Sunday, August 24, 2008
The Possibilities of 2012 Apocalypse
With the world situation as it is, we can explore the many traditions, prophecies, and predictions that point to 2012 apocalypse as a potential end or turning point in human history.
The End of the Mayan Long Count Calendar
The most famous of the 2012 apocalypse predictions is the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar. The Mayan calendar can be pictured as a series of interlocking, concentric rotating
gears. When the smallest gear completes its cycle (1 day) the next outermost gear turns. The largest “gear” in the system, the baktun, is about to complete its final tick. It is well-established by historians that the 13th baktun is to end on December 21st, 2012. There is slightly more disagreement as to whether or not this baktun is in fact the final one. Before we address that final controversy, it is important to understand when the Mayan calendar began, and how it is mapped onto our calendar.
The start date of the Mayan calendar is established through astronomical and historical sources, as well as correlating established dates of the arrival of Spanish conquistadors and the existing native Long Count dates. The start date is widely accepted to be August 11th, 3114 BC. The end date of the 13th baktun, after ticking through all the smaller “gears", is none other than December 21st, AD 2012...the awaited and predicted apocalypse.
Time ticks by on the Mayan calendar through a series of five units of measurement, or the five “gears” alluded to earlier. The basic element is the kin, or 1 day. From there we tick up the other levels:
* 1 Kin = 1 day
* 1 Uinal = 20 Kin (20 days)
* 1 Tun = 18 Uinal (360 days)
* 1 Katun = 20 Tuns (about 19 years)
* 1 Baktun = 20 Katuns (about 394 years)
To take a random date, such as February 5th,1983, the Mayandate would be 220.127.116.11.8, with baktuns on the left and kins on the far right. December 21st, 2012, would be written as 18.104.22.168.0.
The Mayans count from zero, so the first thirteen baktuns would be denoted in the digits 0 through 12.Using the five digit arrangement shown above, time ticks by on the Mayan calendar from right to left, starting with individual kins, which after ticking by 20 times would tick
one Uinal and then reset to zero. These two cycles would continue and after 18 Uinals one Tun would click by. The iterations would continue with completions of each smaller cycle resulting in a tick of the next larger cycle up.
Some say that the baktun cycle actually ends at 19, and thus the December 2012 date is just the end of one great cycle, and the beginning of another, the 13th baktun. This is contradicted by the existence of creation myths, and the Mayan belief that the previous creation cycles lasted precisely 13 baktuns. John Major Jenkins, perhaps one of the most well-known students of the Mayan tradition, has the following to say about the thirteen versus twenty baktun cycle in his
book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012:
Schele’s argument that a twenty-baktun cycle had precedence over the thirteen-baktun cycle is not well founded, confusing what one seventh-century Maya ruler said about the nature of the Long Count with what the original creators of it intended. A repeating thirteen-baktun cycle is implied wherever Creation monuments have been found-for example, at Coba and Quirigua. Rather than looking at Classic Period examples to define the nature of the Long Count, we need to look carefully at who created the Long Count system, and where and when it arose.
Jenkins refers to ancient Mayan creation monuments as existence of the 13 baktun creation cycle. There have been four previous creation cycles according to the Maya, and we are nearing the end of the fifth. The total length of time for all five is roughly 25,000 years.
Jenkins also points out some more spooky astronomical synchronicities. The earth, as it rotates on its axis, has a distinct wobble. The wobble slowly changes and completes a cycle over a period of about 25,000 years. This wobble changes the angular alignment of the earth with the galactic plane. At the end of this cycle the solstice sun will align exactly with the galactic center. The end of the Mayan calendar, and the fifth cycle, and the date of galactic alignment with the solstice sun is Decmeber 21st, 2012.
In his article “The World Age Cosmology of the Maya Calendar End-Date in AD 2012? he states:
The end-date of the 13-baktun cycle of the Long Count marks the precession-caused alignment of the solstice sun with the Milky Way, and based upon evidence in other Maya traditions including the Maya ballgame, king accession rituals, and the Maya creation mythology, there is every reason to believe that this was intentional.
So to many observers of the Mayan calendar, its end date perfectly coincides with an extremely rare astronomical event. Jenkins goes on in the same article to state that other civilizations have associated the solstice-galaxy alignment with major earth events:
Egyptian cosmology describes a Zero Time, or Zep Tepi, of 10,800 B.C. during which the gods reigned supreme and the foundations of Egyptian civilization were laid. This period indicates the previous time that the solstice axis was lining up with the galaxy. The ancient Vedic material with its World Age doctrine of the Yugas also points to a time some 13,000 years ago that was a Golden Age of light. Specifically, Vedic astronomy describes the cycling of the sun around a celestial origin point called Vishnunahbi (this would be the apparent motion of the sun around the zodiac resulting from precession), and implies that we are now approaching a turnaround point.
The coincidence, or synchronicities as some would say, between the Mayan calendar, galactic precession, and events here on earth is quite startling. But the Mayan scholars aren’t the only ones portending great change in 2012...apocalypse..!
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