Into the Light

We have finished our journey. Let us review: we have learned about the Maya, their world, their culture, their history, their beliefs; we learned the mechanisms of their calendars; we learned something of the various interpretations given them by modern fields of inquiry; then we tried relating all that back to the Maya Calendar End-Date. And we have reviewed again the myths and beliefs of the Maya as well as a few that we hold dear.

And we are left with… Well, what exactly? To which answer has this evidence led us? If all the current popular theories are erroneous, where can we turn for understanding? We are so close to the answer.

Let us turn again to the Maya. Forget everything we think they meant and rather simply listen to what they said – with a completely open mind.

Actually, we knew at the start what they said as they stated it very clearly. Unfortunately, we have chosen not to listen. We were using a lens of our own construction which colored our interpretation, falsified our understanding of their message; we had a bias with which we have been nurtured. It is a case of their myths in a head-to-head battle with our myths, those which we call “science”.

Remember: their obsession was with the Sun.

Once Again, the Sun

We always return to their obsession with the Sun.

But what could they have meant? If we just listen to their words, we may find the answer. They have never changed their story.

If we can simply remove the pre-conceptions that prevent our understanding, we will be able to grasp the rather simple meaning of the Mayan End-Date.

And what is the meaning? Something so dire they would construct a calendar lasting millennia to point out one day; a single day for a very specific event.

They told us this period was the Fifth Sun and that the previous Sun had ended. It has been mentioned over and over on their monuments, their texts, their tales, only to be misunderstood by modern scholars. They scoffed and changed the concept to an “Age” rather than a “Sun” so it suits our own worldview. We have altered the meaning – and the warning – to fit our understanding, and thereby misunderstood their entire message.

We know the Sun cannot “end”. It has been around unchanged for billions of years. We know this. But only because of a modern scientific “myth”, which we call a theory.

In our modern world we are apt to disbelieve an eyewitness because our researchers have studied the mind and tell us people can be delusional. We should believe our “common sense” – that is, what we already know to be true – rather than the statements of ancients who apparently did not have as complete a grasp on reality as ourselves.

What is the reality, the warning?

Quite simply, the Maya Calendar claims that on the 21st of December in our year 2012 AD, the Sun will go out. This means 12•20•2012 would be our last golden sunset.

Now, before anyone starts saying that both myself and the Mayans are lunatics, let’s look a little closer at this issue.

First, they would not construct a very complicated calendar, building it up over a long span of time, without cause; they had to have seen something that frightened them to a great degree. And what could that have been? I offer the Sun going out, just as they mentioned from the beginning.

Second, they had to know such a thing was possible. They did not just make it up, they mentioned that the Fourth Sun had just ended and a Fifth one was born. That’s how they knew such a thing was possible: they witnessed it. In the Second Book of the Chilam Balam there is this passage: “And the face of the sun was corroded, and its face became darkened and was put out. And then, above, they became frightened. ‘It has burned up! Our god has died!’ their priests said.” Sounds pretty straight-forward, doesn’t it?

According to their records the Fourth Sun ended some time before the new, Fifth Sun was born, August 13th, 3114 B. C., apparently at the time of the birth of Venus. You might say, “but the Mayans said it was the birth of Venus, not the birth of the Sun.” Except they had already said it was the birth of the Sun… remember, they called it the time of the Fifth Sun, it just happened to coincide with the birth of Venus. Is there any proof of this? Records from this period are non-existent. All we have are the myths and tales that we have already examined.

Perhaps we should look further afield to see if we can find some sort of corroboration.

Other Investigations

Modern scholars hypothesize that Stonehenge was built when a priest or shaman convinced the populace that they had to build a large temple to coax the Sun back – it seemed to be leaving as it approached the winter solstice and the days got shorter and colder. So they brought a lot of large stones and created this stone ring to bring the Sun back every year.

I should imagine that any people who had witnessed winter arrive and pass even a few times would know the Sun returned without their intervention. How was a priest going to convince them that it needed their coaxing to come back.

They would think the priest was crazy.

Unless the Sun had gone away. This is not quite the same as the Mayan tale but it does cause one to wonder.

And there is the famous prophecies from the “Book of Revelations” in the Holy Bible. Most scholars and historians today agree that this book is post-diction rather than pre-diction, meaning it describes events having already occurred as opposed to things going to happen in the future.

They claim all the events happened in the First Century and that the beast was the Emperor Nero – deriving the 666 from his name in Greek: Neron Caesar.

Unfortunately, there is one thing in the scripture that I cannot find a First Century equivalent for:

And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood [Rev.6:12]

Nothing like this happened in the First Century. No one records the Sun dimming to the color of sackcloth. And it is rather odd that the description sounds a little like the appearance of a jaguar’s pelt.

Can this be a description of the event at the Mayan End-Date? Could the Sun merely have dimmed and not gone completely black? Remember, the Popul Vuh said the faces of the Sun and Moon were covered.

If this does, indeed, describe the same future then the Book of Revelations cannot be post-diction at all. It might have to be re-examined as true prophecy.

We might be able to find other evidence if we choose to look at the data differently, with this new mind-set. But let’s ask a more important question for now.

Is This Possible?

It is hard for us to imagine the Sun going out. And it is not just the assurances from science that it has been unchanged for billions of years, there is something within us that denies it could happen. I mean, this is The Sun we’re talking about! The source of all life on this planet!

Before we go into hysterics, let’s think about this rationally. And rather than attack it from our modern perspective – namely that such an occurrence is impossible! – let’s take it from their viewpoint: assume that the Sun had already gone out.

First, could people survive? Obviously! They did and wrote about it.

Second, could any plants survive without sunlight? They need photosynthesis to keep growing. Again, their survival is obvious.

Third, how could anyone stay warm? Wouldn’t the Earth become a frozen marble floating through space without the burning heat from the Sun?

Actually, the Earth is not warmed by the burning flames on the surface of the Sun. The ten thousand degrees of heat would be quickly dissipated during the ninety-three million mile journey to Earth. It is the bombardment of solar radiation that heats our atmosphere.

And this last item leads us to think that perhaps the Sun did not completely go out, only dimmed – but dimmed a lot. Just like it was mentioned in the Book of Revelations. Enough to create a myriad of problems. But is there any evidence for this?

Yes, actually, the Maya wrote at length about that as well. The tale of the Jaguar Sun being the ruler of the Underworld – strange that the nighttime world would have a sun of its own – and the Hero Twins story has one of the twins with skin spotted like a jaguar and the other has small patches of jaguar skin stuck to his body. Why the skin of a jaguar?

It is also very strange that the sacred caves – places of safety – were depicted as jaguar mouths. Normally, climbing into a jaguar’s mouth would be the opposite of a safe haven: it would signify that you are lunch!

The jaguar has a dark tawny pelt with black spots. The tawny color is reminiscent of burlap or, as it is in the quote from Revelations above, sackcloth. And the black spots could be a massive number of sunspots covering the Sun’s surface at once, diminishing its light, almost to the point of appearing to “go out”.

So perhaps the Sun will not completely go out but continue burning but with much less illumination than before. And the Moon would also become darker since it merely reflects the light of the Sun; as in the Revelations quote, it could become the color of blood.

It may sound better than total blackness, with only the distant starshine reaching our planet, but what does this actually mean?

Primarily, it means we will survive.

The Next Act

In this reduced light scenario, what can we expect to happen next, before the birth of the next Sun?

According to the Maya, earthquakes. They named this Fifth Sun, “Earthquake Sun”. And it is interesting that the Book of Revelations mentions something similar just after the passage about the Sun growing dim:

And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. [Rev.6:14]

The daytime sky apparently vanishes quickly (remember it is just the radiant sunlight which lights up the atmosphere anyway) and earthquakes cover the globe. Not a very pleasant thought but a far better result than the frozen marble scenario.

And without the brightly lit sky, we will be able to see the stars much better and the planets as well.

So, after a time (and the Maya tell us it was several months) the Sun is reignited. And if the process repeats itself as in the previous Birth of the Sun, we may see something similar to what the Aztecs spoke about. Though their tale is quite late in the chain of stories, it might have enough truth left in it to be instructive.

The gods met in the darkness at Teotihuacán. There were two gods that offered themselves to the flames, to “become” the new Sun. One proud and haughty god and one smaller and scabby god. (For “god” here, remember that the ancients assigned this term to the planets, so you could substitute the word “planet”.)

The two gods approached the glowing solar surface. The larger one was met with a bright Solar flare that pushed it back possibly due the its larger magnetic field, but the smaller one was able to fall into the Sun and it was reignited.

Is that what it will take to restart the solar furnace? I don’t know but it seems to be what it took the last time.

That Special Day

Does this mean that the Sun will go out on December 21st, 2012, when the cold has already gripped the Northern Hemisphere (where I reside) and possibly reduce the temperature further?

I do not know.

Certainly, such a thing is possible. After studying the Mayan texts, we know it happened once before. Even if I did not think it possible, I am convinced of one thing: this is what the Maya were predicting with their Calendar’s End-Date.

A specific event for one specific day. Not a gradual enlightenment of the population to stretch out for a decade. Not global warming. Not alignment with a purported black hole in the center of the galaxy. Not a random meteor strike which cannot be calculated from such an ancient period.

So how did the Maya calculate the Sun going out?

There must have been some celestial actions – remember how much time they spent observing the heavens and the planetary motions – which led them to believe they could predict the next one. Perhaps some motion connected with the Sun itself that has now long since discontinued. Or whose importance has lessened.

Either way, it was some celestial behavior they had noticed.

Were they right?

I cannot say with any certainty that this will happen on December 21st, 2012, but I can state with certainty it is what the Maya believed.

And I cannot explain how it will occur. I do not have the tenacity of Velikovsky to wade through the scientific texts to find answers. I never intended to explain how it happened only that this is what the Maya were talking about.

Times Forgotten

If this was such an important prophecy, how could the Maya have forgotten it? Even at the height of their civilization they had cast the Long Count out of the window, abandoned its use and its meaning.

Why would they do that?

Evidently, after years of celebrating each successive baktun- and katun-ending without anything of great importance occurring, someone must have figured it was not working. Nothing spectacular occurred at those great moments in their history. Why bother keeping track? The lesser calendar, their augury, the tzolkin, seemed to still work fine and it was not discarded. The later Books of Chilam Balam testify to their continued importance even after the Spaniards had taken over the region.

How could the Maya have forgotten what their calendar meant?

It could be something similar to our thinking of Christmas. Sure we (mostly) still remember that it was the birth of the Christian Son of God, but we seem to have forgotten why it is called Yuletime, or why we give presents at that time.

There is plenty of controversy in this explanation (and every step is still hotly debated) but originally, the birth of Christ was celebrated on the 6th of January and the pagans celebrated Yule on the 25th of December so the Church decided to celebrate twelve days of Christmas, from the 25th through the 6th.

Of course, this period encompassed the Roman New Year celebrations, when it was customary to greet people into the New Year with gifts. The gift-giving was transferred to the Christmas celebrations to remove the pagan overtones and the twelve days was later reduced to the first day of Christmas – evidently for economic reasons. A twelve-day long holiday was anathema to commerce.

With nothing of importance happening on the celebratory dates of the Mayan Calendar, it is no surprise they eventually abandoned it.

It had no relevance to them.

Relevance in the Present

It lost its relevance to the Maya but does it have any relevance for us?

The prophecies and portents of the end-of-the-world are scattered throughout our history. Someone is always expecting the worst, it seems.

The prophecy could be telling us to be prepared, like the Boy Scout motto. But we should always be prepared for any eventuality. After all, a comet or meteor could come crashing down on us at any time. Even without the intercession of some calendar predicting it.

Preparedness takes many forms and is seen differently by various people. Some see getting a stockpile of food and water, a shelter, and maybe even some ammunition. Some turn to religion, reasserting their faith. Some take on a completely new lifestyle, closer to nature, closer to what they think life should really be about.

In our modern world, we are more apt to be chasing the next new thing, getting that new phone, the bigger television… whatever it is that makes us feel more complete. Yet in this day of so many time-saving devices, why does is seem that we never have enough time?

And why do we feel time is running out?

Questions Remaining

There are still many things we do not know… and may never know. Archaeologists are uncovering new Maya sites all the time, but the answers we seek may have only been on the parchment books destroyed by the zealous Catholic priests.

I am sorry to say that I have not figured out several rather obvious questions. (You might know the answers to these even if I cannot see an answer. You may not be plagued by the same pre-conceptions I have.)

How and why did the Maya came up with the numbers that mean so much to their calendar? The usual explanation I have seen about the number 20 is that it is the total of the fingers and the toes of a human, and is therefore somehow “perfect”. And what about the other numbers, 13 & 18? Are they also from some worldly derivation? I think not.

Rather, I believe the Maya chose the numbers because they had something to do with Solar Cycles no longer apparent to us, or overlooked. Perhaps one was the sunspot cycle many years ago. Currently it is about eleven years. Perhaps it was always so but it might have been different in the past.

How can I think it might have changed? One thing Velikovsky proposed was that the length of the year and the month has changed in recorded history. Most historians of ancient cultures have noticed the discrepancy in the oldest calendars: the year was counted as only 360 days, and the month a standardized 30 days. These were based on the Sun and Moon’s motions – also the basis for our 360° in a circle.

Scholars have thought the ancients had somehow been unable to count even though an untrained person would know the Moon had passed the full-phase after a couple of months counted by 30 days. The scholars decided the ancients were wrong because of our belief that everything has been unchanged for millions of years.

The ancients counted the months and years differently because they were different. And when the days got longer and the months shorter, they mentioned the fact as well – all over the world the ancients had to calculate the new length of the month and year.

So things have changed. The original cycles the Maya used to compute their calendar may be lost to us now. Perhaps cycles of Jupiter or Saturn.

Could this mean that the calculations they made are in error? Can the Maya Calendar End-Date be wrong?

Yes, anything is possible.

But one thing it does not change, it cannot change, is the reason they created it.

Super Sun Cycles

Science has told us that 2012 will be a time of sunspot maximum. It is a cycle that has been charted for several centuries, occurring every eleven or twelve years.

Many observers are expecting a major sunspot maximum. Perhaps the Maya foresaw it as a period when the sunspots would cover the entire face of the Sun, giving it the appearance of a jaguar: the tawny coat with the numerous black spots. We will have to wait and see.

Scientifically speaking, what would happen if most of the Solar disk were covered with spots? No one knows. It has never happened before and is unprecedented.

But as the number of spots rises and falls over the periods of major activity and the series has been increasing again, most are anticipating a lot of spots this time around. Not as many as the Maya anticipated, of course, but more than usual.

What has science to say about the rest of the story, the part with the planets roaming free of their orbits, maybe reigniting the Sun?

Absolutely impossible!

Anything of the sort would be tantamount to throwing all the laws of motion and physics that we know right out the window. And that’s not about to happen.

Or can it? The “laws” can always be tweaked to account for new data. Scientists have done so in the past.

Cosmic Chaos

For the sort of scenario Velikovsky envisioned and the Maya apparently witnessed with the planets flying seemingly at random through the Solar System, something would have had to go awry. And that something could be interference from an outside body or – most probably – something going wrong with the Sun itself, as it is the anchor that holds the system together.

With the Sun “going out” or dimming noticeably, there would probably be a loss in the forces that hold the planets in their regular orbits. Then the real chaos would begin, as it happened in days of old.

Exactly how the ancients got a close view of Jupiter and Saturn and the other planets, I do not want to hazard a guess here, but that they did obtain a close view is evident in the historical records.

When Velikovsky brought up this scenario of cosmic chaos in 1950, the book became a bestseller and started a firestorm with the entrenched scientific community which continues even today. And they have not budged an inch in the half-century and more since.

Regardless of what beliefs historians and scientists stand on, the ancients were not dummies who did not know how to count, or imbeciles who could not see and understand what is going on around them. Some people cannot remove their pre-conceptions long enough to see the mountain of evidence to the contrary.

Fortunately, there are many today who are not so short-sighted.

The Purpose of Science

Science is a wonderful tool we have to examine the world and universe around us and try and understand what it all means to us, both presently and for the future. Aside from the jibes from humorists like Mark Twain and his “science” and the length of the Mississippi River (see Appendix for the article “Extrapolation”), the subject has grown remarkably over the centuries.

Science has made some remarkable strides over the past couple of centuries. We have a standard of living that was unthinkable even a hundred years ago. Science tackles the tough questions on everything around us.

That it oversteps the bounds into many religious beliefs is a problem for many people today. Still these people can reap the profits that science has brought because science does not discriminate from one user to the next. The benefits can be had for believers as well as those who do not believe.

Much of the immense corpus that is science is still theoretical, meaning it has not been proven, though many parts of the construct are useful nonetheless. One of the basic scientific theories is that what we see today is nothing more than the small view of the sameness continuing far into the past because all things adhere to certain scientific laws that are seen as immutable.

Unfortunately, that interferes with much of the studies of the ancient times inasmuch as there is no way to exactly prove the theory. From many old cuneiform texts it would appear that the system we see today is the same as recorded by the ancients. Admittedly there are some few texts that present a differing view but the vast majority of the ancient texts reveal a solar system that looks very much like the one we see today. So, by extension, it must have been the same in even an earlier epoch of human history.

And, until some proof appears to alter the perception, that is the stance modern science will take in the face of all the myths and all the pseudo-scientific theories that come along.

Neither stance can be refuted by existing evidence. And in the impasse, we have to bow to the scientific theory because it works in many instances. But I have always wondered if other great minds, other great thinkers, could apply themselves to this subject, could we not move further toward an understanding of the subject and its meaning to us today in understanding where the ancient writers were coming from.

How Can This Actually Happen?

Well, you got me on that one! I am not a cosmologist or physicist and can give no rationale for any mechanical actions behind such a thing occurring.

I never set out with this volume to do more than point out what the Maya were pointing at with their Calendar. There was no intent to set the foundations for a new pseudo-science or some sort of cult following.

Since the focus of the Maya was on the Sun, I figure there has to be something about the Sun that changes though I really have no ideas on the subject. I remember seeing an article several years ago about a fluid magnetic construct within the Solar body that the author noticed seemed to be getting more elastic with each magnetic reversal. The hypothesis was that at the next event the structure should have been doubled-over on itself and might do something bizarre.

Unfortunately, I kept no record of the source and have not been able to find any mention of such a thing since. Who knows? Perhaps I merely dreamed it. Which says a lot about my dreams, I know…


Now, many of the seemingly strange behaviors of this ancient civilization can suddenly make sense. Perhaps not exactly with this volume but with this understanding of their intent.

I am certain the answer is not the one you would have guessed nor, perhaps, anything close to one you should have wanted. As I said before, I much prefer the “gradual enlightenment” envisioned by Argüelles, Jenkins, and their following, over any other scenario.

It just a shame that scenario makes no sense when it comes to the Maya Calendar.

The Maya themselves never tried to tell us their calendar was meant for any other reason. They said repeatedly, the Fifth Sun, not the “New Age”. With this understanding perhaps we can make further sense of our world, our history, and our universe.

If the new Sun should come as they have warned perhaps there is still time to prepare for the eventuality. I for one do not know what can be done, but we have the resources and the technology to do something before even the short time remaining is gone.

Of course, you can choose to disbelieve this interpretation of the End-Date for another of the hypotheses. You may not see any reason to change your own opinion. You might even have a better hypothesis.

But I believe none of the others follow what the Maya themselves claimed: this calendar, this period, leads to the end of the Fifth Sun.

And the eventual birth of another, newer Sun.

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