Today is the “Day out of Time” for adherents to the Cult of Dreamspell (AKA the Mayan Calendar). Being that I tend to move in alternative hippie circles, there seems to be a lot of folk around me who follow this cult. I don’t have a problem with it, but the sheer numbers of people around, especially in Rainbow Gatherings, who are partying today, in preparation for the “end of the world” in 18 months’ time, is somewhat irritating.
Let’s be honest: The Dreamspell has noting directly to do with Mayan people – it was made up by a guy called José Argüelles in the mid-80s. Real Mayan people have their own calendar – several of them in fact, which is very different from the Dreamspell. When I was in Guatemala and Mexico, there were a whole lot of real Mayan people who were decidedly angry about the advent of this Cult, which uses their name and bastardises their symbols, and even use their name for the calendar, Tzolkin.
I admit, as cults go, the Dreamspell is a nice one. It’s all about peace and getting in synch with nature, and the calendar certainly has pretty pictures.
I just wish people would follow the cult with a little more information, rather than blindly believing in nonsense, and I wish people would stop evangelising about it.
The vast majority of people I know who are followers don’t even realise it is a cult. Most of them have no idea that the Dreamspell was made up by Argüelles in 1986; I keep hearing people insist that the calendar is an ancient time-keeping system developed by Mayan people 5000 years ago. Though if you go to the thirteen moon website page on the origins of the Dreamspell, it says “Awaiting galactic transmission… Page coming soon…”
The calendar itself isn’t even mathematically correct. It runs on the idea of a 28-day lunar month, though there is no such thing as a 28-day lunar month. The length of a moon cycle is 29.53059 days, whereas the orbital period is 27.32166 days. According to the thirteen moon website, they arrive at a “28 day month” by averaging these two numbers, even though doing so makes no sense regarding moon cycles, and even still, that comes out to 28.426125 days, not 28 days.
If you take a 28.426125 day cycle (or 28.3 according to the thirteen moon website) and call it a 28-day cycle, what you get is .4 of a day left over every “month”. No biggie, right? But over the course of a 13-month year, you’ll be five days out of whack from the actual moon. Which means roughly every five years, you lose a whole moon cycle (talking about cycles of the actual moon and not “moon cycles” according to the Dreamspell).
Of course, then you have 13 months of 28 days, which adds up to 364 days, so the Day out of Time comes in – it is a celebration day that doesn’t belong to any month. Nice; I can get behind that. But there’s still a problem: There aren’t 365 days in a year.
It takes 365.242199 days for the Earth to make a circuit around the Sun. That’s why we have Leap Years in the Gregorian calendar. The Dreamspell has no leap years, which means every time the Gregorian calendar marks the 29th of February, the Dreamspell calendar just sits on its hands and whistles innocently.
Truly! They just pretend that day isn’t happening – some adherents take the “Kin” or day of the 28th of February and make it last for 48 hours, some divide the 29th of February into two parts – before noon being a part of the day before, and after noon being part of the 1st of March.
There is also the “Planet Holon”, a geographically-incorrect projection of the 20 “solar seals” on the Earth. No one seems to mind that the Earth is a sphere, and therefore this cute diagram is laughable.
Here’s what the Dreamspell folk have to say about the Planet Holon:
The base holon unit is the 'perfect fifth:' a tetrahedron (four-sided pyramid) and its invisible center point, the g-force core. G-force is the 'mysterious' fifth force; its core is always in the now. The holon-tetrahedron forms the underlying structure of the 13-tone wavespell. The 13-tone wavespell is the living cosmology of the fourth-dimension.
So how does this cult suck people in? Well, it does have very pretty pictures – each day has a “galactic signature, which has it’s own little pictogram and they have catchy names like “yellow self-existing seed” or “white crystal mirror”.
The Dreamspell propaganda is written in a kind of dreamy, hypnotic language, with phrases like “The 13 Moon 28-day synchronometer is a harmonic timespace matrix”:
“The Planetary Service Wavespell utilizes the 13-unit architecture of the adventure wavespell to create its annual program. The adventure wavespell has two gates, two towers and three sets of chambers. The adventure wavespell can be used to plot action over any cycle of time operating by the wavespell: 13 days, 13 moons, 13 years, etc.”
“The Law of Time states that: Energy factored by time equals art. In this equation, (E) refers to all phenomena in their processes of unfoldment; (T) is the present moment functioning according to the ratio constant 13:20. Everything shaped by time is art"
There is a lot of emphasis on the “Time equals Art” mantra, even though this doesn’t really mean anything. Apparently, the Gregorian calendar runs on a 12:60 timing frequency, which is “ruled by the clock and mind”, whereas the Dreamspell runs on a 13:20 frequency, in which “people are ruled by their heart, nature and art and guided by dreams and synchronicity”.
No one seems to mind that the 12:60 thing refers to 12 months in a year and 60 minutes in an hour, whereas 13:20 refers to 13 months of 20 days in a 260-day Tzolkin. These two units of reference aren’t even corresponding and as far as I can tell, followers of the Dreamspell still use the standard clock with 24 hours of 60 minutes of 60 seconds. Yes, the Gregorian calendar system is artificial and arbitrary, but so is this one.
Honestly, I don’t mind if people want to follow this cult. It is very pretty, but when they want to re-arrange dates for Rainbow Gatherings based on the appropriate Dreamspell Tzolkin kin, I get very irritated. International rainbow gatherings have traditionally been held according to the phase of the moon – something that can be plainly seen by anyone, regardless of their cult or religious tendencies, no matter which calendrical system they use. I do wish people actually knew what beliefs it is they are espousing before they go on evangelising.
Oh, and if you’re wondering, Littletree’s kin is Self-Raising White Flower.