December 21, 2012: The Mayan Year of Destiny
by John Van Auken
At present, the year 2012 is only of interest to those of us who believe in the wisdom of ancient cultures. But soon, very soon, everyone is going to be looking for more information about this Mayan prophesied year of destiny 2012, which many believe to be the end of the Mayan calendar and thus the end of time as we have known it. Let’s look at this calendar and date more closely.
The Long Count Calendar
Actually, it all began with a discovery that has been known for decades about the culture that invented what is known as the Long Count Calendar. On the Pacific coastal plain of Chiapas, Mexico, a few miles from the Guatemala border, the astrological observatory of the Izapa civilization was located. Some believe that the Izapa were the transitional culture between the older Olmec civilization and the emerging Maya; others believe the Izapa were Olmecs.
For almost a thousand years the Long Count Calendar was recorded by the Izapa on monuments and ceramic vessels. Most of the dates refer to local, mundane events, like the crowning of a specific king. However, some of the Long Count monuments refer to mythological events that occurred at the beginning of the current “World Age” that we are living in and which is soon coming to an end.
Scholars have figured out how the Long Count Calendar correlates with our own Gregorian calendar (using a lot of arithmetic), so we know that the legendary time of the beginning of our present World Age – when all the values were set to zero – occurred on August 11, 3114 BC. And using a complex system of Mayan Baktuns (measurements of time), we can calculate when their calendar reaches a new zero point – basically, every 13 Baktuns (5,125 years), the Long Count resets to zero – the calculated time when our present World Age ends and a new cycle of time commences.
Creation, Fall, and Resurrection
Several Creation monuments describe events that occurred in 3114 BC. The texts associated with these Creation monuments state that “creation happens at the Black Hole,” at “the Crossroads,” and “the image” will appear in the sky. The Maya adopted the Izapa calendar, creation myths, and time cycles counting method.
The renowned researcher and author Linda Schele (in Freidel, Schele, and Parker’s Maya Cosmos) wrote: “I realized that every major image from Maya cosmic symbolism was probably a map of the sky. . . . [The] patterns in the Milky Way and the constellations were directly related to the Maya vision of Creation.” Her realization has opened the door to understanding the Mayan cosmology and prophecy.
In order to grasp the Mayan message, we need to understand a little about how they saw the sky and how events in the sky indicated times of death, rebirth, and the passage of time for souls living in this galaxy and in this solar system.
The Milky Way is their major image in the sky. As we know, we live on the outskirts of our galaxy and the Milky Way is the dense cluster of stars when looking toward the center of our galaxy. It appears as a long strip of stars in the sky above us. For the Maya, the rising, passing, and descending of the Milky Way in the sky marked major points in the cycle of time. Also, parts of the Milky Way and other stars prominent in our sky have specific meaning to our lives and the history of humanity and the heavenly realms, the realms of the gods.
To the Maya, the Milky Way’s major features and the changes in its position and shape during the night reveal our origin, passage, and destiny. They are the Tree of Life; the Celestial Crocodile that gnaws at the Tree of Life; the Cosmic Canoe of the “Paddler gods” that follows after the Crocodile; the “lying down sky,” or Black Dream Place; and seven stars in the Big Dipper, representing the egocentric Seven Macaw, who attempted to take the place of the Sun.
Simplistically, the heaven passage tells the story of the rise of the Tree of Life at sunset, followed by the rise of egoism and self-seeking (as seen in Seven Macaw), which brings the rise of dangerous lower urges that crawl on their belly (as the cursed serpent in the Garden of Eden) and attack the rising of life. But these are driven off by the Paddler gods, and eventually the Tree of Life is reborn and rises again near dawn – the complete story of the rise, fall, and resurrection of life.
Rebirth on December 21, 2012
On August 11, 3114 BC, a new Solar Age began and the Sun Lord was reborn. Creation Lord deities are often portrayed attending the rebirth of the world, including one called Bolon Yokte K’u, who is closely associated with war, conflict, and the Underworld. Despite these associations, Bolon Yokte is a god that is often present during Creation events. He is portrayed on a ceramic called Vessel of the Seven Lords, which contains the date 3114 BC, the beginning of our present 13-Baktun cycle. Of course, the date that interests us is the beginning of the next 13- Baktun cycle, which occurs on December 21, 2012, the end of the Mayan Calendar. A recent translation of a text from Tortuguero, a Classic Maya site north of Palenque, explicitly points to the date December 21, 2012. Translated by Mayan epigrapher David Stuart, the legible part of the text reads: “At the end of 13 Baktuns, on 4 Ahau 3 Kankin, 184.108.40.206.0; something occurs when Bolon Yokte descends.” The verb glyph describing what happens is effaced, so it is replaced with the word something, but the creation lord Bolon Yokte is depicted, meaning that 2012 was thought of by the Maya as a creation or recreation of the world, possibly during a time of war, conflict, and dominance of the Underworld and the Lords of the Underworld.
As we can see, the end of the Mayan Calendar is simply the end of the present World Age. And, important to us, it simply marks the beginning of the next cycle of rebirth, renewal.
There are no specific markings or statements about the year 2012 on the archaeological artifacts at Izapa, but there are numerous images at Izapa that portray a rare celestial alignment that appears in the skies in the years around 2012. This galactic alignment marks the rebirth of the December solstice and the rebirth of the Sun Lord over Seven Macaw’s attempts to replace him. The Sun Lord rises through the Dark Rift in the Milky Way, located between Sagittarius and Scorpio. Scorpio is depicted near the base of the Tree of Life in Mayan illustrations. Souls on Earth experience a change of galactic seasons, a celestial time-cycle shift, with our Sun moving into rebirth at the “Black Hole” at the celestial base of the Tree of Life (a location in the great Milky Way). December 21, 2012, signals the end of this 5,125-year age that we’ve been living in and the commencement of a new Earth Age.
When asked what the New Age means to humanity, Edgar Cayce replied: “by the full consciousness of the ability to communicate with the Creative Forces and be aware of the relationships to the Creative Forces and the uses of same in material environs. This awareness during the era or age in the Age of Atlantis and Lemuria or Mu brought what? Destruction to man, and his beginning of the needs of the journey up through that of selfishness.” (1602-3)
Cayce is informing us that in a previous time cycle, humanity had a level of consciousness and relationship with the Creative Forces that allowed us to live at higher levels of material, mental, and spiritual activity in the Earth and beyond. Unfortunately, we misused this consciousness and the power that came with the close relationship to the Forces. This misuse brought on the destruction of our great cultures and a long, karmic soul journey through the pain and confusion that resulted from our selfishness and self-centered focus on our will without regard for the will of the Creator and others. Now, as the cycles come around again, we are nearing a time when the level of consciousness and relationship with the Creative Forces will allow us once again to regain these powers. How will we use them this time?
Before we despair that humankind is going to misuse these again, let’s remember that many, many souls and even the Logos, the Word, have come and continue to come into materiality to help prepare the way for this rebirth. We overestimate the power of the world and its leaders. The unseen, heavenly forces have greater power and will overcome the world’s darkness and selfishness, breaking through with a light that will transform this realm for a thousand years, when all evil and temptation will be bound and a golden age will reign. The biblical book of the Revelation conveys this prophecy: “I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in his hand. He seized the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth, and bound him for a thousand years.” (Rev. 20:2)
Is December 21, 2012 the beginning of the fulfillment of these wonderful prophecies by Edgar Cayce and the Revelation, or just another step on the long journey toward such fulfillment?