In less than two years we will find out for sure if the world will come crashing to a halt, or we will continue on as we always have. Think Y2K.
December 21, 2012 is a day that will live in infamy…at least until the actual date arrives and we finally know for sure why the Maya chose to end one of their many calendars on that particular date. Were they expecting Apocalypse Then, thousands of years later, anticipating the downfall of yet another powerful, power hungry civilization? Or were they hoping beyond hope that we would be at a place in our conscious evolution that would allow us true transcendence into an age of enlightenment, otherwise known as the Age of Aquarius?
Hundreds of books, movies and articles have been written about 2012, and yet, so little of it truly rests on any kind of verifiable fact. We have, instead, a particular Mayan calendrical system, much different from our own Gregorian based calendar, that may or may not have “ended” on December 21st, 2012, or as some researchers suggest, December 23rd, 2012, or as others state, October 28th, 2011. We cannot even get the end date correct, because, quite simply, we cannot get the beginning date correct.
The Maya used many calendars, for different reasons. Each was designed to measure or count periods of time, perhaps marking agricultural, planetary, and social cycles and seasons. Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Maya, Aztec and other Pre-Columbian cultures used a non-repeating, vigesimal (base-20) calendar known as the Long Count. This calendar has a beginning date of approximately August 11, 3114 B.C.E. as it corresponds to the Gregorian calendar. The Maya also used a 365-day solar calendar called the Haab, and a 260-day calendar called the Tzolk’in, which is broken into 20 periods of 13 days. The circular calendar most often associated with 2012 in books is actually the Aztec version, called the tonalpohualli.
This is 2012 for Dummies, here, for these calendars are far more complicated and measure blocks of time our own calendar does not. But to try and simplify, let’s take the Long Count calendar: The completion of an entire cycle, or 13 b’ak’tuns, with a b’ak’tun being approximately 144,000 days each, would therefore mark the period of time from the creation of humans upon the Earth to the end of the cycle. But does that automatically mean that the end of the cycle is the end of creation, and of humans?
The truth is, there is very little in the way of hard and solid evidence that the Maya, or any other culture using the Long Count, intended for the end date of that particular cycle to really mean “the end.” Done. Finished. Buh-Bye! Might it have instead cycled back to zero, much like our Gregorian calendars cycle back to the New Year once we’ve reached the final day of the 12th month?
The mythology of the Maya, gleaned from what written texts we have (many of which were written after conquest by the Spaniards) certainly speaks of ends of cycles, changes, transformations, astronomical events and the return of Gods from the sky that will mark the shift from one age to the next. But be careful of the “I” word – “interpretation,” for just as we learn from playing the game of “Telephone,” where a story is told to one person and by the time it reaches the tenth or twentieth person down the line, has changed quite considerably, the true meanings behind these calendars, dates and time cycles may be far from the gloom and doom images we have been force fed by books, television shows and big budget Hollywood movies.
I wrote my book “2013: End of Days or A New Beginning – Envisioning the World After the Events of 2012” to bring together as many of these facts, figures, legends, mythologies, prophecies, predictions and correlations as I possibly could find…and to also present some of the more realistic changes we have facing us as we move into the year before the year in question. Finally, I asked people what they thought might happen on that day of December 21, 2012, and the answers I got ran the gamut from “That’s All, Folks” to “We Shall Overcome” to “Nothing From Nothing Means Nothing.” In other words, what happens to us all on December 21, 2012, when at approximately 11:11am GMT the winter solstice so revered by ancient cultures begins, really might be just what we expect it to be.
For some, they will see Apocalypse in every natural or manmade disaster that occurs that year, and for others, they will push themselves beyond their own personal boundaries into new levels of conscious awareness and transformation. I have a feeling that most people will wake up that day and find it just like any other, with breakfast to be made, kids to get to school, houses to clean, jobs to be attended to and dogs to be walked.
But maybe, just maybe, something absolutely phenomenal will happen that will mark the end of one great cycle of human existence, and usher in a new one. I hope I am around to see it happen. I have a feeling I will be, but you never know what a new day, or month, or year, or b’ak’tun may bring.
It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.
Marie D. Jones is the best-selling author of The Déjà vu Enigma, The Time Prompt Phenomenon, and 2013: The End of Days or a New Beginning? She is also a screenwriter, radio show host, and popular public speaker who has been interviewed on hundreds of radio shows all over the world. She was recently featured on The History Channel and is a regular contributor to TAPS ParaMagazine and New Dawn Magazine. She lives in