Born 9-E’: Gary Peacock, Matisyahu, Speech (Arrested Development), Robert Downey Jr., Henry Goodman (British Theatre), Mark Hamill, Mickey Mantle, Dave Holland
How nice it is to get a Road Map the day after the New Year has began!
Yesterday (8-Ba’atz) is considered in the Maya highlands as the most important day of the 260-day Tzolkin cycle, like new year’s day in western solar calendars. Daykeepers are initiated on 8-Ba’atz, and other unique ceremonies take place.
Anyone raised within a western cultural tradition might ask how can a new year begin on an 8th day? A new Gregorian year always begins on the 1st day of January (the first month).
One is a good place to start. Your car’s odometer works that way, too.
However, considering the Mayan view on numbers and math, apart from 1, thirteen can also be a good place to start (being considered zero), as well as another numerical concept called ‘seating’ in the Ha’ab calendar. As an example, there’s a day in that calendar called ‘seating Pop’, on which the Pop month begins.
All in all, which number you pick as a beginning is not considered as important for the Maya as it does in western traditions. Nor the number where you end, for that matter. It is due to the fundamental difference in how time is viewed between these two points of origin. The former deals with cycles and rhythms; the latter fixates on births and deaths, record-keeping and history.
The Mayan can regard an 8th (or 9th) day as the most important day by virtue of it being a balanced day, between days 1 and 13. Performing rituals on early (1-5) days would yield weak results, while doing so on late and ‘heavy’ (10-13) days could prove overwhelming, and produce distracting side-effects.
To the Mayans, accepting the 1st of January as the beginning and most important day would be under debate. For most people, that solar date is at the height of winter, just after the winter solstice. Shouldn’t the day be celebrated outside? In nature perhaps? When days are much longer?
And what’s with December (which means 10th in Latin) being the 12th month? Another worthy matter for discussion at Another Time.
When you view time in cycles, balance becomes important. It is like playing rhythm section (e.g, bass and drums, piano, guitar). It is endless and beginning-less, it just goes on in circles, driving the music, providing background for the harmony and melody.
By a linear model of time there must always be a beginning, otherwise measurement and history is impossible. Human history began at one point, proceeded to stretch from Darwinian sub-human apes, through today’s global social networking hipsters, and onto tomorrow’s Artificial Intelligence defense attorneys. It becomes very important when we began, how we evolved, and how we’re going to die.
Time becomes a tool by which history can be recorded and analysed.
Through this materialistic viewpoint, the Mayan Long count and it’s end date presented a real mystery. Here is a calendar, measuring a 5,000-long cycle of Earth years, abruptly coming to an end. Being impatient as they are, mysteries can only be tolerated if they are quickly resolved, and preferably without disturbing any comfort zones.
It was regarded as a prophecy. It became the day of judgement and the end of time. No one was really interested in what the actual Maya had to say about it, being their own heritage. How typical.
But if Terrence McKenna (3-Tijax) was right, history has already ended. It happened on December 21st, 2012.