What is Natural Time?


Natural Time is a neutral description of the Mayan calendar resurrected through Jose Arguelles’ research of this ancient people and his ongoing meditation on their spiritual doctrines. It’s a term challenging the unnatural calendar we follow, established by the Vatican in 1582.

The Gregorian calendar of 12 months of varying lengths is arrhythmic, and as when our heart beats out of rhythm, it is unhealthy. Everything in nature is drawn toward cyclical rhythm. Our year of 365 days is itself a stable cycle, but how we humans subdivide it is increasingly irrational.

One of Natural Time’s greatest revolutionary offerings is a 13 month calendar based on the female menstrual cycle. Pre-industrial civilizations throughout the world used the 28-day menstruation of women as a calendar to abide by. Natural Time has rekindled the use of a 28-day moon and presents a perfect rhythm for our earth year: 13 months (called ‘moons’) of 28 days each equals 364 days, one short of a year (13 x 28 = 364). The 365th day stands alone and is called the day between years.

Natural Time as I experience it is a return to nature, both the elemental outdoors we enter when we leave our homes and get close to the sun and earth, water and open air, as well as our original human nature: we used to be more primal, animalistic and free. This appeals to me, as I feel constricted and confounded by many aspects of modern life in our human civilization. It pleases me to have a means to reconnect to ancient indigenous archetypes and mythology, so that I may live each day in reverence, to the gods and their gifts that magically sustain us.

Finally, I would say that Natural Time is a moniker that takes away from perceptions of appropriation. I do use the description, ‘Mayan’, throughout my work, but Natural Time is supposed to create a distinction between following the doctrines of the living K’iche Mayan people, and the resurrection of Mayan mysticism that can be channeled through meditation by all kinds of devotees around the planet.