Firstly I'd like to acknowledge Michael and Astrophysical Directions. After working with this book for a number of years in the 1980's, I began using the galaxy as an astrological frame of reference, in addition to the zodiac(s). The zodiacs are solar system based and the galaxy is of the stars. Galactic astrology offers a map of a bigger "picture". When I seriously looked into the Maya calendar, I recognized it's galactic potential. Here I'll offer my introduction to this approach to astrology.
I see astrology operating on three distinct, but interrelated levels: solar system, stellar and galactic. There are archetypes on each level. There are the planetary archetypes (12) for within the solar system (ego). There are the constellational/stellar archetypes (72/88) (soul - beyond ego by definition) and there are galactic archetypes. It's a bit tricky understanding galactic archetypes until you've experienced the stellar ones consciously. For now, let's say they are the constellational/stellar archetypes viewed from the Higher Self (Galactic Center) perspective rather than from the ego's (Sun).
The twenty archetypal Daykeepers represented by the twenty day-signs in the Maya calendar are "GALACTIC" archetypes. This means they are of the stars. This means working with them properly will shift your consciousness. They are more akin to "light" patterns that inform the "planetary" patterns. Similar to how outer planets set up the energy for the inner planets to carry out, the stars and galaxy set up the energy that the planets of the solar system bring into manifestation. Following the calendar can be a "spiritual" practice to become more open and attuned to these "galactic light" energies.
These twenty archetypes appear one each day for a twenty day cycle that repeats endlessly. There is also a 13-day cycle that combines each of the numbers from 1 - 13 with each of the twenty Daykeepers for 260 possible "day-signs". A day-sign is composed of a Daykeeper and a number. This is the galactic heartbeat of the Maya calendar. A day-sign is ALWAYS included in Maya dates because everything is referenced to the GALAXY!
Becoming conscious of these 20 Daykeepers is essential before moving deeper into the calendar. It's similar to needing to know the planets or signs before doing astrology. Since the Maya calendar is galactic, it connects to larger cycles than are usually worked with in other astrology systems. Another essential rhythm of the Maya calendar is the long-term cycles of Venus. These are rather esoteric and still very secret. Any questions?