Chapter 7

Making Time on Planet Earth

by Ken Kalb

Since the millennium is based on a Gregorian calendar date, let's dig into the evolution of daykeeping, examine its holistic influence on our lives, and look into the future for ways to improve our method of making time in the new millennium.

Every single day of our lives we are attuned to the calendar. Day after day–each month, every year, our lives are intimately connected to dates in the temporal dimension. The calendar is truly our fundamental astronomical and astrological tool. Certain dates like birthdays and anniversaries, solstices and equinoxes, and particular calendrical synchronicities carve special cyclical significance within human consciousness. The cycle of comets Hyukatake and Hale-Bopp passing Earth precisely one year apart–memorializing ancient prophecy by demarcating the shift of the ages–is a case in point. The common factor linking spirit, psyche, and matter is time. Even though our calendrical system is flawed, the repeating cycles of time create deep psychological archetypes within our consciousness. Though many people are in calendar-denial, we are all very much attuned to our "inner calendar."

The most powerful point in any cycle is its birthing point. The initiatory thrust of a new beginning is always charged with hope and promise. Just like the birth of a romance or a child, the birth of a New Year, a new decade, or a new century are all archetypally epochal. A new millennium carries a special charge incomparable to any other date. It is not only like a thousand New Year's Eves, but much more, because it signifies a mythical and mystical threshold. The beginning of a new millennium is a collective psychological pregnancy potently charged by a massive floodtide of anticipation, expectation, excitement, awe, hope and wonder for the future and destiny of humankind.

Imagine, you and a friend are boarding a spacecraft traversing the vast distances of space to land as the first beings on the Earth 60 million years ago. When the time arrived when you needed to separate to scout the land, get food, or do anything independently, you would need to create a system to synchronize and coordinate your activities. As the days passed, the Sun rose and set, the Moon waxed and waned, and the stars in the heavens rotated, you began to understand and record the rhythms and cycles of the cosmos and their relationship to Earth. When the Moon grew to full, shrank, reappeared as new, and grew again to full, you could calculate how many risings of the Sun (days) it took to complete the phases of the lunar cycle. After 13 of these synodic cycles, when the Sun finally returned to the precise position it occupied at your first observation, you could calculate a year. From this perspective, one can begin to appreciate the immensity, complexity, and necessity of the task of creating a calendar from scratch.

The Evolution of Ancient Calendars

At the dawn of Western Civilization, the Sumerians devised an advanced solar calendar with 365 days. The ancient Babylonians constructed a lunisolar calendar with 12 lunar months of 30 days each, adding extra months when needed to keep in harmony with the seasons. About 6000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians replaced the lunar calendar with a 365-day solar calendar consisting of 12 months of 30 days each, with 5 days of celebration at the end. Starting on July 27, these 5 days of celebration honored the births of Osirus, Horus, Seth, Isis, and Nephthys. The New Year began on August 1, when the star Sirius rose at the same place as the Sun. This calendar was unchanged until 238 BC, when King Ptolemy III ordered an extra day be added to every fourth year, similar to the modern leap year.

The Early Roman Calendar

The original Roman calendar, the root of our current system, was quite simply, a mess. Introduced in the 7th century BC, it had 10 months with 304 days in a year beginning with March. Later in the century, January and February were added to precede March, but because months were 29 or 30 days long, an extra one had to be added every two or three years. The days of the month were designated by the awkward method of counting backwards from three dates: the calends, or first of the month; the ides, or middle of the month, and the nones, or 9th day before the ides. If this weren't confusing enough, the situation degenerated to hopelessly chaotic when various Roman officials manipulated the calendar for their own purposes, such as hastening or delaying elections, prolonging their terms of office, or taking holidays.

In 45 BC, Julius Caesar commissioned the amazing astronomer Sosigenes to develop a uniform solar calendar so the entire Roman Empire could synchronize on the same system. What Sosigenes engineered was so accurately calibrated that each one-year cycle was only 11 minutes out of sync with the Earth's atomically calculated (365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45.5 seconds) transit of the Sun. This calendar, known as the Julian calendar, fixed the normal year at 365 days, with a leap year every fourth year of 366 days. The Julian calendar also established the order of the months and the days of the week as they exist today. In 44 BC, Julius Caesar changed the name of the month Quintilis to Julius (July), after himself. Not to be outdone, his successor Augustus Caesar, renamed the sixth month Sextilis to Augustus (August) also in honor of himself, snipping a day off of February and sticking it on August to be equal to July. Augustus' modification established the length of the months still in use today.

The New Style Gregorian Calendar

Though the Julian calendar bore no relationship to lunar cycles, it was a very accurate solar construction, with a growing flaw: The Julian year was 11 minutes (and 14 seconds) longer than the solar year. This disparity grew until 1582, when the vernal equinox fell 11 days early and church holidays, like Easter, were no longer synchronizing with their appropriate seasons. To adjust the vernal equinox back to March 21st–as it was initially set at the First Council of Nicaea in 325 AD–Pope Gregory XIII issued a decree dropping 11 days from the calendar as of October 4, 1582: Henceforth, October 15. To prevent any further displacement, the new Gregorian calendar, also provided that century years divisible evenly by 400 be made leap years, and all other century years be made common years. Thus, 1600 would be a leap year, while 1700, 1800, and 1900 were to be common years. 2000 will certainly be a leap year.

The Millennium Quirk

Just when does the third millennium really begin–2000 or 2001? Hotel rooms are already booked in Tonga and the other islands just west of the International Date Line for December 31, 1999, by tourists wishing to be the first to greet the new millennium, even if it is the peak of hurricane season. Yet most official institutions, including international law say they'll be arriving a year early. There seems to be a minor civil war brewing over whether January 1, 2000 or January 1, 2001 is indeed the dawning of the new millennium. Let’s illuminate this issue.

The Official Answer January 1, 2001

This date is officially endorsed by the The Royal Greenwich Observatory, the Encyclopedia Britannica, The US Naval Observatory, Webster's New Third International Dictionary, the World Almanac, and other arbirters of officialdom. The roots of this logic defying quirk trace back to a Scythian monk by the name of Dionysius Exiguus, alias Dennis the Diminutive, assigned the task of establishing a fixed date for Easter Sunday in what was to become the year 526 AD. Dennis, a sixth century abbott of a Roman monastery, worked exhaustively in Roman numerals to calculate a solid basis for the Christian church, replacing the old numbering system, Anno Diocletiani, where numbers were counted from the beginning of the reign of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Using what he thought was the year of the birth of Jesus Christ as the reference point, he declared Anno Domini, or "Year of our Lord," as 1 AD rather than 0 AD, there being no zero in Roman numerals. As Jesus was most likely born in 4 BC, Dennis made two blunders while repairing the calendar for Easter. Henceforth, the modern calendar started with a one, which has perpetuated the "quirk" of all official decade, century, and millennium designations always being one year ahead–1001, 1501, and yes, the official millennium–2001.

By Popular Demand: January 1, 2000

Regardless of calendrical technicalities, people around the world will be heralding the new millennium when the 000's roll over odometrically on January 1, 2000. The year 2000 will be a landmark milestone for all humanity, as this most anticipated day promises to be a turning point in the direction of civilization. Numerous celebrations and events are planned, and hundreds of transformational projects will initiate this day of century's end and bimillennial beginning.

The LightShift 2000 Answer: Both!

Oftentimes, the technical and official is not the practical or popular. January 1, 2000 may not be the official bimillennial date, but it might as well be. For a thousand years, people have been writing three digits after a one, until January 1, 2000, the most powerful date in human history. The LightShift monthly meditation program has a running start in bridging the unofficial and official millennium in radiance from the pure light within us all.

Back to the Future

Though Pope Gregory got Western Civilization's daytimers back on track with his Gregorian or New Style calendar, it took until the 18th century for it to be accepted throughout Europe, and until the 20th century to be used throughout the world. Great Britain didn't adopt it until 1752, and Napoleon established the Gregorian Calendar in France in 1806. Russia stubbornly stuck to the Julian system until the 1917 October Revolution, and Greece held out until 1923. Today it is the predominant calendar on the planet, with most of Earth's 6 billion residents using it as their primary synchronization device.

Conspiracy or Stupidity?

So at the dawn of the third millennium, the dominant conceptual scheme for civil time-keeping is still the Gregorian Calendar: A 16th-century modification of a flat-Earth era device from 1 BC known as the Julian Calendar, designed as a quantum cleanup of Papal pandemonium.

The Gregorian calendar is based on 12 months of unequal length, with the dates and days of the week varying arbitrarily, with no consistency through time. Except for the solar cycle, it bears no relationship with any naturally occurring cycle. Time-keeping and scheduling, laws, financial markets and transactions in our present, post-industrial, information-age society, all rely on this anachronistic patchwork scheme whose roots are planted in the interests of men in a pre-scientific, theocratic society, with a feudal economy. What we now need is a universalized system, attuned to our expanding consciousness and rising emergence as an interconnected global culture.

Some people feel it has been intentionally configured to remove our connection with nature and the universe. It appears to me, however, to be more the evolution of bad planning, egotistical manipulation, and duct tape-style repair. Yet it takes a licking and keeps on ticking as the present clock of our Earth time jungle.

The new millennium presents a golden opportunity for a better way of keeping time. I suggest the United Nations prioritize the creation a Global Calendar Council to give full consideration to reform proposals, to be decided by January 1, 2001.

Major Calendar Reform Movements

Two proposals for calendar reform have attracted official attention in the last century: The World Calendar, a simple change with big benefits over the current system, and The International Fixed Calendar, a 13-month design with identical lunar months. The League of Nations killed the 13-month calendar in 1937, and the US withdrew support of The World Calendar in 1955. However, the recent emergence and popularity of the new 13-Moon Calendar Change Movement and the Mayan Dreamspell Calendar is a cultural phenomenon which has revived the lunar calendar in a more soulful, evolved, and interconnected context.

There are lots of other fascinating new reforms, such as The Earth Calendar for the Space Era which should be examined and considered.

The World Calendar: A Small Change with Big Benefits

Since 1930, The World Calendar Association has been advocating a simple modification to the Gregorian system with huge improvements. Their World Calendar is a perennial 12-month calendar with equal quarters, so it is reusable, sustainable, perpetual, and simple. That’s right, you can use the same calendar every single year!

The current Gregorian/Julian system is an annual calendar that becomes obsolete every year. Its typical 365-day cycle is not evenly divisible by seven, the number of days in the week. One day is left over, which causes the year to always begin on the following weekday, requiring a new calendar every year. So the Gregorian system is actually a variously ordered cycle of 14 calendars–One for each new day of the week starting each New Year, and one for each leap year–a total of 14!

This 365th day boondoggle can be solved simply by removing that day from the calendar! Each New Year would typically begin on the exact same weekday as the previous year. The extracted day is declared a 24-hour “day off;” a global holiday called World Day, before starting each New Year. Then, if Leap Day is also removed and changed to another global holiday, the New Year always begins on the same weekday. These minor changes stabilize the system and create a perennial, perpetual calendar.

Every year is the same, beginning on Sunday, January 1, and each work year begins on Monday, January 2. Each month has 26 weekdays, plus Sundays. Years divide regularly into equal quarters which begin on Sunday and end on Saturday, with exactly 91 days, 13 weeks or 3 months, with 31, 30, and 30 days respectively.

Now why didn't Sosigenes think of this!

The Dreamspell Calendar: Daykeeping with Nature and Spirit

The Dreamspell Calendar is a part of the prophetic time release of the ancient Maya, whose superior understanding of time and cycles provided the construction of the most accurate calendar system of any civilization. They obsessively scrutinized the heavens, aware of all the planets in the solar system, and meticulously performed their esoteric mathematics connected to the cycles of Venus and the entire galaxy. They chiseled into stone dates and times of eclipse, equinox, and solstice which 500 years later are still accurate to within a half a minute of actual occurrence! Classical Mayan dates are based on the Long Count, mathematically accurate to within one day over a period of 374,000 years! They also set an end date for the calendar–December 21, 2012.

This calendar provides both a physical and spiritual perspective on time. It utilizes the 28-day human female biological cycle for the physical aspect of time, because it is so closely attuned to the readily observable cycle of the moon. This sacred calendar known as the Tzolkin, has an annual cycle of 260 days made of smaller cycles of 13 and 20 days, each turning concurrently. The Maya say the spiritual cycle came to them from alignments and attunements with the frequencies of the stars of the galaxy. This spiritual cycle is then overlaid with the physical cycle to provide an accurate and holistic perspective on the unfoldment of time. Each day is galactically attuned emanating a specific meaning and resonance which expresses the beauty and power of one’s full presence. This is why the Classic Maya are considered a galactic culture.

The traditional calendar of the Maya uses three different dating systems in parallel: The Long Count, the Tzolkin, and the Haab (civil calendar). Only the Haab has a direct relationship to the length of the year.

Mayan periods have six essential parts each revolving on 13 tone sprockets.

  • Baktuns: Periods of 144,000 days (approximately 394 years)
  • Katuns: Periods of 7,200 days (approximately 20 years)
  • Tuns: Periods of 360 days (18 unial), approximately a year
  • Tons: Periods of 260 days
  • Unials: Periods of 20 days (kin)
  • Kins: Periods of 1 day.

    A Great Cycle is 13 baktuns or 1,872,000 days (5125 years plus 134.75 Gregorian days). We are closing in on the closure of this 13th and final baktun. This end date is generating vast speculation about our current place in the space-time continuum. Is this indeed the end of time, the apocalypse, Armageddon, Ragnarok, the Rapture, or one of the many other names assigned to the monstrous final clobbering of humanity. Perhaps as I suggested in The Grand Catharsis, it marks the end of one world and way of life, and the beginning of another, with the emergence of Homo Novo, the dawn of a new species on planet Earth? Or, is this simply the end of time, and the beginning of time-less-ness? Only time will tell.
    The Dreamspell is an accurate, vibrant system which elevates and
    vivifies the calendar beyond its classic function as a synchronization device into an attunement instrument. Is a massive conversion to the Mayan system possible? Let's be realistic. Best estimates find there are perhaps a million people who subscribe to this system, with less than 10% proficient enough to use it regularly. I think it is a wonderful system and I encourage everyone to become more educated and involved with it. Yet it will remain a vital subsystem like Western or Vedic astrology, but not the device by which we synchronize time on Earth.

    The World Thirteen Moon: Calendar Change Movement

    Jose Arguelles, whose breakthrough work helped decode the Mayan calendar, is the vortex of the World Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement. He pursues the calendar's removal and replacement with revolutionary zeal: "If the human race does not reject the current twelve-month Gregorian Calendar and replace it with the new Thirteen Moon 28-Day Calendar, it will very soon bring about its own self-destruction. Changing calendars (by this date) is a planetary ultimatum."

    The enigma with this "ultimatum" is that the date for the "time shift" keeps shifting: First 1992, then 1995, then 1997, now...? This movement is the spearhead of a peace plan that calls for a universal cease-fire to observe the unprecedented calendar change on July 25, the Day Out of Time, with a five-year follow-up program, Pax Cultura Pax Biospherica, as we enter the "psychozoic era."

    Arguelles claims the current Gregorian Calendar and the mechanical clock constitute an artificial 12:60 timing frequency which is responsible for human alienation from nature, and the creation of a thoroughly materialistic civilization dominated by money and machines. They maintain that the impact of changing to the biologically accurate 13-Moon Dreamspell calendar will redirect humanity back into the correct timing frequency (13:20) of nature. Arguelles asserts "this is a fundamental change mandated by divine authority that transcends and unifies all sects and creeds in a higher calling of the Earth."

    The Earth Calendar for the Space Era

    There are three essential points in this calendar:

  • A New Year Zero beginning on the Gregorian date of 1969–a turning point in the history of Earth when a human being took his first step on a celestial body. This event provides a reference point of great potential for cultural and scientific achievement, and future human and global evolution.
  • Every day of the week and each month of the year is renamed,
    based on the nurturing of positive qualities of the human soul, whose rational, emotional, and universal potency provides affirmative benefits for both the individual and the community.
  • Dates that indicate special astronomical events of universal
    importance such as solstices and equinoxes are declared holidays and subsequently celebrated.

    The LightShift Solution: for the New Millennium

    Here's my solution for a new calendar for the third millennium. The conversion from the Gregorian system to the World Calendar would be simple, sensible, and symbolic of supporting a sustainable system. It boils down to making January 1st an "un-day," which it already is in most cultures. Think how many trees could be saved and how much simpler life would be using a calendar with perpetual consistency. I would like to see this calendar implemented at the official beginning of the new millennium, January 1, 2001. Since days already have planetary derivatives for their names, I think a Global Calendar Council should consider renaming the months to attune to and empower universal and archetypal qualities of the soul, like the Dreamspell or Earth Calendar, instead of memorializing egotistical historical personages.

    Finally, at the beginning of the new millennium, 1/1/2001, I think we should reset the calendar to Zero: 1/1/2001 becomes 0/0/0000. Why? It would resolve the millennial quirk once and for all, of beginning decades, centuries and millennium’s at 1 instead of 0. Zero has its roots in the Buddhist term sunyata, meaning the essence of all things, the void, the Divine Mother from whom everything is born and all returns. In the holographic cosmology of the Maya, zero is a four-petaled flower, a cyclical fountain of creation from which everything springs and eventually returns.

    0/0/0000 would mark a psychological new beginning–a turnaround, a clean slate starting with zero, the circular number representing unity, infinity, and boundless possibilities for a brighter future. May the circle be unbroken. Then we can start making some real time on planet Earth.

    “To every time there is a season, and every season,
    a purpose under the heavens”
    –Ezekiel, Ecclesiastes

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