In the previous essay on the Long Count Calendar it was shown that one complete cycle was equal to 1872000 days (approximately 5125.36 years); the length of precisely 13 Baktuns - each being 144000 days in length. Moreover, it was also revealed that the accepted opinion of academia today is that in all likelihood, the GMT date of the 6th of September 3114 BC (Julian Calendar), as put forth by Goodman, Martinez, and Thompson (GMT) is the start date of the current Long Count Great Cycle, with a complete zero readout of all values.
Now as things stand, quite a number of researchers in the field consider the Long Count time cycles to be a mere abstraction, being of “numerological significance” only, in a mystical sort of way. Now in this current presentation, evidence shall be put forth as will suggest that the primary time cycles of the Long Count are indeed linked to real celestial cycles, most notably, conjunction cycles, involving the Earth, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter.
Although it is not obvious, it would indeed appear that the Long Count time cycles themselves are tied in to tracking planetary conjunctions within our solar system. But critically, that this requires special correction measures applied at the appropriate times when certain nested cycles have been completed. Now in order to understand the genius of the Maya and draw out certain proofs which confirm that they had advanced astronomical knowledge, one needs to carefully consider some of their mythological stories.
The primary sourcebook for this is the Popol Vuh - what some call the ‘Mayan Bible’. It is a book that contains all of the major stories involving the gods and heroes as known to the Maya. In many ways it is very similar to a book like Ovid's Metamorphoses, which deals with the exploits of the Greek gods of the Olympian pantheon.
Now to briefly summarise this story. It begins by Zipacna encountering 400 boys who are attempting to drag a great tree as a lintel for their hut. They are having difficulty with this, and so Zipacna agrees to drag it for them to where they need it. After doing so, the 400 boys talk amongst themselves and take a dislike to Zipacna, because he is able to achieve such a great feat all on his own. And so, they conspire to kill him.
They ask him to dig a hole in the ground for them, with the intent of ramming a log down the hole to crush him when he has dug down deep enough. Zipacna agrees to dig the hole, but whilst he's going down ever deeper and throwing the Earth out, he realises that they are going to kill him, and so he plays for time. They keep asking him when he's finished, but he keeps on shouting up saying he is still digging. But he is not digging the main shaft downwards however, but a secret side tunnel as will save his life at the critical moment.
Now when this is dug out, he gets inside and then calls up to the boys that he's finished. At that moment they ram the log right down the shaft. Confident they have killed him, they retire to their hut. However, Zipacna is in fact safe in his side tunnel. After three days pass, he digs his way out, and whilst the boys are inside their hut drunk, he brings it down on top of them, and kills them all.
Now what is the solution to this story? Well, this story, although not obvious, is all about how to accurately track and derive a value for the Earth tropical year, and also how to accurately derive a value for the basic Earth-Mercury conjunction period. To begin the evaluation, one first needs to consider how one might track the Earth's orbit about the Sun, with respect to developing a calendar system. Now in general, the basic system employed today is one wherein the length of the Earth year is usually set as being equal to 365 days for three years in a row, with the following year set to 366 days; a basic leap year system that is repeated every four years.
Now given this, if one adds up the total number of days over four such years, and divides by four, one has essentially derived a value of what one must consider to be the length of a single year. However, even with such a refinement though, one still has a value that does differ quite significantly from actual observations. As indeed, it turns out that a year of 365.25 days is slightly longer than the length of the true observed year; the actual discrepancy being on the order of some 675 seconds, or 11 min and 15 seconds. With this noted, one might just wonder therefore how many years might pass before this error rate of some 11 min 15 seconds per year, were to build up to almost one whole day? The answer is 128 years. And indeed, this, is very favourable, because this figure is readily divisible by 4, and 4 years are employed in the basic repeating leap year cycle. There are thus 32 four-year leap year cycles contained within 128 years.
Given this then, refinement of the Earth year to a more accurate value can be had by an appropriately timed variation to the basic leap year cycle. For 31 of the leap year batches, one will track 3 years of 365 days, and 1 year of 366 days. The 32nd and final batch though will be handled very differently. On the final year of the 32nd batch, which is also the 128th year since counting began, the build-up of the yearly discrepancy of some 675 seconds will be almost equal to one whole day. And as a result, whereas ordinarily this year would be counted as a leap year of 366 days, it will be counted instead as a year of only 365 days. Thus, the 32nd leap year batch will be a batch of four years in a row equal to 365 days. Now if one adds up all of the days together of all of the 128 years, with this extra correction made, and then divides by 128, a far more refined value for the length of the Earth year will be had.
Indeed, the value as derived is so close to the observed value for the length of the Earth year, that the discrepancy is less than one second of time from the observed value. And this indeed is by far the most optimum system for tracking the length of the Earth year over long periods of time, and deriving a value for its length. It is vastly more superior even to the Gregorian calendar system used today.
But how exactly does this relate to the story of Zipacna? Well, Zipacna himself, as the central character in the story, directly represents the one special correction day every 128 years. Moreover, the hole or shaft that Zipacna digs into the ground, is directly representative of an alignment between the Sun, Mercury and the Earth. But Zipacna also digs a side tunnel. Placing himself within it. He is thus offset from the main alignment – ‘an error’ to be taken into account, so to speak. As indeed are the 400 boys also within the story.
Consider each element, as follows:
By using a basic leap year cycle of 4 years, one is essentially operating an Earth year of 365.25 days. And upon completion of 128 such years, precisely 46752 days will have passed. It is at this point that one applies the first correction: the subtraction of one day; this being represented by the character Zipacna in the story. But what then of the four hundred boys? This number is not due to chance, for it too represents a very precise correction.
Indeed, the second operation that one engages in immediately after subtracting the one day, as represented by Zipacna, is to further subtract 400 days. And when this is done, one now has a total value of 46351 days. But just what does this value represent? This value is equal to almost exactly 400 Earth-Mercury conjunctions, and this is evident due to the fact that the number 400 has a dual purpose. Not only is it used as a correction measure of 400 days, is also used as a divisor. For if one divides the total of 46351 by 400, the value returned is 115.8775 days.
This value is practically dead on the time cycle between successive conjunctions of the Earth and Mercury. And one may cite no less an authority than the US Naval Observatory itself for confirmation of this. In the publication, “The explanatory supplement to the astronomical almanac,” there is a table of conjunction values, and the precise value of 115.8775 days is given within the table, as the very value in question. It is extremely exacting.
Now this implies then that this story, correctly decoded, reveals just how the Maya were able to derive an exceptionally accurate value for the Earth tropical year, and also the conjunction period between the Earth and Mercury, in addition to demonstrating how one might capture and track bulk batches of 400 such conjunctions over time with extreme precision. The relations do not end here however, for one can demonstrate a linkage to the Long Count itself. And this is due to the fact that the value of 400 Earth-Mercury conjunctions, 46351 days, is very close to a value of 46800 days, which is itself in perfect harmony with the total number of days contained within one great cycle of 1,872,000 days. Indeed, the value fits exactly 40 times within the full great cycle.
Focusing for the moment though on the value of 46800 days, were one to have a starting configuration of an alignment between the Sun, Mercury and the Earth; by counting precisely 46800 days forwards in time, and then subtracting 449 days, exactly 46351 days will have passed, and another alignment will be evident between the three noted bodies. Indeed, one will have captured, or contained, precisely 400 Earth-Mercury conjunctions, as per the relations detailed previously. The correction of 449 days is thus necessary in order to go backwards in time to return to a conjunction of the 3 noted bodies, as there will not be one moving forward in time precisely 46800 days from an initial alignment.
Now when one considers these relations, were one to attempt to track successive conjunctions of the Earth and Mercury in terms of bulk batches of 400, then one would need to compound the correction measure for every multiple of the primary period of 46800 days. And thus, following two such periods of the primary value, one would need to subtract 2 x 449 to arrive at a value of days that would again synchronise to a conjunction. Following on from this, one could go all the way up to 7 periods 46800 days, with a compound error or correction of 7 x 449, or 3143 days subtracted from the total, in order to capture what would be at that moment exactly 2800 Earth-Mercury conjunctions.
However, what happens when one counts forward 8 x 46800 days? What is the correction measure then? Well, the answer is zero. And the reason is simple. The calendar has achieved resynchronisation. For after exactly 8 x 46800 days – 374400 in total, one will return directly to a conjunction of the Earth and Mercury with the Sun. Almost dead on a whole number of Earth-Mercury conjunctions will have passed; the total being 3231. From this point on one needs to begin again, with the next period of 46800 days involving a return to the initial correction of 449 days once more. The pattern will thus be repeated up until the next resynchronisation – 8 cycles later.
Now with respect to these relations, one may recall that the value of 46800 days, though not a formal time cycle of the Long Count, does harmoniously embed itself within the full Long Count Great Cycle precisely 40 times, with the 40th cycle itself reaching completion on the 21st of December 2012. One might be very curious therefore to examine just exactly what the relations are between the Earth, Mercury and the Sun, at that precise moment.
This can be achieved making use of the advanced astronomical software package, Starry Night 6.0 Professional. Setting the time to the noted solstice date, and positioning oneself directly at the centre of the Earth and looking to the centre of the Sun, one can see the planet Mercury somewhere off to the right. There is thus no alignment. However, if one subtracts 449 days, which is the first correction to apply assuming one is in the first cycle of 46800 days from an initial conjunction, then one will find quite remarkably an exceptionally accurate alignment of the Earth, Mercury and the Sun. In this instance the time of the alignment is the 29th of September 2011.
What this implies then, is that were one to subtract precisely 46800 days from the end date of the full Mayan long count cycle, then one should see a conjunction evident between the noted bodies. And this indeed one does find, with only a very slight visual discrepancy. What this reveals then is that the time value of 46800 is embedded quite elegantly within the Long Count calendar system.
Now with respect to these relations, one may recall that the value of 46800 days, though not a formal time cycle of the Long Count, does harmoniously embed itself within the full Long Count Great Cycle precisely 40 times, with the 40th cycle itself reaching completion on the 21st of December 2012. One might be very curious therefore to examine just exactly what the relations are between the Earth, Mercury and the Sun, at that precise moment. This can be achieved making use of the advanced astronomical software package, Starry Night 6.0 Professional.
Setting the time to the noted solstice date, and positioning oneself directly at the centre of the Earth and looking to the centre of the Sun, one can see the planet Mercury somewhere off to the right. There is thus no alignment. However, if one subtracts 449 days, which is the first correction to apply assuming one is in the first cycle of 46800 days from an initial conjunction, then one will find quite remarkably an exceptionally accurate alignment of the Earth, Mercury and the Sun.
In this instance the time of the alignment is the 29th of September 2011. What this implies then, is that were one to subtract precisely 46800 days from the end date of the full Mayan long count cycle, then one should see a conjunction evident between the noted bodies. And this indeed one does find, with only a very slight visual discrepancy. What this reveals then is that the time value of 46800 is embedded quite elegantly within the Long Count calendar system.
The conjunction cycle of the Earth and Mercury, being embedded within the Long Count and associated with the time measure of 46800 days, does not stand alone. There are other examples. For one can also find a similar mechanism for tracking bulk batches of 80 Earth-Venus conjunctions; again making use of the noted 46800 day cycle, once more with a special correction measure successively applied. And this indeed represents a slight variation upon the so-called Aztec century of 104 years as discussed in previous presentations, which captured bulk batches of 65 Earth-Venus conjunctions, with a compound correction rate of 5.2 days. Incidentally, with respect to the Aztec century, the complete resynchronisation of the calendar, as with the Earth-Mercury cycle discussed previously, occurs every 6028 Earth tropical years. For within this total, there are practically dead on 58 Complete Aztec centuries, each being 37960 days in length, or 104 years of 365 days.
Now with respect then to capturing bulk batches of 80 Earth-Venus conjunctions, involving once more use of the 46800 day time cycle, one derives the critical correction measure as will be applied to this key value, via a manipulation of the Baktun unit of 144000 days; the first operation, being to divide it by 10000, returning a value of 14.4. If this is then further multiplied by 6, one then obtains the answer 86.4 days. Were one to then subtract this total from the primary value of 46800 days, one will have a time cycle which almost dead on contains 80 Earth-Venus conjunctions. Now as with the previous example, one would have to compound the correction measure over time to experimentally determine just how many corrections have been applied up to the present, with respect to the current cycle of 46800 days.
Once more, with the time set at the beginning of the final day of the Long Count cycle, which is also the final day of the current 46800 day cycle, if one steps backwards in units of 86.4 days successively, one will eventually reach October the 27th, 2006, which is in total a backward step of some 2246.4 days. Now quite remarkably, this measure is equal to exactly 26 units of 86.4. A rather intriguing measure given that 26 is 2 x 13, and 13 is a number so intimately linked to the Mayan system. But one may raise another point of interest also. The value of 2246.4 days is almost exactly 10 times the orbital period of the planet Venus itself about the Sun. And so one can see again then an example of an elegant embedding of the time value of 46800 days within the full measure of a Long Count great cycle, enabling one, with the appropriate correction measure, to track bulk batches of 80 Earth-Venus conjunctions, in a subtle variation of the 104 year Aztec Century.
So far it has been shown how a basic 46800 day time cycle can be used to accurately track successive bulk batches of 400 Earth-mercury conjunctions, and also 80 Earth-Venus conjunctions, applying certain special correction measures at the completion of each such period. And moreover, that the measure of 46800 days embeds most harmoniously into the full-length of the Mayan great cycle of 1872000 days, a total of 40 times. Now indeed, though the time cycle of 46800 days is not formally a part of the long count series, with the mythological story of Zipacna as considered, and the astronomical analysis showing an elegant match to a recent Earth-Mercury conjunction as occurred on the 29th of September 2011, there would appear to be some support for the reality of this time cycle as been known to the Maya, and that the physical fit of this cycle within the overall system does not lack validity.
That said however, can one produce any evidence that the fundamental time cycles known to comprise the Long Count, are themselves associated with real astronomical cycles? Most assuredly. Indeed, from a careful evaluation of the time cycles that make up the Long Count, it would appear that the system itself is almost exclusively engineered towards tracking just one very specific celestial cycle. Namely, Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. And it achieves this with exceptional precision. Now in relaying the proof one must consider all of the key elements and values that comprise the system, and link up the nested time cycles.
Herein one can see the basic multipliers that are used to link up each of the primary time cycles of the Long Count. And they represent the numeric limits that can be achieved upon the five digit ‘read-out’ of the Long Count, noted at the beginning of this presentation. Now as each of the values are achieved, there is a reset to 0 of the relevant column, with a value of 1 carried forward into the next time cycle. Now one may note in particular three key values as displayed as are crucial to tracking most accurately successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. They are the 20 day Uinal cycle, the multiplier value of 18, and the Katun cycle of 7200 days. Each of these numeric values correctly applied, are of crucial importance to tracking with high precision, successive conjunctions of the Earth and Jupiter.
With regard to the two planets in question, one can see the orbital period values, as given. The orbital period of Jupiter one may note, is cited directly from my own book, The Lost Age of High Knowledge. Now as with previous examples, the orbital period values of both planets can be input into a basic equation to derive the time period for successive conjunctions with respect to the Sun. And one can see a value of some 398.8836363 days as derived for the primary conjunction cycle of the Earth and Jupiter. Being further out from the Sun, Jupiter moves much slower around the central star than the Earth. And thus the Earth is able to catch up to Jupiter, to ‘lap’ the planet, with the passage of almost dead-on 399 days.
In terms of accurately tracking a fixed bulk batch of Earth-Jupiter conjunctions, the primary value that one must make use of is 7200 days - the Katun cycle. For consider; were one to begin with a starting configuration of an accurate alignment between the Sun, the Earth and Jupiter, and count forward precisely 7200 days, whilst one would not return directly to a further conjunction, were one to subtract at this point exactly 20 days – the measure of the Uinal cycle, one does find oneself back in conjunction. Indeed, taking the value of 7180 and dividing by the true conjunction time cycle, one will find almost exactly 18 conjunctions contained within this value. The error rate is very negligible. The difference between an Earth-Jupiter conjunction value derived from the division of 7180 by 18, set against the observed value, being only some 453.81 seconds.
Now with respect to tracking and capturing a bulk batch of 18 Earth-Jupiter conjunctions, one may note that the discrepancy between the precise value of 7180 days, and the value of 18 true conjunctions, so to speak, is very close to 0.1 of one day. And this allows one to deduce quite well what must be the optimum time for a further correction, assuming one were seeking to track bulk batches of 18 conjunctions successively well into the future, with ever greater refinement.
Now as with the example of the Earth-Mercury conjunctions dealt with previously, one can see how successive bulk batches of 18 Earth-Jupiter conjunctions, can be tracked with the 7200 Katun cycle, by compounding a basic 20 day correction, with the passage of each Katun. By way of example, from an initial alignment, were one to count 4 Katun cycles into the future, one would have to apply a correction of 4x20 days, or 80 days in total, in order to go back in time and thus capture 72 Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. Were one to count nine Katuns, then the compound correction would be 9x20 days, or 180 days in total. With this correction measure applied, 162 conjunctions would be contained.
But what happens when one counts 10 Katuns into the future? Would the optimum correction measure still be 20 days, to add to the previous 9 such corrections? The answer is no. And this is because at this point, with an error rate of 0.1 of one day per Katun, after 10 such cycles, almost one whole day of error will be achieved. As a result of this, the optimum stand-alone correction measure to be applied at the end of the 10th Katun is in fact 21 days. And thus the full compound correction will be 201 days at this point, which will contain 180 Earth-Jupiter conjunctions.
An evaluation of the correction measures as applied up to this point allows one to derive a more refined value for successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. And comparing it to the observed value as noted previously, one now has a value which is only 26 seconds in error.
Now the manner in which there is a build-up of an additional error rate of almost one whole day over 10 Katun cycles, leads one on to understand the importance of the Baktun cycle of 144000 days, and how it is employed to successively tracking Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. Essentially, when one considers that as 1 whole day in error is built up over 10 Katun cycles, then 2 whole days must build up over 20 Katun cycles. And indeed, a Baktun unit is 20 times the value of a Katun of 7200 days. The implication here then, based upon the structure of the Long Count, is that rather than actually make a correction every 10 Katuns, the Maya chose to build up the error rate to 2 whole days over the duration of a single Baktun cycle of 144000 days. They thus chose to count 19 corrections of 20 days each for the first 19 Katun Periods, and then apply a special correction measure of 22 days, to synchronise with the completion of a Baktun cycle. In this instance then, the total compound correction measure is 402 days per Baktun cycle.
Now following on from this, the next major cycle within the Long Count is the Great Cycle itself, which is equal to 13 Baktuns, being 1872000 days. The number 13 then is the next multiplier here. And were one to thus extend the calendar still further to cover 13 Baktuns, yet an additional error will present itself, in this case totalling approximately 1.4 days. And therefore one would be due again for another correction, with the aim to at least wipe out a further one whole day of error, and thus reduce the running total to some 0.4 days.
Now with respect to the correction measures already applied up to this point, the special variation that must be applied at the end of every 13th Baktun to complete a Great Cycle, will involve a slight reduction to that applied ordinarily at the end of each Baktun. Essentially, for the first 12 Baktuns of a Great Cycle, the stand-alone correction will be 22 days, as previously detailed. However, on the 13th Baktun, which indeed completes the Great Cycle itself, one will need to apply a correction of only 21 days - added to all those that came before. And this is because the sum total of all corrections so far made has been slightly too great. With this final correction made however, one is able to wipe out a further one whole day of error, and thus all that remains is 0.4 of 1 day, upon completion of a Great Cycle.
Now in summary, one may consider the sum total of all the different corrections as made throughout the completion of a single Great Cycle. Most are 20 days in length, the sum of which adds up to 4940 days; with an additional 12 22-day corrections, and 1 21-day correction. Taken together, a total of 5225 days are thus subtracted from the length of one Great Cycle to derive a value that contains most accurately a whole number of Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. And indeed, were one to divide this value by the most accurate observed value for successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions, one would find a very intriguing answer: almost exactly 4680, the numeric sequence of which is identical to the value as previously noted, employed to track bulk batches of Earth-Mercury conjunctions, and also Earth-Venus conjunctions over a full Great Cycle period.
Now moreover, by reversing the mathematics one may derive an even more refined value for the celestial period of successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. In doing so, the error rate obtained is only some 7.72 seconds from the observed value.
Within the cycles of the Long Count, one can see then a justification for each successive step-up in cycle values, most especially from the Katun up to the Baktun, and the full-length of the Great Cycle itself with the final multiplier of 13 being applied.
Now indeed, the main correction measure throughout the system is 20 days, and it would be well to consider the celestial pattern of the solar system at the beginning of the final day of the current Great Cycle, being the 21st of December 2012. If one takes a plan view of the solar system and looks down one can see that the Earth and Jupiter are slightly out of alignment.
But it is very interesting to note, that if one applies a 20 day correction at this moment, to go back in time to the 1st of December, there is an almost dead on alignment between the two noted bodies.
The error rate is only on the order of some two days. With respect to a cycle lasting almost 399 days, a two day error is quite negligible. And indeed, as the planets have slightly elliptical orbits, though the mathematics of the conjunction cycle may be perfect so to speak, successive conjunctions as tracked will not necessarily have an observed precision in all cases.
Now consider, when examining the current pattern, one essentially is observing the 18th Earth-Jupiter conjunction in the final Katun of the current Great Cycle. It is interesting to note then that were one to subtract from this very time, the full measure of 1 conjunction cycle, to go back to the 17th conjunction of this present Katun, then one does indeed see a most accurate observed alignment of the two noted bodies. The time in question is the 29th of October 2011; 2 hours 47 minutes and 2 seconds universal time. Moreover, by changing one's position to the centre of Jupiter, locked on to the Sun itself; looking directly at the central star one may observe a most optimum conjunction with respect to the Earth.
In addition to all the relations as so far given, a very special note should be made of the singular importance of the Baktun cycle itself, with respect to being able to accurately derive an exceptional value for successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. Now, when one applies all of the correction measures as detailed, one is able to practically track successive conjunctions of the two noted bodies over the course of one Great Cycle with extreme accuracy, ultimately deriving a value of the conjunction cycle itself, to an error rate of some 7.72 seconds. That said however, the Baktun cycle of 144000 days, can in fact be used in a very singular capacity for deriving a value for successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions, that is vastly more impressive. And this is achieved by the most simplest of corrections. Indeed, all one needs to do is to simply subtract three days from 144000.
With this done, one now has a value that is most harmonious with respect to a whole number of Earth-Jupiter conjunctions, and this is evident when one makes a simple division with respect to the observed value. As one can see, almost exactly 361 such conjunctions are contained within the value itself. And were one to reverse the mathematics, employing the very value of 361 in the division sum, a value is derived that is only 1.74 seconds from optimum. A truly astounding result.
To summarise the presentation, it would seem that after careful evaluation of the nested time cycles of the Long Count calendar, that there is a most elegant link to the time value of successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions. The relations as given appearing to strongly suggest that the primary focus of the Long Count was in capturing and tracking to extreme accuracy, successive Earth-Jupiter conjunctions over great lengths of time. One can practically justify all of the multiplier values, especially from the Katun cycle onwards, as being necessary points at which to make special alterations to a basic 20 day correction measure, for ever greater refinement in tracking the celestial cycle in question.
But in addition to this, one can also see the flexibility of the Long Count system, in being able to track a variety of different conjunction cycles, making use of time values that are not a part of the basic framework, but which do harmoniously embed themselves within it. One may cite the value of 46800 days, as discussed previously, which is the key value employed to accurately track and capture bulk batches of 400 Earth-Mercury conjunctions, and also 80 Earth-Venus conjunctions.
In a sense then, the Mayan Long Count calendar has many similarities to the 52 year Aztec calendar system. For this latter system; its basic framework being almost exclusively geared towards tracking Earth-Venus conjunctions, can also be employed to track other conjunction cycles, such as Earth-Mars conjunctions; and this by simple extension of the values, making use of further time cycles as a addition to the core framework, itself being composed of 365-day Haab, and 260-day Tzolkin cycles.
On one last point, it would be well to state that it is the opinion of this present researcher, that the Long Count cycle is in no way focused primarily upon tracking precession. And therefore in consequence, the suggestion by certain researchers that there is a link between the completion of the current Long Count great cycle, as will end on the 21st of December 2012, and a so-called Galactic alignment, is false.
Whereas the pattern of a Galactic alignment is evident at this particular point in time, this present researcher feels that it is in no way connected to the Long Count calendar, and was not targeted in any way by the calendar. Rather, the true significance of the Long Count, and its core focus, is in tracking conjunction cycles of known bodies within the present solar system, most notably involving the Earth. And it is in this way, that the calendar is directly relevant to the people of this planet.