Lesson 4: Using the Calendar Board to Create a Tree of Life

After a person’s main day sign has been determined, the calendar board is used to find the other four nahuales in his or her five-sign chart, called the Tree of Life or Mayan Cross.

The earliest known calendar board was found in the inside cover of The Book of Chilam Balam of Mani, one of several “knowledge books” of the Yucatecan Maya that were translated into Spanish by friars. Also called the “Codex Perez,” this one dates back to the middle of the 19th Century.

The Calendar Board

The count begins at the top left with 1 Crocodile, goes down to the bottom of the column, and continues at the top of the column to the right. From the “end,” 13 Sun at the bottom right corner, the count continues with 1 Crocodile at the top left, indicating the cyclical nature of the Sacred Calendar, or tzolkin.

The Trecenas in the Calendar Board

Another use of the calendar board is to find a person’s trecena ruler, which affects the individual’s emotional life. All 20 of the 13-day “weeks” called trecenas can be seen.

To determine a person’s trecena ruler, locate the main day sign and count up to the first day sign with the number 1. If a person’s main nahual is 5 Eagle, the trecena ruler would be 1 Monkey. (See Trecena Rulers for more on this topic.)

Finding the Nahuales of the Tree of Life for Piers Morgan

There are four other nahuales, which I call Youth, Future, Action and Feeling. (Other astrologers may employ different names, such as Past rather than Youth, but they all have the same basic meanings.)

This example uses Piers Morgan, a television show host famous for interviewing celebrities. His birthday (according to Wikipedia) is March 30, 1965, so his main nahual of Adulthood is 4 Deer, which is in the center of the Tree of Life.

To find his nahual of Youth, count nine squares up, counting the main nahual as 1.This leads to 9 Storm for Piers Morgan.

The nahual of Future is found by counting nine squares down, to 12 Eagle.

A person’s Action nahual is determined by counting 7 squares up to 11 Crocodile in this case. The Feeling nahual is found by counting 7 squares down, to 10 Corn.

His trecena ruler, 1 Net, which is used in Mayan astrology, does not appear in the Tree of Life.

Now we know all five nahuales for Pier Morgan’s Mayan Tree of Life, which will be the focus of Lesson 5.

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