Unraveling the Mysteries of the Mayan Calendar

May 20, 2023


The Mayan Calendar, a system of timekeeping that dates back thousands of years, has long been a subject of fascination and intrigue. But what does the Mayan Calendar actually tell us? And how does it differ from the calendars we use today? In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore these questions and more.

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What does the Mayan Calendar tell you?

One of the most common misconceptions about the Mayan Calendar is that it's a single, unified system. In reality, the Mayan Calendar is a complex system of multiple calendars, each with its own purpose and cycle. At the heart of this system is the foundational calendar known as the Chol'qi, or Tzol'kin.

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The Tzol'kin is a 260-day cycle, a period that closely aligns with the gestational period of a human pregnancy. This is no coincidence. The Mayans viewed time as an inherently sacred and personal process, deeply intertwined with human life and consciousness. The Tzol'kin, therefore, is more than just a way to mark time. It's a reflection of the Mayans' profound understanding of the interconnectedness of human life, nature, and reality itself.

This understanding of time as a divine measurement of consciousness is a key aspect of the Mayan Calendar. It's not just about marking the days and years. It's about understanding our place within the grand cycle of existence. For those interested in a deeper exploration of this concept, the Intro to the Mayan Calendar: An Archetypal Structure of Reality provides an insightful perspective.

What year did the Mayan Calendar go to?

The Mayan Calendar is often associated with the year 2012, which marked the end of a significant cycle known as the 13th Baktun. This event sparked widespread speculation and debate, with some interpreting it as a prediction of the end of the world. However, for the Mayans, it was viewed as the end of one cycle and the beginning of another, reflecting their cyclical view of time and history.

The modern world's obsession with the end of the world and 2012, has severely tarnished the reputation of this sacred spiritual practice. Differing people from understanding the true meaning and importance of this calendar.

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 How long is a year on the Mayan Calendar?

Mayan calendar from perspective

The Mayan Calendar actually consists of several interlocking calendars, each with different lengths. The Tzolk'in, a 260-day sacred calendar, and the Haab', a 365-day solar calendar, were combined to create the Calendar Round, a cycle of approximately 52 years. This system allowed the Mayans to track religious and agricultural events, as well as historical records.

Another cycle to note, is the "Mam" similar to a new year, is a function within Tzol'kin where the beginning of every Haab cycle, the day 0 Pop, will align with 4 days in the Tzol'kin. Noj, Iq, Kej, Ee.

Did the Mayans have a 365 day calendar?

Yes, the Mayans did have a 365-day calendar known as the Haab'. This solar calendar was used in conjunction with the Tzolk'in to create the Calendar Round. The Haab' consisted of 18 months of 20 days each, plus an additional short month of 5 days, known as Wayeb'.

What year did the Mayans fall?

The Mayan civilization reached its peak during the Classic Period, from around 250 to 900 AD. After this, the civilization went into decline, with the last Mayan city, Nojpetén, falling to Spanish conquistadors in 1697. Despite this fall, the Mayan people and their cultural traditions, including the Mayan Calendar, have endured.

Do the Mayans still use the Mayan Calendar?

Circular mayan calendar mexico. Background, dates

Despite the fall of the Mayan civilization, the Mayan Calendar is still in use today among some Mayan communities, particularly in the highlands of Guatemala. These communities use the calendar for religious ceremonies and to determine auspicious dates for events like weddings and crop plantings. This ongoing use of the Mayan Calendar is a testament to its cultural significance and the enduring legacy of the Mayan people.


The Mayan Calendar is a rich and complex system that offers a unique perspective on time, history, and the cosmos. Whether you're a history buff, a lover of ancient cultures, or simply curious about different ways of understanding the world, the Mayan Calendar is a fascinating topic

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