March 16, 2022
by Richard Contreras
Twice a year, on the side of El Castillo Pyramid at the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, an amazing astronomical occurrence takes place which marks a shifting in cycles on many different levels. On the exact spring and fall equinox of each year, for about 45 minutes, a perfect zigzag shadow forms on the side of the pyramid, running down it’s side to align perfectly with the head of a feathered serpent at the base of the pyramid. This gives the image of the mythical Kukulcan, The Feathered Serpent, apearting from the upper worlds and descending into the lower worlds, uniting above with below.
When visiting El Castillo, one notices right away that the angle of the pyramid is somewhat uncentered. This is because the pyramid is not aligned with north, south, east or west, but instead is aligned perfectly with the exact dates of the solstice, the two exact dates in the year where day and night are perfectly equal in time. The alignment and location of Chichen Itza is also perfectly aligned with the pathway of Venus and in this article I want to unpack some of the teachings I was taught about Venus, This Equinox, & its alignment at Chichen Itza.
First off, know that Chichen Itza, like most of the sacred sights of the various measoamerican cultures, is a giant calendar. On the most noticeable level, the descent of Kukulkan twice a year marks the solar year which we are very familiar with. This same pyramid which marks Kukulkan's descent, has 91 steps on each of the 4 sides of its structure. When added up, the steps number 364 in total used to mark the days in a solar year. A calendar teacher of mine once explained to me that there are only 4 year signs in the Mayan solar year calendar. This was later adopted by the Azteca/ Mexica people in the north. These 4 year signs followed a cycle which repeated every 4 years and created an additional day. How? Well, each year's sign started the date for that year at either dawn, noon, sunset or midnight. At the end of this 4 year cycle, an additional day was created which brought the year closer to 365 days. This was later adjusted by the Mexica/Aztec people who, when met by the invading Euopeans, served as the correction of the European calendar, moving them from a Julian Calendar to the adjusted Gregorian one.
Now, in taking a much deeper look at Kukulkan, The Feathered Serpent, and what it has to do with the yearly solar calendar, we need to first know what Kukulkan represents. The Feathered Serpent is the symbol of consciousness and life itself. It represents the duality of life and the duality that consciousness takes. On/off, yin/yang, active/passive, all of this is Kukulkan. However, Kukulkan is also, in its most literal sense, the planet VENUS, and when understanding this, Chichen Itza becomes so much more complex.
The planet Venus has 2 phases, and so does Kukulkan. It is either a Morning Star (rising in the east before the sun), or an evening star (following the sun down into the darkness of the western horizon). It was seen that Kukulkan (Venus) cycled between descending into the underworlds of our reality, and ascending into the upper realms of consciousness. This is why the appearances of Kukulkan 2 times a year on the solstices ALSO marked a secondary cycle of time which was marked by the cycles of Venus, the cycles of The Feathered Serpent.
On the Venus Platform in Chichen Itza, the following symbol for Venus is found:
Ref: Maya Observations of 13th Century Transits of Venus, by Jesus Galindo Trejo & Christine Allen
The 8 circles around the Mayan glyph of Venus above, is the number 8, and as some of you western astrological folxs may be familiar with, Venus has an 8-year synodic cycle which some know as The 5-Petals of Venus. This cycle is marked by venus retrograde cycles which come back to retrograde at roughly the same place in the sky every 8 years. Every 8 years, the locations of the retrogrades of Venus shifts exactly 2 degrees, building a very complex and multi-leveled Venus cycle which is what is really behind the Kukulkan dissension and the cycles of time marked by The Feathered Serpent/ Venus. The Numbers behind this are as follows: 13 venus orbits of 224.8 days each comes to 8 years. Side note: 1 orbit of the feathered serpent/ venus was linked to the rough time it took for a human to gestate in their mothers womb.
(Below is an example of a western astrological reference which shows the 8 year venus cycle within the zodiac):
When observing time in this way, through not only the annual year, but the cycles of Venus/ The Feathered Serpent, time takes many different cycles. While I can’t cover all the cycles here in this article because it would become an entire book, this coming spring equinox is meaningful for all of us. This is because we walked into 2022 with a Venus retrograde, marking one of the renewals of the 8 year Venus/ Feathered Serpent cycles.
This Spring Equinox, March 20, 2022, as Kukulkan appears on the side of El Castillo, it reminds us to look to Venus/ Kulkukan, which now is in its MORNING STAR phase, its rising phase. This marks a time, that in getting into the rhythm of this coming season, where action will be of the most importance in the world, and introspection/ rest will be less important or need to be put on the back burner. This period in time can be marked with conflict, and mirrors to us a time where dealing with conflict / problems will be necessary. On the world stage, this is what Kukulkan is when it is in its morning star phase, as opposed to the evening star phase where the opposite is true. On a personal level, this is an amazing time to get moving! A time to take action on our goals, to expand, to clean house and to begin to move on plans we have set in the previous periods of time.
One wanting to tap into this energy can wear white clothes this spring equinox, burn copal incense through the house, bless their goals through ritual & intention setting and, if anyone is REALLY wanting to get behind this energy, wake up before dawn and watch Venus/ The Feathered Serpent rise before the sun on the easter horizon, sending out prayers and intentions for victory, personal power, success and evolution in the coming year.
Happy Spring Equinox Everyone!
For more ritual tools and inspiration, visit our curated collection of incense, candles, and other items to celebrate Spring Equinox!
You can contact Richard for sessions or readings via Instagram @Ozomapilli, or by email at Ozomapilliastrology@gmail.com
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