so anything beyond the 73 middle-eastern skirmish is out of the question.”

Doc Braun frowned for the first time. “By 1973 we might be advanced enough to use robots to put up the first arch of the restaurant’s rotating, bouncing logo marquee out front. That’s about it. We need at least 30 additional years of non-stop research and bi-weekly global Zen meditations to place 3 live ferrets on top one of the dunes up there. However, they won’t be able to carry, let alone plant any flag over six inches long.”

“Hrmpth” went Y in a singular display of imbalance. “We’ll be in touch, Doc. Keep working on it. Money isn’t an issue, just get it done.”

Stories that hisss

The stones that were assembled to make up the temple had a cold knowledge deep inside them. Even in the summer sun I could place my hand on a random pillar and it would be cool.

11-Caban: Creative frequency

Born on this day: Christopher Hitchens, Roseanne Barr, Bob Odenkirk, Jay-Z, Timothy Leary, Michael Cera

"Think for yourself and question authority." - Timothy Leary (11-Caban)

“Think for yourself and question authority.” – Timothy Leary (11-Caban)

12-Edznab: True completion

Born on this day: Georges Moustaki, Annie Lennox, Louis Armstrong, Lou Reed, Shania Twain, Daddy G (Massive Attack), Rudyard Kipling, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Michael Flatley, Martin Scorsese, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jacques Chirac, Lincoln’s assassination

"Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat" - Rudyard Kipling (12-Edznab) The Ballad of East and West (1889)

“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet, till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat” – Rudyard Kipling (12-Edznab) The Ballad of East and West (1889)

13-Cauac: Divine cleansing

Born on this day: Vandana Shiva, David Hyde Pierce, Janet Jackson, Axl Rose, Edgar Allan Poe, River Phoenix, Kevin Pollak, Kim Thayil (Soundgarden)

"They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." - Edgar Allan Poe (13-CAUAC), Eleonora (1841)

“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.” – Edgar Allan Poe (13-Cauac), Eleonora (1841)

High rain clouds pass indifferently.

Breaking Bad: Tzolkin calendar analysis

Reader notice: spoilers ahead! This piece is dedicated to those who have seen the entire AMC series “Breaking Bad”. If you’re just curious – watch the series first…

1-Imix on route to 13-Ben

Breaking Bad is all about family. “Family” is a broad term which includes many types of human relationships, regardless of actual blood connection. Its meaning is a matter of individual, custom-made truths and beliefs. Family is where identity and human connection is first established. Throughout life and well beyond death family retains its relevance and potency.


Walter Jr., a.k.a. “Flinn” (13-Ben)

13-Ben is the last day of the current trecena. This sun-sign symbolizes family and leadership. It is concerned with destiny and progeny, with sticking to principles so that aspirations can manifest and manifestations can inspire. In a family context, Ben types are leading parents and loyal offspring. They are said to carry the flame of the family fireplace and alter.

Besides Flinn, Marie Schrader was also born on a Ben day: 11-Ben.

In the following photo taken from the series’ first episode and season, there’s a company logo in the background which says “Family 1st clothing”. Skyler White (Anna Gunn, 12-Caban) is in the foreground looking shocked at her husband Walter (Bryan Cranston, 9-Caban) behind the camera. Their son Walter Jr. (R.J. Mitte, 13-Ben) is behind her, very impressed by his dad.

Skyler (Anna Gunn, 12-Caban) is shocked when she sees how her husband Walter (Cranston, 9-Caban) handles some local punks at a fashion shop called "Family 1st Clothing"

Figure 1: Skyler (12-Caban) is shocked when she sees how her husband Walter (9-Caban) handles some local punks harassing his disabled teenage son, at a fashion shop called “Family 1st Clothing”; Walter’s son Walt Jr. (13-Ben) is rather impressed.

“La familia est todos” – Hector Salamanca (4-Chuen, 1-Lamat trecena)

Caban and eastern sun-signs


Walter “Heisenberg” White, Gustavo Fring (9-Caban)

The sun-sign Caban (Earth, heartbeat) appears twice in main characters (dad and mom) and then twice again in supporting roles (lawyer and boss). It’s amazing that throughout 2+ seasons Walter was having a face-off against Gus, who was born exactly on the same Tzolkin birthday (9-Caban). Statistically, it’s a one in 260 chance (0.004%) to have such a meeting. In what ways were they similar? What’s behind their apparent differences?

Season 2, chapter 11, minute 12:00. Walter and Jesse are sitting in Saul’s office, trying to figure out how to sell all the meth they had cooked. One of their dealers got shot by competitors, the other just got out after an arrest, and the skinny dealer split. Saul suggests he setup a meeting between Walt, Jesse, and a stealthy meth-baron, who has been making and selling this chemical for over 20 years:

Saul Goodman (11-Caban): "From what I do hear about him, he (Gus Fring, 9-Caban) is like you (Walt, 9-Caban)"

Figure 2: Saul Goodman (11-Caban): “From what I do hear about him, he (Gus Fring, 9-Caban) sounds a little like you (Walt, 9-Caban)”. Good job casting!

Butterfly effect

Walter’s alias “Heisenberg” takes the nameskae of  the well known physicist of the 20th century Werner Heisenberg (born 5-Imix back in 1901). In 1932 he got a Nobel physics prize for being one of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics. His contribution had to do with what he dubbed “Matrix mechanics” back then.

In other words, while nuclear energy and potential was being discovered and tapped into, he was one of the guys who saw the overall matrix (mother/feminine) surrounding and governing the pattern (father/masculine) of substance at the atomic level. This is a forerunner to “fuzzy”, cutting-edge science, which bridges the gap between academic and spiritual students. Quantum mechanics is unique in that it resists application. It’s a purely theoretical field of study, based on observation and assumption. Unlike Newton’s laws, quantum-level understandings cannot be applied to improving the next F-16, or making it fly like in the alien’s movie.

It’s interesting that, in Breaking Bad, a middle-class talented chemist would choose the name of a physicist as his underground psudoname. Watching the series, I always thought Heisenberg was the name of a famous chemist I never heard about.

So I guess the reference is less because of professional affinity and more to do with quantum mechanics. How does this peculiar field of physics apply to the main character in Breaking Bad?

As raw as it gets

Responsible Living

Hank Schrader (10-Chicchan)

Here’s another oddity that has nothing to do with the Tzolkin. DEA agent Hank Schrader is played by an actor named DEAn Norris.

Serpent energy according to the Maya represents the very essense of life and vitality. It is a quinessential symbol of knowledge and knowing, and for this reason Serpent types are always learning about life and seeking new and old knowledge. Because of their infinite store of energy, Serpent-types can just keep going and working without any regard for their personal and physical needs. When possessed by a fascinating subject, they hardly sleep, eat, or tend to any of their comforts.

These traits seem to fit DEA agent Schrader in many ways. Add to that what Ian Lungold referred to in the Serpent as bringing “justice which is quick and sure”, a perfect fit for a law enforcement officer.

A serpent usually flows and gives to everyone until s/he gets cornered and someone crosses its line. Then the lightning-quick bite comes. Something out of the blue, hurting and final. A kiss of death.

Deep Rhythm

Skyler White (12-Caban)

Caban is the birth sun-sign of Walter, Skyler, and Saul Goodman, so they share a common nature. However, each was born on a different number (9, 12 and 11 respectively), and gender also plays into how a sun-sign manifests in the person. Caban types are highly cerebral, and think that anything in life can be understood by the mind alone. They’re highly intelligent and perpetual learners who skilfully combine these gifts to become shrewd managers and leaders.

Another of their great gifts is the ability to succeed anywhere on Earth. Caban types are good travellers who make the entire planet their home. When in unknown lands, they don’t even need to know the local language in order to make friends and get assistance.

However, their amplified mental orientation has a drawback. Sometimes a perfectly logical course of action is not the wisest way to go. For example, Walter made very logical decisions in order to provide for and protect his family. However, a wiser man in the same situation might not be as intelligent, but will be wise enough not to lose his family in the process of helping them.

So, 7 leading and supporting cast members were born on eastern (red) sun-signs, and on number 9 or higher. This adds up to a raw and energetic vibe throughout the drama, coupled with high birth numbers that add intensity and gravity. Also, east means individuality, and a lot of sensitivity and emotion – all very important ingredients in any drama.

The Northern side of Braking Bad

Jesse Pinkman (2-Oc)

Jesse Pinkman (2-Oc)

In the family story that is Breaking Bad, Aaron Paul (2-Oc) played the role of the young puppy trying to begin his own family, after his natural family kicked him out of his Home.

Although a dog (Oc) aspires to spend all his days with a good pack, he makes one hell of a loner when he chooses or has to. Jesse’s whole being and motive is around loyalty – the hallmark of any canine. Most of the series his loyalty to his master (Mr. White, he never called him otherwise) seems undying. But to turn the drama around, in the last season that loyalty is undermined by Jesse’s revealing of the truth about what Walt has morphed into.

One of the dog’s special traits can be said to be hidden in plain sight. The first time Jesse appears in the series (S1E1) he is climbing out the window of a sexy lady’s bedroom. So he’s very sensual and sexual. He loves to hang out with friends and lovers, enjoy the good things in life, and party! The same goes with dogs.

In season 4, when Jesse was coming up in Gus’s ranks, working closely with Mike (1-Ix), his skills as a natural protector were evident. Whenever you’re in the presence of an Oc type, the Maya say a unique sense of security is palpable. “This good friend will let no harm come near the pack.”

When Jesse’s job took him south of the boarder to cook for the cartel yet another canine trait became apparent. Dogs love to get around and go for walks, but like to stay around their own territory. Long voyages away from their beloved routine are not easily taken. And likewise, Jesse was very reluctant to go, and responded in shock when he realized he’s staying to work there.

Poss in boots

"I haven't been on a trip like that since college." - Antonio Banderas (1-Ix) as Puss in Boots in Shrek the Third

Michael Ehrmantraut (1-Ix)

Besides Jesse, Mike is the only northern sun-sign-born in the leading cast. One other smaller one would be Ted Beneke (10-Ik), but that’s it. Mike and Jesse ended up in a father-son kind of relationship, and Mike seemed to have Jesse’s well being in mind. But that all came to an abrupt stop, like all of Jesse’s other attempts to belong to a family, when Walt, Jesse’s real surrogate dad, killed Mike.

Ix is the feline aspect of the calendar, and it means Jaguar. Mike is first introduced into the series as an anonymous cleanup guy, sent by Saul to help Jesse off the hook on the morning Jane (12-Eb) died. Mike coached Jesse on what to say and what to do when the police arrives, took all incriminating evidence, and left.

This is how a cat operates. Stealthy, indirect, skillful, knowing. These skills were put into action often when Mike was doing his thing, for Gus and later for Walt.

Go West

"Love is a fruit in season at all times, and within reach of every hand. Anyone may gather it and no limit is set." - Mother Teresa (6-Manik)

Badger, Skinny Pete, Don Eladio (all born 6-Manik)

Western (blue) sun-signs appear only in minor roles in Breaking Bad, but some interesting patterns appear.

When Jesse begins managing the blue meth distribution network he has three lieutenants/friends working for him: Combo, Badger, and Skinny Pete. Of these, the first was shot dead in mid-season 2. The actor’s name is Rodney Rush, and I couldn’t find his birthday.

The other two actually stayed on and appeared in many consequent chapters, including the last one. These are Badger (Matt L. Jones, born 6-Manik) and Skinny Pete (Charles Baker, born 6-Manik). So again we come across a statistical oddity, having two actors born on the same Tzolkin date appear side by side, and in this case – literally side by side. For the Ulysses Jesse is, they are the proverbial Castor and Pollux, the hero twins immortalized in the zodiac known as Gemini.

But there’s another very minor but memorable character that was born on the very same Tzolkin day. He is the Mexican drug baron Don Eladio, played by veteran TV star Steven Bauer (6-Manik).

One last odd pair

The first and the last

Lydia Rodarte-Quayle (4-imix)

Laura Fraser (4-Imix) plays the role of Lydia Rodarte-Quayle, a criminal executive for a multinational corporation named Madrigal. She has a very fragile and neurotic demeanor, and appears to be quite crazy in a way. At the same time Lydia has to be some kind of genius in order to handle the dangerous distribution operation she managed for Walt. All these are traits of the crocodile (Imix).


Hector (Tio) Salamanca (4-Chuen)

If you count 130 days (1/2 cycle) from 4-Imix you arrive at our next odd and standout character – Tio Salamanca, played by the talanted Mark Margolis (4-Chuen). The only time he has lines in the series is during flashbacks, to the time when he was still young. In his present day state he’s in a wheelchair, unable to speak, and using a bell mounted on his armrest as his only means of communication.

Tio’s nurse and his nephews use a ouija board to communicate with him. It’s like he’s already dead (ouija boards are usually used to converse only with the departed), but somehow hovers still between life and death, because maybe, just maybe he still got one last card to play. His sun-sign Chuen (monkey) is indicative of this rare ability of those born on that day – to be the joker, the wild card who nobody saw coming.

Breaking Bad: major character Tzolkin birthday layout

In the following Figure 3 I’ve arranged all the sun-signs of the leading characters and support acts, each near the number of their birthday. So it doesn’t represent any real trecena (although Jesse 2-Oc and Walter 9-Caban were born on the same trecena: 1-Muluc), but rather the Tzolkin constellation of the cast.

The one character I didn’t mention above, but appears in Figure 3, is Tuco Salamanca, who was born 9-Manik. This is exactly 130 (1/2 cycle) apart from 9-Caban.


Figure 3: Caban is most prevalent sun-sign among the major roles; both protagonists (Walt and Jesse) were born on the same trecena: 1-Muluc | size of sun-sign indicates scope of role in the series; blank spots indicate either no roles or only minor, beyond the scope of this analysis.

The road to hell is paved by good intentions

Heisenberg discovered the secrets of quantum mechanics, of the way by which there is no such thing as unrelated elements of a given organism. By realizing this, “coincidence” becomes a word used by other people.

Was it a coincidence that Jesse ended up being emotionally involved with the sister of the 10 year-old kid who shot his friend Combo (S3E11)? Was it a coincidence that Walter’s admirer Gail Boetticher was a fan of Walt Whitman poetry like Walter? It was Whitman’s poetry book, which Gail gave Walter as a gift, that eventually revealed Walt’s identity as Heisenberg to Hank, and began the last sharp dip of his crash.

It was almost perfect. But then something unexpected happened. A fly in the ointment; a snake in the garden. An off chance that somehow made a difference. “Karma” means your own doing. Nothing can really just happen to you. It’s all your own doing.

The lies which Walt thought would hold up were revealed eventually, all to his own undoing. His plans always worked because he was very shrewd and smart. But his actions also always yielded a fallout of lies and karmic debt, which all came around eventually to collect.