The Classical Mayan Tzolkin Count and the Dreamspell are linked to different concepts of time

by Carl Johan Calleman

During the past decade interest in the Calendars of the Maya has dramatically increased world-wide. Ultimately, this increasing interest is derived from the fact that a new consciousness of time is now emerging. A New Age gives rise to a new consciousness of time which in turn requires a new calendar for this to be expressed. This new consciousness of time is today commonly experienced either as if time is accelerating, or that it simply disappears. Maybe, in fact, the idea that time is a quantity is on its way out. "Why is this?" we may ask. Is it merely an illusion of ours that time is running faster or has our highly developed technological society developed so effective means of tele communications that everything is speeding up to a point where things almost become unbearable?

Another possibility is that the speed-up of time is real and caused by factors entirely outside of human control, factors which in accordance with the divine plan proceed from a galactic level of creation, and actually cause the emergence of a new age - a new age of time. There have been rumours that the year 1999 will mean a "time shift" and Edgar Cayce had predicted a "pole shift" "in the winter of 1998." Maybe then a polarity shift between Yin and Yang on a galactic scale will lead to the final breakthrough to a new consciousness of time. As many spiritually evolved people have realized time is ultimately an illusion, but since it happens to be the very illusion that maintains our lives, it may be worth the effort to probe deeper into its mystery. As a tool to do so the calendar of the Maya has again come into use. Western astrology, which in principle is based on the study of endless repetitions of the cyclical movements of the celestial bodies with fixed periods of revolutions (fixed frequencies), could never logically explain the increased frequency of time. To understand the frequency increase we need to accept a concept of time which is independent of the movement of material bodies. We need to accept the concept of time of the Maya.

Anyone who takes an interest in the ancient culture of the Maya will soon realize that this people had an understanding of time which was vastly different from our own, and many have come to use it for their own spiritual evolution. But what then is the Mayan calendar? It turns out this is not as unambiguous as one might think. The so called day keepers in Guatemala and Mexico use some twenty different calendars in parallel and over the ages these have undergone significant change. For instance, no inscriptions of the chronology of the ancient Maya, the so called Long Count starting on August 11, 3114 BC and ending on December 21, 2012, have been found that were made after the tenth century AD. Thus, we have reasons to suspect that also the consciousness of time of the Maya has undergone some significant change since the Classical culture reigned between AD 200 - 800. What this all means is that there hardly exists such a thing as a Mayan calendar cut in stone for us simply to assimilate without deeper thoughts or insights about the nature of the divine plan.

Regarding calendars used on a daily basis it was calendar - inspired by the Maya - launched by José Argüelles in 1990 that went by the name of Dreamspell that first came to be used in the modern world. José and his wife Lloydine asserted that the planet was threatened by an environmental catastrophe because of our use of the Gregorian calendar and as an alternative they suggested a calendar based on 13 Moons each of 28 days plus an extra day, July 25th, outside of time (13 x 28 + 1 = 365). In their system the leap day every fourth solar year was simply ignored, apparently to keep the ideal of 13 x 28 intact. These Thirteen Moons were then linked to a special tzolkin count (260 different combinations of thirteen numbers and twenty different glyphs) in which each individual could find out what was his or her "Galactic Signature." The idea underlying the Dreamspell seems to have been that if human beings lived in phase with the natural cycles, in this case probably primarily the female cycle of about 28 days, we would treat the earth better and thus avoid an impending catastrophe. This idea may have attracted some, but certainly many more were attracted by the idea that the particular day they were born had an inherent energy described by their Galactic Signature, that is, tzolkin day. This latter idea certainly had support from the notions of the Maya, in principle.

There was however a problem with the Dreamspell, namely that the Maya had never used the particular tzolkin count that it was linked to. Many of the followers of Dreamspell, either for lack of knowledge or lack of honesty, simply presented Dreamspell as The Mayan Calendar. In practice the result of this was that many individuals have been deluded into thinking that the Galactic Signature they had been assigned also was the one that the Maya would have used. As this was discovered something called The True Count Debate raged on the Internet in 1995 where especially John Major Jenkins energetically asserted that Argüelles count was false, and that it had never been used by the Mayan people themselves. In addition, there still existed a tzolkin count, the Classical, which was used over the entire Mesoamerican region in Classical times and had survived until today in the Highlands of Guatemala and elsewhere among the Mayan day keepers. Jenkins stated, and I think rightly so, that Argüelles' followers had no right to present the Dreamspell count as the Calendar of the Maya and that it was a kind of Cultural imperialism to ignore the "surviving" Sacred Calendar that was still in use among the Maya.

Argüelles response to this criticism seems to have passed through two different phases. His initial response was to say that he had received his calendar by divine revelation. Since he saw himself as an incarnation of Pacal Votan, a Mayan king who ruled in Palenque in the seventh century AD, everything he did was in accordance with the divine plan. To my knowledge he never responded in a direct way to the issues raised. It seems however that the attitude of the Argüelles' changed in 1998 and José became more open to the criticism. Following a meeting with Quiché elder Don Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj at Spring Equinox 1998 he declared that the Dreamspell and the Classical Maya tzolkin counts were equally valid and that no conflict existed between the two. Later, he claimed in an interview that Dreamspell was really not a Mayan calendar, although he still asserted its value.

And this later position is obviously perfectly legitimate. As long as it is not claimed that the Dreamspell count has been used by the Maya anyone is in his right to assert its possible value, if any. As we discuss a new calendar for the future, for the new age, I believe however that what is most important is to specify what the purpose of this calendar and chronology should be. Unless we do so we may either run into the kind of pie throwing that was typical of the True Count Debate, or resign to a attitude that has become common today, to claim that "anything goes," that there really is no such thing as a True Count and that all there is are our individual truths (But then, if there is no True Count, what value would the tzolkin count really have?).

In contrast to these resigned thoughts I feel that when it comes to developing a Mayan calendar useful to chart our future it is important to realize the predominant role of the tzolkin in such a project. It also seems that without exception Mayan day keepers maintain that the tzolkin count is the hub around which all other calendrical cycles turn, and it is for this reason that, although it has sometimes been lost, the tzolkin count is not known to have been intentionally reformed. The tzolkin has been regarded as the master calendar around which all the others revolve. If it is true that the tzolkin count plays such a crucial role, then the consequence would be that if we desert it our calendrical system may end up anywhere. Unless we respect the Sacred Calendar - and its divine origin - there will be no hub keeping the various other calendars linked. To make a clear example of this. Many people have become fascinated by the fact that the Mayan Long Count ends in the year 2012, sensing that this may be a time of fundamental importance to humanity. And, in fact, the Mayan Long Count is a fairly exact calibration of a certain process of evolution of the human consciousness. This calendar is however linked to a certain tzolkin count, the Classical, meaning that it is only those that respect this hub of the calendars that will be in phase with the particular evolution of consciousness that the Long Count describes. If we instead chose to use another tzolkin count than the Classical, we will not be able to logically integrate the divine creation cycles in our thinking and we will thus miss the whole point with the spiritual calendars of the Maya - the possibility of being in phase with the ascension of humanity.

What then is the purpose of calendars? During the last 5000 years they have had an important purpose in aiding people to keep track of the agricultural year. For this purpose a calendar based on astronomical observations, and the exact estimation of the duration of the solar year, 365.242 years, seems natural. It has thus for agricultural reasons been necessary to arrive at a very exact estimate of the astronomical year and to keep each day of the year frozen with regard to the place the earth then occupies in its orbit around the sun. Such a calendar is useful for telling us when to sow and harvest, etc, and the Gregorian calendar for one fulfils this purpose very well. The same may be said also about a frozen haab, which is a Mayan calendar that is made up of eighteen uinals of twenty days plus the five extra days, the vayeb, when the gods rested (18 x 20 + 5 = 365). The Thirteen Moons of Dreamspell (13 x 28 + 1) fulfils the purpose of a calendar for the seasonal changes equally well. But it is certainly questionable if either the haab or the Thirteen Moons has anything to offer that goes beyond the Gregorian calendar when it comes to following the seasons or in aiding agriculture. I would say they do not.

In addition to calendars for the agricultural year, and a number of astronomical calendars describing the movements of the various planets, the ancient peoples of this planet however also had a divine calendar which was founded on the 360 day year. Among the Maya this period of time was called a tun, which was also the foundation of their Long Count. But the same period of time exists under different names in all of the major ancient cultures on earth; it is found among the Chinese, in India, among the Sumerians and Egyptians and the Jews. It also existed in the ancient cultures of Europe, e.g. in Scandinavia and Italy. In the Book of Revelation, the most important prophetic scripture of the Christian religion, we may with some detective work find out that as this was written 360 days was considered as a "time."

Maybe then the ancient peoples of this planet were able to see something that for the most part we ourselves have become blind to, since they rather generally seem to have been using a holy calendar based on the 360 days in parallel with the agricultural calendar of 365 days. There is not space here to provide the evidence that the time period of 360 days is a key unit for the evolution of consciousness, but briefly it can be said that increasingly higher levels of human consciousness evolve according to rhythms given by different multiples of the tun. Thus, the frequency of creation step by step increases with each new level of consciousness in a pyramidal structure. Only calendars that are constructed in accordance with such a hierarchical structure of time cycles can create an understanding of the evolution of consciousness, while calendars that are based on an endless repetition of for instance the 28 day period or the 365 day period will always ultimately lead to a linear concept of time. Regardless of their duration an endless repetition of cycles will always result in a linear concept of time.

To return to the issue of the Dreamspell calendar it is a highly telling detail that this simply omits the leap day every fourth year. What this would mean is that in Argüelles view this particular day would lack a special tzolkin energy of its own and thus not be a part of the divine plan, since ultimately the tzolkin is a microcosm of this plan. While this may seem like a small detail, it highlights that in the Dreamspell concept of time matter is considered as primary to consciousness rather than the other way around. Or in other words, when the movements of matter does not quite fit Argüelles 13 x 28 + 1 scheme, it is the evolution of consciousness, the divine plan as expressed through the tzolkin count that is sacrificed, rather than the scheme. In reality, of course, the leap day is also part of the divine plan and of the energy sequence of the true tzolkin (although this is not expressed by the Dreamspell count to begin with). In my own opinion the divine plan is much more important for our spiritual evolution than the movements of matter, in this particular case the astronomical year.

The new phase in the evolution of consciousness that will start with the inception of the Galactic Creation Cycles on January 5, 1999 will not only carry a new consciousness of time, but also the return of Christ consciousness and the ascension of humanity to a higher consciousness. Since this process is not based on anything physical (In the new world view matter will be considered as secondary to consciousness and everything material that exists in the universe will be recognized as a manifestation of consciousness) it is not possible to use astronomical (365 days) or biological (28 days) cycles to describe its evolution. Following calendars based on the material reality, such as the Gregorian, the haab or the Thirteen Moons, can only result in people getting stuck in materialist concepts of time and remaining blind to the divine plan.

Those that look for a calendar that describes the evolution of consciousness should rather seek to follow a calendar based on the Classical 260 day tzolkin and the 360 day tun, cycles that have a purely spiritual origin. The tzolkin and the divine creation cycles based on the 360 day-"year" (which includes a range of time cycles, hablatuns, alautuns, kinchiltuns, kalabtuns, pictuns, baktuns and katuns each corresponding to the development of a specific frame of consciousness) describe the galactic vibrations that emanate from the invisible branches of the World Tree (the Milky Way). What is central in the divine process of creation is that its evolution proceeds as a result of Seven pulses of light interspersed by six periods of darkness, something which has been described by Sumerians, Babylonians, Jews, Christians and Muslims, but also hinted at by the Maya and Aztecs. On the 5th of January 1999 such a process of creation consisting of thirteen tun will begin which will endow the human beings with a galactic frame of consciousness. The increasingly more rapid, and higher, vibrations that emanate from the World Tree will lead not only to an altered consciousness of time, but also to a new experience on our own part of colors, sounds and the existence of higher spiritual dimensions. The level of consciousness that this divine creation cycle gives rise to is the consciousness of the new age, the galactic consciousness, a frame of life we are just in the beginning of grasping. It is a calendar which describes the emergence of this new consciousness that we need in the new age of time - as the frequency increase gives time a new age.

Carl Johan Calleman was born in Stockholm, Sweden at noon May 15, 1950 (the exact midpoint of the month named from the Roman goddess Maia) on the day 5 Jaguar in the Classical Mayan tzolkin count. For the past five years he has devoted himself full time to disseminating information about Mayan calendrics and has lectured on this topic in Seven different countries and among other things appeared on Swedish and Finnish television. Carl Johan was one of the main speakers at the conference on the Mayan calendar organized by the Mexican chapter of the Indigenous Council of the Americas in Merida, Yucatan at Spring Equinox 1998. He has published calendars and a book, "Maya-hypotesen" (1994) in Swedish and a book in English "The Maya Synthesis - The Universal Evolution of Consciousness and the Existence of God proved by the Time Science of the Maya" due out later this year on Avon Books, UK.
He is devoted above all to creating bridges between Mayan cosmology and modern science as well as to the major religious traditions of mankind and has recently completed a manuscript on the latter subject entitled "The Return of the True Cross - where the Mayan calendar and Biblical Prophecy meet."
He has a background as an academic scientist with a Ph.D. in Physical Biology and has been a Senior Researcher of Environmental Health at the University of Washington, Seattle, and has served as a cancer expert for the World Health Organization in Lyon, France.
His Internet address is which will publish information in Swedish, English, French, German, Spanish and Finnish.