Conflicting Essays in scholarship which have been the most engaging research job I have ever done. I have also added, over the years, queries about our "dated" geology with their "computerized" confirmations together with climate changes denied since 1963. The Ten-O'clock News have been telling us to change our clocks for DSL and back again BUT no one as noticed it has been changed, more than a few years ago, from March 31 and October 31, to a week or so earlier or even a week or so later.

Friday, July 26, 2013

YAL, a Glyph from Palenque

      The above rough sketch I discovered in my ancient notes about Palenque. The definition given in the Maya Seminar for this glyph was YAL,  which. could mean "Mother of child"  or it could refer to "throwing something away, [or out]".

      When I was studying under Linda Schele, I asked if I could do a paper on Manik, the Hand, not as a calendar sign, but as a glyph. Linda said, "No, because there are so many things that can be done with a hand, it is unlikely that one could isolate any one specific aspect."

     Well, that was way back in 1978.  Since then there have been some very surprising things that happened in my research.

Somewhere along the years that followed, I also was able to read Dennis Tedlock's The Popol Vuh. I had bought both versions (1985 and 1996) and as I read it I made copious notes. One aspect that intrigued me was Tedlock's insistence that a turtle does not produce enough eggs [or seeds] so he decided to replace the reference to the turtle carapace with a more prolific seed producer, the calabash, or squash. 

      His changes were accepted by all because of his logic, but for me, I became even more curious: What was wrong with a turtle producing multiple eggs that at their birth filled the sea with baby turtles. Could not figure out why until I read Goetz and Morley and discovered there was a good reason for the turtle. 

      The clue was in the Popol Vuh—at the end of the story of the Twins, Hunahpú and Xbalenqué—the young heroes of the story became the Sun and the Moon.  They carried with them, an entourage of 400 boys whom they had destroyed in an earlier encounter.  Since 400 in Aztec lore referred to, not 400 items, but many, many more, it was easy to see that the Twins carried with them a new branch of the Milky Way. ¡Astronomy………!  

       The whole Popol Vuh was about……Astronomy! Are there Squash or calabashes in the sky anywhere as a small or large constellation? No, there was never any reference in ancient texts about vegetables, only about human entities, altars, and animals forms. Was there ever a turtle in the sky with the human entities? Yes. Music had come from the sky because of a turtle carapace.

       The Australian Aborigines tried to duplicate that music with the Digerdoo and ordinary clapsticks.  They have been trying to do this for many years.  But in the Ancient Greek world,  Hermes defeated Apollo as a musician when he created a lyre from a turtle carapace. 
      Oh? But the Maya did not know anything about the Australian Aborigines or even the Greeks, both  qho lived on the other side of the world. Yet, the Maya glyphs and ceramics are filled with turtle carapaces, used as body armor,  or birth places for certain gods. It was also mentioned in the Popol Vuh during the second ballgame.  No music involved here.

      Just before that ball game [the second that the Twins had tried to play]; Hunahpú lost his head to the bats in Xibalba in the House of Darkness, Xbalenqué acquired a turtle shell and carved a head for Hunahpú.  Xbalenqué then enlisted a rabbit to pretend to be the ball, It was to run as far as possible instead of roll. The Xibalban players, completely confounded by a ball that ran away, sped after the rabbit. 

      What did Xbalenqué do when that occurred?  Did he clap his hands with glee and shout after the rabbit to run faster?  No, what he did was he grabbed the turtle-shell head of Hunahpú. He then ran into the ball court  recovered Hunahpu's head from the ball of the Xibalbans and hung the turtle carapace over the court.  When the players returned, he threw a stone at the turtle carapace and it "broke into a thousand pieces LIKE seeds." 

      So there was a turtle in the sky and it is now called Lyra or "the Lyre" in memory of Hermes contest with Apollo. So he question that still remains is where does the Hand of God fit into the sky theme?  Was it the hands of Apollow or of Hermes that play the lyre in the constellation Lyra . Did the Maya actually see the Hand in the sky? 

       Was the Hand, a feminine aspect of the gods, or was it a male entity that produced the spittle [sperm] for the Twins, as it passed though the skull-mouth of their father. The skull of their father still hangs in the tree called the Milky Way a bit northwest of Deneb of the Summer Triangle, [or Northern Cross or Cygnus the bird] All three names apply to the one constellation that is part of three different constellations, one of which is Lyra.

       The nebula, called the "Hand," threw out the spittle through the open mouth of the father. The father, who died in the first encounter with the Xibalbans, is just another nebula called NGC 7000. It has the shape of a skull covered with cinnibar . The spittle from the Hand of God sped directly into the hand of the maiden Ix {the term to identify a "lady"], the Moon goddess, [Ix Chel?]; also called Blood Moon.  Comets are usually fire balls and would have produced a very red moon when the Twins, as a double comet passed nearby.

      This was the Hand as the "Hand" [of God] that I was searching for in 1978.  However, it was not available at that time, so Linda's advice, then was correct. A Hand had too many things that it could do, but only the Hand of God could eject the spittle as fireballs in the sky. 

       So the first part of the glyph translation was correct. To "throw something out,"  as in the west panel of the Temple of the Inscriptions in Palenque, or better said "to eject the sperm" in the story of the Popol Vuh.  The second part of the translation also could fit the birth process since a child is expelled,  or "thrown out" from the woman when it [or they were] born.  The Maya were then able to use both nebulae to created not only the glyph but also the story of the Popol Vuh since they saw the whole process in the sky.  HOW? We cannot see it except through the NASA Hubble Space Telescope!

      The partial answer is in a previous blog [dated June 20, 2013] entitled Ek Balaam,  Two Capstones that has as part of its contents, the "Hand of God" and gives in detail, where it had been seen with telescopes during the VII century AD. 

     One should note that the telescope that was used to see the Hand of God was just an ordinary telescope with a few small lenses.  They were nowhere near the size of the lens found in modern observatories such as the Palomar and the McDonald, or at other observatories now found around the world.
Goetz and Morley, (1954, 148) [the web version[ The manuscript copy tells us that the following phrases were on page. 108 of 196 total pages in the original manuscript,
At once Xbalanqué took possession of the head of Hunahpú; and taking the turtle he went to suspend it over the ball-court.. . . PresentlyX balanqué threw a stone at the turtle, which came to the ground and fell in the ballcourt, breaking into a thousand pieces like seeds, before the lords.