Beyond 2012 Catastrophe or Awakening?
BY GEOFF STRAY
Over the last two thousand years, there have been literally dozens of proposed dates upon which the world was expected to end. Around 30 CE, Jesus is reported to have said “Judgement Day” would come within the lifetimes of his audience. This is the failed prophecy on which all the others were based.
However, for hundreds of years before this, the Hebrew people had a tradition of prophecy. Prophets such as Ezekiel and Daniel had predicted that one day the dead would come out of their graves. This concept is preserved in Christianity and Islam, who also expect a Day of Judgement, also known as Yawm al-Ba’th, the day of Rising From the Grave.
There is a lot of talk about 2012 being the latest predicted doom date. This one really stands out because all the others for the last 2,000 years have been based on the Bible, whereas this one comes primarily from the calendars and prophecies of the ancient Maya civilisation. If we can disconnect ourselves from our Judaeo-Christian mind-set, then we shall be better able to look at the subject without projecting those patterns onto it.
What is the Mayan Calendar?
The Maya lived in an area we now call Mesoamerica – south-east Mexico, and the Yucatan peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, north-west Honduras and north-west El Salvador. In the Classic era of the Maya (250-900 CE), their artistic and cultural achievements reached their height, and this is when they perfected their complex calendar systems.
They had a 260-day sacred calendar, the tzolkin, or cholk’ij based around the period of human gestation; a 365-day calendar called the haab; a Calendar Round – a 52-year period after which these two calendars combine – 73 tzolkins or 52 haabs; and a Long Count calendar system for recording longer periods of time. There were also other calendars that we don’t need to discuss here, except for the “Short Count” or 13-katun cycle, which we shall return to. The Long Count is based around the 360-day year, or tun. There are 20 days in a uinal; 18 uinals in a tun; 20 tuns in a katun; 20 katuns in a baktun (just under 400 years) and 13 baktuns in the era.
Over the last hundred years or so, adventurers, archaeologists and anthropologists have attempted to decode the inscribed glyphs that cover the monuments and temples that are slowly being released from the tangled undergrowth. The first glyphs to be decoded concerned the calendar systems, but even so, the understanding of the calendars is still developing. The Long Count calendar incorporates a cycle called the 13-baktun cycle that is 1,872,000 days long – or about 5,125 years. It defines the current era or Creation in which we live.
Around 1900, a newspaper editor and explorer named John Goodman started publishing his translations of the calendar glyphs, and suggested a correlation between the Maya dates and our own calendar. In ensuing years there have been many other correlations suggested, that put the start-date of the current Creation or era between the extremes of 3392 BCE to 2594 BCE.
Although Goodman and all scholars who followed him knew how many days were in the era and argued over which date in our calendar the start-date corresponds to, it was over half a century before anyone bothered seeing when the end-date might be.
In 1950, J. Eric S. Thompson did a huge study, reconsidering evidence from astronomy, inscribed dates on buildings and stelae, dates recorded in the four remaining bark books, or codices plus post-conquest books; dates in the Julian and Maya calendars recorded by the Spanish invaders, and the unbroken tzolkin count still being used in the highlands of Guatemala. The resulting correlation (the GMT-2 or 584283) is now the one that most Mayanists use, and is only three days away from the one first proposed by Goodman fifty years earlier. Some Mayanists use a correlation that differs from this one by two days (the Lounsbury), and one or two still argue for other correlations, but none fulfil so many criteria as the GMT-2.
The start-date that Goodman suggested was equivalent to 8th August 3114 BCE in the Gregorian calendar. Almost everyone referred to the year as “3113 BCE” until the 1980’s, when it was realised that it was leading to miscalculations because the Gregorian calendar has no “year zero” – Jesus’ birth was said to be in 1 CE and the previous year was 1 BCE. Nowadays, a year is added to BCE dates to avoid the problem.
In 1966, Mayanist Michael Coe published his book, The Maya, in which he announced that the current era would end on the 24th December 2011. Unfortunately, this incorporated the one-year error, and it wasn’t until 1975 that 2012 appeared in print as the end-point.
The 2012 end date and the Nine God Complex
There is only one known inscription that mentions the end date. It is monument 6 from Tortuguero, and is damaged and broken. The epigrapher, David Stuart has translated it. Three calendars cross-reference one date:
“The thirteenth baktun will be finished on Four Ahau, the Third of Kankin, it (?) will happen. (It will be) the descent of the Nine Support Gods to the (?)”
In the GMT-2 correlation, this equates to 21st December 2012. The Nine gods will return on the zero-day, which is the winter solstice.
This nine-god complex – the Bolon Yookte’ Ku’h – are seen as nine individuals or as one god, and the arrival of the Nine gods is echoed in the post-conquest Jaguar Priest prophecies: the Chilam Balam of Tizimin. These prophecies consist mainly of katun prophecies – and the katun is a period of just under 20 years.
When the “Mayan collapse” occurred, and the Classic era finished, the Maya lost their knowledge of the Long Count and just used a 13-katun cycle instead. This calendar only covered an era of 260 tuns, or about 256 solar years, so until recently, the katun prophecies were thought to be about events that occurred centuries ago. But Maud Makemson, translator of the Tizimin, found linguistic and calendrical clues that the prophecies that originally applied to the end of the 13-baktun cycle were retained and re-applied to the 13-katun cycle.
“...in the final days of misfortune, in the final days of tying up the bundle of the thirteen katuns on 4 Ahau, then the end of the world shall come and the katun of our fathers will ascend on high.… 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.... I recount to you the words of the true gods, when they shall come.”1
This is the key section of the Tizimin that reveals this as a prophecy for the end of the 13-baktun cycle – in other words, 2012. Katuns were named after their final day, and the 13-katun cycle ended on katun 13 Ahau. If this was about the end of the 13-katun cycle it would say “the tying up of the bundle of the thirteen katuns on 13 Ahau…” However, it is saying the time-bundle will be complete on 4 Ahau, which is the last tzolkin day in the current katun, which is the end of the 13-baktun cycle. Where it says “thirteen katuns” above, it originally said “thirteen baktuns,” says Makemson. The current katun is called katun 4 Ahau, because the 21st December 2012 is a 4 Ahau day in the tzolkin. So here we have a prediction of the return of the gods in 2012. In the preceding section, we find the following:
“The Nine shall arise in sorrow, alas... And when over the dark sea I shall be lifted up in a chalice of fire, to that generation there will come the day of withered fruit. There will be rain. The face of the sun shall be extinguished because of the great tempest. Then finally the ornaments shall descend in heaps. There will be good gifts for one and all, as well as lands, from the Great Spirit, wherever they shall settle down. Presently Baktun 13 shall come sailing, figuratively speaking, bringing the ornaments of which I have spoken from your ancestors. Then the god will come to visit his little ones. Perhaps ‘After Death’ will be the subject of his discourse.”2
Here, Makemson has translated a phrase as, “Presently Baktun 13 shall come sailing…”, again referring to 2012. The 13th Baktun will be completed on 21st December 2012, when the Long Count date reaches 184.108.40.206.0 – Mayanists differ as to whether they think the next day will be 0.0.0.0.1 or 220.127.116.11.1. Some think the entire baktun would be numbered 13 and be followed 400 tuns later by the start of the “first baktun” on date 18.104.22.168.0. Anyway, we have here a prophecy of the return of the Nine gods, weather effects, disillusionment with governments, something that sounds like a UFO, and a mass near-death experience of some sort.
Past Eras / Creations / Worlds
If we look at Maya mythology, we find stories of past eras. The most famous of these is the Popul Vuh myth, which is the creation myth of the Quiche Maya, but is also represented in Classic Maya art and architecture. It is a long and complex story involving the descent into the underworld of Hun Hunahpu and Vucub Hunahpu (One one-Ahau and Seven one-Ahau or One Hunter and Seven Hunter) to play a ball game with the Lords of Death, Hun Came and Vucub Came – One Death and Seven Death. They are defeated and killed and One Hunter’s sons – the Hero Twins (called One Ahau or just Hunter, and Jaguar Deer) descend to the underworld to exact their revenge. They beat the Lords of death and become immortal.
Encoded into the Popul Vuh myth are past eras, and various commentators disagree as to how many there are. Professor Gordon Brotherston has found that there are 5 eras encoded.
In the first Creation, the people are made of mud, but they were unable to move freely, walk, talk or breed. The gods ended the Creation with a flood.
In the second Creation, the “doll people” were carved from wood, and were stiff and jerky, with no respect. The Creation ended in darkness, with monsters descending from the sky and slashing them with flint knives, and they are attacked by dogs and turkeys. The survivors became monkeys.
The third Creation takes place during the second Creation, strangely, and in it, Seven Parrot (or Seven Macaw) and his wife and two sons are selfish and destructive – the parrot has teeth and feathers, like an archaeopteryx and the sons are reptiles, one of whom – Two Leg – sounds like a tyrannosaurus. They are defeated by the Hero Twins.
In the fourth Creation, the Hero Twins descend to Xibalba – the underworld, to avenge their father and kill the black and white Death Lords, and limit the boundaries of Xibalba, before ascending into the sky to become the Sun and Moon. In the fifth Creation, Quetzal Snake and companions grind and mold the maize and form the next race of people – the maize people – who are the ancestors of the Quiche.
The theme here, of an evolutionary progression over four past eras, is repeated in other Mesoamerican myths. The Aztec Cauahtitlan Annals describe an initial Sun or era, which was ended by a flood and people changed into fish. The second Sun ended with an eclipse, when the people were torn to pieces. These sound just like the first two eras in the Popul Vuh. The third Sun ended in a rain of fire or volcanic ash. The fourth Sun ended with a hurricane, and the people turned into monkeys, and the fifth Sun will end in an earthquake.
In the Hopi first World, according to Frank Waters’ study, the people communicated telepathically – it was a golden age in which humankind got in touch with the creator through a psychic centre at the top of the head, but they became more self-obsessed and the head centre closed up. Some of those who had avoided the corruption descended into the mound of the Ant people and escaped the destruction, which came in the form of a rain of fire. All went well for a while when they emerged, but eventually, greed spun out of control and led to warfare.
Again, those who still lived the unselfish, pure life that was the plan of the creator, escaped into the Ant People’s world, while the second World was destroyed by spinning off its axis into space, where it froze over.
In the third World, population multiplied. Sexual morality declined, and cities attacked each other with aircraft (flying shields). This time the pure survivors were sealed inside “reeds,” while the world ended via rain and tidal waves.
We are now in the fourth World, or “World Complete” and if we return to evil ways, Masaw, the ex-underworld guardian will take the Earth from us again. This scheme seems to be devolving rather than evolving, but the Hopi say there are a total of seven Worlds, and that each is governed by a psychic centre – the same as the top 5 chakras of the Hindu system. Our consciousness descended from the crown chakra in the first era down as far as the solar plexus in the current era – each era becoming more materialistic than the last – but at the next World era transition, it will start to reverse direction. Each transition is called an Emergence, and symbolised by a labyrinth symbol – identical to the Cretan labyrinth symbol. It is also known as the Mother Earth symbol, or Mother and Child, and the process is seen as a kind of birth process.
The Zuni, who are close neighbours of the Hopi, say we are in the fifth World, and another Pueblo people, the Navajo, also say we are in the fifth.
In Peru, the descendants of the Inca say we are in the fifth Sun:
“The first was lost through water, the second by the sky falling on the earth, which killed the giants that there were, and the bones which the Spaniards have found hidden in various places are theirs… The third sun they say ended through fire, the fourth, through wind; of this fifth sun they had a great account…”3
However, some of them have replaced this original version with a 16th century Catholic myth of three ages – the Age of the Father, the Age of the Son and the Age of the Holy Ghost.
So we have established that there seems to be an evolutionary transition incorporated into these era transitions, and these transitions are accompanied by extreme weather.
Galactic Alignment and Precession
John Major Jenkins has researched into the question of why the Maya would target this winter solstice as the end-point of their 13-baktun cycle, and has found evidence that the Maya were tracking precession. This is the cycle that we call the precession of the equinoxes, where we say we are currently moving from the age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. The earth’s axis is about 23 degrees off vertical, and over a period of about 25,800 years, it rotates in a complete circle. This causes the position of the celestial pole to move over time, so that we have to allocate a new pole star every thousand years or so. It also means that the constellations are moving slowly in the opposite direction to that in which the Sun, Moon and planets move. On spring equinox, if we measure the slow movement of the constellation that is behind the Sun (even though we can’t see it), we find that Pisces is slipping back at a rate of one degree every 72 years. Well, it seems the Maya were measuring this same cycle, but measuring from the winter solstice position instead of the spring equinox. The 13-baktun cycle consists of 5,200 tuns or 360-days years. Five eras of this length amounts to 26,000 tuns – an entire precession cycle.
Between 1980 and 2016, the winter solstice sun is crossing the galactic equator. This is encoded in Maya myths (including the Popul Vuh), and in their ball game, in the art and inscriptions and in the alignments of their buildings. Caves represent the location of the Maya underworld, in the daytime, but at night, Xibalba be, the black road to the underworld, is right there on the galactic equator – the dark patch that astronomers call the Dark Rift. The rebirth of One Hunahpu – the dead father of the Hero Twins – is depicted (on stone carvings from Izapa) being reborn in the mouth of the jaguar toad (see illustration on page 12). The god is the solar deity, and the jaguar toad’s open mouth represents the Dark Rift. This is what Jenkins calls “galactic alignment.” In this way, the Maya saw the coming era transition as a kind of rebirth – the birth of a new Sun, as did the Inca.
Admittedly, 2012 is not the centre of this process – that was around 1998, but it seems the Maya deliberately targeted the winter solstice of 2012 as the significant focus point in the 36-year window of galactic alignment. At this time, the earth’s axis has come into alignment so that on winter solstice it is pointing in the direction of the galactic bulge – the fat central part of the Milky Way, where the Dark Rift is – the visual centre of the galaxy (the actual centre is just off the ecliptic and the Sun will not be in conjunction with that for about another 200 years, but any galactic field effects will manifest along the galactic equator). So it could be that the earth’s magnetic field is interacting with the galactic field, but why in 2012 and not 1998?
The answer to this could be that some other factor will trigger the effect. One possibility is the record-breaking solar-magnetic effects that have been predicted by NASA to occur in 2012, at solar maximum. Every 11 years or so, the Sun’s magnetic field reverses, and at solar maximum, solar activity is at its highest. Over the last few years, the Sun has been getting more active, with larger flares, faster solar wind, and more consequent effects on earth’s magnetic field, moving the Northern Lights to lower latitudes, and causing power blackouts. The recent lack of sunspots has now been explained – they were occurring at a deeper level, and the projected solar maximum for 2012 still persists.
This is one possible factor that might cause an overloading effect at the time of Earth and galactic field interaction – a solar switch. There are some scientific findings that support the possibility that our orientation to the centre of the galaxy can have profound effects on us.
One of these is to be found in the results of Professor Simon Shnoll, after decades of research into biochemical reaction rates and radioactive decay rates. He found that instead of a smooth bell-curve, the results did not average out, but produced certain spikes. These correlated to the sidereal day, sidereal year, and to a short sunspot cycle. In other words, our orientation to the stars (and all the visible stars are in this galaxy) effects our biochemistry.
The second factor is from the work of James Spotiswoode, who found that in experiments with extra-sensory perception, there is a huge jump in people’s abilities when Galactic Centre appears on the horizon. So, perhaps some kind of field interaction could cause a huge jump in human paranormal abilities and changes to our biochemistry and neurochemistry.
This possibility fits in with the predictions that have come from contemporary people all over the world, who have returned after altered states of consciousness, such as near-death experiences, alien abduction, out-of-body states, lucid dreams, remote viewing, experiences with sacred plants, and even deep trance meditation. They are all predicting a huge jump in human consciousness, accompanied by earth changes in 2012.
2012 and “the Return of an Energy System”
In 1975, Dannion Brinkley was speaking on the telephone when a thunderbolt hit the phone line and he was thrown physically into the air. He found himself floating above his body, until, in the ambulance, his heart stopped for 28 minutes and he was propelled down a tunnel, emerging into a bright light. In the presence of a bright silver being, he had a life-recall experience in which he re-lived all the times in his life when he had affected others, and he felt the pain and joy he had given them – a classic self-judgement process. Following this, he was taken to a crystal city, where he was shown over 100 scenes from the future – major world events that have nearly all come to pass in the intervening years. These included the Gulf War, the explosion of the Chernobyl nuclear facility, and the fall of the Berlin Wall, technology breakthroughs and climate change. His visions concluded with seeing an escalation of Earth changes that coincide with “the return of an energy system that existed here a long time ago,” and that this will be particularly focused on 2011-2012. Then, between 2012 and 2014 there will be a geomagnetic reversal, and the whole scenario will present a spiritual consciousness-raising opportunity for humankind.
In 1998, a totally independent theory from a Siberian geologist named Alexey Dmitriev was published, and it seems to uncannily echo Brinkley’s predictions. Dmitriev notes in his paper, The Planetophysical State of the Earth and Life, that there are magnetic and atmospheric changes throughout the whole solar system, not just on earth, and that these (as well as the increased solar activity), seem to be connected to a huge build-up of interstellar plasma that has collected on the edge of the heliosphere (the edge of the solar system, where the solar wind meets interstellar space). The outer planets seem more affected, with Uranus and Neptune having had approximate 50-degree alterations in their magnetic fields. Dmitriev says the solar system is becoming embedded in a cloud of plasma, which is triggering these changes (plasma is the fourth state of matter, after solids, liquids and gases – a charged electron cloud), and that they will culminate in “the spontaneous mass evolution of humanity as we now know it.” He also says that it will trigger a geomagnetic reversal, as the increased influx of magnetised plasma interacts with our geomagnetic field.
This coincidence between the 1975 NDE visions of Brinkley and the scientific theory from Siberia two decades later suggests that we may be looking at a potential explanation for the convergence of ancient prophecies in a window area around 2012.
John Major Jenkins has also published a book called The Pyramid of Fire, in which he tracks down a lost Aztec codex that proves what has been speculated by various researchers over the years – that the religion of the Toltecs, based around Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god, known to the Maya as Kukulcan – was originally about the concept of an evolutionary energy that lies dormant at the base of the human spine. The concept is almost identical to the Hindu concept of Kundalini – the fire serpent that can be released from its slumber and raised up the spine, energising the power zones or chakras, until it reaches the crown chakra.
Here we have a connection to the prophecies of the Chilam Balams that mention a return of the gods in the katun 4 Ahau that ends the 13-baktun cycle, specifically, the Chilam Balam of Chumayel, that says in katun 4 Ahau, Kukulcan will return. The 20-year period we are now in, until December 2012, is katun 4 Ahau (the “katun of dishonour”). This suggestion of a mass movement of kundalini is echoed in the Hopi prophecy mentioned earlier, which predicts that in the Emergence to the Fifth World, consciousness starts to move up from the solar plexus to the heart. In Kundalini lore, it is said that when Kundalini reaches the Anahata or heart chakra, the soul awakens.
In this short look at ancient calendars and prophecies, we have seen that the Maya saw 2012 as a new Creation, when the gods will return; many sources foresee increased climate changes; there is a suggestion of a rebirth experience; a mass spontaneous evolution; a raising of consciousness; a near-death experience; a widespread Kundalini experience; a jump in paranormal abilities. This emergence of the next sub-species of human is the Earth’s final hope; that its cancerous organ – humanity – will finally be metamorphosed in the nick of time, from an all-devouring caterpillar into its higher function as a cooperative, telepathic, compassionate earth-lover – perhaps even (as Peter Russell suggests) the global neo-cortex.
1. The Chilam Balam of Tizimin, 16.
2. The Chilam Balam of Tizimin, 15-16
3. Murua, quoted in Brotherston’s Book of the Fourth World, 249
GEOFF STRAY is the author of Beyond 2012: Catastrophe or Awakening – A Complete Guide to End-of-Time Predictions; The Mayan and Other Ancient Calendars, and 2012 In Your Pocket – A Mini-Guide to the End of the World as You Know it. His website is the web’s most massive database on the subject at 2012: Dire Gnosis
and he gives presentations in Europe and USA and has appeared in documentaries such as 2012: The Odyssey; Transformation 2013 and 2012: An Awakening.
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Beyond 2012 Catastrophe or Awakening?