The Mayan culture based many of their beliefs on advanced astrology and mathematics, which included a system of calendars that are more precise than our current Gregorian calendar. There are a total of seventeen calendars that are inter-related with one another in how the Mayans perceived time. Two of the core sets of calendars include the Venus Round system (consisting of the Tzolk’in (pronounced chol-kin), Haab and the Venus cycle) and the Long Count.
The Tzolk’in may also be recognized as the Count of Days, the Earth Calendar, Tonalpouhalli, the Sacred Calendar, Divinatory Almanac and the Sacred Almanac. Mayan days are called day signs and are represented by glyphs which are images that relate to each day.
The Tzolk’in calendar refers to a cycle of 260 days which coincidentally is the estimated time of human gestation. The 260 day period also correlates with the time in between harvesting and gathering maize in particular levels of the Mayan highlands.
Our common calendar, the “Gregorian Calendar”, charts the frequency of solar cycles during our planet’s 365.25-day solar orbit. In addition to perceiving and rendering a similar calendar, the early Maya community of Meso-America perceived and rendered another calendar system that charts the frequencies of psychogenetic galactic cycles that, similar to radio and television waves, embody and express information essential to spiritual consciousness and the subtle [mind] and gross [body] infrastructure of being. These cycles are believed to be universal and are represented in the patterns of celestial orbits, e.g. the synchronicity between our planetary orbit and our sun’s galactic orbit as well as in the archetypal models of all spiritual traditions and even in the fundamental structure and function of DNA. That calendar, known as the Mayan Sacred Calendar, is called the “Tzolkin”.
Fundamentally, the Tzolkin is a 260-day cycle, composed by 13 days that course consecutively through 20 serial, archetypal ideations superimposed on the progression of days. This 260-day cycle synchronizes with the Gregorian Calendar’s 365.25-day cycle every 52 years. This Calendar was widely used astrologically and as an almanac, tracking cycles of various astronomical bodies and their influences on terrestrial climates and seasons. However, within the Mayan temples, there was a much deeper understanding of the Tzolkin; there, the Tzolkin is regarded as a universal, ‘periodic table of the harmonics of time-space’. That continually and comprehensively expresses every possible permutation of the One Giver of Movement/time and Measure/space, i.e. the manifest Divine Spirit, throughout the Creation.
In the Mayan cosmology, the 13 fundamental days progress through 20 serial, archetypal ideations known as “Sacred Signs”. Each of the Sacred Signs represents an aggregate sequence of the 13 days as they uniquely overlay each Sacred Sign. Each of the 13 days represents a specific, psychoactive frequency or tone. Thus, each Sacred Sign resonates with a particular spiritual and psychic “Quality”. The Quality of any given Sacred Sign is expressed by Its particular, aggregate sequence of psychoactive frequencies.
Viewed graphically, with Sacred Sign 1 at the top of the frame and Sacred Sign 20 at the bottom, the Calendar is read vertically from top to bottom and left to right, beginning with “1” in the upper left corner and ending with “13” in the lower right corner. Reading the Calendar horizontally from left to right, we see the specific sequences of days, 1-13, that correspond to and compose each Sacred Sign. Hence, the sequence of days (or order of frequencies) for the 1st Sacred Sign, Imix, is 1-8-2-9-3-10-4-11-5-12-6-13-7.