Hanahpu a Quiché Maya

A rebuttal to "The New Maya," Archaeology Magazine, September/October 1998

Archaeologists and anthropologists strive to describe the evolution of human experience on earth from a scientific perspective that is, at best, only a few centuries in formation. When they discuss human mental activity or social activity without realizing that all forms of consciousness have material sources, they fall into an esoteric trap. It is a trap which pulls the science high into the clouds, when its goal was to understand what had been replanted on the earth. This phenomenon is a central thesis of Mayan mythology and many other ancient myths. To pass this message to future generations, Mayas played out their myths in ceremonial ball courts. The games they played have a striking similarity to the games played during modern rediscovery.

To modern scientists, E=Mc2, a metaphor of space, time, matter and energy, is interpreted to be reality. A knowledgeable scientist looks to the stars and sees the equation everywhere. But is the equation in the sky, or is there a sky through which this correspondence can be brought into the consciousness? Is the mathematical correspondence all that is visible in the heavens? In his essay "The Archaeology of Consciousness" in the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol.11, No. 4, Paul Devereux attempted to present the need to recognize that consciousness, like the genes, has an historical past, which archeology should take into consideration when uncovering ancient sacred sites. In addition to the concept of historical consciousness there are direct material places which correspond to thoughts of ancient peoples. Thus, it is feasible to show a scientistic correspondence to thought processes which were on the minds of the ancient peoples. An essay responding to Devereux's perspective is provided at The Astroarchaeology of Consciousness which demonstrates how ancient sacred sites can be used to determine the material orientation of any culture that establishes a "sacred site." The essay at Rapa Nui demonstrates the process at the statues on Easter Island.

As an application of the principles of the Astroarchaeology of Consciousness, the present discussion will illustrate some of the material correspondences for Mayan mythology. In the September/October issue of Archaeology was an article titled, "The New Maya," by T. Patrick Culbert, a professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. On the centerfold of the magazine were six story board vignettes from the video, "The Popol Vuh," based upon the Mayan codex of the same name. Three of the vignettes, which are reproduced below, can be shown to represent the complete galactic home of the Mayas. The Mayan myth is a metaphor, just like E=Mc2. Unlike the mathematical equation, the Mayan metaphor does not exclude the subjective perspective, since the individual culture interpreted the material state. This subjectivity, although technically not exact science, can be approached using scientific principles, if we look for the material correspondences upon which the mythology is based. These correspondences tell a story which the Mayan Masters were telling to the Mayan Apprentices, for the sake of the culture.

Cultures are developed based upon individual interpretation of scientifically measurable reality. In this sense, science is simply the material aspect of reality, and culture is the spiritual aspect of the reality. Prior to the advent of Monotheism in the XVIII Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, science and spirituality were bound  together by the correspondences to a chosen spirit within material reality. The bondage was the subjective focus of culture. The objective in establishing the material-spiritual correspondence was longevity of the culture. In this case, Ancient Egypt. The desire for longevity, theologically referred to as "eternal life" or "afterlife," is a natural responsibility of passing culture from generation to generation. After the debacle of the XVIII Dynasty, Western Civilization, with the help of Persian Zoroastrian Mythology, moved toward a purely esoteric mythology based upon the transcriptions of more ancient oral mythologies. Zoroastrian mythology added planetary movements to the spirituality of their culture, which made the culture dynamic and ever changing, and unbound the inherent stationary cosmic roots. The residual effect of planetary inclusions to the cosmos is that time and timing become more important than position and place in eternity. This effect has a very powerful consequence in any culture, for it gives more freedom to individuals, and breaks the bondage to the "fixed cosmos." It is very likely that the monotheism of the XVIII Dynasty of Egypt failed, in large measure because it did not properly integrate the dynamic characteristics which can be brought into a culture using planetary movement to guide its subjectivity. Of course, the alternative to the approach taken by the XVIII Dynasty is modern astrology, where planetary movements are of major importance, and fixed stars are nearly insignificant. In the following discussion, we will illustrate the "fixed cosmos" basis of the Mayan culture. The reader is referred to the essay "The Scientific Method as Defined by the Hunefer Papyrus of the XIX Dynasty of Ancient Egypt," for more detailed discussion of the immediate transition which occurred after the XVIII Dynasty of Egypt.

Lords of Xibalba
Fig. 1: The Lords of Xibalba Command the Front Row Seats

In the first three scenes of "The New Maya" article, we see the game of life unfolding. Initially, we are given a spectator's view. These are not particularly joy filled spectators. They are in fact, rulers of the underworld. For most of our lives, we sit in spectator stands with these Lords of Xibalba. A few, very few, of us venture onto the ball court to see if we can knock the ball through the goal with nothing but a ring worn around our hips. We will show that the ring has a correspondence to the disk which holds the sun, our Milky Way. If we are successful at the game of life, we climb up to a corn field, and plant seeds that feed a future civilization. But it all begins with a choice to play the game, and leave the bleachers.

Xibalanque and Hanahpu Play the Game
Fig. 2: Xbalanque and Hanahpu Play the Game in the Ball Court

In other words, wrestle with the sun, and enlightenment will come. The discussion which follows connects the Mayan creation story to their perception of cosmic reality. Like E=Mc2, it is a metaphor. Whether mathematical descriptions or mythical descriptions are better at describing reality, is dependent upon how the journey of life is taken. When it is a journey of the heart and soul, humans have chosen mythology. When it is a journey in a spaceship, or Space Shuttle, humans have chosen mathematics. But even astronauts and cosmonauts begin their voyages in the barques of mythology. Childhood is that mystical place where all things are possible to the young at heart. Even the idea of creating a great civilization in the rain forests of Central America began as a dream.

Hanahpu Raises a Crop of Mayans
Fig. 3: Hanahpu Raises a Crop of Mayas

Cultural success is measured by the cosmic distance traveled along the journey, or by the length of time the journey followed the path of the cultural mythology. Distance and time are not independent in the cosmic journey.  Modern, earth centered cultures, do not comprehend this idea of time as spatial distance, for they measure time with watch movements as an esoteric relationship, and ignore the apparent movement of the earth. Ancient cultures measured apparent movements of stars relative to our planet to determine placement. Time was a spin off of the concept of movement within the cosmos to ancient scholars. In truth, time is still a spin off concept of movement of material substance. Today a sweep hand on a watch tells us where the sun is, rather than the sun telling us where to set the sweeping hands.

Native cultures in the America used terms like "many moons in the past," or "passing of the fourth sun," to express timing of spatial journeys. The precession of the equinoxes was described metaphorically by the Egyptians as the Barque of Ra. The idea of the coming Age of Aquarius is an example of a spatial cosmic journey, but few people understand it in that vernacular form. Before the scientific explanation of the wobble of the earth that causes the precession of the equinoxes, ancient cultures used the barque of the sun metaphor to define the spatial location of a culture in the cosmos as its primary reference location for time.

An example, is the legendary Age of Atlantis. The record passed down from the Egyptians through Plato is that Atlantis was located beyond the pillars of Hercules. This is an example of cosmic spatial distance, not a sea voyage through the Straits of Gibraltar. When the Pillars of Hercules marked the position of human history, the north pole was in the constellation of Hercules, circa 11,000 BC to 6300 BC. Thus, the Egyptians were telling the Greeks that Atlantis went into the sea 13,000 years before our present position, or approximately one half of the cyclical journey of the Barque of Ra. When it is realized that the Barque of the Sun currently rests at the very bottom of the sea, then Atlantis has finished the journey it began toward the bottom of the Cosmic Sea when the north pole entered the constellation Hercules. Like the Titanic, the Barque of Ra has been found at the bottom of the cosmic sea.

The goal of the science of archaeology should be to raise ancient Barques of the Sun. If archaeology is successful, future cultures will ask, when did Atlantis rise from the sea. An old archaeologist from the new cosmic spatial journey oriented culture will tell the New Adolescent Greek, Pseudoplato, "Atlantis began to rise from the sea beyond the pillars of Cepheus, the king."

Thus, the lost civilization of Atlantis is that place from which ancient peoples looked toward the heavens to figure out where they were. Atlantis ceased to be a recognizable place in the galaxy after the Exodus from Egypt initiated by the reign of Akhenaten and accomplished by the earth centered Aryan anarchists and conquerors. By the time Julius Caesar created the leap year of 365.25 days in 45 BC, legends of Atlantis were well below the cosmic waves and out of site of the people who lived around the Middle Earth Sea (Mediterranean). Locking the year to the seasons was completed by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582 AD. The efficiency of the Gregorian calendar has resulted in modern civilizations that are oblivious to the cosmic spatial journey. Time is measured from the death of Christ in 30 AD, with a few fudge factors and insignificant adjustments. Time is now a number. Eternity is an infinitely large number. The precessional cycle has been lost in misunderstood traditions and legends. Nevertheless, the earth is on a journey which appears as a cyclical movement with respect to our placement in the heavens. If we are to cross the time boundary between modern cultures and ancient cultures, it is mandatory that we accept their spatial concept of the journey to calibrate our calendars to theirs.

Time is fundamentally a spatial measurement in which the relative positions of material objects is changed at a specific rate. As an example, a day is the rate at which a point on the earth moves from high noon to high noon. A month is the rate at which the moon goes from one new moon to the next. A year is approximately the rate at which the sun goes from vernal equinox to vernal equinox. It is because the ancients did not use our esoteric meaning of time that we find solar observatories in most ancient sacred sites. The archeoastronomy artifacts we find today are relics of cosmic position reference frames. (See the essay "1998 The Year the Sun Began to Rise" for a discussion of the end of the Maya cycle.)

The most important information for any culture is the relative positions of its people. If a plane leaves ten hours before high noon from Buffalo, New York, traveling west to Des Moines, Iowa at an average speed of one hundred and six miles per hour, it will arrive at Des Moines when the sun is directly over Buffalo. Using his high noon oriented sense of time, the traveler calls ahead and tells a friend to be at the airport at high noon for a touch and go pick up. The friend arrives at the airport when the sun is directly over Des Moines, to find out that his friend had made a touch and go stop an hour earlier. High noon in Buffalo occurs one hour before high noon in Des Moines. This problem was solved in the 19th century by the creation of Railroad Standard Time, which eventually became the time zones we use today.

If we were spatially conscious, we would have to include the fixed stars as our reference. Then we would measure distance as angles between stars. This was the technique used to travel the whole world during the times before Atlantis began to sink in the cosmic sea. When star angles are used, the distance a reference star is from our zenith is equal to the distance to a site for which the star is the reference. The earth is a sphere, and the cosmos is for all navigational purpose a sphere centered at the earth's center. Thus, the esoteric phrase, "as it is above, so it is below," has more than esoteric correspondence, it is the fundamental principle by which any travel must be measured. This technology was spread throughout the ancient world, and it is still apparent in many of the ancient myths, as well, as modern myths that have ancient sources. The last surviving peoples who used the ancient spatial system were the Polynesians. These people traveled the whole Pacific Ocean by knowing the reference stars for every port. When this mode of travel is connected to the religious myths, the memory requirements for transoceanic sailing voyages are kept to a minimum. Tying the myths into the spiritual character of a culture made for a holistic perception by individuals who could grasp the complete system. These individuals were the high priests of the cultures, particularly so in Polynesia, where sea travel was mandatory.

By recognizing that the paradigm relationship for self perception and cosmic perception was substantially altered in the Western Civilizations after the fall of Egypt, we can begin to realize why we consider the ancients to be superstitious and shamanistic. An astral journey by a Polynesian was equivalent to a trip from Tahiti to Hawaii. An astral journey by anyone in the modern Western World is an hallucination caused by drugs or insanity. Thus, we are walking on dangerous waters if the variant understanding of the paradigms are not well established. Shamanistic activity has the potential for science and superstition. Scientific activity has potential for shamanism and superstition, as well. Separation of the superstition and the science requires that we have proper frames of reference for subjective and objective perceptions. Mixing of the frames of reference becomes a problem of mixed metaphors. Additionally, we must realize that the ancients had four essential frames of reference, while modern science has one, material existence. These frames of reference were the material, physical, mental, and spiritual orders of their cosmic reality. Regardless of the frames of reference, the ancients had the exact same problems we have today with regards to the path the journey of our culture takes. We still have to pass our culture on to the next generation. We use writing and mathematics to carry our spiritual and material paradigms into the future. Beyond the "Pillars of Hercules," the ancients used oral and monumental traditions with the primary reference being the positions of stars.

The cultural path is identifiable within oral and stellar traditions, or as Fig. 3 implies, by the cultured minds of the succeeding generation growing in the light of the sun and the light of ancestral expression. Education within the culture is required to keep the culture alive. When the path is abandoned, the culture ceases to be recognizable. That is when historians and archaeologists come along to sweep up the pot shards and remaining tools to identify the incompetence of a culture that did not survive its loss of direction. The temptation is to paint the culture with a brush of ignorance and arrogance because of the result, while ignoring the defined intent.

These vignettes represent a metaphor of marvelous science not exact science, which describes the cosmic power behind all the Mesoamerican Civilizations, and by similarity, all cultures. Since the winner of the ball game was most likely to have his head placed upon a pole in a high place of honor, the game was a  moral lesson in commitment. Winning was not the goal, being a proper example of commitment was the goal. In their death rituals, the Mesoamericans distinguished themselves from modern cultures. Yet the fundamental paradigm shown in the three vignettes is essentially equivalent to modern cultures around the world. It declares that we should strive to see beyond the usurpers who commandeer front row seats in this game of life. After personally excelling on the field of play, pass on experience to the next generation, or the culture will be lost to egomaniacal usurpers who have no idea what is happening on the field. The New Maya claims that a culture of the caliber of the Mayas could be created by the uncreative egomaniacal usurpers. This position assumes that experience can be gained by consumption without sacrifice. Mayan ball courts and Carnegie Halls were not constructed by spectators, but by the players who gave their all to the games. Archaeology Magazine owes an apology to the World for acting as the voice of egomaniacal spectators and denying the sacrifices made to create the great Mayan Culture.

The Cosmic Ball Court
Fig. 4: Cosmic Ball Court, Xbalanque and Hanahpu Enter as Gemini
(Ref. Yes Virginia, Santa CLaus Is Coming Tonight)

Fig. 4 illustrates the material celestial place where the story board of the Cosmic Ball Court was first found. Notice the twins, hand in hand, coming down into the underworld of the subgalactic regions. In the middle, a player hits the ball with a hip. The ball bounces off a leviathan of the deep and lands in the trunk of a tree, or if you will, a Cosmic Pillar and Tree of Life. Under the tree is the winner of the game. The prize in his arms is the staff of wisdom. This individual was shown as Hanahpu standing with the staff in his hand in Fig. 3. At the top of the pillar is the head of a king stuck upon a high place. On each of the stalks of corn in Fig. 3 is the head of a Mayan, simulating the cosmic tree. Together they indicate that the winner will have to give up his head to procure dominion and engender wisdom. This scene is precisely simulated on the Mayan ball court. Xbalanque loses his head in a battle with the Lords of Xibalba, as a metaphor for insanity in the form of idealistic arrogance. Hanahpu is shown running with the ball at his knee in Fig. 2. This is very suggestive of the constellation Aquarius, and the time when the vernal equinox is at the knee of Aquarius circa 4200 AD.  In 4200 AD, the north pole is at the closest position adjacent to beta-Cepheus at the top of the hat of the king. This is a clear metaphor of salvation of the kingdom of heaven, and has an equivalent correspondence to Zoroastrian tropical astrology. It also marks the beginning of the rise of the Barque of the Sun from the cosmic sea, as Atlantis begins to float back toward Hercules.

The King is Reborn
Fig. 5: The King is Reborn on the Way of the Dead

Far to the west in the subgalactic heavens in Fig. 5 is a youthful king being carried off by an eagle to the Milky Way. This child is revealed in Inca myths as a hummingbird which rides a condor to the edge of heaven, where it then begins it own flight. In Egypt, the bird and the child were Isis and Horus. In Mesopotamia, the child was Etana, the son of a king, riding on the back of an eagle into the heavens. In Greece, both Zeus and Ganymede were swept up to Mount Olympus on the wings of an eagle. Zeus became the patriarch of Olympus, Ophiuchus. Ganymede became the cup bearer, Aquarius, after arriving on Olympus. Cultures that have seen the apparition of the eagle and the young king can be identified around the world.

The greatest monuments to the eagle and the king may be those constructed by the ancestors of the Aztecs around Mexico City. As we will see later, this eagle is touched by the tail of a serpent, and together they are the "feathered serpent" of the Teotihuacáns and Aztecs. In Teotihuacán, the Way of the Dead is oriented 15.5 degrees east of north, the same orientation as the Milky Way when the celestial north pole is in the constellation of the king at the top of the cosmic pillar, and the vernal equinox near the front leg of Aquarius prepares to enter the constellation of Capricorn, the "gateway of the gods." But probably more important for the land whose modern symbol is an eagle and a serpent on the top of a cactus, is the fact that the neck of the child is directly on the zenith of Teotihuacán when the way of the dead in the sacred site is directly aligned with the Milky Way over head. At that moment, the gateway of gods is opened to all the souls on the zenith of Teotihuacán.

These observations suggest that it would not be a great conjecture to recognize the correspondence of the hip rings worn on the Mayan ball players as a metaphor for the disk of the galaxy around the cosmos.  We all wear the same hip ring in this metaphor for life. Nor would it be an exaggeration to recognize that the child on the eagle's wings represents the once and future king being prepared for another go at the game of life, above the Way of the Dead. When we overcome the Lords of the Underworld, we must overcome misperceptions of ourselves, as well. And it would not be inappropriate to recognize the axis of the earth as the symbol of Mayan orientation for gentle priest-kings when it was in the house of the king Cepheus. But, lets not get ahead of ourselves, and do remember the corn field, for it is as important as the ball court.

The Sun is Born
Fig. 6: The Sun King Leaves His Shell for Enlightenment

The first vignette of the second three frames of the Archaeology article is shown in Fig. 6. Together the second three vignettes illustrate the passage from the ball court to the child on the eagle's wings and beyond. First is the turtle shell out of which enlightenment proceeds (spiritual frame). The turtle shell is a globally used symbol of the precession of the equinoxes (material frame). It is also a popular metaphor of revitalization (emotional frame). The individuals coming out of the turtle's shell are the chrysalis type transformations of players who finally gain experience in the ball court of life. The specific location of the birth of the sun is shown as the split in the turtle shell and Hanahpu standy adjacently with a pitcher of water. These cosmic locations represent the transition at the end of the Age of Pisces. The split is the line between the two fish in Pisces. Hanahpu pouring a pitcher is a clear symbol for Aquarius. The side orifices of the turtle's shell represent the solstices and the bottom orifice represents the autumn equinox. When truth comes, it often comes in a brilliant flash. All that remains after a flash of cognizance is wonder. Wonder at why such brilliant truth had not penetrated the shell earlier.

Joys of Adolescence
Fig. 7: Youthful Freedom from Rational Responsibility

After gaining a little enlightenment, freshmen turn into sophomores and begin to monkey around with their new found powers. Monkey see, monkey do, is the proverb of teaching by example. Eventually, the cognitive power of truth extends itself through physical understanding of the game as monkeys, to rational understanding of the game as Seven Macaw in Fig. 8. Rational understanding interferes with physical spontaneity and innovation, and it is a metaphorical "blow gun" rather than a staff. Seven Macaw has a grip on Hanahpu's arm, for Hanahpu had received the gifts of direct and reflected enlightenment, symbolised by the sun and the moon, of which Seven Macaw was a master. Thus, rational understanding can vanquish the head of the conqueror, and the savior twin can become the beheaded twin.

Seven Macaw Control the Body
Fig. 8: Seven Macaw Controls Hanahpu's Body

Seven Macaw is a metaphor symbol that encompasses the seven spirits of the ancient world. In the ancient world, the mature rational mind understood that the whole existential cosmos consisted of four elements which included all material, all physical, all mental, and all spiritual forms of created essence. Often, modern astronomers and archaeologists cannot see the universe for the stars, or the potter for the pot shards. Scientific thought is, after all, just the passing of details through the throne of the conscious mind, as a ball game goes into the record books, for future players to utilize as they will. When science begins to be defended by scientists, whether ancient or modern, the unconscious truth is that individual scientists fail to let go of a prior game in favor of the next game. That is when knowledge makes us spectators instead of players, and we play the older game over and over. Seven Macaw then grips the body and rationality consumes creative dreams. Recalcitrant wisdom is one of the greatest adversaries to progress and enlightenment, nevertheless, it is the yard stick for their measurement.

The other three aspects of the ancient metaphysics were not created. They were processes of the first four which communicated truthfully. They could only be identified through the transformations of the first four. The transformations represented correspondences which communicated the essence of any process. The processes are included in the three ingredients required for communication of correspondences; cognition, medium, and message. Freud experimented in these three with his descriptions of ego, id, and super ego. Popular psychology deals with these three as child, mother and father. The order of these seven ingredients was given from lower to higher level, as required for transfer to an apprentice along the path of the Mayan cultural way. Starting at the ball court level, players begin to climb the other six levels of the pyramid in the vignette of Fig. 2, on their way to the Mayan corn field.

The vignettes of the turtle shell, monkeys, and Seven Macaw illustrate the latter three oracles. Enlightenment-cognition-ego-child represent the sun being born out of the shell of the cosmic turtle. Physical being-medium-id-mother represent monkeys playing in the forest. Rational being-message-super ego-father correspond to Seven Macaw. Once the cycle of the game of life, and the passing of seasons, is understood fully, an individual gains the experience to be a provider for generations to come.

These seven aspects have direct parallels in ancient world mythologies. They have also been associated with the seven sisters of the Pleiades and the seven stars of each dipper in Ursa Major and Ursa Minor. In English they represent the meanings behind the words material, physical, mental, spiritual, cognition, medium, and message. All other discriminations in science or culture are ramifications of these seven. Exact sciences being mostly confined to the material world. Medicine and biology being confined to the physical world. Psychology being confined to the mental world. And Theology being confined to the spiritual world. These four worlds are often represented as the corners of pyramids in Egypt as well as Mesoamerica. They are also the four directions and the cosmic cross of the seasons spring, summer, autumn, winter.

In the vignette of Fig. 3, Hanahpu uses the staff received when he was the man under the tree in Fig. 4 to plant corn in a field. This indicates that the brothers Xbalanque and Hanahpu are essentially one person, with lower and higher aspects. The numerical message of Seven Macaw is carried without modification by seven leaves on the right two stalks of corn to represent material and physical being in Fig. 3. The third stalk from the right has a splitting seventh leaf to signify the inception of rational being. But the stalk directly in front of Hanahpu has an extra two leaves on the top. The individual in the front row was special, or can we say self-aggrandizing, for there the light was greatest and best conveyed the reincarnated spirit of salvation from Hanahpu. Hanahpu's enlightenment was beginning to shine from within the stalk of corn closest to him.

Here is a message of profound wisdom that Professor Culbert's expression of modern scientific understanding did not discuss in the "The New Maya." Look carefully at the ears of corn in Fig. 3, and see that the ears are actually human ears connected to Mayan faces that portray reincarnations of Hanahpu's spirit. It is a cosmic metaphor. Thus, Hanahpu is the teacher, or master of the Mayan path to cosmic truth, and his legacy lives on in the afterlife of his lost brother Xbalanque. His staff symbolizes the experience of having won the ball game in the underworld. With his experience he planted seeds on earth that nurture the minds of Mayan youths to teach them to become "cosmic priest-kings" like himself.

Those who have the front row seats tend to be more like the master, and this goes to their heads before they have the related material experiences. Hanahpu took the ego trip on the way to becoming a master, and left his lower self behind in Xibalba. As a symbol that pride goes before a fall, and that kingship is earned, Hanahpu has the skin of a jaguar on his head and back. When we look above and beyond the "tree of life" in Fig. 4, this jungle cat will prove that the intention of the Mayan culture was to raise their youths to become "cosmic priest-kings." The goal was to raise children to participate in the Mayan culture, not to destroy it. The fault lies, not with the culture of the Mayan masters, but with unrestrained arrogance in their apprentices.

It is at the bleachers, in the vignette of the ball court, that the Mayan metaphor declares that winners in the game of life are the ones who hold back the future. They savor the moment of victory far too long, and their youthful apprentices are treated like monkeys far too long. For Mayan masters, the lesson of the ball court was that victory was best when accompanied by its true master, death. Then the winning example remains with the purity of accomplishment, and not the recalcitrance and self-aggrandizement of the arrogant victor who intends to become a spectator for the rest of eternity. Nevertheless, this ideal is rarely achieved in any culture, because the sweet taste of victory overpowers the desire for unrevealed wisdom.

Corn Field on Top of the World
Fig. 9: Hanahpu Reveals His Higher Spirit, and Tends the Fields of the Jaguar (Leo)

Around the corner of the Cosmos above the great ball court in Xibalba is a place where all Mayas belonged. It is a green pasture flowing with milk and honey to moderns, but to Mayas, Aztecs, Incas, Romans, Olmecs, Greeks, Persians, Babylonians, Egyptians, and lost generations of legendary Atlantis, it was, and is, a field of corn. To find the Elysian Fields we need to start where the king's head sits on the cosmic pillar, and recognize that it marks the birthplace of the sun. Under the cosmic pillar is the lowest place on the journey of the sun; 1997 in Fig. 4. It is the place where the northern vernal equinox passes as it begins its rise on the next cycle in the precession of 26,000 years. This moment of the first occasion has been memorialized on the hallowed halls of every culturally advanced civilization that has been found by modern archaeology. In fact, knowledge of the precession can be used as an ultimate scientific test of the wisdom of a civilization to determine time in accordance to the precessional cosmic clock. Does modern culture demonstrate this wisdom?

The exact timing of the alpha-omega point depends upon the specific cultural perspective, and the intent for the calendar. The more feminine the culture, the more important is the aspect of "Mother Nature" at the point where the vernal equinox begins to rise, 24000 BC, 2000 AD, 28,000 AD, and can be considered as  a primary Pagan origination date. If compassionate return to the physical body is of greatest importance, then the 4200 AD related date corresponds to Aquarius and Cepheus holding the two great markers of the north pole and the northern spring equinox. If the gateway of gods, Capricorn, and the gateway of men, Cancer, are more important to a cultural perspective, then the 15.5 degree orientation of the Milky Way to the polar axis marks the way of the dead, as it does in the sacred sites at Teotihuacán. Like the orientation in Teotihuacán to Antinous on Aquila's wings which will be demonstrated below, many sites have local stars to identify their zenith at the alpha-omega moment, when the souls of the faithful ascend into the higher world. Although, modern religions tend to hide their astronomical origins, it would be very easy to show the same type of correspondences. OnE major variation in the modern western religions is their tendency to avoid specific celestial locations in favor of a more holistic rendition of the compete cosmos. By the time the modern religions were formed, civilizations were not using the stars for orientation, they were using numbers and esoteric metaphors.

For example, location of the Egyptian and Hebrew origination dates in Fig. 9 suggest that these two cultures chose the ascension into the upper galactic region by the Earth as the point of greatest importance. Use of the autumn equinox celestial location is indicative of choosing a sun centered frame of reference. These dates correspond closely to the intersection of the galaxy and the ecliptic between Sagittarius and Ophiuchus in 4541 BC, where the precession of the equinoxes rises above the Milky Way. Egyptian calendars are claimed to begin around 4241 BC, while the Hebrew calendar origination date is 3761 BC. These dates, and the corresponding cultures show important nuances of interpretation. Egyptian calendars are dated from the boundary between the constellations of Sagittarius, wisdom, and Ophiuchus, father. Thus, the Egyptian metaphor is gnosis, and creation is measured when enlightenment begins. Hebrew calendars are dated from the point where Ophiuchus, the Cosmic Patriarch, steps out of the sea of the Milky Way. Thus, the Hebrew metaphor is rationality, and the day of the creation of light is measured from the moment of overcoming emotional darkness. The Mayan calendar origination date, according to Mayan Cosmos by Freidel, Schele, and Parker, was 3114 BC. These authors also describe the journey into the underworld of Xibalba by Hanahpu and Xbalanque as a journey to bring back their parent, First Father. The father constellation of nearly all the ancient myths was Ophiuchus. The autumn equinox in 3114 BC marks the upper edge of the Milky Way between the feet of First Father, Ophiuchus. Whether it is coincidence or hidden truth is open to question, but the autumn equinox date for the Mayan origination date coincides with the location just above the galactic cloud over Xibalba, at the First Father. This reinforces the metaphor of Hanahpu representing enlightenment and rationality, or reliance on the known world. Hanahpu can be seen tending the corn field and walking two dogs at the top of the cosmic world in Fig.9. Between Hanahpu and First Father, is the image of Xbalanque preparing to combat the Lords of Xibalba as the stars of Hercules. It would appear that the stars of Hercules never ceased to do battle, from the immersion of Atlantis to its eventual rising in the house of king Cepheus.

Before leaving the question of dating events by precessional movements of the equinoxes, consider the location of the present calendar marker for most of the modern world. The year 1998 is based upon the death of a king in 30 AD. That date coincides exactly with the hip shot in the Mayan ball court in Fig. 4 & 5. This is a vernal equinox date, and represents the position of the sun, rather than the position of the Earth. This dating technique is a result of the influence of Mithraism at the founding of the Christian Church. In the Mithraic cults, the year began on the vernal equinox, and Sol Invictus was a manifestation of Mithras, the male deity of the Mithraic Mysteries. Thus, we can consider ourselves to be among the great civilizations qualified to have wisdom of the precessional cosmic clock.

Archaeologists often date rediscovery of ancient civilizations by pot shards and tool industry. If archaeologists could read the stars the ancients saw, they would become aware of the thoughts which ancient civilizations posted on the eternal blackboard. When ancient asterisms are known, myths are revealed, and time is of no consequence any more, for the ancient stories come back to life in their proper positions, as Hanahpu rescues First Father. Ancient asterisms are manna from heaven to seekers of ancient wisdom, regardless of any epoch called modern. Proof of an association of stars with a mythological story board becomes apparent as the number of usable stars becomes consumed in the holistic presentation of the myth. When a novice looks at the sky and finds a single asterism, such as Orion to associate with a mythical hero such as Osiris, the story board is not holistic, and the novice is rightly suspect of opportunistic interpretations designed to fit the theme. But when the whole sky supports the interpretation of monuments and architecture at ancient sacred sites, only a recalcitrant self identity which rejects ancient illiteracy as ignorance and superstition prevents the true messages of the ancients from entering the modern consciousness. Here is the main fault in a modern science that has spent the better part of two millennia, and certainly the last two centuries to eliminate the perception of celestial messages, whether opportunistic or holistic. Modern man is a prodigal son avoiding his father's experience in the game of life because of fear of failure and death. These fears stem from the perception of evil created by humans at the time of the Exodus. We need to again become aware that our judges are going to be our children. They will decide whether our souls ascend or descend stairways to heaven

We are oblivious to our lack of this understanding, as if children could never judge parents. As a result, modern archaeology has a hidden message which is not consciously apparent. Did we forget our past, or did we run away from it? Is archaeology naively searching for a past it does not want to find? Will Western civilization continue to run away from the pains of its past, or will it learn from them? In identifying the workings of archeology, it is often as if it were a declared law that, "the modern perspective needs to exclude intelligence beyond the pillars of present understanding; for science is that which modern establishment scientists divine to be true. Never mind that the cosmic origins game has been played for tens of thousands of years." When scientists begin looking over their shoulders to see who is attempting to take their front row seats, the Lords of Xibalba take control of the culture. According to modern archaeology, as expressed by Professor Culbert, this scenario took place in the hallowed halls of the Mayan civilization, as a rule, for Archaeology says they were "egomaniacs all." The question which "The New Maya" article circumvented was, how can a culture be built by egomaniacs in the first place, if they do not have the faithful masses to mislead? Common sense tells us that in ancient times, just like in modern times, dreams become nightmares after success degrades with pride. We should, therefore, be less quick to judge the spoils of war and destruction as evidence that all were egomaniacs. This biased approach reeks of the very fault it divines.

These six vignettes of the Mayas can be read using common sense and celestial awareness. Lack of celestial awareness, if not, also, a lack common sense, is a major problem resulting from specialization within archaeology. Archaeologists have a need to put the stars back into their own cosmos when they go looking for lost civilizations. Before people invented letters and numbers, they had the stars in the heavens, and life on Earth. Certainly the Ancients would have made the celestial dot-to-dot connections in their minds. When we find the celestial pictures drawn on monuments and in pyramid layouts, we need to be sincere enough to realize that the people who went to such trouble held life in great esteem. Is it necessary to point out that we did not name the constellations? The names are a direct result of the Ancients visually and consciously connecting the dots. When their children made the same dot-to-dot connections, and understood the meaning of the corresponding metaphors, the children were as mature as their masters. That was how they kept the culture alive in their children. Is any modern scientific speciality any different in that respect? If we ignore common sense and common perception, for the sake of our specialist metaphors, we become Lords of Xibalba. Without holistic enlightenment, specialist sciences are more powerless than ancient sciences to overcome these denizens of the deep. In an essay titled "Rapa Nui, an Ancient Civilization Whose Time has Come Again," a clear statement is made by the Rapa Nui people in their own Rongorongo hieroglyphs, that the king is pierced by the east fish in Pisces. Without the dot-to-dot connections of the ancient asterisms, the Rongorongo text is impossible to properly understand. With the ancient asterisms, the lost culture of Easter Island is found. It is who we are, the drowning descendants of Atlantis.

A major difference is that ancient science strived to be holistic. Religion and science had exactly the same purposes. Even today, religion and science have essentially the same purpose, to extend a cultural perspective. Problems arise when children have to spend several life times to surmount the mountain of accumulated metaphors which lead back to the raw data of scientific discovery. By introducing specialization, modern educational systems, whether theistic or scientistic, limit a child's education because of an over abundance of distinguishing details. Now, after many centuries of constellations drawn by modern astronomers, it is no real wonder that the ancient truth in the connections seem to be false. But that is precisely why Devereux's archaeology of consciousness, and the presently demonstrated astroarchaeology of consciousness are important. Ancients did not see the stars in the same associations (asterisms) we do today. We do not even use the stars in daily life, whereas, they were equivalent to gods to them.

Modern astronomy, in an attempt to break the debased astrological/spiritual stranglehold on science, had to decimate the heavens. If the heavens were presented in holistic form with the legendary asterisms, most students would quickly leave the land of quasars and black holes, for green fields and ball courts, not to mention houses and aspects, and generalized metaphors for subjective success in life. Additionally, choosing one set of asterisms automatically "kills" cultures which do not use the chosen asterisms. The intention to enhance discovery by removing the ancient graffiti should be supported, but not at the loss of historical consciousness that the inherent recalcitrance causes. What we might consider is the possibility that the mythological and theological aspects of the asterisms needed to be temporarily removed from the stars so that we could understand the material basis for astral existence, and return to the mythical messages after putting our feet back on the ground. With the rise of quantum mechanics and chaos theory, we have reached the essential material knowledge base required to use the material assets of the stars for the good of all. To proceed further along the route of chaos theory without establishing the obvious lack of chaos, would be a step off the edge of the cosmic world beyond Xibalba and Atlantis into a world of cosmic hallucinations. It is time to return to the question "Why?" and let the "How?" find its way in between the answers to the "Why?" question. Why? is the question that precedes any need to understand How?, and that probably caused the ancients to see the effect of cosmic awareness which modern scientists fail to comprehend. In an esoteric search for the mechanisms of the cosmic world, modern science seems to be totally unaware of why a search was begun at the time of the First Father.

Is it spiritual and unconscious to see Gemini, Andromeda, Pisces, Sculptor, Cepheus, Aquila, or even Antinous? Or are these asterisms precisely the conscious experience that was recorded by the ancient conscious? Science is often threatened that such correspondences are "anti-scientistic." They are not"anti-scientistic." In fact they are a remedy against scientistic recalcitrance in favor of rediscovery of a rational description of supposedly irrational cultures.

When we exercise this perspective, we are most often looking over the shoulders of the beasts in the first row bleacher seats at the ball court in Xibalba. But the game is controlled by usurpers who climbed ivory towers and presented their own heads to the cosmos as something that should be hung on a post somewhere. In truth, much of the wisdom that comes to us as great science is, if we accept the Mayan metaphor, just corn blowing in the wind. There is a need to keep our heads on straight and consider what happens when recalcitrance leads to intransigence, and stagnation. That is the Mayan message from the bleachers at Xibalba. More importantly today, it is the essential message within the abandoned monuments buried in the undergrowth of the rain forests. In this respect, Culbert and Archaeology provide a powerful revelation in "The New Maya." If we remain "egomaniacs all," our culture will vanish, also.

As we leave the ball court, let us look at the picture of the upper side of the heavens in Fig. 9. Here is a place which has a corn field at its very top. It is a place which contains the top of the axis of the disk which carries the sun, called the Milky Way; a place known today as Coma Berenices, but once it was the House of Bread, and was called the Elysian Fields. To allay fears of an unfounded conjecture, consider that the constellation at the top of the galactic axis is represented in many archaic drawings as sprigs of wheat in the hand of the constellation Virgo, whose brightest star is called Spica. Spica means "ear of corn." So allay fears of superstition and anti-scientistic images and listen to Hanahpu. He taught apprentices to be as ears of corn, and to listen to the material sources of their thoughts. Every thought in life has a fertile material place which gave birth to it. So being like the corn and sending out roots to find life giving nourishment, while becoming fruit of the earth as a provision for the next generation, is good science, regardless of the epoch in which it is taught. "Life is not a spectator sport," is Hanahpu's answer to all forms of recalcitrant wisdom. Spectators brought down the Mayan culture, not their marvelous science, that is what "The New Maya" confirms, but fails to explain.

Pride Goeth Before the Fall

Fig. 10: Pride Goeth Before the Fall, Still

At the top of the galaxy in Fig. 10 walks a man in a field of corn. In Fig. 3 he is shown holding the staff he gained in the ball court as he raised his crop. A purpose of the staff was to plant seeds in the soils under the heavens. In Fig. 10 he is holding the crook of rational understanding in one hand and the leashes of two hunting dogs in the other. The dogs are on point. The object of their point is an empty place at the top of the stalks of the ancient "ears of corn" in the outstretched arm of Virgo. This place just over the top of the galaxy, represented the Elysian Fields of most cultures. Beyond the wilderness of this meadow on top of the galaxy, where the dogs are pointing, is a proud lion strutting around the path of the sun. Here is where the man who lost his head in a ball game far far away is rejoined with the physical kingdom of heaven. The man is known today as Cepheus, the king. The domain of the proud lion (a jaguar to the Mayas) is where any man conscious of reality would will to live. It is that place where the sun rises and sets, along with the moon and the planets. It is a place where brilliance can ingress from without and be reflected from within, as well as, where brilliance can egress from within and be reflected back from without. This is the message of the third vignette of Fig. 3. Long before the Mayan culture was raised up from the earth, Egypt saw this union of man and feline as the Great Sphinx. Like the Mayas, they built monuments to protect the cosmic perspective they had found. Sages in both cultures saw the need to reveal truth as a greater purpose than any paranoid threat to truth. It is false pride in accomplishment that leads the arrogant apprentice away from the Elysian Fields to become like the glaring eyed Lord of Xibalba, looking back over his shoulder to see if some other spectators are trying get to the front row seats.

Look once again at Fig. 3 and see the jungle cat joined with the man at the corn field leading the way to the feline constellation. Look carefully at Fig. 10 and see the man with the crook and the two dogs doing the same thing, and ask the following questions. Is it possible that ancient conscious saw time and season, defeat and victory, sowing and harvest, death and resurrection, and many other remembrances of life in the stars? If it is possible that the ancient conscious could have seen such apparitions, wouldn't it be scientistic to show the correspondences between what they drew and what they could have seen? Wouldn't their's have been a better way for sending messages through the generations than the placards we are sending on wandering spaceships? Could war and famine or peace and prosperity ever erase these records of the sweet and sore, the crook and flail, the brilliance and darkness, the demented and rational? Could recalcitrant science block the ancient astroconsciousness from modern apprentices forever? The answers to these questions are yes and no. The choice is there for each of us to make. To make the choice is, after all, the way to play the game. To avoid the choice is to be the prideful lion stepping upon the head of the serpent by the shore of the Great Cosmic Sea, and falling head long into Xibalba once more. This is the gateway of men, Cancer. The best choice is to go in the way of the fathers until we have established a path unique to theirs, and then we become the First Father. This is the gateway of gods, Capricorn.

There is a child on the back of an eagle, who is grasping this metaphoric flail in Fig. 5. With the aid of the "feathered serpent" of rational spirituality that child becomes a man opening the compulsive cycle of the ouroborus of recalcitrant wisdom in Fig. 9. That man was Father Sky to most of the civilizations mentioned above, and most assuredly to the Mayan's. His message is like a street clear as crystal, a path through the wilderness, and a way beyond the Lords of Xibalba. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father in his throne." Consciousness is the throne of life. Whoever sits on that throne is a witnesses to the subject called life. It is not necessary to constantly protect one's throne with psychic barriers to paranoid visions, for subjects come to our mind before choice, and it is our choice to determine how subjects live or die. The Mayan cosmos suggests that we pay attention, as apprentices, not spectators, and get involved for the sake of the next generation. From generation to generation we pass these messages. Along the way, we become distracted by some detail of the moment. As the Lords of Xibalba commandeer front row seats, to watch us live or die, that is the cue to get back down to the field and play the game once more, before the culture of our First Fathers ceases to be.

When a boy becomes a man, it is as a father, not as a recalcitrant scientist. Likewise, a girl matures as a woman who nurtures the issue of the planted seed toward higher esteem. The science of archaeology can take a lesson from the Mayas to look to the stars to discover where we come from, before we make monkeys out of ourselves, and turn our pottery into pot shards. Are we still teaching our children to go to the ball courts of life and have there heads posted in some high place? If not, then why do we have heads of departments of archaeology and anthropology? If we are like the Mayas, then the voice of the science of archaeology, needs to accept the Mayan cosmic record which says, "Life is not a spectator sport," and get involved in an honest holistic perspective, as well as the details of the moment. A star shines over every great culture, and the spirits of their ancient dead rise toward their star. True science requires that we look "carefully" at what we see before we declare that we do not see it. When we listen as children who desire to be like their fathers, we can see the reflected light from every rising son as brightly as the morning light from the rising sun.

This is the essential message of the story of Hanahpu and Xbalanque. The rescue of First Father was their objective. The wisdom and domain of the First Father had been taken over by egomaniacal usurpers. As tricksters Hanahpu and Xbalanque had to play according to the rules of the underworld. Those rules are all egomaniacal. So, after Xbalanque had lost his head (idealism) to the savagery (selfishness) of the Lords of Xibalba, Hanahpu gave Xbalanque a false head and convinced the Lords of Xibalba that he had caused Xbalanque to come back to life. This trick caused the Lords of conceit and deceit to quiver in their souls. At that indecisive moment, Hanahpu retrieved the heritage of First Father and restored the original order of the Mayan Kingdom. Within the message of Hanahpu's victory is the essential purpose of archaeology. Unfortunately for the readers of the 50th Anniversary issue of Archaeology they are given a display of the egomaniacal Lords of Xibalba. It is apparent that the editors of Archaeology were tooting their own horn at the expense of the innocent Mayas who lived the life style for which Hanahpu was their example.

Look once again at Hanahpu in the corn field of Fig. 3. Can you see that he holds a walking stick which symbolizes the help required to pass through the valley of death amongst the Lords of Xibalba? People who recognize that they have needs along the way of life are honest humble beings, worthy to be gentle priest-kings. Can you see that he has the leopard skin on his back which symbolizes that he has achieved cosmic victories at the top of the world? Pride leads to self destruction when it becomes an ideal that denies sensual reality, whether a Mayan or the voice of Archaeology. Combined with the humility of the staff, this leopard skin is a symbol that victory and defeat are impostors. Between the staff and the leopard skin is a cosmic belt around a man. That is the message which Hanahpu displays to the juveniles he is culturing in the cosmic field, we are all living within the galaxy.

These four metaphors, staff, leopard skin, man, and cosmic belt, signify the utility of material, physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of the soul. These aspects of the soul are enlightened by the sun. Note that all four of the corn stalks in Fig. 3 receive light from the sun. But the ones closest to a man of cosmic expression have greater abundance. In this way, Hanahpu is like the sun. Without the sun, the corn will not grow. Without Hanahpu's experience of First Father, the spirit of the Maya culture will not be transferred to the seed in the field. Hanahpu does not raise his crop in darkness as would be the choice of the selfish underworld Lords of Xibalba. Hanahpu accepts, and works with, the benevolent flame from our closest star. By ignoring the benevolence of the sun and all the stars in the galaxy, Archaeology is acting as a selfish underworld Lord of Xibalba. Their light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

The New Maya is not a shortcoming of Professor Colbert, for Archaeology was creating a centerfold to show that Archaeology had beaten the shamans with its rational scientific approach. In sticking their own head upon this pillar of self esteem, they needed proof that they were greater than some great culture. Thus, they chose the Maya culture to use as a ruse to explain their own worth. But, the ruse backfired, for they gave the Maya metaphors center stage in their 50th Anniversary issue. Not a single word was printed in the article regarding the meaning of the six Mayan vignettes.

But, remember that Xbalanque and Hanahpu are tricksters. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the six vignettes are worth six thousand. Mayan heroes will defeat the Lords of Xibalba at Archaeology, if the reader does not let the blatant lies printed around the vignettes of truth to darken the true archaeology presented on the centerfold. Hanahpu came to the Maya people with words echoed in our own mythology. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Mayan and Aztec cultures had the same problems as any human culture. Proof in the dreams of kings and popes is usually demonstrated in the temples they construct during time of peace and prosperity. Teotihuacán is an example of the product of gentle priest-kings that substantiates the messsage of Hanahpu. The Polynesian Vatican is another example of the ubiquitous nature of the ancient mythologies of gentle priest-kings.

Look again at the six vignettes as a vision of gentle priest-kings, who were the true Mayan people. See how dark are the verbal clouds declaring them to be "egomaniacs all," which had been written around their vision of life by the editors of Archaeology, who are the reincarnated Lords of Xibalba.

Return to Top

Decoding the great Maya long count calendar and the meaning of the Age of the 5th Sun
Transcendance in Mayan Mythology

A rebuttal to "The New Maya," Archaeology Magazine, September/October 1998

Teotihuacán to Antinous, a city whose time is coming.

Polynesian Vatican a scientific reference point for world navigation.

The Astroarchaeology of Consciousness
An essay defining the process of tying ancient consciousness to the stars through the Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt.

Yes Virginia, Santa CLaus Is Coming Tonight
A booklet illustrating how to draw star legends by illustrating the Santa Claus and Christmas Tree stars.

Rapa Nui, an Ancient Civilization Whose Time has Come Again
An essay illustrating the cultural purposes of the Moai Statues on Easter Island.

SiLoamNet Home Page
Source page for Adventures in Astroarchaeology.