The Mayans Were Wrong!

December 26, 2012

That’s what I am seeing a lot around the web these days, now that the 21st has passed and the planet Earth is still standing.

But hold the phone.

The Mayans never said the world was going to end on December 21st, 2012. That was entirely our interpretation. As I mentioned before about the other calculations for the End-Date based on correlations done by people who were not G, M, or T.

Even the end-date correlation favored by Linda Schele (the 23rd of December, 2012) has already passed without a whimper.

All this means is that the correlations we have made are in error. Our calculations for the end date are wrong, not the Mayans.

Of course, that does not mean that the Mayans were not wrong about the ending of their calendar but only that our correlation for it is off. Perhaps we should research the thing a little bit more and come up with a better correlation before we claim the Mayans were wrong.

It may still come to pass, some future day, and we’ll be able to better correlate their calendar – or see if they were really wrong.

Until then, the world continues as it has and – more importantly – the Sun continues as it has for some five thousand years.

If nothing changes in that regard, then the Mayans were wrong.

For now, the only ones wrong were us.

The End Date

December 22, 2012

Well, seems like nothing happened, huh? And rather than jump to conclusions and say the Mayans led us astray, let’s take another look at the end date, which we came up with, not the Mayans. Maybe our correlation was wrong. There might be other options…

Sure, Calleman gave us the end date as sometime in OCtober last year but the GMT correlation gives the 21st of Dec. 2012 as the terminus.

Lounsbury’s correlation was 2 days later, and it is the system Linda Schele preferred. Still, the 23rd of December does not give us much reprieve from Doomsday, does it?

But those aren’t the only choices we have. Here’s a few others: Dec.11th, 1614 (Willson); Nov.5th,1734 (Smiley); May 28th, 1776 (Dinsmoor); Aug.27th, 1936 (Stock); and the more current ones Dec.18th, 19th, 21st, 23rd (Goodman, Martinez-Hernandez, GMT, Lounsbury); and those in the future Nov.11th, 2024 (Pogo); May 3rd, 2259 (Kreichgauer); and the rest go even further into the future, all the way to Aug.12th, 2532.

So, if you are disappointed that nothing happens on this “proposed ending date”, you can just hitch your star to the next, on Dec.23rd. And if that one is wrong, well, we still have another one coming up in a dozen years.

And if that one is wrong as well, there are still options enough for your children and grandchildren – and so forth – to share in the fun and excitement of anticipating the end of the world!!

My! What fun!


Another Pleasant but Chilly Friday

December 21, 2012

Here we are, the end of the universe (as we know it)… according to some.

I keep thinking that if the end is here, can I somehow get to the bar at the end of the universe like in the “Hitchhiker’s Guide” book?

And no matter what the day brings, a normal workday leading to a few Christmas shopping stops before getting home, or an extended weekend to prepare for the Christmas holidays, or the Sun going out at 7:38 AM EST, there will be a tomorrow, and a day after that, and… so forth.

Even though the Maya never said the world was coming to an end or the universe was screeching to a halt, there have been some (many!) who have claimed that is what the “dire” portents were all about. Many are probably getting depressed about the coming end. Many preppers are set to weather whatever is thrown at them.

Whatever comes on this day is unknown before hand but we should always be prepared for the unexpected on every day we are given. There has never been a day that turned out perfect in every respect – nor will there ever be one. The ups and downs that visit our daily sojourn may differ one day to the next but there will always be the ups and downs. Every tribulation is an opportunity, every curse a blessing, every problem another chance to overcome the odds.

Enjoy the weekend, whatever it may bring, and spend the holiday season with your family rejoicing in the wonder of the world around us, and prepare to face the new year rapidly approaching.

Soon 2012 will fall away to memory and we can all open a new calendar, labeled “2013”.

And the Mayans can start their new calendar as well, another hefty 5,125 years worth, or whatever timeframe they decide to choose this time.


Into the Light

December 20, 2012

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…

Enlightenment

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.


Removing the Lens

December 19, 2012

PART THREE – Back To The Basics – what are we really left with?

We have witnessed some deviations from the Mayan mindset in the theories current in the debate. Notions have been attributed to the Maya that they never hinted at. Visions of the future summoned from wide vistas that were nowhere in their view.

Certainly, changes are troubling times, times of social upheaval at least. And judging from the tales of earlier periods ending, there seems to be some trying times ahead but nothing on the order of doom and destruction put forward by some of these theorists.

Can we possibly understand what the Maya were saying without traveling back in time to learn it straight from them? With all the evidence uncovered to date, we have nothing more than a small glimpse at their message. As I said earlier, if we had another century we might gain enough understanding from new excavations going on but we are left with less than a year until the End-Date.

I keep thinking that there should be no problem uncovering what the Maya were talking about. We already have a vast reservoir of evidence to draw from so what if we simply reorganize the way we are looking at it. If we stop trying to reinterpret their words and simply take it at face value, listen to what they are saying without putting any of our preconceptions on their meaning, we might be able to see what they meant.

Unfortunately, coming to grips with what they meant is going to be the hardest part. It will require a quantum leap far greater than any other previously undertaken. Their meaning is as simple as it is frightening, and as terrifying as it is inescapable.

But we have to look at it through new eyes.

Removing the Lens

You might be wondering what type of “lens” I could be talking about. Quite simply, it is the lens of preconceptions. And most of the preconceptions in regard to the Mayan Calendar – and its fundamental cosmology – lies in what we call “science”.

In the past few chapters I have made it a point to show how much of the corpus grown up around the 2012 phenomenon is “pseudo-science”. It is easy to sit behind a wall of scientific reason we have and chide the ancients for being so foolish.

Others might say the ancients only invented these stories to describe things they did not understand and so created these tales in their daily parlance so they could somehow grasp the nature of what they witnessed. And that is why their tales do not make sense to our modern ear.

That sounds pretty good in theory but lacks something in the application. And putting everything into some sort of “racial” memory with its Jungian archetypes does not do much good either. Sure the ancient people around the world have the same fearful tales but saying it is nothing more than a genetic predisposition does not quite satisfy.

Rather than dismiss the tales of the ancients as some sort of “dream language” spoken through nightmares why not consider perhaps their stories are based in fact. The reason, of course, is quite simple: the stories run contrary to what we “know” because of our science.

Immanuel Velikovsky had been a psychoanalyst before he turned pseudo-science and pseudo-history author. He was very familiar with the psyche and the theories Jung was putting forth. However, he decided to take the myths of the ancients at face value, to simply look at what it was they told us they saw, without preconceptions.

Using this basis, he set about to see if any of the ancient myths in the Bible could have actually have been records of real events. And the events he was speaking of could not have just been localized to the Holy Land. Some of these seeming cosmic events would have to have been recorded by other peoples in far and diverse places.

If he could not find any evidence for such, his theory was as good as dead. But what he found convinced him to publish.

I always credit Velikovsky with giving modern catastrophism a shot in the arm, so to speak. However, the modern catastrophism community says he did more harm to their cause. They consider him to be a quack. Imagine, one pseudo-scientist damning another pseudo-scientist. I guess they don’t feel much camaraderie even among their own.

Perhaps they had some fearful need to distance themselves from his published studies. What I got from Velikovsky was the ability to revisit mythology with an eye to ferreting out the reality from the fantasy, regardless of how easy assigning an archetype might be. There may be something in the human genome that causes our brains to imagine certain things from the events we see but when people all over the globe see a certain thing, I tend to look for the physical explanation before writing it off to some sort of mental disorder.

Though I did not and do not agree with everything he said but I was intrigued with the idea that the ancient myths might actually have some basis in truth, if only we would approach it all with an open enough mind.

So, even if I cannot agree with what the Maya corpus tells me, I am willing to investigate it like it was an historical account. But which parts are to be considered historical and which parts fanciful?

To begin, I accepted it all as gospel and looked for corroboration elsewhere. And when nothing was found I would move along to the next idea. If I could find nothing that seemed likely, I noted it and moved on.

I am not a scientist, as I mentioned before, but I do have a fundamental grasp of what science considers plausible. Like my regard for Velikovsky’s works, there is a lot of science of which I remained unconvinced. But I will not go into detail here as it would get tedious.

Once I had accepted what the Mayans had written, I had the task of trying to make some sense of it all. Did what I took from the corpus actually match the other parts of their myth cycle? And did any of it – especially the apparent global portions – have any corroboration elsewhere?

Ancient Astronomers or Daydreamers?

In the old days, people would spend their evenings looking up in the sky. They had no scientists to tell them that the stable lights were suns much like our own and the movable lights were planets much like our own. No, they had to rely on what their village elders had told them from the past: the planets were gods and they ruled the heavens. Our father(s) who art in heaven.

Understanding those lights are nothing more than planets gives us a form of control over them. Since we understand their properties more, we no longer have to be afraid of them. Science has done this for us and ‘proven’ that things have been this way since time immemorial.

Would it have helped the ancients to have had that knowledge, that insight into the structure of the solar system? Or was their fear of the heavens based on something far more dire than we now consider in our nicely structured universe?

The Mayans and other ancients did not have the benefit of science. There was no theoretical physics in place nor PR department to tell them such things could not occur. They were left to use their own senses.

Today, we are much better equipped. Scientists have already proclaimed that the Sun and the planets have been around for billions of years and are not likely to change – short of a nuclear holocaust – for billions of years to come.

Unfortunately for our vaunted science, even without the aid of modern conveniences, the Maya did know that the lights in the sky, their gods, were planets.

Mythology

Mythology is generally viewed by modern man as nothing more that fairy tales, morality tales created to both instruct and entertain. They see no historical validity in them.

With Jung’s archetypes based on primal fears, we think we have a pretty good notion of where the ancients were coming from.

But we have myths of our own. Washington, our supposed “first action hero” who most historians agree did not actually win any battles in the American Revolution, and Lincoln, the supposed “universally loved” president, who was called a “tyrant” by more of his contemporaries than just one John Wilkes Booth. Most people would say their stories are history but in reality what has become the “generally accepted” stories of these men are nothing more than myth. And the reason we mythologize these people rather than accept them for the flawed humans they were is so we might have an ideal, an epitome of the American Dream that we can look up to and strive to emulate.

It is an understandable and human attribute we have, much like the ancient Greeks who idolized their heroes and made them sons of gods. But still, we mythologize.

And it is not just history that falls under the spell. Other myths we call “science”. The myth of the Sun having been here for billions of years, that the planets have maintained their present slow, majestic arc around the Sun for millions of years. There is no proof of this, only theory, only the myth of continuance. It is a comforting myth to maintain, one of continuance and stability, but no closer to proof than any myth taken from the ancient texts despite all the mathematical posturing of academia. We can prove only that the planets have been around as they are today for as long as we have been able to accurately measure them in those orbits.

And the records for such do not go as far back as one would hope. The ancient Greeks and Babylonians kept careful records of planetary motions but only in the last few centuries before the time of Christ. Before that period, and the reason they claim to have started keeping such careful watch, the planets were moving in a “very threatening manner”.

Their fears are ignored by our contemporaries who think they were simply afraid of the planetary movements, even while remarking at the time they spent on following the motions. So, which was it, they lived in fear of the motions they could not understand or curious about and studying the motions? Certainly, the study does not preclude the fear but it certainly lessens its possibility.

Revisiting the Gods

First of all, we must remember that the calendar was built of cycles. And not cycles of men, not based on their fingers and toes, nor the hairs on their head. The cycles were cosmic. Their other various calendars for Mars and Venus, solar and lunar eclipses, show where their interest lay: it was in the heavens above. And the heavens were peopled with the gods.

Many ancient societies called the planets “gods”. This could be, as many propose, because while the fixed stars did not move, these other lights did and it is that independent motion that enhanced their status to godhood. Although, the planets remaining “in their courses” does not convey the concept of any independent motion. That would look quite different.

But what of the qualities of those gods? Many ancients have described Mars as warlike and shown his color to be red. Why is that? Certainly, when viewing the planet today, one can see a pinkish light emanating from the planet but not enough to call it red.

The ancient Greeks told of the overthrow of the king of the gods, Saturn, by his son, Jupiter. They said Jupiter captured his father and tied him up with bands all around him. Did these people really see the rings of Saturn?

Ancient people in northern Europe mentioned Wodin [Jupiter] plucking out one eye in exchange for wisdom. Did they really see the gaping red wound on the planet’s face?

Or were all these merely coincidences that have come down to us, some wild form of archetype very specific in its assignment?

World Ages

Speaking of ancient cultures leads us to a discussion of the so-called World Ages. Many ancient cultures have this concept. Especially in regard to times long past. Even today we recognize this concept, but place it somewhere in the future. So here we are in the present age, between two golden ages, past and future. What have we got now, chopped liver? I thought this age was pretty good.

The Maya mythology mentioned former ages as well. They call them ‘suns’ and named them for the sun shining during each particular age.

Perhaps it is just the ‘end-of-times’ feeling in the air which has sparked the sudden interest in an old subject. When I was growing up we were anticipating the dawning of the age of Aquarius. It was something I thought was imminent but it turns out to be a couple of centuries away by some estimates. Although one writer makes the Aquarian Age begin with the end of the Maya Calendar.

Yet that same ‘New Age’ flavor has attached itself to this latest craze. I do not know if it became attached by artifice or by accident. The New Age mysticism needs to be divorced from the study long enough to take a hard analytical look at the subject. Not being a scientist I cannot create a formula for this investigation, so I will conduct it more like a detective tale by Poe, sans Inspector Dupuy and the murderous baboon.

Ages and More Ages

According to the Mayan corpus, the first world was destroyed by water, the second destroyed by winds, ending about 4,000 years after the first world ended. The third world lasted from about 7000 B. C. to 3114 B. C. to be destroyed by fire. The later fire ceremonies of the Maya and Aztecs call this period’s end to mind in that the ceremonies were linked to the idea of regeneration. And these ceremonies were held originally at the end of the baktuns (every 394.5 years) and later at the end of every Calendar Round (every 52 years). Historians have traced the earliest crops at Oaxaca to be around 7000 B. C. and the first maize crops date to around 3100 B. C.

Several authors say the next world ended in 750 A. D. with the abandonment of Teotihuacán. At this point, the gods huddled around a small fire burning there in the darkness, discussing how they could get another Sun in the sky. It was decided that one of their number should throw themselves onto the fire, a sacrifice that would convert them into the new Sun.

One very proud and haughty god, with a lot of fine jewels and flowing robes announced that he should become the new Sun. (The character of this god reminds me immediately of Vucub-Caquix, Seven Macaw.) He approached the flames hesitantly but was forced back when the flames rose up.

Three different times, this worthy approached the fire and each time the flames leapt up and drove him backward. At last, tired of waiting, a smaller pock-marked god rushed past the haughty one and threw himself into the flames.

Immediately the new Sun was born.

It is interesting that this version has the new Sun beginning in 750 A. D. I thought by the definition used by the Maya this event should have been posited back at 3114 B. C. But this version was from the Aztec era, as they considered Teotihuacán to be the home of the gods.

From the Vatico-Latin codex we get a slightly different version. The first age would have started in 11205 B. C. and the fourth age coincided with the birth of Venus in 3114 B. C.

But were the Maya really speaking of “Ages”? All the writers I have read seem to think so. When they speak of what the Maya said, they habitually make an adjustment: “the Fifth Sun [Age]”. Then they continue by describing the “Age” as if it is something the Maya were actually talking about. But the Maya did not mention anything about an age, they were talking about the Sun.

Is there a difference, really, in the meaning being expressed? All the authors – both those on the fringe as well as the scholars – make this adjustment, so it should in essence mean the same thing. But I think not. Why would they place such an emphasis on the Sun if they meant something more mundane?

What the Ancients Feared

The ancient folks who watched the heavens were no different – essentially – than you or I. They lived, laughed, loved, struggled to keep their families safe and well fed, and they did not react too kindly toward any major upsets to their serene worldview.

And it is possible they invented stories to scare their children straight similar to stories today (or at least when I was younger) of the mysterious “boogey-man”. But they most certainly would not have dedicated several centuries of careful notations to construct a calendar of this complexity on a fairy tale.

There had to have been something very frightening, very motivating to keep them on the project for such a period.

The ancient Babylonian astronomer Berosus, as well as Plato, Zoroastrian texts, the Mahabarahta, the Taoists & the Bamboo Books all mention the planets running amok. Running amok describes anything other than staying “in their courses”.

We can, of course, write off the widespread evidence from the ancients as hyperbole, sketching a hypothesis in order to relate some morality tale, a flight of fancy, or merely the scribes dipping a little too much into the mushroom bins.

Or, we can take note of this and realize they were actually afraid of “something” rather than a nice little “boogey-man”. It would be nice to convince ourselves that the universe has always been as safe and quiet as we now see it, but I am afraid the evidence, necessary in all scientific investigations, does not tend in that direction.

Egyptians have the earlier age ruled by a sun-god, Aten, who then departed. Babylonians speak of An (or Anu), who left. Greeks speak of Cronus, who was replaced by Zeus.

The stories of the sky-god who departs repeats over and over in ancient tales.

the ‘New Age’ Way of Thinking

Modern people are no different than people in the past. Sure, we have “better technology” than they had but as people we have not changed very much. Tales of hatred, petty jealousies, triumphs, and personal enlightenment transcend the time frame in which they happen.

So, it should come as no surprise, that the feeling of an imminent “golden age” or an apocalyptic ending just around the corner is really nothing very new. People throughout history have felt that their generation was the penultimate one that all of history had somehow been leading to.

And that it was not true should also come as no surprise.

I really do not see the present as being anything different. We will always have the feeling of impending doom or advancing utopia. Perhaps that is what makes us so uniquely human.

In the writings of the ancient Greeks or the ancient Babylonians, the Mayans, the writers of the Renaissance, we can get their sense of the same. The world has certainly not ended by now and I think it will not for some time yet. Not because of some scientific theory or some divinely-inspired vision. That is just my gut-feeling on the subject and it may be wrong.

Whose Apocalypse Is It, Anyway?

But this study is not about us in the present – though the End-Date of the Calendar certainly is impacting us – it is about the Mayans and what they created the calendar for and what they thought the ending of it would signify.

Had they left on operator’s manual with the calendar it would have made this task easier. It would have made this book and many others completely unnecessary. But it is that lack of definitive answer that calls into being all the variant conjectures.

All the modern interpretations and imposing our own doomsday wishes and fears on their calendar does not clear the air. In fact it clouds the issue even further. New age mumbo-jumbo and fears of a very science-fictiony demise cloud it even further.

Trying to sort out the answers through historical studies seem to have brought us up empty. Applying scientific reasoning is completely laughable as the subject – though mathematical to a great degree – is far removed from the realm of scientific enquiry.

Science is not a real good yardstick for studies in the humanities.

A Comment on the History of Science

Science chose not to respond to most of Velikovsky’s work. They felt that to dignify his pseudo-science by a serious debate would lend some credence to his wild ideas – they preferred to not term any of it a “theory”.

Yet, these same scientists should have remembered that their field has too often in the past reached a point where they figured they had everything pretty much nailed down. It was not science directly, but in 1875 the government seriously considered closing the U. S. Patent Office because it was generally regarded that “everything had been invented”.

But then there is always something new coming along, it seems, that they had not previously considered.

In the history of science there have been times when their widely accepted belief systems had to be reworked when new evidence came to the fore. The present twenty-first century construct may be a mighty work of many interlocking theories, but theories they remain.

I am not suggesting we throw out any systems that work, I only suggest we be more open minded out possibilities than some of our predecessors. And who knows, it may only require shifting a number here and there in their mathematical models.

The greatest scholarly sin is getting your work published in a non-peer-reviewed journal… in other words, making money and getting public support for your work. But so many findings have been quashed by the ‘establishment’ (no matter how much the establishment tries to deny it or minimize it) that there is truly no other outlet for ‘fringe theories’. Just like Steen-McIntyre’s work I mentioned before, no peer-reviewed journal would bother to publish such obvious garbage, regardless of the evidence presented.

Hey, if it quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck… and the scientific establishment’s response: Not if we don’t publish it!


Much Ado About Nothing

December 18, 2012

Now that we have examined all the New Age wisdom and the theories of the doomsday prophets, we step out into the clean and quiet halls of academia. The hustle and bustle and all the worry of the pseudo-sciences are left behind for a little venture into sanity.

The scholars of Mayan history might have been amazed at the interest garnered by their research but I am certain they grew very quickly horrified at the nasty turn of events when the subject they loved so deeply was being paraded around as a poster-child of the next doomsday.

They say the day will past without notice because the Maya simply did not know anything. From all their researches into the people who revered the Calendar for so long, they assure us that it was just a calendar, nothing more than a way to track their religious festivals and personal and social anniversaries.

That was all.

And when this calendar had ended, they would have simply rolled it over and started the next one. After all, their writings had included events in their history/mythology from the cycle before this Long Count and their prophets had spoken about events that would occur in the next period.

It was just a calendar, after all.

The End-Date was nothing more than December 31st is to us. Every year, it rolls over into the new year. And the end of their calendar, 13.0.0.0.0, would have been nothing more.

But What About that Galactic Alignment Thingy?

As for the Milky Way, yes the Mayan mention it in their writings but they have nothing about Solar alignment with it as opening a portal into the next world.

It is pointed out that the Galactic Alignment that stands at the center of Jenkins’ scenario happens over a fourteen year period, not just the one year in question. The entire concept is nothing but a modern concept that has been “back-dated” for the ancients as if they had that very thing in mind.

Scholars do not agree with Calleman’s readjustment of the End-Date and neither do the Maya Elders. Neither concurs with the adjusted Dreamspell calendar as well. They see nothing but more modern concepts being thrust onto the Mayan mathematics.

It seems equally strange to propose a specific End-Date to merely propose a rather vague and gradual change in human consciousness. If that is the case, Calleman’s end-date is as viable as Jenkins and there would be essentially no difference. The Dreamspell Calendar of Argüelles would be equally important as the original tzolkin.

If the End-Date was nothing more than the December 31st of our annual calendars, then what is all the fuss about?

Is this all another case of Much Ado About Nothing?

So, What If?

People marvel at the “exactness” of the Mayan Calendar and the supporting texts but their tables for eclipses are known to be off in some cases by a day or two. Not too bad considering the time-frame in which they developed them but not truly very exact.

So it could be that their End-Date is off as well. Perhaps even by more than a couple of days. That is, assuming their End-Date was supposed to actually signify something.

Many academics have spent their whole life studying the Maya and are bewildered that so many “crackpot” theories are coming out of this phenomenon.

David Stuart, director of the Mesoamerica Center at the University of Texas at Austin, laments, “There’s going to be a whole generation of people who, when they think of the Maya, think of 2012, and to me that’s just criminal. There is no serious scholar who puts any stock in the idea that the Maya said anything meaningful about 2012.”

And that sums up the academic view in a nutshell. Trying to stem the flow of “What if…” questions coming from all directions, most institutions have reached out with literature, websites, and even help lines to deal with the number of enquiries.

One of the premier scholars on the Maya and author of many books, Anthony Aveni says the current books about the Maya and the 2012 phenomena are based on very little, if any, evidence.

Others are even less flattering, calling the entire corpus a fabrication and a hoax to relieve people of their money and their hope.

What the Scholars Say

Both Aveni and Stuart have written books to try and stem the flood of New Age thefts of the Mayan Calendar but both are rather pessimistic about their success. They think there are so few people out there who want to know the real story.

And after 2012 has passed, the interest in the Maya will fade away again while the New Agers go in search of another prophetic date they can sensationalize. But one of the New Agers thinks it will only be the doomsday set that will be in search of another date.

And even John Major Jenkins says that the trendy doomsday crowd “should be treated for what they are: under-informed opportunists and alarmists who will move onto other things in 2013.” But I guess that does not apply to himself…

He says that cycle endings were all about transformation and renewal, and not about catastrophe for the Maya and the period they “chose” just happens to coincide with his theory. Amazing claim that someone might actually take him for an opportunist since the Maya actually make no such claim.

The scholar Aveni says there is absolutely no evidence that the Maya cared about this alignment, or Jenkins’ concept of the Milky Way. He also says, “What you have here is a modern age influence, modern concepts trying to garb the ancient Maya in modern clothing, and it just doesn’t wash for me.”

What the Skeptics Say

On NASA’s website is a section titled “Ask an Astrobiologist”. Here senior scientist David Morrison fields questions from the public. Recently, more than half of the inquiries on the most popular list were related to 2012.

He responded, “The purveyors of doom are promoting a hoax.” Having studied the Maya for thirty-five years, he can confidently assert there is nothing apocalyptic in their Calendar.

As an example of the hype-factor for publishing in this field, Lawrence Joseph speaks about his recent publication Apocalypse 2012. The author himself outlines several disaster scenarios but claims he does not think the world is going to end. He said he had no control over the title of the volume but if it had been called Serious Threats 2012 or Profound Considerations for 2012, it would have never gotten published.

Another case of the public desires driving the marketplace for sure. Or is it more like beating the crowd into a frenzy?

And Who Do the Present Maya Support?

So, which of the theories presented most closely match what the ancient Maya meant, according to the Council of Maya Elders?

They have conversations with Jenkins and offer supportive phrases, as well as Calleman, and many of the golden enlightenment crowd. They shy away from the doomsday scenarios and quite emphatically tell people not to panic!!

But which one of these fellows do they agree with? Well, it would seem they like all the theories.

But why?

Let’s face it, they need the good press. Political times are hard for many minorities around the globe and the Maya are no different. Any support from any quarter is acceptable.

So why don’t they know what the ancient Maya meant by the calendar? You will have to remember they are 1200 years removed from the period when the Long Count was in vogue.

Can any Catholic today know with any degree of clarity the parameters of their faith in the year 900 AD?

I think not.

To expect the same from the modern Maya is a bit farfetched.

Toward Greater Understanding

I sense a disconnect from what the ancients believed and what the present Mayans believe. We need to look back at what was meant in the pre-Classic, Classic, and post-Classic periods. Much of the information we have comes from the later period of the Spanish Conquest. Much of the myths come from the Aztecs and, though similar in many respects to the Maya, they are different in many respects.

For example, the zenith position was obviously important to the ancients as they cut deep straight holes to view the zenith positions of planets. Still, why was it so important? Observing the fact is nowhere near gaining an understanding.

Some important parts of their cosmology seem to conflict a bit, so it would be helpful to know which parts are the most ancient and which were later interpretations of what they no longer understood.

The 52 year fire ritual can be credited to the end of the Long Count death of Sun to someone’s interpretation applying the death of Sun to the end of the Calendar Round (haab + tzolkin). One can understand how the meaning got translated one to the other in the transfer of the beliefs from one system to another… e.g. when the calendar ends, the Sun will die, and then they forget which calendar was meant.

Was there any ancient ceremony like the fire ritual in the periods before the Long Count was discontinued?

Rather than approaching the problem by figuring out what we think the End-Date might specify, it would be more provident to ascertain why they thought so. What in their society, philosophy, cosmology, or religion points to the End-Date? And not from the current Mayans as they probably no longer recall (nor were they the ones who devised the calendar).


Lost Worlds

December 17, 2012

As if we did not already have enough to worry about with comets and meteors (and, apparently, newly born planets) racing at us bent on doom and destruction, we also have to worry about gods, aliens, and planet “X”s.

The creator gods of the Maya are not the ones we need worry about at the moment but the ancient gods of another land far removed from the Maya, in the fertile crescent. In an ancient land of gods and towers built to reach to heaven, in the present war torn region rich in the oil that the world hungers for, there once lived an ancient people who wrote their words on clay tablets in an alphabet constructed of small wedges (the writing was termed “cuneiform”) that were then baked to preserve the writing for all time. Or at least until today’s archaeologists could find them.

Over a century ago, the scholars had translated most of these ancient texts and had a pretty good bead on what these ancient fellows were about.

And then came Zecharia Sitchin.

The Planet Nibiru

According to the late Sitchin, he translated the story from the ancient cuneiform tablets of the Middle East, uncovering the story slowly from the myths of the ancients.

There is a planet on a highly elliptical orbit in our Solar System that takes 3,600 years to complete one orbit. The dwellers on this planet are called the Anunnaki and they actually figure in the history of the ancient world, according to Sitchin.

He has translated ancient texts that show the Anunnaki “creating” man through genetic experimentation. And they ruled over these creations as gods. And they were, in fact, the ancient gods from space that Erich von Däniken wrote about.

As fascinating a study as all this is, you might be wondering what it has to do with the Mayan Calendar End-Date.

Actually, many of Sitchin’s supporters proposed that the vehicle for change coming in December 21, 2012, was nothing less than the return of the dreaded planet Nibiru and the overlords of planet Earth!

What they fail to explain is why the Mayan Calendar that runs for 5,125 years should somehow measure the return of a planet which comes back every 3,600 years. Did the Maya merely get the math wrong? I don’t think so.

If a planet as large and menacing as Nibiru was coming toward the inner Solar System, we should be able to see it by now. Heck, we should have been able to see it as long ago as the year 1999! We can see asteroids and comets for years before they get here. How could we miss something as large as Nibiru was supposed to be?

Fortunately, Sitchin came out with a statement that Nibiru was not expected for centuries. But even his statement could not stop many of the “faithful” from holding firm to their belief that the dreaded Annunaki will be lording it over us again as 2013 dawns over us.

At least I am confident that we have dodged that bullet!

Companion Star?

Even mainstream scientists (those without the moniker “pseudo-scientist”) have theorized a companion star to our own Sun. However, as you might expect, they theorize this was millions and millions of years ago. Remember, nothing happens fast for these guys.

But there is another hypothesis out there that a current companion star travels with our Sun. Supposedly, our own Sun today is part of a binary set and this partner is actually a brown dwarf star. One that supposedly does not emit much in the way of light but it does radiate enough energy to give life to its own family of planets. We won’t be able to see this thing coming at us until it is practically in our backyard.

Andy Lloyd has written this theory in his book Dark Star. The interesting thing about his theory is that it nicely complements Sitchin’s Nibiru. People were concerned how a planet could go so far away from the Sun and maintain any sort of life without the warming rays of the Sun.

It is this companion dwarf star that Nibiru travels around as well as a few other planets. The very elliptical orbit of this star brings it closer to our Sun every 3,600 years. Imagine the mayhem when its planets, revolving quietly around it, have to pass through our own planetary space. The gravitational mayhem that would ensue would spell calamity for a lot of planets!(1)

But one would have expected to hear a lot more about the mayhem 3,000 years ago when they last passed through our space but I guess everyone slept through that encounter.

Fortunately, and expectedly, this is relegated to pseudo-science as well.

The Return of the Gods

There was a video clip I saw on YouTube of an interview Dr. Calleman had with a Mayan Elder. It can be accessed on Ian Lungold’s “Mayan Majix” website, I believe. In the conversation, the Elder was asked what the End-Date really meant.

He responded that these were not his words but the words of the ancients: “In the time of the 12 baktun and 13 Ahau is the return of the ancestors and the men of wisdom.”

And I cannot help but think about how this seems to echo the beliefs of the followers of Sitchin and the theory of Andy Lloyd. I certainly hope these ancient men of wisdom are not the same as the Nibiru.

And as frightening as the warning is, I can just thank goodness that all this stuff is pseudo-science and not the real thing!

Saturn

Then there is another “failed star” in our Solar System, it seems, but not one that is on a collision course with us. It is the planet Saturn.

Yes, the same planet that travels today placidly around the Sun, girdled by rings, taking about twenty-nine years to complete its orbit. Many people think this planet had once been the primary around which we orbited, or something. The physics of the entire scenario escapes me and one of the proponents of the theory, Dwardu Cardona, says it answers every question we have ever had about the ancient myths.

Unfortunately, I read the theory on Saturnian Cosmology and I can’t say it answered any questions but it certainly created a few more to ask.

Jno Clark has a massive volume on the subject online and it is filled with a storehouse of… well, let’s just say “pseudo-scientific” data, if you know what I mean. But in its workings reside practically every ancient myth known to Man. Just weaving all that data together into one cohesive whole is truly a Herculean effort. And Jno makes it an interesting read as well, even if it is pseudo-science.

One thing he does point out is that several planets all seem to have the same axial inclination which would, we naturally assume, lead one to believe they belonged to the same family of planets. Earth’s axial tilt happens to match that of Saturn.

The calendar studies of the ancient peoples are highlighted in his work and he makes mention of the 360 day calendar found the world over in ancient times as evidence that the annual circuit of our planet around the Sun used to be only 360 days. But, of course, it is longer than that today and the mechanism for accomplishing such a feat was cosmic in origin. Which means someone out there somewhere exerted enough force on our planet to move it further away from the Sun.

Not much, mind you, just enough to account for five extra days. And apparently the Moon was shifted in its relationship to us as well because its orbit used to be thirty days and is now less than twenty-nine!

It must have been something awe-inspiring to foment such changes!

But Jno also has another kicker: the year at some period before the change to 360 days was a puny 260 days! Just like the Mayan tzolkin! Presently, Venus orbits around the Sun in 225 days, so that would put our orbit a LOT closer to the Sun.

I’m not certain, but I don’t think we would have had any Ice Ages during that sojourn. But that could just be my erroneous assumption.

Jupiter

And yet one more failed star lies in our Solar System, but this fellow does not seem to have the backing of any current fringe group. Jupiter, Chief God of so many religions just does not seem to get any respect.

Next to Venus, he is the brightest of the planets. He is the biggest of the planetary family, hands down. Heck, he even starred in the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. Well, perhaps just a “walk-on” roll but in the film nonetheless.

Even in astrology, Saturn makes everything depressing and heavy, Uranus makes everything electric and sudden, Mars makes everything… well, angry.

But what does astrology have the mighty Jupiter give us? Peace, tranquility, and perhaps a little good luck. No more threats to strike anyone down with his thunderbolts, no more getting kinky with the swans…

Scientists noticed a fair amount of radio signals coming from Jupiter years ago and thought it meant that it was becoming an active star. Then, perhaps thinking what sort of a panic that may set off, they quickly changed it to a star that failed to actually “spark”.

I have wondered that if Jupiter was such a macho planet in this neighborhood, why is he always pushed to the side like some second-stringer? He has more moons and even has his own family of comets. Yes, just like the Sun.

So the two large gas giants in our neighborhood were candidates for stardom but missed the cut. I guess Uranus and Neptune were probably out of the club as well. But none of the three got the notoriety afforded Saturn. They are not thought of as stars in any sense of the word, not by anyone’s theory.

You know, I really think it is the rings.


Spin Cycle

December 16, 2012

This concept has been advanced into its own chapter because it has more proponents and supporters than any other of the doomsday hypotheses. The reason for this probably lies in the fact that this is not your normal pie-in-the-sky raving, this is “science”.

Or, at least, so they tell us.

This theory seems to have been the primary impetus for both the History Channel “Doomsday 2012” show as well as the “2012” movie.

The concept of pole shift was first put forward by Charles Hapgood in his 1958 volume The Earth’s Shifting Crust. And as the idea was also endorsed by Einstein, it is viewed as the most scientific of all the theories.

In Hapgood’s thesis, the crust, though miles thick, is actually merely a hard shell floating on a very molten, very fluid core. Shifts in gravitational attraction could, conceivably, hold the shell in a spot for a moment while the molten core continued its forward motion. After this slippage, the crust would roll around for a time until its motion again matched that of the upper layers of the spinning core and stability could be regained.

Exactly what could cause the slippage to start is an interesting field of speculation. Anything from a massive coronal burst to the imbalance of the crust caused by the size of the Antarctic ice cap has been targeted as a prime suspect. And how far the slippage could occur – and in which direction – is still a matter under debate.

It is interesting to note – ironically, perhaps – Hapgood died on December 21st, 1982, exactly thirty years before the End-Date of the Mayan Calendar.

Polar Shifts in the Past

It is true that the Earth has shown evidences of polar shifts and magnetic reversals in the past. A lot of people see doom and gloom in this predicament even though no one is quite certain what a pole reversal would do for us.

Every eleven years or so, the Sun undergoes a magnetic reversal. We can measure this bizarre occurrence but it does not seem to have any ill effects on either the Sun or on us. So what can be so frightening about a magnetic reversal on Earth? I mean, other than the annoying habit of having to read our compasses upside down and perhaps invert our globes, would such a thing really mean any difference to us?

So, magnetic reversal may not be that alarming. But if there was actual crustal slippage, rather than a mere magnetic reversal, there might be something a little more frightening occur. But exactly what, no one knows.

Some theorize that the waters of the oceans, continuing forward with the inertia of their former angular momentum would not apply the brakes as quickly as the solid crust, so there would be monumental waves crashing over the continents.

Yes, just like in the movie “2012”.

But the exact mechanism is still unclear. Hapgood was of the opinion that the amount of ice accumulating on the polar caps would be enough to trigger the shift. Unfortunately, it was his supporter, Einstein, who pointed out that even massive ice caps would not be enough to cause the crustal slippage.

Today the theory of crustal slippage has been shunted into the garbage bin with the tag “pseudo-science”, surely the death-knell of all things in our technosphere.

Ancient Prophecy by Merlin

Yes, even the famous seer at the court of King Arthur – the non-mythical one, of course – weighed in on this issue, at least according to R. J. Stewart, an author with the Tarcher house as was Daniel Pinchbeck, mentioned earlier. This was another bit covered in the History Channel special on “Doomsday 2012”, where even their editor-in-chief, Mitch Horowitz, weighed-in in support of their theories.

Merlin stated in one of his visions that “the planets will run riot through the signs”. It is a rather chilling thought to image such happening but R. J. Stewart claims that the only way this could happen is with a pole shift and the Earth tumbling over on its axis.

Immediately following this pronouncement in the History Channel show, the narrator said “it would seem that Merlin, like the Maya, prophecy a pole shift”. That’s funny, because neither of them predicted any such thing.

And, unfortunately, the pole shift R. J. Stewart visualizes would do nothing of what Merlin mentioned. The planets would still remain in their courses and houses and only our viewpoint of them would have changed. It is important to keep the facts straight. The planets would not be “running riot” through the signs as they would still be in the same signs as before even if our angular view of them might be altered. And even that would depend on where you were on the planet and how much it shifted.

Unless, of course, whatever activity causes the change in our pole would also influence the other planets as well. (Just a thought.)

One Thing It Ain’t…

Maurice Cotterell, co-author of The Mayan Prophecies with Adrian Gilbert, had an interesting take on the whole polar shift theory. He at least imparts a different mechanism for the shift to occur: the massive sunspots coming at the 2012/2013 peak of the sunspot cycle.

Early in the ’90’s, the word was out that the sunspot maximum coming in 2012 would be a real humdinger. But now, scientists today are downgrading the even to a sort of regular so-so sunspot cycle.

And I do not think they intentionally downgraded the event to try and stem the flood of 2012 advocates’ interest in the show. They probably know that trying to talk common sense will have no effect in the face of such hysteria.

But there is some evidence that the shifting of the Earth would not create any harm at all. In an article in “Pensee”, 1973, Chris Sherrard demonstrated that axis displacement would occur without major tectonic disruptions and perhaps without any noticeable affects while it occurred. The gyroscopic reaction of the planet would be nearly instantaneous and smooth. This “gyroscopic precession involves a temporary transfer of angular momentum from spin to precession” and the small forces of adjustment would be accomplished without any major disruptions.

And without the wrenching forces on the planet during such an event, the shifting of the poles would occur without any problems or devastation to the people residing thereon.

Wow! It wouldn’t be the end of the world after all! Polar shift? Bring it on!

Catastrophism

In today’s parlance, any event that encompasses worldwide change is termed “catastrophism” and, as you could already guess, this entire subject has been marginalized by the scientific community. Their view is, yes, these things do in fact occur, but not overnight or in the blink of an eye. Such dynamic things occur but gradually, slowly, over millions of years.

The idea of crustal slippage has made its way into the scientific model of our world but it ranks right up there with continental drift as something that takes a long, long time. In fact they term it polar “wander”, implying a slow, almost casual sort of change rather than the jolting a “shift” might bring.

So, it should come as no surprise then that science does not actually support any of the 2012 scenarios. Anything that abrupt simply could not happen.

Modern catastrophism had its renaissance begin with Immanuel Velikovsky and his 1950 publication of Worlds in Collision. Scientists generally dismiss the work as fiction as do historians, whose boat he rocks as well.

The interesting thing in relation to the study of the Maya End-Date is that Velikovsky hinged his theory on an event the Maya spoke about quite often. Nothing about the end of their Long Count but rather the purported start of it: the birth of Venus.

This “quack” had Venus being born out of Jupiter! Nowhere in modern science does any theory allow for such a mad thing. So, where did he get his idea? From ancient myths. And that alone was enough to get his writings banished to the garbage heap labeled “pseudo-science”.

Interestingly enough, his theory projected that Venus would be covered in clouds, very hot, and with intense surface pressure. Modern science knew better. Venus was moderate in temperature and, since it had a size similar to Earth, it could be almost a sister planet. Imagine their surprise when the probes revealed Velikovsky’s model created the correct results!

Carl Sagan immediately came out with an altered theory and said that Venus obviously was just under a greenhouse effect and it did not mean Velikovsky was correct. In fact, they observed that Velikovsky was not right even though his predictions were correct because his theory was wrong. Venus was not behaving like a “newly birthed planet” because it had been around for as long as the Earth.

Oh, yes, I see. Their theory that Venus was as old as the Earth quite naturally disproved his theory that Venus was new, even though his results were correct and theirs was not, at least until they altered their theory to fit the evidence.

Sorry, you can see why I never became a scientist. I cannot keep up with these sorts of machinations. I always thought that the correct theory was the one that gave the proper results. And I had no idea that one’s theory could disprove another’s theory. I thought they worked in facts… but then, I’m no scientist.

Where This Fits In

But we are not here to debate the theories of the moderns, we are trying to find the answer that satisfies the Mayan Calendar’s End-Date.

In the corpus of Mayan writings – the small amount that survives – can we find anything even vaguely resembling the pole shift theory?

As attractive as this scenario is, especially after learning that it might not bring the doom and destruction so many are looking forward to, it is surprising that the Maya make no mention of the poles shifting, the magnetic field reversing, or even a little bit of crustal slippage.

After keeping such careful track of the planetary positions for centuries, you would think they would have said something like “this is the path of the planet Venus… for now” or some other ominous foreboding like giving the future eclipses of the moon but then leaving the future period blank, covered only with a large question mark.

Those would have given us a clue to their intent, but we find nothing of that in the literature. Rather they seem to be sadly silent to our enquiries and our needs. But then they never wrote any of this stuff for us, they wrote it for themselves and their own needs.

As Anthony Aveni, the Mayan scholar and astroarchaeologist, said in “Natural History”, April 2001:

“Caught up in the theory of progress, we tend to focus on whatever glimmers of modern science we find in ancient or, indigenous ways of understanding nature. We see that a certain group discovered an herb containing a curative chemical or recorded the position of the rising Sun at the vernal equinox. And then we lament, Just think what they might have accomplished if they had taken the “right track” and pursued this knowledge more single-mindedly. But we would do better to study how and why these cultures built elegant systems for making the things they observed comprehensible–not to us but to themselves. Other peoples’ motives for sky watching may tax our patience and require dredging up subjects that suit neither our tastes nor our prejudices. But our failure to understand these motives will always be our loss.”
Copyright © 2001 Natural History Magazine, Inc. & © 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning.

Doom and Destruction

December 15, 2012

There is apocalypticism in the air. Some see it as a presage of the Golden Age to come; others sense the end of the world. It is this latter group to whom we turn now.

Some of the proponents of these various theories are a little “out there” with some of their ideas and as this stuff hardly relates to the Mayan Calendar at all, I think we can all let it hang out and have a little fun. If everything is gonna end and there’s nothing we can do about it, why not enjoy ourselves while we can.

In this climate, there are many who are strangely relieved to have a firm date to attach their anxiety upon. Hence the growth in the sage industry: Nostradamus, Cayce, Mother Shipton and others are sought out in this renaissance. And so too the Mayan Calendar. The tension will mount until that date arrives, but many are secure that the apocalypse will not happen BEFORE that date.

Even if the date comes and goes with nothing happening.

There is a wider variety of predictions in this realm. Comets, meteors, asteroids crashing into Earth. Wildly divergent weather patterns. Again, as in the previous chapter, a lot of these are already happening and weaken the end-date scenario.

Nostradamus had much to say about this… supposedly… but as his predictions are open to wide interpretation. I have not found anything that specifically supports the doomsday scenario.

Many followers of the quatrains of the Sage of Provence bring up all the passages that seem to deal with the end of the world and point them at 2012. They somehow forget that in the letter to his son, Caesar, Nostradamus mentions his prophecies stretch forward several thousand years. And since it has only been about five hundred years since he wrote, I cannot believe he was talking about 2012.

The flavor of destruction here is generally to the writers own liking. The interpretations are so vague that any mechanism could be envisioned. I would imagine each of these writers could place their favorite method into whichever framework were offered.

Cayce and Mother Shipton do not specifically mention the End-Date either but that does not stop the many interpretations of their prophecies to fit into this scenario.

Pole reversal is a popular theme as well. I will deal with this one and the resulting ramifications in the next chapter. For now, let us content ourselves with the complete and utter destruction of all life as we know it on planet Earth.

Time Wave Zero

The late Terence McKenna wrote about the I Ching and the “amazing” method of divination he had discovered within the ancient art of fortune telling, in his 1975 book The Invisible Landscape. He contended that the entire sequence of sixty-four I Ching pictograms actually charted out the history of the planet. And the most amazing part: its end just happened to be December 21, 2012.

He made quite a splash, especially since his publication pre-dated that of Argüelles. Many people considered him to be the first and earliest of the New Age 2012 prophets. Many websites still honor his memory by including his work in the pantheon of all things 2012.

After his passing, however, differing versions about this “amazing” prophecy have come to light. And the hardest to take for his followers was that the original I Ching map of the ending sequence (beginning with the “novelty” of the blast at Hiroshima) ended at zero around the 18th of November 2012. It was only after talking with Argüelles that McKenna altered the zero-date to Dec. 21, 2012.

So, far from being the prophet of the Mayan End-Date, he “fudged” his concise mathematics to fit a pre-conceived notion. But then his focus had always been natural psychotropic drugs and it seemed a natural thing to do.

Matthew Watkins had already gotten an admission from McKenna that the math in the system did not work. Undaunted, he continued lecturing on the use of hallucinogens by the ancient Maya and other native American cultures. Perhaps he found some other enlightenment before his passing but he never passed it along to the rest of us.

2012: the Movie

Aside from the use of the appropriate year in the title, this movie had absolutely nothing to do with the entire 2012 corpus. And I seriously doubt it took place in December of that year at all unless Yellowstone has gotten a lot warmer than in Decembers past. But, of course, that could just be the global warming coming into play. That, however, is not mentioned.

There was one short scene on a television in the film showing a group of Mayans outside one of their temples, but that was as close as they got to the subject. Although they do mention something later about the planets being in alignment, and they pan to a piece of paper where, apparently they are all shown to be in a straight line.

But that last piece of evidence is real fiction, pure and simple.

As I mentioned before, the only alignment with the center of the galaxy on the solstice in 2012 is the Sun and the Earth. No other planets join the party.

The movie is another marvelous disaster movie with lots of excitement and special effects but, other than the title, has nothing to do with the End-Date of the Maya Calendar.

Doomsday 2012: The End of Days

– History Channel “Decoding the Past” Series

In 2009, the History Channel pulled out all the stops and brought together an ensemble cast to bring us everything we needed to know about the coming destruction. Experts in practically all fields of the doomsday scenario were interviewed for their particular take on the End-Date of the Mayan Calendar.

The Sibylline Oracles (not to be confused with the Oracle at Delphi) were consulted and we learned that Sibyl predicted the world would experience nine periods of 800 years each, after which would be a tenth such period, at the culmination of which the earth will end in earthquakes. Since these prophesies were made in the first millennium B. C. I figure we still have several millennia before the tenth period comes. How anyone thought this had to do with the Mayan Calendar, I don’t know. But it did seem to offer the idea of doomsday, so it was included.

Mitch Horowitz, editor-in-chief of Tarcher Books said it was inconsistent of us to embrace the technological advancements of the ancients and yet ignore their interest in prophecy. Unfortunately, there is nothing inconsistent in our behavior: we only place value on things we see as valuable to us today.

An author at Tarcher, Daniel Pinchbeck, author of The Return of Quetzalcoatl, said the Maya were obsessed with time, synchronicity and consciousness. He claim they spent a thousand years studying backward to the previous civilization to create their model of when this transformation was going to take place.

He is actually in agreement with John Major Jenkins and the Galactic Alignment scenario, going further to say that we will pass through to the “south” of the galactic plane at that time. I think that is supposed to mean something. Something ominous, I am certain.

Then they covered the usual doomsday scenarios of prophets like Nostradamus and Mother Shipton and though they are quite interesting – as well as very, very grim – they do not speak of a time frame for the ending. Not 2012 or any other specific time. So I am sure these prophecies will be brought out again for whichever new end time is decided on later.

They touched on the Book of Revelation and the torments that come along with the anti-Christ and the beast-of-a-particular-number, but it is likewise without a date.

The Sioux Shaman, Black Elk, foresaw darkness and a quaking end and the Hopi claim the end of the 4th world is approaching when the Sun will turn hotter and a spiderweb will cover the world. The narrator pointed out the warming was the present “global warming” and the spiderweb was, naturally, the internet.

It was an entertaining production even if there was not much real substance, just a lot of heavy thoughts for the doom and gloom crowd. So, let’s take a look at some other ideas.

Shooting Ourselves in the Foot

The simplest of the doomsday scenarios is probably the most poignantly ironic: we brought it on ourselves. The backers of this ending lay all the blame for its occurrence on us, our technology, and our increasingly callous disregard for the planet, its resources, and the living organisms we should be sharing it with.

In some sort of Biblical climax – God seeing that His people have turned so much away from the ways of righteousness – that He brings forth another destruction similar to what was unleashed in Noah’s time.

But this extremely noble “I told you so” moment will not be due to any prophecy from the Maya or their marvelous Calendar. Although the Maya may be in agreement that modern man has squandered far too many of the meager resources available to us, there is nothing built into the calendar or its End-Date which refers to such a thing.

The Hopi believe that the end will be presaged by “the Sun getting warmer”. Several writers point out that this probably means global warming and yet another way we have shot ourselves in the foot.

However important the miniscule temperature increase has been – and I have yet to see any proof that it is not a natural cycle – I do not think that is what the Hopi were talking about. They specifically said the Sun would get hotter. That might by extension mean the world would get hotter as well but there is nothing in global warming that could give anyone the idea that the Sun was actually getting warmer. Perhaps if the Sun were to get larger or something…?

Shake, Rattle

This age is supposed to be destroyed by earthquakes, so this one should seem a natural assumption, no? The Maya call this era “earthquake sun” so we should expect to see more and larger of these events. The Sioux Shaman on the aforementioned History Channel production also spoke of a time of many earthquakes and darkness. And, judging from the history of the past century, we are seeing more of these and quite a few more at the 7.0 and above on the Richter Scale.

And though they are not near to the expectations of those who thought the world was going to end in 1999 – à la Jeff Goodman’s We Are The Earthquake Generation – it has been increasing in scope and size over the past few years.

But this series of events, like the global warming we are experiencing, might be no more than a natural cycle we have not been following long enough to notice. A method for obtaining precise measurements of earthquakes is less than eighty years old so we cannot get a true picture of the increase in such things. Still, we have had several in the last decade, more than in the first thirty years of the records.

And, funny, most of them seem to be in Sumatra.

We will have to wait for further data on this one to even begin to establish any sort of trends. If the earthquakes begin to increase now that 2012 is finally here (especially, say, during the last ten days of the year) we will know for certain.

Maybe.

Comets and Meteors

Now this theory is one we can all have a lot of fun with. As far as the “trends” in such things go, the last really big meteor to hit North America was about 50,000 years ago. And what’s really scary is that there seem to have been two! One hit just outside of Odessa, Texas, and the larger one just west of Winslow, Arizona. (And, no, neither town was damaged by the impacting meteors.) I lived much of my life close enough to both of these craters and have been able to visit them several times. But I digress…

Between those two and the million years ago mark, there seem to have been only two others on the list I have. So, considering it has literally been millions of years since we have been really decimated by anything falling from the skies – whether meteor or comet – it looks like we could be well past due for such an impact.

And how fortuitous to us that the Mayan foresaw such a thing two thousand years ago and wove an intricate calendar just to tell us to run for cover!

Will wonders never cease?!

As for comets, the last likely candidate for that honor goes to Tunguska in 1906. That is, if it was a comet… of course, it might have been a bit of anti-matter, a black hole, an inter-dimensional rift, or a whacked-out bus full of college kids on a wild week-end.

No one knows for sure.

All kidding aside, there is simply not enough data for any type of analysis on these two possibilities to even venture a guess. Other than to say, I really don’t think the Maya were telling us to gear up for this sort of close encounter.

Going Nova

This is an interesting hypothesis in that it works with the idea I mentioned earlier about the Hopi’s dire forebodings. And, you’ll remember, the Maya seem to have an obsession with the Sun.

There are not a lot of proponents of this theory that I could find and there does not seem to be much of a following in regard to the Sun going nova. How and why it would occur is not developed and there are no “survival kits” being offered online to survive this sort of thing. Apparently, if the Sun goes nova, there is nothing we can do about it. There is no 18,000,000 SPF sun screen that I have ever seen, so we would pretty much be toast.

This scenario, more so than a meteor or comet impact which we might survive, would easily spell doom for all life on this planet as well as the rest of the family of travelers in this Solar System.

And, as the Maya were talking about life in the next Sun, I think this theory – while extremely frightening and entertaining – has nothing to do with the End-Date of the Mayan Calendar.

Perhaps we should revisit this scenario at a later date, preferably a long, long time after I have already left this plane of existence.

Somebody Else Going Nova

This is similar to our own Sun going nova but the supporters think another star is going to go nova and wipe us out. Rather some other star has already gone nova and we just cannot see it yet because of the speed-of-light thing.

Unfortunately, the light would arrive before the blast and none of the stars close enough to really cause us any damaged have not made the upgrade to nova just yet.

Some propose it will be Alcyone or Betelgeuse who “does us in”, but both those are a little too far away to have any damaging affect on us. Plus, we should probably have already seen them go nova before now.

Some also claim that the star Alcyone is actually getting closer to us and will somehow sneak it in by the due date. Actually, that star is getting further away from us as I write so I doubt there will be any surprises from that quarter.

Waiting for Rapture

And then the Christians have weighed in on this issue as well. Yep, they expect the “rapture” to coincide with the End-Date. Other than the fact that the “rapture” is non-scriptural to begin with – at least I do not find any mention in Revelations – where in the Bible do they get the idea that the Mayans had a leg up on the Apostles?

Holy Writ tells us that no one knows the hour and date of the end of the world but God. Now they are telling us that though God did not see fit to tell any of His Holy Prophets, He did let the word slip out to the Mayans.

I do not think this scenario is worth considering.

When I was younger, I remember seeing sidewalk prophets wearing a sandwich board declaring “Repent! The End Is Near!” and I have heard there have been others doing it long before I came along. The end was not as near as they supposed and I don’t think it is yet. The devout Christians’ race to eternal grace through the Apocalypse will probably have to wait a little while longer.

The Mayan calendar does in no way reinforce the teachings of the monks who burned most of their books and beat them for practicing rites with their calendar. Although the idea may be such poignant irony… nah, I don’t think so.

The Major Question Remains

After examining all these doomsday scenarios, I have to ask myself: sure these are interesting but what do any of them have to do with the Maya Calendar?

Nothing, of course. Just like the movie, “2012”, the lovers of doomsday scenarios will brush off any theory to attach it to any available date. It does not seem to matter how much sense it makes – if any at all – as much as embracing the coming end.

If we were discussing the end of everything, I could probably deal a little more at length with each of these but as we are talking about what the Maya intended with the end of their Calendar, we will simply wipe these aside because they have nothing to do with the Mayan Calendar.

The End-Date of their Calendar was not decided upon by some psychic vision of coming destruction, it was not a random pick. It was built painstakingly over centuries studying the cycles of the cosmos, and their vision of what the culminating cycles would bring.

Their Calendar is a model of a natural system they saw around them, not some flash in the pan one-time event. What they saw was a repetition of past events mapped into the future. The Maya did not see time as a linear flow but as a circle, folding back on itself over and over again.

Their calendar reflects this.


the Coming Golden Age

December 14, 2012

PART TWO – The Hypotheses – after Argüelles awakened the beast

After searching through a little background of the Maya, their calendar, and their mythology, we should have some understanding of who the Maya were and a bit of where they were coming from, one would think we should have at least some small inkling about this mysterious End-Date they have gifted to us.

Unfortunately, the field is still fairly wide open as one can tell by all the varying hypotheses. The Maya cannot have meant more than one thing for the End-Date of their calendar, so there is only one correct hypothesis. But which one? What evidence have they brought forward to back up their theories?

And I do not mean what evidence of the world today they apply, I am talking about showing what the Maya themselves said in support of their hypothesis.

Now it is time to see what the various interpretations are. Not everyone reads the data the same way, especially from texts that are so ancient and – in some cases – not completely understood. If the End-Date was still a half-century away, historians may have gained a fuller understanding of the meaning of the ancients. Unfortunately, we have only a few months.

The following theorists work by emphasizing whichever portion of the data impresses them most and, more importantly, bolsters up their own theory.

The Coming Golden Age

Most of the modern Maya Calendar prophets subscribe to the “Golden Enlightenment” hypothesis rather than any of the Doom-and-gloomsday scenarios. Why? Probably because the idea of any cataclysm seems very unpalatable. It’s like that old joke: I want to die peacefully in my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

And as much as this idea appeals to me personally, this is the one I find least likely.

It is not that I have anything personal against universal enlightenment and the coming Golden Age. Most of the authors and websites are backing this horse. And it is a very attractive entry. A peaceful change, a healthy change, a beneficial change to all of mankind as we head into a brighter, more user-friendly future.

Yes, I really like that theory. If only…

Unfortunately, I have seen that snake-oil salesman before.

Only in the 1960’s they hitched it to the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius. Same shtick, different date. They called for more peace, love, and understanding and all I’ve seen is more war, hate, and destruction. So far, Aquarius is not my cup of tea.

Of course, many now tell us the “actual” Age of Aquarius has not come yet, so there is still some time for the “universal enlightenment” to descend upon us. Some tell us that the real Aquarian time is not due to start for a century or more yet, but some prophets have back-dated that prediction to coincide with December 21st, 2012. How convenient is that, huh?

Back in the day, there were more many people proclaiming the coming Golden Age than those predicting the end of the world. So, now, the 2012 phenomenon has given both sides a chance to renew their campaign of hope (or doom, as the case may be).

Even with all the primary writers on the 2012 phenomenon pulling for this scenario – and though John Major Jenkins, Jose Argüelles, and Carl Calleman may differ on major points, on this one they are still unified – this is to my mind the least likely of all the scenarios. Why? Well, let’s just say I have studied to know enough history to know what mankind would do with such “enlightenment”. Not being cynical, just being a realist. Without some basic understanding of what the enlightenment would mean, I do not see much impetus for people to change.

I would much prefer the Spiritual Convergence descending on us but the evidence for it is mighty slim. What evidence is offered? All the prophets for this angle merely state that the Maya were spiritual. That may be but what does that mean? What does that prove?

Unfortunately, not much.

And we are once again left where we were, like in the ’60’s with the love beads, the flower power, and nothing but a slim hope of universal enlightenment.

The Incredibly Exacting but Extremely Flexible End-Date

If you were planning on trumpets sounding and the mantle of enlightenment descending over the world on December 21st, 2012, you had better not hold your breath. The modern prophets assure us that the enlightenment that is coming will arrive slowly and gradually. They all foresee what they call a spiritual shift. How… exciting. How “New Age”.

I am not exactly sure what they mean by that but it does not sound quite as positive as the advertising claims. Is this gradual approach going to span a year? Five? Ten? How about five-thousand years?

So, why would the Maya pick a specific date for the end only to approximate a gradual awakening? And which part of this gradual transformation were they pinpointing with their End-Date? The beginning of the transformation, the ending, or as yet some otherwise indistinguishable random date somewhere in the middle?

They must have had something else in mind, something more specific.

These modern spiritual leaders are in touch with the ‘Maya elders’ and claim to foresee a philosophical transformation coming based on what the elders say. Who’s to say that the elders are right? What they espouse may be their current beliefs but do we have a chain of evidence of their belief being the same in years past?

I sense a disconnect from what the ancients believed and what the present Mayans believe. We need to look back at what was meant in the pre-Classic, Classic, and post-Classic periods to see if the current views are reflected in the ancient writings.

And why would this period be called “earthquake sun” if it were to end on something as calming as spiritual awakening, and a lot of pretty butterflies. (Oops, I think my inner hippy slipped out a little.)

Another Golden Age is Upon Us

Now, as to the end of the calendar. The majority of the 2012 prophets tell us it will usher in a golden age. John Major Jenkins goes even further and says it will coincide with the alignment of our Sun with the Galactic center on the winter solstice in 2012.

That may be a rather pivotal event but if we are supposed to experiencing a “gradual period of enlightenment”, what is the importance of this one day? Is this when the gradual enlightenment will begin? End? Or will it occur somewhat in the middle.

The alignment of the Sun with the Galactic Center has been happening over the past several years. It has happened every year recently before the solstice and in the years after 2012 it will occur just after the solstice. So is the significance of the alignment with the Sun or with the solstice?

And why would the Maya even care?

Argüelles, Jenkins, Calleman and the like have told us the Maya were a very spiritual people and the coming age is the spiritual awakening they have been waiting for.

Funny, if they were a “spiritual people”, would that not mean they had already had a spiritual awakening? Or was the awakening supposed to be for the rest of us, the non-Maya in the world?

And why would they feel the need to create a calendar to tell us of this future? Why all the hocus-pocus and mis-direction? Or was there some particular reason they had to wait until now to tell us about it?

Argüelles and Dreamspell

It was in a small book published in 1987, that the late José Argüelles outlined his concept of the Mayan End-Date. The Mayan Factor was quickly an underground bestseller. My copy was picked up off the shelves at the local “new age” store sitting alongside the incense and the tarot decks.

And it was a fascinating read!

I had been consumed by the different cycles the Maya used in their calendar when I was in college, writing about the cycles in a paper for my statistics class. Other papers in that class dealt with stock market cycles as that was the main focus of most of the people in the class. I don’t think anyone read my paper with much interest. The cycles were fascinating to me and I continued working with them for several years even after the class work was behind me.

Inspired by The Mayan Factor, I began a novel about the ancient Maya and the construction of the calendar. During the course of the writing, I continued doing more research on the subject until I got sidetracked onto doing this volume. I thought, all these bizarre theories and doomsday scenarios was not really what the Maya were talking about!

Argüelles spoke of the metaphysics behind the cycles and the coming harmonic convergence for all of mankind promised by the culmination of the calendar. Perhaps I assign too much credit for this entire movement to this one man and his book but that’s the way it seems to me.

Soon, more and more books appeared on the subject by other authors who added to the story. Some followed Argüelles’ lead toward a period of spiritual awakening while others trod the road to doom and destruction.

And, as often happens with such enterprises, there was a parting of the ways. Differing theories took writers in different directions with their presentations. Argüelles became consumed with wanting to update the calendar for modern usage and thus was born the Dreamspell Calendar. He saw, as framed in his Harmonic Convergences, that humans have gotten onto an incorrect attunement because of the Julian Calendar.

Though he seems to have started the 2012 craze, he seems to have gone off on a tangent much to the dismay of the other End-Date proponents. I believe today that much of what he created has been marginalized from the mainstream of the 2012 phenomenon. I had also heard at one point that he proclaimed himself the reincarnation of Pacal Votan, but I really don’t know much about that.

On a side note, my wife used to teach the sons of his twin brother, Ivan Argüelles, the poet. She remembers the boys Maximilian and Alexander fondly. But that was many years before I knew her and long before I read The Mayan Factor.

Jenkins and the Alignment

John Major Jenkins weighed in on the matter by taking a more cosmologic view of the Mayan Calendar. He sees their star gazing at the core of pretty much everything they did. Even the ball game is seen as some harmonic attunement to the heavens.

But the primary focus of his work is, of course, the alignment that figures to coincide with the End-Date of the Calendar. This idea was also utilized in the movie “2012” but only briefly. One of the characters in the film mentions all the planets lining up on that day pointing to the center of the galaxy.

Well, there is going to be such an alignment on that date but not with all the planets. In fact, very few of them. Okay, it is just the Earth and the Sun; no great planetary alignment falls into the mix.

One gets the impression that Jenkins looked around at the angles on the End-Date and noticed this particular alignment before deciding it was what the Maya were talking about. It would have made more sense if he had used what the Maya talked about and then went looking for an alignment. As it is, he has a wonderful theory but nothing concrete in the Maya body of literature to base it on, other than the fact that the Maya are a spiritual people.

Sure, the Maya noticed the dark rift in the Milky Way – which most of us have trouble finding today because of the light-pollution that obscures our view of the heavens – and they even thought of it as another entrance to Xibalba, but that was really about it.

And to make the entire concept suspect, Jenkins goes on to say the Maya designed their calendar specifically to highlight precession.

Oooo, Precession!

It seems a lot of historical scientists (or is that ‘scientific historians’?) use the measure of precession as the yardstick of intelligence for ancient astronomers. If these ancients can show knowledge of precession, then they must have really been intelligent.(1)

But what is precession, really? Oh, a lot of writers will give you the technical details and the mathematical formulae for the mechanics, but what bearing has it on us in our day-to-day world? On anything in history, for that matter?

Well, nothing. It really has no bearing on anything except calendars. And then, only on calendars spanning very long periods.

Nerds in the past noticed it as much as the nerds of today, but has it any bearing on the calendar? Other than showing us that the ancient Maya knew about the mechanism and could calculate the rate of change, it really has no bearing on the End-Date or anything else of importance.

Carrie Kozikowski thought the Mayan Calendar showed precession was speeding up since the lengths of the previous sun ages was different. Jenkins seems to think that precession is not only a constant (like most things astronomical, either constant or lasting unchanged for billions and billions of years) but is in fact the basis for all of Mayan cosmology. He thinks they based their entire calendar on the winter solstice Sun crossing the Galactic Center in 2012.

Which would mean the starting point of their calendar in 3114 BC was meaningless. Moreso because they had four previous periods wrapping around the entire precessional cycle.

But does that construction really make any sense? Why didn’t they just make the calendar 25,625 years long and extend the starting date back to 23613 BC? Why make it more confusing than it has to be?

Another thing on the precessional hypothesis of Jenkins: why would the Sun lining up with the center of the Galaxy on the Winter Solstice mean anything to the Maya?

If they were really only pointing their calendar to this “all-important” even, why not just have their calendar start at 300 BC when the first Long Count record was made? Why go to the unnecessary extreme of having it start 3114 BC? Were they simply playing math or mind games?

None of this really adds up except in the mind of Jenkins.

His correlation of the theoretical Black Hole at the center of the galaxy (and let’s face it, the Black Hole thing is still just a theory) with any part of Maya cosmology is unsupported by any scholar in the field of Mayan studies. The idea that it is somehow the Mayan Road to the Underworld is hypothetical.

A theory based on a theory of an hypothesis garnered from yet another theory is tenuous at best. I think we should try and understanding the Maya rather than creating a lot of New Age mumbo jumbo.

Cosmogenesis and Other Beginnings

Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, published in 1998, describes Jenkins’ vision of the Mayan Calendar in great detail. Using the precession hypothesis, he assumes the previous sun ages were of the same length as the present one, 5,125 years. And there are five ages mentioned, so that would be an exact precessional cycle of 25,625 years.

Which would be amazing if it were not just a couple of small details. First, the precession cycle is usually estimated to be closer to 26,000 years, and second, if there was only five sun ages, why would the Maya be talking about the next one even in the ninth century? And why would they give a specific reason for the start of this current calendar?

Sadly, precession may have been a factor for the ancient Maya astronomers but it was not really at the heart of their Calendar. And since their calendars did not match the solar year anyway, I do not think they felt the need to keep in step with such things. Their Long Count was really about something else entirely.

And why would the Maya separate the full precessional cycle into five different “suns”? There seems to be no rationale for this minor detail in his cycle either. But perhaps it was just another of their exacting whims – there are, after all, five sides to a pentagon. (Just a whimsical thought.)

If one cruises the internet for any amount of time, checking out all the 2012 sites, this is the theory that has more adherents. This theory is the one most favored by the parties interested enough to create a website based on the matter.

Jenkins has a lot of fans and a lot of followers. And he has not rested on his laurels. He has journeyed to Yucatan many times to de further research and writing. Many Mayan scholars even credit him with discoveries and correlations they themselves had overlooked or missed entirely.

But they draw the line at the Calendar End-Date. It seems they are not buying any New Age hooey either.

So,…uh, What’s the Point?

Predicting that the ancient Maya see the winter solstice progressing year by year toward the dark rift in the Milky Way, Jenkins proposed that they established their Calendar to show when it would exactly coincide.

Never mind that the Sun aligns with the supposed black hole at the galactic center every year for the past few, Jenkins is convinced that when it does so on the solstice, it will herald in the blessed event.

And what is this event?

The “gradual awakening” of mankind into spiritual awareness guided by Divine Wisdom. Wow! What a way to end a calendar, huh? Except, the gradual awareness begins on that date? Or does the gradualness begin a little before, or maybe even after that date? And exactly how gradual are we talking here? Will we be fully spiritually aware in a year or will it be more like a decade? Or a century?

What is the point of having a calendar end on a specific date for some unknown specific reason if the reason is so nebulous. Why not end the calendar by repeating the same day over and over so we would get the idea?

Perhaps we should look at some other theories and see if we cannot get a firmer picture of what is going to take place.

Calleman and Transformation

Carl Johan Calleman stands alone among the primary lights in the 2012 writing cadre as he is the only one who actually holds a degree in the sciences. It is a Doctorate in Physical Biology but it is at least in a standard scientific field. He understands the ins and outs of scientific research better than Argüelles, a doctorate in art history, and Jenkins, an independent researcher.

His 2004 volume, The Maya Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness, was another fascinating read. He deals a lot with the influences of the spiritual harmonics on the physical sphere especially in regard to the Maya Calendar.

Utilizing the Chilam Balam books, he has been able to show how each of the successive ages has been predicted and how the influence of each period translates into the historical framework we know. But picking out the major influences in any period of history is subjective at best. A person viewing different criteria would give an entirely different interpretation of what was “important” at that time.

Another thing was drawing a conclusion from rather limited data. On page 59 of the volume he says: “Some researchers conclude the Earth’s core has a crystalline structure.” Then on the very next page, page 60: “All we know for sure is that the Earth’s inner iron core is crystalline.”

In the space of one short page he made a quantum leap of “some conclude” to “all we know for sure”. I have a problem with that sort of logic. And the funny thing, it really did not have a lot to do with his theory. I mean, it would have been nice to have a little scientific framework but the volume is basically a new age spiritualism and does not require anything like a scientific basis.

I doubt any other reader of the book even noticed the contradiction.

He uses the “map” from the Chilam Balam to show the future of the spiritual development from 2004 until the Calendar ends at… Whoa! What’s happening here?!?

He has the End-Date as October 28th, 2011!!!

Many people might now think this theory has been proven wrong because that date has already passed and nothing happened. Actually, since Calleman – like Jenkins – predicts a gradual awakening, the specific End-Date could happen practically any time and still be considered to usher in the process.

How cool is that, huh?

Gilbert and Orion

Orion is not necessarily a central theme to the Maya, but it was the subject of a book by Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert. The theory was that the pyramid complex at Giza was laid out to mirror the stars in Orion’s belt. A fascinating volume but not dealing with the Maya at all.

However, Gilbert’s next outing was. The Mayan Prophecies: Unlocking the Secrets of a Lost Civilization by Adrian Gilbert and Maurice Cotterell (1995) dealt with the subject matter from a more astro-archaeological perspective. Gilbert brought in the same correlations-with-the-stars technique used in his earlier work and Cotterell brought in his knowledge of the Sun.

I was excited to see how they involved the Sun in the Mayan calendar calculations because, after all, the Maya did call this the fifth Sun. But after talking at length about the sunspot cycle, Cotterell went on to examining the lid of the tomb from Palenque. He made the image on a transparency and flipped it over the top of the original image, guided to do this by the singular notch out of one of the corners.

The messages revealed were interesting but did not seem to lead any further except to take Cotterell into a whole new direction with his next book, using the same technique with everything he could get his hands on from the ancient world.

I keep waiting for his future volume when he does that overlay technique on the U. S. Constitution and let us know what the ancients really meant by it.

Other Takes on the End

There are a lot of websites on the web that speak of the 2012 event as a spiritual occurrence with slightly different interpretations or emphasis than those given above but they are essentially followers of either Argüelles, or Jenkins, or Calleman.

Some have closer ties with the current Maya like Aluna Joy or the late Ian Lungold, but though the focus is more Maya-centered it remains the same essential theory.

There are a lot of other theories out there but as they do not fall under the “golden enlightenment” umbrella, they will be dealt with in the following chapters. Most of the interpretations given here are shamanistic.

Shamanism is basically atheistic, but it is very spiritual.

Theism attaches an anthropomorphic identification with the Creator, while shamanism – though ascribing to an intelligence behind everything – does not. It is more involved with the energy behind everything (like God) but without the very human qualities we ascribe to the deity.

Since all these authors mention that the coming new consciousness is already happening, I wonder at the trustworthiness or efficacy of the calendar: why end it on a certain date if nothing of importance is actually going to happen?

Spiritualism seems like a late-comer to the world stage but it has been there throughout history. It had to keep a pretty low profile during the Dark Ages in Europe when the Catholic Church would burn people at the stake for such things. But it is the evidence of the burnings and the excommunications that show us it was alive and well even during those dark times.

In today’s world it has been brought out of the closet and into the mainstream.

In Summation

The Sun crosses the Galactic Center every year. The fact that it just happens to coincide with the equinox in 2012 seems a lucky happenstance. If the Maya had put a lot of emphasis on it (like a festival marking its occurrence every year) I would think it mattered. Since it was not celebrated or mentioned, I don’t think it really means anything.

I think rather than look at everything that is going to happen on 12-20-2012 and pick out what it means, the proper action is to find out what occurred in the past that frightened them so much they had to fear such an alignment – whatever alignment might occur on that day, whether known by us or not. If the Maya picked the date for a reason, it will be found somewhere else in their canon.

Since most religion seems to be based on fear (at least according to our standards) and some hope of salvation, I think it needs to be re-examined.

What happened? Of course, Jenkins and his ilk think it ushers in the Golden Age, so they may not be thinking this way. Still, the birth of a New Age implies birth pains as well as the destruction of the Old Age.

So, let’s examine something involving that sort of a change.