It’s Friday the 13th, and there is a Fullmoon! Growing up, I never really understood the association of this day with witches and evil. I wrote a compilation of various bodies knowledge I’ve picked up on my way. Mostly verbal and some written. So check it, I am about to drop some decolonial knowledge on yo ass.
Through most human history, we’ve followed the moon and used moon calendars. An elder explained to me that it is more natural, 13 moons, 28 days is the human female menstruation, the biological rhythm of life.
Historically across cultures, the moon has been associated with women and the sun with men. Once agricultural lifestyles developed in the Middle East, the male priesthood seized power. For the first time, men no longer were out hunting and gathering, therefore spent more time in their communities. Before this, women held all the essential roles in societies; they were the doctors, teachers, civic leaders, and keepers of culture. The question of a calendar then became a matter of developing an instrument of power a tool to measure “time” to calculate productivity, not the life cycle.
They were essentially creating a ‘male solar’ hierarchy. They divided a 360° circle into 12 parts. Thus, the 12 houses of the zodiac, 12 months with roughly 30 days. This measurement then spread to China, India, Greece, and Rome by creating demonizing taboos about the number 13, the moon. It associated our healer’s as witches, evil blah blah, blah. Eventually, the Christian Church established the Gregorian Calendar (what we follow to this day) based on this “male” solar hierarchy. The taboos are so prevalent that most buildings do not have a 13th floor.
Colonizing Europeans strongly believed the myths around the number 13 and confronted head-on when they arrived in “America.” The number 13 was sacred in Mesoamerican civilizations. Even though our knowledge of time, astrology, psychology, mathematics, governance, and nature was more precise and complete than that of Europeans, there was no chance of real dialogue.
Christian priests and their zealous soldiers killed our elders, teachers, leaders, and burned our libraries, temples, and schools. They deprived the world of understanding of time based on the lunar-galactic power of 13, the natural rhythm of life, not a division of a circle. Our bodies of knowledge about cosmos were developed long before any other civilization and created some of the most accurate calendars in human history.
Skeptics are quick to say, “Didn’t the Maya predict the end of the world in 2012?” Naw that was the end of a cycle of one of many of our calendar. Also for the record, the Maya civilization’s contributions furthered developed Mesoamerican calendars but did not invent them. These systems have been in place predating the Maya and Aztec, most nations, tribes, and civilization in Mesoamerica used variations of these calenders.
By no means do I mean all cultures that followed patterns of the sun, were incorrect. In fact, we have the Haab calendar which is a 365-day cycle and approximates the solar year. I want to provide a critical lens to deconstruct and understand to the extends that patriarchy is interwoven in most facets of society. The tactics used to “domestic” women in Europe laid the foundation to the Colonization of the Americas.
Ixchel / Ix-Chel the Maya rain, medicine, moon, and fertility goddess, sometimes called “Lady Rainbow”. It was said that she was responsible for the nourishing gift of water, our most essential life-giving element.