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Aztec and Mayan Thinking

RESERVATIONS Aztec Astrology, birth certificate, Mark Twain 

Aztec and Mayan Thinking: A Survey

The Aztec calendar has the same basic structure as the Mayan calendar, with (1) a solar calendar, based on 18 months of 20 days each - in sum of 360 days - and (2) a calender of 260 days and unknown origin. This latter calendrical period was called Tonalpohualli and was used most of all for divination. Tonalpohualli consists of twenty periods of thirteen days each. Each period of thirteen days is said to be under the auspices of deity. The Maya equivalent of the tonalpohualli is the tzolk'in, which is the basic cycle of the pre-Columbian Maya calendar Its twenty days (naguals) are considered alive. Personal characteristics are associated with birthdays. [Wikipedia, s.v. "History of astrology (Aztec astrology", Tonalpohualli", "Tzolk'in","Ixchel", and "Maya calendrical divination"]

The day-signs of the Aztec (left) and Mayan calendar in translation:

  1. Caiman or aquatic monster -- Waterlily, Crococile: the reptilian body of the planet earth, or world
  2. Wind -- Wind, breath, life force. Breath, life, also violence.
  3. House -- Darkness, night, early dawn: 'Night-house' - darkness, the underworld, realm of the nocturnal jaguar-sun.
  4. Lizard -- Net, sacrifice: 'Maize' - sign of the young maize lord who brings abundance, ripeness. Also lizard, net.
  5. Snake -- Cosmological snake: the celestial serpent
  6. Death -- Death
  7. Deer -- Deer: Sign of the Lord of the Hunt
  8. Rabbit -- Venus, star, ripe(ness), maize seeds: Sign of the planet Venus, sunset
  9. Water -- Jade, water, offering: Water as symbolised by jade, an aspect of the water deities, fish
  10. Dog -- Dog: Who guides the night sun through the underworld
  11. Monkey -- Howler monkey: Monkey, the great craftsman, patron of arts and knowledge. Also thread
  12. Grass -- Rain: 'Grass' or 'Point' - associated with rain and storms
  13. Reed -- Green/young maize, seed: 'Reed', who fosters the growth of corn, cane, and man
  14. Ocelot or Jaguar -- Jaguar: 'Jaguar', the night sun. Also maize. Associated with the aged jaguar goddess of midwifery and medicine, 'grandmother' Ixchel.
  15. Eagle -- Eagle: The wise one, bird, moon
  16. Vulture -- Wax: 'Owl/Vulture' - death-birds of night and day. Also wax, soul, insect.
  17. Movement or Earthquake -- Earth: 'Earthquake' - formidable power. Also season, thought.
  18. Flint or Knife -- Flint: 'Knife' - the obsidian sacrificial blade.
  19. Rain -- Rain storm: 'Rain' or 'Storm', the celestial dragon serpents and the gods of thunder and lightning. "He stands like a pillar and supports the South corner of the sky"
  20. Flower -- Lord, ruler, sun: 'Lord', the radiant sun god.

Now it is good to know that the two Aztec calendars are differently aligned to the Julian calendar that we use in the West today. Then comes the question: Are both wrong, one wrong, or both correct, even if they differ from each other? Also, the cycle of twenty days of the Mayan calendar, the tzolk'in, does not have a generally recognized start and end, although there are specific references in the books of Chilam Balam to 1 (Crocodile) as the beginning day.

A week that is almost a fortnight may be interesting and profitable for gathering yourself together

Let me add that after checking my own Aztec horoscope I was impressed and astonished for reasons I have now forgotten. This may be taken to mean that deep things do not actually belong to the surface, and that surface inspection may mar many a of deep thing.

Man is made for living on the surface of the planet. He is not equipped with wings, nor is he a boring and drilling badger by nature. He is given brains and hands and the capacity to walk erect as hallmarks, and should learn to compete much from that.

Go deep and get drowned and crushed by the pressures there. Fly high into outer space and run into terrible problems - are these approaches so good after all?

Man is designed for thriving, living and ending his life on planet Earth, and not designed otherwise.

On the surface it is fit to get entertained - in part by surface-fond sitcoms. Age-old knowledge that is brought into system or play, can also function to our delight for a time.

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