What is Mayan Long Count Astrology? Is it different from regular Mayan Astrology? Why is it a “long count”? These are questions I'm asked regularly about Mayan Astrology, so let me give you the answers you seek.
The Ancient Mayans had multiple calendars that they used for astrology and astronomy. Each calendar was a different length (number of days). The calendars could be combined to suit different purposes.
The tzolkin or Sacred Calendar was a calendar containing 260 days. It was used in astrology to predict the best day to do certain things and to give more insight into an individual's personality.
The Haab or Vague Year Calendar was a 365-day solar calendar broken down into 18 months containing 20 days, and one shorter month called Uayeb, an unlucky month.
The tzolkin and Haab were combined to form the Calendar Round which is still used by some Mayans in the Gautemalan Highlands.
However, the Ancient Mayans used a different calendar to track longer periods of time and for calendar dates (similar to how we use our calendar today). This Mayan calendar is the Long Count Calendar.
How the Mayan Long Count Calendar Measures Time
The Mayan Long Count system keeps track of elapsed days (kins) from the date they were created. The Long Count Calendar is based on a 365 day year, called a tun. Twenty tuns (7200 days) equal one katun. Twenty katuns (144,000 days) equal one baktun. Thirteen baktuns equal one Great Cycle. The Mayans believed that the end of a Great Cycle marked when there would be a huge catastrophe destroying most people and requiring civilization to start over.
Misinterpretation of the Mayan Long Count Calendar caused some people to incorrectly claim that the next Great Cycle would end December 21, 2012, and would result in the “end of the world.” However, it was simply the date the calendar went to the next baktun. The Mayans actually saw December 21, 2012 as a time of new beginnings and rebirth – a day of great celebration.
Mayan Long Count Astrology
The Mayan Long Count Calendar is divided into 260 katuns and 13 baktuns. This does have astrological importance, but much of its meaning has been lost. Most of what we know about Mayan astrology is from the tzolkin. The Long Count Calendar appears to simply be a larger version of the tzolkin.
For Mayan astrology, the most important information was the day you were born on. Priests and astrologers used the Book of Fate to find out the importance of the day for individuals, the nation, and their religion.
If you want more information on Mayan Long Count Astrology, you might also like:
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- Mayan Astrology: The Trecenas
- Mayan Astrology: Lords of the Night
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