Feathered Snakes and Turtle Shells

Versión en Espaňol

King Pakal, Museum Palenque, Chiapas - México
King Pakal, Museum Palenque, Chiapas – México

“The Maya believed that their god came from the sky inside of a turtle shell.
Their god could fly, so they represented him with feathers;
He could walk, so they represented him like a snake:
A feathered snake that came from the sky that will come to teach us again.”

Flying Turtle Shells - Mérida Museum, México - Balance
Flying Turtle Shells – Mérida Museum, México – Balance

“Four Ages or Suns existed before, but they were destroyed by huge catastrophes, as well as everything that existed. Deities accorded to meet in a sacred place to create the world again and give humanity another chance; they decided to do it in Teotihuacán, the place where Men become Gods.”

Mérida Yucatán, México – Museum ©María O. Baum
Mérida Yucatán, México – Museum ©María O. Baum


The Maya believed that their world had been preceded by other civilizations. Each of those worlds ended with terrible floods. Hunab Ku, the supreme one, rebuilt the world after three deluges, which poured from the mouth of a sky serpent.

  • The first inhabitants on Mother Earth were the Saiyam Uinicoob or Winicob, “the adjusted ones,” they were hobbits or elves; the little people. The Saiyam Uinico’ob were the great builders of cities and pyramids (Uxmal); they built in darkness as still the sun was not created. Then the Father Sun was created and when it rose, the Saiyam Uinico’ob were turned into stone. A hiyocacab or flood ended with that First Sun.
  • The Second Sun was inhabited by the Giants Dzolob or Dzolo’ob, “the offenders.” The Dzolo’ob were an obscure race that ended with the second deluge.
  • The Third Sun or Third World was inhabited by the Mazehualob or MazebualobNáhuatl “Macehualli,” originally meaning a commoner but came to mean indigenous person. Their world was also ended by water called bulkabal (immersing).
  • The Fourth Sun or World is inhabited by a mixture of all previous inhabitants and it will also be destroyed by floods, but not everyone will be destroyed as “it is a time of adjustment.”

    “We are no longer in the world of the Fourth Sun, but we are not yet in the Fifth Era or Fifth Sun. We are in between, in the transition, in the chaos of change and transformation. We are living in the time of vibration, movement and water. This is the time of changes and adjustments, earthquakes and water; a time of transformation.”

Teotihuacán, México – INAH

      “2012 is the time of water, earthquakes, changes and adjustments; a time of transformation, of extremes.” Maya Elder – M.O.Baum Notes 1967   

Feathered Snakes and Turtle Shells

The Maya believed that their god came from the sky inside of a turtle shell, snakes or snake like dragons.

Deities in the form of snakes or dragons

Worship of serpent deities is not only confined to the Maya culture. In different cultures around the world we find one or more gods that have the characteristics of the serpent or snake, many of these deities were the teachers or creators.

  • Native American – Rattlesnake Grandfather, Natchez and Quetzalcóatl among others.
  • Cambodia – The Khmer people believed that they were descendants of the serpent god Naga.
  • Hinduism and Buddhism – Nāga or snake God, among others.
  • Mesopotamia – Several deities were serpents.
  • Greece – Ophioneus ruled the world. There were many snake deities.
  • Europe – Roman god Aesculapius, among others.
  • Nordic region – World Serpent, Midgard.
  • Africa – Dahomey, among others.
  • West Africa and Haitian Vodou (Voodoo) – Zombi – snake-deity.
  • Australia – Rainbow serpent, Waugyl, Warramunga and Wollunqua
Dragon/Flying Snake - Palenque, Chiapas México ©María O. Baum
Dragon/Flying Snake – Palenque, Chiapas México ©María O. Baum

Cycles and Calendar

  • 5,200 years ago, the world of the Maya ended and so did their calendar.
  • For the Maya, time was a series of cycles that would repeat. Their calendar always ended in a terrible event. A new calendar began on December 2012.
  • The Maya never said that life on Earth would end, however in the Códice de Dresden, one of the Maya books that was not destroyed by the Spaniards, an illustration that represents Xibalbá, the Maya Underworld, has a terrible representation. On top of the wonderful colored picture it represents a flood, warnings of disasters, end of a cycle and planets aligned with the date of the ending of the cycle.

Dictionary of the Spanish language © 2005 Espasa-Calpe:
Codex Ancient manuscript of artistic, literary or historical significance, especially referred to the books prior to the invention of the printing press in 1455.

       “Evidence shows that around 5,200 years ago, solar output first dropped precipitously and then surged over a short period. It is this huge solar energy oscillation that Thompson believes may have triggered the climate change he sees in all those records.  But more importantly, they believe it has happened at least once before, and the results were nearly catastrophic to emerging cultures at the time. He outlined his interpretations and fears at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. A professor of geological sciences at Ohio State and a researcher with the Byrd Polar Research Center, Thompson points to markers in numerous records suggesting that the climate was altered suddenly some 5,200 years ago with severe impacts.” Lonnie Thompson

A new era began again but this time, according to the Maya, we will have the blond, the children of the sun, visiting the mother earth. They will come back to teach.

When my students, concerned about the enormous publicity and business of the end of the world, asked my opinion, I decided to write these articles instead of repeating the information. The same happened when traveling. Instead of repeating it, I wrote blogs. It’s amazing the huge business that has arisen from the publicity done regarding the end of the Maya Calendar.

Yes, in their myths the Maya spoke of catastrophes at the end of each cycle, but they also talked about new beginnings. They never said that the world would end. However, it is quite a good business for many who have managed to exploit it.

You are welcome to use my content as a source but please make sure to link back to me and list me as your source. Pictures are copyright.

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