How it all began ?
TALE OF AN END WORLD PREDICTOR & MAYAN CALENDAR DOOMSDAY PROPHECY
At the end of the last millennium, there was once a wise little old man who claimed to have a special connectedness with the ancient Maya. Despite the fact that he himself was really of Anglo Saxon Celtic ancestry, he claimed to have been especially chosen and gifted with the unique ability to channel the spirits of our ancient Mayan ancestors which thus allowed him to reveal some extremely precise and critically important timely understandings about the ancient Mayan culture, their most sacred revered esoteric teachings, the significance of Mayan astrology, Mayan astronomy, and to specifically unravel the complexity of their mysteries regarding the ancient Mayan calendar itself. He spoke profusely about the end times of our world (from a presumed Mesoamerican perspective) at numerous paid lectures in different parts of the United States and around the world. During the month of May 1998, he gave an end of world doomsday prediction at a prestigious Northern California university where he prophesied that this greatly feared world ending day was immediately upon us. He gave a very precise world end date of December 21, 2012. Knowing that the majority of his audience was heavily comprised of people with a so-called open-minded liberal type persuasion, he quoted from a few popular New Age publications such as: Jose Arguelles’ 1987 book entitled, The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology, and Terence McKenna‘s 1993 revision of his original 1975 book entitled, The Invisible Landscape, the likes of these type of publications which spoke concertedly about this December 21, 2012 Mayan calendar end date with great emphasis (albeit concerning an earthly transformation in the case of Arguelles as opposed to McKenna’s novelty theory which is more open to the prediction of a 2012 world end). Our ‘end of the world predictor’continued further on by stating that the December 21, 2012 end of world doomsday date was a revealed sacred teaching of the ancient Mayan spirits being channeled given to confirm that the December 21, 2012 Mayan calendar end date was indeed accurate, and to immediately prepare humanity for a new afterlife which awaits us all in the soon to be experiencedafterworld (not to be confused with the Mayan underworld as in Xibalbá).
Now, because there were occassionally some very loud skeptics amongst the members of his audience, he thought to become a little more canny in his end world doomsday discussions by including references to some highly esteemed Mayanist scholars such as: the Russian linguist and epigrapher, Yuri Knorosov, who played the key role in decipherment of Mayan glyphs; and, the fateful trio of Joseph T. Goodman, Juan H. Martinez-Hernandez, and J. Eric S. Thompson, whose combined working efforts coalesced into what is now known as the “GMT correlation”, a monumental achievement in Mayanist researchers’ ability to convert the Mayan calendar dates into those of our modern Gregorian calendar. In simpler terms, by the time of these doomsday lectures in May 1998, and thereafter by our end of world predictor, it was already universally accepted by most experts that the Mayan calendar’s end date did assuredly correspond to December 21, 2012. This was important; for the citing of these references helped our end of the world predictor to solidify an understanding on the importance of the December 21, 2012, Mayan calendar end date, especially amongst his primary audience; i.e., his bread and butter. But, this wasn’t enough. He was still needing more. While citing these sources provided strong validation that the Mayan calendar actually ends on December 21, 2012, they did nothing to support his prediction that the end of the world would also occur on this day. Luckily, as fate would have it (no pun intended), he would come across one more extremely important Mayanist piece of literature which would not only lend credence to his end of the world prediction being channeled from beyond; it would also become a standard staple for the recitation of many doomsday predictions to follow which found their basis in the Mayan calendar’s end (really only the end of ‘one’ very long cycle count, of many, in their overall calendrical system).
The name of this infamous source piece of literature is a 1966 book entitled, The Maya, written by Michael D. Coe. In this publication, it is forebodingly written, that: “There is a suggestion… Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the thirteenth [Baktun]. Thus… our present universe [will] be annihilated [on the date December 21, 2012] when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion.” (5, pg 149) Well, there he had it. This was exactly, to the tee, what our end of the world predictor was looking for. Here was a respected Ivy League Professor of Anthropology from Yale University, who received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University specializing in Mesoamerican archeology, boldly taking the unprecedented personal liberty to state a highly-suspicious supposition, which was neither supported by any findings or writings of the ancient Maya, nor colleagues in the field.
Not only did the audacity of this loose speculation significantly distort and undermine (whether intentional or not) the true wisdom of a glorious ancient culture, and the brilliance of its de facto superior calendrical system, it condemned the fate of the Mayans, along with the rest of humanity, and possibly even the professor’s own credibility too. So much for the superiority of an Ivy League mind; i.e., if we actually do in fact survive 2012. We’ll see. Nevertheless, irrespective of the minute detail that a reference to Armaggedon is from a dogmatic Christian perspective, irrespective of the fact that no other professional Mayanist researcher had made such a dubious and cryptic prior claim, our end world predictor took to the professor’s comments with great abandon (as have many other world end doomsday predictors since). It was exactly what he was looking for. But even so, amazingly yet, he still wasn’t wholly satisfied.
Fully understanding that there would continually be detractors in the midst as long as our world end predictor simply provided references from New Age books (authored by merely imaginative artists or mushroom popping numerologists, etc.) and rather obsure, out of the ordinary, specialized research on ancient Mayan scripts; he sought to find a source that would satisfy his main ultimate targeted goal, the contemporary North American (culturally biased toward Western European influence) mainstream consumers. Of course, everyone knows this is where the real money is at. Nevertheless, much to his credit, our end world predictor didn’t just have the monetary gain in sight. He wanted something more. He wanted respect. As such, in order to elicit the kind of recognition he was yearning, our end world predictor continued to search for still another source able to lend even more credence to his end of the world doomsday prediction. It needed to be pleasing for the discernment of the general North American public. Specifically, it needed to be well-suited for the mainstream culture of the United States; and most especially, for those thinking individuals who would be seeking validation from sources that are neither rooted in New Age spirituality or ‘pseudo-science’, nor in the personal speculation of a privileged acamedic gone awry. Rather, he sought what could be considered thoughtfully better hard supporting science or chartable evidence.
Again, he was lucky, not only once but twice. Later that same year in 1998, a very well documented and meticulously researched work of great significance emerged in a book entitled,Maya Cosmogenisis 2012, by John Major Jenkins, a world leading independent researcher on ancient Mayan cosmology. In short, Jenkins’ book theorized that the ancient Mayans calibrated their calendrical system to coincide with the precessional alignment of the Sun’s winter solstice path and the galactic equator (aka “the galactic alignment”) as seen from earth. He provided much supporting evidence in his book to back-up his claim, most notably the placements and construction of Mayan architecture in relation to known comological events. This was especially exemplified in the architecture of the Mayan Pyramid of Kukulcan at Chichen Itza, where on May 20th [annually, in our current era] “both the sun and the Pleiades [mythological / sacred origin of the Maya and local universe], together, pass through the zenith directly over the Pyramid of Kukulcan.” (4, pg 75) Apparently, with regard to the so-called galactic alignment, this is supposedly a “rare alignment in the 26,000 year cycle of precesssion.” Much like the respected Yale professor’s bold misguided pronouncement over thirty years prior, this new assertion also made the claim that the ancient Mayans placed a great deal of significance on the December 21, 2012 Mayan calendar 13th Baktun cycle (a 5,125 year event) end. Although, to Jenkin’s honor, his deduction was substantially different. This wasn’t only pure speculation. Jenkin’s backed-up his assertion with something much more significant than just a sloppy grand conjecture alone. He provided argumentable evidence of annually seen recurring shadow plays on Mayan pyramids, and other great periodic events seen in the sky. This was deep. It was heavy, and also verifiable. Unfortunately for Jenkins (and fortunately – or unfortunately – for end world predictor as we shall soon see), Jenkin’s appears to have been a little too influenced by some of his fellow cohort New Age authors at the Bear & Company Publishing group. For, he too chose to associate the Mayan calendar 13th Baktun cycle (long count) end date of December 21, 2012, with a tremendous assumption that they, the ancient Mayans themselves (not any post-Colombian, modernly influenced living decendents), had deemed it to be “a time of great transformation and world rebirth.” (4, pg 105)
Usually, as was the case with both John Major Jenkins (an independent researcher) and Professor Michael Coe (an established academic), there is the propensity for scholars to support their claim on the importance of the December 21,2012 Mayan calendar 13th cycle end date (beginning of a new era) by citing a reference to the “post-Colombian” (heavily influenced by Catholic priests) Mayan text called the Popol Vuh. Without getting too involved in the many points as to why the veracity of this particular document said to have been first recollected from an oral recitation sometime in the 16th century (by an anonymous source); first physically written in Mayan script – and then translated into Spanish at the start of the 17th century; and then eventually re-translated into other languages for distribution in the 19th century; is suspect to “not” being an authentic representation or unadultered rendering of true ancient Mayan mythology and teachings: the short point is this. The Popol Vuh never said anything about a galactic alignment, precession of the equinoxes, nor even the Mayan calendar (let alone the long count); and, it especially never gave a specific date for the end of our world. It has more to do with the creation theory of the Maya as purportedly told by its authors. Even if one does take the Popol Vuh and its story of the Hero Twins as being an authentic source of ancient Mayan mythology, this would be the equivalent of taking the Bible’s creation story as good modern science. Of course, there are many who do this. Alternatively, there are others who see the reasons as to why one wouldn’t.
Again, there aren’t any known discovered writings or inscriptions of the ancient Mayans to specifically back-up any claims that December 21, 2012 is either the start of a new world, the end of our current one, nor the beginning or end of our universe. But, delving so deeply into the sources and/or lack of ancient Mayan literature wasn’t a main concern for our end world predictor. He knew that the majority of the public would never take the time to research the specifics of these points involved here. Besides, he also understood that sometimes explicit contradictions don’t really matter; especially since, he was tapped into the main source itself. He was channeling the ancients and they said to proceed. So, he chose to use both the writings of Professor Coe, which have continually claimed the end of the Mayan calendar long count cycle as a Mayan prophecy for destruction of the universe (in all the editions of his book since 1966), and John Major Jenkin’s, who has also continued to use the same date as a Mayan prognostication for the opposite being true, a time of “rebirth” or renewal. These were good. However, there was one more important source to come along. When discovered, it would not only change the timetable of his Mayan doomsday prediction. It changed the course of his life.
The year before our end world predictor’s lecture
s, a book was authored by Jean Meeus, an amateur Belgian astronomer who specializes in advanced spherical and celestial mechanics using purely mathematical formulae (similar to what the ancient Mayan priests used to do). In Meeus’ much acclaimed 1997 landmark book entitled, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, like Jenkins, he spoke of the “ecliptic and galactic equator” stating that “… in May 1998, both solstitial points (the summer and winter ones) will be situated exactly on the ‘official’ galactic equator.” (3, pg 303) Using these precise calculatons made by Meeus, it was realized by our end world predictor that the Sun would be passing through the midsection of the Milky Way on precisely May 20, 1998, not 2012. In an instance of misguided brilliance, he deduced that these modern calculations meant the ancients were really meaning to say that the end of the world would occur on May 20,1998, instead of December 21, 2012. He was partially right. For, his world did end. On that day, he died of a heart attack; while the rest of us living continued on.
The moral of our story: Every day is the beginning of the end. Every day is the start of a new world. Be careful of what you predict; lest, it may become your personal truth.
- Boston University Professor Reminds Us: The Mayan Calendar Doesn’t Say the World Will End (bostinno.com)
- -The Mayan Doomsday: Some Are Actually Worried About It? (answersforthefaith.com)
- Dec 21: End of Mayan calendar, or end of the world? (thenewstribe.com)
- How businesses are preparing to profit from the Mayan “end of the world” (qz.com)
Along with thanks and compliments to the sources for the shared data
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