What is a vinal?


The Mayan vinal is one of the dearest and most enchanted points of focus in my Natural Time practice. It’s also the most esoteric and has dropped out of sight from the publication of most Natural Time calendars.

The original Mayan year began on July 26 with the rise of Sirius at dawn, but it was not subdivided into 28-day moons. That’s an Arguellian hybridization of most indigenous cultures’ alignment with a 28-day month that reflected the menstrual cycle of the tribeswomen. The Maya organized their year into 20-day vinals. Similar to the 20 tribes, the vinals could be counted on one’s fingers and toes.

There were 18 vinals in a year, with a remaining 5 day ceremonial period called a vayeb. July 21-25 are the vayeb days of the Natural Time calendar. Every vinal and the vayeb have a corresponding poetic phrase, a mantra. Laced together, they make up a strangely lyrical verse.

pop – the one who knows

uo – listens in silence

zip – in order to integrate the universe

zotz – based on the knowledge

zec – that reaches the foundations

xul – where with great wisdom a seed is sown

yaxkin – a little ray of the hidden sun

mol – which unifies all the pieces

ch’en – to enter into the well of inner wisdom

yax – where the student clears the mind, taking account of what is not yet ripe

zac – dissipating the clouds of doubt, raising him/herself up

ceh – breaks with habitual caution and reaches the white light

mac – closing the equivocating part and entering a trance

kankin – receives the light of one who knows

muan – in order to see into darkness

pax – touching a music of the future

kayab – with the song and the rhythm

cumku – located in the correct place where the food of divination is obtained

vayeb – all that is needed to obtain the precious stone

My Natural Time Altar Cards include the vinals to help you follow them throughout the year. I have also cited them in my 13 Moon calendars. I was introduced to them in my first Arguellian calendar, and never lost interest in their mystical intrigue. They are included in my website to uphold the tradition of bridging the ancient Mayan origins with our modern meditation.