Masked Trance Dance Celebration of the Mayan Calendar

by Belinda Gore Ph.D

Last year Ki Salmen invited me to come to Germany to offer a Masked Dance workshop with her. I have now just returned from a wonderful celebration there, marking the end of the Long Count of the Mayan Calendar, that began August 11, 3114 BCE, and the beginning of a new era. While the popular media has publicized the end of the Calendar as December 24, 2012, Swedish scholar Carl Johan Calleman contends that a more accurate translation of the Long Count into the commonly used Gregorian calendar places the key date as October 28, 2011. Ki and I agreed to focus the Masked Dance on the Mayan calendar and she organized an international group of twenty – thirteen German, three Dutch, a woman from Norway, one from Portugal, another from the Czech Republic and myself – to meet in the village of Oberdurenbach, south of Koln, on October 27. Ki taught in German with Bettina translating into English and I taught in English with Brigitta translating into German. Sounds confusing but it worked!

A little background on the Mayan Calendar. It is more accurately called the Meso-American calendar because over centuries the people of Central America have been unified by the use of this system for marking time. The first evidence of the calendar was identified in the Zapotecan culture at Monte Alban in Oaxaca, Mexico, around 600 BCE. It has both a solar calendar of 360 days and a sacred calendar, the tzolkin, of 260 days. The tzolkin is a map of relationships between the thirteen sacred numbers and the twenty sacred signs. Thirteen marks the seven days and six nights in the cycle of creation, from seed to fruition. A special god or goddess oversees each of these days and nights. There are also twenty signs that identify the primary cosmic energies in the Meso-American worldview. (The Mayan calendar and the Aztec calendar have only minor variations.) Each of the 260 days resulting from all possible combinations reflects the relationship between one of these twenty cosmic energies with one of the thirteen cycles of creation. Day-keepers are still traditionally trained to identify the characteristics of every day, such as 4 Wind or 10 Jaguar, in order to predict the qualities that are most likely to be expressed on that day.

The solar calendar tracks the passage of the sun, each 360 day cycle called a tun and 400 tun called a baktun. Thirteen baktun equal 5,125 years. The beginning of this most recent span of 5,125 years occurred, according to the Maya, when First Father raised the World Tree, separating the Earth from the Sky and creating the Four Directions: in other words, Space and Time began. We know, of course, that humans lived on the earth long before 3114 BCE, so what does it really mean that Space and Time began on this date? Calleman points out that around this time Egypt was unified into the First Dynasty, the first true nation. Sumerians, in present-day Iraq, began the first use of abstract writing, the cuneiform. The oldest Egyptian pyramids and the oldest Sumerian pyramids date from this time, along with Stonehenge in England and Newgrange in Ireland. In Egyptian mythology, this was time when Set tricked his brother Osiris, setting off a long story that ended with the birth of Horus, the first human, and the departure of Osiris to the Sky World. In Hebrew mythology, this was about the time when Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden of Eden. In every way, we can identify the shift into a different form of human consciousness: the beginning of development of the left hemisphere of the brain, writing, mathematics, dualistic thinking (also known as analytic or evaluative thinking), and hierarchical structures. This is the mode of thinking that is most invested in the concepts we know as Space and Time. As part of the left hemisphere development we also see the evolution of a strong individualized egoic consciousness, accompanied by a sense of separation from the Divine and a perceived need for redemption or for control over the inner and outer environments.

This long cycle has come to fruition and is ending, and is being replaced by the seeding of a new era. In my experience during the Tennessee Diviner posture during the Masked Dance workshop, the people feasted on the fruit of the old era while Parrot threw the rotten fruit of the old era to the ground where it would nourish the seeds for the new cycles of time.

In our Dance, miraculously created over a short three days, we honored the cycles of the past then drew down the blessings of the Stars, and with the help of nine goddesses, honored the new feminine World Tree, the Earth, the Four Directions, and each other. Nine goddesses seemed a counterpart to the nine stages of consciousness or nine perspectives, identified by the Calendar as the Nine Underworlds, created through nine consecutively activated layers of the iron core of the Earth. Those of you who know the Enneagram can appreciate my interest in further exploring the parallels between the nine Underworlds and the nine Enneagram domains.

We asked the Olmec Diviner for an understanding of the nature of the new era that is being born right now. Here is a summary of what we learned.
  • The foundation for the new cycle is our ancient heritage of connectedness. We are renewing old ways of connection and nurturing new ones. Some of the vehicles for connectedness are dance, optimism, sharing ourselves with each other openly, fostering an environment of peace and of love, calling on the stars, and letting go
  • .Don’t get caught in time, he said, let go of the old structures (it will be easier now).
  • Welcome in the new womanhood, playful child-like energies from the new souls or the new children being born.
  • Find new energy sources in water.
  • Be in the heart and in the moment, the Now. Simply BE. Foster connectedness and One-ness through the Heart and the Hara. Surrender to the cycles of transformation: birth, death, rebirth.
  • This is a time for the healing and flowering of the awakened Feminine. There will be a new kind of mothering for the new children who are being born to carry the energy of the new era. Relationships between men and women will be transformed, and in general an environment of open-heartedness instead of defensiveness will emerge. In general there is support for the development of the prefrontal cortex, associated with many of these traits. The brain is developing to become more integrative rather then left-hemisphere oriented.
  • And we will have “nice dresses”, enjoying pretty clothes!
  • Have courage to make the leap into the new consciousness.
  • There is a global rising of kundalini, awakening and integrating all aspects of the planet.
  • Felicitas appeared as the midwife for a white buffalo calf from the womb of the land at Cuyamungue. She gave it as a gift to the people of the old Pueblo at Heart Rock (on the land at the Cuyamungue Institute), and asked that in our dance we give energy and love to Cuyamungue.