The 4 directions

In the symbolism of the Mayan calendar, the colors (red, white, blue and yellow) identify the four directions: EAST, NORTH, WEST and SOUTH. These directions are associated with daytimes, seasons, symbols, elements, ... Each direction "governs" 5 day glyphs. The color of a glyph identifies its direction.

The vertical axis (EAST - WEST) (future - past) is an energy transmitter, so these are creative directions . The horizontal axis (NORTH - SOUTH) (feminine - masculine) receive the energy of the vertical axis. In other words, the aspiration for the future and remembrance of the past affect the way our masculine and feminine sides perceive the present moment. The future emitting more energy than the past and the feminine receiving more than the masculine.

sources : “Jaguar Wisdom” & «Mayan Astrology» from Kenneth Johnson

                 “Aztec Architecture” from Manuel Aguilar-Moreno

                 “Mayan calendar ans cosmic plan” Carl Calleman’s seminar

                 “ The Mayan New Dawn” Interview of Mayan Elder Don Alejandro Perez Oxlaj

                 “Classic maya Directional Glyphs” from Brian Stross

EAST

DAWN, SPRING, FIRE

RED, BEGINNING, FRONT, FUTURE

WEST

SUNSET, FALL, EARTH

BLUE (or BLACK), END, BEHIND, PAST

NORTH

ZENITH

SUMMER

AIR

WHITE

WISDOM

ABOVE

FEMININE

SOUTH

NADIR

WINTER

WATER

YELLOW

ABONDANCE

BELOW

MASCULINE

The colors of the 4 directions are not random. These are the only 4 colors the corn can take: yellow, red, white and purple black. These colors are due to the metabolic pathway used to create pigments:


  1. -the carotenoids pathway for the yellow color,

  2. -the anthocyanins pathway to the red and purple black,

  3. -neither of the two pathways for the color white (no pigment).


These colors are all present in the photo below. According to their creation myth, the Maya are made of these 4 types of corn: white for the bones, yellow for the flesh, red for blood and black for the hair and eyes.

It is interesting to note also that these are the 4 skin colors of mankind (red, black, white and yellow).