Posted by: Johan Normark | November 22, 2011

Aldana reinterprets the Venus Pages in the Dresden Codex

Readers of this blog may recall that I covered Gerardo Aldana’s opening of the black-boxed arguments concerning the GMT correlation constant in several posts one year ago. This is the correlation where the 13 Baktun date will fall on December 21 or 23, 2012. His convincing conclusion is that the correlation constant is wrong. I have also promised that I shall review his book on Pakal and astronumerology. In this book he dropped the GMT dates altogether and simply focused on the Long Count dates without correlating them to the Gregorian calendar system. I better hurry up with that review since I have missed his newer book entitled “Tying Headbands or Venus Appearing: New Translations of k’al, the Dresden Codex Venus Pages and Classic Period Royal ‘Binding’ Rituals” (published in July this year).

He also leaves the correlation constant outside of the discussion in this book. This is because the GMT constant gives you potentially false Gregorian dates. By focusing on how the night sky appeared at certain inscribed dates (correlated to Gregorian dates), archaeoastronomers started to elaborate grand cosmological plans in the 1980s, culminating in Freidel, Schele and Parker’s Maya Cosmos (1993). This book had great impact on John Major Jenkins and his galactic alignment theory, one of the main non-scholarly theories regarding 2012. However, this is all dependent on the assumption that the GMT correlation is correct. Tons of archaeoastronomical literature may be thrown into the rubbish bin if the correlation is wrong (and I believe it is), not to mention all books by false prophets and independent researchers.

In this book Aldana opens Ernst Förstemann’s black boxed interpretation of the Venus table in the Dresden Codex. Aldana argues that the verb k’al that refers to Venus events has been misread. He suggests the verb refers to an “enclosing” of time and space that can be seen in other Postclassic Mesoamerican rituals.

Aldana also revises the mathematics of the Venus Table. His new readings show that the Venus Table is much more in coherence to Postclassic religion all over Mesoamerica. The Venus Pages even contain the names of Aztec deities but modified to suit Maya glyphs. Aldana seems to argue that the same religious ideas of astronomy, time and space were kept fairly intact from the Classic period into early Colonial times.



  1. Forstemann finds near the end of the Dresden Codex vast numbers–designated “Serpent Numbers” because of the occurrence of the serpent-symbol in connection with them–which correspond to such cyclic re-combinations of signs and events.

    “In the so-called ‘Serpent Numbers’, writes Morley, “ a grand total of nearly twelve and a half million days (about thirty-four thousand years) is recorded again and again. In these well-nigh inconceivable periods all the smaller units may be regarded as coming at last to a more or less exact close. What matter a few score years one way or the other in this virtual eternity? Finally, on the last page of the manuscript, is depicted the Destruction of the World, for which the highest numbers have paved the way. Here we see the rain serpent, stretching across the sky, belching forth torrents of water. Great streams of water gush from the sun and moon. The old goddess, she of the tiger claws and forbidding aspect, the malevolent patroness of floods and cloudbursts, overturns the bowl of the heavenly waters. The crossbones, dread emblem of death, decorate her skirt, and a writhing snake crowns her head. Below with downward-pointed spears, symbolic of the universal destruction, the black god stalks abroad, a screeching owl raging on his fearsome head. Here, indeed, is portrayed with graphic touch the final all-engulfing cataclysm.”


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