“Right now, we use an arbitrary system of twelve months of unequal days, cut off from natural cycles, and this conditions us to accept disorder and irrationality in all of our institutions,” he answered. “The Gregorian is programmed for chaos and Apocalypse. This calendar would replace it with an instrument designed for perpetual order and harmony.” He explained that the Gregorian calendar—decreed in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII and the Council of Trent, to correct errors in the Julian calendar used since Roman times—instituted a flawed model of time, based on ancient patriarchal traditions. Five thousand years ago, at the beginnings of civilization, the Sumerians—living in Uruk and other pot-sharded settlements of what is now the bombed-out, oil-rich, desert moonscape of Iraq—were the first to switch from a lunar to a solar calendar, based on an abstract principle: the division of a circle into twelve equal parts of thirty days each. Earlier calendars—used by archaic civilizations following the “Great Mother,” found in relics and scratched onto the walls of prehistoric caves—followed the precise cycles of the moon (the word “month” descends from “moon”), which circles the Earth roughly thirteen times a year—as we shall see, the precise calibration is tricky. Along with dividing the year into twelve parts, the Sumerian high priests split up the day into twenty-four hours of sixty minutes each. “Mechanization was implicit in the first intellectual act of history,” Argüelles said. Since there are 365 days in a solar year—a number that cannot be divided by twelve—the Sumerians added five extra days to the end of the year, which were considered unlucky. The Julian and Gregorian systems were adapted from this abstract model, based on a conception of the year as a flat circle, arbitrarily dividing the twelve months into mismatched measures of twenty-eight, thirty, and thirty-one days.
Argüelles believes this is the case, proposing that calendars habituate us to a certain experience of time. “Time is mental in nature,” he wrote in Time & the Technosphere. “Modern Western thought and science has been programmed and predisposed to limit its consciousness of time to such a degree that it cannot even perceive of time outside its inherently mechanized perception of it.” He believes that our current calendar has trapped us in a feedback loop of accelerating desynchronization
“The moon circles the earth thirteen times a year, not twelve,” he said. “For the Maya, thirteen was the lucky number of natural cycles and synchronization. The very act of replacing the order of twelve with the order of thirteen would be a profound one.” In Time & the Technosphere, he argued that the superstition over the number thirteen had deep roots in Western culture. “Could it be that the whole of civilized history is based on the fear of the number thirteen— epitomized in the superstition about Friday the 13th —and that, therefore, dealing with the true nature of time has been avoided altogether?”
Argüelles proposed that thirteen is actually the lucky number of natural and feminine cycles (according to Argüelles, the female menstrual cycle should be twenty-eight days), synchronicities, and harmony—for that reason, it was suppressed by the male patriarchal mind-set, increasingly committed to mechanized rationality. Along with its thirteen regular “moon-ths,” Argüelles’s calendar also has a deeper level, following the cycle of 260 days, or “kin,” of the Tzolkin, the 13-by-20 matrix with its “binary crossover pattern” that he considers the essential instrument of the Maya’s sacred science. He elaborated a complex system, called the “Dreamspell,” to help people enter into the Maya’s fractal, fugue-like chronovision—to experience time as a tonal loom of synchronicity and resonance, on scales ranging from the personal to the cosmic.
As he wrote in The Mayan Factor: “For the Maya what we call time is a function of the principle of harmonic resonance. Thus, days are actually tones, called kin, represented by corresponding numbers; sequences of days (kin) create harmonic cycles . . . and sequences of harmonic cycles taken as larger aggregates describe the harmonic frequencies or calibrations of a larger organic order, say, the harmonic pattern of planet Earth in relation to the Sun and the galaxy beyond.” The cycles of thirteen days, twenty days, 260 days are fractals reflecting larger cycles and energetic patterns.
2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl p. 225You count the days from the sun’s position at your marker object until it returns there, going in the same direction. Your count is 365 days. This number, representing the cycle of the sun, and the number representing the cycle of the moon (29½), are not evenly divisible. A little basic math tells you a solar year will not exactly equal 12 lunar months. The difference between 12 months of 29½ days (354 days) and the length of a solar year (365) will cause the four seasons to move around through the year.