“A giant heart-shaped pattern is shown on the surface of Pluto, as seen from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft.” Photograph By AP
“Pluto is the planet of major transformation, representing the cycle of death and rebirth. It is responsible for breaking down the old to make room for the new. Pluto can also represent power and control, and reigns over our relationship to authority figures and leadership.” – (source)
Earlier this month of July, a NASA probe passed by the dwarf planet Pluto living on the outskirts of our home star neighborhood. Why is it a dwarf? Does it matter if the scientific community decides that Pluto is a dwarf planet instead of just a planet? Does it make the above quote irrelevant? Of course not. What does science have to do with tarot and astrology? One’s set of assertions is arranged upon a chronology different to the other’s.
From the left hemisphere’s point of view, it is important to distinguish between a proper planet and an anomalous planet. The rouge planet should be named differently to keep the original “planet” category valid, well-defined, and respectable. From the right hemisphere there is no such difference, since there is one solar system, and the physical movement of the bodies of heaven is only the 10% visible part of a sub-surface iceberg of great unseen influences. So a fashionable new category called “dwarf planets” says more about the ones making the distinction than about the planet Pluto itself.
The big-picture tarot and astrology angle says Pluto “reigns over our relationships to authority figures and leadership”. Does this ring a bell to anyone? It looks just like the recent NASA public relations move (~8-year voyage) mysteriously intersected with our culture’s current struggle with misplaced power and personal empowerment efforts.
“… breaking down… making room” Pluto goes around our home star in extremely long cycles. So a process of deterioration and failure of our institutions and authority figures can take decades to manifest, when it actually took centuries to put them in place.
“The only way you can control anybody is to lie to them.”
– Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (born 10-Ik)
Under the hood
As our home star makes its hot and sweaty northern hemisphere journey, “as hot as July”, the Tzolkin is crossing the gates of Winter.
It is said that in winter, when the light outside gets low the light inside is correspondingly high. “Inside” can be within your home, where the Christmas tree or Hanukkah lamp may be lit-up, it can be within your tribe, where the fire burns longer, and family and friends share both physical and conversational heat. “Inside” also means that when the physical ebbs the spiritual tides; when I can’t play outside in the sun I contemplate together inside, by the fire.
I’ll begin with some fundamental technical concepts. These are important now, because 1-Cimi is when I contemplate the rigors of winter, the period of cerebral challenge, of cutting away fat (by chewing it), of the mental and spiritual aspects of the solar year gift.
Each Tzolkin season lasts 65 days. In Mayan calendrics, the 65-day period is called a burner period. Let’s take the day 5-Men and measure 65 days ahead. We’ll arrive exactly at 5-Ahau. If we count 65 days backwards we’ll get to 5-Oc, and if we count 130 days forwards/backwards we’ll arrive at 5-Chicchan.
Therefore, Chicchan, Oc, Men and Ahau are a burner-set quadruplet.
Since 1-Imix is the beginning of the calendar (and of fall, too), the other 3 combinations belonging to 1-Imix’s burner-set are 1-Cimi, 1-Chuen, and 1-Cib, and they mark the beginning of winter, spring, and summer respectively.
1-Cimi: “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come?” – from Hamlet by Shakespeare (baptized 1-Eb)
1-Cimi: One Death a Day
Born on this day: Ian McKellen, Jane Fonda, Colin Powell, George H. W. Bush (41st US president), Russian submarine Kursk accident, Jim Jeffries, Fred Schneider (B-52’s), Nassim Haramein, Gamal Abdel Nasser
“The board is set. The pieces are moving.” – Ian McKellen (1-Cimi) as Gandalf in LOTR 3
It seems we still have some presidents to mention on this trecena, after the 7 American ones that were born on the previous trecena. However, in 1-Cimi there are presidents from other nationalities, so look out for them.
2-Manik: First-Aid Kit
Born on this day: Colin Farrell, Elton John, Djimon Hounsou
“You know you can’t hold me forever. I didn’t sign up with you.” – Elton John (2-Manik) singing Bernie Taupin (12-Imix)
3-Lamat: Reckless Rabbit
Born on this day: Chris Isaak, Whitney Houston, Joe Cocker, Hank Azaria
3-Lamat is a young star that hasn’t been broken-in yet, a crazy diamond
The theme of the current trecena is change and transformation by means of shedding an old skin; a death within life. The sun-sign on stage 3 (Lamat, the Star) directly contrasts the theme of the trecena, since it stands for constant abundance by multiplication of whatever it comes in contact with, rather than any sort of modification.
After the goal of transformation is set on 1-Cimi, and a process of spiritual healing takes place on 2-Manik, Lamat comes along and multiplies the process by contrasting it – from the mind to emotion, from a challenge to interim ripeness and fulfillment.
3-Lamat stands for the drive to work and do and give, without a definite focus on what needs work right now, nor whom to give to.
4-Muluc: Flowing Certainty
Born on this day: Madonna, Ezer Weizman (7th Israeli President), Daniel Pinchbeck (2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl), Karl Dönitz
“Absolutely no regrets.” – Madonna (4-Muluc)
5-Oc: Only Love
Born on this day: Bob Marley, Richard Quest
“We don’t have education we have inspiration; if I was educated I would be a damn fool.” – Bob Marley (5-Oc)
A holiday afternoon and evening is best to spend with your best friends and loved ones. Play some Reggae. Listen to Marley’s words.
After all, this is the period of change. The Autumn pollution is washed away by the December rains.
6-Chuen: Conservative Weaver
Born on this day: Roger Waters, Igor Stravinsky, Madeleine Stowe, Captain Mission (The Deep Fix), Geoffrey Rush, Taylor Swift
“And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking. Racing around to come up behind you again. The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older. Shorter of breath and one day closer to Death.” – Roger Waters (6-Chuen)
"Maps of space/time are without and within
Consciousness itself is just a Location
13 intentions, 20 aspects, together in grace
YOU become the process in
8-Division Sky Place"
- 8-Division Sky Place by Captain Mission (6-Chuen)
7-Eb: Purposeful Paths
Born on this day: Victoria Beckham, Hu Jintao
7-Eb is the path from Death back to Reality
Stage 7 is all about purpose. The purpose of the 1-Cimi process (Death, change) is to find a new way, which is 7-Eb. However, in this process it is obvious that finding a new way happens halfway through the journey, and there’s much more to come down the Road.
Let’s say I get fired from my job on 1-Cimi. That’s it. That job is DEAD. I’ll never do what I used to do, and never be who I used to be.
Naturally, it takes me time to realize what I lost, and go over the things I could have done differently to keep my job. I must first shed my old habits (skin), and get used to a new routine. As time goes by, I reach 7-Eb, when I begin to see the outlines of what lies ahead, and gain a better perspective of what I left behind.
Because the past tends to haunt me like a wolf, I’ll be busy sulking for quite some time. This must come to pass and play out before I can fully realize why I couldn’t possibly stay in that dead-end job, and why getting fired was the best thing that could ever happen to me.
When considering the above example, please note that the Tzolkin is out-of-time. In other words, any realization and understanding regarding the death process of being fired can take any measure of Time. In the Timeless Tzolkin round, the 1-Cimi paradigm of change lasts 13 days minimum. It usually takes much more, and I might find myself spending years of regret and perceived failure, out of work, out of meaning, and out of divine purpose.
This is due to the Error in Time.
8-Ben: Eternal Guide
Born on this day: Michael Dorn (Lieutenant Commander Worf), Aldous Huxley, Jonathan Safran Foer, Nicolas Sarkozy (23rd French President), Nicol Williamson (Merlin in Excalibur), Frank Oz, James Nesbitt, Vincent Pastore
“For in spite of language, in spite of intelligence and intuition and sympathy, one can never really communicate anything to anybody.” – Aldous Huxley (8-Ben) in Sermons in Cats
Also from Huxley:
“To see ourselves as others see us is a most salutary gift. Hardly less important is the capacity to see others as they see themselves.”
Ben (Reed, Staff) signifies aspirations and the ability to bring them down to earth and make them real. When Ben appears on stage 8, it reminds me of the lesson of the previous trecena, 1-Ben. It is the balancing factor within the process of change.
In a measured and calm way, 8-Ben helps to come to grips with the way in which change and challenge sculpture Destiny. In order to realize change consciously, Life transforms to such an extent, that it will never be the way it used to be. This happens gradually in some cases, and suddenly in others.
8-Ben is the ever-present and unbreakable/infinitely flexible backbone of life itself, which – especially in the face of death and irreversible change – strives upwards and onwards relentlessly.
9-Ix: Supreme Magician
Born on this day: Jon Stewart, Max Keiser, Carlos Zambrano, Boris Becker, Huey Morgan (Fun Loving Criminals), Ernest Hemingway, Charlton Heston, Chris Cooper (American Beauty), Peter Stormare, Renée Zellweger
“There’s no one thing that’s true. It’s all true.” – Ernest Hemingway (9-Ix), For Whom the Bell Tolls Ch. 43
Patience is the hallmark of any seasoned member of the feline family (like the Jaguar in his element, and also the special Ops soldier in his nocturnal ambush). When I have absolute confidence in my skills, patience and the ability to identify the magical moment to pounce become indispensable and arise naturally.
This is the complete Jaguar shaman/wizard, who has the macro-vision required to put disassociated pieces together in order to bring about a manifested vision [10-Men], which is true and very much real.
I’d like to make a slight detour at this point, back to some fundamentals.
Every trecena is missing 7 sun-signs (covers only 13 of all 20). These missing signs affect the Now in the same way that the Invisible Sun of the Spirit affects our subconscious, from the underworld. The missing signs in this trecena are Cauac (storm) through Chicchan (Serpent). These will soon reappear at the onset of the next trecena 1-Cauac, with the latter occupying stage 7, naturally.
Out of these, I’ve decided to focus on 5-Akbal, since 5 and 9 go together within the trecena and without. Here is a beautiful music video I highly recommend playing in full volume. The visuals consist of oil-painting animation. The instrumental soundtrack is by Peter Gabriel (5-Akbal, more on him next time). The animation and the music put together tell the story of human life, death, and rebirth in the chaotic, political world I find myself living in (at times).
10-Men: Vision Manifested
Born on this day: Gillian Anderson, Brittany Murphy, Spike Lee, John Adams (2nd US president), Laurence Olivier, Stephen Graham
“The world grows more enlightened. Knowledge is more equally diffused.” – John Adams (10-Men), Discourses on Davila (1790)
The supreme magician 9-Ix evolves and obtains a real vision of what’s to come during the unfolding winter, and whatever’s beyond. When true change is followed through (and even surrendered to completely) from conception to birth, the reward is a crystal clear picture of reality.
Keep in mind that Cimi stands for luck, and Men stands for plenty (material or otherwise) – good combination, huh?
Revisiting the above quote by John Adams – it is evident that plenty is available to me wherever I turn, especially plenty of information. Enlightenment might not be as evidently abundant as data, but this is because data is not Knowledge.
Knowledge is human/organic from beginning to end. This is why we have plenty of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and absolutely no artificial knowledge/wisdom.
Even if I become Dr. Frankenstein and animate some organic tissue I’ll call Eye-Gore I will not be able to engineer and fashion him with a Spirit or a Soul, let alone download some childhood memories using a USB port to feed its emotional chip.
The vision instilled by the sun-sign Men belongs to the spirit of the winds. It is an ancient mode of consciousness that enables both Eagles and Men to see the unseen and even the never seen (and also to procrastinate, but that’s another issue). I’m afraid this aspect of reality cannot be coded into software and compiled successfully.
Maybe with a computer that runs on a 13-bit operating system…
11-Cib: Reborn Antiquity
Born on this day: Henry Winkler (The Fonz), Zack de la Rocha, Tupac Shakur, Emmanuelle Seigner, Anthony Hopkins, Eli Wallach, Patricia Quinn (Rocky Horror Magenta), Calvin Coolidge (30th US president), Bo Jackson, Klaus von Bülow
“The fifth sun sets get back reclaim. The Spirit of cuahtemoc alive an untamed. Now face the funk now blasting out your speaker, on the one – MAYA, Mexica. That vulture came to try and steal your name but now you found a gun. This is for the people of the SUN.” – Zack de la Rocha (11-Cib), People of the Sun, from the album Evil Empire.
The change that was initiated 1-Cimi and manifested yesterday left some fallout in its wake. The fallout is made up of childhood friends, debilitating habits, detrimental diets, red Marlboros, and everything else that falls under the category of old skin.
Transformation must be destructive. The butterfly taking flight for the first time cares not for the destruction of its cocoon.
However, man is only part butterfly, so the confusion that follows a sudden Death (like getting fired) takes time to sort out. Solace is called for, to smooth over the wrinkles of worry and loss, and on 11-Cib this is gently offered to me by the grace of my forefathers.
They are the only ones that can truly claim that they’ve “been there, done that.”
Solace and comfort are in order at this point of the journey. Some might find it within their community settings, some at church or mosque or synagogue, some in Nature, or by running fingers through the dirt, or through the fur of their pet. These are all CIB.
The need for change is evident in all walks of life, and the lessons offered by this culminating trecena are desperately absent from the current global operating system (32-Bit) and culture. To illustrate one aspect of this absence, I once again offer poetic verse from Rage Against the Machine.
Weapons not food, not homes, not shoes
Not need, just feed the war cannibal animal
I walked the corner to the rubble that used to be a library
Line up to the mind cemetery now
What we don’t know keeps the contracts alive and moving
They don’t have to burn the books – they just remove them
While arms warehouses fill as quick as the cells
Rally round the family – pockets full of shells
12-Caban: Deep Rhythm
Born on this day: Anna Gunn, Terry Chimes (The Clash), Steve Guttenberg, Buddy Guy, Antonio Vivaldi, Frank Langella
Change goes Global on the 6th Night
The insights I gathered so far during this unique journey of Death and Redundancy are pieces of wisdom, collected while taking classes in the school of life. When put into prose or music lyrics, there is a good chance they will ring a bell on the other side of the globe.
Regardless of my location during the trials of 1-Cimi – be it my spatial location on Earth or my place in this historical moment – the human experiences of transformation, destruction, loss, rebirth, and getting a fresh start do not share my neurotic prejudices; they are part of the Planetary consciousness.
They are the spiritual forces that comprise the good drama scene, the well-written novel, and Buddy Guy.
They are 12-Caban.
13-Edznab: Ethereal Reality
Born on this day: Paco de Lucía, Gene Roddenberry, Heather Small (M People), Fidel Castro, Tim Burton, Prince William and Kate Middleton’s Wedding Day
“After a week, I decided religion wasn’t for me.” – Fidel Castro (13-Edznab) from The Atheist’s Bible (2007)
Since Star Trek meant a lot to me during my defining years, I must add some brilliant quotes from the Creator himself, Gene Roddenberry:
“A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head-on and licks it, or he turns his back on it and starts to wither away.”
– Gene Roddenberry (13-Edznab) taken from The Cage, Star Trek pilot
I personally link this statement to the importance of facing reality as it happens, moment by moment. The only way to meet life head-on is to give up all illusion, estimation, and theory. The only way to lick it is to fully accept every moment of it, i.e., Loving IT. Turning my back on it and withering away sounds too horrible to consider.
“Star Trek speaks to some basic human needs: that there is a tomorrow — it’s not all going to be over with a big flash and a bomb; that the human race is improving; that we have things to be proud of as humans. No, ancient astronauts did not build the pyramids — human beings built them, because they’re clever and they work hard. And Star Trek is about those things.”
– Gene Roddenberry (13-Edznab)
Seeds of Reflection
The end of this trecena [13-Edznab] calls for the exactitude of the logical and mathematical mind-set. It is a day of calculation – how much have I wisely put away during 1-Imix and the rest of Tzolkin Fall? (Tithing).
Going back to the metaphor I used in 7-Eb (about getting fired), 13-Edznab means finally coming to grips with new reality of change, challenge, and the proverbial Winter. How do I mean?
After achieving a flexible backbone [8-Ben], gaining the Supreme Magician’s measure of patience and macro-vision [9-Ix], obtaining a real vision of what’s to come [10-Men], smoothing the destructive effects of change by the light of our ancestors [11-Cib], and connecting with the deep frequencies of terrestrial life [12-CABAN] – Reality itself [Edznab] seems to finally turn my way. I’m already deep into my next vocation by now. Sacrifice is complete.
When the mirror of reality appears on the 7th Day of creation (13th stage) these lessons are carried over to the next period of true purification [1-Cauac]. This is when reality begins to teach me and learn from me, and I am reminded of the Sudden Death 1-Cimi, the purposeful Road 7-EB, and the Transcending Reflection 13-Edznab.
With Roddenberry’s words in mind, I am reminded of the dual nature of this sun-sign. Reality, in fact, transcends any imagination caged within the words of good prose, or the script of a good TV series. To illustrate what I mean – let’s say I’m terribly addicted to playing computer games. I’ve been into it since I was 6, and I still love doing it every day for some time.
When I lay my head to rest I surrender my spirit to the Planetary consciousness and my body to Mr. Sandman. Then, I travel Dreamland, and when I wake up this journey is bound to affect my day (at least until mid-afternoon or so). This effect can be seen as higher in orders of magnitude when compared to the last time I pitched a no-hitter or clutch 4-bagger on MLB 2012.
Dreams are part of my reality, and so is the video game. But the video game is an imperfect human construct (which even crashes sometimes, especially when I’m ahead).