Manual for the Soul: A Guide to the Energies of Life How Sacred Mesoamerican Calendrics Reveal Patterns of Destiny
An in-depth analysis of the energies encoded by the Sacred Maya Calendar and the impact of those energies on daily life. Includes hundreds of major world events and biographical notations that reveal the mysterious links between solar energies and personal and planetary destinies.
Hardcover with dustjacket. 744 pages.
Trim size: 7 x 10
White Pup Press, 2009
Now $68Cdn (Original $98)
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Features of the Book
Manual for the Soul is divided into four main sections.
Part One includes:
- chapters that highlight the workings of Mesoamerican calendrics, with emphasis on the Mayan Long Count and its connections to soul and destiny
- Mesoamerican mythology and cosmology, including principal deities that function as calendar patrons
- numerical powers and their role in Mayan calendrics, with emphasis on their influence with regard to world events and personal destinies
Part Two encompasses 20 chapters that provide an extensive analysis of the basic day signs in the Mayan Tzolk’in (Count of Days). These 20 chapters includes descriptions of mythological foundations, as well as overviews of historical and personal manifestations of each of the energies.
Part Three includes an overview of the energy themes associated with the trecenas (cycles of 13 days) including examples of historical events that have occurred within each cycle and examples of people born within each cycle.
The back section includes:
- a glossary of Mesoamerican timekeeping terms
- a date decoder
- a bibliography
- extensive indices (biographical, historical, general) as well as an index of birth dates
Questions and Answers:
Q. That looks like a hieroglyph on the cover of the book. What does it mean?
A. That is an image of the Mayan hieroglyph for “soul” – the “white flower soul”.
Q. You’ve titled the book Manual for the Soul. How can the soul have a manual?
A. I was partially inspired by James Hillman’s bestselling book called The Souls’ Code: In Search of Character and Calling (1996). In it he discusses the “acorn theory” – the perennial idea that has been discussed by philosophers over the centuries that the soul is “encoded” with a particular “calling” or “character” or fate”. Although there seemed to be consensus that the soul does have a code, the nature of the code was not identified. Since this is an idea that also lies at the heart of ancient Mesoamerican calendrical systems I decided to explore those systems to see if I could find clues as to the nature of that code and how it might be identified. The more I investigated, the more it seemed that the ancient astronomer-priests who developed these systems were onto something very important. Their calendars seem to provide clues to the nature of the codes that align with souls at birth. This book identifies those codes and shows how they are revealed in the context of how people live their lives. So this book serves as a kind of manual that can help people find the “code to their soul” and explore its implications.
Q. What does the concept of “Mesoamerican Calendrics” refer to?
A. Mesoamerican Calendrics refers to the calendrical system that was used by all cultures in ancient Mesoamerica. This includes the Mayan Calendar, the Aztec Sunstone calendar, the Zapotec calendar, the Mixtec calendar, and many others. Although the days of the calendar had different names in different cultural regions the same 260 day sequence formed the foundation for the calendar used in all regions, and all regions were in synch with this.
Q. How do they “reveal patterns of destiny”?
A. After translating thousands of birth dates and the dates of thousands of events I have found amazing correlations between the nature of the calendrical energies and the nature of unfolding events. Since these energies unfold in cycles, with a kind of fractal quality to them, events of a similar nature often reappear on energy “returns” (the return of specific days in the calendar). Just as James Hillman discussed the long held belief about individuals being encoded with a “calling”, the Maya also believe that the calendrical birth energies of people represent the nature of their propensities and destiny paths. Again, by analyzing the nature of the birth energies of thousands of people and comparing these energies with the nature of their life stories (or life paths) I have seen remarkable correlations. This analysis has also revealed a large number of energy parallels that appear to be far more than “mere coincidence”(eg. Cate Blanchett who has played the role of Queen Elizabeth I in two major movies about this queen was born under precisely the same birth energy – or code – as Queen Elizabeth herself; Barack Obama was born under exactly the same birth influence as was in place at the birth of the U.S. in 1774).
Q. How did “2012” tie in with this?
A. Dec. 21, 2012 coincided with a calendar day known as 4 Ajaw, which represents the energy that was in place at the beginning of the last Great Cycle of time that began in 3114 B.C. After spanning just over 5125 solar years (1,872,000 days) this Great Cycle reached the end of the 13th Baktun in the Mayan Long Count calendar on Dec. 21, 2012, at which time a new Great Cycle began.
Q.What makes this book different from other books about the Mayan calendar?
A. There are many books that have focused only on the so-called “end date”, as if Dec. 21st, 2012 was “the end of everything”. Many of the writers of these books have done little, if any, investigation into the overall nature of Mesoamerican calendrics. Instead, much emphasis was placed on wild theories or speculations that did more to instill fear than foster undertanding concerning the workings of Mesoamerican calendrics and the meanings associated with these systems. The emphasis in “Manual for the Soul” is on the meanings of the calendrical energies and their influence on daily lives.
Q. Is this book unique in that regard?
A. There have been several that have touched on this, but not to the depth presented in this book. This book includes a comprehensive look at the mythology that serves as a foundation for the calendrical energies and provides the reader with ample evidence to show how these energies correlate with life.
Q. If the Mayan Calendar “ended” in 2012 what was all the fuss about?
A. The Mayan Calendar did not “end” in 2012. It simply completed one cycle and began another.
Q. How does this book serve as “A Guide to the Energies of Life”?
A. This book can help the reader to comprehend their lives and the events in their lives from the perspective of the workings of “energy”, in a manner similar to the way that people look to astrology for assistance. As the reader becomes familiar with these energies the calendrical system can be used as a template for making sense out of people’s actions and perspectives, and can also be useful for planning events that could correlate with specific energies, as in, for instance, beginning a new project on a day aligned with the energy of “initiation”.
Q. You are not Mayan. What are your qualifications for writing a book like this?
A. I have been investigating the arts of world cultures for several decades, which has included the study of Mesoamerican arts and calendrics for at least three decades. This has given me many unique insights into the many ways that symbol systems both represent and inform culture. This has enabled me to bring a very integrative approach to this exploration of Mesoamerican calendrics. I am also a former teacher educator who has specialized in helping teachers to put together integrative approaches to teaching and learning. So the idea of weaving together many different ideas to help people find personal meaning in what they are exploring has always been important to me.
Q. The book looks hefty and “deep”. Is it difficult to comprehend?
A. It is certainly not a book that could be read and digested in a single afternoon. It is a reference book that was designed to help people identify and come to undertand the various components of the calendrical energies on multiple levels. It is a book that the reader would likely return to again and again as they become more and more familiar with how the system works and as they learn to recognize how the energies are influencing their own lives, the lives of their friends and associates, the lives of people in the news, and the events that are constantly unfolding.
Q. Who might be interested in this book and why might they want to read it?
A. I see it as the perfect follow-up to James Hillman’s book since it provides an in-depth response to the question of “what IS the code?”. However, this is also a book that would be of interest to people who are seriously interested in the nature of this astonishing timekeeping system. Certainly it puts the “end date” question into perspective, as it enables the reader to see quite clearly how this “end date” relates to the system as a whole. The book contains a lot of information for those who are interested in such things as world history, biographies, or mythology, but it would also be of great value to those who are interested in connections between mind, body, and spirit, especially those who are deeply interested in “energy” systems and their impact on personal lives.
Q. What would readers of this book come away with?
A. Certainly a great deal of insight into the nature of their own personal life’s code and the nature of this incredible timekeeping system, as well as appreciation for the ingenuity of the Maya and Mesoamerican cultures in general. Hopefully they will acquire insight into the “grand design” of which we are all a part. Developing an understanding of this system can help readers to comprehend and appreciate that each individual has a the unique role to play in life. Ideally it will help them – to paraphrase Joseph Campbell – to understand the nature of the energies pouring through them, so that they can play their own game all the way.