Archive for the ‘English’ Category

The Maya observed the stillness of the Sun, which lasted for twenty full days, between December 11 and December 31. This is like the observation made by Pueblo Sun watchers, who will actually stay still and quiet while the Sun is still. When the Sun began to move, the Maya made a ceremony called the Jasaw Dance, of which I’ve written about (see an older post here).

If we were keeping record of Maya dates, today December 31, 2019, it would be 13 Baktun, 0 Katun, 6 Tun, 13 Winal and 12 Tun, which for short is written as This is the Long Count notation. The Calendar Round notation for the same date is 5 Eb’  0 Mol (see Figure 1). Observe that Tzolk’in date is 5 Eb’. Day Eb’ only occurs every twenty k’in or days, and when the year bearer is Eb’, then every beginning of month will be Eb’. We are currently running on year bearer 8 Eb’, which inaugurated the Haab or Maya year on August 13, 2019.


Fig. 1. Today’s date in Maya notation with the converter developed by the author.

What is interesting is that back in 735, the Dance of the Jasaw also happened when the year bearer was Eb’, and such consistency is only offered by the converter system I developed. See how today’s Maya date given by my converter relates to December 31, 2019 while today’s Maya date given by the conventional converter system called GMT (Goodman-Martinez-Thompson) relates to August 19, 2019. If, instead, we insert December 31, 2019 date, we get results for the LC and the Calendar Round that are not at all related to the Dance of Jasaw celebrated in Yaxchilan. This is the kind of aberration that the GMT system offers, and every Maya scholar using it is not being able to advance their work because of it.


Figure 2. Goodman-Martinez-Thompson converter.


Figure 3. Goodman-Martinez-Thompson converter.

If we were to celebrate the coming back of Sun’s moving days, we would always do them a day like today, December 31st; we wouldn’t be all over the year cycle, like the GMT correlation proposes Yaxchilan governors were doing. That is why it is so important to begin using the converter system I have proposed since 2013.



Read Full Post »

I have just made a paper available for peer review. Anyone interested in struggles by intellectuals to perpetuate the scientific legacy of their ancestors in the midst of colonial imposition may read this paper. The case study is about how timekeeping tables were being crafted by the Maya to fit the establishment of the Spanish crown. Find it here: https://geraldineannpatrickencina.academia.edu/research#papers

The Title is:

2 Pop is always August 15. New Evidence of Syncretic Timekeeping and Cryptic Use of the Original Haab under Christian Imposition in Colonial Yucatán

The Abstract is:

Cognate texts of Códice Pérez and the Book of Chilam Balam of Kaua were comparatively analyzed under the premise that they present commensurable dates that relate to the original version of the haab. This original version has been recovered by the author through an independent procedure that focuses on the astronomical configuration of Venus and Moon at the opening and closing of 13 Bak’tun and the role of year bearers in keeping the haabcalibrated with the Sun when counting 365 k’ins, where k’insstart, alternatively, at sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight, in coordination with year bearers that respectively relate to the east (Kaban), north (Ik’), west (Manik), and south (Eb’) in the Tikal system (Classic period). The analysis of the two sources led to develop a conceptual framework that allows us to discern which calendar(s) was/were being used for any given date entry. Extrapolations with internally congruent dates from the Chilam Balams show (after leaving aside the forced canonical equation 1 Pop = 16 de julio) absolute agreement with the original calendar, where 2 Pop is always 15 de agosto. Another contribution of this paper is that it explains a syncretic system that was crafted in the Kaua manuscript to provide the auguries of Christian years with artificial year bearers located within the first trecena that occurred in the beginning of January for two full series of thirteen years (1796 – 1821). Additionally, it provides a full explanation of the use of 1 Kan and 12 enero for 1796 in the Table of Day Coefficients and presents a complete reading of the Table of Tun Endings and Haab Cycles, very different in rationale and scope from that provided by Bricker and Miram (2002). All dates were verified using the converter tool online in http://damixi.jl.serv.net.mx/test/gc.jsp


Read Full Post »

El sistema calendárico original fue usado ampliamente en territorio maya desde el Preclásico hasta el Postclásico. La reconstrucción de todos los ciclos lograda en 2010 (ver Patrick, 2013) permite ofrecer este calendario para el ciclo 13 de agosto de 2017 – 12 de agosto de 2018. Este calendario está disponible para todos y todas a través del siguiente link.


The original calendar system was widely used in the Mayan territory from the Preclassic to the Postclassic periods. The reconstruction of all the cycles, which was achieved in 2010 (see Patrick, 2013), now provides this calendar for cycle August 13, 2017 – August 12, 2018. You can have a copy of this calendar through the following link.

JA’AB 2017-2018

Read Full Post »

Shield Jaguar I from Yaxchilan carried out a Jasaw Chan dance on 19 Yaxk’in of year 735 AD (LC: That was December 30, which is known by Sun observers to be the last day of Sun’s stillness around solstice. In other words, the Sun’s apparent detention on its southernmost position on the horizon happens on December 20 and December 21, but its slow motion towards that detention occurs during the nine days prior to December 20, and its slow recovery pace occurs during the nine days after December 21. That time lapse is exactly twenty days long, i.e. from December 11 till December 30. It is a time for the observance of a Sun that has the character of a newborn creature. Its radiance, warmth and size are all qualities of the beginning of the Sun’s cycle. That is why the twenty-day long winal or month is called Yaxk’in. It means first Sun.

The Jasaw Chan dance practiced in eighth-century Yaxchilan was consistently related to the conclusion of the Sun’s still days on its southernmost region on the horizon so to begin its journey towards the north. Epigraphic texts on Stela 11 and Lintels 9 and 33, where Shield Jaguar is portrayed holding a flapstaff, show a verbal phrase that incorporates the verb ‘dance’ followed by a ti’ expression and variable element ja-sa-wa chan (Grube 1992), read as jasaw chan.

Chan means ‘sky’, whereas jasaw has the root jas and the suffix –aw which, in this case, derives an adjective from the verb jas (Looper 2003). In the Barrera Vazquez dictionary (1980) Looper finds the entry has muyal, which means “aclarar el tiempo quitándose las nubes” (the sky becomes clear as clouds go away). A similar term on the same page of the dictionary is haatsal muyal, meaning “aclararse el tiempo, descubrirse el sol cuando está el cielo nublado o está lloviendo”(the sky becomes clear, the Sun comes out when the sky is cloudy or it is raining). With some caution –because has sound is softer than jas– it may be proposed that Jasaw chan means ‘clear sky’, so the dance may have been celebrating this meteorological condition.

The relevance of the Jasaw Chan dance is shown by the fact that it was also carried out (and reported) five years later, on 19 Yaxk’in, by both Shield Jaguar I and his successor Bird Jaguar IV. It happened on December 30, 740 (LC: (see Figure 1), when the Sun’s position was exactly the same as when the dance was executed on 19 Yaxk’in, December 30, 735. Even more, Bird Jaguar made the same dance six years later, on December 30, 746 (LC: Again, the Sun’s position was exactly the same. The reader may wonder about the reiteration of the fact that 19 Yaxk’in kept happening on December 30 through a span of eleven years.


Figure 1. Shield Jaguar I and Bird Jaguar IV celebrating a Jasaw Chan dance to mark the completion of the Sun’s journey to the south and its last day of apparent stillness around December solstice. Image taken from Noble (2004).

According to the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson correlation, the dates of those three Jasaw dances did not occur on December 30, but rather on June 27, 26 and 25 respectively, about six months after the dates given here. The GMT correlation has that huge problem of producing dates impossible to link to any astronomical cycle. Dates as obvious as those of the Sun ceremonies (the Jasaw Chan dances) lag off from a solar reference when the researcher uses the GMT correlation.

For the Jasaw Chan dances mentioned above, the reader can convert the Long Count (LC) dates provided, in two applications. One is provided online by Famsi (Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies) under Resources and 2012 Phenomenon: http://research.famsi.org/date_mayaLC.php and the other converter is for the correlation I am offering: http://damixi.jl.serv.net.mx/test/. The reader can see and compare the dates obtained for the Long Count dates. Whereas the GMT correlation produces dates that do not enable us to sustain any thesis pertaining the Mayan’s capacity to keep in pace with the Sun’s yearly cycle, the GPE correlation that I offer (note 1) does sustain that thesis and also speaks highly of the rest of the Mayan’s astronomical observances regarding Mars, Jupiter, Venus, the Moon, eclipses and also seasons (note 2).

We have good evidence that the dance for clear skies –which additionally marked the conclusion of the Sun’s journey to the south– was also celebrated by the culturally and linguistically related Otomian group that was widely spread on the plateau of Central Mexico. The Otomian group was a culture that thrived far before the proto-Mayan peoples and which became contemporary with the first Mayance groups some four thousand years ago.

The Otomi twenty-day month during which the dance was executed was called Anthaxme, and it spanned between December 14 and January 3. The painted amate books (note 3) that remain and which show ceremonial practices on each month depict, for month Anthaxme, men holding flap staffs very alike those held by the Mayan. In the case of the Otomian ones, the flap staff banners were made with colored amate paper (Figure 2). According to Looper (2003), the Mayan flap staffs had “tubular fabric banners”.

The Mexica reproduced these December dances after they had settled in Otomian territory in the mid fourteenth century; they called the corresponding month Panquetzaliztli, which derives from pantli (banner), quetza (to rise) and liztli (verb suffix), meaning ‘flag rise’. Codex Borgia shows representatives from different regions participating in the dance (Figure 3). The month for this flag staff ritual spans from December 9 to December 28 in the Mexica calendar, whereas it spans from December 14 to January 3 in the Otomi calendar.


Figure 2. Reproduction of image from a calendar of Otomian-Mexica design, Codex Vaticanus A. The image shows a dancer of the banner or flap staff ceremony, celebrated around December solstice. The month was called Panquetzaliztli by the Mexica, which means ‘flap staff rise’.



Figure 3. Codex Borgia, p.33. Panquetzaliztli flap staff banner ceremony.

It is interesting to note that on the day after the end of Yaxk’in (i.e., after December 30), there entered a time of weather predictions. This means that, right after having celebrated ‘clear skies’, meteorological experts became involved in the observance of the weather, taking particular note of the clouds. That practice is still carried out by some Aj Men in some communities in Yucatan through January, and it is called Xoc k’in. The original weather forecasting was done during month Mol, that runs between December 31 and January 19. Mol may be alluding to rain deity Chaac Mol. The Otomi rain deity is called Muye by the Otomi. It is very interesting to note that the clouds are called muyal in Yukatek.

For the Otomi and Mexica, the corresponding month was called, respectively, Ancandehe (meaning water comes down) and Atemoztli (also meaning water comes down). Tradition among Otomian peoples in Mexico State is that we must see if four clouds form in a clear sky on the last day of December, and then we must watch for cloud formation and rains from the first days of January on. Their ancestors’ calendar shows the rain deity Muye actually coming down in a torrent of water on month Ancandehe (Figure 4).



Figure 4. Rain deity Muye (Otomi name) or Tlaloc (Mexica name) is depicted in Codex Telleriano-Remensis for Otomi month Ancandehe (from January 3 to 22) or Mexica month Atemoztli which spans between December 29 and January 17.

Everyone who has lived in Mexico knows that, despite the fact that the rainy season spans between mid May and mid October, when January enters, rain falls intermittently for some days or weeks and it helps lay out a neat prognostic of how the year will be like in terms of humidity, drought and rain. Farmers program their planting accordingly.

So all in all, we are identifying a pan-Mesoamerican knowledge that is rooted in deep history and which is still alive today. It tells us how the Sun’s culmination of its journey to the South brings clear skies. Also, it implicitly tells us that the Sun needs dancing ceremonies to accompany or celebrate its reactivation. More importantly, it is meteorological knowledge on how January rains have been used for at least over one thousand years to forecast the weather for the whole December solstice-December solstice cycle.

As we face the crude reality of climate crisis, many wonder if these ancestral practices are of any relevance. Traditional weather forecasters and timekeepers say that, in order to contribute to Earth’s recovery of harmony, it is necessary to continue with such ceremonies as much as possible.



  1. GPE Correlation has the author’s initials, Geraldine Patrick Encina.
  2. Bird Jaguar celebrated yet another flap staff ceremony much later, towards the end of his life. The LC date was (Lintel 9, Yaxchilan), and it happened not on 19 Yaxk’in but on the following day, Seating of Mol. The date was December 31, 767. This is 21 years after the last ceremony had taken place on year 746. In the GMT correlation, the solar date of the dance suffers a lag with respect to the solar date of the first same type of dance in Bird Jaguar’s lifetime. In contrast, the GPE correlation gives the same solar date over and over, no matter how many years have gone by. Such astronomical solidness is only offered by the GPE correlation.
  3. Amate is the paper made from Ficus sp. fiber by the Otomi peoples who are keepers of this millenary biocultural heritage.



Grube, Nikolai (1992). Classic Maya Dance. Evidence from Hieroglyphs and Iconography. Mesoamerica 3:201-208.

Noble Bardslay, Sandra. 2004(1994) “Rewriting History at Yaxchilán: Inaugural Art of Bird Jaguar IV” Originally published in Seventh Palenque Round Table, 1989, edited by Merle Greene Robertson and Virginia M. Fields. Electronic version. Pre-Columbian Art Research Institute, San Francisco.

Looper, Matthew  G. (2003) “The Meaning of the Maya Flapstaff Dance” In Glyph Dwellers, edited by Macri, Martha and Matthew G. Looper.


Further reading

Patrick, Geraldine (2013a). “Long Count in Function of the Haab and its Venus-Moon relation. Application in Chichen Itzá.” Translation of the original article and original article in Spanish on the link for Revista Digital Universitaria. Vol. 5 Num. 5.

Patrick, Geraldine (2013b). “Muye, el Tlaloc Otomi en los Códices. ¿Qué papel juega en las veintenas?” En Tlaloc ¿Qué? (accessible in Academia.edu).


Read Full Post »

For English readers

For all those who are English readers and would like to learn further about my work, please go to the sidebar on your right and find heading CHICHEN ITZA. Click on Revista Digital de la UNAM, and go to EJEMPLARES. Click on number “4” to find all 2013 publications and scroll down to Number 5 (May 2013). There you will find my article related to Chichen Itza. Click on it and see how beneath Asbstract it says “English Version”. You can download the PDF in your computer.

Another way to go directly to the Article is with the following link. Again, click on “English Version” to downlad PDF.


Posts that are only in Spanish, will shortly be translated.


Read Full Post »

Today is the main day announced by the Piedra del Sol. It is the last day of the Fifth Sun, on year 1 Flint. Venus, as Eagle Warrior, attacked the Moon, symbolically representing the completion of the Fifth Sun.

Read Full Post »

We made an expedition to Cañada de La Virgen, near to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, with colleagues from the Seminar of Archaeoastronomy of ENAH-UNAM. It is an old Otomian site, occupied since before 700 BC and until around AD 650. They built it to follow sky events, and particularly, to follow eclipses. On June 5th, on day 10 Lamat (10 Star in Yukatek Maya) –according to the correlation I have proposed since 2010– the morning was bright and clear, but at around 2pm clouds began to appear here and there, and kept gathering until we became quite worried. We began to set the equipment in place on the northern side of Complex B with a mixture of expectation and uneasiness, since a huge dark cloud was right in the way. All was set, and still cloudy until, at 4:16, the Sun’s rays began to peep out, and at 4:24 the spectacle began: the Sun was out in a clear sky and Venus was just coming in (contact II). A venusian breeze (Ik’) had told me minutes earlier it was about to come in action. And it did, majestically.


 Sun coming out just on time for our observation of Venus II Contact with the    solar disk.

We were all overwhelmed by the image that could only be seen with the help of an obscure lens, or by projecting the image on a white surface. When the Sun’s gleam was less strong, later on that afternoon, we obviously tried using the naked eye and experimented with all sorts of obsidian glass-pieces, but there is too much distortion and no possibility of discriminating the little black spot produced by Venus. So what can be preliminarily concluded is that the ancestral astronomers definitely knew that Venus was passing across the Sun every 584 days, and that it was not visible for this reason during 8 days, and could even calculate it being at the middle of its trajectory on day 4. But apparently they never knew whether a particular passage was more conspicuous than another, because it seems that there was no way that the naked eye could help identify a pattern regarding the way Venus moves in front of the Sun.

On this particular year 2012, occurring within years 13 Reed and 1 Flint as named by Otomian peoples, they did know that on day 4 Movement the Sun would threaten the Moon, making her time end 8 days after day 1 Rain** (a date carved on the Piedra del Sol stone meaning May 27, 2012)  i.e., on day 9 Deer, or June 4, 2012.   

On the day after 9 Deer (i.e., 10 Star/Rabbit, June 5, 2012) Venus would be halfway through its passage across the Sun’s face (right in the middle of the Piedra del Sol we see the expression of the Sun’s suffering due to this eclipse provoked by Venus, by Tezcatlipoca*) terminating the Fifth Sun’s cycle. However, this cycle is not only time-reckoned by the Sun, but also by the Moon and Venus, so the very last event that is directly related to the completion of the Fifth Sun is the one happening on December 11, 2012, as is explained next.

Indeed, both 4 Movement dates (March 26, 2012 and December 11, 2012) are denoting very specific Moon events, which have in common the fact that Venus is in close conjunction with crescent and waning moons, respectively. 

Venus in its evening aspect on the first date (March 26, 2012) is depicted on the stone as the Jaguar of the underworld, hence the claws on the left hand side of the Movement glyph close to the Death/Skull glyph of the ring of 20 day-signs.

On the second date December 11, 2012, Venus will be in its morning aspect which is symbolized by the Eagle, hence on the Otomian Piedra del Sol we see the claws on the right hand side of the Movement glyph in close proximity to the Eagle glyph of the ring of 20 day-signs.


Both Venusian events are announcements of eclipses, as can be reinforced thanks to Michael Closs’s work in Cognitive aspects of ancient Maya eclipse theory. A quote he gives of Redfield and Villa Rojas, 1962, is this: “one or two of the older men say that an animal like a tiger (sic, jaguar) seeks to devour the sun or the moon. That is what the ancients taught by carving on stones at Chichen Itza a disk representing the sun and two tigers coming to eat it”; another quote is: “The Chol linguistic data specify the jaguar as eclipse agent (where the jaguar refers to evening Venus). The clearest reference to a jaguar aspect of Venus in the ethnohistorical sources is found in the books of Chilam Balam of Ixil, Tizimin and Mani.”

The Jaguar (vespertine Venus) is the agent, the one causing the eclipse; it seeks to bite or devour. This means that what we have to look for is: Venus at the time of close proximity to the Moon -when the Moon is in its first couple of days of visibility in the West sky. This type of conjunction is astronomical knowledge that even Mapuche people know today (my notes, 2010).

What we have in the Piedra del Sol or the Otomian Stone is the result of a means to reckon the timing of the five big Moon-Venus-Sun cycles. The last event wrapping up the Fifth Sun, shall be Morning Venus in conjunction with a waning Moon on December 11, 2012. On this occasion eclipses will have already occurred on November 13, 2012 (solar) and November 28, 2012 (lunar).



Transit of Venus on June 5, 2012, approximately 5:16pm. Taken at Cañada de la Virgen site by Ricardo Moyano.



*Tezcatlipoca is the evening aspect of Venus.

**(All four dates are on the Piedra del Sol, and can be correlated to Gregorian dates only with the Correlation I propose, i.e.Otomian year 13 Reed = March 29 2011 – March 28 2012;  Otomian year 1 Flint = 29 March 2012 – 28 March 2013; day 4 Movement = March 26 2012 and 260 days later 4 Movement = December 11 2012; day 1 Rain = May 27, 2012 + 8 days = June 4, 2012; and May 27, 2012 + 9 days = June 5, 2012).

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »