Posts Tagged ‘John Major Jenkins’

Our Next Research: The True End-Date

January 1, 2013

Now that the ruckus of the Mayan Calendar End-Date has arrived and passed without any apparent effect, it is time to start re-calculating the true end-date of their Long Count.

Why is this of any importance? Because they told us what the end of the calendar meant and it would be nice to have a little heads-up for the startling event. See my entries leading up to the 21st of December for more information if you have no idea what I’m talking about. Specifically the entry for December 20th, although you may require to read the several posts preceding that one to make sense of what I am talking about.

So, where did the GMT correlation go wrong? How could so many professional historians blow it? That it, if indeed, it was blown at all. You know, it could be that the Mayans had the entire thing wrong, even for the reasons they have always mentioned.

Yeah, maybe. But if they were right and the correlation wrong, what can we do?

First, we need to find some dates that are fixed that we can relate their history to. At the moment, the correlation is hinged onto an entry by the Spanish churchman, Landa, in his texts. He mentioned the Mayans celebrated a certain calendar event on a certain day on his calendar.

The problem for this correlation is that the Maya themselves had ceased to use the Long Count some six centuries earlier. And if they had quit using it, how were they to calculate the exact date of the baktun or katun ending? Perhaps they had dropped a cycle or part of the sequence in the intervening years and could not themselves reliably place the date in question with any accuracy. This same problem was noted by John Major Jenkins in his online article “Maya Elders and 2012” at

Perhaps I have misstated the problem but it would seem that after six centuries without its use, keeping exacting track of the Long Count may have been lost.

It is probable that the tzolkin has not lost its sequencing. It is relatively small and easy for every locality to keep the sequence straight. So I would assume the ending of the Long Count would fall on some future rendition of either 13 Ahau (end of tzolkin) or 4 Ahau (end of Long Count).

The next 13 Ahau is March 31st, 2013. The next 4 Ahau is September 7th, 2013.

The Mayan Elder, Don Alejandro had stated (I believe in early 2009), that the calendar would end on December 21st, 2012, but the Sun would darken on the last day of March 2013. Alejandro claims the darkness will result from an “eclipse” and the duration of the darkness will be in the range of 60-70 hours.

Then, of course, Jenkins says the “darkening” of the Sun is merely a poetic way to state the Sun will align with the black hole at Galactic Central. But know better. The Maya did not build their calendar to point to any vague sort of allegory. They specifically said “New Sun” not New Age as Jenkins prefers.

There has never been an eclipse of the Sun that endured for 60-70 hours (almost three days!) so the darkening must be from some other agency.

Still, if it is of such short duration – rather than the 200 days mentioned in the ancient texts – I would be most pleased.

That is, if the 13 Ahau is correct. Bruce Fenton @ seems to think that the Long Count ended on the 21st of December but the real change would come at the end of the tzolkin we were in the midst of when the ending came. He lists several interesting correlations with this new date in his article Mayan 5th Sun on 13 Ahau 31-03-2013 (

Again, we shall have to wait and see if the Maya were anywhere close in their predictions.

Obviously, nothing happened on 12/21/2012.

Well, nothing we could see.

Cleaning Out the Notes

December 5, 2012

After researching the subject of the Mayan Calendar for several years, I have a huge pile of notes, books, and so forth, and I have been cleaning it up as the run up to the end of the calendar is almost over.

One thing I came across was a note I seem to have missed mentioning elsewhere. And – believe me! – I have had a lot of threads that have fallen through the cracks on this journey.

Some were easily overlooked but this one I probably should have included somewhere.

Beyond 2012 by Geoff Stray, was another small and rather bland work on the End-Date of the Mayan Calendar. Most of the stuff he had was simple regurgitation of other writers – primarily John Major Jenkins – adding nothing of substance to the general study, and would have quickly been forgotten but for one item.

On p.107, he says Velikovsky had assigned the birth of Venus to 1500 BC (without any reference or footnote) and so it does not coincide with the Mayan Calendar. I read further but could not find any mention of where he got the notion but he referenced only Velikovsky’s Worlds in Collission in his bibliography. (I had assumed he got the data from one of the many articles Velikovsky published… many of whom I do not have access to.)

So I took out my dog-earred copy of Velikovsky’s opus and checked for myself.

Stray got it wrong.

Velikovsky said the earliest “close encounter” with Venus occurred at 1500 BC but because of its earlier “birth from Jupiter” and erratic motions, it had been watched carefully by the ancients. But it did not actually enter our “history” until 1500 BC. The author does not date the “birth” of the planet.

The careful watching of Venus is why so many ancient cultures kept lists of the movements of the planet. The vast majority of those lists that have survived were compiled after Venus became regular in its motion… though there are texts that scientists cannot quite make sense of (see Velikovsky’s work for more details or the works of Alfred DeGrazia, free on the internet).

It is easy to see why Stray made the error but strange that he would not also reference where he came up with the data that would be used as the lynch-pin for his hypothesis that Velikovsky was wrong.

But that seems about par for a lot of the slip-shod scholarship on this subject.

the Golden Enlightenment snake oil salesmen

January 7, 2012

Of all the theories about 2012, the one that tempts me most is the one about 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 this 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. They tell us that the real Aquarian time is not due to start for a century or more. And yet some prophets have now pegged the start to December 21st, 2012. How convenient, huh?

Back in the day, there were many more 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 enough of human 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 exactly 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 End of the World… Again

December 31, 2011

Harold Camping, a radio evangelist, made a bit of news recently by predicting the world was going to end… on May 21st, 2011.

As this entry is being entered after that date, we can assume it did not come to pass.

Actually, he was predicting the “rapture” would occur on that date and the world of those left behind would go through a series of tribulation until Oct. 2011 when the real final day would come.

So, May 21st was only important for those being raptured.

It was the Oct. 21st date that was going to be the Big One. So, everyone could get ready (once again) for the end of the world!!

Far be it from me to point out that this learned preacher also predicted the end of the world for September 1994. He was off by quite a bit, there.

What really is most intriguing about this new date he has set, Oct. 21, 2011, is exactly one week before the date Carl Calleman has set for the true End Date of the Mayan Calendar: Oct. 28, 2011.

So, it looked like John Major Jenkins and the remainder of the 2012 gurus were going to be upstaged by the radio evangelist and Calleman?


I did not hold my breath for either date.

And not even for Dec. 21st, 2012.

The Mayans were never talking about the end of the world even though we seem to be obsessed with wanting it to end.

And from the rate we are progressing, I don’t see much of that “gradual enlightenment” John Major Jenkins is always talking about, either.

If we studied a little harder, we might actually begin to make some sense of this subject.

Or shall we continue wallowing in non-sense?

The Mesoamerican Calendar(s)

April 1, 2010

There is not a single calendar used by the Maya, there were several. The tzolkin is the augury calendar, the haab is their solar calendar, and the Long Count is the one with the rapidly approaching end date. And there were other minor calendars and cycles they kept track of over the centuries.

There is no problem with the tzolkin. It ends every 260 days (less than nine months) and a new one starts, just like our calendars. The end-date for this calendar is nothing to worry about.

The haab likewise begins anew at the end of every year without dire circumstance.

The “Calendar Round” is a larger calendar cycle. The tzolkin and the haab run in parallel and end together on the same date every fifty-two years. This marks the time when they usually had their fire ceremony: putting out the fires in all the surrounding villages and waiting until the dawn, the appearance of the Sun again, to start a new fire in the city and carry the new flame to all the countryside. Apparently, they feared the Sun would not return that night. But why?

That still leaves us with the Long Count. Where did it come from? And for what purpose would they need to keep track of such long periods?

According to most theorists, the creators invented the calendar in the second century BCE and simply ‘back-dated’ the beginning from some mythical point. Some claim it dates from the birth of the planet Venus.

Jenkins and others think it was nothing more than the first rising of the planet Venus following some other event, as yet undiscovered. It seems like a rather lame start of an exhaustive enterprise to back-date the start of the Long Count to something so minor. It would lead one to believe that the ending of the calendar will be something as equally insignificant.

The Maya also understood precession of the equinoxes. This is the slight wobble of the pole of the planet which moves at a certain rate. The North Pole currently points at Polaris, the North Star, and in the past pointed elsewhere; in describes a circle in the sky over a period of about 26,000 years. But why is precession important? Other than show the mechanics of our rotating world in the cosmos, does it actually do anything for us?

Some theorize that the precessional cycle is a major cycle the world goes through. Although the numbers do not match up with any culture’s mythology it is an attractive idea.

But since the Maya understood precession, why didn’t they say the Long Count was aligned in some manner to the precessional cycle. Unfortunately, they do not. That is the idea of modern theorists on the subject.

the Book of Destiny

March 23, 2010

I recently finished reading the new book by Carlos Barrios, a Mayan Shaman and member of the Council of Maya Elders. It is really a must read for anyone interested in the whole Maya End-of-Days Calendar craze.

There are so many insights given to the way of thinking of the Maya, past and present, that one can almost sense the marvel of the ancient and classic Maya themselves. Their world view is refreshing – as opposed to our usual instant-gratification planned-obsolescence – and reminiscent of the old pagan societies around the world.

The one major turn-off for me in the volume was the tease with “unrevealed” Mayan lore that he would introduce and then explain that the Council of Elders said they were not going to release that data just yet. What’s the big deal, huh?

There was also a few points where he was commenting how good their prophecies were and mentioned a few things they had predicted. It would have helped if he had mentioned exactly where they had predicted these events so we could see the wonders of their prophecy for ourselves, but that was not forthcoming. Many writers mention the Books of Chilam Balam as great prophetic works but they seem as definitive as the quatrains of Nostradamus. I prefer my prophecy a little more exacting.

In another spot he mentioned that the Maya had computed the Venus cycle during the Sun just previous to the current one. But I thought the birth of Venus coincided with the start of this Sun. That could, however, be a misunderstanding somewhere along the line.

Those couple of bits aside, the book transported me into the different world of the Maya, past and present. Their spirituality was so infused in their culture that it is easy to see how Jenkins, Calleman, and the other major writers on the subject continually stress the spiritual aspect of the End-Date. One begins to think that perhaps the “golden age” of human enlightenment is the true meaning of the completion of the Long Count.

Another interesting note in the volume is the inclusion of the extended history of the Maya people and the location they came from across the eastern sea that preceded their sojourn in Mesoamerica: Atlantis. This notion dovetails fairly well with what Edgar Cayce said about the Atlanteans as well.

I do not know how long the Elders are going to wait before revealing the remainder of their hidden knowledge but I will be on the watch for the next volume in the set.

Whenever they decide to release it.

a Thought on the Earliest Long Count Record

March 15, 2010

Some historians hypothesize that the Long Count was completely finalized in the first century BC as that is the occurrence of the oldest known Long Count inscription (36 BC at Chiapa de Corzo). It could be that earlier inscriptions have simply not made it to our time (being on destructible materials) or that earlier stone representations have just not yet been found.

Either way, the 36 BC occurrence remains the oldest about which we know. So, why did the Maya date the beginning of their calendar so much further back, like 3100 years further back?

And did they keep record of the days and years since that time in the prototype of the Long Count or some other system until it was finalized? Or was it truly as John Major Jenkins hypothesized that they simply back-dated the calendar to a random starting point in the past?

It is difficult to do more than speculate on this question. One thing that would help is knowing why they started it on the date in question. What happened then that should have been monumental enough to give birth to a new calendar?

There are many theories about this issue. The usual definition given from the Mayan documents was that it was the “birth” of the planet Venus. Most historians today brush that aside, saying it was only the appearance of Venus as the morning star before the Sun rose. I cannot see that would be such a momentous thing since it happens quite often. And I have not seen anyone offer any proof that this was the case.

Immanuel Velikovsky theorized that Venus was born out of the planet Jupiter (see his Worlds in Collision for the particulars. Practically all the scientific community, however, stick to their belief that Venus is about the same age as Earth so there should have been no life to witness it’s “birth” from Jupiter or elsewhere.

But, if Velikovsky was correct in his timeline of the birth of Venus and the subsequent encounters of our planet with others, the last encounter would have been around 685BC. This might have allowed the orbits to stabilize and the Maya could have made any adjustments required to complete the various cycles in their calendars. They could then have finalized the Long Count. This may have taken a few centuries to completely nail it down.

Hence the earliest records of the first century BC. There may be even older ones, but if this timetable is correct, they may not be too much older.

But, time may prove me wrong.

Twenty and 260

March 4, 2010

In the History Channel episode on Decoding the Mayan Doomsday, John Major Jenkins follows the lead of many scholars in associating the 260 day length of the tzolkin with the human gestation period. The average number for that cycle is 266 days but, as any parent knows, the number can be dramatically different. As exacting as the Maya were with their numbers, I cannot believe they would approximate something like that. But then, I have been known to be wrong. It really is just anyone’s guess.

Others have mentioned that 260 days is the time from planting to harvesting maize although another mentions it as the length of time one should rest the field before planting more maize. I have been unable to verify either of these statements.

Another supposition is the 260 days from the zenith passage of the Sun until its next zenith passage – this actually creates two periods: one of 260 days and the other of 105 days, but this is at locations near 14° North. This one is more attractive than the other theories because there are Mayan sites along that parallel.

Unfortunately, I can find nothing in the calendar that equates to the other 105 day period, nor any suggestion why the Maya would think that period was unnecessary to keep track of as well as the longer period.

Another theory has it reflected in the period of Venus as both Morning Star and Evening Star. This period is rather close to the 260 days required but not exact. Perhaps the orbit of Venus exactly fit this measurement in the past, but we cannot know for sure.

About the number twenty, Jenkins follows the usual explanation of it being the “total man”, ten fingers plus ten toes equals twenty, therefore a representation of man. His theory might be correct in this as well as in the 260 for the tzolkin.

Still, I am hesitant to jump on either bandwagon. The correspondence of the numbers to something as meaningful as pregnancy, maize cultivation, or counting on ones on digits is hard to improve on, but I still have the idea that the numbers correspond to something in the cosmos. As agriculturally intuitive as they seemed to be, there seems very little in their mathematics based on the seasons or agriculture.

Many theories abound. Venus is seen by many to be at the center of this question. Some of the better work on this can be found at John Major Jenkins’ website,, and specifically at, as well as at Keith M. Hunter’s website,

But there is nothing I can find in the cosmos to align with the twenty or the 260. Perhaps the cosmos has changed significantly since the Maya began their calendar system. It has been noted that they had occasion over the centuries to make adjustments to their calendar by a day or two to keep it in rhythm. Still, they did not seem to fiddle with the 260 day count of the tzolkin.

So where did it come from? Any ideas?

How This All Started

January 25, 2010

Like most people, I was unaware of the Mayan End-Date, even though it had been debated in scholarly journals for decades. That changed in 1987 with the publication of Jose Argüelles’ book, The Mayan Factor. I picked up a copy in an esoteric bookstore in 1990 and was fascinated. I was not alone.

Since that time, I have followed the further researches of Argüelles and those that were also inspired: John Major Jenkins, Carl Johan Calleman, Adrian Gilbert, Maurice Cotterell, Michael Tsarion, and others. The interest led me to read Linda Schele and Anthony Aveni as well. The last two are mainstream Maya scholars while the remainder are, like myself, somewhere out on the fringe.

What had begun as an interesting metaphysical construction by Argüelles has become a rather large and diverse field of studies ranging from the heavily scientific to the extremely speculative, and even some wildly speculative.

Argüelles was an Art professor before his immersion in Mayan studies as was Linda Schele, one of the greatest scholars in the field of Maya Studies. Each brought the eye of an artist to the inscriptions of the Maya in order to better understand the nuances of the carved glyphs. Through this understanding, each was able to further their interpretation of the Maya, their culture, and their meaning in our present world.

Most of the writers in this fringe field do not come from the hallowed halls of historical scholarship but have ventured onto this path through other, more personal, callings. Each has brought a different view and a variant understanding of the End-Date phenomenon. As the subject has grown and diversified, the variations in the theories have grown wider. Two authors who began in agreement in the main have diverged in specifics as their studies and researches have carried them in different directions. They each offer some wider understanding as they delve deeper.

So, while Argüelles has focused on his interpretation of a Maya Calendar for our times, the Dreamspell Calendar, and Jenkins has narrowed his research on the End-Date itself and the crossing of the Sun across the Galactic Center, Calleman has chosen to investigate the fifth stellar age and its sub-ages, each with their own influences, and the others have found other portions to focus their attention on.

The interpretations are as varied as the authors. But whose is correct? Consulting with the Maya on the subject does not help clarify the situation as they seem to agree with Argüelles… and Jenkins… and Calleman… and – so forth.

Their agenda seems not to be which theory is correct – they are far too removed from the past to know the answer – but that the Maya are well represented in the portrayals. It is a political agenda but, judging from the politics in the region they live, quite understandable. This subject is their heritage and they are protective of it.

It is not correct that we should expect them to understand the workings of the ancient form of the calendar and its true meaning. They are more than a millennium removed from those Maya.

But if we cannot consult the present-day Maya on the subject, to whom can we turn? Is there any other sources we can consult?

the Mayan End Date

January 2, 2010

As I have said before, the Mayan Calendar End-Date was for a specific phenomenon, why else would the Maya point out a specific date rather than an era. And as the Mayans had studied cycles for many years, it must be something that is cyclic in nature, something that had happened before, something they felt was going to happen again according to a chronology they could calculate.

What cycles did they use to make this determination? From their mythologies – primarily cosmological in nature (like most ancient cultures) – they were most interested in the motions of the planets. They saw something in the motions that they could use to predict… well, whatever it was they feared would recur.

Could it have been an age of enlightenment coming as José Argüelles, John Major Jenkins, and Carl Johan Calleman, among many others, predict? Of course, it is possible, but how did we get lost from the last age of enlightenment?

That is not explained by any of these authors, but they do not seem to think it had happened before. From the Mayan writings, this was apparently something that had happened before and was planned on repeating. Were we going to get enlightened and lose it again, apparently as we were supposed to have done before? Perhaps enlightenment was not the event they were foretelling.

Could the Maya have been thinking of some sort of doomsday scenario, like an impact from a comet, meteor, or black hole? Certainly, it would be a very singular event that could signal the end of the calendric period. But, again, as the Maya seem to have built their calendar on studies of cycles, what possible cyclic recurring doomsday can they have foreseen? Are errant comets/meteors/black holes that predictable?

Or could the planet Nibiru going to be the culprit? Zechariah Sitchin, proponent and creator of this theory, stated that the mystery planet returned very cyclically every 3,600 years. But he reiterates that 2012 is most definitely not the return date.

Nibiru would already be visible to our telescopes if it was arriving ahead of Sitchin’s timetable but nowhere do we find any evidence of its approach. I have seen websites that claim it will become visible to the naked eye by May of 2010. Videos on Youtube claim it is already visible.

Confusing, huh? But none of that has anything to do with the mystery planet. Just ask Zechariah Sitchin.

And that leaves us with nothing to do but scratch our heads. What scenario would fit what the Maya have predicted with their marvelous calendar, if anything?

Let’s see… they claimed each age ended with something involving the Sun, each new age was called a new Sun, and as the Sun is the energy source dominating the Solar System, perhaps they noticed the cycles of the planets were somehow resonating with something about the Sun. (Just an hypothesis here.)

And the Sun? They claimed each new age was a new Sun, which means 2012 has something to do with the Sun. So my theory is that something will happen to the Sun in 2012. Of course, nothing may happen to the Sun but I think it is what the Mayans thought.

It is known that 2012 will bring a very active period to the Sun, specifically in regard to sunspots. So, what if the sunspots went completely overboard? What if they covered a large portion of the Solar disk so that the Sun appeared extremely dimmed?

When the sunspots eventually disappeared in the past it must have seemed that the Sun had been born again, hence a new Sun Age.

If anyone else has another theory that makes more sense, I would love to hear it.

I could be wrong. And the Mayans might be wrong as well.