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Cholq'ij (Tzolkin) Calendar   
Thursday, December 23 2004
Contributed by: Admin


As many of you know, every year Saq' Be' travels to the community in Chichicastenango, Guatemala to pick up the traditional Mayan Cholq'ij calendars they produce. We return with them and make them available for sale, returning the profits to the community to support their continued efforts to keep the traditional ways alive. Unfortunately, we do not know when we will be able to return this year and are thus uncertain as to when the 2005 calendars will become available. As a way of compensating for our lack of hard copy calendars, we are making available the same Cholq'ij/ Gregorian overlay on our website, which can be viewed on the front page. We have also made available information on the meaning of the Nawales (glyphs) and numbers presented. Click "read more" to view additional infromation on this calendar. We ask you to please consider supporting Saq' Be', a nonprofit organization, by making a tax-exempt donation to assist with our continued efforts for the rescue, preservation and appropriate sharing of these living ancient peoples, traditions and cultures.

This information about the Cholq'ij was produced by an Indigenous group of Mayan Ajq'ij (priests) in Chichicastenango, Guatemala: Fundacion Centro Cultural y Asistencia Maya (C.C.A.M.). We give thank for their efforts in keeping the traditions alive and for their welcoming arms and open hearts. We give special thanks to "Chema" who has shared his knowledge and wisdom with us openly and has been of great assistance in bridging the knowledge of the ancient and the modern.

The Mayan calendars were idealized by the astronomers and spiritual guides based on the movement of the blue bodies of the universe. The Mayan scientists were very studious and very observant. They were able to measure movement, the velocity of every asteroid, then establishing systems that allowed them to register time and other natural events. They were able to make the calendar which allowed them to give orientation to the cycle of agriculture production, giving origin to social time and the time of the individual destiny.

The Cholq'ij "Book of the days" or "Thread of the days", begins on B'atz and ends on Tz'i. This "Book of days" is used today as it was put together by the ancient Mayas. For divination and the establishment of time, for the manifestation of ceremonies of commemoration and for protection, as well as for the times of celebration and spiritual crisis.
The Cholq'ij is immersed in the universe and in the elements of mother nature, necessary for life; the fire, earth, water, air; in the cycle of life of some beings still alive and other fundamental aspects of our culture; the women (I'x), the dawn (Aq'ab'al), and the death (Kame).
The Cholq'ij, or the sacred calendar, consists of 260. It is formed by 20 days that are combined with numbers from 1 to 13 placed before the 20 glyphs of the days. Once finished with the #13, it begins once again with the #1, until reaching #13 again, this way consecutively. We can say that the sacred calendar is composed of 13 months that hold 20 days. (13+20=260)
Why are the numbers 13 and 20 used? The ancestors used and considered these numbers as sacred. The number 13 is sacred because the most important joints in the body are; the two at the ankles, two at the knees, two at the hips, two at the wrist, two at the elbows, two at the shoulders and one at the head or neck. As far as the number 20, this symbolizes the 20 fingers of the human being; 10 on the hands and 10 on the feet.
In these 20 sacred words are expressed all of the basic forces of creation and destruction, the good and the that are in the world, in society, in the family and what is in the heart of the human. The unity of such forces in the individual lives depends on the course of life and destiny.
The signs of the 20 days of the Cholq'ij are: B'atz', E, Aj, I'x , Tz'ikin, Ajmaq, No'j, Tijax, Kawooq, Ajpu', Imox, Iq', Aq'ab'al, Kat, Kan, Kame, Kej, Q'anil, Toj, T'zi'.
If we add, to the 260 day sacred calendar, 13 more days, there is a total of 273 days, which is the same time for human gestation, from conception to birth, the sacred time for development of the human being in the mother's womb.

Below are some resources that are very helpful to understanding and working with the Cholq'ij calendar to create the balance and harmony that is needed at this time:

--Traditionally, when a child was born, and Ajq'ij would look at that child's birth chart using the Cholq'ij to determine that child's purpose. Although this proccess is intricate and requires years of training, it is often helpful to know the enerrgy at the time of birth, the equivalent of what is known as your "heart sign". To find out what this energy was at your time of birth, you may use this calendar conversion tool and then look up your sign in the links below.
-- Click Here for information on the Meaning of the Twenty Nawales (day signs)
-- Click here for more information on the Meaning of the Thirteen Numbers of the Cholq'ij
-- Click here for more information on Candles: Mayan Significance of Colors

Saq' Be': Organization for Mayan and Indigenous Spiritual Studies is a non profit organization based in New Mexico, US. Saq' Be' works to bring people, especially young adults, together with ancient traditions for the purpose of cultural and spiritual preservation and to open the doors of opportunity for those traditions to share their teachings with the rest of the world. Preservation programs include Radio broadcast capacity for the Native community in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, support for the community os Sarayacu in Ecuador in their struggle against petrol interests, and support for filmed documentation efforts of elders and guides of the Mayan tradition. More information can be found at:, or by email at: saqbe[at]sacredroad[dot]org.

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Cholq'ij (Tzolkin) Calendar | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Qusestion about the Cholq'ij (Tzolkin) Calendar
Authored by: FRNantz on Tuesday, June 28 2005
Hi there! New to y'all's forum! I have a couple of questions about the cholq'ij. Bear in mind this is the first time I've seen mention of this particulr version of the 13x20 count.

1.) How does one pronounce it?

2.) The cholq'ij begin and end days are different from the tzolkin... From what I'm gathering, it starts with 1 batz(chuen) and ends with 13 TZ'I. Why??? Everything I've come acorss in multiple media's uses the imox/imix - AJPU/ahau as the start and end of the 20 day cycle...

3.) What is the origin of the cholq'ij? Is the cholq'ij another 13x20 count that is not popularized???

4.) Does anyone know of other info available on the particular version of the count.

I'm new to this particular version of the count and look forward to any response.

Thank You!


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2005 Cholq'ij (Tzolkin) Calendar
Authored by: cristina acke on Saturday, November 19 2005
1) DAY. I am greateful to have found your site by reading 31st Aug. newsletter from Ross Nantz. I was already familiar with the Guatemalan cholq'ij thanks to the book "Kam Wuj" in Spanish by Ludovica Squirru, co-author Carlos Barrios (though I humbly think there are some misinterpretations in the book, like the orientation of the signs, I am a painter not an astrologue but got into this firstly by the Aztec signs, followed by the Yucatßn). Now I find these tables designed by Ross and dealing with reading the calendar up side down as well as normally (day 13 Baat'z should be also 13 Imox) confusing and ask myself if this was the purpose of the elders? In search for the truth, this is very important for my as a painter who is using Maya signs frequently.
2) NUMBERS. Personally I find the influence of the 13 numbers very strong and these at least stay the same in the tables of Ross.
Something else I came accross (another source) was that the influence of the day of a new count of 13 should have impact on the following days. Like today, 2 Baat'z has also the influence of Tz'i because yesterday was 1 Tz'i (18th Nov) and the influence of TzÝ should linger on till 1 Aq'ab'al (1st Dec.) Wen the following days till number 13 should have the influence of Aq'ab'al. (Of course there is also the influence of the year but maybe we better leave this for a seperate comment for which I need to browse your site with more time).

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