Time as Art Replaces Time as Money
One thing Argüellés and Burrell cannot be accused of is exploiting their interpretation of the Mayan calendar for money. The visionary process by which they created or channeled the information for the Dreamspell led them to believe it should be given as a gift to humanity and should not be exchanged for money. Thousands of the quite expensive-looking boxed kits were given away for free, presumably paid for by philanthropic donors. This is because one of the core principles of their system is the need to make a transition between the paradigm of time is money — an idea, they suggest, representative of the time standard the world is currently using — to a paradigm based on time is art. They believe that adopting their version of the Tzolkin would facilitate this.
This stand became somewhat diluted later on as the Dreamspell gained in popularity and others wrote their interpretations of it, made calendars based upon it, or created T-shirts, pendants, or other time-is-art paraphernalia.
In the early 1990s, Argüellés's writings were by far the most popular in introducing the concepts of Mayan calendrics to a wide public. The Mayan Factor, despite being quite densely written and full of unusual mathematics, made the New York Times bestseller list. When the Dreamspell box set was released, its combination of oracle and game found an audience eager to embrace it.
In Dreamspell, colors are attributed to each glyph according to their direction and correspond to those used traditionally. Red represents the east, white represents the north, blue represents the west (though the Maya often preferred black for this direction), and yellow represents the south.
With Dreamspell, Argüellés and Burrell take the interpretation of the Mayan calendar put forth in The Mayan Factor and rewrite it in a kind of mythological language. This makes their Tzolkin calendar into a fairy tale–like game with the goal of achieving galactic synchronization. Clear and simple interpretations of the meanings of each of the twenty Tzolkin glyphs are given, with just three keywords describing their essences. Each of the glyphs is also given an English name. These are based on the traditional meanings, but in some cases Argüellés and Burrell universalize these. For instance, the traditional alligator or crocodile becomes the dragon. The skull or death becomes the world-bridger.