Recovering the Lost World,
A Saturnian Cosmology -- Jno Cook
Chapter 34: The Popol Vuh.
$Revision: 42.72 $ (popol.php)
Contents of this chapter:
Book 1, Creation: [Northern Gods] [Southern Gods] [The Survey] [Mud People] [Seven-Macaw]
Book 2, Seven-Macaw: [Celestial Bird] [Zipacna] [Earthquake]
Book 3, The Ballgame: [One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu] [One-Monkey and One-Artisan] [First Ballgame] [Blood Moon] [Hunahpu and Xbalanque] [Later Ballgame] [Planted Maize] [To Xibalba] [Bowls of Flowers] [Into the Oven]
Book 4, Tulan: [Cornmeal Mountain] [First Four Fathers] [Waiting for Dawn] [Tribal Gods] [The Dawning] [Bundle of Flames]
Book 5, The Quiche Nation
The Popol Vuh Book
The Popol Vuh is not a metaphorical narrative. The Popol Vuh is history, although frequently wildly out of chronological order. Its original creation dates from circa 600 BC in Veracruz or the Valley of Mexico. Scenes from the Popol Vuh have been found as murals dated to the first century AD. It starts with a record dating back to perhaps 30,000 BC (or 41,000 BC), and clearly details the period between 10,900 BC and 8347 BC, eventually concluding with details of the 8th and 7th century BC. In the 16th century AD, it was recorded in a European script, in a European notebook.
If the reader has followed the outline of events as presented on these pages, it will become obvious that the Popol Vuh describes the "creation of the world" in the same terms as nearly all other "mythological texts" worldwide -- the series of "mythic" events established for Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, China, and many other nations.
How this could be, how peoples removed by centuries and continents could all describe the same series of incidents, not wholly matching in detail, but certainly in effect, is astounding. The Popol Vuh corresponds to details found in Books 10 and 11 of the Maya Chilam Balam, but mostly transformed into an exciting narrative.
What is probably more interesting is that a reading of the Popol Vuh provides access to many obvious aspects lacking in other sources -- the initial cold rains as well as the shadowed sky of the Younger Dryas, the relationship of the southern Peratt Column and ball plasmoids to the appearance of Saturn in the north, the number of times the ball plasmoids in the south collapsed, hints at the starting date of the blazing of Venus in 685 BC, the length of time of the disappearance of the Sun and planets after the plasmoid from Jupiter hit the Sun.
For those readers not familiar with the Popol Vuh, I will reproduce parts of an introduction by Suzanne D. Fisher, from another work. The following thus recaps the Popol Vuh in broad outline and gives some flavor of the contents. [note 1]"The Popol Vuh, written in the 16th century, was discovered in the possession of the indigenous residents of the town of Santo Tomás Chuilá, today Chichicastenango, Guatemala, by Father Fray Francisco Ximénez, at the beginning of the 18th century. Ximénez translated it and included it in his historic work, but also transcribed the text into the indigenous tongue. This manuscript remained forgotten in the archives of the convent of Santo Domingo until 1854, when it was found by Dr. Carl Scherzer, who published it in Vienna in 1857. Presently it is in the Newberry Library of Chicago."
"Barrera Vásquez and Silvia Rendón, experts on Mayan writings, maintain that the naturally indigenous religious and historical texts were copied from ancient codexes, which fact is quite likely, since the quantity of events, names and exact dates contained in these documents could not have been kept entirely in the memory. ... [likewise] the Popol Vuh bears witness to the existence of an ancient book from which the narration of the origin of the world has been taken."
The Popol Vuh makes reference to four preexisting glyphic documents as its sources:
- "The Council Book"
- "The Light that Came from Beside the Sea"
- "Our Place in the Shadows"
- "The Dawn of Life"
What I understand as four separate titles, Tedlock sees as epithets for a single title, the "Council Book." But there are sufficient and expansive details in the narrative to suggest separate books for separate periods of history -- very old history. It looks, in fact, as if the above list of books is given in reverse chronological order. "The Dawn of Life" came before the recollection of "Our Place in the Shadows," which is followed by the book of "The Light that Came from Beside the Sea."
Understanding the broad outline of events since the Upper Paleolithic in Europe, it becomes obvious that "The Dawn of Life" deals with events or conditions before 30,000 or 40,000 ya (years ago). One of the books of the Chilam Balam (Book 11) uses the same source. To claim a record dating to 30,000 BC might seem extravagant, but the details put forth by some pages of the Chilam Balam are a convincing duplication of what we know was seen in the skies during the European Aurignacian (30,000 to 28,000 ya), Gravettian (28,000 to 24,000 ya), and Magdalenian (17,000 to 14,000 ya) archaeological periods. It is clear that the Chilam Balam and the Popol Vuh use the same source material.
As I have pointed out earlier, if Europe had not been depopulated because of climatic conditions following 10,900 BC, we would hear of the experiences before that time from present inhabitants of southern Europe. These were the people who carved the first Venus Figurines, and decorated 300 caves in France and Spain.
The next book, "Our Place in the Shadows," recounts the 1500-year period of darkness from 10,900 to about 9,000 BC, and the subsequent drying up of the South American jungle with the change northward of the equatorial climatic zone (after the Younger Dryas). We can be almost certain of that, for the very same suggestion is encapsulated in the very first paragraph of the Popol Vuh where the authors describe their intent and the structure for the narrative as:"And here we shall take up the demonstration, revelation, and account of how things were put in shadow and brought to light by... ."
I don't think that this statement is a metaphor for some sort of revelation; not if Tedlock includes the word "account." It is followed by a list of Gods representing "Oxlahun-ti-ku," the God or God-group known as "The Thirteen" in the Chilam Balam. The quotation above deals with an account of how the world became dark, and how it was lighted up again due to action of "The Thirteen."
Although it is never explicitly noted in the Popol Vuh that at the first recorded period of history there was light, we can surmise as much from the line:"... how things were put in shadow and brought to light... ."
It is also never indicated "how" things were put in the shadow. It is unusual not to identify an agent for an action, and this first line almost seems to suggest itself as an introduction to the tale that follows in a manner which indicates that the following is indeed a narrative and not to be taken too seriously.
It is the following book, "The Light that Came from Beside the Sea," which resolves how things were "brought to light." I have assumed here that this would recount the lighting up of Saturn in 4077 BC. But in considering the extent of the 13 Baktuns of the time period before 3147 BC, it looks possible that the "coming to light" was not the lighting up of Saturn (and the first visibility of the Sun), but the "first creation" in 10,900 BC -- the appearance of the brilliant light of the southern ball plasmoids identified by Anthony Peratt. [note 2]
Together with the statement about an account to be given of "how things were put in shadow and brought to light," the sequence of historic eras may reveal some of the underlying philosophy of the Maya, and by extension all of the people of Mesoamerica. Throughout the Popol Vuh, the Quiche tribe, other tribes, and other peoples, are called "sacrificers and penitents" in relationship to the Gods. Yet nowhere is there any indication of why people should be penitent or should have to sacrifice. It seems to be a given, as if everyone knew that this was a condition for all humans. The only thing which would make sense of this, very similar to the thinking in antiquity elsewhere, is that the humans felt responsible for the changes that had happened in the constitution of the world. Penitent for their wrongdoing, sacrifice was required to maintain the new order established by the Gods with the return of the light. [note 3]
The last book, the "Council Book," I would suggest, is a recounting of historical events since 3147 BC, and separately in terms of the Long Count after 747 BC. Especially the last of these two records functioned also as an instrument for predicting the future. Because the larger (earlier) portion was in terms of Katuns, the cycle of 13 Katuns became the main instrument of prediction.
Suzanne Fisher continues:
"The Mayans of Guatemala (in the Popol Vuh) tell of the creation of the world in a cosmogonic myth that can be considered as the best structured and most complete. In it they express how creator gods, reunited in council, decide to create the world so that a being who venerates and supports the gods inhabits it. Once the world is organized, there are several attempts to form human beings, that correspond to the cosmic creations and destructions referred to in other myths. They speak also about a deluge, but also of burning resin, that destroys the men of wood because these were not aware of their creators. After this deluge, the gods create the man of maizemeal, the present man, who is the conscious being who venerates and feeds the gods. In this myth, too, there is a fight of the beings of the underworld, the gods of death, with the celestial beings, Hunahpu and Ixbalanque [Xbalanque], who, after conquering death, are transformed into the sun and the moon, starting off the time of the men."
What I will do is to add annotation to summaries and occasional extracts from the excellent translation of the Popol Vuh by Dennis Tedlock (rev. 1996). The Popol Vuh consists of five books, a very sensible division made by one of the first translators. I should note, by the way, that Hunahpu and Xbalanque were not transformed into the Sun and Moon.
Although there is a clear sequence of events corresponding to historical periods stretching far into the past, the Maya, like the other people of Mesoamerica had substituted a repeating series of 13 Katuns which largely obliterated the continuity of history. I have made clear the implications of this in previous text. History was recognized as a continuum but it was disfigured by the qualities of the repeating series of 13 Katuns.
We see the continuity expressed by the fact that the Popol Vuh narrative definitely starts at the beginning (in Book 1, below). But the selection of events is not in order, and the authors of the Popol Vuh make selections from the various source books as they saw fit. This is compounded by the annoying propensity of Mesoamerican languages to disregard chronological order as really meaningful. (Annoying, that is, to Indo-European speakers.) The narrative not only frequently lists events in complete disorder, but also presents planets as different characters. One gets the feeling that the authors were reading from illustrated records with little awareness of the actual connective sequence, so that, as a notable example, Venus takes on the character of Sovereign Plumed Serpent, one of the original Gods, as well as the celestial twin Hunahpu.
The narrative, in fact, expounds the religious philosophy developed after the event of 685 BC, as it did elsewhere in the world, although it is not at all clear what this philosophy was.
Book 1: Creation of the WorldThis describes the initial meeting of the Gods, where it is decided to create the Earth and inhabit it with animals and humans. The stillness before creation is related, living in the shadows, the long time span, the first two attempts to make humans, and their destruction, the last by a flood. This book mixes the plasmoids of the Peratt Column in the south with planets in the north. Seven-Macaw is introduced.
The Northern Gods
What needs to be addressed here are the names and numbers of the Gods. For the Chilam Balam it was not difficult to come up with 13 Gods, as Book 10 of the Chilam Balam claims. In the Chilam Balam I added together the six planets of the Saturnian stack (including Venus), plus the 7 clearly visible satellites to reach 13 in number. The Popol Vuh will list five northern planets instead. But the Popol Vuh provides a list of names, together with epithets, so that it is not easy to distinguish the Gods. My best counting effort is listed below.
The Popol Vuh actually lists the most coherent set of names for the Gods, separating the Gods of the south from the Gods of the north, and calling the southern apparitions the "Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth" while calling the northern apparition the "Heart of Lake, Heart of Sea." Only the Gods known as the "Heart of Lake, Heart of Sea" are listed in the opening paragraphs. Since later enumerations almost always list 5 names for these, the count should be modified as shown below. I have therefore introduced some modifiers to clear up the count of Gods of the "Heart of Lake, Heart of Sea." The quoted text is a transliteration of the original, in poetic form, by Tedlock. [note 4]"And here we shall take up the demonstration, revelation, and account of how things were put in the shadow and brought to light by...the  Maker,  Modeler,
[also] named Bearer, Begetter,
 Hunahpu Possum,  Hunahpu Coyote,
[also called] Great White Peccary, Coati,
 Sovereign Plumed Serpent,
[collectively known as] Heart of Lake, Heart of Sea,
plate shaper, bowl shaper, as they are called,
also named, also described as
the midwife, matchmaker [Maker and Modeler are called]
named Xpiyacoc, Xmucane,
twice a midwife, twice a matchmaker."
Tedlock suggests that Hunahpu Possum and Hunahpu Coyote are likely epithets for the twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who do not appear in the list, although they will soon appear in the narrative. Sovereign Plumed Serpent is Quetzalcoatl, Kukulkan of the Maya -- Venus. The rest I cannot readily identify, although Xmucane is most likely the planet Uranus, identified as female by "her" long hair. I was initially confounded that Sovereign Plumed Serpent was included in this list, since Sovereign Plumed Serpent (Venus) should not have shown up until after the nova event (what most other peoples hold to be the "creation") of 4077 BC. That Venus was expelled at this time (in 4077 BC), and equatorially, is certain because Venus ended up orbiting the stack of planets (probably at the level of the mass centroid).
But this was resolved when I realized that Mercury should be included in the stack, positioned below Saturn and above Mars. As I have pointed out in an earlier chapter, from Upper Paleolithic sculptures it looks like this might have happened late in the Gravettian (circa 24,000 ya) or during the Magdalenian period (17,000 to 14,000 ya).
In the Magdalenian, Mercury can be identified as the second object from the bottom, and looks in some sculptures of pregnant figurines of the Magdalenian to be considerably displaced from the center of Saturn. This would suggest the later existence of a petaled form of plasma impinging on Mercury.
Very importantly, I would also suggest that Mercury had an atmosphere until recently (686 BC, in fact), for there still today exists a remnant much denser than could be possible if Mercury had been airless for billions of years. Having an atmosphere during the "Era of the Gods" would explain the shell-like array of plasma plumes connecting Mercury and Saturn, as pointed out by Talbott (who misidentifies Mercury as Venus).
From the usage of the names of the gods in the remainder of the Popol Vuh it is also almost certain that "Heart of Lake, Heart of Sea" is a collective name encompassing all the names and epithets.
Once it is realized that there are two sets of Gods, at opposite poles of the Earth, identification becomes much easier. The northern Gods, seen from a latitude of about 10 degrees in northern South America, would be seen to rise out of the sea ("Heart of the Sea") on a daily basis but sit in the sky surrounded by a pool of plasma ("Heart of the Lake") -- Saturn's rings. The northern Gods likely constituted, from top to bottom, Uranus, Neptune (which after 9,000 or 5,600 BC may not have been visible), Saturn, Mercury, and Mars. This adds up to five. The record of the "second creation" of Book 10 of the Chilam Balam does not include Neptune as visible.
[Image: A pottery Image: "Six gods and Jupiter. The text reads of an attempt to counsel Jupiter into the act of creation." After David Freidel and Linda Schele "Maya Cosmos" (1993).]
I should also note that Allen J. Christenson, in Popol Vuh, Sacred Book of the Quiché Maya People (2003), recognizes six Gods of the North, but based on reading "Sovereign Plumed Serpent" separately as "Sovereign" and "Quetzal Serpent." This is wholly correct if the list of six reflects conditions after 4077 BC.
That there are five gods in the north can be verified from a pot illustration presented by Freidel and Schele in Maya Cosmos, as I mentioned in an earlier chapter. The pot presents six gods in conference with Jupiter (God L), urging him to start creation. The six Gods have various names, of which God "Three Born Together" is obviously the three plasmoids of the south. Subtracting God "Three Born Together" leaves five gods that can be assigned to the north. [note 5]
The Southern Gods
The other set of Gods -- "Three Born Together" -- are collectively known as the "Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth." They are identified in the Popol Vuh as Thunderbolt Hurricane, Newborn Thunderbolt, and Sudden Thunderbolt. Thunderbolt Hurricane could also be translated as "one-legged thunderbolt" (Tedlock). These were the three plasmoids of the Peratt Column seen in the south since 10,900 BC, which rose out of the south horizon ("Heart of Earth") on a daily basis and rotated into the sky ("Heart of Sky"). The three southern plasmoids will act in concert repeatedly as the "Heart of Sky." At three times in the Popol Vuh a dialog is developed between the Gods of the north and the Gods of the south.
The first activity of the Popol Vuh is the "fourfold siding, fourfold cornering, measuring, fourfold staking," which describes the overpassing brilliant lines of four of the electron beams of the Peratt Column (found also in the opening page of the Chilam Balam). Thus the history of the world here starts in circa 10,900 BC.
The survey of the heavens and Earth (after 10,900 BC) as a starting point has a certain elegance. It assumes agriculture as the basis of human society, although it becomes clear from the Popol Vuh that the Quiche remained hunters until very late.
The Popol Vuh next declares the emptiness before creation:"Only the sky alone is there,
the face of the Earth is not yet clear.
Only the sea alone is pooled under all the sky."
The description is of the sky in the north, the "sea" in the south, "pooled under the sky" (which may be a singularly unique reference to the equatorial rings as a sea), and "the face of the earth" as the face of Saturn, shrouded in glow mode plasma. The "earth" everywhere else in the world in remote antiquity always described the land of the gods, the land in the sky, upper Earth.
The formlessness of the world is restated, "... only murmurs, ripples, in the dark, in the night." This is the same understanding derived as the scribe of Book 11 of the Chilam Balam had, that all was night at the beginning of the world, in this case even before the world was created. It is a misreading, the result of a record in the book "The Dawn of Life" which for thousands of years never once had reference to the daylight world, or the humans who lived there.
As I have noted earlier, the complete absence of humans in these records is no different from the celestial records drawn on the cave walls of Spain and southern France during the same period of time. Perhaps for a long time after the last of this record was made, the readers knew that this only related to what was seen in the night sky, and they knew that there was no record of the real world of plants, animals, and humans because these never changed. But at some later time this was entirely forgotten. This would certainly be true if the records of the various tribes had a single source from which they were copied. At that later time nothing could be said about the mundane world, or the existence of humans, for these never occurred in the texts. Darkness pervades the world of the Popol Vuh throughout all of the narrative until the Sun finally rises. This does not happen until Book 4, after 70 percent of the tale is completed.
The narrative next makes a clear distinction between some of the initial Gods:"Only the Maker, Modeler alone, Sovereign Plumed Serpent, the Bearers, Begetters are in the water, a glittering light. They are there, they are enclosed in quetzal feathers, in blue-green."
First, this brings out an interesting fine point. Most creation myths simply reduce the time between 10,900 BC and 8347 BC (or circa 9000 BC) to a time of darkness followed eventually by a time of a chaotic swirling clouded sky. I have identified references to the darkness and the clouded skies in Book 11 of the Chilam Balam. If the narrative is in chronological order (which is to be doubted) then what we see here is the period after the Peratt Column, after the "fourfold siding, fourfold cornering, measuring, fourfold staking." In this case, rather than the Gods being obscured, they were seen -- five of them. [note 6]
Secondly, five gods are listed and all five of these Gods appear in a glitter of light and are (as if) "enclosed in quetzal feathers, in blue-green." Since it involves all of the planets, it clearly is a reference to what others term the "purple dawn of creation". The Popol Vuh does not generalize from this, but only declares, "thus the name Plumed Serpent."
Third, there clearly are five Gods, not six. The five Gods would seem to be listed in top-to-bottom order, accounted for as Uranus and Neptune above Saturn with Mercury and Mars below as the Bearers and Begetters -- with Venus absent. (But with Mercury identified as Sovereign Plumed Serpent.)
On the other hand, that the Sovereign Plumed Serpent is listed, perhaps implies that the Popol Vuh does not adhere to chronological order (surprise!), for in every other retelling of creation, including Book 10 and Book 11 of the Chilam Balam, Venus is only included in the grouping of planets after the surrounding coma, which had enveloped Saturn, disappears when Saturn lights up -- a switch from a glow mode coma -- the chaos -- to arc mode in 4077 BC. In Book 11 of the Chilam Balam Venus does not show up until after creation of the rings, as the dragon held by God the Father. This last agrees with what most of the Saturnian cosmologists have also assumed as the order of events -- that Venus was expelled at the time of the creation of the Saturn's rings, in 4077 BC. The phrase, "thus the name 'Plumed Serpent'," is then perhaps a clue to the fact that Venus is not meant by "Plumed Serpent."
More important, however, is that the Popol Vuh makes here the distinction between the Gods of the north and the Gods of the south. "Only ... [list of five names] ... are in the water," that is, only these five are seen in the ocean (presumably) north of the original location of the Olmecs before migration to Central America. Directly following the listing of the Gods of "Heart of Sea" the Gods of the south will be listed in almost identical terms.
The Popol Vuh now declares, after having listed the five Gods of the "Heart of Sea":"And of course there is the sky, and there is also the Heart of Sky. This is the name of the god, as it is spoken [as it is said to be]. Thunderbolt Hurricane comes first, the second is Newborn Thunderbolt, and the third is Sudden Thunderbolt."
There is no question from this that we are dealing with two sets of Gods, three in the south which dominated the time from 10,900 BC to 8347 BC, and five in the north (which had been seen much earlier).
In the next paragraph the Gods of "Heart of Sea," confer with the Gods of "Heart of Sky." This goes on for some paragraphs, and one gets the feeling that the authors of the Popol Vuh are making attempts to relate what really happened according to the ancient records, but it is considerably confused."So there were three of them, as Heart of Sky, who came to the Sovereign Plumed Serpent, when the dawn of life was conceived."
Note again that there are, specifically, three Gods consisting of the Heart of Sky. The northern Gods are here represented by the dominant God, Sovereign Plumed Serpent (or Sovereign Plumed Serpent is used as a collective noun, as seems to have been suggested earlier). I would suggest that what happens here is that the plasmoids in the south collapsed and suddenly moved north ("who came to the Sovereign Plumed Serpent"). It was likely seen, perhaps over a span of some days or months -- in a spectacular display. The plasmoids of the south neared and engulfed Earth, and then moved further north and simply disappeared. This travel past Earth completes the first of the three events where the ball plasmoids were generated because of the presence of Earth carbon dust in the Earth's stratosphere.
Three meetings are held. And each time the three Gods of the south visit the Gods of the north. Because of this, I think what we are seeing here is three complete collapses of the ball plasmoids. That these appeared three times was hinted at by Peratt. The three appearances of the plasmoids is also asserted by many other "mythological" tales.
The Rig Veda relates something of this sort, that is, the travel from the south to the north. A fish tows Manu and his seven sages north to the Himalayas to avoid the flood. The roles are reversed here, since Manu and his seven sages are Saturn and the seven prominent satellites. This leaves the fish unidentified, except to suggest that it is probably the ball plasmoids.
To return briefly to the identification of the southern plasmoids, I should note that the opening page of Book 11 of the Chilam Balam identifies these three Gods as three trees or bushes, based on the looks of the nearest plasmoid, but also on the visual stringiness of 56 bundles of electrons which composed the plasmoids and overrode the physical structure. See, in this respect, especially the illustrations of the reconstructed views of the nearby plasmoid by Peratt in his second paper (or see Chapter 12, "The Peratt Column"). The trees are described as the hut of the first of the men from the south to populate the Yucatan:"The white 'guaje', the 'ixculun' (and) the gumbo-limbo [tree] are his little hut, ... The logwood tree is the hut [lean-to] of Yaxum, the first of the men of the Cauich family."
-- Book 11, Chilam Balam
Seen from 10 degrees north latitude (Brazil) the treelimb-like nature of the near plasmoid would be most obvious. Seen from 20 degrees latitude north of the equator (Guatemala), the southern composite imagery would not have looked like a tree, and certainly not as a giant man in a striped garment, as was recorded in Australia, but as bulbous entities or, as I have noted elsewhere -- an opossum or a turtle.
Book 11 of the Chilam Balam likewise identifies the three Gods as three stones far to the south, below the South Pole, set beneath the "One Stone," Saturn in the north. "Beneath" describes that Saturn, as the starting point for the streams of electrons, appeared above the streams in the north. The south is not specifically identified, except as suggested by the geometry of being "beneath" and "in the dust at the feet." The dust very likely also represents the equatorial rings of the south. The brilliant ball plasmoids would easily shine through these, but the image would glitter or shimmer with the movement of the rings."And then the earth arose because of them, it was simply their word that brought it forth."
I need not point out that here, as elsewhere in the world, the "Earth" which "arose" was not where we live, but the "land" or "Paradise" above the north horizon. The Popol Vuh immediately returns the reference to "Earth" back to our globe, however. Note also that, like in Egyptian mythology, the creation happens because of spoken words.
The Mud People, the Wooden People
The Popol Vuh next launches into the creation of animals, who cannot speak and praise the Gods, and then the first two attempts to make humans, first of mud, which were simply allowed to dissolve.
After the mud people dissolve, and before the creation of the wooden people, the Gods of the south meet again with the Gods of the north:"When Hurricane had spoken with the Sovereign Plumed Serpent, they invoked the daykeepers, diviners, and midmost seers."
This time Xpiyacoc and Xmucane are invoked, under a number of dual names, and as suggested by Hurricane. At the end of a long dialogue on methods, Plumed Serpent speaks, reprimanding the "Heart of Sky" (which includes Hurricane):"Have shame, you up there, Heart of Sky, attempt no deception before the mouth and face of Sovereign Plumed Serpent," they said.
And so the wooden people were created and populated the Earth. The wooden people are a failure also, for "they did not remember the Heart of Sky."
"The Heart of Sky devised a flood for them," plus destructions by falling tar, by wild animals, and crushing by trees and rocks, where the wild animals and the trees and rocks are likely plasma discontinuities.
During the destruction of the wooden humans, which included attacks by kitchen utensils, the Popol Vuh states that "their hearth stones were shooting out." Tedlock illustrates this with glyphic representations of the three hearth stones, which are said to have entered the sky at some time in the past, and constitute three stars of Orion (but only one of the belt stars) in the form of a triangle enclosing M-42, looking like a central fire.
"Sometime in the past" is in dispute. Tedlock, in a note, points out that Freidel "places the event at the beginning of a new age and raising the entire sky rather than just the hearth stones." Freidel, although he may have "obscured" the dating, is correct within these parameters. The three stones in question (in the constellation Orion) are located below the Pleiades (actually slightly removed, below the tail of Taurus), and would only have become visible after the fall of the Absu, in 2349 BC, the date of the end of the "third creation." The "third creation" clearly constituted a new age, and the raising of the (southern) sky. The "flood" mentioned here in the Popol Vuh is probably the flood of 3147 BC, not the fall of the Absu in 2349 BC. However, I think the placement of the hearth stones took place in the era after 10,900 BC, as the three plasmoids of the south sky. The later Maya related this to the current condition of the sky and identified them as stars in the constellation Orion.
Cardona, in "Darkness and the Deep" (Aeon V III), quotes H. Osborne, in South American Mythology (1970), as:"Some mythological cycles feature a primitive age of darkness before the existence of the sun, when human beings lived in a state of anarchy without the techniques of civilized life. Sometimes myths in this category appear to embody a confused racial memory of a hunting and food-gathering stage. It is not uncommon for them to be associated with a tradition of the destruction of the primitive food-gathering race by a creator god and the creation of new races"
This parallels the destruction of the manikins, the wooden people, of the Popol Vuh. If, after the worldwide flood of 3147 BC, the survivors came to inspect coastal areas and survey the carcasses gnawed by scavengers and the remnants of villages, they might easily reach the conclusion that a previous generation of humans had been destroyed by the Gods.
Additionally, the "crushing by stones and trees" recounts the effects at the extreme edges of the gigantic compressive impulse in North America, but experienced to a lesser degree also in Central America and northern South America. The "fall of tar" can be accounted for as a sludge of rainwater and micro particles of carbon which fell as far south as Venezuela.
The "Heart of Sky" continues to be invoked further into the narrative as a primary God, but at this point Seven-Macaw is introduced in a prelude to the next book. He sits at the top of a nance tree, and pretends, very proudly, to be the Sun and the Moon. Seven-Macaw is held to be the constellation Ursa Major by the Maya as by archaeologists. I would agree, although the description of Seven-Macaw hardly qualifies him as simply a seven star constellation."So be it [Seven-Macaw speaks]: my light is great. I am the walkway and am the foothold [the night light] of the people, because my eyes are of metal. My teeth just glitter with jewels, and turquoise as well, they stand out blue like the face of the sky. And this nose of mine shines white into the distance like the Moon."
"And so Seven-Macaw puffs himself up as the days and the months, though the light of the sun and moon has not yet clarified"
As Tedlock points out, Seven-Macaw, named "kakix" in the Popol Vuh, describes a scarlet macaw, which has a white beak.
Book 2: The Fall of Seven-MacawThis part is seen as an interlude, for real humans have not been created yet. It describes the adventures of two hunter boys, Hunahpu and Xbalanque, who strike the plumed bird Seven-Macaw who resides on top of (what will turn out to be) the celestial tree in the north. This places the event in 3147 BC. Seven-Macaw's two giant sons, Jupiter, looking like a green mountain, and Mars, on its 300 years of destructive visits to Earth, are dispatched also. The twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque are gods, yet they have parents, described in the next book.
The Celestial Bird
The action of removing the celestial bird at the North Pole is set in July of 685 BC. The removed bird is Ursa Major. The action of the twins in accomplishing this is then moved, with Hunahpu and Xbalanque still as the actors, to 3147 BC, where the earlier celestial bird of the North Pole is actually the whole of the Saturnian polar display. Certainly Seven-Macaw is pretty, with a display of colorful plumage, pretty teeth, and metal disk around his eyes. Tedlock relates the disks to the eyepatches of scarlet macaws. Birds don't have teeth, though, but this is as likely some reference to the original text which has failed to resonate for us. Most often many of the details of the Popol Vuh story can be identified. Tedlock, in fact, furnishes a parallel reading in terms of Tzolkin day names, the cycles of Venus, and geography. Much of it makes sense, but some of it has other sources, which I will point out. The constructed narrative -- built around the bare facts -- has all the sense of being of long standing.
In notes by Tedlock it is revealed that Hunahpu's name could be rendered as "First Blowgunner" ("Hun Ahaw" in Yucatec, "One Lord," "First Lord," or "First Hunter") as well as having a meaning which reflects an affinity with Venus as the morning star, under the same name. All this is appropriate when it is recalled that in June and July of 685 BC, and as the "Sibylline Star Wars" document of AD 115 also relates, the two entities battling in the skies do so with "long fire-flames." Kugler described his impression as, "the light of the sun was replaced by long streams of flame crossing each other," looking, in fact, like the twins were carrying blowguns. Thus the "long fire flames" are the blowguns of the twins. Only birds were hunted with blowguns.
The name Xbalanque, as I have pointed out earlier (and also based on Tedlock's notes on this), can be understood as "Little Jaguar of the Night." Tedlock points out that the name could also be understood to mean "the sun's hidden aspect," although that just plays on the later association of the blowgunner boys with the Sun and the Moon. In Yucatec the face glyph for Xbalanque reads as, "Yax Bolon" which reads directly as "First Nine," but the "nine" head of the glyph is always shown with jaguar spots, which Tedlock understands as a pun on "balam," that is, "jaguar." Completing the glyphic literary device, this would also refer to "Bolon Dzacab," "Nine Lives," the name for Mars since remote antiquity.
This suggests that Hunahpu and Xbalanque are Venus and Mars, and this was my understanding at first. In fact, this is true for their noted appearance in 776 BC, during the celestial ballgame. Thus in 776 BC Venus and Mars play the role of the father and uncle of Hunahpu and Xbalanque, named One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu. But as likely One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu make their appearance in 762 BC when they clearly are Mars and Mercury. Only directly after 747 BC (15 years later) could the skull of One-Hunahpu be seen hung in a calabash tree.
It is always the same two twins, except in 685 BC, when Mars is away to the west of the Sun, and it is Venus and Mercury which blaze for 40 days. The idea of twins in the sky resounds in almost every mythological record of recent antiquity of every nation, even in China and Australia.
Tedlock points out that if Hunahpu represents Venus, and Seven-Macaw is Ursa Major (both of which are correct for 685 BC), then the nance tree which Seven-Macaw feeds on, "the great tree of Seven-Macaw," is the Milky Way. In response to the twins suggesting "We could shoot him while he is at his meal," Tedlock places Ursa Major high above the pole, locates Venus yet at the horizon, and points out that nances start to ripen in June. A June evening would the occasion for the blowgun shot.
The location of Ursa Major above the pole is not needed, as the reader will realize, for it is the displacement of Ursa Major which will be accomplished here -- in 685 BC. Also, at this date Ursa Major will not fall but will rise. Because of the latitude from which this is seen, Ursa Major is precariously close to the north horizon at, say, midnight, and it is toward the north horizon that it would thus fall as the night progressed. But the graphical rendition of this action on a pot ("the Blowgunner Pot") shows how the action of killing Seven-Macaw during his meal was to be understood: The tree grew out of the south. In fact the tree has the Witz mountain face at its base, a recollection of the Absu. Of course there is here some tree confusion. The Milky Way seems to be substituted for the tree which had earlier held up Saturn.
But clearly it is from the perspective of the south that the Blowgunner pot is to be understood. Seven-Macaw will fall but only during daylight hours; after 8am Seven-Macaw will fall toward the south. The date in June is appropriate, for it was on June 15 that Venus and Mercury start to blaze -- during daylight hours.
Tedlock notes that in the Dresden Codex, for the year AD 1235, "the confrontation occurs when Venus makes one last appearance as the evening star ... [with the last appearance on about] June 10th, AD 1235." This is also based on seeing Seven-Macaw climbing up the nance tree every night. This is not the correct year or the correct action.
[Image: "Done by Hun-Ahau; on 1-Ahau 3-Kankin he entered the sky, Itzam-Yeh." After David Freidel and Linda Schele "Maya Cosmos" (1993).]
By 7 pm Ursa Major is above the pole, then starts to "fall down" in the west. The tree of the Milky Way, however, is not anywhere near. It stretches across the horizon at nightfall, but stands up straight after midnight and as Ursa Major touches the horizon in its fall. By that time Venus has long disappeared below the horizon. The Milky Way, in fact, does not go through Ursa Major or the polar stars.
This reflects the efforts of both Tedlock and the Maya to come to an understanding of ancient records. It would have been perfectly reasonable for the 13th century AD Dresden Codex to recast the events of the remote past to match the skies as if it had been without variation since the 7th century BC.
Hunahpu shoots a pellet at Seven-Macaw, which breaks his jaw, loosening his teeth, and he falls to the ground. As Hunahpu approaches, Seven-Macaw rips off Hunahpu's arm. Shooting Seven-Macaw is marked on the pot as happening on May 28th, 3148 BC. The year is 32 years before the year of 3114 BC retrocalculated by the Olmecs or Maya as the end of a previous era, and makes no sense except to suggest that it happened in the astronomical year -3148, where I have used the BC notation for astronomical years, thus 3147 BC of my general chronology. [note 7]
To end up with this date (as Haab and Tzolkin dates) on a vase suggests a retrocalculation at a much later date, but based on earlier sunset locations rather than anything as concrete as a Tzolkin and Haab day combination (which were not in use yet). As I have suggested earlier, this might have been the seasonal day when the Saturnian system crashed. If so, it would mark the "return" location of the orbit of Earth after being released by Saturn -- the aphelion -- and thus the summer solstice.
Rose and Vaughan in 1974 suggested that the aphelion of Earth's orbit moved 10 or 15 degrees in 685 BC. This is not the 15 degree shift in the equinox, but taken together it moves the date assigned to the solstice. This would locate the previous solstice some 25 or 30 days earlier than July 4th. This would be equivalent to 36 to 43 days on a previous calendar, partially on a calendar of 225 days. The Appendix "Celestial Mechanics" details the calculation.
This detail of shooting Seven-Macaw in the jaw is difficult to trace to known facts from the Eastern Mediterranean, India, or China, and it gets more difficult when the authors of the Popol Vuh include incidents from other time periods.
But the detail of Hunahpu losing his arm (torn off "at the shoulder") can be found among many sequences of the mythological events for 3147 BC, as, for example, Beowulf ripping off the arm of Grendel "at the shoulder." Grendel is Venus.
At this junction, both of the boys are located in 3147 BC as the very visible Venus and Mars. It is Hunahpu, Venus, who wields the blowgun as the plasma stream connection to Saturn. In the next moment, as Seven-Macaw (Saturn) falls (like Osiris fell on his side and died), the plasma connection between Venus and Saturn is interrupted -- Hunahpu loses his arm. About the ripped-off arm, Tedlock writes, "At this point Seven-Macaw's behavior departs from that of an actual macaw." No kidding!
Seven-Macaw, Itzam-Yeh the water wizard, has been identified as God-D, which I in turn have identified as Saturn -- although this should be obvious from the bird imagery and the perch atop a nance tree, which was probably the polar column from before 3147 BC, but became identified as the Milky Way 4000 years later. Note that the text of the pot reads, "he entered the sky, Itzam-Yeh." It was the release of Saturn from its stationary perch in the north which plunged it into the "skies" of the south.
Seven-Macaw goes home, while the boys engage two elderly tooth pullers and bone setters in their plot, Great White Peccary (Neptune) and the long-snouted Great White Coati (Uranus). Both were known from much older records (making them elderly indeed). Great White Peccary had not been seen in the last few thousand years. Both, in fact, are listed among the "Heart of Lake" Gods of Book 1. Now, in 3147 BC, as the Earth suddenly lifted its orbit toward the Sun, they were both seen again, departing from Saturn. Great White Peccary and Great White Coati, under the guise of providing a cure, pull the blue teeth of Seven-Macaw, and remove the rings from around his eyes; "the last of his metal came off."
This is an interesting detail, for if Saturn kept his jewels, eye rings, and whatever adornments until he fell in 3147 BC, that would suggest that Saturn was still in arc mode plasma discharge to the very last. Perhaps the earlier ring of 56 streamers of electrons in arc mode had stopped, but the surface of the planet was still blazing like a sun in 3147 BC. As the Chilam Balam reads, "then [first] it was that fire descended, then [next] the rope descended."
Eye rings are an unusual form of jewelry, and I can only imagine this as the equatorial rings of Saturn. When Earth changed the inclination of its orbit, and started climbing up toward the Sun's equatorial plane, Saturn would have been seen edge on, and the rings (eye rings?) would have disappeared. Similarly, the blue teeth can probably be equated to the inline sight of the core of plasma streamers in arc mode (headed for the planets below Saturn). That would have ceased as Saturn came under the electric field influence of Jupiter, as would otherwise certainly have happened when Saturn started to move away from the Sun. That Itzam-Yeh died is certain, for nothing is ever heard of any activity of Saturn again -- anywhere in the world.
The mention of "metal" as part of Seven-Macaw's "brilliance" and "fiery splendor" hint at the fact that the nature of his adornments is a late interpretation. Mesoamerica was a stone-age society which gained only a limited metallurgy by Aztec times.
When Seven-Macaw died, because of the removal of his grandeur, his wife, Chimalmat, also died. Chimalmat is held to include the stars of the Ursa Minor, "shield net" in Nahuatl, as noted by Tedlock. If the pan of Ursa Major initially rotated at the pole (before 685 BC), then Ursa Minor would look like a net being cast in a semi-circle each night. I think this is a later attempt at rationalization. As likely it is Uranus, the planet with the long hair, which was visible near Saturn for thousands of years, and known in the Chilam Balam as the sister of Oxlahun-ti-ku, Saturn. Uranus is an unremarkable dark planet, and would likely have all but disappeared from view after losing its plasma connection to Saturn.
With Seven-Macaw and Chimalmat dead, the elderly doctors graft the arm of Hunahpu back on him, an event noted in the Bible as the return of Noah's dove with an olive branch in his mouth.
The boys then go to kill the two sons of Seven-Macaw, the giant Zipacna, whose name and certainly his habits (says Tedlock) are those of a cayman, and Earthquake. Without a doubt Zipacna is Jupiter, a green mountain, understood in Egypt as the green mummified body of Osiris (directly after 3147 BC). His cayman attributes will be recognized from the depiction of Jupiter in Olmec iconography dating to 685 BC, when the lower mountainous plasma plume is recorded as looking like the down-pointing head of a crocodile with open jaws. This last form will be retained into the era of the Classical Maya, although Zipacna is mostly depicted as slithering along a river's edge like a real cayman or crocodile. On the "seven Gods pot" Zipacna is shown above Jupiter.
The other son is Earthquake. "Mountains are moved by him; the mountains, small and great, are softened by him," reads the Popol Vuh.
But before the blowgunner boys go after these two, we are told of an adventure of Zipacna and the Four Hundred Boys. The Four Hundred Boys are acknowledged to be the Pleiades, but probably could also signify the 400 stars of the south. "Four hundred" is a word for "multitude," often translated from the Chilam Balam as "infinite." The incident takes place in 2349 BC, the time of the fall of the Absu and the end of the "third creation," and known to us as the "flood of Noah."
The Four Hundred Boys are dragging a log for their house and ask the passing Zipacna to help them, which he does. They decide, however, to kill him, for he is too powerful. They ask him to help dig a hole for the center post and, while Zipacna is down in the hole, they cast in the center post with the purpose of killing him. Presuming Zipacna has been killed (he plays along with the trick), the Four Hundred Boys get on to preparing their fermented maguey drink, which takes three days.
"And then [on the third day] all the boys got drunk, and once they were drunk, all four hundred of those boys, they weren't feeling a thing." That is when Zipacna exploded from the hole, where he had been hiding in a side cavity, and brought down the house on the Four Hundred Boys. The authors at this point note that the Four Hundred Boys became the Pleiades, but wonder if that is just a play on words in Quiche.
The reader will recognize a number of elements from the actual events of 2349 BC. Zipacna reappears after three days. The Four Hundred Boys are stinking of alcohol when they get killed. The blood in the sky is from their death. The Pleiades had appeared in the south sky for the first time. The center post of the house is the south polar plasma plume which appeared before Zipacna rose and was seen standing in the hole. The hole is the gap in the Absu at the time of the fall equinox.
The shock to the Earth, on the day of the fall equinox in 2349 BC, would have tilted the northern hemisphere of Earth away from the Sun. This would have moved the Absu up. The result would be to change the two mountains with the gap in between (as the Absu would look like at the time of the equinox) to the usual semicircular structure, with the Earth's shadow again representing the rounded doorway. The house of the Four Hundred Boys is visually completed with that.
And then it got "blown up" by Zipacna -- it showed again as an open gap as the Earth's axis returned to its original position. The house, mainly outlined by its doorway, now had disappeared, but the center post -- the southern plasma plume of the Earth -- stood in the center. All these elements are associated with 2349 BC, and with the worldwide celebrations of the Day of the Dead. Implied also is the fact that Zipacna next rose from the gap (appeared) in all his glory. Missing from the tale are the raging goddesses of the Eastern Mediterranean who wade in the blood of humans. But there are almost no goddesses in Maya mythology.
Next the blowgunner boys take on Zipacna. "It's mere fish and crabs that Zipacna looks for in the waters ... going around looking for his food by day and lifting up mountains by night." Zipacna searches the waters of the Absu. If he only lifts mountains at night then we have to conclude that not much of Jupiter and his giant lower mountain-like form was seen during daylight hours, but only at night. This is another of the rare references to the equatorial rings as a sea, or at least, as water. The inferred difference between the daytime and nighttime look of Jupiter is something which was never recorded elsewhere in the world.
The boys create an artificial crab, and place it in the overhang of a mountain. They meet a hungry Zipacna, and direct him to the giant crab. Amid various sexual innuendos the Popol Vuh tells of how Zipacna approaches the crab (a metaphor for "vulva") by crawling underneath -- up to his kneecaps. The mountain settles on him and he dies by turning to stone.
You will recognize the crab form with two extended claw arms, or the legs of Zipacna, as the "shen" form assumed by the coma of Jupiter when it entered the asteroid belt in about 2850 BC -- three hundred years after 3147 BC. This is the first of the two offending planets to be disposed of by the twins.
The second to be tracked down is Earthquake, who prided himself of his destructions, "I just scatter mountains, and I am the one who breaks them, in the course of the days, in the course of the light" (which means "all the time"). Notice that if Earthquake (Mars) worked both night and day, he would have been seen both inside and outside the orbit of Earth, as I have pointed out in an earlier chapter.
Earthquake is fed a bird baked in clay (the Popol Vuh reads "plaster"). Together with the boys he walks east, to view a very large mountain, but Earthquake has weakened from eating the bird baked in "earth" (plaster). The boys bind him hand and foot, and bury him.
It was the God Hurricane who directed them to go east with Earthquake to look for a mountain and lure him "into sitting down." Tedlock notes that Hurricane may have meant a burial. I cannot place the mountain in the east, for it would have to be Jupiter with its extensive lower coma, but Jupiter had disappeared (in the actual proper sequence) into the asteroid belt 100 or more years before 2700 BC when Earthquake disappeared.
The removal of Earthquake to the east seems like the observation over an extended time period of the progressive rotation of the second nodal point of the orbit of Mars. Mars may have been seen crossing Earth's orbit further and further away each year, until after some years it was just a distant speck. His walk would slow, as it did when seen at a remove from Earth. "In the east" also assumes an outer orbit for Mars, so that when the Earth passed Mars it was first seen in the east. On an orbit with an aphelion much further from the Sun than Earth, it could have looked as if Mars just disappeared into the ecliptic and died. In fact, he should have disappeared in the west. The bird covered with earth may signify the pitted lower hemisphere of Mars. At any rate, note that the death of Earthquake is hardly as spectacular as that that of Zipacna. Earthquake just disappears.
Book 3: The BallgameHere the story steps back to relate the demise of the father and uncle of Hunahpu and Xbalanque at the hands of the Gods of Xibalba, the Underworld, who had invited them to a ballgame. The severed head of One-Hunahpu, the father of Xbalanque and Hunahpu, is hung from a calabash tree.
The tree is visited by Blood Moon, daughter of one of the Xibalban Lords, and is impregnated by the severed head of One-Hunahpu. She goes to live with One-Hunahpu's mother, and bears Hunahpu and Xbalanque.
Hunahpu and Xbalanque in turn play a ballgame with the Gods of Xibalba, but trick them throughout the games. They eventually offer themselves to be sacrificed, but return magically to signal the start of creation. Although often presented as such, they do not "become" the Sun and the Moon.
One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu
The Popol Vuh now recounts three generations of its gods, placed in the time before the First Creation. Two of the original five Gods of the "Heart of Lake," Xpiyacoc and Xmucane, which had been listed as "the midwife" and the "matchmaker," are parents to One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu. These two will be the subject of the first part of this book. Xpiyacoc and Xmucane are probably Neptune and Uranus. Uranus is the woman, because of her long hair.
One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu I cannot place easily, although as soon as they venture into playing ball with the Lords of the Underworld, they are obviously Venus and Mars in 776 BC (could be 762 BC), using Mercury as the ball, as I have pointed out earlier, although the tradition among catastrophists is that the Moon was the ball. The interaction of Mars and the Moon, as well as an electric interaction between Venus and Mars, are established from Homeric literary sources. We have to assume that the date of 776 BC is indeed the celestial event which formed the basis for the foot races which were the first events celebrated as the Olympic Games in Greece, and may have constituted the first religiously based ballgames in Mesoamerica.
Venus and Mars can be placed near Earth in 776 BC, on the assumption of differing ellipticity of their orbits. I would still opt for Mercury playing the role of the ball, since both in 3000 to 2700 BC as well as during the period of 806 to 686 BC Mercury most likely showed up whenever Mars cruised close to Earth. See Appendix A, "Notes on Chronology," and the chapter "The Chilam Balam" for details. Mercury cannot be placed near Earth in 776 BC with an ephemeris, for Mercury radically changed its orbit in 686 BC as the result of an electric repulsive shock with Earth.
One-Monkey and One-Artisan
Before engaging in the ballgame, however, One-Hunahpu marries Egret Woman and begets two sons, One-Monkey and One-Artisan. Egret Woman is probably, again, Uranus, although perhaps not (see below). These two boys are likely to be the two large satellites of Uranus. They appear as the eye-slits of many, if not most, of the Venus figurines during and after the Upper Paleolithic, as I mentioned for an exemplary figurine at Dolni Vestonice in Moravia (see the chapter "Saturn and Archaeology").
One-Hunahpu, Seven-Hunahpu, One-Monkey, and One-Artisan play ball together, every day. A falcon, "the messenger of Hurricane," would come to watch them. This is not so difficult to place, since I have earlier assumed that Saturn's travel was as a seated bird, like the falcon seated on the name-serekhs of Egyptian pharaohs.
Another detail mentioned by the Popol Vuh is the death of Egret Woman, the mother of One-Monkey and One-Artisan. If Egret Woman was Uranus, then we have to guess why she disappeared. From the Chilam Balam might be suggested that Uranus disappeared into the flower that was Saturn. This is likely the disappearance from view as Earth moved closer to the rotational axis of Saturn. Saturn is large enough to completely cover Uranus, even though it was offset from the rotational axis of the planet stack.
But I'm not sure on this. One-Monkey and One-Artisan are later told to be living with their grandmother, Xmucane, who I have also identified as Uranus, although she is as likely to be identified with Mercury. With an atmosphere and a coma, and being much closer to Earth and in full view, Mercury is an obvious candidate for being the grandmother. Xmucane continues to play a major role in the family.
The First Ballgame
It is the ruckus of their ballplaying which arouses the Lords of the Underworld to action. The Popol Vuh lists their names and tasks, representing all the maladies afflicting humans. There are 9 of them, including the leaders One-Death and Seven-Death. "What is happening on the face of the Earth? They should be summoned to play ball here."
One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu are playing ball at a ballcourt called "Great Hollow with Fish in the Ashes" when the Messenger Owls of the Lords of Xibalba arrive. Tedlock identifies "Great Hollow with Fish in the Ashes" as a location near Coban. That may have been a later geographical correspondence, but I would suggest a location in the night sky of the south defined by the Earth's trapezoid-shaped shadow on the equatorial rings at the time of the equinox.
The "Great Hollow" was last seen at the time of the end of the "third creation" at the fall equinox in 2349 BC. It is the view to the south and is an image which defines a flat plane between two mountains, or a cleft mountain, and so defines the ballcourt with its inclined embankments. What had also been seen were the fish and the fire -- the nine secondary plasmoids from Jupiter, looking like catfish, and their impact at the Sun. (The Sun was also located in the "gap," since this was the time of the equinox.) The main plasmoid, seen in India and the Mediterranean as a dragon or as an angry goddess wading in blood, was not seen in Mesoamerica, as I have detailed earlier. All this information must have been recorded graphically in the source books of the authors of the Popol Vuh and differs as expected from the imagery of Asia and the Mediterranean region.
Tedlock suggests that the fishes and ashes possibly prefigure the incineration of Hunahpu and Xbalanque in the oven of the Lords of Xibalba, the tossing of the bone ashes into the river (the ecliptic), and the later sighting of Hunahpu and Xbalanque as catfish. That is true in that this element of prehistory from 2349 BC will be incorporated into the narrative again later.
That some location in Guatemala ended up named after this event does not surprise me. Ceremonial sites were also named after graphical elements from the books of antiquity. An example is Yaxchilan, whose "emblem glyph" (and thus its proper name) seems to be "cleft sky" -- a clear reference to the skies before the end of the "third creation" of 2349 BC. [note 8]
It could be suggested that the fish (in the Great Hollow with Ashes) is the constellation or zodiac sign of the shark. This would show at night at the spring equinox as our constellation Libra, but not at night at the fall equinox, but at high noon instead. (It is clear that the Olmecs and Maya knew where unseen constellations were located in the daytime skies.) In either case Libra appears near the location of the crossing of the last equatorial ring and the ecliptic. The rapids that One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu had to cross on their way to the crossroads are likely the close grouping of Messier objects east of Libra, in Scorpio and Aquarius (M11, M17, M20, M8, M22, M6, and M7). In fact, the Popol Vuh tells that they passed through "Scorpion Rapids." The constellation Scorpio is directly east of and below Libra, and has the same name in Mesoamerica as in Babylon.
One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu follow the messenger owls after stashing their ball in the rafters of their mother's house. Following the owls, "... they descended the road to Xibalba, going down over the edge of a steep slope." This is followed by Rustling Canyon, Gurgling Canyon, and Scorpion Rapids before they reach and cross the River of Blood and the River of Pus and reach the Crossroads. Tedlock finds a geographical sequence equivalent to the canyons (with some additional details), but switches to a celestial journey at Scorpion Rapids.
It should be obvious that the River of Blood is the remaining ring of the Absu which lasted into the current era. Likewise the River of Pus is the ecliptic, what the Chinese called the Yellow Road. The Crossroads are the same two rivers when these cross at the equinox, forming the Saint Andrew's cross. The colors associated with the four roads (the cross roads) are the traditional Maya directional colors, also mentioned in the Chilam Balam, and often applied to anything which might be related to the cardinal directions. One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu will move to the west in the sky to reach the night sky or the underside of Earth.
When One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu had reached the council place of the Lords of Xibalba, they make mistakes, greeting two manikins, sitting down on a hot seat (a griddle). They are told to enter Dark House for the night, "a house with darkness alone inside." The other four houses are listed, and Tedlock notes that together with the first house these could easily be five of the 13 Maya constellations of the zodiac, under various conditions of the movement of Venus, either the 90-day disappearance after an easterly setting, or the reappearances of Venus on the repeating five-year cycle. I agree, with some reservations, but will attempt to tie some of the houses to actual locations in the sky in the five instances of a close approach of Mars during the period of 747 to 687 BC. I should also point out that the five houses which were designed to kill Hunahpu and Xbalanque may be equated to the five graves prepared for Mars at the Olmec site of La Venta -- the last of which is in the form of a giant cayman. I suspect that the earlier incident of One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu playing ball, or preparing to play ball, represents Venus and Mars in 776 BC. Both disappear after being seen near Earth.
One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu are brought a torch and two lighted cigars, and told to return them in the morning. But the next morning the torch and cigars have been used up, and the Xibalbans announce, "This very day, your day is finished, you will die, you shall disappear." The Popol Vuh continues:"And then they were sacrificed and buried. They were buried at the Place of Ball Game Sacrifices, as it is called. The head of One-Hunahpu was cut off; only his body was buried with his younger brother."
One-Hunahpu's head is placed "in the fork of the tree that stands by the road," later identified as located at the Place of Ball Game Sacrifices. It is a calabash tree and bears fruit after One-Hunahpu's head is hung from the tree. It is likely that the tree by the road is a polar plasma plume, and thus One-Hunahpu's head is seen as the ball plasmoid at the end of the plume.
"By the road" implies the South Pole, for the ecliptic and equatorial were not seen in the north, and the "Place of Ball Game Sacrifices" was likely the gap in the Absu seen before 2349 BC, which has the cross section of a ballcourt with embankments on both sides. (This is also the image presented by the glyph meaning "ballcourt.")
Blood Moon, a daughter of one of the Lords, comes to visit the tree, and the skull of One-Hunahpu speaks to her, in yet another round of sexual innuendos:"Why do you want a mere bone, a round thing in the branches of a tree?" said the head of One-Hunahpu when it spoke to the maiden. "You don't want it," she was told.
"I do want it," said the maiden.
The skull of One-Hunahpu spits in her hand and she becomes pregnant with Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Six months later the Lords notice, and after she denies her pregnancy, "there is no man whose face I have known," the Lords command the Messenger Owls to take her away, sacrifice her, and bring back her heart.
"Blood Moon" is actually Saturn in remote antiquity in a red glow condition sometime after what we call creation. Her name is a play on "blood" and "moon." The severed head, likewise, now is Uranus suspended above Saturn at a time when all the Saturnian planets could still be distinguished and seen in separation with respect to each other, probably a time in the European Magdalenian period, around 17,000 ya, when the view of the Saturnian planets was elongated. Uranus would have hung at the top of the tree-like assembly. As usual, the Popol Vuh mixes details from events separated by tens of thousands of years.
Blood Moon talks the owls out of their task, substituting congealed croton sap for her heart. (Being clever is a prized personality trait throughout the Americas.) Blood Moon goes to live with the grandmother of One-Monkey and One-Artisan, and after being accepted by Xmucane, gives birth to the twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque. Hunahpu and Xbalanque are here most likely Venus and Mars, which show up when Saturn, initially pregnant, goes nova, "they were born suddenly." We can ask, how else is one born? But there was some need to point this out.
The Popol Vuh also states, "They were born in the mountains, and then they came into the house." I can't place the mountains, and much less the house, unless the mountains are a representation of the rings of Saturn (which also might be the house). It is also possible that these are earthly mountains, the mountains of Mexico and Guatemala at a time when the Olmecs had very likely migrated to western coastal Guatemala. From this new vantage point Saturn would no longer rise out of the sea, but would rotate into the sky from beyond the local mountains.
Hunahpu and Xbalanque
I won't recall their early childhood, or their contentions with One-Monkey and One-Artisan, who are turned into long-tailed monkeys by Hunahpu and Xbalanque. The monkeys clamber up a tree "the kind called yellow tree." Recall from the chapter "Saturn and Archaeology" the image of three European Gravettian figurines (27,000 to 24,000 ya), each in buff or amber limestone. This is the yellow tree. If, as I have pointed out elsewhere, satellites of some of these planets orbited in a pattern which alternately took them out and back into the enclosing plasma of Uranus, they would most likely look to have long connecting tails to the plasma. Monkeys, indeed.
What stands out is a later activity, the cultivation of a patch of ground by Hunahpu and Xbalanque. They arrive with their blowguns, and set a mattock and hoe in the ground, and place an axe in a tree trunk. The gardening implements proceed to cultivate the ground by themselves while the boys go hunting. The cultivation of the patch of ground is paralleled by information of Book 10 of the Chilam Balam which details the First Creation:"Then came the beating of (things) with wood and stone."
-- Book 10, Chilam Balam
As I have pointed out, this implies a rotation, or at least a rocking of the Saturnian polar configuration as seen from Earth -- not the rotation of the planet itself, but the rotation of Saturn about the North Pole, so that Venus, the stone, and Uranus, the wood, would also rotate. These two might easily pass for a mattock and hoe. (Book 11 of the Chilam Balam reverses the assignment to Venus and Uranus.)
The cleared garden, however, is put back to its original state at night by wild animals. Hunahpu and Xbalanque hide out to catch them in the act of reconstituting the weeds of the garden, but this action is never followed up on, for they catch a rat, who in return for his freedom only reveals the whereabouts of their father's rubber ball and gaming equipment among the rafters of their grandmother's house.
The Later Ballgame
One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu had been told by the Lords of Xibalba to bring their gaming equipment, but they had left it behind, stowed in their mother's house among the rafters. The grateful rat secretly chews through the binding to release the ball.
[Image: The ballcourt markers from Copan, circa AD 700. After Freidel and Schele.]
I would equate the rafters of Xmucane's house to the crossing of the ecliptic and the remaining equatorial ring, and the hung ball as the ball plasmoid at the end of the south polar plasma plume. This equates the release of the ball with a time of the equinoxes, when they would cross to form the rafters. A set of three ballcourt markers at Copan shows balls suspended from twisted cords at the north and south markers, each hung from a tree. At the center marker a ball is in play between Hunahpu and One-Death, the latter being the chief Lord of Xibalba.
The tree of the north is labeled "Nine Successions," the tree of the south is labeled "Seven Successions." There is no question that these represent the polar plasma plumes, labeled with the number of times they made an appearance. (The records of Palenque differ by one count for the northern plasma plume which is called "north-eight-house.")
The rat, in this case, would probably be Mercury, who played the mouse in the 686 BC drama of chewing through the noose of the Sun. The sequencing of the Popol Vuh is here not too badly off, for the rat's release of the ball happens between the earlier ballgame of 776 BC and the events of 685 BC.
The boys take extensive measures to make sure that their grandmother does not see the ball, although mostly it goes to prove their cleverness. There is a curious inclusion in the narrative of the boys seeing a reflection of the overhead rat and the ball in their chili sauce, at which point they send out their grandmother to fetch water. The "reflection" is likely to be the other plasma plume ball plasmoid seen hanging from the tree of the north. (The rafters would only show up in the south.)
After sneaking the ball and playing equipment out of the house (why sneak?), the twins go to play ball every day at the court of their father and uncle. Of course the Lords of Xibalba are again disturbed, and send messengers to summon the boys. The messengers arrive at the house of the grandmother, who entrusts the message to a louse, who is swallowed by a toad, who is swallowed by a snake, who is swallowed by a falcon.
The animals regurgitate each other, a pun on "recall," but the boys have to kick the toad in the rear to loosen the louse, demonstrating why toads do not have tails. They hurry home and the boys plant a maize ear each, prefiguring their future death and rebirth with the death and sprouting of the maize, and tell their mother and grandmother to watch for such signs. Tedlock relates the ceremonial action to named Tzolkin days, including the disappearance of Venus on a following day. But the maize is planted "neither in the mountains nor where the earth is damp, but where the earth is dry, in the middle of the inside of their house."
The Planted Maize
Tedlock and his informant Andres Xiloj suggest that the "planted" maize is stored in the attic of the house, and represents a Quiche maize ceremony, the "winel," which, however, involves four plants, not two. (However, I have mentioned earlier, from current information from NASA, that the stems of the plasma plumes would have been seen in pairs, intertwined.) Despite the recognition of a current custom and ceremony in the details of the narrative, I think the proper interpretation only becomes clear later. The maize is not planted on Earth, but in the north and south of the sky. These represent the plasma plumes which were seen directly after the Earth shock of 747 BC, when the boys first arrived in Xibalba. These plumes soon disappeared, thus signaling the death of the boys to their grandmother. But 60 years later, in 685 BC, because of the altered electric field of the Sun, the plumes reappeared, signaling the rebirth of the boys."And this is their grandmother, crying and calling out in front of the ears of green corn they left planted. Corn plants grew, then dried up."
"And this is when they were burned in the oven; then the corn plants grew again."
The text reads that the grandmother "deified" the ears and named them. Four names are given, suggesting a connection to the "winel" ceremonies. The first pair of the sets of names is "Middle of the House, Middle of the Harvest" and second pair are named "Bed of Earth, Living Ears of Green Corn" -- as if to imply a celestial and an earthly maize manifestation. "Middle of the Harvest" is late summer or early fall, and "Middle of the House" probably signifies the fall equinox. In parallel, "Bed of Earth" might signify a horizon location above the land.
The first use of the four names has only a comma as a separator, but the following sentences which explain why the ears are so named, refers to them in the plural, although this does not mean much in translation."And she named the ears Middle of the House, Middle of the Harvest, because they had planted them right in the middle of the inside of their home."
"And she further named them Bed of Earth, Living Ears of Green Corn, since the ears had been placed up above an earthen floor."
Let me point out also the dark mode polar plasma plumes discovered by NASA in April of 2009 consisted of double plumes. I had not predicted double plumes, but the duality might be a function of the intensity of the plasma. Interestingly, I had predicted the polar plumes about a year earlier, and also assumed that they would be bending into the night side of the magnetosphere and rising up about 40,000 miles (64,000 km).
The plants grew, and then wilted. The first spurt of growth follows the change in Earth's orbit in 747 BC. They grew again after Venus and Mercury went nova in June of 685 BC.
Meanwhile, after planting the maize ears, the boys hurry to Xibalba."They went down to Xibalba, quickly going down the face of a cliff and crossed through the change of canyons [a series of canyons mentioned earlier]. They passed right through the birds -- the ones called throng birds -- and then they crossed Pus River and Blood River."
The canyons, rapids, and rivers were elucidated earlier in this text. The "throng birds" have been identified as migrating Swainson's hawks, thus placing the travel of the boys either in spring or autumn. Only spring fits with the close passages of Mars (and Mercury) during the last of February or early March of 747 BC. Mars and Mercury will constitute the first four instances of the twins in Xibalba. The last appearance will be played by Venus and Mercury. [note 9]
The boys reach the crossroads, which are now marked as Black, White, Red, and Green. Except for green, these are the directional colors associated with the cardinal directions noted in the Chilam Balam after 3147 BC, 2349 BC, and 1492 BC. The boys send a mosquito ahead to bite the Lords, and as a result learn their names. The boys enter, and, to the chagrin of the Lords, ignore the manikins, greet the Lords by their proper names, and avoid the hot seat.
They are told to enter Dark House for their first night's stay, and, like with their father and uncle, are brought two cigars and a torch, and told to return them next morning. But the boys are more clever, and substitute a macaw feather for the torch and set two fireflies at the end of the cigars.
We should reasonably be able to locate the feather and fireflies with an ephemeris program, even though both the Earth and Mars would still have been on elliptical orbits. There would be little chance of locating Mercury correctly in the skies, since, as I have explained, Mercury changed its orbit radically in 686 BC. The problem is, we do not know when the boys entered the five houses, especially if the houses are zodiacal constellations which would take Mars and Mercury below the western horizon. It would in each case be some weeks, or perhaps months, after the first appearances of Mars and Mercury in the sky, although more likely it would be immediately.
Or not. Tedlock places the entry into the first house at 7 days after leaving their grandmother. Tedlock counts seven days from mention of a word pun on the Tzolkin dayname "Aj" and the word "Ja" -- meaning "house" -- when the twins instruct their grandmother in the planting of the maize (Tedlock, page 39). Seven days after "Aj" ("Ben" in Yucatec) is the day "Junajpu" ("Ahau" in Yucatec). Tedlock relates this, and additional day names, to the Dresden Venus tables, and to the repeating cycle of appearances of Venus, which first rises as the Morning Star on the day name "Junajpu" -- the name of the twin (Hunahpu) associated with Venus. (The pun is mostly lost on me.)
I think, however, that if we follow this course we would have to place the entry into the first house 7 days after the Earth shock of February 28th, 747 BC (March 8, 748 BC Julian), when they were commanded to appear in Xibalba. Seven days after the first day of the Long Count of, 220.127.116.11.0 11-Ahau, would fall on 18.104.22.168.7 5-Manik. This is not the Tzolkin day suggested by Tedlock. But the actors here are Mars and Mercury, not Venus and Mars.
I would otherwise agree with Tedlock, since nearly 2000 years later the events of 685 BC had been rationalized in terms of the high science of the Maya -- the Tzolkin calendar. Yet this would not have happened without solid data from the records of the past, the "Council Book." It is interesting that most of the concordances found by Tedlock involve the planet Venus, who definitely is one of the twins involved in the immolation of 685 BC, but not at the earlier stays of the twins in the various overnight houses.
The "Council Book" was started by the Olmecs after February 28, 747 BC. This accounts for the fact that, although Mars (with Mercury) passed very close to Earth a total of nine times since 806 BC, only the last five "close encounters" are listed in the "Council Book" and only these show up in the Popol Vuh -- also represented, in fact, by the five graves found at La Venta. All the archaeological indications are that La Venta ceremonial center was initially built after 747 BC.
[Image: A torch and two cigars above Mars and the setting Sun; the Pleiades as the torch, the reddish variable stars Aldebaran and Betelgeuse as the cigars. From SkyGlobe 3.6.]
I would place the appearance in the first house -- the House of Darkness -- earlier than Tedlock does, because it seems likely that the torch and the two cigars, which were kept lit in Dark House by the twins, can be found in the sky. This event is clearly described in the text as the first of the test houses. I go now, to the first instance of February 28, 747 BC (March 8, 748 BC, Julian). Mars will not be seen in the night skies, for Mars is traveling in the daytime. At the end of the day on February 28th, after the Sun sets in the west, with Mars close by, the torch and the two cigars show up directly above the setting location of the Sun. I'll suggest that the Pleiades represents the torch. Since the Maya had identified the cluster M-42 as a fire within the "three hearth stones" of Orion, it seems reasonable to suggest a fire for the Pleiades also -- another close grouping of stars.
The cigar tips might be represented by any of some five bright stars, all located above Mars and the Sun at this date. These are, from west to east: Capella, Elnath, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, and Rigel. Interestingly, two of these, Aldebaran and Betelgeuse, are variable stars and either red or orange in color. They are also well above the equatorial, and thus unaffected by the remaining red equatorial ring, or by the shift in the location of the equatorial with respect to the dome of the stars after 685 BC.
... Bat House
When they reach Bat House (in 685 BC), the boys decide to sleep inside their blowguns, as a safeguard against Snatch Bats. It is the last house in the Popol Vuh, and here the "blowguns" are probably the appearance of plasma plumes at the north and south magnetic poles, the result of the Earth's contact with Mercury in 686 BC, in the year before the nova condition of the Sun which had Venus and Mercury blazing for 40 days.
This did not involve an increase in the orbit of Earth, but certainly the plasma contact changed the electric field of Earth, and polar plasma plumes were again generated, although they were probably limited. This in turn would suggest that the balls (or flower plumes) at the end might have only appeared briefly. This is the last house before the twins will dive into the oven of the Lords of Xibalba.
The brief appearance of a terminal plasmoid shape would then explain Hunahpu sticking his head out of the blowgun to check if it is getting light yet, and losing his head to one of the Snatch Bats -- whatever those are. Thus the incident can be understood as the appearance of a ball plasmoid at the end of one of the plumes, which soon disappeared again. The boys ask Old Man Possum to delay the dawn, and work on finding a substitute for Hunahpu's head. I have covered the appeal to Possum to make the stripes and delay the dawn in the chapter "The Peratt Column."
Bat House might fall into the proper order as the last house if we recognize that four planets plus the Sun and Moon (not Jupiter) congregated at this time (685 BC) in Pisces, which is the constellation Bat (Bat House, thus) at the end of February of 685 BC. But aside from this coincidence, nothing much is defined. Except that in the following few days, the Moon escapes this cluster and races toward the east as an ephemeris program will show.
The escaping Moon is the rabbit who rolled away from the ballgame as a decoy at the request of the boys -- as if he were Hunahpu's head which was being used as the ball -- with the Lords in pursuit. This of course is another trick by the twins, which allows time to retrieve and restore Hunahpu's real head. You will recognize the Mesoamerican iconography of the rabbit of the Moon.
Bowls of Flowers
Additionally, we cannot neglect the four bowls of flowers which the Lords of Xibalba insist on as a prize before the first ballgame is played."What should our prize be?" asked the Xibalbans.
"It's yours for the asking," was all the boys said.
"We'll just win four bowls of flowers," said the Xibalbans.
"Very well. What kinds of flowers?" the boys asked Xibalba.
"One bowl of red petals, one bowl of white petals, one bowl of yellow petals, and one bowl of whole ones," said the Xibalbans.
The colors are of course the directional colors, except for west, which should have been black, but for which whole flowers are substituted. Now it is possible that what is meant here is the appearance of plasma plumes at the cardinal directions with ball plasmoids (the "bowls") at the ends of the plumes and trifurcated plumes above these (the "petals"). I can readily imagine this to be the case for the north and south magnetic poles, at least directly after 747 BC, but it is difficult to imagine plumes in the east and west. As I have indicated earlier, these might have been the sun-lighted portion of the last equatorial ring seen standing almost upright (at 20 degrees north latitude) in the east and in the west. It is possible that the "bowls" at the end of the east and west spikes of the equatorial rings is nothing less than the view into the denser portion of an equatorial toroid -- the Van Allen belt, which traps ions and electrons above the equator of the Earth. In the earliest representations in Sumer these are shown as narrow waving flags surmounted by a circle. In Egypt they are the two flag standards on the Palette of Narmer with hawks on top.
There may be a much simpler solution, for the Chilam Balam claims the approach of Mercury, at the same time as the close passes of Mars -- the reason why the planets Mars and Mercury during these two centuries are known throughout the world as "the twins." I'll quote the relevant phrases here without comment. See the chapter "The Books of the Chilam Balam" for extensive speculation and comments on the meaning of these lines."With it descended Bolon Mayel [Nine Fragrances]; sweet was his mouth and the tip of his tongue. Sweet were his brains.""Then descended the four mighty supernatural jars [or, two mighty demon bats], this was the honey of the flowers.""Then there grew up for it the red unfolded calyx, the white unfolded calyx, the black unfolded calyx and the yellow unfolded calyx, those which were half a palm (broad) and those which were a whole palm (in breadth)."
"Then there sprang up the five-leafed flower, the five drooping (petals), the cacao (with grains like) a row of teeth, the 'ix-chabil-tok,' the little flower, 'Ix Macuil Xuchit,' the flower with the brightly colored tip, the 'laurel' flower, and the limping flower."
This cannot be either Mars or Venus, neither of which have a magnetic field, and would not support a "flower shape" above or below their poles. This is Mercury. Mercury probably comes as close to Earth as Mars did, but at a higher latitude. Here are the bowls of flowers, and although I count 9 flower types (representing the 9 appearances of Mercury of the Chilam Balam), only 4 would have been recorded in the "Council Book" for the period after 747 BC. The fifth time Mercury did not show; it relocated in 686 BC.
Of course the boys collect the four bowls by having cutting ants steal them during the night from the Xibalbans. Only four bowls of flowers are required. I would suggest that these might have represented prizes for the four games which are played. The first game of 748 BC (Julian) is played on Earth. The following four, 733, 718, 703, and 688 BC (all Julian), are played in Xibalba. But only three games are mentioned in the Popol Vuh. The boys lose one game, play one to a draw, and win the game involving Hunahpu's head. The ball playing instances do not add up, or there is something missing here.
Into the Oven of Xibalba
After surviving the overnight stay in five houses, the Xibalbans attempt to trick the boys into jumping into their oven. But the boys respond with:"'Watch!' they said, then they faced each other. They grabbed each other by the hands and went head first into the oven."
Following a suggestion among Tedlock's notes, the day in 685 BC when the boys faced each other, held hands, and jumped into the oven, can be found as June 15, Gregorian. It is a day when Venus and Mercury are in almost identical position to each other as are the Sun and Moon. I have supplied the details of this in earlier text. June 15 is 40 days to the ending date, July 25, when the plasmoid from Jupiter landed -- the time span is specified by the Chilam Balam.
The boys had requested two daykeepers to suggest to the Xibalbans that their bones be ground up and sprinkled in a river. The river, as always and elsewhere, is the ecliptic."The bones were ground and spilled into the river, but they didn't go far -- they just sank to the bottom of the water. They became handsome boys: they looked just the same as before when they reappeared."
"And on the fifth day they reappeared. They were seen in the water by the people. The two of them looked like catfish when their faces were seen by Xibalba. And having germinated in the waters, they appeared the day after that as two vagabonds, with rags before and rags behind, and rags all over too."
"They just sank to the bottom" -- of course. The planets may have lost their blazing looks, but they retained their shapes as star-like objects and remained on the ecliptic. Neither Venus nor Mercury was near the earth shortly after July 25, 685 BC, so they would most likely, except as noted below, have taken on their star-like shapes like today.
"On the fifth day they reappeared" -- The four-day delay is likely a spectacular blazing of the Sun, perhaps lasting four days, and certainly obscuring any planets near the Sun, both during the day and the night. The Sun must have totally disappeared, and this might initially have suggested the end of the Sun, and creation, since the three planets visually near the Sun -- Venus, Mercury, and Mars -- all disappeared from view. The five days of a missing Sun are noted elsewhere also. A number of Mesoamerican sources state that Quetzalcoatl (Venus) disappeared for four days after setting himself on fire.
In the chapter "The Sibylline Star Wars" I wrote:"... the plasmoid would have had a diameter of perhaps 1.5 million miles [2.4 million km]. That is twice the diameter of the Sun. The plasmoid would have engulfed the Sun. At an estimated length of 15 million miles [24 million km], the flash of the contact might have lasted 9 hours. It must have been seen all around the horizon, and the Moon [at night] would have lit up spectacularly. This describes the concluding event."
An event which would have made the Sun blaze for nine hours at a minimum, would have also taken some time to completely quiet down to the point where nearby planets could be seen again. But at that time the boys are seen as catfish, and then as covered in rags.
"[They] looked like catfish..." They did not. Catfish were seen, but these are more likely additional minor plasmoid bolts from Jupiter. Since these would have traveled in the ecliptic, they might easily be mistaken for Venus and Mercury, especially when it was unclear where these planets were. The catfish were seen while the day and night skies blazed with the reaction of the Sun to the initial plasmoid strike from Jupiter. Tedlock relates the catfish statement to catfish in the Great Hollow, and suggests that Xbalanque may have been a bass.
"They appeared the day after that as two vagabonds, with rags before and rags behind, and rags all over too." I would suggest, as always, that this is plasma expulsion from the two planets, remnants of the previous condition in arc mode, but now reduced to glow mode, and representing plasma plumes pointing away from the Sun and toward the Sun, and "all over too."
[Image: The Moon near Venus, the Sun near Mercury, on August 23, 685 BC, Julian (August 16, Gregorian). From SkyGlobe 3.6.]
As itinerant entertainers the boys entice the Xibalbans into asking to be sacrificed and to be brought back to life. It is done. But One-Death and Seven-Death of the Xibalbans are not brought back to life, and with that Xibalba was defeated. The remaining vassals "took the road to the canyon, in one single mass they filled the deep abyss," and they all surrendered.
Hunahpu and Xbalanque set new rules for the behavior of the remaining Xibalbans. "Such was the beginning of their disappearance and the denial of their service." No humans would be attacked anymore.
I have wondered a long time about the Xibalbans, but at this point it becomes clear that the Popol Vuh is pointing to Mars and the Maruts which had devastated the world for over 120 years. Indeed, after Hunahpu and Xbalanque went up in smoke, the equinox changed by 15 days and the aphelion of the Earth relocated and the orbit rounded soon after (Rose and Vaughan). Earth was no longer troubled by the companions of Mars.
Book 3 closes with the grandmother Xmucane rejoicing when the maize plants left behind by the twins sprout again. "And this is when they were burned in the oven: the corn plants grew again." We are seeing the polar plasma plumes, initially after 747 BC when the boys took off for Xibalba, and then again after 685 BC.
The boys also try to revive their uncle Seven-Hunahpu, but they fail. "And then the boys ascended this way, here [that is, toward Earth], into the middle of the light, and they ascended straight on into the sky, and the sun belongs to one and the moon to the other." It does not anywhere in the Popol Vuh say that they "turned into" the Sun and Moon, although this seems to be held as a popular uninformed reading.
The suggestion that the Sun and Moon "belong to" the twins may be from the observation (by the original Olmecs) that after the start of the blazing on June 15, Mercury moves west to the Sun and stood on the right on July 25th and continued to get closer, while the Moon, originally next to the Sun, had moved east around the sky (three times) to end up next to Venus on August 16th. At that point the Moon is separated 3 degrees from Venus, and Mercury is separated 4.5 degrees from the Sun. This is why the Popol Vuh noted that "the sun belongs to one and the Moon to the other." The other reason is that, as I have noted earlier, the Moon was close to the Sun when the twins first held hands and jumped into the oven.
Book 4: Tulan and the Seven CavesHumans are created, this time from maize mash. Wandering tribes visit the Seven Caves and Tulan, the City of Reeds, where they receive their tribal Gods. The Sun still has not risen.
The Cornmeal Mountain
The Gods of the north discover how to make humans from maize meal and water. Note that the Gods of the south are no longer involved. There is a reference to the location where the maize came from, called "Split Place, Bitter Water Place." Tedlock locates this as:"The place in question is a high mountain just south of the Pan American Highway and near the Guatemalan border with Mexico, with a cave and a spring on its north side. Today the people of the surrounding region ... reckon it as the origin place of corn [maize]."
[Image: Izapa, Stela 5, dated 300 BC to AD 250. An enhanced version, where details are brought out with side lighting. The imagery clearly is from the "Popol Vuh." On either side of the tree are Hunahpu Possum and Great White Peccary; bottom left: Xmucane and Xpiyacoc; right bottom: Sovereign Plumed Serpent. The bottom part of the tree represents the inverted crocodile which first appeared at La Venta, and also on stela 25 at Izapa. After Jason Jones, "Middle Eastern Influence on Mesoamerican Temples" (internet, 2012).]
Perhaps the location of the origin for humans has been localized in the Popol Vuh or at least the source of maize has been found. The text mentions a mountain, filled with maize meal and foodstuffs. However, I am more inclined to view this piece of information as anecdotal. Stela 5, a sculpture at Izapa, dated to about 300 BC, shows the five Gods of creation extracting humans from some sort of tree and mountain. But closer inspection has revealed this to be the inverted crocodile with branches and leaves at the top -- the same image as appeared at La Venta in 685 BC.
The maize mountain is never mentioned again. The "seven caves" are substituted for the location of human origin, a concept held by the Toltecs and also adopted by the Aztecs. It might be suggested that the "seven caves" were added from later sources, except that the Inca also held that humanity originated from caves, localized by the Incas, as apparently do North American tribes. More on this later.
The maize meal (corn meal) used in the manufacture of humans is provided by Xmucane, the grandmother of the ballplaying twins. This places the maize-dough mountain in the era after 4077 BC."And then the yellow corn and white corn were ground, and Xmucane did the grinding nine times."
Andres Xiloj comments that nine grindings is excessive. Three grindings produces a fine powder. But the text is being misread here. Xmucane did not grind the same maize nine times, but on nine separate occasions ground maize. This is fully in line with the doings of Bolon Dzacab ["Nine-Lives," Mars] during the period of 4077 BC to 3147 BC. Nine times a stream of white powder extended from Saturn to Earth, and nine times Bolon Dzacab ascended the plasma stream to Saturn, leaving a mountain of corn meal in the north Atlantic (or Hudson Bay). The parallel details are given in Book 10 of the Chilam Balam, where it is noted that:"Then a mass of maize-dough with the tips of corn-cobs remained here on earth."
The mountain of abundance is identified in like manner by the Chilam Balam as a list of foodstuffs:"Then shoots of the yaxum tree were taken. Also Lima beans were taken with crumbled tubercles, hearts of small squash-seeds, large squash-seeds and beans, all crushed."
"He wrapped up the seeds (composing) this first Bolon Dzacab ["Nine-Lives," Mars], and went to the thirteenth heaven."
"Then a mass of maize-dough with the tips of corn-cobs remained here on earth."
This perhaps describes the pockmarked lower surface of Mars, and the nine trips upward, which in each case left behind the giant dome of water vapor clouds. The "tips of the corn-cobs," with an alternate reading of "the tips of his bones" (Bolio), are likely the fluted areas of the cloud, which are also known, I think, as "the seven caves."
The Four First Fathers
The first four people, the first fathers, were created, modeled, at this time. They were named Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar. This will turn out to be a strange reading of the records of antiquity, for it soon becomes certain that the four first fathers are the four beams of electrons seen overhead in the sky."Perfectly they saw, perfectly they knew everything under the sky, whenever they looked."
"The moment they turned around and looked around in the sky, on the earth, everything was seen without any obstruction."
"They didn't have to walk around before they could see what was under the sky; they just stayed where they were."
"They sighted the four sides, the four corners of the sky."
Their vision was perfect, and the Gods soon realize that their sight had to be limited or they would "become as great as gods." Heart of Sky (the Gods of the south) marred their eyes:"they were blinded as the face of a mirror is breathed upon. Their vision flickered."
The "flickering" is an interesting addition, for it suggests that the four electron streams turned on and off at times. These interruptions could not have been all that long, for the Olmecs didn't consider a change in the heavens until it was certain. We can surmise this from the initiation of various calendars and the determinations that an era had definitely ended. I have made note of this in prior discussion of the institution of the Tzolkin (2349 BC), the Haab (1492 BC), the modified Haab and the start of the Long Count (both at 747 BC).
This also suggests that perhaps the "placed three times" of the Chilam Balam happened all within the first long period. This would not be unlikely for the lack of time and sequence in this narrative.
Although the maize-mash mountain from which the first humans are derived dates from circa 4077 BC to 3147 BC, the four streaming beams of electrons, which are here equated to the first humans, are dated to the period of 10,900 to 8347 BC. They flickered says the Popol Vuh, but also the whole of the ball plasmoids collapsed three times.
Daniel G. Brinton, in The Annals of the Cakchiquels (1885), writes about the origins of the Guatemalan tribes, based on earlier researches by Francisco Antonio de Fuentes y Guzman (in the 1600s):"Indeed, none of these affined tribes claimed to be autochthonous. All pointed to some distant land as the home of their ancestors, and religiously preserved the legends, more or less mythical, of their early wanderings until they had reached their present seats. How strong the mythical element in them is, becomes evident when we find in them the story of the first four brothers as their four primitive rulers and leaders, a myth which I have elsewhere shown prevailed extensively over the American continent, and is distinctly traceable to the adoration of the four cardinal points, and the winds from them."
The "early wanderings" are likely an identification with records of a multitude of celestial objects, not unlike those recorded in Egypt and China as part of written records, but, perhaps as likely it parallels the cave paintings of herds of animals created since 30,000 BC in southern France and in Spain. In Egypt the objects in the sky are also identified as animals. In China and Mesoamerica they are crowds of people -- migrations in progress. If these tribes had pictorial records, then an identification with the only events in antiquity which were deemed worthwhile enough to record, could easily be made. The sight of objects seen in the skies can be believed, for with the Popol Vuh we also have a record of the endless darkness (or shadow), the cold rains, and the lack of food (and even the fall of tar-like substance) -- which can be substantiated from archaeological and climatological records of the Younger Dryas period.
I would disagree with the "adoration of the four cardinal points." To assign the four brothers or first fathers to the four streaks of electrons passing overhead periodically, perhaps for periods of decades or hundreds of years, makes much more sense now that we have details of the Peratt column. That these four first humans or first leaders reappear in the legendary records of other Guatemalan nations only goes to prove that they all have a common source -- they were seen. Brinton suggests that these nations have been in Guatemala for 2000 years, based on language differences and their own legendary records, but he could only trace ancestors back to about AD 1380.
The four first fathers received wives, who just "came into being." And people multiplied, not only the first four couples, but others also. Tribal names and lineages are recited by the Popol Vuh. "There came to be many peoples in the blackness; they began to abound even before the birth of the sun and the light." All these people were in the east. "The east" is repeated any number of times, plus the identification of "in the grasslands." [note 10]
If this describes the original location of the Mesoamerican people, or, more likely the Olmecs, it would represent northern South America, perhaps Venezuela ("grasslands"). The tribes of South America migrated west and north (by canoes) with the change in the latitude of the tropic and sub-tropic climatic zones after 9000 BC. Initially the climate after 10,900 BC was one of incessant rains. Then the rains stopped and the grasslands dried out. This happened in tropical South America just as it did in Africa.
The home in the east is associated with a citadel named "Tulan," the place of reeds, as well as "Zuyua," a name which has remained unidentified (except to mean "twisted" as in the linguistic use of riddles), and the "Seven Caves, Seven Canyons." This last is probably the fluted dome of water vapor seen in the far north, rising above the ocean after 4077 BC, even if it is always combined with Tulan in the Popol Vuh. The "Seven Caves" belongs to the genesis mythology of other American indigenous people also, not the least of which are the Incas. That it happens in North America also is the result of a repopulation of the USA from Central America and the Caribbean [note 11]
"Tulan," or Tollan, on the other hand, is most likely the equatorial rings in the south ("the house of bushes" in the Chilam Balam). From the latitude of 7 to 10 degrees in northern South America the reeds -- the equatorial rings -- would have stood up high in the sky. A migration after 7000 BC to Central America, to a latitude of 15 to 22 degrees north, would have changed the view of the rings, bringing them considerably lower in the sky. There would be no question that the "place of the reeds" had been left behind. During the year the shadow of the Earth would be placed on the rings, forming an opening into a hut or a building, defining a place left behind. [note 12]
Waiting for Dawn
They continue to wait for the first dawning. They pray to the "god in the sky." Heart of Sky is identified, but so are the entities in the north, with "Newborn Nanahuac" added. Tedlock points out that this is the Aztec deity Nanahuatl, "who throws a thunderbolt to open the mountain containing the first maize," where "Nanahuatl" means "warts" in Nahuatl. This clearly is Mars, seen close enough to Earth to show its pockmarked southern hemisphere. [note 13]
The "opening of the mountain" is referred to in Book 11 of the Chilam Balam as "And its word was a measurement of grace, a spark of grace, and it broke and pierced the back of the mountains." This can be explained in context, quoted from the chapter "The Olmec Record of the Past" as follows:This recounts the lowering of Mars to Earth. ... The plasma dome (or dome of water vapor) in the northeast [or north] is described as a mountain or a monument base. "Holes" are bored in the mountain, suggesting that, from the latitude of the Yucatan or Guatemala, Mars would have been seen as disappearing behind the "mountain" -- "occluded" would be better description. The holes in the mountain are the fluted areas, described earlier.
The Tribal Gods
Still waiting for the dawn, and while in the east, they hear of and go to a citadel. The citadel, here called a "mountain," is named Tulan Zuyua, Seven Caves, Seven Canyons. And here they receive their tribal gods."And they reached there at Tulan, all of them, countless people arrived, walking in crowds, and their gods were given out in order."
The first four fathers of the Quiche nation receive Tohil (Mars), Auilix ("Lord Swallow," Mercury), Hacauitz ("Bald Mountain," Jupiter), and Middle of the Plain. This last might be the Moon, although it is uncertain. That Tohil is Mars is without question, both etymologically (see Tedlock) and from his functions. Later Classical inscriptions assign this name to the "manikin scepter," which, although I would assign it to Venus, is identified as God K or God GII, which I have assigned to Mars. Auilix is the swallow, the bird. From Eastern Mediterranean use it would have to be Mercury.
The etymology of Hacauitz reduces to "a clear space" and "mountain" ("witz"), meaning a bald mountain. I have little doubt that this is Jupiter in his mountain form, brilliant enough to shine through the rings of the Absu, and can thus be located in a "treeless clear terrain." (There is also the suggestion that Hacauitz means "First Mountain.")
Middle of the Plain remains unidentified, but since Hacauitz shows up most notably after 2349 BC, at the same time that the Moon appears, I would guess that Middle of the Plain is indeed the Moon. Nothing more is ever said of Middle of the Plain. Further references to the Moon are to a Deer God, which, as I have already noted for Book 10 of the Chilam Balam, is also most likely the Moon.
What is more interesting is that in the paragraph immediately following, the gods of other tribes are listed, the Tams and Hocs. It is Tohil (Mars). The Popol Vuh then goes into a justification of why this was so, that is, why many tribes have Tohil as their God. Other tribes are mentioned, including "the Mexican people." Their languages changed when they left Tulan.
The assignment of the tribal Gods is placed in remote antiquity, long before Saturn lights up in 4077 BC, in the time of the "cold snap" of 10,900 BC to 9,000 BC -- the Younger Dryas. We are notified that there was no fire at Tulan, except that the Tohil tribes had fire, generated by Tohil.
There are constant complaints of the cold, and then of a great downpour (of rain and sleet). (Archaeologists have identified that the tropics received excess rains during the Younger Dryas; at least, at first.) The fires go out. The Quiche nation begs Tohil for the fire; it is given. The other tribes ask also, but are forced (by Tohil) to promise to have their hearts removed (in metaphorical language) in return for fire. They agree. This becomes the basis for future human sacrifices. [note 14]
There are more details in this Book. The various people leave Tulan Zuyua, still waiting for the dawn. Their travels are recorded: passing past a place called Great Hallow, a mountain called Place of Advice. "There was nothing to eat, nothing to feed on.""And it isn't clear how they crossed over the sea. They crossed over as if there were no sea. They just crossed over on some stones, stones piled up in the sand. And they gave it a name: Stone Courses, Sand Banks was their name for the place where they crossed through the midst of the sea. Where the waters were divided, they crossed over."
"Where the waters were divided" describes the Absu at the time of the year near the equinoxes. Moses passed his people through the same divided waters.
They brought their Gods, Tohil, Auilix, and Hacauitz (Middle of the Plain, the Moon, is not mentioned). The tribal Gods are hidden, at the requests of the Gods. All this happens in darkness and cold. It is amazing how much of the Popol Vuh is given over to these descriptions.
And then the Sun rose. This is Saturn switching to arc mode in 4077 BC. The sequence is incorrect, however. In the Popol Vuh the Sun rises directly after the shadow of the Younger Dryas ended in 9000 BC. But to have a newly rising sun dispel the darkness makes narrative sense."The sun was like a person when he revealed himself. His face was hot, so he dried out the face of the earth."
"... when the sun had risen just a short distance he was like a person, and his heat was unbearable."
"... it is only his reflection that now remains."
The Aztecs also had a notion that the present Sun seen in the sky was only a mirrored reflection of the actual Sun. The source for this came from the same set of ancient documents. As the Popol Vuh claims:"As they put in the ancient text, 'The visible Sun is not the real one.'"
The text here suggests that Earth was relatively close to Saturn initially, and distanced over the next thousand years. The "Sun," as noted, rises only part way. At this point in time the tribal Gods suddenly turned to stone, as did many of the dangerous animals.
The tribal Gods are installed in hidden locations, Auilix (Mercury) in a canyon, Hacauitz (Jupiter) on a bald mountain or red pyramid, and Tohil (Mars) in the canyon of another mountain. The places are named as familiar localities, so that it seems that the narrative is now solidly placed in Guatemala. Interestingly, no mention has been made of Kukulkan (Quetzalcoatl), who is the earlier Sovereign Plumed Serpent, and certainly a major deity in Mesoamerica.
It is also interesting that the Popol Vuh at this point, now that the tribal Gods have been localized, attempts to tell us that Tohil is the same as the God of the Mexican people named "Quitzalcuat." Tedlock disputes this as an error on the part of the Popol Vuh authors and suggests it may be political. I agree, but it may also reflect that the authors just did not find any references to Kukulkan in their sources, yet this was a major deity of both the Aztecs (as Quetzalcoatl) and the other Maya (as Kukulkan).
A people called "Sovereign Oloman" (Sovereign Ballplayers) is mentioned again as staying behind in the east. This is likely to refer to the Olmecs (rubber people, in our naming convention), and would represent La Venta or Tres Zapotes. It is a reference to the later pilgrimage to the east undertaken by the Quiche, or actually another people who first obtained the insignias of office and the books for their own use.
At this point the translation of "east" ought to be questioned, for the cardinal direction indicated by "east" has switched a number of times from true east to north and back. This is, I suspect, the same confusion as in Egyptian mythology, where the phrase "direction where the sun rises" is always translated to "east" in rendering the records into English. The same in Greek, where "the land of the sunrise" -- Europa -- points to the northwest, not the east as seen from Greece. [note 15]
After the images of the tribal gods turn to stone, they still speak to the Quiche nation. They are seen in the form of young boys and, in fact, are seen bathing in the river. The river, of course, is the ecliptic. Without their earlier coma the planets became smaller visually. In the Mayan languages "small," or a diminutive prefix, is the designation for women and children (and thus for "boys" also). An enemy tribe sends two young girls, Lust Woman and Wailing Woman, to do their laundry in the river with instructions to seduce the boy-gods. Of course it is avoided through the intercession of the first four fathers.
The remainder of Book 4 is filled with tales of conquest and clever battle tactics. Some of it is reminiscent of the era of 747 to 687 BC, as, for example, in invoking four jars of bees and wasps as a weapon.
The Bundle of Flames
At the end of Book 4 the first fathers prepare to leave: "We are going back." The first fathers do not die, they simply disappear, after leaving behind instructions and the wrapped "Bundle of Flames." They say, "We are going back to our own tribal place. Again it is the time of our Lord Deer, as is reflected in the sky."
The reference to "Lord Deer," would place this in 2349 BC when the Moon (Lord Deer) first showed up. It makes little sense chronologically, though. Tedlock holds that "Lord Deer" is likely a day-name designation, one of the four days by which new years are known. It could thus be a metaphor for "the time has come." Tedlock also notes that the place they are returning to is not identified as Tulan, or anywhere "east," and is likely the location from which they originally came. For the first fathers, this would be the far south. They also say they are advising those who came with them "from the faraway mountains."
Jaguar Quitze leaves behind a sacred object, the "Bundle of Flames." About the "Bundle of Flames," the Popol Vuh reads:"It wasn't clear just what it was; it was wound about with coverings. It was never unwrapped."
The authors of the Popol Vuh are here wishing to make sense of the "Bundle of Flames," which is a representation of the Jovian plasmoid of 685 BC, but they simply do not know what it is. There is a sense of the importance of this covered object because it was one of the first fathers who handed it over.
I think the indication here is that the Quiche received their religious induction quite late compared to other tribes of the Maya and the peoples of the Valley of Mexico. The authors are misreading their sources and failing to understand them. From the confusion of the narrative, in the attempt to string together a cohesive story from disparate sources, it also looks like the books were received at third hand.
The Chilam Balam records a much more orderly sequence of all the same events (and dated) which are likely to be from the same sources, since many of the same details are presented. (There is no mention at all of the plasmoid of Jupiter in the Chilam Balam, except very indirectly.) But whereas the sequencing of events in the Chilam Balam closely matches the chronology already established from Eastern Mediterranean sources, the Popol Vuh does not. Part of this might be the result of the forced attempt to create a smooth poetic narrative of the story of the ballplaying twins. Even so, there are many details which go to support my original supposition, first gleaned from the Chilam Balam, that the people of Mesoamerica had records dating back tens of thousands of years.
Jaguar Quitze, Jaguar Night, Not Right Now, and Dark Jaguar instruct their sons to return, "Go see the place where we came from," by which is meant Tulan (Tollan), and which is accomplished in the next Book."The nature of their disappearance was not clear," reads the Popol Vuh.
I'll say! The lines of electrons simply vanished, although they may have moved north with the ball plasmoids -- something which was actually recounted from a much earlier time.
Book 5: The Quiche NationThe second generation of Quiche make a visit to the east to obtain the insignias of chiefdom and copies of the writings of Tulan. The remainder of Book 5 deals with the political history of the Quiche in the last 500 years.
Three members of the Quiche nation go east:"'We are going east, where our fathers came from,' they said."
After listing their names, Noble Two, Noble Acutec, and Noble Lord, the Popol Vuh reads:"So these are the names of those who went there beside the sea."
followed by:"... it was these same three who passed over the sea."
These are ambiguous statements, unless it is understood that "beside the sea" is meant as the other side of the sea. But the place is not identified as Tulan, Zuyua, or even as the Seven Caves."And then they came before the lord named Nacxit, the great lord and sole judge over a populous domain. And he was the one who gave out the signs of lordship, all the emblems."
Tedlock notes that "Lord Nacxit" is a title held by Quetzalcoatl in Nahuatl (Aztec) texts, and also that there is a Lord Nacxit mentioned in the Chilam Balam (Books 8 and 24) where Lord Nacxit is associated with the Itzas (who are the misidentified Toltecs).
The insignias of office include "a canopy, a throne, a bone flute," and other stone-age paraphernalia, but not the "Bundle of Flames" which had been delivered by the earlier first fathers before they disappeared."So they came away bringing all these. Then, from beside the sea they brought back the writings of Tulan, the writings of Zuyua. They spoke of their investiture in their signs, in their words."
Tedlock points out two things. First, that "their investiture" is, literally, "that which has already entered," and, second, that the words "their signs" and "their words" refer to the characters (glyphs) of the writings of Tulan. It suggests that the three returning Quiche leaders proved that it was their destiny to assume leadership."When Noble Two, Noble Acutec, and Noble Lord came back, they resumed their lordship over the tribes."
This starts to sound like Noble Two, Noble Acutec, and Noble Lord are intruders who are imposing their authority. That is not an uncommon notion among archaeologists, and clearly derives from the fact, as near as is known from the experiences of the Spanish invaders, that there were never any revolutions by the common people. But all this could have happened in remote antiquity, as can be gleaned from the fact that the Popol Vuh relates:"This was when they were at Hacauitz. ... And they spent a long time there on that mountain."
Presumably "they" is the tribe, not the leaders. As I have pointed out earlier, the mountain called Hacauitz is the lower plasma outpouring of Jupiter. So the location at this point in time, when the emblems of lordship were obtained, is entirely imaginary. The trip east to obtain the "signs of lordship" would have happened before 600 BC as a pilgrimage by another tribe to La Venta by the sea. The other tribe was most likely the people of Monte Alban. But as recorded in the Books of Tulan, it would look as if the Quiche themselves had performed the trek.
The fact that the "Bundle of Flames" can be dated to 685 BC at the earliest, and, significantly, that it is not included with the listing of the insignias of office, is important in establishing the earliest date of a transmission of the Books of Tulan to other tribes in the region. What was still lacking after 685 BC, however, was a universal flux which would allow understanding the graphical books -- a script. The script was developed (as far as we currently can tell) at Monte Alban sometime after 600 BC.
Note 1 --
From Suzanne D. Fisher, translator of the text Books of the Chilam Balam of Chumayel by Antonio Mediz Bolio. [myweb.cableone.net/subru/Chilam.html]
[return to text]
Note 2 --
Tedlock mentions in an endnote that in an earlier edition (1985) he translated "The Light that Came from Beside the Sea," as "The Light that Came from the Other Side of the Sea," as other translators also have done. The older translation actually seems more reasonable, since this is the description of the lighting up of the southern ball plasmoids. These would appear nightly from behind (and shining through) the Absu, understood everywhere as a sea.
However, throughout the Popol Vuh and the Chilam Balam the rings of the Absu, which stood very high in the sky at 10 and 20 degrees north latitude, were never identified as an ocean. "Rivers" are mentioned in the Chilam Balam, however. At any rate, the light of the southern ball plasmoids would shine through the equatorial rings, since they were electrons in arc mode.
[return to text]
Note 3 --
The Popol Vuh gives a rather lame excuse for sacrificing victims of other tribes by ripping out their hearts. It involves an unspecific promise to submit to this in exchange for fire, an exchange made in remote antiquity. The whole of this looks concocted, perhaps under the influence of Christianity, for the missionaries and Spanish conquerors banned the practice everywhere.
[return to text]
Note 4 --
What is interesting about the diverse retellings (the Popol Vuh plus the Books of the Chilam Balam) of these phenomena is that it suggests that there were variations in the glyphic books from remote antiquity, so that perhaps separate groups of allied tribes each kept records. That in turn suggests a widespread and uniform literacy in the Americas in remote antiquity. It is as likely, however, that the diversity of the readings arose from the application of a single script, developed much later, applied with some divergence to the uniform graphical records at hand.
The authors of the Popol Vuh obviously read graphic depictions of events in the past, which may not have sported any text. They managed to put together a cohesive narrative from these images, with little regard for the original sequencing. We should be reminded, however, that much of this "story" preexisted among the Maya already for over fifteen hundred years -- as depicted in murals and vases. In 2009 some excavated painted murals, depicting the celestial twins in activities recalled by the Popol Vuh, were dated as being 2000 years old. Similarly, Stela 5 at Izapa in Guatemala (see the text), which depicts the five gods in the act of creating humans, is dated by Stirling, on the basis of its iconography, to between 300 BC and AD 250.
It was a story different from the theology of Teotihuacan which seemed to have centered on the sacrifice of Venus to save the world from destruction. The Chilam Balam also tells a different tale, closer to what I understand as an actual recounting of the facts.
[return to text]
Note 5 --
This vase is known as the 7-God pot. At the same location there is a graphically similar pot which shows 11 Gods. Adding the four large satellites of Jupiter adds up to 11. There is also a rabbit-pot from Naranjo, where a rabbit has stolen the owl hat and clothes of God-L. God-L is Jupiter. His hat are the upper plumes, his clothes consist of the massive lower plasma outpouring. For interesting details, see www.wayeb.org/notes/wayeb_notes0030.pdf. Assuming that the rabbit is the Moon, this may be an image of the Moon after 2349 BC, identified at the Palenque inscriptions which claim that the Moon crowns herself ruler sometime after 2349 BC. It also suggests that Jupiter lost its plasma outpouring (as expected), which had been gained in 2349 BC, after the time of the appearance of the Moon. This furthermore suggests that the Moon, although it may first have been seen at close range in 2349 BC, only appeared in a regular orbit with Earth at a later date. See also www.mesoweb.com/pari/publications/rt10/creation.pdf for details.
[return to text]
Note 6 --
Dwardu Cardona, in "Darkness and the Deep" (Aeon III), writes:"Hesiod tells us that night preceded day: 'From chaos came black night, And night in turn gave birth to day.' Other philosophical myths from Greece, reversing the process described by Hesiod, imply that darkness was first and from darkness sprang chaos. Others claimed that chaos and darkness coexisted, as, for instance, Aristophanes: 'Chaos and Night and black Erebus and wide Tartarus first existed.'"
Cardona notes that these reversals are seen in other myths also.
[return to text]
Note 7 --
If we go by the decorated pot from the Classical Maya era (the "Blowgunner Pot" detailed in the main text), the scene changes. Hunahpu is shown on the right of the tree, and the constellation Scorpio is shown at the base of the tree, also on the right. The constellation Scorpio has the same name (and location in the sky) in Mesoamerica as in the Mediterranean region. To the left of the tree is the constellation Rattlesnake, equivalent to Sagittarius (not shown here).
There are 13 constellations in the Mesoamerican zodiac, representing 28 days each. They are shown in the corrupted Paris Codex. The assignment of names to the equivalent western zodiac is still uncertain, but Scorpio and Rattlesnake (along with Fish, Peccary, Bat, Vulture, and Jaguar) are well identified.
If the constellations are correctly identified and the tree is the Milky Way, then the view is from the south horizon, not the north. We cannot see Scorpio and Rattlesnake in the north skies. The placement of Venus (Hunahpu) to the right of the tree is correct (except for the timing of the rising of the tree), for the last visibility of Venus in June of AD 1235 would be in the west, actually the northwest, but still to the right of the tree as seen standing up from the south horizon. But this is not the date we are here concerned with. It is a date derived by Tedlock from the Dresden Codex, as noted in the text.
The view from the north horizon reverses the constellations if one were to follow the view of the Milky Way overhead, and would be rendered upside down with additional backward neck-craning. Only by doing the reverse, that is, by viewing the tree from the south horizon, are both the adjacent constellations and Venus placed correctly. Since the Milky Way stretches to the north (at some time of the day), the bird Ursa Major would be adjacent to the Milky Way (at some moment), although some 30 degrees removed. This also represents how Linda Schele sees the tree. In other notes (on the images at Palenque) Freidel and Schele are emphatic that Wakah-Chan, the world tree, rose in the north.
Of course, I would like to see recognition of the fact that the tree to heaven and the bird at its top appeared in the north, but especially that the tree rose from the north horizon. But this seems to have been lost to the intervening years. The actions of Hunahpu and Xbalanque have also been relegated to the mythological past. The "Blowgunner Pot" specifically states the event of blowgunning Seven-Macaw happened in what apparently is 3148 BC. The pot reads, "He did it, Hun-Ahaw / on 1-Ahau / 3-Kankin / He entered the sky / Itzam-Yeh." Hun-Ahaw is Hunahpu, Itzam-Yeh is Seven-Macaw. Freidel and Schele, in a footnote of Maya Cosmos, suggest a translation of "Itzam" as "water wizard" and "Yeh" as "giver." They also report from other sources that in the Classic Period "Itzam" is used only with the glyph for God D, which I have elsewhere identified as Saturn.
A day of 1-Ahau 3-Kankin can be dated to -22.214.171.124.0; May 28, 3148 BC (Gregorian, August 13 correlation), as was done by archaeologists. This would be the aphelion of the Earth's orbit, which today happens at around July 4th. This is 34 years before the retrocalculated date of 3114 BC for the end of the "second creation." It is amazing that archaeologists have selected a date before 3114 BC.
The year 3148 BC probably represents the actual closing of the previous era. My estimate of the correct date of the start of the current era, based on subtracting six Baktuns of 400 solar years from 747 BC, was the year 3147 BC. Here we have a Classical Era Maya inscription, suggesting 3148 BC -- a year different if I had properly started my counting with 748 BC.
It is possible that some element of Mesoamerica knew the sunset location of the day of the release of Earth from Saturn. The Appendix "Celestial Mechanics" attempts to resolve this.
[return to text]
Note 8 --
See Simon Martin, in "A Broken Sky: The Ancient Name of Yaxchilan as Pa' Chan" (PARI Journal, 2004). Martin does not identify the glyph with the "third creation," however, but he does elucidate the glyph used as the name for Yaxchilan. See also the chapter "The Day of Kan" for a discussion of the efforts of scribes at Yaxchilan to connect with the past.
[return to text]
Note 9 --
"Migrant groups are noted in the southern states [of the USA] in March. The earliest Swainson's hawks arrive in southern Canada in late March." They are migrating north. -- wikipedia
[return to text]
Note 10 --
The Popol Vuh here also mentions mountain people, all speaking the same language, which may, as Tedlock notes, identify the Quiche. The reference to mountains remains. Tedlock also notes that this might be an identification of the Quiche tribes as "rustic and small in numbers by comparison with the lowland Mayans." The settlement of the lowlands, that is, the Yucatan, did not happen until about 1000 BC, however. We are here in an era dated 10,900 BC to 8347 BC (and extending to 4077 BC).
Tedlock also notes that at a later time the Quiche are described as "adorned with mere animal hides," and as hunters rather than farmers. All this applies during the Classic Era of the Maya. It may also represent the intrusion of occasional references to actual late historical conditions into the story of a mythological past which was being read from source books and was understood to represent the history of the Quiche in remote antiquity, even though in actuality it was a record of the history of another people from whom the books were obtained.
As an added note on the confusion which will surround the use of the word "east," it should be noted that a tribe known as "Oloman," a word which in Nahuatl means "ball player" (ollomani), remains behind in the east. Tedlock has another location in Guatemala in mind, but in the current context of Book 4 it is probably a reference to the Olmecs (rubber people) of La Venta, who stay behind in the east after the visiting dignitaries of Monte Alban return west with their insignias of office and copies of the sacred books -- a suggested series of events which I have already described in the chapter "The Chilam Balam."
[return to text]
Note 11 --
If the Olmecs came from nearer the equator (like from Ecuador), they would have had a detailed view of the southern plasmoids, unobscured by the equatorial rings. Then Zuyua, meaning "twisted," might describe the bunching of the lines of electrons at the plasmoids, and the twisting over the ball shapes. But they would have been much more impressed by the "happy face" of the nearest plasmoid.
Tedlock notes the similarity to the "Seven Caves" as a place of origins of the Toltecs or Aztecs (the Nahua), and points to the fact that many citadels include caverns dug under the aboveground structures of the Maya. At Teotihuacan in the Valley of Mexico this includes six side chambers, looking much like the chambered barrows of western Europe. From this it might be inferred that the "Seven Caves" originally were part of a Peratt instability of the northern plasma stream after 4077 BC, and looking also like the multilobed plant depicted next to the enthroned gods of Mesopotamian seals -- rather than the mountainous vapor dome at the north horizon.
[return to text]
Note 12 --
Tedlock notes that the Annals of the Cakchiquels indicate that there are four locations of Tulan, one in Xibalba, one in the sky, and two on Earth -- in the east and in the west, which inadvertently describes a ring surrounding the whole of the Earth. The Annals also suggest that "Tulan Zuyua" of the Popol Vuh is the Tulan of the east, to where the tribes of the Popol Vuh travel to obtain their insignias. The Annals of the Cakchiquels is another Guatemalan document, originally dating to AD 1571, recounting the history of the Kakchikels nation, and an earlier mythology wherein the people also originated in Tulan in the east, although they originally set out from the west.
Brinton, in his introduction to the Annals of the Cakchiquels, writes:"... we hear of the city of the sun god, Tulan or Tonatlan, as the place of their origin, of the land Zuiva [Zuyua] and of the Nonoalcos."
The separation of the city (Tulan) from a country (Zuyua) makes sense of the use of Zuyua both in the Popol Vuh and the Chilam Balam, although based (says Brinton) on Aztec mythology.
In fact, the Annals of the Cakchiquels do not use "east" and "west." The Annals read:"And I shall write the sayings of our earliest fathers and ancestors, Gagavitz the name of one, Zactecauh the name of the other; and these are the sayings they spake as we came from the other side of the sea, from the land of Tulan, where we were brought forth and begotten by our mothers and our fathers, oh my children, as said of old the fathers, the ancestors, Gagavitz and Zactecauh by name, the two heroes who came from Tulan and begot us, the Xahila."
Three paragraphs later the Annals of the Cakchiquels reads:"These are the sayings of Gagavitz and Zactecauh, and these are the very words which Gagavitz and Zactecauh spoke: "Four men came from Tulan; at the sunrise is one Tullan, and one is at Xibalbay, and one is at the sunset; and we came from this one at the sunset; and one is where is God."
"Therefore there are four Tulans, they say, oh our sons; from the sunsetting we came, from Tullan, from beyond the sea; and it was at Tullan that arriving we were brought forth, coming we were produced, by our mothers and our fathers, as they say."
Note that the fact that there are four Tulans is an interpretation by the narrator. As I mentioned in the text, the four locations probably describe the equatorial rings. But the city of Tulan is also obviously confused with the location of the origin of the people, the Seven Caves. It is interesting that the document locates Tulan on the "other side of the sea." "... we came from the other side of the sea, from the land of Tulan," and later, "we came to Tulan in the darkness and the night," and, after considerable travels, "and departing they arrived at the place called Tapcu Oloman." They "took counsel there," and "first unloosed our burdens."
As I have pointed out above, "Tapcu Oloman" is the place of the ballplayer. The Kakchikels are here recounting the migration of the Olmecs as their own. The "other side of the sea" might be the Caribbean Sea between northern South America and Central America, just as it may be the whole of the Atlantic. As likely the sea may be the Pacific ocean. And yet, the sea could as well be the equatorial rings of Earth.
Just to add one more twist, "coming from the west" might simply represent the migration of the Olmecs into Veracruz, Mexico, from the Pacific coast region of Guatemala.
[return to text]
Note 13 --
The other name in the list which is new at this point in the Popol Vuh is "Falcon," although it is unclear if this is an epithet for Mars and is listed right after "Newborn Nanahuac, Sudden Nanahuac," or for Venus, whose names, "Hunahpu" and "Sovereign Plumed Serpent," follow next.
Tedlock in his glossary suggests Venus. An earlier use in the Popol Vuh of a falcon is the bird which would come to watch One-Hunahpu and Seven-Hunahpu at their ballgame, "the messenger of Hurricane, Newborn Thunderbolt, Sudden Thunderbolt," which I suggested was the seated bird apparition seen in the skies long before 10,900 BC.
In effect this was Saturn moving north from the equatorial region, but actually was Earth falling below Saturn's equator. This would have been seen as some huge object traveling from east to west daily or nightly for thousands of years, and progressively moving further north. (See the chapter "Saturn and Archaeology.") The "Falcon" also recalls the Egyptian Falcon deity, which is equated with Horus/Mars, and is used on top of the name-serekh of the pharaoh.
[return to text]
Note 14 --
The same endless rains are recorded as occurring after the start of the darkness in Japanese mythology.
The lame excuse for removing hearts can only be justified by considering the dates when the Popol Vuh was written. It had to be an era where public opinion had turned against this practice -- after 100 or 200 years of enforced prohibition by the Spanish.
[return to text]
Note 15 --
Europa, "Land of the Sunrise," either points northwest to the plasma dome seen in the North Atlantic, or to the actual location where the globe of Saturn would first be seen moving up from the horizon if the rotational axes of Earth and Saturn did not line up.
[return to text]
URL of this page: http://saturniancosmology.org/popol.php
This page last updated: Monday, May 1st, 2017