Why We Care About Mayan Predictions
As we approach 2012, we care about the Maya because 1) they predicted that the solstice sunrise on December 21, 2012 marks the end of a precession cycle at which time an alignment of the Sun and the center of the Milky Way happens; This happens only every 26,000 years, and 2) your Long Count calendar ends on that same date, which some people interpret as the end of the world; the Mayans, however, did not predict such an end.
The precession and the long count
Precession is the movement of the earth that occurs because the earth wobbles when it rotates daily on its axis. This wobble slowly changes the apparent position of the sun in relation to the backdrop of the stars. This means that the stars are viewed from a point of view that changes slowly and constantly. If a constellation, or a particular star or planet, is viewed from a point on earth at a certain time, 26,000 years pass before that same constellation, star, or planet completes its cycle and returns to its original position. According to astronomers, we know that the precession takes 26,000 years.
The long count
Based on the precession rate, the Maya were able to calculate forward to determine when the sun would conjunct the center of the Milky Way. They set their Long Count calendar to coordinate with this galactic synchronization of our sun and the center of our galaxy. This is an astronomical event that the Mayans predicted would occur on December 12, 2012; there is no scientific agreement on that date.
Despite the legend that the Mayans mysteriously disappeared, six million Mayans live today. There is much we do not know about this early American civilization. We know that the Europeans burned and destroyed most of their early recordings. There is no evidence of how they acquired the advanced knowledge necessary for their mathematics and astronomy, but we do know that many of the Mayan sites were designed to reflect the stellar constellations above them, using doors and windows as astronomical sightings, especially of Venus. They had knowledge for which we cannot find the origin or a reasonable explanation of how they could have acquired such information.
The few writings of the Maya available today are still difficult to translate. Most of his surviving prophecies are from the Chilam Balam, nine manuscripts written by so-called “jaguar priests” who received prophecies while in a trance, and Pacal the Great, the best known Mayan ruler, who ruled between AD 615 and 683 Gerald Benedict , on The Maya: 2012 The End of the World or the Dawn of Enlightenment, presents an excellent discussion of these prophecies.
Carlos Barrios, a contemporary Mayan elder, in The Book of Destiny: Unveiling the Secret of the Ancient Maya and the Prophecies of 2012 affirms that the use of energy is the most significant concept of the Mayans. He wants us to live in harmony with the earth and with each other. He believes that our disconnection from the natural flow of energy in the world causes our disconnection from the spiritual. The Mayan message may reside in the natural cycles of the sun and the stars.
The Mayans predicted a time of earthquakes, volcanoes, strong winds, and storms. While there will not be a sudden end to the world, there will be local natural catastrophes. Of course, we are already seeing disasters of this kind, which began in 2010 and continue into 2011 in many parts of the world. The Mayans understood that an energy shift does not happen all at once. It starts long before the scheduled date and lasts after that date. The effects of this energy shift are being felt now and will continue after December 2012.
Time / Cycles
Accepting cyclical and non-linear history opens us to another vision of our lives and civilization. There is no straight line, but a series of beginnings and ends, just as there is a natural beginning and end in nature as seen in night and day, and in the death and rebirth of the seasons. Many ancient cultures understood this cyclical, non-linear time. The Mayans know the patterns of the past. As discussed in the Popul Vuh, the Mayan creation story, however, they knew that the past did not exactly repeat itself; changes occur.
The fifth world era will come to an end in 2012, according to the Mayans. Other groups, such as the Hopi and the Hindus, discuss four or five similar different worlds, each a new phase that begins after the completion of the previous one. This is not the end of the world, but the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one.
I think the Mayans, with their Calendars and the end date of 2012, remind us of these larger trends, these cycles that occur continuously, even if they are larger than what we normally experience in our lives. If the Mayans were accurate in the date, and many believe that the change is earlier, while others cite later dates, we are reminded that the cycles continue. We know that the Mayans and others were able to calculate them, even if we don’t know how they were able to do it. The exact date is not important as we know that they believed that the energy preceded and followed any event. Anyone in tune with the energy of the earth knows that changes are taking place now.
What does this mean for you?
Most of you reading this already know how to feel the energy around you. Trust and develop those feelings further. As the Mayans did, we can feel when the energy changes and it is time to move on, either in thought and / or in space. Understand when it is time to change an inner attitude rather than an external place. Listen to your body. Listen to the earth. Everything is connected. Wars, violence, and discontent affect you, as do love, sharing, and caring. Choose the best emotions and actions of your life. Make whatever changes you can. Begin within yourself and your immediate surroundings.
Understand the patterns of your life. Look at the cycles. See your repeated patterns, both positive and negative, in personal and professional relationships and in your actions. Accept that these cycles define you and will continue. Change them for the better. You know what to do without depending on others to tell you. You feel the energy change. Do what you know. Remember the caution we learned from the Mayans and others: changes do not happen immediately. They happen over time. Change your thoughts and actions, and the right things will happen at the right time.
The world will not end in December 2012; however, a new cycle will begin. Be prepared for that.