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logoThe Toltec-Maya Calendar in Real de Catorce








(Commentary by Victor Sanchez about the December 2012 event in Real de Catorce, SLP. Mexico)


Because the Long Count cycle of the Toltec-Maya Calendar of 5125 years comes to an end this upcoming December, many are prophesying either the end of the world or the beginning of a new era of spiritual enlightening. I don't think either is the truth.


What is commonly known as the "Mayan Calendar" is really the Mesoamerican Calendar and because the Toltec are the true and main cultural and spiritual matrix of Mesoamerica (South of the United States, Mexico and Central America), the Mayan Calendar is indeed the Toltec Calendar as well. As a matter of fact this calendar is not just one, but the combination of three: the sacred calendar (Tsolkin for the Maya and Tonalpohuali for the Toltec), the Solar Calendar and the Long Count. Nevertheless, Hollywood movies, new age books and rumors have promoted this idea that the Maya prophesied the end of the world in December 2012. That is simply non-sense, the Toltec-Mayan understanding of time was not a meant to foretell the future, but instead a way to understand their own history and a reflection about their own placement and responsibility within the never ending line of time.


However, the end of a such long calendar is not trivial; it happens only every 52 centuries and only very few human generations have the opportunity of being present in that special moment. In terms of meaning the understanding of time achieved by the ancient Toltec and Maya has a lot to teach us in this era in which time seems to be just the space in which so much seems to come down to: buy-as-much-as-you-can-right-now- and- that's-all-that-there-is.


When I started hearing the stories about Mayan prophecies and the world ending on December 21, 2012, my first reaction was of disbelief: how come we got the Mayas to become prophets of doom? My second reaction was to engage in a counter-campaign against those fiction-based misrepresentations of the Mesoamerican culture. Instead I wanted to spread the understanding that the ancient indigenous knowledge is precious, powerful and inspiring without having to mix it up with fantasy. Then I thought that –in the other hand- if we celebrate the new year as something especial after a counting of just 365 days, perhaps it could make much more sense to celebrate the completion of a cycle longer than 5000 years! Well… 1,872,000 days, to be accurate. I know we don't live using the Mayan Calendar and we don't look at time from such a long perspective… but maybe we should. If we did, perhaps we could look at human evolution and personal responsibility from a wider and deeper perspective that would serve better to the cause of our survival as species.


Because of this I decided to organize a special event that would have the double purpose of:


1. To Celebrate the completion of the 13 Baktun (the long count has 13 Baktuns, which are periods of 144,000 days) and…

2. To help the understanding of the real treasures that the Toltec-Maya knowledge about time and spirit has in store for us.


Is in this context that I envisioned a, Celebration of the New Cycle of the Toltec-Mayan Calendar. But, how should we celebrate such a long and extraordinary cycle? Well –I thought- a celebration is about joy… but how could joy be there if we do not understand that, that we are celebrating? Then I got the picture that our celebration would have both: joy and understanding. But that kind of understanding requires more than just words and ideas; it requires the kind of learning that takes place only through experience and the kind that touches the heart. And this is how; I arrived to this idea of a learning-through-experience celebration. I hope you can come.






Come to celebrate with us The New Cycle of the Toltec-Maya Calendar participating in the workshop:


"Spirituality and Calendars of the Toltec-Maya"


This unique experience will consist in a series of presentations and practices about the meaning of the Toltec-Mayan Calendars and spirituality in real life. The lectures will shed light on the history and structure and the concepts and the practices (both indoors and outdoors) will bring the knowledge down from your head to your body and to your heart.


In addition to the dynamic and interactive presentations, the practices part will include –among others- walks of attention in the haunted landscapes surrounding the former mining town of Real de Catorce, night camp fires for storytelling and ceremonies, hiking to the nearby sacred mountain of the Wirrarika people also known as "The Palace of the Governor" (Father Sun) and many other practices to access heightened awareness states, inspired in the spiritual knowledge of the ancient Toltec and Maya.




While the big crowds of people attracted for the alleged "Mayan prophecies about the end of the world" will be heading towards the Mayan archeological sites in South Mexico and Guatemala, we prefer to stay in the quiet atmosphere of this small former mining village of the Mexican Desert to have our special conversation about the Toltec, the Maya and their unique understanding about time and human development.


In my experience, the best possible context for embodying the spiritual knowledge of the ancient cultures of Mexico is a quiet one in which we can connect with the forces of nature without the interference of too much human activity.


Another important factor that lead me to choose this place for our event, is the fact that this village is surrounded by sacred sites and power spots that have been known and cultivated by the Wirrarika, whom -often times- I call The Surviving Toltec, because of the amazing extent to which they have preserved their spiritual culture.


This beautiful village, which some call a ghost town, because it has so many ruins or ancient building and houses, is small, quiet, has little cars activity; nice accommodations; charming restaurants and cafes and it is not an artificial creation to attract tourists… it is real. In other words... it has so much soul. It is the perfect place to connect with your own soul and with what is eternal. This is why we are so excited to be in Real de Catorce for the arrival of the new Baktun.




Workshop Name: Calendars and Spirituality of the Toltec-Maya


Duration: Five days and Five nights

Note: The last day (December 21) of the workshop will include late night activities.


Dates: December 17 through December 21, 2012.

NOTE: <u>Due to the high travelling expected to Mexico from all over the world for the events related to the Mayan Calendar, it is highly recommended that you book your flights, long time in advance</u>. You can get to San Luis Potosí Airport with direct flights from Dallas and Houston or with a connection through Mexico City Airport.


Theme: The meaning and applications of the calendars and spirituality of Mesoamerica for the human kind.


Format: Workshop. It includes indoors presentations and both, indoor and outdoor exercises.


Place: Real de Catorce, SLP, Mexico Nearest airport: San Luis Potosi city. Presentations will be held at the conference room of Meson de la Abundancia Hotel; outdoors activities will be held in different locations in and around Real de Catorce.


Concert: To support our event and projects, the renowned American composer Philip Glass will offer a piano recital: Concert of the Sixth Sun, with some Wirrarika indigenous musicians as special guests. A ticket for the concert will be free for those attending the workshop.


Click here for external link to the concert


Lodging and Meals: Five nights in Hotel Meson de la Abundancia* or Hotel Corral del Conde. Cost based in double occupancy. Single occupancy available with us$200 extra. All meals included in the Restaurant of Meson de la Abundancia. All rooms are nice quality but they are all different. Preferred rooms will be assigned on a first-come-first-served basis.


*Mesón de la Abundancia is a Mexican colonial jewel and he best hotel and restaurant in Real de Catorce, built in 1863 and original home to the Real de Catorce Treasury, now respectfully restored to modern comfort (to preserve the quietness of the place, no TV or phones in the rooms). Corral del Conde I and II are other fine small hotels owned and managed by the same family who owns Meson de la Abundancia. Rooms will be assigned on a first come first served basis; those who enroll first will be given rooms in Meson de la Abundancia, then Corral del Conde I and finally Corral del Conde II. The three hotels are 5 minutes away from each other and all meals and conference presentations will take place in Meson de la Abundancia.


Fee and early payment discounts:


Until June 30: us$1950 – Until September 30 us$2250 – Until December 17 us$2450. Payment can be done in us dollars or mexican pesos aplying the bank exchange rate of the date of payment.


(Fee includes all workshop activities, five nights lodging and all meals from Dec. 17 through Dec. 21 and one ticket for the Concert of the Sixth Sun by Philip Glass)


Notes: Booking: You can secure your place with a 25% deposit. For discount matters the date when the balance will be paid in full will be considered as the payment date. Payment options: payments can be done through bank wire, deposit or debit and credit card over the Internet.


NOTE: Due to the high travelling expected to Mexico from all over the world for the events related to the Mayan Calendar, it is highly recommended that you book your flights, long time in advance. You can get to San Luis Potosí Airport with direct flights from Dallas and Houston or with a connection through Mexico City Airport.