Mayan Prophecy of 2012: Origins and Meanings

The Winter Solstice data of December 21, 2012, denotes the end of a 5128.767 year cycle as calculated by the Mayan Calendar’s “Great Cycle.” This “end date”, without context, appears arbitrary, even random, but neither could be further from the truth.

To understand the significance and purpose of the 12/21/12 end date (the end of the Mayan Calendar), we must gain an appreciation for this extraordinarily bizarre phenomenon of a calendar that actually ends, and ends for a very specific reason.

A Culture Obsessed with Time and Cosmic Alignment.

According to John Major Jenkins and other Mayan Calendar scholars, the advent of the Mayan Calendar is traced to about 500 BC where the Maya, devout stargazers, noticed an extremely subtle movement of our Sun toward the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.  (The movement deviates by only about 50 seconds per year, which makes this observation truly dumbfounding, especially when taking into account that they used nothing more than “naked eye” observation.)

At the time of the initial observation and its astronomical implications (see figure below), these stargazers then calculated (using their own mathematics) when the Sun would eclipse the Milky Way center, not at any particular time, but rather, on the Winter solstice (usually December 21st).  Why they picked the seasonal extreme of the Winter solstice is still a matter of great debate, but clearly, both solstices (seasonal extremes) and equinoxes (seasonal equanimity) were of great import to the Maya.

The rest is simple, at least to explain.

Using advanced astronomy and mathematics thousands of years ahead of its time, the Maya were able to calculate the precise date in which the Sun would eclipse the Milky Way center on the Winter Solstice. That date is December 21, 2012.

Formulating the “long count” calendar around 500 BC, another oddity, which is now apparent, is that the Maya, unlike all other calendars (before and since), began their calendar thousands of years in the past. In other words, the calendar was regressive rather than progressive in that it found the end date it desired to track and then worked in reverse to determine the clandars beginning date.

To understand this further, we must clarify that the Mayan Calendar is actually three calendars, not one (and probably more than three). (Only 3 Mayan books, dubbed the Dresden Codices for their archival location, survived the Spanish wrath on Mayan culture, history, and science).

The Mayan Calendar that arrived at the now famous/infamous 12/21/212 date is The Long Count. The Long Count was what it name implies; a long count of worldly cycles, as opposed to The Haab, a solar calendar which measure primarily days, weeks, months and years), and the Tzolkin, a spiritual calendar. (Also, a combination of both The Haab and The Tzolkin formed the Calendar Round, a period of 52 years whereby all combinations of Haab and Tzolkin cycled (or exhausted themselves) and started anew.

The Long Count, among other things, measure worldly cycles using a Baktun, a period of 144,000 days. The Long Count comprises 13 baktuns, the last of which not surprisingly culminates on 12/21/2012. So, 144,000 x 13 = 1,870,000 days. Now, by regressing the end date by 1, 870,000 days, we arrive at the beginning date of The Long Count: August 12, 3114 BCE.

One might suspect that the beginning date of The Long Count would denote another galactic alignment of earth, sun and the galactic center, but it does not. For that we have to go back 25,800 years, which is the precise cycle of this alignment. In other words, the galactic alignment of earth, sun and galactic center that will occur on 12/21/2012, happens only every 25,800 years.

Some scientists believe that this alignment creates a "pole shift" whereby the north and south poles of the earth trade places. Whether this occurs or not is overshadowed by a greater discussion... What would happen to the earth if it does? Would the earth stop spinning, and then start rotating in the opposite direction as it does today? If so, is this the cataclysmic event that the Mayan Calendar is implicating by the salient fact that "time ends"?

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