History of the Calendar

260 Year Periods – Who knew? the Maya, turns out.

The Calendar in this case doesn’t have a name yet, but it could be called the Turtle Island Settler’s Calendar TISC – but that’s just a spitball.

In terms of Turtle Island, the Maya are the daykeepers par excellence. In no small part, that’s why this TISC launched on December 21st 2012, to synchronize it with the most sophisticated calendar in the world, and it also synchronized itself with the Lunar Calendars (Chinese, Buddhist, Indian, Hindu, Muslim, Indigenous Worldwide, and more), as well as the Persian, Zoroastrian, Bahá’í, and possibly others.

Well, that’s awfully convenient.

History of the Settlers of Turtle Island

1492 Columbus introduces the Julian Calendar to the Turtle Island. This is the same calendar Julius Caesar introduced in 45 BC that founded the Roman Empire.

1752 The British Empire introduce the Gregorian Calendar to Turtle Island (although the Spanish part of Turtle Island had adopted it in 1582).

2012 Settlers of Turtle Island launch their own calendar to synchronize it with the Maya Long Count Calendar.

The interesting thing here comes from the Maya. They have two sacred numbers in their daykeeping: 13 and 20. 13 is associated with the major articulations of the body (ankles, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists & neck), 20 with the fingers and toes. Beyond this, they are used to create a sacred 260-day calendar. As with much of the Maya calendar, these numbers repeat themselves. 260 days, 260 tun (about 256 years), 260 years.

1492 to 1752 = 260 years.
1752 to 2012 = 260 years.

Intersting. It comes up in multiples elsewhere.

712 to 1492 = 3 x 260 years when the Muslims occupied the Iberian Peninsula (since Columbus represented Spain, this is more than just an idle connection).
44 BC to 476 CE = 2 x 260 = Western Roman Empire

Between 476 and 712 is 236 years – 24 years shy of the magic number.

Speaking of Magic Numbers, here’s what that polymath Ben Franklin, one of the bright bulbs among the Settlers of Turtle Island (despite his character flaws), came up with:


In 1750, Benjamin Franklin constructed the above 8 x 8 semimagic square having magic constant 260. Any half-row or half-column in this square totals 130, and the four corners plus the middle total 260. In addition, bent diagonals (such as 52-3-5-54-10-57-63-16) also total 260 (Madachy 1979, p. 87).

Ah, fun with numbers.

I don’t pretend that I’ve discovered some universal underlying truth about time. But I do believe that our minds are incredible pattern recognizing and creating organs. When I noticed a pattern consistent with Maya calendrics by which history could be arranged according to cycles instead of as a continuous number line, how could I resist?

It might account for any number of cycles we’ve observed, like the 25 and 50 year economic cycles for example. If we could organize ourselves according to these cycles,  we might not be in the struggle we are now, where the Industrial Era clings to its institutions with a death grip, whereas the Information Era struggles to rip free of its barbs to develop its own institutions, betters suited to our uncharted present.

Mircea Eliade covers cyclical models of time and calendars in The Myth of the Eternal ReturnIf nothing else, they provide any number of excellent opportunities to celebrate together.

And that’s always welcome.



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