This is an ongoing US and global project to help enthusiasts, scholars, practitioners, and curious parties learn more about shamanic living in a contemporary culture. The space here is devoted to sharing info, experiences and opinions about all forms of shamanic expression covering shamanism's multiple permutations. Among subjects explored are traditions, techniques, insights, definitions, events, artists, authors, and creativity. You are invited to draw from your own experiences and contribute.

What is a SHAMAN?

MAYAN: "a technichian of the Holy, a lover of the Sacred." CELTIC: "Empower the people...by changing the way we think." MEXICAN APACHE: "Someone who has simply learned to give freely of themselves..." AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL: "...a teacher or healer, a wisdom keeper of knowledge... (who) takes people to a door and encourages them to enter." W. AFRICAN DIAGRA: "views every event in life within a spiritual context." HAWAIIAN: "...human bridges to the spiritual world and its laws and the material world and its trials..." QUECHUA INDIAN: "embodies all experience." AMAZON: "...willing to engage the forces of the Universe...in a beneficial end for self, people, and for life in general."

-- from Travelers, Magicians and Shamans (Danny Paradise)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Time and the Mayans

I have written a series of articles to publicize "consciousness raising speakers" for an online publication based in Bali, Indonesia. Pasted below is one of the most recent ones. Vasumi's Tjikaa Telos conceives of time as a deeply personal and subjective experience, while still following a structure that falls in line with the motions of celestial bodies. This provides some legitimacy to the varying experiences of time and explains why people respond to shifts in energy that might be seasonal, monthly, weekly etc. One of Vasumi's assistants explained that the Mayan system serves more as an individual's "synchronometer" rather than a calendar.

Vasumi went on to tell me that the Mayan calendar has a great deal in common with astrology as well as a way to measure time-- although it can appear more meticulous than mainstream astrology.

The "experience" of time going hand in hand with the more superficial "telling" of time brings to mind: (1) the degree to which an altered state can help better attune or synchronize with the energetic shifts of the earth and the universe; and (2) that all the astrological traditions I have come across (Western, Mayan, Chinese etc.) are likely to derive from the same root, or at least have common links about the impact of time and energy patterns on a person's emotions, health, relationships, challenges etc.

Time is an essential dimension of this existence, which the Shaman can navigate. There are gods of time and there is a necessary relationship to time as a principal energy force that drives the process of life on earth, and also its experience. When we honor the ancients, the elders, the ancestors, or the nature forces that outlast us; when we undergo rituals to unite our paths with those who have preceded us, then I believe we are deepening our relationship with time and calling for the wisdom of Time's masters to guide us through its cyclical processes and experiences.

What would be your greatest request of time? How would you have your wish granted?


At a Villa Gaia workshop on October 9th, Vasumi Tjikaa Telos introduced guests to their Mayan astrology symbols and shared details about a system of timekeeping that is synchronized with harmonious natural rhythms and based on the Mayan calendar. Sharing her reflections on what is known as the Mayan Dreamspell, Vasumi encouraged attendees to be more receptive to a dynamic form of living that is aligned with biological, spiritual, emotional, and mental patterns, rather than linear time.

A Mayan calendar adept of 14 years, Vasumi feels compelled to conduct workshops partly to share her revelations about the limitations of traditional concepts of linear time that have come to dominate the lives of people from the Western world.

Her research and training suggest that time is best experienced as a subjective relationship between the seasons and the mind and body. By following a modern-day fixed calendar of what she calls ‘disharmonic time’, Vasumi believes people are stifling themselves and becoming removed from the living composite of multiple energies that govern the Mayan calendar.

“In the current age, it stands to reason that when we program to ‘disharmonic’ time, we are programming our minds to look for disharmony, according to Vasumi. Instead, she reasons that “the mind’s major job is to define pattern, and when the pattern is flawed, as it is in the Gregorian calendar; with arbitrary months, this affects the mind’s capacity to program to harmony and live a harmonious life.”

Using the Mayan calendar system’s tools to provide “source wisdom teachings,” Vasumi determined each attendee’s Mayan symbols based on their birth details. Commenting on personality traits, personal challenges and opportunities for growth, Vasumi often made startlingly accurate predictions that resonated strongly with many workshop participants, some of whom had never before experienced a reading based on the Mayan system.

During her workshops, Vasumi also took the time to explain the perceptions initially shared by one of her inspirations, Mayan cultural authority Jose Arguelles– the expert who she says is primarily responsible for the world’s interest in the 2012 end date prophesized by the Mayan calendar.

Sharing revelations that point towards a new time of hope and change, beyond 2012, Vasumi stipulated that the end date could signify a new beginning and an essential global consciousness shift rather than a cataclysmic end to life on earth.

Vasumi provided a detailed description of the methods and mechanics behind the process of reading the Mayan system and outlined the benefits of following its ancient harmonic time schedule, mainly based on the so-called “13:20 grid” of the Mayan ‘Tzolkin’ or 260-day year.

According to the 260-day Mayan calendar, the elements of time are based on a sophisticated system that corresponds to the human anatomy. For example one Mayan year can be calculated as a cycle of 20 Glyphs (each glyph being related to the 20 fingers and toes of the body) and 13 Tones (each related to the 13 major joints in the body (2 ankles, 2 knees, 2 hips, 2 wrists, 2 elbows, 2 shoulder joints and the joint connecting the spine to the head). Each day falls on one point along the 13:20 cycle, influenced to different degrees by the traits of the 20 glyphs or universal truths that “inhabit every day,” and the 13 ways in which those truths act or manifest.

Vasumi suggests that each day’s position reveals a different intersection point between the 20 Glyphs and the 13 Tones, implying an attunement to the different waves and phases that cycle along the Glyph-Tone axes.

The 260-day Mayan cycle matrix also falls in line with the number of days from human conception to birth. Vasumi further illustrated how other examples of the system can be found in our biology—referring to the formula as “a natural system reflected in a human form.”

The Mayan Dreamspell experience was presented as part of Bali Angels’ ongoing “Consciousness Raisers” speaker series. For more information about Bali Angels, visit us at http://www.baliangels.org/  . For more information on Vasumi, who is currently staying in Ubud, Bali, or details about the Mayan calendar, visit, http://www.vasumi.com/ and http://www.lawoftime.org/

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