Author of the Month

Geoff Stray, Author of the Month for March 2010

The Tortuguero Prophecy Unravelled (cont.)
By Geoff Stray


The first of the nine ceremonies is called Wúwuchim, which represents birth. This ceremony is a re-enactment of the Hopi Emergence - their ascent from the third world, represented by the inside of the kiva, to the current Fourth World, into which they emerge at the height of the ceremony, naked and wet like newborns coming out of the womb. They then have their hair washed in nine bowls of yucca suds. This ceremony reaches its height when the Pleiades are overhead at midnight, when the newborns get the signal to "emerge." From John Major Jenkins' discoveries, we know that the Toltec method of tracking precession also involved watching for the Pleiades overhead at midnight. In this way, they could calculate how close they would be to the zenith sun exactly six months later. According to Jenkins, this was encoded into the pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza, which encodes this 360-year-long Sun-Pleiades conjunction, that starts with a solar eclipse conjunct the Pleiades in the zenith on May 20, 2012.

The second of the nine ceremonies is called Soyál and concerns seed germination. The seeds of their sacred crop, corn (maize), plus other crops such as beans and squash are taken into the kiva and germinated, with the help of the kachinas or nature spirits, who are manifested in the form of dancers. This is followed by Powamu, which is a ceremony based around planting and sprouting. The first of the next group of three ceremonies is Niman Kachina, which concerns growth and maturing. Then comes the Flute Ceremony, about irrigation and more planting, followed by the Snake-Antelope Ceremony that governs fruition. The last three are Lakón, about fertility and planting and harvesting, then Márawu, which concerns flirtation and food gifts, and finally, Owaqlt, which governs conception and gifts. In each group, there is one ceremony that includes an Emergence ceremony. The ceremonies actually work on three levels. - plant, human and species. They not only help seed germination via crop fertility rituals, they also affect human fertility and involve birth rituals, but on a species level, via the Emergence rituals, they perform a re-run and purification - a preparation for the Emergence or birth into the next World - the Fifth.

A further insight is allowed by Dave Stuart's second and more complete translation [7] of the final section of Monument 6:

7 days, 7 Uinals, 0 Tuns and 8 Katuns previously it happened, on the day 8 Chuen, the 9th of Mak, the Becoming-Ripe-House was constructed(?). It was the 'underground house' (shrine) of (the god?) Ahkal K'uk'. It was two and nine-score days, three years, eight-score years and 3x 400 years(before) the Thriteenth Pik will endon Four Ajaw, the third of Uniiw,when ..(?)… will happen,the descent(?).. of B'olon Yookte' to the ..?

So here, Stuart is providing more information about the pibnaah - it is an underground house or shrine, and also a "Becoming-Ripe House". At Palenque, which is not far from Tortuguero, the three shrines known as the Temple of the Cross, the Temple of the Foliated Cross, and the Temple of the Sun are fairly intact, and in their inscriptions, they are called pibnaahs and associated with Bolon Yokte. [8] Each shrine at the top of a pyramid represents a cave in a mountain - an entrance to Xibalba, the Maya underworld - each a path to be taken by the King, Kihnich Kan B'ahlam II, (son of Lord Pacal). The Temple of the Sun is the shrine to the Jaguar God (remember Jaguar is a pun for nine), and rites of passage are described, in which the King was "Okte'-ed" at the age of six, and a month before his eighth birthday, on the half-katun date of, he "descended into Okte'ship." The Temple of the Cross is the shrine to the Maize God, and depicts the King undergoing a rite of passage at the age of 13, in which he was "tied into Okte'-ship" and received Bolon Okte'. He is shown as a boy wearing a nine-knotted costume. God L, the cigar-smoking Lord of the Underworld is also shown. At 18, there was another rite of passage, in which the King received the K'awill sceptre. The Temple of the Foliated Cross shows the World Tree as a Maize plant, with corncobs as human heads. The shrine is dedicated to the God Kawil, also known as Bolon Tzacab, the God of Nine Generations, and records the accession to the Throne of the King, at the age of 48.

So we have seen that the pibnaah, as well as a steambath, was a shrine associated with Bolon Yokte, plus the jaguar God and K'awill, both of which also have associations with the number nine. We have also seen that the rituals performed inside were rites of passage including trips to the underworld and the symbolism of maize. The "becoming-ripe" house was actually a shrine for personal evolutionary development, that has parallels to the kiva with its ceremonies of plant development, human development and species evolution at the transition between eras. This may throw some light on the connection between Monument 6 and the pibnaah at Tortuguero.

According to Frank Waters in The Book of The Hopi (1963), the Hopi saw corn as "a living entity with a body similar to man's in many respects". Mother Earth also had an aspect as Corn Mother, and when a child was born, (s)he was kept in the dark for 30 days with his/her "Corn Mother" beside him/her (in the form of an ear of perfect corn whose tip ends in four kernels), and various rituals were performed involving cornmeal. In a similar way, in the Maya myth, The Popol Vuh, a series of Creations are described in which humans evolve - in the first Creation were mud people, then there were wooden doll people, who were replaced by monkey-people. At the start of the current Creation, (which is seen as the fourth or fifth by different commentators), Quetzal Snake and companions grind and mould the maize and form the next race of people - the maize people - who are the ancestors of the Quiche Maya. This includes the ninefold blessing of Xmucane, goddess of midwives. According to Martin Prechtel, in the still-surviving mythology of the Tzutujil Maya, who live in villages surrounding Lake Atitlan in Guatemala, we are in the fifth Creation, which is called Earth Fruit World. As we go through the five stages of life, we assimilate the lessons of five Creations, and then at death, we go to the sixth Creation.

This relationship between humanity and maize is reflected in the sacred Tzolkin calendar. The anthropological evidence provided by Barbara Tedlock in Time and the Highland Maya (1982) indicates that the Tzolkin's 260 days are based on the period of human gestation. When a woman misses her period, there are 260 days until the birth is due. But a 260-day cycle could also be seen as a gestation-period of the maize plant. In the highlands of Guatemala, there are 260 days between planting and harvesting of maize.

There may be a connection with the results found by John Burke in his study of ancient sites, Seed of Knowledge, Stone of Plenty (2005), particularly Neolithic dolmens, Silbury Hill and Avebury, plus vision-quest sites and stone chambers in North America, and the Pyramids at Tikal. Burke and his co-author, Kaj Halberg, found that in all these cases (at Tikal, it was just at the summit of Lost World Pyramid, and not the later Temple 1 and 2), the sites are positioned on a "conductivity discontinuity" that amplifies Earth currents, and the structure amplifies them even more, particularly just before dawn. The result is a two- to-threefold (even more at the Lost-World Pyramid) increase in seed germination that can result after just 20 minutes exposure. These same electro-magnetic fluctuations can affect human consciousness, and the sacred sites, the authors conclude, thus had a secondary use -the alteration of consciousness.


There have been some important developments in Maya studies in the past three years that have great significance for the interpretation of Tortuguero Monument 6 and the 2012 Creation point. The first of these is Michael Grofe's 2007 dissertation, The Serpent Series: Precession in the Maya Dresden Codex. [9] Grofe found a 15,000-year+ interval depicted in the Serpent Series of the Dresden Codex that is an almost exact multiple of the sidereal year. This is strong evidence that the Maya were measuring and recording the cycle we know as the precession of the equinoxes.

The Serpent Series in the Dresden Codex that show a multiple of the sidereal year, according to Grofe, The dates are read vertically between the coils of the snakes.

In the following year, 2008, Barb Macleod announced the discovery of the "3-11-Pik formula". [10] In analysing the glyphs on a bone from Tikal, she found three intervals of 8,660 days that add to one degree of precession, accompanied by a mirrored period of 3 x 11 baktuns, which is half a precessional period.

In 2009, on Tribe 2012, one of the web's most popular 2012 discussion groups, I started a thread about a forthcoming Mayanist conference on 2012, [11] and in the ensuing discussion, while researching a response, I stumbled across Sven Gronemeyer's 2004 thesis on Tortuguero - a document that I had previously thought was only available in an elusive hardcopy version. I made the links available in one of my posts, and John Major Jenkins then downloaded the thesis, and enlisted the help of Michael Grofe and Barbara Macleod in translating the Monument 6 text directly from the Maya glyphs into English.

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  1. Dave Stuart's more complete Monument 6 translation [back to text]
  2. Palenque and pibnaahs: [back to text]
  3. Michael Grofe's thesis on Precession in the Dresden Codex: [back to text]
  4. Barb MacLeod's work: [back to text]
  5. 2012 Tribe discussion: [back to text]

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