aztec calendar

Aztec Calendar
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Aztec Calendar > Credits

Background, copyright and credits

Perspective of this website

A trip to Mexico in 1995 triggered my fascination for the Aztecs. It made me want to see the world throught the eyes of the pre-conquest Mexica. Since the calendar plays such a central role in Aztec culture, I used it as the anchor for further study. The desire to understand the Aztec perspective on the foundation of life and being has materialized in this website.

In creating this website I don't allow myself much artistic freedom. My intend is to stay as close as possible to the authentic truth. To be able to do so, I preferrably use academic sources. However, since Nahua culture did not end after the conquest, I carefully use sources based on the living tradition of the tonalpohualli.
Further, my aim is to present information in an accessible way. Elaborating on ancient religious practices that inhabitants of planet earth in the 21th century tend to find gruesome, does not help in getting the core of the message through. That notion plays an important role in selecting the information I present on this site.

People who helped me creating this website

Over the years, many people have helped me in creating and improving this website. The following people deserve credit for their support, one way or the other. 'In order of appearance':

Ricardo J. Salvador and Victor Mendoza-Grado
Ricardo J. Salvador and Victor Mendoza-Grado supported me when I created the Aztec Calendar Hypercard program, the predecessor of this website.
William Horden
William Horden provided me a living reading of the tonalpohualli, based on contacts with Francisco Rodriguez Cortes, a current day Mexican calendrist from Chiapas. The texts on the qualities of the days and trecenas are written by William.
Rudolf van Zantwijk
Rudolf van Zantwijk was so kind to let me attend his courses in Nahuatl at the Utrecht University. Tlazocamati!
Marta Ramirez
As a modern day tlacuilo, Marta Ramirez supplied me with great hand painted daysign glyphs in the style of the Codex Borgia.
Rick Holmer
Rick Holmer, author of The Aztec Book of Destiny helped me with the correlation of the cycle of the Night Lords.
Ian Mursell
Ian Mursell, the director of Mexicolore granted me permission to use the daysign glyphs that Mexicolore had commissioned Felipe Dávalos to make for them. Felipe Dávalos is known for the work he has done for National Geographic Magazine and the illustrations he has done for many books on pre-Hispanic Mexico.
Mexicolore has a great site on Aztecs that is definitely worth a visit.
Susan Milbrath
Susan Milbrath, author of "Heaven and Earth in Ancient Mexico: Astronomy and Seasonal Cycles in the Codex Borgia", helped me to add Nicholson’s veintena alignment.

Sources is the result of much study. The most important books on my shelves and bookmarked sites are in the following list:

Bierhorst, John (translator). History and Mythology of the Aztecs: The Codex Chimalpopoca
Codex Chimalpopoca is the primary source for Aztec myths and legends.
Berdan, Frances F. & Patricia Rieff Anawalt. The Essential Codex Mendoza
The most comprehensive, most extensively illustrated document of Aztec civilization.
Diaz, Giselle & Alan Rodgers Codex Borgia: A Full-Color Restoration of the Ancient Mexican Manuscript
An incredible Mixtec ritual and divinatory manuscript.
Dúran, Fray Diego. Book of gods and rites and the ancient calendar
Written in the late 1500's, this is a very important source on Aztec culture, although not fully accurate.
Edmonson, Munro S. The book of the year: Middle American calendrical systems
The book of the year is the ultimate source for answers in correlation matters. An impressive work.
Furst, Jill & Leslie McKeever. The natural history of the soul in ancient Mexico
Explores basic Precolumbian beliefs among ancient Mesoamerican peoples about life and death, body and soul.
Holmer, Rick. The Aztec Book of Destiny
Summarizes the Aztec perspective on the spiritual nature of time. Presents a neo-rendition of ancient calendar books.
Knab, Timothy J. A War of Witches: A journey into the underworld of contemporary Aztecs
Anthropologist Knab's highly personal and compelling narrative on the magico-religious belief system of contemporary Aztecs.
Léon-Portilla, Miguel. Aztec Thought and Culture
A must read for those interested in the Aztec perspective on life.
Marcus, Joyce. Mesoamerican Writing Systems : Propaganda, myth and history in four ancient civilizations
A great primer on mesoamerican writing systems.
Milbrath, Susan. Heaven and Earth in Ancient Mexico: Astronomy and Seasonal Cycles in the Codex Borgia. University of Texas Press, 2013.
Provides an innovative perspective on the content and significance of the Codex Borgia.
Miller, Mary & Karl Taube. An illustrated dictionary of the gods and symbols of ancient Mexico and the Maya
This has been an import source for the information presented on the Aztec gods and deities.
Thomas, Hugh. Conquest : Montezuma, Cortes, and the Fall of Old Mexico
Epic history of the fall of the Aztec empire.
Young, Karl. The continuum of life in Codex Borbonicus
Part of an online essay on animals and human stages in the Aztec contiuum of life. A help in the interpretation of the Codex Borbonicus.
Zantwijk, Rudolf A.M. van. Handel en Wandel van de Azteken
This book introduced me to the mechanism of the calendar.

Copyright and feedback

This website contains copyrighted material. Unless stated otherwise, it is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. For inquiries, you can contact me by email.

René Voorburg - voorburg (at)

This website contains copyrighted material licensed under a Creative Commons License. See the Credits page.