Decoding Kukulkan's Longitude
Kukulkan Pyramid. When the world's pyramids were built, their
longitudes were reckoned from a very ancient Prime Meridian (0/360°
longitude) that ran from pole to pole across the Great Pyramid at Giza,
Egypt, a full 31 degrees, 08 minutes, 00.8 seconds to the east of our
modern Greenwich Prime Meridian.
In order to "read" our western pyramids this 31° 08' 00.8" longitudinal
variance must be factored in to our present-day longitudes for these
Carl Munck -
Carl Munck's work is extensive! Here's
but one pyramid decoded. (For the purposes of posting this on our Web
page, Carl chose one of the simplest monuments to decode.) What follows is
copyrighted Carl Munck 1996:
Like the other pyramids of the Western Hemisphere, the
Kukulkan Pyramid at Chichan Itza was a terraced monument as opposed to
being a true pyramid form such an we see in Egypt. There were clear
reasons for this departure from Egyptian architectural practice because in
the West, pyramids convey specific numbers which can enable us to see why
they were built where they were upon the earth.
The decoding process is generally quite simple, the only
exceptions apparently having been at Tikal where the decoding process is
not without certain complexities, otherwise the decoding is a simple
process. The Kukulkan is a classic example of this.
KUKULKAN PYRAMID at Chichen Itza on
Mexico's Yucatan .
Also known as the El Castillo (The Castle) and Quetzalcoatl,
Kukulkan Pyramid has staircases on all four sides.
With each staircase comprising 91 steps, the four
show 364 steps with the upper platform
being the 365th step.
CORNER VIEW FROM THE GROUND
In this 3/4 view from ground level., notice that the pyramid shows us nine
terraces. This, the first number we use to assemble our formula for the
The second number is 365. Kukulkan has four staircases,
one on each side of the monument, on each staircase are 91 steps. For the
four., that totals to 364 steps with the top platform of the pyramid being
the 365th step. We now have our second number - 365.
In the overhead view, we see that the pyramid has four sides, and four
staircases. We now have all the numbers shown by the architect and can put
the decoding formula together:
- 9 terraces x 365 steps x 4 sides x 4 stairways = 52,560
There are also other numbers which also multiply to 52,560. These
are 119, 42 and 10.51620648. Two rational numbers and an irrational, but
these are not shown on the pyramid. These appear only on maps.
When the world's pyramids were built,
their longitudes were reckoned from a very ancient Prime Meridian (0/360°
longitude) that ran from pole to pole across the Great Pyramid at Giza, a
full 31 degrees, 08 minutes, 00.8 seconds to the east or our modern
Greenwich Prime Meridian. In order to "read" our western
pyramids this 31° 08' 00.8" longitudinal variance must be factored
in to our present-day longitudes for these Western monuments, viz:
Hence, those other three numbers of 119, 42, and 10.51620648
shown above, are the elements of Kukulkan's original longitude which multiply
to its GRID longitude which was left to us in the 4-4-9-365 message conveyed
by the Kukulkan itself.
Copyright © 1996 - 2004, Carl Munck. All
The Pyramid of Kukulcan - a Precessional Alarm Clock
When the Toltec people moved to Chichen Itza, they merged their own zenith
cosmology with the Mayan system, and the result was the Pyramid of Kukulcan.
This has been designed so that every year, on Spring Equinox, the afternoon sun
causes a shadow play so that it appears that a huge serpent is descending from
the sky, down the pyramid. However, John Major Jenkins shows that the pyramid is
much more than an equinox indicator. It is a ‘PRECESSIONAL CLOCK WITH ITS ALARM
SET FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY’.
Photo from souvenir book
The Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza.
This image shows the Seven Triangles of Light and Shadow as they appear on the
west face of the
northern staircase of El Castillo between 4:30 and 5:00 PM
during the Spring equinox
on March 21st.
Our computer model animation can be seen
Jenkins says that Kukulcan, (or Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent), was the
symbol of a sun-Pleiades-zenith conjunction. Exactly 60 days after the Spring
Equinox, on May 20, the zenith passage of the sun takes place over Chichen Itza.
The Crotalus rattlesnake, whose pattern is constantly used in Mesoamerican art,
has a marking on it which is identical to the Solar ‘Ahau’ glyph of the Maya,
and its rattle was called ‘tzab’, which is the same word used for the Pleiades
From John Major Jenkins' essential book,
Maya Cosmogenesis 2012
True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date
The moving snake on the Pyramid is an annual reminder of a conjunction of the
zenith sun with the Pleiades over Chichen Itza, but this is an event which will
only occur during a 72-year time window, from 1976 to 2048. Right at the centre
of this time window is the year 2012, when the Great Cycle ends. On May 20 2012,
the zenith passage combines with a solar eclipse, on the Tzolkin day 10 Chichan,
which means serpent. The winter solstice end-point will be 4 Ahau in the Tzolkin
calendar, meaning Lord/Sun, and 3 Kankin in the Haab calendar, which means
Shadow of the Equinox
Summary of Events Reflected by El Castillo
The cycle of the sun and how it interacts with the pyramid El Castillo at
Key dates that are all approximately 91 days apart from each other.
Start of Mayan new year. Add 52 days to this date (the same as the number of
years in Maya "cycle" and you arrive at Sept 6th.
All nine triangles of light are visible between 5 and 5:30 PM.
Fall equinox (Day and night equal length) when seven triangles are visible. This
is 92 days from previous summer solstice of June 21.
Six triangles visible between 4 and 4:30 PM.
Winter solstice, longest night of the year. (91 days from Sept 22 fall equinox)
North and East sides in total darkness while West and South are in daylight. 91
Days from fall equinox
Six triangles visible between 4 and 4:30 PM.
Spring Equinox. (Day and night equal length) Seven triangles between 4:30 - 5
PM. 91 days (same as stairs on the pyramid) from December 21 solstice.
Nine triangles between 5 and 5:30 PM All possible triangles visible at this
Summer solstice. Longest day of the year. (91 days from the March 21 show of
seven triangles) South and West sides in total darkness between 7 and 7:30 AM.
General information on the phenomenon
The Mayans succeeded in an almost impossible mission with the completion of
their structures at Chichén Itzá. A poetic combination of form, style, function,
religion, philosophy, mathematics and geometry. A true symbiosis of all of their
intelligence and art in one location, to be studied and admired by all that
visit. By far the most impressive aspect of the Pyramid of Kukulkan is it's
relationship with the sun and how it reflects the equinoxes and solstices of our
solar year with stunning accuracy. Before one can fully understand the workings
of the Shadow of the Equinox, a few basics on astronomy need to be reviewed.
An equinox occurs twice each year when our sun, in its orbit around the earth
in a fashion unique to these times of the year, passes directly over the Earth's
equator and the length of the daylight and evening hours is equal. Hence the
word equinox is derived from the Latin for "equal" aequus, and nox meaning
"night". The spring equinox occurs on March 21. Six months later, on Sept 22, we
have the Fall Equinox. The summer solstice occurs on June 21st. On this day
earth sees the longest duration of daylight. Six months later is the winter
solstice on December 22, when we see the shortest daylight and the longest night
of the year. On these days the sun almost seems to pause in its orbit before
resuming its course, and it is why the word solstice is based on the Latin sol,
for "sun", and sistere or "to cause to stand". This cycle then repeats itself as
the Earth continues to rotate around the sun. It is interesting to note that
there are exactly 91 days between each of these events, and 92 days between the
June 21 summer solstice and the September 21 equinox. This adds up to a 365 day
solar year with the 91 days between each event matching the 91 steps to each
side of the pyramid (described here).
Each of these solar events, the two solstices and the two equinoxes, can be
measured and predicted using the patterns of light and shadow that fall on EL
Castillo at various times of the year. It is believed that the Mayans used the
various shadows and designs formed by the Pyramid to signal the beginning of a
harvest or of a planting, to predict the best dates to be married or to be
buried, and for other various ceremonial reasons. The cycles of the sun also
play out to another Mayan tradition of the number 52. To us, it is a coincidence
that this is the number of weeks in our standard year. But to the Maya it
represented, in years, the time of one "cycle".
The Mayan Calendar began on on the first day
of Pop month, or our July 16th.
They kept a count of 52 days (breaking down into 2 months with 20 days each,
2 weeks with 5 days each, and 2 additional days.
This count puts us in the 12th day of the 3rd month called Sip, or
September 6th by our calendar.
This was the day the Mayans held their most significant ceremonies at the base
of the pyramid as September 6th (as well as April 6th) is when the
complete nine triangles of shadow and light can be seen on the
western side of the north staircase. Nine triangles being the most complete
example of the phenomenon, with eight visible on the staircase and the ninth
illuminating the head of Kukulkan.
Photo from souvenir book
This image shows the Seven Triangles of Light and Shadow as
they appear on the west face of the northern staircase of El Castillo between
4:30 and 5:00 PM during the Spring equinox on March 21st. Also visible just to
the right of the illuminated serpent head is the entrance to the inner
antechamber and the smaller structure over which the larger one was constructed.
From the 12th day of Sip (or September 6th) count foreword three
weeks (Mayan weeks with
5 days in each) and one additional day (16 days total) and we arrive at the 9th
day in the 4th month Zoodz (or September 22). On this date there are seven
triangles on the same side of the main staircase which indicated to the
Mayan astronomers that the Earth had completed its cycle around the sun.
the triangles seen on September 6th completely shift off the pyramid and are
projected onto the ground at the floor of the staircase. On the 6th day in the
month of Tseek (October 9th
or 17 days after September 22nd) there are 6 triangles visible.
There are several dates and variations of the
shadows and triangles as the sun approached the positions for which the pyramid
was built. They all had varying degrees of significance within the Mayan culture
and I have only focused on the "main" ones.
Hypothesis of how the the location for the pyramid was derived
Chichen Itza at Spring Equinox.
Image Source >>
"Feathered Snake." Quetzalcoatl is one of the major deities of the Aztecs,
Toltecs, and other Middle American peoples. The story goes that he descended to
Mictlan, the underworld, and gathered the bones of the human beings of the
previous epochs. Upon his return, he sprinkled his own blood upon these bones
and thus fashioned the humans of the new era. After he banned himself from
earth, and was burned while traveling on the ocean, the heart of Quetzalcoatl
became the morning-star. According to legend, Quetzalcoatl, described as
light-skinned and bearded, would return one day to rule over his people and
destroy his enemies (Tezcatlipoca). Thus, when the Spanish conqueror Hernán
Cortés appeared in 1519, the Aztec king, Montezuma II, was easily convinced that
Cortés was the returning god.
According to Aztec legend, Ometecutli, "Lord of Duality," and
Omecihuatl, "Lady of Duality," initially created all life and produced four
sons, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcatlipoca, Huitzilopochtli and Tonatiuh, who represented
different cardinal directions and who were associated with different colors.
These sons became very powerful, ruling gods.
Quetzalcoatl was a benevolent god, and the founder of agriculture,
industry, and the arts. Tezcatlipoca was the patron of evil and sorcerers, god
of the night, omnipotent and multiform. Tezcatlipoca had transformed himself
into the first sun, wanting to light the world. Because he was evil, the other
gods were not pleased, and Quetzalcoatl struck Tezcatlipoca down into the sea,
causing Tezcatlipoca to assume the form of a tiger. In the darkness that
followed, the tiger Tezcatlipoca devoured all the giants and humans.
Quetzalcoatl then became the second sun. He ruled until one day
Tezcatlipoca reached up with his tiger paw from the ocean and pulled Quetzacoatl
down to earth. The fall of Quetzalcoatl caused a hurricane, which uprooted all
growing things and destroyed man (again). The few humans that survived were
turned into monkeys.
The other gods then banished the two quarrelers, Quetzalcoatl and
Tezcatlipoca, from the sky and made Tlaloc, god of rain and heavenly fire, the
third sun. But angry Quetzalcoatl caused a rain of fire to devastate the earth,
drying up all the rivers and destroying man (yet again). Those few men who did
not perish were transformed into birds.
Quetzalcoatl then made the goddess Chalchiutlicue, "She of the
Jade-Green Skirts," the fourth sun. But jealous Tezcatlipoca sent a flood to
destroy both the sun and the earth, and most of humanity perished(for the fourth
time). Those who survived became fish.
In response to the darkness, all of the gods assembled in
Teotihuacan to offer sacrifice so that there might be light again. Two gods
sacrificed themselves, such a large offering that, because of the sacrifice, a
brilliant moon appeared. The gods, angered at the moon's nerve, threw a rabbit
at it, causing the dark holes in the moon that form the shape of a rabbit. The
sacrifice was, after all, successful, and light returned to the earth.
Quetzalcoatl then descended to the underworld and collected all of
the bones of the humans who had been destroyed. He fashioned new humans by
sprinkling the bones with his own blood. Thus the Aztec people are the direct
descendants of Quetzalcoatl himself.
Tezcatlipoca, still angry, laced Quetzalcoatl's drink with a
poisonous mushroom, causing him to commit incest with his sister. Being a good
god, Quetzalcoatl was so overcome with shame that he left Teotihuacan, never to
Legend has it that Quetzalcoatl's raft caught on fire on the ocean
when the sun was especially hot one day, and his ashes turned into birds and
carried his heart back into the sky. This is how Quetzalcoatl became the god of
the morning star.
The Aztec people believed that one day, Quetzalcoatl would return
to destroy his enemies and reign once again. In anticipation, every Aztec king
was named Quetzalcoatl. Unfortunately, this messianic belief was exploited by
the Spaniards who, upon arrival in Mexico, spoke of peace and prosperity,
causing the Aztecs to believe that Quetzalcoatl himself had returned in the
shape of the Spanish priests. Instead, the Spaniards took advantage of the
vulnerability of the Aztecs and the Aztecs, despite their military might, were
The legend of Quetzalcóatl is well known to Mexican children. It is the
origin of how the plumed serpent god, originally from the Toltec region of
central Mexico, came to be known to the Maya.
Quetzalcoatl ("feathered snake") is the Aztec name
for the Feathered-Serpent deity of ancient Mesoamerica,
one of the main gods of many Mexican and northern
Central American civilizations.
It tells of a man who was revered as a great mystical leader much in the same
ilk as Britain's King Arthur. Though there is some evidence to suggest that
Quetzalcóatl was actually a living man that ruled the Toltecs. He first appeared
to the people of Teotehuican near current day Mexico City, and taught the
Toltecs all of their arts and science and became their ruler and led thir city
to great prosperity and importance. He eventually fell in disgrace for violating
his own laws and set himself on fire. He rose in flames to become the planet
Venus and vowed to return one day to his people.
After this event, all priests in the Toltec cult were given the title of
Quetzalcóatl. One such priest by the name of Ce Acatl Topiltzin rose to power
and proclaimed himself as the second coming of Quetzalcóatl returning as
promised, and in 968 AD became king of the Toltec people once again. He reigned
for decades and built the Toltec capital of Tula. Eventually he was disposed of
by his enemies and this time sailed east on a raft of snakes, vowing, like the
first Quetzalcóatl, to return one day to rule his people. It is this snake
reference that has caused the artwork depicting Quetzalcóatl as emerging, or
being "reborn" as he emerges from the mouth of a serpent.
This raft of snakes carried Quetzalcóatl east and south across the gulf of
Mexico to a Yucatan beach. By coincidence, the Mayan people were, at this time,
expecting the return of their plumed serpent god Kukulkan. Kukulkan, in the same
fashion as Quetzalcóatl, promised to return to rule his people after being
forced to leave, and he was greeted as the returning Kukulkan by those that
discovered him. Topiltzin-Quetzalcóatl-Kukulkan became the king of the Itzá Maya
and rebuilt the ancient capital of Chichén Itzá. Massive stone sculptures
reflecting his image as the plumed serpent god were built in his honor and can
be seen in a large portion of their artwork.
His enemies eventually caught up with him again and he fled to Uxmal where he
committed suicide and, according to legend, was buried under the Temple of the
Dwarf where he remains to this day, though no burial plot has yet been
Tourists delight in the strange chirping echoes they produce when they clap
their hands at the base of the steep staircases that sweep up the face of
Kukulkan, a 1,300-year-old Mayan pyramid in the Yucatan. While amusing
themselves, the tourists may unwittingly be replicating an ancient Mayan ritual,
says David Lubman, an acoustical consultant based in California. The echoes are
eerily reminiscent of the call of the quetzal, a bird the Maya considered a
representative of the gods.
The long-tailed quetzal of Mexico and Central America
associated by the ancient Maya and Aztecs with
the plumed serpent god
They used its magnificent tail feathers in religious ceremonies.
Lubman recorded the enigmatic echoes while on vacation in Mexico and analyzed
them when he returned home. The echoes sound like chirps, he realized, because
the sound from the tapping doesn't hit a solid wall but hundreds of small steps,
producing hundreds of echoes. The difference in the distance traveled by echoes
bouncing off lower steps is rather small, so the echoes follow each other
closely and make a high-pitched sound; the distances and intervals between
successive echoes returning from the higher steps, however, are longer, so their
pitch is lower. When the echoes reach a listener's ear, the change in pitch
sounds like a chirping bird.
The dimensions of the steps, it turns out, are the key to the effect. Each
step is tall, but the tread, where the foot is placed, doesn't cut deeply into
the pyramid. If the stairs were deeper and not so high, the effect on the echoes
would not be as great, and they wouldn't sound like a chirp.
That Lubman noticed the similarity between the echo and the quetzal's call
was a "lucky hunch," he says, but the Maya, he thinks, knew exactly what they
were doing when they built the staircase at Kukulkan. "For about 1,000 years
before this, they had been building stone staircases in the open, where you are
going to get an echo," he says. "All it would take is one person in 1,000 years
to notice that when you shorten the staircase tread, the pitch of the tone
The Maya could have used the sound in ceremonies conducted at the pyramid,
which was clearly linked to the sacred bird. Kukulkan is a Mayan deity whose
name shares the same root as the Mayan word for "quetzal" and who is often
depicted with the bird on his back.
Archeologists had always considered hand-clapping tourists a nuisance at
Kukulkan, but now some are admitting that Lubman's theories are possible. "The
Maya were people of the forest, where it was really important to listen," Lubman
says. "The visual sense has been dominant in our culture, but there's much to be
gained if historians learn that ears were more than mere pegs for jewelry."
COPYRIGHT 1999 Discover, COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group
As with other ancient cultures, observatories, pyramids and temples were
erected based on celestial alignments.
Prior to the Maya rising to power circa 400 AD in Central America and Mexico,
there is evidence that the Olmec people had already begun to use astronomical
orientations to direct the layout of several ceremonial centers, with the
Pyramids of the New World oriented to observing and predicting the motions of
the Sun and Mon. As with the Egyptians, we can deduce that Mayan astronomical
endeavors, heavily relied upon the ritual and ceremonial worlds of the culture,
however, here we have a wealth of evidence to substantiate such claims. Left
behind are codices, or systems of hieroglyphic recordings of the Maya, and which
include celestial sightings and how these sightings and predictions are woven
into the entire cultural complex.
'The Dresden Codex' has perhaps proved the most fruitful in helping to
recreate the ancient environment, and containing an elaborate calendar used to
record the observations of Venus, which seems to be an object of utmost
importance to them. Working with both a solar calendar and a ritual calendar,
the ancient Maya imparted much meaning in the helical rising of Venus, which is
made evident in the structure of several ceremonial centers throughout the area.
Unlike the Megalithic and Egyptian complexes, scientific observation can be
better deciphered here, because of the elaborate records left behind, and
because of the fact that so many of the deductions the Maya made so closely
resemble recent calculations of the same recorded cycles.
Like the Egyptians, the Maya had devised two calendars, one solar and one
ritual which interacted and depended upon one another for the dictation of
certain ritual events to be carried out. The sky for the Maya was a seeming
personification of Gods and deities who played important roles in the daily
lives of the population. Most significantly, the relationship between the Sun
and Venus (talked about previously in the helical rising, conjunction, phases)
was representative of Kutaikcan, the God of Venus , and "symbolizes the cyclic
myth of departure and return or death and resurrection." (Aveni 1984). In
addition other objects may have been tracked in order to predict certain
'natural' phenomenon in accordance to seasonal changes therefor placing major
importance on the accurate predictions undertaken to better predict the earthly
events thought to be under the control of the Gods.
A great many structures are indicative of the devotion to and dependence upon
Venus, to the Maya, and can be found in the architecture ceremonial centers
throughout the region. Caracol, at Chichen Itza sits atop a large earthen mound
and is a structure obviously intended for observing Venus at its most extreme
points on the horizon.
Just as famous, is the Governor's Palace at Uxmal, constructed so that it
would center on the helical rising of Venus at its southernmost point during the
eight year cycle it follows. Such an alignment can be further substantiated by
the fact that the Palace deviates from the remainder of the buildings at Uxmal
by twenty degrees, indicating the care taken to insure the sight lines of the
observation windows. The careful planning inherent in the design and building of
such structures is made evident in the precision of their alignments, however
this precision was indispensable to the planning of ritual events and the
prediction of natural processes that so dictated the lives of the Maya.
In Chichen Itza, in Mexico there is a celestial observatory to the stars that
was aligned along the line of the summer and winter solstice. It was built by the
ancient Maya and / or their God Quatzequatl. The western orientation of the Castillo at Chichen Itza faces within a degree
the zenith passage sunset. The east faces sunrise at the time of solar nadir.
The Upper Temple of the Jaguars and the Temple of the Warriors align to the
zenith sunset. The Castillo has 365 steps. The Caracol at Chichen Itza is
recognized as an astronomical observatory (Milbrath 1988). The Caracol has three
Venus alignments, including the building's alignment to the northerly extremes
of Venus. A pair of turret window alignments and a pair of base alignments point
to Venus' western horizon standstills around 1000 A.D. The Caracol's platform,
an irregular rectangle, has a diagonal directed toward the winter solstice
sunset and summer solstice sunrise (Broda 1986). The platform staircase faces
the Venus extreme north position.
Astronomical alignments are also obvious in Peru. One of Machu Picchu's primary functions was that of astronomical observatory.
The Intihuatana stone (meaning 'Hitching Post of the Sun') has been shown to be
a precise indicator of the date of the two equinoxes and other significant
celestial periods. The Intihuatana (also called the Saywa or Sukhanka stone) is
designed to hitch the sun at the two equinoxes, not at the solstice (as is
stated in some tourist literature and new-age books). At midday on March 21st
and September 21st, the sun stands almost directly above the pillar, creating no
shadow at all. At this precise moment the sun "sits with all his might upon the
pillar" and is for a moment "tied" to the rock. At these periods, the Incas held
ceremonies at the stone in which they ?tied the sun? to halt its northward
movement in the sky.
There is also an Intihuatana alignment with the December
solstice (the summer solstice of the southern hemisphere), when at sunset the
sun sinks behind Pumasillo (the Puma's claw), the most sacred mountain of the
western Vilcabamba range, but the shrine itself is primarily equinoctial.
Shamanic legends say that when sensitive persons touch their foreheads to the
stone, the Intihuatana opens one's vision to the spirit world (the author had
such an experience, which is described in detail in Chapter one of Places of
Peace and Power, on the web site, www.sacredsites.com). Intihuatana stones were
the supremely sacred objects of the Inca people and were systematically searched
for and destroyed by the Spaniards. When the Intihuatana stone was broken at an
Inca shrine, the Inca believed that the deities of the place died or departed.
The Spaniards never found Machu Picchu, even though they suspected its
existence, thus the Intihuatana stone and its resident spirits remain in their
The mountain top sanctuary fell into disuse and was abandoned
some forty years after the Spanish took Cuzco in 1533. Supply lines linking the
many Inca social centers were disrupted and the great empire came to an end. The
photograph shows the ruins of Machu Picchu in the foreground with the sacred
peak of Wayna Picchu towering behind. Partway down the northern side of Wayna
Picchu is the so-called Temple of the Moon inside a cavern. As with the ruins of
Machu Picchu, there is no archaeological or iconographical evidence to
substantiate the new-age assumption that this cave was a goddess site.
The Intihuatana Stone - The Hitching Post of the Sun Source:
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