Star Gods of the Maya

Author: Susan Milbrath

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292778511

Category: Social Science

Page: 382

View: 4495


Observations of the sun, moon, planets, and stars played a central role in ancient Maya lifeways, as they do today among contemporary Maya who maintain the traditional ways. This pathfinding book reconstructs ancient Maya astronomy and cosmology through the astronomical information encoded in Precolumbian Maya art and confirmed by the current practices of living Maya peoples. Susan Milbrath opens the book with a discussion of modern Maya beliefs about astronomy, along with essential information on naked-eye observation. She devotes subsequent chapters to Precolumbian astronomical imagery, which she traces back through time, starting from the Colonial and Postclassic eras. She delves into many aspects of the Maya astronomical images, including the major astronomical gods and their associated glyphs, astronomical almanacs in the Maya codices [painted books], and changes in the imagery of the heavens over time. This investigation yields new data and a new synthesis of information about the specific astronomical events and cycles recorded in Maya art and architecture. Indeed, it constitutes the first major study of the relationship between art and astronomy in ancient Maya culture.

Cities of the Maya in Seven Epochs, 1250 B.C. to A.D. 1903

Author: Steve Glassman,Armando Anaya

Publisher: McFarland

ISBN: 0786487437

Category: History

Page: 248

View: 7345


Telling the story of the Maya peoples from their earliest beginnings to the start of the 20th century, this book divides the 3,000 year time span into seven distinct sections. Each provides a detailed vignette of the events, explorers, and people of a particular Maya era, starting with the tropical lowlands’ Olmec civilization. Among the topics covered are the shamanistic rites by which Mesoamerican monarchs based their power to rule; the Preclassic megacity of El Mirador and its near neighbor Nakbe; the Maya creation myth of the Hero Twins and its role in organizing Maya society; and the power struggles between the cities Tikal and Calakmul.

Days of Destiny - Cosmic Prophecies for the 21St Century

Author: Robert Ghost Wolf

Publisher: Trafford Publishing

ISBN: 1412214351

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 216

View: 4208


"There is no judement, there is only choice and consequence for your actions, or non-actions. You hold the Keys to Destiny in your hands. If you knew the power you command no one could ever enslave you again... and in a moment... you could change the outcome of eternity..." I Am only the Messenger May Great Spirit be with you... Dr. Robert Ghost Wolf

Archaeoastronomy and the Maya

Author: Gerardo Aldana y V.,Edwin L. Barnhart

Publisher: Oxbow Books

ISBN: 1782976442

Category: Social Science

Page: 176

View: 7926


Archaeoastronomy and the Maya illustrates archaeoastronomical approaches to ancient Mayan cultural production. The book is contextualized through a history of archaeoastronomical investigations into Mayan sites, originating in the 19th century discovery of astronomical tables within hieroglyphic books. Early 20th century archaeological excavations revealed inscriptions carved into stone that also preserved astronomical records, along with architecture that was built to reflect astronomical orientations. These materials provided the basis of a growing professionalized archaeoastronomy, blossoming in the 1970s and expanding into recent years. The chapters here exemplify the advances made in the field during the early 21st century as well as the on-going diversity of approaches, presenting new perspectives and discoveries in ancient Mayan astronomy that result from recent studies of architectural alignments, codices, epigraphy, iconography, ethnography, and calendrics. More than just investigations of esoteric ancient sciences, studies of ancient Mayan astronomy have profoundly aided our understanding of Mayan worldviews. Concepts of time and space, meanings encoded in religious art, intentions underlying architectural alignments, and even methods of political legitimization are all illuminated through the study of Mayan astronomy.

The New Catalog of Maya Hieroglyphs, Volume Two

Author: Gabrielle Vail,Martha J. Macri

Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press

ISBN: 0806185929

Category: Education

Page: 320

View: 4537


This long-awaited resource complements its companion volume on Classic Period monumental inscriptions. Authors Martha J. Macri and Gabrielle Vail provide a comprehensive listing of graphemes found in the Dresden, Madrid, and Paris codices, 40 percent of which are unique to these painted manuscripts, and discuss current and past interpretations of these graphemes. The New Catalog uses an original coding system developed for the Maya Hieroglyphic Database Project. The new three-digit codes group the graphemes according to their visual, rather than functional, characteristics to allow readers to see distinctions between similar signs. Each entry contains the grapheme’s New Catalog code, an image, the corresponding Thompson number, proposed syllabic and logographic values, calendrical significance, and bibliographical citations. Appendices and an index of signs from both volumes contain images of all graphemes and variants ordered by code, allowing readers to search for graphemes by visual form or by their proposed logographic and phonetic values. Together the two volumes of the New Catalog represent the most significant updating of the sign lists for the Maya script proposed in half a century. They provide a cutting-edge reference tool critical to the research of Mesoamericanists in the fields of archaeology, art history, ethnohistory, and linguistics, and a valuable resource to scholars specializing in comparative studies of writing systems and related disciplines.

Entheogens and the Development of Culture

Author: John A. Rush

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

ISBN: 1583946241

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 672

View: 1336


Entheogens and the Development of Culture makes the radical proposition that mind-altering substances have played a major part not only in cultural development but also in human brain development. Researchers suggest that we have purposely enhanced receptor sites in the brain, especially those for dopamine and serotonin, through the use of plants and fungi over a long period of time. The trade-off for lowered functioning and potential drug abuse has been more creative thinking--or a leap in consciousness. Experiments in entheogen use led to the development of primitive medicine, in which certain mind-altering plants and fungi were imbibed to still fatigue, pain, or depression, while others were taken to promote hunger and libido. Our ancestors selected for our neural hardware, and our propensity for seeking altered forms of consciousness as a survival strategy may be intimately bound to our decision-making processes going back to the dawn of time. Fourteen essays by a wide range of contributors—including founding president of the American Anthropological Association’s Anthropology of Religion section Michael Winkelman, PhD; Carl A. P. Ruck, PhD, Boston University professor of classics and an authority on the ecstatic rituals of the god Dionysus; and world-renowned botanist Dr. Gaston Guzma, member of the Colombian National Academy of Sciences and expert on hallucinogenic mushrooms—demonstrate that altering consciousness continues to be an important part of human experience today. Anthropologists, cultural historians, and anyone interested in the effects of mind-altering substances on the human mind and soul will find this book deeply informative and inspiring. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions

Author: Nicholas Campion

Publisher: NYU Press

ISBN: 0814708420

Category: Religion

Page: 288

View: 1237


When you think of astrology, you may think of the horoscope section in your local paper, or of Nancy Reagan's consultations with an astrologer in the White House in the 1980s. Yet almost every religion uses some form of astrology: some way of thinking about the sun, moon, stars, and planets and how they hold significance for human lives on earth. Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions offers an accessible overview of the astrologies of the world's religions, placing them into context within theories of how the wider universe came into being and operates. Campion traces beliefs about the heavens among peoples ranging from ancient Egypt and China, to Australia and Polynesia, and India and the Islamic world. Addressing each religion in a separate chapter, Campion outlines how, by observing the celestial bodies, people have engaged with the divine, managed the future, and attempted to understand events here on earth. This fascinating text offers a unique way to delve into comparative religions and will also appeal to those intrigued by New Age topics.

Contemporary Maya Spirituality

Author: Jean Molesky-Poz

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 0292778627

Category: Social Science

Page: 223

View: 9161


Since the mid-1980s, when Guatemala returned to civilian rule and achieved relative peace and stability, the Maya have begun openly expressing their spiritual beliefs and practices. Jean Molesky-Poz draws on in-depth dialogues with Maya Ajq'ijab' (keepers of the ritual calendar), her own participant observation, and inter-disciplinary resources to offer a comprehensive, innovative, and well-grounded understanding of contemporary Maya spirituality and its theological underpinnings. She reveals significant continuities between contemporary and ancient Maya worldviews and spiritual practices. Molesky-Poz opens with a discussion of how the public emergence of Maya spirituality is situated within the religious political history of the Guatemalan highlands, particularly the recent pan-Maya movement. She investigates Maya cosmovision and its foundational principles, as expressed by Ajq'ijab'. At the heart of this work, Ajq'ijab' interpret their obligation, lives, and spiritual work. In subsequent chapters, Molesky-Poz explores aspects of Maya spirituality—sacred geography (the reciprocal relationship between the earth and humans, sacred places, and the significance of the cross or quatrefoil map), sacred time (how the 260-day sacred calendar is “the heart of the wisdom of the Maya,” the matrix of Maya culture), and ritual practice (the distinct way and method of ancestral study, with special attention to fire ceremonialism). She confirms contemporary Maya spirituality as a faith tradition with elaborate historical roots that has significance for individual, collective, and historical lives, reaffirming its own public space and legal right to be practiced.

2012

Author: Joseph Gelfer

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317544145

Category: Religion

Page: 212

View: 3046


21 December 2012 was believed to mark the end of the thirteenth B'ak'tun cycle in the Long Count of the Mayan calendar. Many people believed this date to mark the end of the world or, at the very least, a shift to a new form of global consciousness. Examining how much of the phenomenon is based on the historical record and how much is contemporary fiction, the book explores the landscape of the modern apocalyptic imagination, the economics of the spiritual marketplace, the commodification of countercultural values, and the cult of celebrity.

Re-Creating Primordial Time

Author: Gabrielle Vail,Christine Hernández

Publisher: University Press of Colorado

ISBN: 1607322218

Category: Social Science

Page: 503

View: 1415


Re-Creating Primordial Time offers a new perspective on the Maya codices, documenting the extensive use of creation mythology and foundational rituals in the hieroglyphic texts and iconography of these important manuscripts. Focusing on both pre-Columbian codices and early colonial creation accounts, Vail and Hernández show that in spite of significant cultural change during the Postclassic and Colonial periods, the mythological traditions reveal significant continuity, beginning as far back as the Classic period. Remarkable similarities exist within the Maya tradition, even as new mythologies were introduced through contact with the Gulf Coast region and highland central Mexico. Vail and Hernández analyze the extant Maya codices within the context of later literary sources such as the Books of Chilam Balam, the Popol Vuh, and the Códice Chimalpopoca to present numerous examples highlighting the relationship among creation mythology, rituals, and lore. Compiling and comparing Maya creation mythology with that of the Borgia codices from highland central Mexico, Re-Creating Primordial Time is a significant contribution to the field of Mesoamerican studies and will be of interest to scholars of archaeology, linguistics, epigraphy, and comparative religions alike.