The Mayan creation legend of the Popol Vuh speaks of several previous creations of humans, each of which was destroyed by a different cataclysm in turn. And yet the Maya creation-destruction sequence differs markedly from that of the Aztecs in that what is created and destroyed is just people, not the whole world. The Earth itself and the Sun are not themselves included in this creation and destruction process, just people. In the legend it is obvious that the issue is a divine search for human perfection. The Divine beings create each installment of humans in search of a prototype that will fulfill the standard of human perfection that they feel is required. But each of the previous creations fails in one way or the other and the Divine beings are left disilussioned.
In the end they find the solution by creating the final and perfect creation of humans out of corn-meal, a substance that to me personally symbolizes the sacred, unbreakable, consubstantial primordial bond that we humans have with that family of food plants known commonly as the cereal group, humanity's "STAFF OF LIFE", maize, wheat, rice, barley, millet, oats etc.
Having finally hit on the right formula for the perfect human, why would the divinities then plan for the destruction of their supreme creation in the year 2012????
Antonio and I are not at all in agreement with those who predict that Dec 21, 2012 was meant by the ancient Mayas as a day of global destruction. This is not the message that Antonio's ancestors passed down to him And as I mentioned before there are many others who agree with us. As for the Aztecs, yes they did talk about an ultimate destruction of something that they called the "Fifth Sun" era , but their calendar, which was based on cycles of 52 years was not refined enough to pinpoint a date in the remote future like the Mayas did. And so in the case of the Aztec Doomsday scenario we are only left with a vague suggestion of earth-destroying earthquakes sometime to come, sometime in an undisclosed future that could take place at the end of any number of 52-year periods.
On top of all that, the aspect of the Mayan Calendar that was used to callibrate that 2012 date, the "LONG COUNT" is no longer used in conjunction with the "Tzolkin" by the modern-day Maya shamans as it was by the ancient Mayas. Today in the Highlands of Guatemala the Maya medicine men who still follow the Calendar Tzolkin only know about the LONG COUNT and the 2012 date because historians, archeologists and anthropologists who learned about it from carved monuments told them about it. Whenever these holy people are confronted with the stuff about Dec 21, 2012 being some sort of Earth-End Date they say: "THATS NEWS TO ME!!"
That leaves us with the question: If they weren't referring to an END-OF-THE WORLD event, what actually did the ancient Mayas mean when they pin-pointed that exact date, Dec 21, 2012?
There is a strong argument made by the inbependent researcher John Major Jenkins that the Dec 21, 2012 end date was callibrated to reflect a major allignment of heavenly bodies, namely the Earth, the winter Solstice Sun and the center of our own Milky Way Galaxy. This is important and coincides with most aspects of ancient and contemporary Mayan cosmology. Both ancient and modern-day Mayas have always generally perceived the Milky Way Galaxy as a powerful celestial metaphor for transition and birth, as well as representing the tall pillar-like trunk of the Cosmic Tree that most of the world's shamanic traditions believe stands at the center of Creation. Like many other earth-based cultures the ancient Mayas believed that this tree provides a connecting conduit between the three levels of reality, with its upper branches in the celestial upper realms, its trunk in the earth-bound middle realm and its roots in the watery realm of the subterranian undreworld where the souls of the ancestors dwell. In the contemporary language of the K'iche Mayas living in the highlands of Guatemala it is known as Sac Be (the White Road). Many ancient Mayas called it "Wakah Chan", "RAISED-UP SKY TREE". The ancients saw this spectacular celestial body as a maternal entity whose bulging center presented an image of pregnant fecundity. Furthermore, the Milky Way presents another feature which is key to its identification as a conduit to the Otherworld. It has a long dark streak near its swollen core. This element of the Sac Be is known as the "Dark Rift" and is caused by a long obscuring cloud of dust called a nebula. The ancient Maya called the dark rift "Xibalba Be" (The road to the Underworld) and perceived it as a kind of "black hole" of sorts, the primordial opening which led from and into the realm of souls where the dead travelled after the journey of life was completed and from which new life sprang at the instant of birth. As such, this last identification linked the Xibalba Be with womb imagery. An alignment of this dark celestial feature and the winter Solstice Sun, a heavenly body that represents the very essence of vitality and life, is a primordial metaphor for re-birth and re-emergence. It is believed that Winter Solstice represented an important "Beginning Point" or "Birth Point" to the ancients that contrived the Maya Long Count system.
Antonio is convinced that this is the true message of his ancestor's 2012 prophecy. It is a message of re-birth and re-emergence handed down to this present generation from those that came before him, an understanding arrived at through a centuries-long process that included a combination of shamanic inspiration and intensive mathematical computation.
How did the ancient Mayas actually compute the complicated arithmetic procedures needed to predict a date thousands of years in the future? They simply had a superior arithmetic system. They did not appear to have Algebra or Geometry but their arithmetic was impeccable. They created a separate calendrical system based on that arithmetic to augment the already existing Tzolkin calendar (Chol K'ij) that their primordial ancestors had lived with for centuries.
This separate calendrical system is different in many ways from the Tzolkin. The Tzolkin is simply a perpetual 260-day cycle of 20 day-names and 13 day-numbers combining with each other that repeats and repeats forever. You can't pin-point dates with that system, after all, today June 18, 2006 is the Tzolkin date FIVE-IK. In 260 days, on March 5, 2007 it's again FIVE-IK, and 260 days after that it's FIVE-IK again. How do you pin-point a specific date like that, when every 260 days its the same date?
The way the Mayas solved that problem was to invent the Long Count.
The Long Count was a system of increasingy larger time cycles which fit inside each other much like our own day, month, year, century, millenium system works. Of course they didn't call their cycles "month", "year" and "century" the way we do, and it wasn't broken down into seven-day weeks and thirty-day months. Instead, almost everything in their system was broken down into sequences of twenty. So they started with a day unit which they called a "kin". Kins were grouped into sequences of twenty called Uinals. The Uinals were grouped into sequences of 18, called "tuns" (I will call the tun the "near-year" because it contains 360 days almost as much as our own regular 365-day year). The tuns were grouped into twenty-tun cycles called "Katuns" and these katuns were grouped into even larger cycles of twenty called "Baktuns".
There is ample evidence that supports the theory that the ancient Mayas grouped their baktuns into groups of thirteen and that these groups of thirteen baktuns represent periods of time that go back many centuries. They rekoned the present period of thirteen Baktuns to have begun in the year 3114 B.C. and is scheduled to end, as we all know, on Dec 21, 2012. But it seems that this period of thirteen baktuns that we are about to finish is not necessarily considered to be the first one. Even though many experts talk about the date 3114 B C as CREATION DAY the ancient Mayas appear to have believed that there was something before that. Evidently there were at least four other periods of thirteen baktuns before this current one. That means that in 3113 B C there was a previous period of thirteen baktuns which ended just like this one that is about to end on Dec 21, 2012. That's a very long time! In a way it supports the concept of the Five Ages or Five Suns that I referred to earlier in Aztec mythology, but in a symbolic sense, and not in the literal sense in which the suns are actually destroyed at the end of each Age. Also please remember that the Aztecs rekoned time using much shorter periods of 52 years each while the Mayas rekoned time using vast periods of 52 centuries (5,200 "years") each.
It just so happens that if you put together five of these Maya periods of thirteen bakuns it adds up to 26,000 "near-years" (tuns). That's like saying 260 "centuries".
What were these brilliant people tracking in periods of nearly 260 centuries?
Those of you who are familiar with western astrology might know something about a concept called the "Age of Aquarius" and the "Pressesion of the Equinoxes". The way it works is that the place in the sky in which the sun rises on Spring Equinox appears to shift during very large periods of time because of the way the tilt of the Earth's axis changes as time progresses. During the last Age the sun was rising in a specific constellation on the morning of Spring Equinox. Now this Spring Equinox sunrise location is about to shift to the constellation of Aquarius. That's why they call this upcoming new age the "Dawning of the Age of Aquarius". There are twelve constellations in the western Zodiac and over a very long period of time the sun gets to rise in each and every one of them in turn on Spring Equinox so that there end up being twelve Ages, each one of them being a very long period of time in itself. When you add up all of those twelve ages it totals approximately 26,000 years. So in that sense western astrology and Mayan cosmology seem to have a parallel.
The concept that I have just described is called "Precession of the Equinoxes". Antonio and I are convinced that this is the very thing that the Mayas were tracking with their extraordinary LONG COUNT. The brilliant thinker John Major Jenkins assures this in his book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012.
Another theorist, the great writer and creator of the Dreamspell, Jose Arguelles suggests something similar in his book The Mayan Factor and in the Dreamspell. He implies that the five periods of thirteen baktuns are actually measuring out a larger period which begins back about 260 centuries ago in the last Ice Age. Arguelles refers to these five ages as "castles". There is evidence to support the assumption that some ancient Mesoamericans called each one of these roughly 5200-year-long periods of time a "sun",
So it seems that the ancient Mayas perceived a period begining around the end of the last Ice Age and ending on the day Dec 21, 2012 as a significant period of time. Jenkins suggests that this period reflects the actual time it takes for the communal consciousness of the whole human race to evolve from one stage to another. Antonio is convinced that his own ancient Mayan ancestors intuitively understood that global process. They used their system of five periods of thirteen baktuns to guage the length of the evolution of human consciousnes on Earth and calculated that this present particular cycle, the fifth sun, would end on Dec 21 2012. They correctly ascertained that during a period of time surrounding that date there would be a rare alignment of the Earth the sun and the center of the Milky Way Galaxy which only occurs once every 260 centuries just as Jenkins suggests.
Jose Arguelles in his book The Mayan Factor speaks of a central spiritual conduit known to the Yucatan Mayas and called the Kuxan Suum which links the consciousness of our Milky Way Galaxy with the cosciousness of terrestial humans like a sort of divne umbilicus, through a straight-line alignment that he calls a "focusing" through the lenses of the sun and the Earth. This implies a kind of alignment of the Earth, the Winter Solstice sun and the Milky Way Galaxy similar to the one indicated by Jenkins in his book. The Epigrapher Linda Schele and the archeologist David Freidle also discussed ancient Maya paintings that indicated the existance of a sacred umbilicus which connected the communal human soul with the cosmic soul.There is evidence that indicates that the ancient Mayas associated this umbilicus with the Milky Way Galaxy and the Ecliptic (the imaginary band in the sky that marks the path of the sun, planets and moon over our heads).
That ultimately is what the famous 2012 date is all about. It is the culmination of an extraordinary human journey through time that began back in the last Ice Age. Rather than representing some catastrophic End-Time. It should be perceived as a gateway that we as humans are going through. Beyond that gateway lies a new era of opportunity for our whole species, and a chance for us as people to correct our communal mistakes and set a new course for our history and our future.
Antonio and I invite you to read our book
"THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE BEHIND THE MAYAN CALENDAR AND THE SHIFT OF WORLD AGES". This book lays out in detail all of the most important concepts associated with the 2012 prophecy from an Indigenous perspective and representing the point of view of the most knowledgable thinkers of our time.
We also invite you to follow the the individual days of the present tun of the Long Count in our hand-crafted traditionally designed calendar codex, beautfully covered in authentic Maya amate paper and hand painted by Antonio himself.
Both of these important documents from the authentic Maya people are made available to you for a tax-deductable contribution.
CANEY INDIGENOUS SPIRITUAL CIRCLE 4277 Verona RD. Verona, PA. 15147
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