Xinachtli – The Seed

The work of Tonatierra in the area of education and culture over the past 11 years has lead to the development of a curriculum of Indigenous community cultural empowerment called the Xinachtli (Seed). With the momentum of an idea whose time has come, the Xinachtli has been described as evidence of a paradigm shift in strategy and practice for community development initiatives serving the Xicano Mexicano community. In implementation at the community level Tonatierra delivers contracted services in the form of Xinachtli curriculum presentations and training for youth groups, schools, parent groups, teachers, administrators, and social service professionals. The Xinachtli project has been recognized nationally and internationally as one of the most effective models for addressing the issues of Indigenous Xicano youths in terms of alienation and violence which derives as a result of colonization.




Tamechtlahpahloa, Greetings to all, the following is an offereing from our relative in El Paso, TX, Carlos Aceves, related to the teaching and learning’s that is derived from the studies of the Tonalmachiotl.  A new presentation will be offered each day of the Nemontemi.

We are entering Nemontemi, five days of reflection and rest before Yancuic Xihuitl Matlac-ome-uan Acatl (twelve-reed) which arrives at noon on March 12, 2011. This is the year before our Teoxihuitl begins, the Sacred Cycle of 26,000 years.  Next year, thirteen obsedian knife, the first celestial manifestation of Teoxihuitl begins thirteen days after the March 20, 2012 Spring equinox when the seven stars of the Pleiades will align with Venus.  Twelve is community, thirteen are the stars said those who came before us. Reed is symbolic of the state of Creation in which there is always more space than form. The obsedian knife is a symbol of cutting through darkness to expose truth. By that meaning, this coming year is one which our community reflects on the vastness of what we need to learn.  As stars are symbols of consciousness and next year is the time to “cut through the sky and reveal Her truth.”  The era of Tlaolli (tlayolli-that which gives life) or Corn will come to end. An era, a civilization, a way of Life that began on August 13, 5,124 years ago will give way.  There is much preparation for a New Era, a New Sun. For this the ancestors told us “restore the ceremonies, renew the convenants, return to the sacred places,” to which an elder once added “and follow the story in the sky.”


2012: An opportunity to renew our kinship with Creation

On May 20, 2012 at the pyramid of Chichen Itza the Sun will enter a zenith position in the sky. Unseen, the star cluster Xinachtli or Pleaides enter the same position and together travel towards the womb of the galaxy (dark area just above the center line) for an alignment that culminates on December 12, 2012. This early alignment will occur during May at different times across Ixachilan and will mark the completion of several cycles over an 8 month period and in 2013 we will enter a new era for humankind.

The subject of 2012 was picked up by New Age groups and individuals sometime after the year 2000, draping it with mysticism but also doing some earnest research around it. Sadly, research done and knowledge held by traditional groups on this continent was not popularized nor expanded beyond each specific community.

Maestro Mazatzin, a Tonalpouaki (solar count keeper) in his own right, has been traveling around Abya Yala (Americas) informing the public of an event that is grounded in astronomy and the type of science practiced by our ancestors. His efforts recently prompted the San Francisco authorities to declare the Mexica (Aztec) New Year as an officially recognized city celebration. Guadalupe Acosta Mazatzin has studied the Aztec Calendar under many maestros in Mexico and is well versed in its symbolism.

In the mean time,  2012 for the most part remains distorted in a shroud of pie in the sky mysticism filled with mediocre books on spirituality that have nothing to do with ancient ways of measuring time. Included in this information is Hollywood, which gave us an entertaining disaster film by the name 2012.

Tonal Machiotl

In actuality, our calendars, Nahua and Maya, are not static. They require periodic adjustments. For these adjustments they rely on synchronizing key cosmic and terrestrial cycles. These are natural phenomenon known to our ancestors thousands of years ago. The Tonal Machiotl (Solar Consciousness) has been described as a “model of kinship with Creation.” The purpose of tracking and recording of Creation’s cycles into just a scientific activity, it is for us to continue walking in synch with the Cosmos, to be a relative with Mother Nature. The coming together of key cycles in the Tonal Machiotl, as they are in 2012 are important for all seeking to walk the Natural Path or Red Road.

Teoxihuitl: year of Creation

Mother Creation is a cyclical motion unfolding in time. Her motions are cyclical, they repeat and through their repetition that we learned to find our relation among the cycles and integrate the cycles of own species into the family of Creation. As Earth moves around the sun, She wobbles and this wobble causes a slight shift in Her position. When measured in relation to the Milky Way Galaxy, She completes a wobbling rotation approximately every 26,000 years. This cycle is known as Teoxihuitl. In 2012 Earth will have completed a 26,000 year cycle and of course begin another. This is called precession by western astronomers and causes Earth to periodically change North Star. Another practical purpose in dividing Earth wobble cycle into five parts is that there are different stars in the galaxy which “take turns” becoming the North Star. Currently that position is held by Polaris, soon it will be Thuban. During the 26,000 year cycle or teoxihuitl, the North Star changes five times. In this new era we will witness the change in North Star’s from Polaris to Thuban. John Major Jenkins has done impressed work on this topic, including his book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012.


Every 5,125 years the Sun aligns with a dark area just above the center of Mixcoatl (Milky Way), this is a return to the universal womb. A misnomer of 2012 is that the Sun aligns at the galactic center—the Sun arrived there at the beginning of the 21st century. This cycle is used to divide the Teoxihuitl into five parts, each part representing an era of humanity. On August 13—5,123 years ago began the era of Tlayolli (corn) or Tlayolcayotl, la forma del maiz. This date honors the moment when People of central Mexico entered into a covenant with a thistle like plant. This plant agreed to transform and feed the People but would lose her self-reproductive ability. Mexicans agreed that across the generations they would make sure she survived. Breaking the rules of biological evolution this thistle plant became the corn plant we know today. The end of this era, in which a world-wide civilization depends on corn, will be marked by two dates: August 13 and December 21, when the Sun aligns with the universal womb.

Tamoanchan: Tree of Life

The ancients saw the constellation which western astronomers call Cygnus, a representation of the tree of life, and 5,123 ago, as a corn plant. Five stars in the form of a cross are the prominent stars. Behind them is a star that has gone supernova, thus making the cross “glow.” On August 12-13 the “Perseids” meteor shower occurs. From our perspective, the meteorites seem to fall on the Tamoanchan, the tree of Life. In the era of corn, these represent the seeds falling into the ground from which a corn plant springs. They also represent the “watering” of the tree of Life. On August 13, 2012 the watering of the Tree, the planting of the seeds will take on a different meaning—the end of Tlayolcayotl, the era of Tlaolli, corn. Cygnus has since long ago been crucial to Mesoamerican astronomy.

Xiuhcoatl: Xolotl-Tonatiuh

Venus was named Tezcaatlipoca-Xolotl-Quetzalcoatl by our ancient astronomers. Because she orbits in a contrary motion of Earth’s orbit, Venus has been used to synchronize celestial cycles for thousands of years. Venus follows five patterns that repeat every 8 years. She also periodically “transits” the sun, moves between Earth and Sun and seems to glide across the Sun’s glowing surface. These transits occur in pairs. When they do happen they come 8 years apart. The last transit was in 2004. In the Mayan and Aztec Calendars 20 pairs of visible transits are one “Transit cycle” of Xolotl (Venus as she disappears into the sky). At sunset onJune 5, 2012 Xolotl will complete the 20th Transit pair in a cycle that takes 5,000 years. In the Aztec Calendar these pairs are represented by the two bars that separate each the 20 glyph-days. While NASA has good information on Venus transits, they do not acknowledge their recording in indigenous calendars.


Every 8 years this alignment happens 13 days after the Spring equinox. This alignment is what allowed our ancient astronomers to determine that the Evening Star (Tezcatlipoca) and the Morning Star (Quetzalcoatl) are one body—Venus. This alignment can be seen in the Tonal Machiotl as seven eyes around the horned-headdresses of Quetzalcoatl and Tezcatlipoca. In 2012, thirteen days after the Spring equinox we can witness this alignment. This is a 2004 photo of the Venus-Pleiades alignment.


As the Xinachtli (Pleaides)leaves the Morning and Evening Stars, she will voyage towards another yet rare alignment with Mixcoatl (Milky Way) to become at one point Mixcoatl’s feathered headdress and then “rattles” of Mixcoatl’s tail. This event will also happen on the evening of the Winter solstice on 2012.

Nahui-Ollin: Zemanahuak

The seasons are a product of three cyclical motions: Earth’s orbit, Earth’s back and forth tilt, and the Moon. Earth’s back and forth tilt create an effect we name tropics, an imaginary line above and below the equator marking at which points Earth’s tilt downward stops (tropic of Cancer) and when her upward tilt stops (tropic of Capricorn). The Sun at Cancer is summer, at Capricorn it is winter. At the equator it is either Fall or Spring. The tropic lines do not stay still. They also follow a cycle of expanding and then contracting called obliquity. We are currently on a contracting phase. In 2012 Earth will be at a midpoint in her tropical cycle. Midpoints in cycles are important because they mark the beginning of the effects of that cycle, like reaching the peak of a mountain then sliding back down. In the Tonal Machiotl the symbol of Nahui-Ollin is used to track movement from solstice to equinox to solstice. Each of the four circle markers in this symbol have three concentric rings, to compensate for the expansion and contraction of the tropics. The tropics are shrinking at a rate of nearly 15 meters per year.

Tloke Nauoke: giver of measurement and motion

This summary demonstrates that the “2012 phenomenon” is not a single astronomical event, which the New Age cottage industry has limited to December 21 and which NASA does not acknowledge as associated with Mesoamerican calendar calculations. Rather, what is to come are a series of five major astronomical events, a synchronicity to cycles.

April 3—Xinachtli (Pleaides) and Tezcatlipoca-Quetzacoatl alignment.

May 20—An eclipse will align at the zenith of the sky visible between the tropics. The Milky Way’s center, the Pleiades, the Sun, the Moon, the Earth and the pyramid of Kukulcan will align on the day of the snake according to the Aztec Calendar.

June 5—Xiuhcoatl-Xolotl (Venus transit across the sun), sunset.

June 20—This solstice marks the Tropic of Canser at its midpoint of its 26,000 year cycle of the tropics.

July 3—Earth will be at her farthest distance from the sun. After that day She will gradually begin moving closer until this position becomes the start of Winter rather than summer, when she is closest to the sun.

August 13—Cuahitl Tamoanchan, the watering of the tree of Life, marking the 5,125 anniversary (and end) of the Tlayolcayotl.

December 21—Day: winter solstice, the Sun aligns to the universal womb, solstice marking the Tropic of Capricorn at its midpoint of a 26,000 year cycle, also called precession.

December 21–Night: Xinachtli (Pleaides) crowning Mixcoatl (Milky Way) and then becoming the Cloudsnake’s rattle. Keith Hunter gives a good summary of the 2012 alignment.

Yancuic Ohtli: A new road ahead

In 1948 keepers and elders of the Nahuatlaca Tradition decided it was time that “our most precious treasure” resurface after centuries of having to remain underground and practiced in secrecy. Our ancestors left the Way for us to remain in kinship with Creation. The above described cycles comprise the phenomenon we have come to know as 2012 are part of that precious treasure. As people who seek to remain integrated into the cycles of Creation, these key times provide us the opportunity to continue and inform others about our Natural Way of Life, given to us by our ancestor and reflecting the extraordinary work and sacrifice they underwent for us not to have to “re-invent the wheel” in order to continue being Tloke Nauoke (That which is always becoming).

8 Responses to “Xinachtli”

  1. virginia Koppel Says:

    Muchísimas gracias por la hermosa presentación que dieron hoy en Valley View.
    Ójala puedan venir nuevamente y hacer una presentación más amplia a otras clases.
    Nuestros niñas/os no dejaban de hablar de como gozaron el baile de la serpiente y el saludo a nuestra madre tierra y al sol.
    Muchas gracias nuevamente.

  2. Christian Carrasco Says:

    Hello All,

    I am glad to have searched for Tonatierra and found the site, but dissapointed that I did’t search a week ago. I missed the March for Human rights and the fight against Arpaio and his dirty deeds! I am really interested in everything you are still doing and would like to help in anyway that I can. Please send me any info about upcoming events and gatherings. Tlazo

    1. tonatierra Says:

      Hello Christian,

      Thank you for asking about our upcoming events. Currently we are organizing our 7th Annual Indigenous Peoples Day, Nican Tlacah Ilhuitl event. The date is going to be March 13th 2010. We will be posting more information as it comes in.

      The staff @ Tonatierra.

  3. Loren Tapahe Says:

    Tupac, what’s your number and email address? Need to email a request.


    1. tonatierra Says:

      Tonatierra office number (602) 254-5230

  4. Mary carmen Trigueros. Says:

    Me parece muy interesante conocer de la historia y lo referente a Mexico.Un saludo muy afectuoso a David Wood Cano.

  5. Mary Carmen Trigueros Says:

    Hola felicidades por tener una persona tan preparada como David Wood Cano, y le mando un afectuosisimo saludo.

  6. Mary Carmen Trigueros R. Says:

    Muchas Felicidades un saludo muy afectuoso para David Wood Cano.

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