The Mayan Calendar and the Cycles of the World Economy

by Carl Johan Calleman

Glossery of Terms:

Baktun -
a period of 394 Gregorian years.

Katun - a period of 19.7 Gregorian years.

Mayan Long Count - is the number of elapsed days since the Big bang.

Underworlds - the 9 different levels of conscious evolution described by the Mayan calendar.

Heavens - the 13 different sections of an underworld. 7 Heavens of "Day" (light) and 6 heavens of "Night" (dark.)

World Tree - is the organizing principle of the universe, as in the four directions or up/down, left and right. Many cultural cosmologies employ this analogy including the Christian bible with the Tree of Knowledge in the Garden of Eden.

Overtones - are the mixture of vibrations as in the progessional order of chords in music.

Tezcatlipoca - the lord of Darkness.

Ometeotl - the supreme deity, the lord and lady of duality. Symbolizing completion.


The Mayan Calendar and the Cycles of the World Economy

by Carl Johan Calleman

If the Mayan calendar describes the wave movement of the evolution of human consciousness one would spontaneously think that it would also have something to say about how the ups and downs of the world economy are generated. No one has discussed this previously, which could give rise to a false perception that the Mayan calendar does not describe economic changes. In the absence of a better word for it I will call the modern economic system "capitalist" even though this is a term laden with confusing charge associated with it by both its proponents and its adversaries. Regardless of what we call it this is today's global economic system has undergone a significant transformation as a result of the influence of the creative pulses from the World Tree, and so it is not a static system that can be strictly defined and placed in a box. Since we now, as of January 5, 1999, are in the process of entering a new Underworld it is reasonable to expect a very significant transformation and it is timely to ask what will now happen with the abstracting "capitalist" world economy.

Maybe someone will react to the word abstracting, based on a feeling that the world economy is of a tangible physical nature, as goods are being transported and sold all over the world and money shifting hands. Yet, the driving forces of today's economy are of an abstract nature. To realize the fundamentally non-tangible nature of the capitalist economy we may make a thought experiment: Assume that, for whatever reason, all the information in the computers of the banks of the world were suddenly eradicated. This would mean that all accounts of holdings of money, stock, options, etc., would disappear. Although many individuals would regard this as a catastrophe, we may ask if anything of value would be lost. Obviously not! All natural resources, buildings, machines, human knowledge, goods etc that existed before, would remain untouched by such a hypothetical synchronistic head crash in all of the world's bank computers. In terms of real values nothing would be lost and the world could easily pick up the day after (leaving aside the emotional effects that this occurrence might have on many).

Of course then, if nothing of real value, only abstract values, would be lost, there is only one logical conclusion we may draw. This is that all paper and cyber money that is currently circulating in the world's financial markets is completely worthless. The abstractionist world economy then really is a big monopoly game, which continues for the sole reason that people still agree that paper or cyber money (digits in bank computers) has value. All there is is a mental agreement about their value. This has consequences. First, since the oscillations of the World Tree described by the Mayan calendar play the predominant role in shaping the mental history of human beings this also means that economic cycles should be directly dependent upon the various baktun and katun shifts of this calendar, shifts that reflect these oscillations. Second, an economy based merely on mental agreements must be very sensitive to these oscillations that shape the nature of our mind in any given Underworld. Especially as new Underworlds begin radical changes in how the economy is organized must be expected.

Of course this point needs to be qualified by what we know from the evolution of the world economy in the past and for this we may start by looking at how this has been influenced by the changing baktuns of the Mayan Long Count. Economic development came about as a result of the resonance of the human consciousness with the waves generated by the World Tree. I will not detail this development here. Suffice it to say that around the time of the beginning of the Mayan Long Count in 3114 BC bronze started to be used for the first time in Crete, Sumer and Anatolia and so human beings left the Stone Age. In spiritual terms, the beginning of this new National Underworld (developed by the Thirteen baktuns of the Long Count) meant that the World Tree (Tree of Life, oscillating through the 12th longitude East) generated a global dualist creation field that in the Book of Genesis is metaphorically refered to as the Fall. On the positive side, this field, favoring the Western/analytical Hemisphere, gave rise to technological advances, including metal working (metaphorically: knowledge gained from eating from the fruit of the Tree of Life). Metal working, unlike any earlier craft, in fact was such a specialized activity that trade, at least in the form of barter, became necessary. On the negative side, however, this dualist frame of consciousness generated organized warfare as well as an unequal class society where people were valued differently (after eating of the fruit they saw good and evil in the Book of Genesis). Both the creativity and the separation were actually projections of the dualist mind that the World Tree began to generate as the National Underworld began.

What made the world economy into a monopoly game was however not barter, but the evolution of the monetary instruments, the means of tender, which is shown in Fig. 1. It may there be seen how the various means of exchange have pulse-wise developed during the DAYS, the seven baktuns dominated by duality. What there is to learn from this is that with every pulse favoring the left brain half (every DAY), humanity took a step in developing abstract, standardized, means of exchange. The evolution goes from weighed pieces of silver in the First DAY to paper bills in the Seventh, with the first real gold coins made exactly at the midpoint of the whole Underworld. Thus, we may see how the pulses from the World Tree influence the human mind in creating increasingly more abstract means of exchange.

The DAYS are the periods when the World Tree favors creativity. From this we may understand how the abstracting economy came into existence in the first place. The final step was taken as the completing Thirteenth Heaven (ruled according to the Aztecs by the dual god Ometeotl/Omecinatl) begins in the early 17th century. Sweden then, as the first country in Europe, implemented the use of paper bills, in 1661. China, of course, had used paper money several centuries earlier, but those were somewhat different. The Swedish paper bills were not receipts written in the name of the holders for specific sums, but anonymous and with different values. This initial experiment was however somewhat ahead of its time and failed because of the ensuing rapid inflation (the head of the Central Bank was put into jail because of this). The idea of paper bills was however taken up again by the Bank of England in 1694 and spread to its American colonies in the 18th century.

Generally, the rule of Ometeotl of this Heaven meant a strong push forward for abstract thinking; the scientific revolution, Protestantism and - paper money. These are mental constructs typical of the left brain half through which analytical reasoning and mathematical calculations are mediated. In parallel with this, and related to it, the rule of Ometeotl meant the beginning of a 400 year period of world dominance by the West and so the build-up of the British Empire began at this very time (the first trading post in India was established in 1612 and the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts in 1620). Because the mind set ruling this baktun favored both the Western Hemisphere and, through holographic resonance, the left brain half, it is no wonder that paper money, after its initial use in Sweden, spread principally to the West. In fact, many other European countries did not start to use paper bills until the beginning of the 19th century.

Mentally speaking, the shift taking place with the use of paper bills was very significant. Thus, at this point, the values of life came to be translated into abstract quantities written on pieces of paper. Of course, in this early time there was still a guarantee that the value of the bill could be traded into gold. Nonetheless, the use of paper money reflected one of the significant steps in the alienation of man from nature (This is truly an aspect of the Fall, which was completed with the Thirteenth Heaven) and the beginning of an abstract detached view of the earth as matter to be exploited based on abstract calculations of the left brain half.

While the use of paper money set the stage for the emergence of capitalism, a second step was necessary for the further development of this: the Industrial Revolution. This only began with the Planetary Underworld in 1755, and it is easy to see how the first major steps in the industrial development, Spinning Jenny (1764) and James Watts' Steam Engine (1769), were taken at the beginning of this. The further industrial development brought about at the beginning of the DAYS is however somewhat beside the focus of this article, which is on economy rather than technology. To study economic cycles we may instead first note the times of significant economic crises taking place within this Underworld, which are indicated in the time-line below (Fig 2). What I have included in this are only economic crises that may be qualified as international, in other words crises that occurred in more than one country simultaneously. What we can see from this is first of all that, invariably, the periods that are NIGHTS in this Underworld begin with recessions or depressions.

This is very evident especially if we consider the beginnings of its latter NIGHTS; 1893, 1932 and 1972, which may be the better known among people living today. Thus, in its own time, the depression in 1893 was called the Great Depression in the United States, since people then had not seen anything like it. This of course changed following the stock exchange crash in 1929, and the depression that followed, which has since then been considered as the Great Depression, whose worst year in international trade was actually 1932, as the fifth NIGHT began. That the worst depression in the history of economics would begin with the rule of Tezcatlipoca, the Lord of Darkness, should not be surprising to those familiar with the different energies of the Mayan calendar. 1972 finally, was the first year of slower growth after the uninterrupted increase that followed upon World War II. This was seemingly initiated by the energy crises, but in reality by the mental influence of the new NIGHT (consciousness is primary to matter).

In Fig. 2 the DAYS, on the other hand, are periods of more or less sustained growth. Strong periods of growth are very obvious when it comes to DAYS 6 and 7. This is not very surprising given that the DAYS are also the periods when the World Tree favors mental creativity. The reason that some of the DAYS early in this Underworld begin with economic crises is that these new pulses of creativity generate a number of new products and ideas that may be manufactured. A shortage of financial means then easily arises because of all the business projects beginning, which, if not properly handled, could generate a temporary crisis. Thus, also the DAYS sometimes see financial crises, which however are mostly limited to their beginnings. Yet, these crises are not as depressed as those that occur at the beginnings of the NIGHTS of this Underworld.

Because of its origin in these pulses the world economy has developed, at least since the mid-19th century, according to a katun cycle (20 tun or 19.7 years) for economic growth. A twenty-year cycle following this pattern has in fact by Harvard economist Simon Kuznets been demonstrated for capital accumulation in the US. As we have progressed into the 20th century, growth cycles of shorter duration have however increasingly been superimposed on this, especially with periods of about five and ten years, respectively. These may then be seen as overtones of the katun cycles. Especially as the Galactic Underworld came closer these high frequency economic cycles, reflections of the Mayan holtun (5 tun) and lahuntun (10 tun) periods, have increasingly become more marked and until recently the five-year economic cycle had become dominating. As the ancients knew, the vibrations of the World Tree are behind all things, and in ancient Scandinavia it was said that as Creation approached its completion its branches would be shivering faster.

We should of course keep in mind that the way economic cycles are looked upon here is different from that presented by traditional economic scientists, who have never been able to explain the existence of economic cycles in the first place. Thus, the Mayan time cycles are not cycles that are endlessly repeated. Instead they have a definite time-line, October 28, 2011, by which time the world will need to have arrived at a balance and the cyclical changes in the economy will need to have come to an end. (The "economy" at that time will be in service of the Enlightened who do not want to be subject to the stressing influences of a flickering economy).

Now that we have seen that the basic cyclical changes in the economy is a function of the wave movement described by the Mayan calendar we may return to the issue of the abstraction of economic values. A key indicator for this is how much of a link is retained between the global monopoly game and real values, that is, to what extent paper money can be exchanged into gold (a gold standard). Thus, it may be interesting to follow major steps in this regard in the Planetary Underworld using the US economy, which after all epitomizes Western capitalism (Fig 3), as an example. The pattern that emerges from the study of this figure is that the beginnings of DAYS mean that the link between gold and dollars is strengthened, whereas the beginnings of NIGHTS are periods when the link between these are loosened. In the beginning of this Underworld, when dollars were actually made from noble metals, there could be no abstraction of value. Yet, as the gold standard step-by-step has been abolished at the beginning of NIGHTS money has lost its direct link to real values. From 1972 and onwards the monetary system of the world has not been based on a gold standard and this has then lacked a foundation in real values.

Fig 3, in fact, is probably one of the sharpest wave movements of the Mayan calendar that has ever been discovered. Someone may however point out that the meeting in Bretton Woods, where the post-World War II global financial system was outlined, took place already in 1944 and that this year does not conform to the Mayan calendar. I would then respond that this meeting only decided upon a number of ideas, whose implementation did not begin until much later. Even in 1950 none of them had been put into effect and until the beginning of the fifties several of the West European countries in fact still had no convertible currencies. Thus, it is correct to say that the Bretton Woods system, which meant that the United States guaranteed foreign governments that it would exchange their assets of dollars into gold, took effects around 1952, as the sixth DAY of this Underworld began (The Mayan calendar does not describe when ideas are put on shelves, but when they actually manifest).

What should be absolutely clear from these figures is that the pulses of the World Tree directly determine economic development. The correlation between the two is so strong that most economists could only dream of attaining a similar concordance to support their theories. What is more, it is based on very simple facts that anyone with a basic economic education can verify. The pattern however leaves us with an obvious exception, the beginning of the Seventh DAY of the Planetary Underworld in 1992, which became the beginning of a very long period of uninterrupted growth in the West and especially the US. This period of growth actually took place in a situation that is new in the history of the world economy in that there was no gold standard in effect. In the 90's, economic policy seemed very successful as a number of innovations in the computer industry and telecommunications created a mental confidence in a growth that would go on forever.

We should notice a parallel here between the DAYS ruled by Ometeotl in both the National and Planetary Underworlds. During the Seventh DAY of the National Underworld paper money came into use in the West, which meant an abstraction from real values. When the Seventh DAY of the Planetary Underworld began, as a further step, this paper money lost all relations to real values, in this case gold. In this way, the world economy has come to be based on a monetary system, which, as we concluded earlier, is totally worthless. (I am half joking, as I use money myself, but in the big picture it is really true).

What is behind this pattern to begin with? It is well known that the purpose of disconnecting the value of money from gold when economic depressions begin is exactly to keep the wheels of industry turning with artificial means (disconnecting from real values). What is less well known is that these depressions came about as results of the mental effects of the NIGHTS in the Mayan calendar. As human industrial creativity increases at the beginning of new DAYS, on the other hand, there is a risk of overheating and hence there has then been a tendency to reinstate the gold standard to keep things grounded. Regardless, the effects of abolishing the gold standard for long periods, and a number of mechanisms in banking that I will not go in to, are that today's monetary system is a mental construct floating in the air based on the "confidence" people have in it.

We should however note another noteworthy thing that happened in the financial world in 1992, namely the plan by the European Union to launch the Euro currency, a decision that was implemented exactly as the new and higher Galactic Underworld began in January of 1999 (Fig. 4). In a sense this is an even further step away from a link to gold in that, unlike the US, the EU does not even hold a reserve of gold and the value of the Euro is then only based on the "confidence" people have in the assets of the member countries combined. The financial system of today's world has then to an extreme degree been disconnected from the value of anything real. This is obvious in the US, where paper money can not be exchanged to gold, but it is even more obvious with the European currency, where it is difficult to identify what national assets are used to back its "value."

And this brings us right into the question as to how the "economy" will develop in this Galactic Underworld. If the Euro was implemented on its first day (January 4, 1999) we may ask whether there is possibly a greater significance of this than immediately meets the eye. If, as we have reasons to expect, the DAYS will bring an end to the world dominance by the West (you may use the time-line above for reference) then it is entirely possible that the new currency will come to play a mediating role that Europe is now about to have in the conflicts between East and West.

Economically speaking, the first DAY of the Galactic Underworld (essentially the year 1999), at least in Northern Europe, was however the time when there was most enthusiasm about the "new economy" and the Information Technology amounting to a revolution on a par with the Industrial Revolution. Given the parallel to the first DAY of the Planetary Underworld, it is easy to understand that this was a widespread impulse. The inspiration this gave to investors meant that everything that sounded like Internet and telecom soared on the stock markets.
Thus, it would seem that the DAYS of this emerging new Underworld would bring economic ups and the NIGHTS would bring downs, quite in parallel with the pattern that we discovered for the two lower Underworlds, the National and the Planetary. So far this pattern has proved fairly true and NIGHT 2, essentially the Gregorian year 2002, has for instance, as expected from its energy, displayed a dramatic decline in all stock related to telecom, punctuated by a series of scandals with accounting fraud (These are the guys that draw cards saying "go to jail" in the monopoly game). So when it comes to the IT industry it seems we have a pattern that, albeit at the higher tun-based frequency of the Galactic Underworld, is a direct parallel to that of the lower Underworlds, where DAYS have been conducive to economic innovations and NIGHTS to recessions.

Yet, maybe we will not be served economic predictions on such a polished silver plate, and there is for instance now talk of the possibility of a double dip in the economy. After all, each Underworld develops a new distinct frame of consciousness, with specific characteristics and so phenomena entirely unexpected from the past may easily arise. And so we have reasons to be cautious in our interpretations. For one thing, parallels with lower Underworlds is complicated by the fact that the Galactic Underworld will not favor the left brain half. Thus, even if the DAYS are periods of creativity, the now emerging creativity will not be the abstracting creativity of the left brain half, but one of the right brain half. Even if the IT industry will be favored by the DAYS, we must ask what will happen to the abstract "worthless" global monetary system as the pulses of the DAYS will favor the right brain half, which tends to counteract the tendency of the left half to make things abstract. Since the values of life will be less and less abstract the whole basis for the monopoly game will then be jeopardized. Thus, in significant regards the mental field generated by the Galactic Underworld will not only develop in parallel to those of the lower Underworlds, but also in conflict to them. At the high tun- frequency at which the Galactic Underworld develops we have better be open to surprises. What is absolutely clear from the previous is however that evolution will proceed in phase with the Mayan calendar.

Carl Johan Calleman (5 Jaguar) has devoted the past nine years to the study and dissemination of information about the Mayan Calendar. He has lectured about the Mayan calendar in nine different countries and was one of the main speakers at the conference about the Mayan calendar organized by the Indigenous Council of the Americas in Merida, Yucatan,1998. He is the author of Maya-hypotesen (in Swedish,1994), Solving the Greatest Mystery of Our Time: The Mayan Calendar (Garev, Coral Springs and London, 2001) from which interested readers may gain a more extended background to the ideas pesented in this article and a forthcoming book in English: Enlightenment - The Mayan Calendar as a Guide to our Future (Acalan, Albuquerque, 2003). He is an accomplished biomedical scientist with a Ph.D. from the University of Stockholm. His web page is: