(Essay 3) Magoist Calendar: The Mago Time inscribed in Sonic Numerology by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang

Art by Liz Darling

[Author’s Note: This is my latest research that has led me to restore the 13-month, 28-day Mago Calendar, which will be included at the end of its sequels. See Mago Almanac: 13 Month 28 Day Calendar (Book A), published in 2017.]


Then, the Earth had increasingly so much work in all regions. Biodiversity went overboard. The terrestrial song became uncontrollable. The initial calendar became defunct. Lifeforms were left uncoordinated. The Earth fell into disorder, as she had no one to tune the song of earthlings in harmony with the cosmic music of creativity. The Earth was in need of sentient beings who could undertake the task. Mago’s descendants were to be born. Humans were entrusted to cultivate the earthly sound property by the Nine Mago Creatrix. The Budoji writes:

Although there were eight [beings] to manage the original music, there was no one yet to substantiate (修證 Sujeung) Hyangsang (Echo Representation). Because of that, things were out of control, born and dissipated instantly.

Mago commanded Four Heavenly Persons and Four Heavenly Women to give birth by opening their sides. Thereupon, Four Heavenly Persons [respectively] took Four Heavenly Women wives and each [couple] begot three sons and three daughters. They are the human ancestors who appeared on earth for the first time.[i]

Note that the cosmic music was orchestrated by eight children of the Mago Triad. Readers are reminded of Mago’s genealogy; Mago is the first generation, Primordial Mother. The second generation comprises Mago’s two daughters, Gunghui and Sohui. The first two generations of Mago’s genealogy make the Mago Triad whose supremacy is characterized by parthenogenesis. The third generation is represented by the Eight Goddesses. The Nine Mago Creatrix refers to the first three generation of Goddesses, often referred to as Mago and HER eight daughters. The Mago Triad is considered as a single entity. Nine Magos (Gurang) are the full-fledged divine.[ii] They are the First Mothers of all and best manifested through Nine Numerology, to be explicated in a later section. To supplement from oral tradition, Korean folklore describes Mago as the mother of eight daughters. She had eight daughters and, having sent seven daughters to the nearby islands, lived with her youngest daughter. Her eight daughters each became the progenitor of shamans. I have shown elsewhere how prevalently the Nine Goddess symbolism is found across borders. Cross-verified through numerology, myth, history, and culture of East Asia and beyond, its universal manifestation is corroborated through Nine Numerology.

[Figure 1] Mago’s Genealogy

First Generation


The Mago Triad

Nine Mago Creatrix

Second Generation

Gunghui and Sohui

Third Generation Eight Goddesses

Eight Daughters

The Earth was yet to undergo massive changes. Without humans to manage the terrestrial echo representation in harmony with the cosmic music, the Earth was left out of balance. Lifeforms were born but unable to grow into maturity. The Earth was desperately in need of her caretakers. The arrival of human ancestors was impending in the mind of Mago. Humans were, at birth, given the mission of substantiating the echo representation, the collective sound property of earthlings. Here “to substantiate” is a transliteration of sujeong (to cultivate and testify), a technical term that needs to be construed within the context of Magoism recounted in the Budoji. It refers to the task of humans, which is to cultivate one’s environment (the terrestrial realm) AND testify to the cosmogonic story of the Nine Mago Creatrix. It is the post-paradisiacal mandate of humans, the ultimate goal of human life.[iii]

According to the Budoji, the appearance of humans was teleological. Humans were introduced as a problem solver. They were expected to save all terrestrial beings who were suffering from the Earth’s sonic imbalance. Deductively speaking, they were able to accomplish the mission. The first calendar was finally amended. That is why and how humans, men and women, arrived on Earth. We are given the Magoist definition of humans: Humans are the scion of the Mago Clan and born to reestablish the earthly sonic balance in harmony with the cosmic music. They are entrusted to undertake the terrestrial portion of Mago’s cosmogonic work. And they, as Mago’s descendants, are the little creators.

Mago commanded HER grandchildren to procreate. Each of four primordial clan pairs gave birth to three sons and three daughters. Sex diversified at the birth of human ancestors. As to the method of parturition of the fourth generation of Mago’s descendants, the above account gives two contradicting narratives, a topic to be discussed elsewhere for its complexity. Suffice it to say that the first sentence describes a side-birth; Mago commanded Eight Goddesses to give birth by opening their sides. This is apparently a variation of parthenogenesis, hierophantic of the Mago Triad. The fourth generation of Mago’s genealogy comprised three sons and three daughters, making a total of twenty-four human ancestors who appeared on Earth for the first time. To supplement from oral tradition, the passage that Mago allows Four Heavenly Persons and Four Heavenly Women to procreate is evocative of the belief in Korean folk culture that Mago (Samsin Halmeoni) allows the birth of babies and determines the lifespan of babies.

According to the subsequent account of the Budoji, sexual reproduction in humans was made available at this time. Twenty-four human ancestors and their descendants begot progeny throughout several generations. Each clan grew to 3,000 in population, a total of 12,000 in four primordial clans. Each clan delegated three elders, a total of 12, and had them guard the gates of Mago Stronghold. In other words, each clan formed a new triad of representatives.

[Figure 2] Mago Clan Family Tree

Gunghui Sohui
2 Goddesses Hwanggung Descent 2 Goddesses Cheonggung Descent 2 Goddesses

Baekso Descent

2 Goddesses

Heukso Descent

3 Men and 3 Women Ancestors 3 Men and 3 Women Ancestors 3 Men and 3 Women Ancestors 3 Men and 3 Women Ancestors
3,000 3,000 3,000 3,000
3 Guardians 3 Guardians 3 Guardians 3 Guardians

Twelve ancestors were assigned to guard four gates of Mago Stronghold. The rest of Mago’s descendants divided themselves and undertook the task of substantiating the terrestrial echo representation. Only then, calendar and numerology were finally adjusted. The Budoji states:

Thereafter, the twelve ancestors guarded the gates [of Mago Stronghold]. The rest descendants [of Mago] divided themselves to the task of substantiating Hyangsang (Echo Representation). Thereupon, calendar and number were finally regulated.[iv]

At last, the Earth’s sonic environment was equilibrated with the supervision of humans. The earthly song was adjusted in harmony with the cosmic music. Whence the Earth became the heavenly home of the Mago Clan. And a new calendar was established. The second calendar would be different from the first one. It would reflect the newly adjusted movement of the Earth with and by humans. The second calendar, marking the onset of the paradisiacal time/space, proves the harmonious collaboration of the divine and humans that took place on Earth. It was made possible by the stewardship of humans. The Budoji describes them as follows:

All [people] in [Mago] Stronghold were pure in disposition. They knew the cosmogonic metamorphosis. Drinking earth-milk, they were clean in blood life force (Gi). They had gold alloy in their ears and were able to hear Heavenly Music. Upon moving, they were able to run and walk at will. They were able to come and go freely.

Gold [in their ears] became dust upon completing their [life’s] duty. They preserved the body of nature (性體 Seongche) . Through the knowing of soul (魂識 Honsik), they were able to speak without making sound. Moving through the body of spirit (魄體 Baekche), they were able to act without a form. Permeated in the earthly life force, their lifespan was infinite.[v]

Heavenly humans in Mago Stronghold retained the original nature, an innate ability to understand “the cosmogonic metamorphosis.” United with the Creatrix, they were able to hear the music of the Great Goddess (Heavenly Music). They, living on the earth-milk parochially known as elixir, were pure in their bodies/minds and moved themselves across time/space at will. They lived beyond physical death. Historically, residents in the primordial Mago Stronghold were known as Seon (仙 Xian, Immortals).

People did not have to be taught, for there was nothing to be hidden. People did not have to be good, for there was no concept of prohibition. People did not have to love, for there was no hate. People did not have to be angry, for there was no miscommunication. People did not have to be sad, for there was no tragedy. People did not have to fear, for there was no separation. People did not have to feel guilty, for there was no accusation. People did not have to work for peace, because there was no violence.

At the dawn of human history, humans were able to cultivate the earthly song in harmony with the cosmic music of the universe. The second calendar bears witness to the story of the Mago Clan in the heavenly home of Mago Stronghold. In it, all beings were proven to be kindred, born from the Nine Mago Creatrix. However, we today are unfamiliar with this paradisiacal calendar. We may speculate the second calendar. The Heavenly Mago Stronghold halted, as the Magoist epic recounts. Mago descendants in the primordial Mago Stronghold fell under “the disaster of five tastes,” the first archetypal catastrophic incident that reversed the direction of human self-evolution history. People in the primordial Mago Stronghold happened to take other lifeforms for food, which caused the law of prohibition to be introduced for the first time. People had to be told to do or not to do things. That nullified the innate ability to self-prohibit. The innate ability to remain united with the Great Goddess was no longer freely available. It became something to be preserved consciously. The paradisiacal time/space disappeared into the realm of myth.

Things that happened on Earth entailed the consequences in the movement of Earth. Possibly the loss of the heavenly home shifted the Earth’s axis. The second calendar was meant to be revised, as human history ran its course. The post-paradisiacal calendar was measured and calculated with leap days. The Magoist Calendar that this essay introduces is a post-paradisiacal calendar. It is characterized by thirteen months with twenty-eight days in a month, fastening the female fertility cycle in sync with the lunar cycle, to be discussed in detail in the last section.

To be continued. Read Essay 1 and Essay 2.

See (Poem) Knowing Magoist Calendar by Helen Hye-Sook Hwang

(Meet Mago Contributor) Helen Hye-Sook Hwang.


[i] Budoji, Chapter 4.

[ii] See Hwang (2015), 178-187.

[iii] Patriarchal religions teach how to cultivate oneself but are incapable of testifying to the Great Goddess by nature.

[iv] Budoji, Chapter 4.

[v] Budoji, Chapter 4.