Time of Awakening Series

With the projected roll-over of the Mayan Calendar from Bak’tun 13 to the new age of the Fifth Sun this Winter Solstice (Long Count =, I've been watching and taking note of a parade of interesting celestial events over the last sixth months (starting with the solar transit of Venus, the second of a pair of transits this cycle – the previous transit occurring in 2004). I decided to make a set of commemorative banners to celebrate this unique time period. Of course, to honor the Mayan Long Count vision, I utilized Mayan glyphs, symbology, mythology in these images.

For archeologists and linguists, understanding of Mayan symbols takes on a syncreatic flavor, with some meaning derived from the context of use within codexes and monument carvings, other meaning derived from analyzing the spoken dialects of the region to better “explain” the associations of specific glyphs to various objects, actions, etc. - which often relies upon homonyms of “sound alike” words to expand the meaning context. More visionary archeologists apply a mytho-astromonical analysis to better understand the cultural memes presented, and hope to reveal more esoteric meanings within and between them. The stories and meanings are reflected in the stars. As Above, So Below.

For myself, a mixed astrological / astronomical / archeological / mythical framework flavored by shamanic journey work and dreams enhances my own personal understanding of the mytho-poetic and esoteric meanings originally intended by these glyphs.

Here are the six images that I created:

Venus Transit – June 5, 2012    
1) In the top register, Venus’s path across the solar disk is recorded. Below, in sequence: an image of the solar corona, an image of Venus (with its glyph superimposed), and at the bottom, a glyph for a building or temple (i.e.; earth). Inside this building are two others glyphs: a skull representing the opening to the underworld, topped by one of the 9 Underworld gods. On either side, Vision Serpents open their mouths emitting the heads of ancestor figures - yielding prophecy, instruction, and/or desired communication.

Total Solar Eclipse – November 13, 2012
2) In the center, the total eclipse of the solar disk (marked with the solar deity ‘Ahau’ glyph) reveals the glowing coronal ring in the darkened sky. Directly below, a trio of rabbits guide the full lunar disk through the heavens. (The Mayans saw a rabbit in the moon rather than a human face.) At the bottom stands the goddess Ix Chel in her guise as Grandmother who rules over the moon, the tides, and lunar mysteries. A serpent in her headdress swallows the sun, revealing the total eclipse.

Jupiter / Moon Conjunction – November 29, 2012
3) This commemorates the first of two Jupiter–lunar conjunctions which occur in the last quarter of the year. Jupiter is emerging from the mouth of a Pleiadian sky dragon. (The Mayans believed their ancestors descended from a race of beings who originated in the Pleiades.) At the top, the Pleiades (7 Sisters) watch over this conjunction. The Mayan glyph for this star cluster is a rattlesnake’s rattle.

Pyramid Alignment – December 3, 2012
4) On this night, the planets of Mercury (hummingbird as messenger between the spirit realms, drinking medicine nectar from a Datura flower), Venus (sky jaguar holding the Venus glyph), and Saturn (emerging from a Vision Serpent), come into alignment vertically over the three main Egyptian pyramids in the Giza complex. Such a syzygy occurs once every 2,737 years. The Mayan turtle glyph (i.e.; Earth) in the bottom register of this image shows the three original “hearth stone” stars that mythically founded Mayan civilization. (We now refer to these three stars as Orion’s Belt.) The pyramids at Giza have been shown to exactly map the projection of Orion’s Belt.

Dark Rift Alignment (Winter Solstice) – December 21, 2012
5) On Winter Solstice, during the day, Mayan astronomers understood that the Sun would conjunct the center of the Milky Way (more specifically, the Dark Rift stretching long the central galactic horizon.). Although they could not see the actual alignment during the daylight, they knew that the band of the Milky Way would rotate to a near vertical overhead (in the same way that all of the visible stars rotate during the course of an evening around the axis of the North Star). Likewise, they understood that at midnight on Summer Solstice, the Pleiades (their source of origin) would rise to its zenith in the same sky location.

 The Dark Rift was known as the “Dark Road” or the “Royal Road”. It represented a path to ancestral origins, to the spirits, watchers and gods who resided in the sky realm. The turning of the Milky Way to its most vertical extent during Winter Solstice was mythically envisioned as the raising of the World Tree connecting the three realms (Heaven, Earth and the Underworld). At the base of the tree can be seen a god of the Underworld with his mouth open like a cave entrance deep into the earth. At the top of the tree is found a celestial bird, a symbol of the Polar Star. The arms of the tree (forming the “foliate cross”) symbolizes galactic plane overhead. In the top register appears a blue sky/star band glyphic pattern with a pair of sky gods rowing the celestial canoe across the heavens.

 At this year’s solstice, astronomically both Mars and Venus appear on opposite sides of a linear alignment with the sun. These are shown in the banner on each arm of the foliated cross (along with associated glyphs).

Jupiter / Pleiades / Moon Conjunction – December 25, 2012
6) This commemorates the second of two Jupiter–lunar conjunctions which occur in the last quarter of the year. Jupiter is held by the lunar rabbit and surmounted by a celestial crocodile (related to both Jupiter and the Vision Serpent). At the top, the Pleiades watch over this conjunction. (The Mayan glyph for this star cluster is a rattlesnake’s rattle.) Along the bottom register, a row of Buffo toads dance. This is the species of toad from which Mayan shaman, priests, and royalty extracted a DMT-based potion for use during vision quests.

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