2012 Survival Guide: A practical planner for the worst case scenario

The Mayan Calendar and Prophecy

cont. from Page 1

It was Thoth's calendrics, according to Sitchin, that served as the basis for Olmec timekeeping. (For more on Sitchin's theory, see our article "Aliens Without Borders".)

Cycles within Cycles

Besides calculating world ages, the Maya tracked a solar year called the Haab. (Like the Egyptians this cycle contained 360 days plus five extra.) A sacred year of 260 days called the Tzolkin or Cholq'ij also figured prominently in everyday life of Mayan people. It's comprised of 20 weeks of 13 days, equivalent to the length of human pregnancy and the growing season for corn. According to Barrios, the Tzolkin harnesses the psychic power of the universe in a manner similar to a horoscope or Tarot reading.

To complicate matters further, Mayan people combine the Tzolkin with the Haab to get a 52-year cycle known as the Calendar Round. To do this, the two calendars are synched in the manner of gears, with the shorter-length 260-day cycle turning inside the longer solar year. Any one day in the Tzolkin meets up with a day in the solar cycle just once in 52 years.

Barrios explains that this 52-year interval signifies the time it takes for the stars in the Pleiades constellation to pass through a zenith. Now, why the Mayans (or Olmecs) were interested in Pleiades is a discussion for another day, but speculation has it that Thoth brought the computation with him from Egypt. At least, that's Sitchin's theory. In the western world, it was the Greek god Hermes who inherited Thoth's timekeeping skills, giving us the 7-day, 52-week year.

Using the Calendar Round, a person's destiny is determined by the day and year in which they're born. Barrios has thoughtfully included birthday charts and corresponding horoscopes in his book.

Venus Transit of 2004. Image: University of Central Lancashire

It may also be worth noting that the next Venus Transit takes place on June 6, 2012. This rare event happens twice within eight years every century and or so. Many ancient civilizations tracked the orbit of Venus very closely - including the Maya, who developed a precise calendar for its synodic loop around the night sky. The first occurrence of the Transit this century fell on June 8, 2004, not quite seven months before the Indonesian earthquake and tsunami of December 24, 2004.

Venus, by the way, is the only planet named after a woman. In his new book, The 2012 Story, Mayan researcher John Major Jenkins notes the importance in antiquity of Venus rising as the morning star in the zodiac (ecliptic) five times every eight years. "In effect, Venus traces a five-pointed star around the zodiac during this time, explaining the ancient Babylonian association of Venus with pentagrams. All of the cycles of sun, tzolkin, and Venus are completed in two Calendar Rounds, just under 104 years. This period is called the Venus Round. "

Dresden Codex

Glyph referring to the Katun prophecy for 11 Ajau.

Mayan timekeeping also provides a longer astronomical cycles. The most well-known are the "long-count" and "short--count" calendars. As discussed earlier, the long-count cycle lasts 5,125 years and includes 13 baktuns of 394 years each. The short-count cycle is measured in Katuns, a unit of 7,200 days, just short of 20 years. (One tun equals 360 days, considered an astronomical year for the Mayans, which is different from the 365-day Haab.) Each katun has a specific prophecy attached to it and 13 katuns comprise one short-count cycle lasting 260 tuns (i.e. 256 solar years). For example, the current katun (according to some commentators ) is identified as 2 Ahau. Its prophecy states:

"For half of the katun there will be food, for half some misfortunes. This katun brings the end of the word of God. It is a time of uniting for a cause."

Katun 2 Ahau is followed in the calendar not by 3 Ahau , as you might expect, but by 13 Ahau. And the arrival of 13 Ahau augurs the start of a new short-count cycle. Jenkins and others say the current cycle (through 12/21/2012) is 4 Ahau, based on the so-called GMT correlation of the long count with our Gregorian calendar. The prophecy, according to the Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin, states:

"These valleys of the earth shall come to an end. For those katuns there shall be no priests and no one who believes in his government without having doubts. They are broken, the omens."

In all, the Maya boast nearly two dozen cycles based on the path of celestial orbs across the sky. As mentioned elsewhere in this guide, the date August 16, 1987, the day of the Harmonic Convergence, signified the end of a calendar period known as the "Nine Darkness (or Nine Hells). Its last set of 9 cycles with 52 years each started in the 16th century, at the time of the Spanish Conquest. The Nine Darkness was succeeded by a more positive 676-year interval (13 cycles of 52 years) known as the Thirteen Heavens. Together, the alternating Nine Darkness and Thirteen Heavens intervals comprise the Mayan Tiku'.

Climbing in Geometry

Carl Johan Calleman, author of The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness, believes the nine levels of major mesoamerican pyramids represent the biggest Mayan cycle of all - one that starts with the beginning of the universe and culminates in the end date of the long-count calendar. Each pyramid level signifies an acceleration of evolution by a factor of 20, Calleman maintains. The faster pace is reflected in the shorter dimensions of the steps as you climb toward the top.

A biologist and former consultant for the World Health Organization, Calleman is not exactly an authority on mesoamerican culture and art. His theory, however, is fascinating. In his book, he explains that he derived it after reading the Popol Vuh and by observing the prominence of the numbers 9, 13 and 20 in all the Mayan time schemes.

Calleman's first epoch of the Mayan code begins 13 hablatuns, or 16.4 billion years ago. This period represents the formation of the universe and therefore the lowest level of the pyramid. The next interval begins 13 alautuns, or 820 million years ago. That's ostensibly when animals first evolved on Earth.  The third pyramid step begins 41 million years ago (primates), the fourth 2 million years ago (Homo Sapiens), the fifth 102,000 years ago (human civilizations), and the sixth 5,125 years ago, when the long-count calendar (our current world age) commenced. 

The seventh period began around 1755 and ended in 1999, which coincides with the industrial revolution in the West and the rise of high technology. Thus, if the math is correct, we're now residing at the second highest level on the pyramid, one that will last just under 13 years and equal the amount of change generated in the previous 144 years. After that, a final interval of 260 days will culminate in a date Calleman maintains is October 28, 2011.

Each pyramid step upward represents an acceleration of evolution, according to Calleman.


Curiously, Alvin Toffler made a similar case about time speeding up in his 1970 bestseller Future Shock. Toffler blamed mass technology for the modern era's hyper-driven pace, causing high suicide rates, increased violence and ecological mayhem.

For all its logic, no Mayan archaeologists have climbed on board Calleman's theory. His 2011 end date isn't widely supported, either. John Major Jenkins insists that the correct end date of the long count is December 21, 2012.

Jenkins argues that the calendar end date is tied to an astronomical conjunction transpiring once every 26,000 years. This is when the Earth, Sun and center of the Milky Way line up at dawn on the winter solstice (or summer solstice, if you're in the southern hemisphere). If Jenkins is right, it would link the long-count calendar to the Precession of Equinoxes, a cycle based on the wobble of the Earth's axis.

The wobble affects the planet's degree of tilt and hence our viewing angle of the night sky. Some geological studies suggest that the Earth's changing orientation over time might even induce the onset of an ice age. In addition, many independent researchers and some Mayan spiritual leaders suggest the long-count calendar was devised specifically to anticipate a periodic mass extinction event on Earth.

See Ancient Method for Calculating Cataclysms for a longer discussion of the Precession of Equinoxes and the universal math related to it.

In Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, Jenkins explained, “The December solstice sun shifts along the constellations very slowly, and for thousands of years it has been proceeding backwards through the sidereal constellations of Aquarius, Capricorn, and into Sagittarius. The Milky Way crosses through the zodiac in early Sagittarius, forming the Maya Sacred Tree or 'crossroads' in the sky.”


On the 2012 winter solstice, Jenkins says the Earth and Sun will be aligned with the Milky Way center, a phenomenon that’s visible at sunrise. In anticipation of the rare conjunction, the ancient Mayans played a ritual ball game in which two teams battled to get a ball through a hoop turned sideways and mounted on a wall. According to Jenkins, a goal symbolizes the Sun lining up with the dark rift, heralding a new golden age for mankind.

The theory of galactic alignment requires several clarifications. First, the constellation that dominates the eastern sky on the morning of the Vernal Equinox, just before the sun rises in the same spot, identifies our "astrological age" within the precession sequence. This is different from the constellation that's dominant when the December solstice sun rises. Currently, we're inching out of Pisces and entering the astrological Age of Aquarius.

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Continued on Page 3

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Copyright 2008-2010 TheCityEdition.com

More Resources

Articles of Interest

Excerpt from the Book of the Jaguar Priest. By Maud W. Makemson.

"The Maya Calendar." By Maud W. Makemson. Astronomical Society of the Pacific Jan. 1947.

"Beyond 2012: Catastrophe or Awakening?" By Geoff Stray. New Dawn 11/1/09

"The Final Days". By Benjamin Anastas, New York Times Magazine 7/1/07

"Why the Creation Cycles do not end December 21, 2012, but October 28, 2011." By Carl Johan Calleman. Global Oneness website.

"The Road to Bimini." By Vanda Osmon.

"What is Galactic Alignment?" By John Major Jenkins.

"2012: End of the 5th Sun." By Will Hart

"Interview with Carlos Barrrios" (PDF).


Calendars Through the Ages

The Katun Prophecies

Download the Dresden Codex FAMSI

Saq' Be': Organization for Mayan and Indigenous Spiritual Studies

The Book of Chilam Balam. Text is online.


The Foundation for MesoAmerican Studies (FAMSI)

Suggested Reading

The Book of Destiny : Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Maya and the Prophecy of 2012 (2009) by Carlos Barrios.

The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness (2004) by Carl Johan Calleman

The Maya Cholqij: Gateway to Aligning with the Energies of the Earth (2004) by Gerardo and Mercedes Barrios.

The Mayan Prophecies (1995) by Adrian Gilbert and Maurice Cotterell.

Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman's Path (1993) by David Friedel, Linda Schele, and Joy Parker.

Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date, and Galactic Alignment: The Transformation of Consciousness According to Mayan, Egyptian, and Vedic Traditions. By John Major Jenkins.

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