Posts Tagged ‘Linda Schele’

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 Maya and Their Place in the Sun

March 20, 2010

Much of what we know of the Maya culture has been gained in the last few decades. Before that time all we had to go on was the remnants of the tribes living in Central America today and the scant records left us by the Spaniards who conquered the region over four centuries ago – the few conscientious priests who decided to spare a little of the culture from the flames of the Inquisition.

A lot of the early period of the Maya is cloudy and only just now coming to light as archaeologists are finding new sites, so the field is in flux. The theories of their origins is constantly changing because of this new inflow of data, but a few basics can be listed.

First, their civilization is the one that has left more written records than any other and, secondly, their descendants still maintain a cultural cohesion greater than the other ancient Mesoamerican civilizations. It is perhaps these two facts that give us a clearer view of the Maya than their predecessors and neighbors.

In many respects they are similar to ancient cultures around the world: agricultural orientation, a multitude of gods, and an intense interest in the movements of the planets in the heavens.

Their differences set them apart from other cultures beyond Mesoamerica: varieties of a ritual ballgame, ritual bloodletting, an intricate multi-part calendar, the lack of domesticated animals, and no evidence of wheeled vehicles. These qualities were also represented in the other civilizations of the area. Whether the Maya invented any of these things is still in debate, but none deny that the Maya were the first to utilize all these and create an extensive culture.

Did the Maya invent any of the calendars they lived by? Some think their Olmec predecessors should be credited with it but though the oldest dated fragments lie beyond the standard Maya area, the oldest lie beyond the Olmec territories as well. Until data can be found assigning authorship to others, I would prefer to continue calling it the Mayan Calendar.

And though the Maya have left us a few written records, the full understanding of their temple inscriptions has been slow coming. The work of Linda Schele and others finally cracked the barrier to more completely reading the temple inscriptions. We learn more daily.

Meanwhile satellite images are helping uncover Mayan cities in Guatemala today. All this will give us further insight into these mysterious people and the calendar they have left us. Some finds in the Puuc region have pushed the inception of the Maya culture back almost a thousand years.

Who knows what they will find next about this amazing civilization.

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?