Two of the latest crop circle calendars have been released, one in the traditional style, another a new departure, combining the ancient Mayan system. GEOFF HINTON prepares his wall space…
CROP CIRCLES 2004 CALENDAR – BY LUCY PRINGLE
Lucy Pringle’s latest production will surprise no-one already familiar with her previous calendars, and doesn’t need to. It is the now well-established mix of classic crop circle photos from all years, attractively presented with smaller complimentary side images of tourist locations, country scenes or natural objects that resemble the accompanying glyph.
The crop circle photos are bright and colourful and will stand out across any room, keeping croppies and paranormal aficionados happy. All circles are thankfully shown as straight overheads rather than landscape shots (with the exception of the slightly dingy cover, but you won’t be looking at that for long), and all are UK formations photographed by Lucy, with the unusual exception of one German formation. March’s entry (‘Missing Earth’, Longwood Warren 1995) is upside down, though! Meanwhile, the satellite pictures ensure a crossover into the tea-shop and chintzy living room market, enabling anyone slightly uncomfortable with the weird side of it all, and its effect on house visitors, to justify the calendar’s presence by saying “Well, it looks rather nice, doesn’t it?”.
The calendar grid itself is clear and leaves lots of room to write on (a failing of crop circle calendars from other sources over the years), and there are scatterings of silhouette diagrams by the likes of Allan Brown, and the obligatory quotes of wisdom from many historical sources. The photos are on glossy (and handily wipe-clean) board, held together by ring binding.
In short, if you have enjoyed Lucy’s calendars from previous years, you won’t be at all disappointed with this latest instalment, which deviates not one jot from the established formula and is justifiably unapologetic for doing so. There is even an order form within for the 2005 calendar, for those who can’t wait for the next one.
Prices, including p&p: £11.50 (UK), 25 Euros (Europe), $25.00 (USA), £14 (rest of world). Cheques payable to ‘Lucy Pringle’.
Send to: 5 Town Lane, Sheet, Hampshire, GU32 2AF
Web page: http://home.clara.net/lucypringle
CROP CIRCLE CALENDAR 2004 – BY THE WILTSHIRE CROP CIRCLE STUDY GROUP
Unlike Lucy’s calendar above, this latest offering from the WCCSG is a totally new departure, which attempts something very different with the format. The Wiltshire group has long been a bastion of the more mystical department of croppiedom, and this year they have decided to incorporate the ancient Mayan calendar (which closes in the year 2012, considered by some to be the end of all time) with the standard Western dates. How successful is this merging? We’ll come to that in a moment.
In terms of production, the calendar is very classy, and has been beautifully designed. Inevitably, each main page features a crop formation, in this case all taken from 2003, making a fine record of the best of the season. Mayan glyphs accompany each day on the facing calendar grid, while shadow diagrams and smaller photos of circles run along the foot of the page. How useful the grid is to write on is another matter, but it all looks lovely.
Some quibbles – though the clarity is generally excellent, too many of the earlier photos tend towards over-darkness, and the insistence of showing several of them as landscape shots at the expense of giving clear views of the glyphs themselves can get annoying. February’s very faintly impressed formation is virtually invisible across a room. The straight overheads are far more effective, and the brighter, more ripe fields work far better as calendar pictures. September’s entry (the 13-fold formation at Huish) is a good example of the best of the pages, clear and glowing.
But what of the attempt to merge our Western calendar with the Mayan system? Here’s how the WCCSG describe their bold experiment:
“This year we are embarking on a new adventure. Inspired by the Mayan crop formation that appeared several years ago during the foot and mouth crisis in Northamptonshire, we are most privileged that Rob Underhill has collaborated with us to create the first ever-combined Gregorian and Mayan calendar. Rob Underhill, who worked with the world's leading Mayan Calendar authority Jose Aguelles, author of ‘The Mayan Factor’, introduced the Mayan calendar to Great Britain about ten years ago,
As synchronicity would have it, January 1st 2004 happens also to be the first day of a thirteen day wave and therefore presents us all with an ideal opportunity to begin living the new year with the insights that the Mayan's ancient knowledge offers us. The Mayans live to a rhythm of a thirteen-day wave, as opposed to our seven-day week. Our calendar includes an introduction to the workings of the Sacred Mayan Tzolkin, written by Rob Underhill. The Mayan Tzolkin provides insights into the energies of each day and the natural rhythms of Earth and the Cosmos. Deep within our cellular memory, and encoded in our physical body, we hold the knowledge of these harmonic codes.”
Though a nice idea, does this association with the Mayan calendar work as planned? Well, maybe not quite. We consulted 2012 expert Geoff Stray (creator of the unmissable www.diagnosis2012.co.uk website) for his opinion, and here’s what he had to say:
“The WCCSG calendar is based on Jose Arguelles' ‘New Age Dreamspell’ system, which is based on the Mayan Tzolkin. The most important difference between the traditional Maya System and the Dreamspell system is the correlation to the Gregorian calendar. When Dreamspell was developed, following the Harmonic Convergence of 1987, the count was 54 days ahead of the True Count of days. This is a count of days that has been kept unbroken by the Maya of the Guatemala highlands for over a thousand years. Each day in the 260-day sacred calendar has a different "energy" or quality, and the sequence is repeated every 260 days. Not only is the Dreamspell count different from the Maya count, but it changes every four years, when the Dreamspell calendar halts for a day on February 29th. Since 2004 is a leap year, if you look at February 29th on the WCCSG calendar, it says, "Leap year day not recognised on the Mayan Tzolkin". This is very misleading, since the Maya do not EVER break the Tzolkin count, because to do so would destroy the concept of 260 unique daily energies or qualities. After February 29th, the discrepancy goes down to 49 days away from the True Count, so the Dreamspell calendar will not show the correct day quality signified by the day-sign and number combination (pulse and tone in the Dreamspell jargon) for another 204 years (until March 1st 2208 AD), when it will be correct for four years, then will be wrong again for over a thousand years.
In its favour, the WCCSG calendar is a slight improvement on the Dreamspell, because it uses the Mayan day-sign names, rather than the terminology of Dreamspell - that includes day titles like "self-existing human" and "white solar wizard". The worst thing about this calendar system is that it pretends to be the genuine Maya calendar, when it is not. It leads to confusion when people want to know their Mayan birth sign (Maya/Aztec ‘astrology’) and the days on which that day quality is repeated. See the book ‘Day-Signs’ by Bruce Scofield for a system reconstructed from Aztec sources that aligns with the True Count.
More information can be found on:
For True Count online calculators see:
For Bruce Scofield's site, including free Aztec/Maya astrology readings, see:
How many people will actually use this purchase to determine the Mayan year, then, is another matter, but if you do, remember Geoff’s advice!
What we have here is a beautiful record of this year’s crop formations, at the least. A brave step away from the normal format of such circular merchandise, it will please some and alienate others, depending on what you want from a calendar, and that’s absolutely fine.
Prices, including p&p: £12 (UK non-WCCSG members), £11 (UK WCCSG members), £13 sterling or 25 Euros (Europe), £14 sterling or $28.00 (USA), £14.50 sterling or $29 (rest of world). Cheques payable to ‘WCCSG’.
Send to: Wiltshire Crop Circle Study Group, PO Box No 939, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1XD
This calendar is also available in the US from Chet Snow. Email:
Lucy Pringle's calendar