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 dayeach 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 apartmemorializing
ancient prophecy by demarcating the shift of the agesis 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 21stas it was initially set at the First
Council of Nicaea in 325 ADPope 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 begin2000 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. Lets 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 ahead1001, 1501, and yes, the official millennium2001.
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
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
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
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.
Thats 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 calendarsOne
for each new day of the week starting each New Year, and one for
each leap yeara 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 calendarDecember 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 ones full
presence. This is why the Classic Maya are considered a galactic
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
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 1969a 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 millenniums 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 beginninga 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