From: David Talks in Clouds (
Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2003 1:57 PM
Subject: MAYA::::::::::<< >>:::::::::::AYAM

John Major Jenkins,
Hello, wishing you well - I found a websitewww with an article:
© OCTOBER 3RD, 1995: 7 MONKEY of the Year 9 EB.

I am not familiar with any of your books other than that you are engaged in study and theory of mayan prophecies and chronometrics—'calendrics' i imagine you must touch upon many places with intent and introspeculatory theories.

I myself am a student and interested in the ancient mayan civilization as well as that I am interested in the spiritual aspects resonating from the ancients today.

I have heard rumor of your interaction with Jose' Arguelles preceeding my finding the article mentioned above, in which you have written a short bit about in at least one of your books. I have only heard rumor and i have not read your books yet. One rumor I have heard is clearly (at least in face value) mirrored in your article I found —with intention of demeaning Jose' Aguelles and his work called dreamspell: Another rumor I have heard it that you have recently come to terms with Jose' and reached some common ground, of which I don't know the detailed basis of.

I am curious where you might stand today in reguards to the Dreamspell Count of days and your work;—I am curious for the reason I heard the rumor of common ground reached between you and Jose'—and then I find the article on the Internet:

I was wondering if you might know of recent happenings between Jose' Arguelles and some mesoamerican elders; one such event you might be interested in: Who is the Closer of the Cycle and What Does it Mean?

On Sunday March 3, 2002, Jose Arguelles-Valum Votan was honored as Closer of the Cycle in a ceremony conducted by nine "ancianos," elders of the indigenous traditions of Mexico, atop the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan, "place where the gods touch the Earth" -----

Jhon, i am a higher thinker and not just a hapless drone. I have been following the 13moon calendar and dreamspell count a.k.a. the wizards count as initiated by Jose' Arguelles for almost three years and I am sure I have found the true heart of life as it unfolds to embrace peace and love in every person through knowledge and higher conscious activity in a language which transcends the borders and limitations which are otherwise created to attatch negative conditioning and deplete the human spiritual potential.

As far as the energy of the mayan gods and day signs are concerned; I have much to learn about the ancient writings and prophecies through more perspectives...

I have read a little about the Mayan in Humbatz Men's book, Mayan Science/Religion—In a short opinion If I might share with you of what little I know about the Mayan Language—In reflection of the offset and dissonance in dates and numbers you have 'exposed' in your article I found; in the mayan language they knew how to talk backwards, and double backwards, maybe this is of no value to you, anyways—in my opinion I see great capacity for potential nd great potential for capacity both in the human understandings of the spirits and of the knowledge may we find some use to enable us(human species) to communicate and cooperate in the sacred holy lives we all have on earth.

If you feel to respond to my e-mail, you are more than welcome. I really wish positive creative solutions for all the frictions happening on the earth at large, and in small—and If you could let me know if you are planning to keep your article AGENDA page on the internet—or if the rumors I have heard are true about your finding a common ground with Jose' Arguelles, I would be most grateful and appreciative.

Thank you for this opportunity,
Peace-David Talks in the Clouds


From: John Major Jenkins []
Sent: Friday, February 28, 2003 1:48 PM
Subject: RE: MAYA::::::::::<< >>:::::::::::AYAM

Dear David Talks in the Clouds,

Thank you for your letter and for sharing your concerns and observations. I'd like to share a little background as to how the Key to the Dreamspell Agenda piece manifested in Oct. 1995. Perhaps this will help give a sense of why the piece is highly critical of the Dreamspell system and its creator. As you will see, the piece was born of frustration, frustration for the way that the Maya tradition was being treated. I am first and foremost a defender of the traditional Mayan calendar. Through my own visits to Guatemala (1986-1994) and through a little bit of study, I came to the fascinating realization that the tzolkin calendar was still being followed in highlands of Guatemala, most notably among the Quiché. That calendar was equivalent to the one followed during the Classic period and, basically, since roughly 600 BC (as far as we know). This was a discovery in my own evolving understanding of the Mayan calendar, but it was basically a known fact among scholars and some students of the Mesoamerican calendar (e.g., Bruce Scofield).

In 1991 I was working on my book Tzolkin: Visionary Perspectives and Calendar Studies, in which I explored the correlation of the calendar and the survival of the tzolkin calendar. At the same time, news was emerging that Jose Arguelles was coming out with a new book/game/teaching tool called Dreamspell. I had read The Transformation Vision (1975) by Arguelles (impressive) as well as The Mayan Factor (not impressive) and so was very interested in what Dreamspell might be about. My kit arrived in January of 1992 and after exploring its operation I realized that there were some serious mathematical problems. Most of all, to skip Feb 29 destroyed the internal integrity of the 260-day cycle as a harmonic period through which time resonances could occur. For example, according to the Dreamspell birthday-calculation wheel, if you were born on 10 Skywalker, and you discovered that your grandfather was also born on 10 Skywalker, you would think that you were born in a 260-day time resonance. Unfortunately, because of the day skipping, this would not be true. This seemed to me to violate a fundamental principle upon which the entire Mayan time philosophy is based. (The reason for skipping Feb 29 has to this day never been directly addressed by José, except with the absurd notion that Feb 29 is an artifact of the Gregorian calendar and thus should be skipped—ask any traditional day-keeper if this sounds reasonable.) Around that time I also realized that the placement of the day-count used by Arguelles (which was first evident in The Mayan Factor and which he states he acquired from a Mexican artist in the 1970s) was not consistent with the surviving day-count among the Quiché. Around 1985 Arguelles gave his erroneous day-count placement to Hunbatz Men; Aluna Joy Yaxkin and others soon followed suit, creating a veritable growth industry in the new Arguelles system.

My book Tzolkin was first released in late 1992, and I included a critique of Dreamspell—pointing out the factual errors of operation. There was no need to personally chastise or criticize Arguelles himself, although the lingering feeling was, "how can you ignore the surviving day-count?" As time went on and I corresponded with various people in Dreamspell, it became apparent that no one wanted to believe that a surviving traditional count existed. Can you imagine! The unanimous response to my own admonitions—which I always presented in the interest of clarity and truth—was that "there are many calendars and they are all inconsistent with each other." This of course was simply not true but it defined the need for, and justified, Arguelles's creation of a new placement. But he went further and invented Dreamspell, an entire system of new day-sign words, oracular meanings, and inter-relationship categories. While I felt that there was bascially nothing wrong with doing something like this, I couldn't believe the lack of acceptance among Dreamspellers that a "True Count" existed. My correspondence over the years (1991 to 1995) resulted in over 300 letters and emails that I responded to individually. It became a great interest of mine to defend the True Count and to get some response from Arguelles in regard to that issue, as well as the other factual errors of the Dreamspell system. It is my belief that any new theory or system should go through a healthy critique, and its promulgator should respond, especially if the critique is well-founded and based on evidence. (Don't get me wrong, I'm not a scientist-type, as my recent author profile in Atlantis Rising will attest, but rational discourse and analysis does have its place.) At that time, Arguelles's apparent response, filtered through his inner circle, was only to reinforce certain misconceptions (e.g., that there were many calendars and they are all confused).

As 1995 dawned I became friends with Mark Valladares and his partner Penny. They had realized on their own that the Dreamspell system had problems. Furthermore, when they confronted Jose during a planned meeting in Mexico in late 1993, they were shocked at how they were treated—which I won't go into here. They were left hanging and eventually had to abandon their vehicle in Mexico and return home by bus. Mark presented me with his interpretation that Jose was manifesting the Seven Macaw or Itzam Yeh archetype—one who magnifies themselves but ignores truth and squawks and squawks until the hero twins expose him. I found this metaphor to be quite apt. By mid 1995, the idea that a true count existed was still not accepted. I started thinking about how the Dreamspell system might operate in tandem with the authentic count, in the interest of reconciling the two systems. However, as it turned out I could not force myself to see any harmonious interaction between the two. Using Rupert Sheldrake model of morphogenetic fields, I realized that two ritual calendar fields would unavoidably be in conflict, through dissonance patterns created in their mutual ritual fields. [Let me interject here that my work to clarify misconceptions in Dreamspell was a very small aspect of the various things I was researching in the early 1990s. My books Mayan Sacred Science and The Center of Mayan Time came out in 1994 and 1995, and didn't even mention the day-count controversy.] With this unavoidable dissonance between Dreamspell and the True Count, it became more difficult to separate the intentions of Arguelles from the effects of his system. Perhaps it was wrong to insinuate such a connection. I tried to alleviate such a direct responsibility by suggesting that other forces might be operating behind the scenes, despite his good intentions. Nevertheless, I decided to take a different tack and write a treatise that laid it all out there; the style was designed to be more compelling and readable, as I had been criticized harshly as a "factoid freak" and didn't want people to be overwhelmed by the style of rational discourse. My intention was still to crack open the Dreamspell system, and Dreamspell followers, to a truth: The truth that the authentic day-count still exists! Isn't pathetic that it took four years to do it? And it took a shock to do it, which is not surprising considering that sub-culture groups like Dreamspell are always very insular and self-protective of their beliefs (and illusions). But notice that the ultimate result of the Key piece was positive, for the existence of the True Count began to be acknowledged. Meanwhile, I as the the messenger of a truth long resisted, was shot, and I continue to be seen as a negative force. Yes, I was the force that dis-illusioned many, but if you're into spiriutal growth for the long run, you better be prepared to be disillusioned as you grow. My whole work has been in service to truth and clarity. If the Key piece is, as many people believe it to be, simply hitting below the belt, then it is alone among all of my creations. I don't see it that way. It's effect is consistent with the bringing truth to light that all my books are about.

The Key piece is buried in the oldest sub-strata of my website—I'm amazed people still find it. The main access portal to my website, which you may not have seen if you came in through back door, is:

I can see that the highly sardonic nature of the piece is still upsetting to people, and, now, seven years later, probably detracts from the point being made. I will rewrite it and remove ad hominen references, but I do so reluctantly. I believe that important documents should remain freely viewable to all, especially ones like the Key piece. It was natural for the Key piece to manifest after 4 years of frustration and lack of response regarding the existence of the True Count. If it be deemed personally critical, does that mean the truths it contains should be ignored? Truths that were patiently explained and re-explained for some four years? And what about the background discussion of Tony Shearer's work? No one has cared to comment on that. Tony, the original voice for the August 1987 date, supported the True Count. I have engaged in serious debate with critics of my work, and I freely post them on my web site: e.g., Nevertheless, a re-framing of the perspective in that piece seems called for. This does not come out of a sense of remorse, but to respond to the voiced concerns of seekers who I listen to with open heart.

The Key piece resulted, in June 1996, in a personal email response from Jose, which was brief and did not address the issues I brought up. However, at the same time he did post a general "Speaks Out" piece on In that piece, which was the first public response to the issues I had been trying to clarify for four years, nothing of substance was said about the day-count issues, Feb 29 day-skipping, or anything else. The terminology used was characteristically vague and did not lend itself to achieving a better understanding. Among the other rather absurd claims, he wrote "To repeat: there would be no Mayan revival nor Mayan calendar movement of any kind today had there not been a Harmonic Convergence, a Mayan Factor, and a Dreamspell." Doesn't this sound like a Seven Macaw? The Mayan revival is something that is happening on a grass roots level in traditional areas of Mesoamerica, and is supported by the preservation and celebration of Mayan tradition (including the calendar tradition). I helped repair a school in the Tzutujil Maya village of San Pedro, Guatemala, in 1990. At great personal expense and danger I delivered relief supplies to a Quiché Maya community-in-resistance in the Western Highlands in 1994. Traditional Mayan elders' contact with Arguelles and his work has been more of a hindrance than a help to them. Mayan groups that have met with Arguelles (e.g., in Solola) rejected his evangelical Dreamspelling in no uncertain terms. Hunbatz Men, the one Mayan teacher who adopted the Dreamspell approach, did so because in Yucatan the day-count was destroyed and he looked to a University teacher (Arguelles) for information when he was brought by Arguelles to speak in Boulder in the mid-1980s. The "Mayan calendar movement" that Arguelles claims responsibility for generating basically refers to, and only to, the Dreamspell-derived groups, groups I was referring to when I coined the term Neo-Mayanists. These groups are "daykeeper groups" that have no formal initiatic training and therefore cannot belong to the authentic daykeeper lineage that struggles to survive in Highland Guatemala. Thus, the "Mayan calendar movement" (a.k.a Dreamspell) is a pseudo-tradition that, because it follows a false daycount, can only hinder the Mayan revival.

If we could all agree that would be wonderful; however I will always and unrelentingly give my allegiance to the authentic Mayan tradition, not to redesigners.

You asked about a meeting or reconciliation between us. You must mean our shared venue and meeting in Glastonbury, England, in September 1999. My trip report on that experience is here:

During that weekend, I was unable to break the protective circle of his clique. Some U. K. fans of his said they thought that the True Count and the Dreamspell count could be used for different oracular purposes. Those people seemed less attached in a cultic sense to the words of Arguelles than their American counterparts. One audience member, a professional regression therapist, said she felt that Arguelles' program had the effect of hypnotizing the audience. At our dinner meeting, there was a sense of sharing and celebration after the long weekend event. I'm generally an easy going, good natured person, and for the most part did not sense that the dinner meeting was a time for debate of issues. However, I did try to get a few questions in, which were promptly diverted by Lloydine. José did offer that he felt the Dreamspell system, although its placement is different from the True Count, operates in exactly the same way. This of course is not true, due to the Feb 29th day-skipping mentioned at the top of this email. So, no, this meeting did not result in any substantial explanation for the errors of Dreamspell. A reconciliation in general terms, perhaps, in the sense that dinner and conversation will always draw people closer, but there was no attempt to really address the same, basic, outstanding issues that emerged in 1991.

I continue to think of Dreamspell as a litmus test for conscious discernment. It therefore defines a realm of relative limitation on the path to truth.

Finally, I had heard about the arrival of indigenous elders to meet with Jose at Teotihuacan(?) last year, and that he was recognized as Closer of the Cycle. I find it somewhat amusing that Jose identified this role for himself several years ago, and now elders arrive unexpectedly (in the account I read) to confer the same title on him. Also, in the Hindu/Buddhist tradition, the closer of the cycle is an archetypal force that arrives in the terminal stages of Kali Yuga to trample under foot the wasted remnants of a once-spiritual humanity.

I appreciate your concerns and comments. Please know that I have no axe to grind personally with Mr Arguelles. I do have my opinions about how his writings have evolved after The Transformative Vision, have in the past been alarmed by the cult adulation within Dreamspell, and I do have an uncompromising stance on what appears to be disingenuous toward the authentic Mayan calendar tradition. The Key piece was superseded by a more objective piece called "A Manifesto For Clarity": All my best, and with sincere good wishes for truth and fulfillment,

John Major Jenkins
Upcoming event in Portland:

P.S. Word inversion in the Mayan language are very interesting — e.g., nak is throne, reverse of kan (4, snake, sky). See chapter in my book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: