In this article the Maya cross symbols and their association with the Great Celestial Conjunction that is occurring at the end of the Maya Long Count calendar is being discussed. This rare cosmic event is associated with Galactic Alignment which is a particular case of a Great Celestial Conjunction.
As we will demonstrate in this article Maya cross symbols appear in abundance in temples, stelae, stone tablets and other artefacts that are associated with the Maya creation myths and the Maya Sacred Tree.
Most importantly Maya cross symbols appear in Izapa in the stelae that encode the winter solstice sun’s conjunction with the Galactic Equator around era-2012. New information reveals important facts that have been overlooked by John Major Jenkins whose research has connected this site to the Maya’s understanding of a Galactic Alignment that would occur at the end of the Maya Long Count calendar.
There is an abundance of four pointed crosses, (X) or a combination of two of these crosses (XX) as well as the 8 pointed cross in the ancient Maya artefacts. It’s important to understand that the 8 pointed crosses in these artefacts are actually two separate four pointed crosses with different appearances that are superimposed. The same idea of separate crosses is expressed when two four pointed cross are depicted next to each other (XX) in stead of being superimposed.
In San Juan Chamula (Chiapas) the memory of the ancient Maya ancestors who devoted significant importance to the cross symbols still lives on with the modern day Maya. In San Juan Chamula we find a Maya version of the ‘Christian’ cross that contains the 8 pointed crosses on it. Notice that the 8 pointed crosses on the green cross consist of two different crosses that are superimposed. This is a very important fact and is a recurring theme in most of the ancient Maya 8 pointed crosses.
The merging of Christian symbolism with local indigenous pagan symbolism is called syncretism. Under the veil of Christianity, the ancient old religious traditions were preserved throughout the suppression of the Spanish Inquisition.
Allegedly these green Maya crosses can be found in every household in San Juan Chamula and are placed in the front garden. Locals say the cross represents the MayaSacredTree.
Maya ‘Christian’ cross in San Juan Chamula (Chiapas) with 8 pointed crosses. The tree on the cross represents the ceiba tree a symbol of the Maya Sacred Tree
The church of San Juan Chamula is a Christian church dedicated to John the Baptist but that’s where all comparisons with Christianity end. This church preserves the religion and belief system of the ancient Maya! It is adorned in abundance with both four and eight pointed crosses appearing in an alternating sequence.
The Church of San Juan Chamula is adorned in abundance
with 4 and 8 pointed crosses that appear in an alternating sequence
Also notice the green cross in the churchyard.
A woman living in a nearby community is wearing the 8 pointed cross on her back. Notice that this 8 pointed cross is composed of two four pointed crosses (one with straight lines, one with dotted lines).
Maya woman weaver with an 8 pointed cross
These crosses must have been and still are very important to the Maya with respect to their religion, since they play a predominant role in San Juan Chamula. The crosses in this village demonstrate that the association of both the 4 and the 8 pointed crosses with the Maya Sacred Tree has survived the Spanish Inquisition and this secret is still kept alive today by the Maya!
The thesis of this article is that the ancient Maya understood that the zodiac cross (cross formed by the solstice and equinox axis) revolves against the backdrop of a fixated cross during a precession cycle. The first cross, the zodiac cross is the Earth Cross while the second cross is the Galactic Cross. The Galactic Cross is the intersection of the Galactic Equator with the ecliptic and the axis perpendicular to this intersection. When the Earth Cross and the Galactic Cross are superimposed they form an 8 pointed cross. The two separate crosses become conjunct and form a single 4 pointed cross during the moments of a Great Celestial Conjunction. After the Great Celestial Conjunction the individual crosses separate again to form an 8 pointed cross again.
This is presumably why the 4 and 8 pointed on the church of Chamula are depicted in an alternating sequence! Also we suggest that the reason why the green cross in Chamula has an 8 pointed cross that consists of two separate crosses is because they represent the separate crosses of the Earth Cross and the Galactic Cross!
Galactic Alignment, the Sun’s conjunction with the Galactic Equator at solstices or equinoxes during a precession cycle is a special case of a Great Celestial Conjunction. The subject is being discussed in detail in our paper ‘Crucifying the Earth on the Galactic Cross’.
Our research has shown that at the heart of the Maya belief system rests the importance of the Great Celestial Conjunctions that are embedded into their belief system by means of the Maya Creation Myths.
A missing link in understanding these Creation Myths in the context of the Great Celestial Conjunctions they encode; is the 8 pointed cross (Earth Cross and Galactic Cross) that rotates and becomes a single 4 pointed cross four times during a precession cycle! We therefore offer the suggestion that the Galactic Cross defines the World Ages of the Maya and the Suns of Aztecs.
Linda Schele’s studies have revealed that the Maya Sacred Tree stands for the crossing of the ecliptic and the Milky Way. The Paris Codex contains what appears to be a zodiac with 13 constellations appearing along the ecliptic. Many researchers have studied the Maya zodiac occurring in the Paris Codex and although some remain sceptic, Linda Schele has done a reconstruction of the Maya zodiac and matched the asterisms occurring in the Maya zodiac with the Western zodiac constellations. In the Paris Codex the constellations are represented by animals hanging from a sky band. The sky band represents the ecliptic.
Förstermann, who’s done groundbreaking work on decoding the Maya codices, proposed in 1886 that the signs in the sky band in the codices represent astronomical bodies. He remarked that ‘Venus’ glyphs were used in the sky band. Half a century later David Keley rejected this thesis and concluded that the asterisms associated with Venus did not represent Venus at all. He identified asterisms below the ‘Venus glyph’ as a turtle, scorpion, fish etc. Förstermann’s Venus glyphs in reality proved to be quincunxes!
In Linda Schele’s reconstruction of the Maya Zodiac (Paris Codex) four zodiac signs are associated with the Maya Sacred Tree (the crossing of the ecliptic and the Milky Way in the beginning of Gemini and Sagittarius). These are the signs for Gemini-Taurus nexus (of the Sidereal Zodiac) and Sagittarius-Scorpio nexus (of the Sidereal Zodiac) and they all have the four pointed cross signs in the sky-band! It’s important to notice that the other zodiac signs do not contain crosses in the sky-band!
Crosses above the Maya Zodiac signs that correspond with the Maya Sacred Tree (crossing of the ecliptic and Milky Way)
There are two sorts of crosses used (+ and x), corresponding with the place of the crossing of the ecliptic and the Milky Way, see picture above. When the symbol of the cross presented at Gemini-Taurus is superimposed over the symbol at Sagittarius-Scorpio, an 8 pointed cross is formed!
The Maya Sacred Tree as the crossing of the ecliptic and the Milky Way happens to be the first axis of the Galactic Cross! The second axis is perpendicular to the first. Together they form a fixated cross in the sky, the Galactic Cross.
The signs of the Maya Zodiac that correspond with the Maya Sacred Tree are exactly those that Schele has identified with Gemini-Taurus nexus and Sagittarius-Scorpio nexus and they all had the four pointed cross in the sky band. The reason why the crosses occur above these crucial Zodiac signs is that the Maya understood that there was a ‘fixated cross’ in the sky, the Galactic Cross!
In the Fejérváry-Mayer Codex the Galactic Cross is depicted predominantly! It’s the four pointed cross with the four Sacred Trees!
The fact that we’re dealing with an 8 pointed cross in the Fejérváry-Mayer Codex is expressed explicitly by the occurrence of the 8 pointed cross at the foot of the Sacred Tree at in the upper quadrant. The 8 pointed cross is denoted by the blue circle.
8 pointed cross of the Fejérváry-Mayer Codex, the 4 pointed cross with the Maya Sacred Tree depicted in them (Black T cross trees) is the Galactic Cross ( green cross). Bottom: The 8 pointed cross is depicted again at the foot of the Maya Sacred Tree in the blue circle above.
Notice that the Sun God in the centre is connected to the Earth Cross through the four rays that he emits! The 8 pointed cross also occurs in the Madrid Codex:
Madrid Codex, here the Maya Sacred Tree is depicted in the centre. The green cross is the Galactic Cross; the red cross is the Earth Cross.
In the Dresden Codex we find Az Tzul Ahaw, who’s believed to represent a Venus deity since the Venus glyph appears where his face is. Notice the cross symbols in the sky band. When the crosses in the sky band are superimposed an 8 pointed cross is formed. We suggest that the face of the deity is not a Venus glyph at all, but expresses exactly how the centre four pointed cross can rotate to align with the dots in the corners.
In the Madrid Codex we find a deity that is holding a lever connected to an axis fixed to the sky band. The lever allows the deity to turn the crosses. In the Madrid Codes we also find the three stones and turtle (Ak) hanging from the sky-band. The turtle with the three stones on his back represents Orion/Gemini and is associated with the Gemini-Taurus nexus in the Maya Creation myths.
Az Tzul Ahaw Dresden Codex
Deity turning the crosses Madrid Codex, the hole at the bottom could represent the Dark Rift
Three stones and turtle = Gemini-Taurus nexus
When the two different crosses in all of the above pictures are superimposed an 8 pointed cross is created.
In the Dresden Codex, the +, x and 8 pointed cross appear in sequence. The crosses are associated with the Maya Sacred Tree. At the foot of the Sacred Tree we see a black God (unidentified) who’s fiddling with the tree (maybe he’s turning the crosses?). The Sacred Tree merges into a ‘sky-band’ with the three cross glyphs (+, x and 8 pointed cross). A female deity (Ix Balam Chac) is hanging again from what seems to be again the Sacred Tree.
In the example below we believe that the + cross was misinterpreted as Venus. It may be a legacy of Förstermann’s identifications of this glyph with Venus. The eclipse symbols represent the conjunction of the two four pointed crosses.
Dresden codex page 74, notice the + and X cross in the sky band as well as the 8 pointed cross. Notice that the female deity has a four pointed cross on her skirt
The zodiac cross rotates during the precession of the equinoxes against the backdrop of the Galactic Cross with one revolution in 26.000 years (length of a Great Year or Platonic Year). The Galactic Cross rotates with one revolution in 220 million years (time of the revolution of the Solar System around the Galactic Centre). That’s why the Galactic Cross is regarded as a fixated cross during a precession cycle, its rotation can be neglected.
The two crosses (Zodiac Cross and Galactic Cross) form an eight pointed cross and four times during a precession cycle they overlap. The moments of conjunction are called a Great Celestial Conjunction (for details see our paper ‘Crucifying the Earth on the Galactic Cross’ - Smeykavov, Wicherink 2006). It’s the cosmic event that is associated with John Major Jenkins Galactic Alignment. The next one is occurring right now during era-2012 on the winter and summer solstices.
The eight pointed cross becoming a four pointed cross during a Great Celestial Conjunction. The blue cross represents the Earth Cross while the red crossrepresents the Galactic Cross. Qs(blue circle) represents plane of the Solar System and the ecliptic, Es( green circle) represents the plane of the Galaxy.
The points Z and Z’ in the picture above are the intersections of the ecliptic with the Galactic Plane and these crossings have been associated by Schele with the Maya Sacred Tree, they are the Gemini-Taurus (Z’) nexus and Sagittarius-Scorpio (Z) nexus. As we will demonstrate later in the Maya artefacts these points are often depicted as two separate crosses XX. We add to Schele’s observations that the Maya Sacred Tree is also identical to the red cross in the picture above, the intersection of the Galactic Plane with the Solar System’s plane and it’s perpendicular axis to this intersection. This cross is the cross that occurs in the Fejérváry-Mayer Codex with the Sacred Tree symbols on it (Black T cross trees).
The Galactic Cross and the Maya Sacred Tree therefore are interchangeable concepts!
We have found abundant X, XX and 8 pointed crosses in the Maya artefacts and in all cases they are associated with the Maya Sacred Tree!These examples express the idea of a rotating zodiac cross against the backdrop of a Galactic Cross. The occurrence of these crosses in the Maya artefacts and their association with the Maya Sacred Tree in their astronomical context can be explained by the Earth Cross and the Galactic Cross as proposed in this article.
One could argue that the Maya couldn’t possibly have understood that the Zodiac’s equinox and solstice axis form a cross and that this cross rotates along the ecliptic during a precession cycle. We have named this cross in our paper ‘Crucifying the Earth on the Galactic Cross’ the Earth Cross.
The crosses under the armpits of the Maize God depicted at the Lower Temple of the Jaguars at Chichen Itza represent the crossing places of the ecliptic and the Milky Way (as we will demonstrate later). But there is one very remarkable detail about this picture. Left and right of the face in the centre we see two crosses, one vertical aligned, and one slanted. They suggest the rotational movement of the four pointed cross (the Zodiac Cross). See picture below.
Notice the rotated crosses left and right of the eyes!
Here’s another interesting piece of evidence. This Mesoamerican zodiac appeared in Share International in May 1997. The article was about the return of Quatzalcoalt/Kukulkan.
Mesoamerican depiction of the solar system
Share International, May 1997 (V.16) No. 4.
The subscript to this picture reads: ‘This is drawn from a seal. The '0' is the universal symbol of consciousness. The central cross is similar to what is known in the Americas as the Cross of Quetzalcoatl’
However it’s a remarkable example of Mesoamerican understanding of the structure of the Solar System; the 4 inner circles (inside the band of dots) represent the visible inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) while the 5 outer circles represent Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto. The band with the dots represents the Asteroid belt. It is a perfect representation of the Solar System! Also the left and right side of the picture is separated by a vertical band of 9 circles, representing the 9 planets of our Solar System.
The first question that comes to mind is why is the Solar System depicted twice? The reason we think is because it is meant to depict motion, or better a rotation of a cross, the Cross of Quetzalcoatl! Just like a motion picture requires a sequence of stills to create the illusion of movement, the picture above uses two of those stills to express the motion of the Earth Cross!
If we look at the upper right cross in both pictures, we see a cross that is depicted identical. This cross hasn’t moved and represents the Galactic Cross. But to cross in the bottom left corner, has shifted. Superimpose them and we have an eight pointed cross! This cross therefore represents the Earth Cross.
Earliest 8 pointed crosses in Mesoamerica
The oldest of the 8 pointed crosses found in Mesoamerica are most likely the ones found in Teotihuacan. These crosses were ‘pecked crosses’.
8 pointed pecked cross at Teotihuacan
Many of these pecked cross symbols and related symbols were discovered in profusion on a floor adjacent to the Pyramid of the Sun.
At least 29 of such 8 and 4 pointed pecked crosses have been found in Mesoamerica. A lot of them had 260 depressions and suggest they may be related to some kind of a calendar (such as the Tzolkin). In some cases these crosses were astronomically aligned.
Pacal the Great ruler of Palenque was buried in a tomb in the Temple of Inscriptions. His carved tomb lid depicts Pacal descending into Xibalba (underworld) along the U be Xibalba (dark road to the underworld). Linda Schele has associated this famous Maya artefact with the Maya Sacred Tree. The Maya Sacred Tree is the crossing of the Milky Way with the ecliptic.
Schele’s work meant a major break through in the understanding and decoding of this iconograph and allowed John Major Jenkins to corroborate his theory on Galactic Alignment. He noticed that Lord Pacal (as the Sun) as he enters into the underworld, is nothing less than the metaphor for the Sun’s alignment with the Milky Way’s Dark Rift (Noh-ol, the Great Hole) near the crossing of the ecliptic and the Milky Way at the Scorpio–Sagittarius nexus.
The edges of the sarcophagus lid contain many Maya glyphs allegedly representing the Sun, Moon and Venus as well as various constellations. But there are also glyphs that represent 4 pointed and 8 pointed crosses. These glyphs do not represent a particular star but represent quadripartite shapes, geometrical forms
Crosses on the lid of Pacal’s sarcophagus. Note that in this case the 8 pointed crosses are 4 point crosses superimposed over a quincunx
Notice in particularly that on the axis that has been identified by Linda Schele as the Milky Way we find two four pointed crosses below Pacal. These four pointed crosses are directly associated with the Sacred Tree or the crossing of Milky Way and the ecliptic.
Of course one could argue that these crosses represent the crossings of the Sacred Tree itself, however on the West Side of the Sarcophagus in the tomb below the Temple of the Inscriptions we find glyphs that seem to suggest otherwise.
In the picture below in the centre we see a quincunx and a four pointed cross. On the left the four pointed cross seems to have taken the place of the middle dot of the quincunx. These glyphs again support the idea of two separate and two very different superimposed crosses (quincunx and four pointed cross).
Cartouche for Pacal
Temple of the Inscriptions, sarcophagus, West Side, Figure 1
Drawing by Merle Greene Robertson (1983)
Cartouche for Pacal contains the syllables Pa-Ca-l also meaning “hand shield”
In the Temple of the Foliated Cross at Palenque, the Sacred Tree is also displayed:
Quincunx superimposed over a four pointed cross at the base of the Sacred Tree Temple of the Foliated Cross Palenque
The exact same ‘quincunx-four pointed cross’ (just another form of an 8 pointed cross) that occurs on the Tablet of the Foliated Cross also appears on the lid of Pacal’s sarcophagus. In the red circle the ‘quincunx-four pointed cross’ is right on the Maya Sacred Tree. The glyph on the left is the Venus glyph but it too represents a ‘quincunx-four pointed cross’.
In Palenque the ‘Tablet of the Cross’ shows the ‘Wakah-Chan’ (raised Milky Way). Exactly in the centre there are two single X crosses depicted. Again these two crosses are associated with the Milky Way and the crossing of the ecliptic.
Tablet of the Cross, Palenque, two single four pointed crosses in the centre. The crosses themselves seem to be twisted cords.
The Tablet of the Cross contains the text ‘On 13 Ik’ end of Mol, it was made proper, the Six (Raised Sky), the Eight-House-Partitions, its holy name, the house of the north’. (Oxlahun Ik’ ch’a Mol, hoy Wakah-Chanal, Waxak-Na-Tzuk, u ch’ul k’aba, Yotot xaman).
Linda Schele and Khristaan D. Villela translate this text as the formation of a house named ‘Wakah-Chan’ (Milky Way) that had eight partitions. The eight partitions according to Shele and Villela stand for the four cardinal directions and the corners in between them.
We offer an alternative explanation; the Wakah Chan was divided into 8 partitions by the 8 pointed cross that is formed when the two 4 pointed crosses depicted in the centre of the Wakah-Chan are superimposed to become an 8 pointed cross!
Lord Pacal who’s cartouche had two crosses in it, passed these crosses on to his son K’inich Kan B’alam II who succeeded him to the throne after his dead. In the stone tablet below we see him wearing the XX crosses on his boots. These crosses must have been very important to the rulers of Palenque!
K’inich Kan B’alam II, son and successor of Pacal. He was ruler of Palenque and is wearing the double cross on his boots.
In the Maya city Quirigua we find a splendid example of the double cross (XX):
Stela C (Chaah Bitun Ka’an or Cauak Sky, 775 AD)
Chaah Bitun who’s depicted in Stela C is holding a double headed serpent bar in his hands. On the serpents bar the double cross signs XX are carved. Notice that the double crosses also occur on the chest of this figure; one on the left and one on the right. On his navel a single X cross is carved which stands for a Great Celestial Conjunction!
The double headed serpent on the Sacred Tree at the Temple of the Inscriptions was identified by Linda Schele as the ecliptic. According to Schele all double headed serpents represent the ecliptic from the Late Preclassic period onwards. But if the double headed serpent bar of Stela C represents the ecliptic we can safely assume that Stela C also represents the Sacred Tree.
Stela C expresses the importance of the double XX cross and the single X cross. The XX cross appears right at the centre where the ecliptic crosses the Milky Way! The single cross X appears at the navel, the birthplace of the Sun Lord.
Stela C in Quirigua is not the only stela that contains the double X cross, most stelae such as stela A, D and H contain exactly the same double XX crosses and are very similar to Stela C. They all contain the double X crosses at the chest, near the hearth and what looks like a worn face in between these crosses. The face most likely represents the Sun God that is reborn at the end of the fourth Sun.
On the side of Stela C the Maya creation myth and the Long Count calendar start date is carved: 220.127.116.11.0 4 Ahaw 8 Kumk'u (August 11th, 3114 BC). The start date is carved as 18.104.22.168.0 in stead of 0.0.0.0.0 since it also represents the ending of the previous 13 baktun cycle.
Creation Myth on the side (see left picture) of Stela C at Quirigua
The practice of many ancient Maya religious ceremonies still continue today and have survived the Spanish Inquisition and the Christian missionary efforts to convert the Maya and destroy their ancient ceremonies.
In the introduction we mentioned the green cross with the 8 pointed crosses representing the Maya sacred tree that is still in use today. Another custom that has survived are the three stone hearths of creation that are kept by the Maya in the centre of their houses. The three stone hearths of creation are associated with the Creation Myths. Another ritual that has survived Christian indoctrination is the dance ritual of San Martin, conducted on November 11, the day dedicated to the Catholic Saint Martin of Tours.
The ritual dance parallels the creation myth of the Popul Vuh and includes the descend of the Maize god into the underworld. The San Marin Priest as the Maize God is carried to the alter of the confraternity to be sacrificed. He rises from the death with his arms outstretched the same posture that we see in many of the ancient Maya stela such as Izapa Stela 2, Stela 11, Stela 67 and Copan Stela C that depict the reborn Sun Lord.
Members of the confraternity explain that this gesture of the outstretched arms represents the Maya sacred Tree which the Maya worship as the centre of the cosmos and a symbolic token of renewed life.
In ‘Galactic Alignment, the Transformation of Consciousness according to Mayan, Egyptian and Vedic Traditions’, John Major Jenkins explains the gesture of the outstretched arms appearing at the stelae in Izapa as representing a ‘period ending “measure of time”’ (page 18 and page 213). Well apparently this is not the case; the Solar Lords in the stelae mentioned above represent the Maya Sacred Tree!
Notice that these stelae with the Sun god or Maize God with his outstretched arms also have four pointed crosses appear left and right of the deity:
X crosses in the armpits
Stela 2 Izapa
X cross left (broken tablet) and right of the Maize God
Izapa 67 Izapa
Maize God with outstretched arms with two four pointed crosses under his arm pits.
LowerTemple of the Jaguars. Chichen Itza
If the gesture of the outstretched arms of the Solar Lord represents the Maya Sacred Tree, then these XX crosses must be very important in relation to the Maya Sacred Tree!
Izapa is the Maya site that plays a very important role in John Major Jenkins his work on Galactic Alignment. Galactic Alignment coincides with the end of the Maya Long Count calendar on the 21st December 2012.
In Izapa in Group F, the ball court we find stela 67 with the Solar Lord, One Hunapu in his barge. This stela encodes information on Galactic Alignment (Sun on the Milky Way) in multiple ways:
By means of the river on which the Sun Lords barge floats is the great river in the sky which represents the Milky Way.
Since the Solar Lord holds his hands outstretched he represents the Sacred Tree. The Sun Lord and the Sacred Tree are one (Sun on the Milky Way-ecliptic crossing).
The two single X crosses that appear on the far ends along the axis of the ecliptic (left one broken off), are the two places where the Milky Way-ecliptic crossings occur. These crossings are about 180 degrees apart on the ecliptic (near the Sagittarius-Scorpio nexus and the Taurus-Gemini nexus).
The Solar Lord as the Sacred Tree holds two crosses in his hands. The cross in his right hand is held erect. The cross in his left hand is held slanted. When both crosses in these positions are superimposed an 8 pointed cross is formed. These crosses symbolize the fact that during a Great Celestial Conjunction the two crosses of the 8 pointed cross overlap such that they become one and form a four pointed cross. This is achieved by rotation of the Earth Cross (zodiac cross) against the backdrop of the Galactic Cross.
In Stela 11 at Izapa, the Solar Lord One Hunapu is depicted again with his arms outstretched symbolizing the Maya Sacred Tree. The bars with the curly ends behind the Solar Lord do not represent the ecliptic as John Major Jenkins has suggested since the ecliptic is already represented by the outstretched arms of the Solar Lord. In addition these bars do not represent serpents either that could have associated them with the ecliptic. They are bars with curled ends, not serpents! They appear in twofold on both sides of the Solar Lord. The curling up of the bars suggests motion, rotation. The bars on the left suggest a clockwise rotation while the bars on the right suggest a counter-clockwise rotation. It doesn’t necessarily have to mean that both crosses move in opposite direction. Since motion is relative one could be moving while the other is at rest. However the best way to expresses how the two crosses merge is to suggest that they both move. If only one of the bars were given the curls, the hint may not have been understood. We therefore suggest that the bars could represent the motion of the four pointed crosses that become one during a Great Celestial Conjunction!
A single 4 pointed cross is depicted at the base of the Maya Sacred Tree representing the Great Celestial Conjunction.
Stela 22 Izapa expresses the clockwise rotation of the solstice axis and the
‘Erection of the Holy Cross’. In 1998 the equinox axis became perpendicular to the galactic axis while the solstice axis became parallel with the galactic axis
(Nick Anthony Fiorenza)
Stela 22 portrays the same idea as Stela 67, the rotation of the Earth Cross. Notice the double cross bones left and right in bottom of the picture. The ‘cross bones’ are four pointed crosses. The one on the left is leaning towards the left, while the one on the right is leaning towards the right suggesting that they have been rotated!
The deity in the barge holds his arms outstretched so he must represent the Solar Lord and the Maya Sacred Tree. The Solar Lord is pulling the strings on the rectangular box with the Jaguar above his head. Notice that this box is depicted slanted. The strings that the Solar Lord is holding in his hands suggest that he’s able to pull the strings and rotate the rectangular box with the Jaguar. He’s not moving the box himself; he’s got help from two possums on the left and right of the barge.
The long curly scrolls that are emitted from their mouths of the possums is the classical way to denote that they are talking (speech). The scrolls represent the words that are coming from the mouth and also represent the movement of the lips. These scrolls therefore express ‘movement’, in this case the rotation of the box with the Jaguar on top. If we look at the scroll that touches the box on the upper left corner, we notice that it suggests a clockwise rotation of the box.
The box with the Jaguar on top represents the solstice axis that is rotating clockwise against the backdrop of the Galactic Cross (the Maya Sacred Tree, represented by the outstretched arms of the Solar Lord). The solstice axis is rotated such that it becomes parallel to the Milky Way to form the ‘Erected Cross’ (the erected cross consist of the equinox axis and the Galactic Equator) or the Raised up Sky of the Creation Myths! When the solstice axis has become vertically erected, the Jaguar will have descended such that he will now coincide with the Solar Lord. The mouth of the Jaguar was regarded to be the portal to the underworld by the Maya! The portal to the underworld of course is the Dark Rift of the Milky Way. So when the Sky is Raised, the Sun Lord and the Jaguar merge such that they represent the Sun’s alignment in the Dark Rift on the winter solstice!
This is the ball court of Izapa where Galactic Alignment is encoded:
On the winter solstice of the years of Great Celestial Conjunctions (1978-2017) the Sun rises at the ball court of Izapa over Stela 60 that contains two X crosses and aligns with the single X cross of the Throne.
Note how the winter solstice Sun falls over Stela 60. Stela 60 contains two four pointed X crosses (one on the left one on the right). (http://alignment2012.com)
At the winter solstice era-2012, the Earth Cross aligns with the Galactic Cross and becomes one! At Izapa the two crosses become one!
Maya Creation Myths
The Maya Creation myths deal with the first time of creation when the Sun Lord was born. In the creation myths we come across the 4 and 8 pointed crosses as well.
Pacal’s son K’inich Kan B’alam II is depicted in the Temple of the Cross in Palenque with a Chak that cracked open the turtle shell and allowed for the rebirth of the Sun god. He wears the boots with the double XX crosses. The Chak that opens the turtle has his arms put trough a four pointed cross.
Left the Chak that cracks open the turtle shell. Notice the double XX crosses on the leg of K’inich Kan B’alam II. Notice also that the Chak has his arms put through a four pointed cross!
Temple of the Cross Palenque
The creation myth of the opening of the turtle shell and the rebirth of the Sun God is therefore directly associated with the single X cross (Chak) and the double XX crosses (boots of K’inich Kan B’alam II)!
The creation myth of the planting of the three Heart Stones of Creation has been deciphered by Linda Schele. The act of setting the three stones is credited to a Wak-Chan-Ahaw or "Raised Up Sky Lord," who has been identified as the Maize God or Sun God. A detailed report can be read here:
In the article Linda Shele’s and Kristhaan D. Villela describe the Maya creation myth that is derived from the decipherment of texts appearing on Quirigua Stela C and in texts found in Palenque. According to Schele and Villela the creation myth describes the movement of the heavens as it appeared on August 13th 690 AD (4 Ahau, 8 Kumk’u) and the reverse movement of the sky that happens on the reciprocal date February 5th 691 AD. Note that Linda Schele uses the Floyd Lounsbury 584285 correlation for the Long Count-Gregorian calendar correspondence! The Goodman, Martinez, Thomson (GMT) correlation 584283 of the date 4 Ahau, 8 Kumk’u corresponds with August 11th 690 AD.
Creation myth Schele-Villela
The creation myth explains how the Milky Way and the first place of creation (crossing of the ecliptic and Milky Way near the Dark Rift) moves in the heavens through the night. While the first place of creation is visible shortly after dusk, the three stones and turtle of creation (Orion-Gemini) appear at dawn of the next day. The Sun Lord is reborn by the opening of the turtle by the Chak at dawn as we have mentioned above. The double XX cross and the single X cross are associated with this event.
Although Schele and Villela have given an accurate account of the movement of the skies at August 11th 690 AD (GMT correlation), one wonders what makes this day so very special? The same movement of the sky happens every year around the same time. So the question comes to mind why did the Maya deem it important?
John Major Jenkins has pointed out that the Maya creation myth in reality is describing the alignment of the Sun with the Maya Sacred Tree (crossing of the ecliptic and Milky Way) during solstices. Such has been encoded at Izapa for the winter solstice of era-2012 (1978-2017). The rebirth of the Sun Lord in Stela 67 symbolizes the birth of the new Sun or the New Age.
However the creation myth also portrays precession itself.
Gods in their canoe on their way to the place of creation
In the picture above the Gods are depicted on their way to the next place of creation (three stones and turtle) on the night of August 11th. On board are the peddlers, the Maize God (representing the Sun) along with the zodiac signs that represent the nexus of the Maya Sacred Tree. These animals correspond with Scorpio-Sagittarius and Gemini-Taurus.
The Maya creation myth is speaking of the travelling of the Sun on the solstices and equinoxes during a precession cycle!
The journey of the Maize God started on the first place of creation, at the crossing of the ecliptic and the Milky Way, half a precession cycle ago around 10.500 BC when the Sun aligned with the Scorpio-Sagittarius nexus on the summer solstice. The Sun will arrive in era-2012 at the next place of creation. It’s the Sacred Tree nexus Gemini-Taurus where the Sun will align during the summer solstice (three stones and turtle). At the same time the Sun will align at the winter solstice at the Scorpio-Sagittarius nexus. It’s the time of a New Age, the rebirth of the Maya Sun God!
Calendars and the Great Celestial Conjunction
We also find the cross symbols in the Maya calendars.
The first month of the Haab calendar is the month Pop and 0 Pop represents new year. Its glyph contains a diagonal 4 pointed cross and a vertical 4 pointed cross. When superimposed they form of course the 8 pointed cross!
The second month of the Haab calendar is Wo or Uo and its glyph is a diagonal cross. The Maya glyph Uo translates into ‘black conjunction’.
The third month of the Haab calendar is Zip or Sip and its glyph contains a diagonal cross as well. It translates into ‘red conjunction’.
The Haab was the Maya solar calendar and is made up of eighteen months of twenty days each plus a period of five ‘bad’ days. Victoria Bricker (1982) estimates that the Haab' was first used around 550 BCE with the starting point on the winter solstice!
Haab glyphs, Notice the Pop glyph above it contains two forms of 4 pointed crosses that when superimposed form the 8 pointed cross. Why are the Uo and Zip signs associated with conjunctions?
Is it a coincidence that two of the cross glyphs Uo and Zip are both associated with conjunctions? Could the black conjunction correspond with the Sagittarius-Scorpio nexus near the Dark Rift while the red conjunction corresponds with the Taurus-Gemini nexus? The latter place was the place where the Chak (meaning red) cracked open the turtle shell to allow for the rebirth of the Sun God!
The double 4 pointed crosses when superimposed form the 8 pointed cross.
Four pointed cross
Four pointed cross
Black conjunction, Dark Rift, Sagittarius-Scorpio nexus
Red conjunction, red Chak that cracked open the Turtle Taurus-Gemini nexus
Haab calendar is supposed to have started on a winter solstice
Haab associations with the Great Celestial Conjunctions
Long Count Calendar
Also the day or Kin glyphs (day signs) of the Maya Long Count Calendar are crosses:
Kin glyphs, two very different four pointed crosses, When superimposed they form an 8 pointed cross
The Kin glyph is associated with the Sun (Kin translates into ‘Sun-day-time’). The start date of the Long Count Calendar is 4 Ahau, 8 Cumku
Tzolkin 4 Ahau
Haab 8 Cumku
Start date Maya Long Count Calendar
Ahau means Solar Lord (One Hunaphu), Cumku means dark.
The start and end date of the Long Count Calendar are connected since they both start and end on 4 Ahau. It’s a great mystery why the Long Count starts on August 11th 3114 BC (GMT correlation). What was so special about this date? Maybe they selected the start date of the calendar such that it would link with the end date of the 13 baktuns cycle and in addition symbolically encoded the Great Celestial Conjunction that would occur at the end of the calendar? Remember that the Kin signs that are incorporated in the Long Count suggest a reference to a Great Celestial Conjunction. (Kinmeans Sun-Day and the two crosses form an 8 pointed cross).
If the start and end date are connected by means of the 4 Ahau date, it may well be that the start and end date were also ‘symbolically’ linked intentionally!
Start Date Long Count, 4 Ahau 8 Kumku
End Date Long Count, 4 Ahua, 3 Kankin
Ahau = Sun Lord, Kumku = dark
Sun aligns with the Dark Rift
4 Ahau, 8 Kumku
The 8 pointed cross becomes the 4 pointed cross.
When the Kin signs are superimposed they form the 8 pointed cross, but they are two four pointed crosses themselves, the crosses of the Great Celestial Conjunction!
Long Count start and end date associations with the Great Celestial Conjunction
Schele reminds us that on the day of 4 Ahau, 8 Cumku the Maya creation myth is displayed in the sky. Starting after dusk on August 11th 690 AD (GMT correlation) the first place of creation appears in the sky, the Milky Way and the Dark Rift are visible. This is the time that the canoe with on board the God peddlers, the Solar Lord and the four animals of the Maya Sacred Tree start their journey starting from the first place of creation. Here we see how the start of their travel is also connected with the start date of the Maya Long Count calendar by the 4 Ahau, 8 Cumku association (Great Celestial Conjunction numbers 4 and 8 and Sun and Dark Rift conjunction = Galactic Alignment).
They arrive in the morning of August 12th (GMT correlation) at the birthplace of the Sun Lord near the three stones (Orion) and turtle (Gemini). The Solar Lord (Ahau) has travelled in his canoe from the Sagittarius-Scorpio nexus to the Gemini-Taurus nexus of the Maya Sacred Tree.
On the reciprocal date of February 3rd 691 AD (GMT correlation), the journey continues and the canoe with on board the Peddler Gods, the Solar Lord and four animals of the Maya Sacred Tree return to the origin of their journey. They have now travelled from the Gemini-Taurus nexus backto the Sagittarius-Scorpio nexus and have completed a full precession cycle!
We therefore propose that the Four World Ages or the Four Suns of the Maya are defined by the Maya Sacred Tree and or the Galactic Cross which are synonyms. The Galactic Cross divides the precession cycle into four equal periods of 6480 years each.
We therefore suggest that the last World Age or Sun did not start with the start of the Maya Long Count calendar but at the previous Great Celestial Conjunction 6480 years ago!
It will end on the current Great Celestial Conjunction occurring in era-2012. The Maya Creation Myth is about the Four World Ages that have occurred and the fifth Sun will commence on December 21st 2012 when the Sun Lord will be reborn on the Galactic Equator again at the winter solstice!
Aztec creation myths
The prophecy of the return of the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl has been associated by many authors with the end of the Maya Long Count calendar but few can really explain why and or who or what this Quetzalcoatl really is. If we look at the picture below we see Tezcatlipoca.
Notice the 8 pointed cross on his back
Tezcatlipoca is one of the four creators in the Creation Myths of the Aztecs. One of the other creators is Quetzalcoatl who was an opponent of Tezcatlipoca and together the two both created and destroyed each other’s creations, the Five Suns or World Ages of the Aztecs.
Tezcatlipoca could take on four forms (white, red, black and blue).
In the picture above he’s appearing as Red Tezcatlipoca. Notice he has an 8 pointed cross on his back! Red Tezcatlipoca has also been associated with Mixcoatl who was the father of Quetzalcoatl. Mixcoatl means ‘cloud serpent’ and was identified with the Milky Way in several Mesoamerican cultures including the Aztecs. The cloud in his name is a metaphor for the Milky Way while the serpent is a metaphor for both the serpent like Milky Way as well as the ecliptic. So his name in reality means the ‘crossing of the ecliptic and the Milky Way’, the Sacred Tree.
Quetzalcoatl as depicted in the Codex Magliabechiano (16th century). Notice the four pointed cross in his hands.
In the Codex Magliabechiano Quetzalcoatl appears with a shield with a 4 pointed cross on it! What else could the Katun prophecy of the Books of Chilam Balam that speaks of the ‘Return of Kukulkan or Quetzalcoatl’ entail but the return of the 4 pointed cross! The Maya Long Count Calendar ends on the day 4 Ahau which is a symbolic reference to the 4 pointed cross of the Great Celestial Conjunction that occurs at the winter solstice era-2012.
The Codex Borgia is a manuscript that is believed to be written before the Spanish conquest of Mesoamerica. The codex comprises 76 sheets and in them we find examples of the four and eight pointed crosses associated with the Aztec creation myth.
Codex Borgia page 26 The green cross is the Galactic Cross, the red cross is the Earth Cross.
On page 26 we notice that the deities reside on the Galactic Cross while the earthlings who vomit blood and who are being sacrificed reside on the Earth Cross.
Page 40 Codex Borgia
At page 40 of the Codex Borgia we find a central deity (Sun God?) that is being sacrificed. There are 8 sun wheels with 8 spokes attached to the deity along with a ninth central sun wheel at his belly. There are 8 deities who are offering the central deity and cut with their flint knives the sun wheels 8th spoke to get the heart of the Sun out. Blood is pouring from the sun wheels. In all cases the deities only cut a spoke that corresponds with the Galactic Cross!
In the Collection ‘Aubin Goupil’ that is preserved in the Mexican Nation Library we find a depiction of the five ‘Ciuateteo’, the women who turned into goddesses. In the collection we find a sun wheel that is composed of two separate four pointed crosses!
Left: Sun wheel, the green cross represent the Galactic Cross while the red cross represents the Earth Cross. Offerings on page 40 of the Codex Borgia are only made at junctions that correspond with the Galactic Cross! In the picture left at the bottom of the green crossis where the cut is made. Right: Collection preserved at the Mexican National Library depicts the sun wheel as two separate crosses.
At the bottom of page 40 of the Codex Borgia we find two temples with a ball court in the middle. At the ball court birth is given to who is presumably the Sun God. Red Tezcatlipoca (associated with the 8 pointed cross, see above) and Tlazolteotl are the midwives of the rebirth of the Sun God.
The Aztecs associated the Great Celestial Conjunctions with dead and sacrifice symbolizing the ending of a World Age or Sun. The rebirth of the Sun God symbolizes the beginning of the next Sun! Also notice that the rim of the page is adorned with quincunx-crosses (X cross with four dots around it)!
Page 44 Codex Borgia
On page 44 of the Codex Borgia we find the central 8 spoked sun wheel again. It is placed at the centre of a four pointed cross (the four exits of the diagram). From the hearth of the sun wheel grows a tree with two branches splitting into four branches. It represents the Sacred Tree. Protruding from the foliage of the Sacred Tree we find eight 4 pointed crosses. The scenes around the central Sun in the central white four pointed cross most likely represents the endings of the previous World Ages. On the left the deity is bitten by the Jaguar in the nose and it represents the ending of the first Sun by jaguars. On the right we see a Quetzal bird that is biting a deity in the nose and at the bottom an eagle is biting a deity in the nose.
The first World Age was called the age of Nahui-Ocelot or Four-Jaguar! The second World Age was called Nahui-Ehecatl or Four-Wind. The third world was called ‘Nahui-quiahuitl’ or Four-Rain and the fourth World was called Nahui-Atl or Four-Water. While the Aztecs speak of the five Suns, they emphasize the importance of the number 4 because it refers to the 4 pointed cross, the Galactic Cross or Sacred Tree!
The 8 pointed cross also occurs in the Aztec Sun Stone as two separate crosses. In the centre the Sun God Tonatiuh is depicted.
On the Sun Stone in the inner circle the four previous Ages or Suns are depicted. The four squares around the central deity (blue cross) depict the previous four Suns that perished. On the top right square we find the jaguar. To the left is the wind, below the wind is fiery rain and in the bottom right square is water. Those were we elements that caused the end of the four Suns according to the Aztec Creation Myths. The next ring from the centre contains the 20 day signs of the Aztec calendar. The next ring contains quincunxes! The ring with quincunxes is the ring that contains the spear-head markers of the Sacred Tree and Galactic Cross ( green cross).
Aztec Sun Stone. The red cross represents the Earth Cross. The green cross is the Galactic Cross. They are two separate crosses! The Sun God is depicted in the centre. The black circles contain the Acatl glyphs that encode the merging of the Earth and Galactic Cross!
At the bottom of the Sun Stone, two Xiuhcoatl serpents are visible (bottom green cross). These serpents allegedly represent the Milky Way whereas the tail represents the Pleiades and the mouth of the snake corresponds with the Dark Rift of the Milky Way. The headdresses of the two serpents contain seven stars representing the Pleiades. The fact that these serpents occur at the base of the green cross confirms the fact that this cross indeed represents the Galactic Cross.
In addition at the edge of the calendar, eight equally spaced holes occur.
At the top of the Sun Stone (top black circle) in a square the day and year bearer sign Acatl (Reed) is depicted along with the number 13 (Acatl is the 13th day sign in counter clockwise direction from the top in the day sign ring). Acatl is associated with Tezcatlipoca and the glyph contains a tree. We suggest that this tree represents the Sacred Tree! The day sign Acatl as the Sacred Tree appears in the day signs ring exactly at the position that aligns with the Earth Cross (red cross)!
Since the Acatl (Sacred Tree) signs occur both at the top of the Galactic Cross (top black circle) and at the position that is aligned with the Earth Cross (bottom right black circle) in the day sign ring, we suggests that it denotes the fact that the two crosses (Earth Cross and Galactic Cross) can merge and become one!
Top : Quincunxes in the ring that contains the Galactic Cross ( green cross).
Bottom left : The Xiuhcoatl serpents representing the Milky Way,
the seven white cirkels represent the Pleiades Bottom centre : Acatl representing the Sacred Tree. Bottom right : Acatl aligning with the Earth Cross! (bottom right black circle, see previous page)
Proof that the Sun Stone really contains an 8 pointed cross can be found in the Codex Vindobonensis. In this codex the Galactic Cross is depicted in exactly the same style as the Galactic Cross on the Sun Stone; the curly spear head markers that are used to denote the Galactic Cross are identical. In the Codex Vindobonensis there can be no doubt that two separate four pointed crosses are depicted since one of the crosses is a red cross (Galactic Cross) while the other cross is a white cross (Earth Cross).
Codex Vindobonensis, two Galactic Cross is red, the Earth Cross is white
The Aztec Creation Myths, the fights between Tezcatlipoca (8 pointed cross) and Quetzalcoatl (4 pointed cross), their creation of the five Suns, the association of his father Mixcoatl with the Sacred Tree, the Codex Borgia and the Sun Stone all portray the importance of the crosses.
The Mesoamerican Creation Myths of both the Maya and Aztec speak of the four Great Celestial Conjunctions that occur during a precession cycle. This allows us to suggest that the Great Celestial Conjunctions most likely also define their Suns or World Ages.
The origin of the ‘Galactic Butterfly’ is still disputed but we know for sure that it was at least an Aztec symbol. After the new discoveries revealed about the importance of the 8 pointed cross with respect to a Great Celestial Conjunction in this article and the fact that the Aztec sacred Sun Stone calendar also contains the 8 pointed cross, there is now little doubt that in fact the Galactic Butterfly as yet another form of an 8 pointed cross is the symbol that represents a Great Celestial Conjunction!
The Galactic Butterfly contains two different four pointed crosses
We have provided abundant evidence of the occurrence of cross symbols in the Maya artefacts that are associated with the Maya Sacred Tree and in particular with the Great Celestial Conjunction that is occurring at the end of the Maya Long Count calendar.
Though the crosses were firstly marked in the Maya artefacts two centuries ago and some hints as to their meaning were presented in the ‘Secret Doctrine’, since then (to our knowledge) no special studies were undertaken relative to this subject. In continuation of the previous article (The Mysteries of the Maya Symbols and the epochs of crucial world transformations) where the explanation of this connection was first proposed, this work is developed on the ground of new evidences of the occurrence of cross symbols in the Maya artefacts and its associations with the Maya Sacred Tree.
It is established that the 4 and 8 pointed crosses which we see in abundance in the Maya artefacts closely correlate with Maya Cosmogony concepts and other symbols; they explain why the end of long count at 2012 is so close to the rare cosmic event being described as a Great Celestial Conjunction or Galactic Alignment.
We therefore offer the suggestion that the Maya Sacred Tree also stands for the Galactic Cross that determines the quadripartite nature of the precession cycle and thus divide the Great Year in four equal cycles; from this point of view it defines the world epochs of the Maya and the Aztecs about which their Creation Myths speak.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Professor Dr. Sergey Smelyakov ( www.astrotheos.com) for the inspiration and help with this article. Without your persistence to investigate the Galactic Butterfly symbol, my research into the Maya crosses would never have taken place. Our co-operation has been very successful and by no means do I regard this article to be the fruit of my own work. It is the fruitful result of the many intellectual thought exchanges that we had on the 4 pointed and 8 pointed crosses with respect to your Solar Zodiac model and its association with the Maya culture.