When sometime in 2009, I first got acquainted with the Mayan Calendar, I decided to check the Internet, searching information for a better understanding. I found all sorts of book references, all in English, but no website whatsoever either French or English, offering a clear and synthetic presentation. I did buy the books but figuring precisely what all this was about proved to be rather complicated to start with… Selecting the accurate elements from the fake ones, finding the right books, reading them, comparing the sources, processing the information, all this was not an easy task to say the least…

All that sorting out took me a long time… This is why I decided to create a website in order to help and support whoever was interested in the Mayan Calendar. You can consult in the “source section” all my references.

The first page was put on line in September 2009 and has been regularly updated. Step by step, the website is evolving, taking more stature and… “It ain’t over yet!”

We now have a decent database for all those who wish to get a broader idea about the Mayan Calendar as well as an interesting starting point for an in-depth study.

As I was proceeding with my research I happened to fall into a few “traps” that I would like to expose here so as to help you avoid them.

Let us, for example, see the difference between the Mayan and the Aztec Calendars.

All the Mesoamerican peoples have shared the same calendar. The TZOLK’IN of the Mayas is about the same as the TONALPOHUALLI of the Aztecs.

    AHAU (light)

XOCHITL (flower)

However, the name, the representation and the translation of the dayglyph are different. Let’s take the case of the Mayan Dayglyph AHAU (light) and its Aztec equivalent XOCHITL (flower).

The similarities of the two calendars are such that everywhere the Mayan sources have disappeared in the flames of the Spanish Inquisition, the names chosen through analogies – applying to the divinities for example - are definitely Aztec.

It is thus rather easy to spot them with all the words finishing in “TL” or “TLI” which are typical. Kukulkan, for example, is the Mayan name for the Aztec Quetzalcoatl.

While the aspect changes, the symbolism and the signification of the glyphs remain the same. Mayan and Aztec translations are often mingled, including on this website, (light and flower, star and rabbit…) It doesn’t matter as such, it is just necessary to be conscious of the fact in order to restore a meaning which might not be obvious at first.

The second important point is about the Mayan dialects. The Mayas do not speak a unique language but several dialects. Regarding the sources to be found on the Mayan Calendar, it is useful to know that the information comes in two different dialects, one of which is the Yucatec Maya (spoken in Yucatan) and the K’iche’ Maya (Spoken in Guatemala). These pieces of information are similar; the only thing that matters is to be aware of their origin so as to maintain unity and clarity. As far as I am concerned, I have chosen to favour the Yucatec Maya and to give the dayglyphs their k’iche’ equivalents. The one case where everybody is being had for the first time is the case of the glyphs KAN and CHICCHAN. This underlines the importance of keeping a unity, be it all in Yucatec or all in K’iche’.

CHICCHAN            Yucatec                    KAN

     KAN                     K’iche’                    K’AT

Third point : the cardinal points Day Glyphs association.

Two different traditions exist in this matter:

  1. -the classical tradition in use in the pre-hispanic era,

  2. -the K’iche’ tradition still in use today among the K’iche’ maya in Guatemala.

According to the pre-hispanic tradition, the cardinal points are ordonned in a cyclical manner. In the K’iche’ tradition, they are ordonned in a cross pattern.






Day Glyphs    





The differences between the two traditions have implications for the TZOLK’IN representations, the Day Glyphes colors and symbolism as the cardinal points are associated with different colors and symbols (more explanations in the four directions page). I choose to follow the pre-hispanic tradition mostly because almost all the available sources about the mayan calendar use this tradition.

The fourth and last point is the Dreamspell.

The Dreamspell is a rewriting of the Mayan Calendar which appeared in the ’90; it is rather fashionable in North America (USA and Canada). You will consequently find various websites in English and in French on the topic.

While the Dreamspell is indeed based on the Mayan Calendar, this version is not the true one and is not supported by the Mayan communities’ elders. The issue there being that this Dreamspell is presented all over the Internet as the genuine Mayan Calendar. Wherever you see composite birthsigns like “red lunar CABAN” or references to the “13 moons” or to “enchanted waves”, be careful: you are entering the Dreamspell and, de facto, moving away from the Mayan Calendar.

For more info on the theme, you can read Carl Calleman’s articles:

How and why was Argüelles Dreamspell calendar invented?

The Hidden Agenda of The Dreamspell Calendar  (L’objectif caché du Dreamspell)

The Hidden Agenda of the Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon Calendar

The Dreamspell/Thirteen Moon calendar and the Mayan calendar. What are the differences?

I hope this can help you – even so slightly - to get acquainted with this calendar. As far as I am concerned, I am still far from having seen all the ins and outs of it.

May your discovery be happy!

glyph design by translation by Nelly Lewin