We are living in a time of renewal, preparing our communities to enter a time-space of wider consciousness. The calendars of our ancestors were mistakenly read since the colonial takeover and five centuries years later we have finally learned how to read them. This is perfect timing, because Mesoamerican calendars hold sacred information on harmonious ways of living with Mother Earth and the Cosmos.
Organized by the Center for Earth Ethics at Union Theological Seminary, the event “The Return of the days of the Sun and of the Mesoamerican Calendar” took place on May 7, 2017. It was an open invitation to share the Otomi-Hñahñu and the Mexica-Aztec Calendars, and members of five Dance Groups of the Anahuaka tradition answered the call. We were honored to host Cetliliztli, Chichimeca, Tetetl and Tezca groups, and dancers Jorge and Xochitl. Five of our Union allies and colleagues came too: Gregory Simpson, Petra Thombs, Thia Reggio, Sara Walcott and Gabrielle Sclafani. We were fortunate to have guests like Ken Kitatani from Forum 21 Institute and Anele Heiges, OP – a Dominican Sister who, among other titles, is a member of the NGO Committee for Indigenous People. Brothers and sisters, keepers of deep traditions and cosmovisions, came from many directions to share and bring blessings to this unique space at Union. The sweet scent of the Mexican pine-tree resin Copal and the rhythmic vibrations of the Teponastle drums filled the Social Hall from 4pm till 7:30pm, making it a very special and unforgettable occasion for all who practice Earth-based spirituality and traditions.
Dancers from as far as Pennsylvania and Albuquerque, NM, also came to dance and share knowledge and wisdom. Jorge García, from Centro La Raza, UNM, spoke about the importance of understanding the implications of the New Dawn for our original nations across the Americas. Also, a Narraganset representative came from Rhode Island and shared a prayer and song to the four directions.
The calendar that was handed out is the result of a decade-long research carried out by Geraldine Patrick Encina, our fellow from the Original Caretakers Program. It is a year-round calendar designed by forefathers and foremothers after centuries of observation and record-keeping of celestial bodies, weather cycles, ecosystem cycles, corn-cycles and the reproductive cycles of birds, deer, bees, fruit trees and reeds. The calendar enabled societies to experience the harmonious interrelation with natural and cosmic cycles by marking the times within which rituals were to be celebrated so as to acknowledge and integrate the agency of celestial and terrestrial beings in the life and death cycles.
The calendar that was designed for 2017-2018 year cycle articulates the Hñahñu-Otomi and the Mexica-Aztec versions in a clear manner, replicating the way in which it was being presented in pre-colonial and early-contact codexes.
Copies of this beautifully designed calendar are available and can be sent to you, per request to our Center.
The misinterpretation of the original calendar books by the first friars who attempted to read them seriously undermined any attempt to re-construct the self-identity of the spiritually and politically crushed Hñahñu-Otomi and Mexica-Aztec nations after the violations carried out during fifteen and sixteen hundreds and even later on. With scholarly books stipulating that the original calendars were useless because of no means of dealing with the leap day, the Mesoamerican culture was eclipsed and doomed to live in a prolonged period of confusion about the intellectual and philosophical substratum of their mother culture. This substratum was the calendar itself.
Our commitment and direct involvement with local native communities practicing traditions for healing and balancing Mother Earth is growing stronger. Because the Mesoamerican calendars are in synchronicity with seasonal times as far north as latitudes in the middle portion of north America, we shall be offering workshops in NYC and neighboring states to native people vindicating their traditional ways of living according to the land’s cycles. We shall also teach about traditional timekeeping to groups that study or want to learn about the Anahuaka traditions.