An interview with Nicole E. Zonderhuis and Sylvia Carrilho in FRONTIER magazine 59 – 2006  about the first edition of the 13-Moon Diary.

The ancient Mayan culture was very advanced in their knowledge about the planets and their rotation times. It seems as if they could view our planetary system from the top of our solar system. Their calendar was based on the cyclical movement of our planets. It is the most accurate calendar on our planet and until this day has never required to be adjusted – in contrast to our Gregorian calendar! The 13-Moon calendar is based on the Mayan Tzolkin calendar of 260 days, each day being allocated a particular type of energy.

The Mayan academic Dr. José Argüelles made this ancient Maya-Tzolkin calendar universal as the 13-Moon Calendar, also referred to as the Dreamspell. His books and explanations are inspiring, but unfortunately not always easy to understand by the novice.

Nicole E. Zonderhuis and Sylvia Carrilho combined their talents to make the 13-Moon Calendar more accessible by explaining the calendar in everyday language to make it easier to understand. With their professional backgrounds as artists, design and layout experts, they have produced this 13-Moon Calendar with its  colourful, attractive presentation and beautiful illustrations, making it a pleasure to read and use.

In addition to the new annual full-colour 13-Moon Diary, they have included a 13-Moon Workbook enabling you to make better use of the ‘horoscope’ aspect of the 13-Moon Calendar: the day of your birth has a bearing on your talents, which path you need to follow during your life and your personal relationships.


‘Why should we use a 13-Moon Calendar when already have an ordinary calendar to use?’

Nicole: ’The calendar we use in the West is the Gregorian calendar. This calendar is a cultural invention introduced by the Vatican. It has insufficient relationship with the cycles as they occur in nature, cycles which defined “time” for our ancestors, such as the solstice. The irregular Gregorian calendar contains many errors. Even the Vatican has admitted this. However, this flawed calendar affects our daily lives; we use it every day to make  appointments; we use it to plan major events such as marriage or career changes, despite the fact that the calendar is mechanistic and inaccurate. This affects our daily lives and different energies, as well as all mankind.

However, the 13-Moon Calendar is based on earth’s rotation around the sun, including the movements of the moon and the stars. This calendar is synchronized with the cycles as they occur in nature. It is of major importance that as many people as possible become familiar with the 13-Moon Calendar. People have the right to know that another ‘time’ exists, a calendar that is more directly associated with our lives as it is synchronized with the cycles of nature. We believe that living in synch with natural time has significant potential benefits for mankind.’

‘How do you use the calendar?’

Sylvia: ‘In the 13-Moon Calendar each day has its own energy expressed as a Seal and Tone combination. The energy provides support during the days and weeks. For example, I am always extra sensitive on days during the Moon seal. According to the seal, these are days to purify and flow. Yes. Tears. I have a good cry and it clears the air.

Nicole: You can also use the  Mayan ‘horoscope’ as it reveals many of your personal qualities. For example, I am a Skywalker, i.e. the messenger. So that is what I do: via these books,  I bring the 13-Moon Calendar to the people. The 13-Moon Calendar teaches you these energies, to remember and to recognize. ‘Time’ becomes yours, instead of something existing outside of yourself.’

‘How did you first become acquainted with this calendar?’

Sylvia: ‘In 1985 I traveled throughout the Yucatan for three months. At that stage, I knew nothing about the Maya. The Frontier Bookshop in Amsterdam was my first introduction to the Mayan culture. I bought the “ The Crop Circle Calendar”(2004) with the Tzolkin pictograms. Thereafter I saw the film called “The Year Zero” by Wiek Lenssen and everything started rapidly falling into place. Together with my brothers and some good friends, I attended a workshop by Peter Toonen and Nicole. The knowledge I gained was valuable but I realized that I needed more extensive information in order to apply it in practice. I started following and recording the monthly cycles for some years and as I am a graphic designer by profession, it was natural for me to develop the 13-Moon/ 28-day calendar for today’s public. Thereafter, I designed stickers with the Solar Seals, Tones and guides to place in my diary, eventually leading to this new version of the 13-Moon Calendar and Diary.’

Nicole: ‘With me it’s a long story. The path of the Mayan Calendar is exceptional: a chain of synchronicity which started as soon as I was exposed to it, during my first travels though Yucatan with a friend. The process has not stopped. You know, I often hear of people whose lives started flowing in a magical stream after their first introduction to the Maya Calendar. This ‘stream’ we now call ‘natural time’. In this stream we are all related and coincidences become non-existent, as well as differentiating between the “here” and “there” and “you” and “I”. The Maya have the saying “In lak’ech”, which means “I am another you”, i.o.w. we are all related to each other.’

‘How many people are familiar with the 13-Moon Calendar?’

Sylvia: ‘A large group of people worldwide wish to live in harmony according to the 13-Moon Calendar.  It has became a large movement and hopefully…unstoppable! There are people in about 90 countries busy informing the people around them. The 13-Moon Calendar is known in Europe, the Americas, Ukraine, Lithuania, Russia, Kazachstan, Uzbekistan, Nepal and Bali – countries you would not expect at first sight. In Japan, the 13-Moon Calendar has an enormous following.’

‘Why did you produce the 13-Moon Calendar?’

Nicole: ‘Worldwide, this is the first full-colour diary in which you can see which day it is according to the 13-Moon Calendar as well as the Gregorian calendar. You can therefore plan your days according to your optimal energies, instead of a mechanistic day like Monday the 17th. There was a Japanese 13-Moon Calendar but it lacked the Gregorian data, so making an appointment with a person using a normal diary was complicated. Hence we decided to create a bridge and combine the two calendar systems in one reference book.

‘So, are you trying to tell me such a calendar never existed before this?’

Sylvia: ‘It surprised me as well. Now I realize that the reason is probably because producing such a calendar is a major task. Each of the 365 days in the calendar is different and we had to check everything a hundred times. By the way, we have received numerous e-mails thanking us for finally making such a calendar available.’

‘ I see a lot of additional information in the diary.’

Sylvia: ‘It is a ‘normal’ diary with all the basics we are accustomed to. However, it also contains practical explanations about the natural ‘time’ of the Maya. Time is more: time is cycles in nature and humans, like menstruation or emotional cycles. You can keep track of these cycles in a part dedicated in the book for this purpose. You can also track your family and friends in the Maya ‘horoscope’ in the special “Who-is-who” table. It helps you maintain a clear insight in your relationships: who is your guide, a supportive energy, a hidden power or a challenging force.’

‘What gave you the idea to produce a 13-Moon Calendar?’

Sylvia: ‘Well, personal desire. I have always been aware of energies in my environment, but had difficulty explaining or defining them. The humorous pictograms of the Mayas and the writings of Argüelles often helped me interpret various expressions of energy.’

Nicole: ‘From the first moment I became familiar with the 13-Moon Calendar, I started researching every book I could find on the subject, calculating and comparing the energies associated to Solar Seals and days. I did not want to take anything for granted. Everything checked out and was consistent. We have made a calendar that makes all this labour and cross-referencing superfluous: all the information you need is in this diary, including sufficient space to add you “kin” (Mayan Galactic Signature). I enjoy this aspect enormously as it facilitates terrific insights!’

‘Why did the first diary have the strange prices of €20.13 or 13.20 UK Pounds?’

Nicole: ‘In the 13-Moon Calendar everything revolves around the numbers 20 and 13. The sacred Tzolkin calendar of the Mayas was based on a combination of 20 Solar Seals and 13 Tones which together yield 260 different days.  20 X 13 = 260. This Tzolkin forms the basis of our natural cycle. For example, consider the first cycle of our lives: from the time of conception it  takes nine months to develop to a complete human being. Nine months equal 260 days! If you live according to the Tzolkin, you live according to Natural Time. You then follow the natural frequency – the 20:13 frequency. The value 20:13 is within one tenth of the value of the golden section. The golden section surrounds us in the natural phenomena and we have a natural preference for the shape, i.e. the  relationship between length and width of form. We experience it as harmony in form, art and music. The Maya were aware of this a long time ago. That is why the book has the dimension of 20 X 13 cm and a price of €20.13. I know it seems to be a strange price, but I believe the frequency starts its influence from the moment you settle with the cashier.’


‘You have also produced a 13 Moon Workbook with the same dimensions and appearance as the diary.How does the Workbook differ from the diary?’

Sylvia: ‘A major difference is that the workbook is in Dutch and the diary in English. The content is the same as far as the text in the diary is concerned, including the associated illustrations, description of Seals, Tones, Moons and Wavespells. Obviously this new version contains more information. We go into more depth and you learn to appreciate the Maya ‘horoscope’ more profoundly. We have also included personal experiences and ancient Maya myths, a fable about the 13 Totem animals and a full-colour Galactic compass, which you can cut out. The workbook contains many extra pages to make notes about yourself and others and much more. You can use the workbook independently of the diary.’

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