The Planet Art Network
The idea of calendar change has become the major focus of those using the Argüellés system of interpreting the Tzolkin. The suggestion is that the proposed calendar change is one way we can actually do something about the looming deadline of 2012. Adopting a new, more harmonic calendar means we can practically and psychologically prepare ourselves for a new time. This has become quite a significant social movement that has taken root in many countries. It has become particularly strong in South America, and in countries like Brazil and Argentina it has turned into a populist movement with hundreds of thousands of supporters.
Calendar-change advocates are also part of a broader movement toward ecological living and social change. This is taking form in the creation of new ecocommunities and gatherings called vision councils. These events are organized by a loose alliance of related groups like the Global Eco-village Network, the Rainbow Peace Caravan, and the thirteen-moon–based Planet Art Network. The goal of South American vision councils is to bring together indigenous elders, New Age speakers, activists, and others to share information. Everyone is also encouraged to work together in a process that is facilitated by consensus decision making.
These gatherings are good examples of people living with awareness of 2012 as an organizing principle. The ending of the calendar is a major focal point and is accepted as a cultural norm. In these cases, the end point of the Mayan calendar is acting as a stimulus to catalyze more rapid change than might otherwise happen. The vision councils organize to create a network of new communities and new lifestyles that are more in tune with the planet.
The Telektonon and Other Work
Argüellés is nothing if not prolific, and has gone on to produce several other developments of his calendrical system. These include Telektonon, another board game–like package that Argüellés claims is inspired by the great Lord Pacal of Palenque. Another box set called 7:7:7:7 attempts to integrate Russian plasma physics, Tibetan terma prophecies, and the Argüellés calendar, with some interesting results. He is currently living in Bali and is writing a hefty seven-volume series of books called the Cosmic History Chronicles, the last volume of which will be published in 2012. These books focus mostly on the more esoteric aspects of his work.
Many writers on the Mayan calendar and 2012 refer to Lord Pacal as Pacal Votan. This was a term coined by Argüellés. It blends the identities of two separate figures. One is the historical king, Lord Pacal, whose extraordinary tomb can be found at the Temple of Inscriptions at Palenque. The other is Votan, who was the mythological founder of Palenque.
Some writers on 2012 have made capital from the idea that Jose Argüellés's calendar system is wrong. Calendars in themselves cannot be right or wrong, just more or less accurate or more or less useful. Without Argüellés, it would be difficult to imagine how the subject matter of 2012 would have come to public recognition around the world. Dismissing his work, esoteric and highly imaginative as it is, as disproven is unfair and unhelpful.
Dreamspell is most certainly a product of the New Age, of which Argüellés was a pioneer, but it is neither wrong nor invalid. It is just not the Mayan calendar.