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Posts Tagged ‘2012’

Written by:
Wendi Friend

We’ve been hearing about the end of the world for quite some time, now, right? It might come by meteor; it may be the result of a nuclear war; it could be a slow but definite deterioration of our Ozone layer. Whatever the cause may (or may not) be, people are obsessed with the idea of the end of the world. What makes the Ancient Mayan predictions of doomsday any different from these other catastrophically deadly potentials? The date.

The difference with the Ancient Mayan prophecies, as opposed to other end of the world predictions, is a precise account of when life as we know it will cease to exist. No one can say exactly when or if a meteor will hit. We can only speculate as to when a nuclear war might erupt. We’re still learning about the Ozone layer and whether or not we can reverse the damage done, but we cannot say precisely if or when it will collapse. However, the Ancient Mayans pin-pointedly predicted one specific date, thousands of years into their own future, when we will face the end of the world as we know it. Furthermore, this date is frighteningly close: December 22, 2012.

How exactly did an ancient people prophesy such a future? The answer is in the codices, a collection of writings created by this past civilization, the most famous of which is the Dresden Codex.

The Dresden codex aimed its sights at the stars, the planets, the sun, the moon, and space-related phenomenon. In this hieroglyphic script, the Ancient Mayans used mathematical and astrological genius to formulate an advanced working of the calendar. Contrary to popular belief, the Ancient Mayans did not invent the calendar, but they did perfect it to such a degree that their calendar system measured time and planetary occurrences more accurately than the calendar we use today. They also are responsible for our current understanding of the zodiac, based on a 12-part division of the sky. If you wake up in the morning and read your horoscope, you can thank the Ancient Mayans. But who were these people, and why should we be concerned about their predictions for our future?

No one knows exactly when the Ancient Mayans began making their mark on history, but we do know they were most successful in Mesoamerica somewhere around 2600 BC. (4,607 years ago), and peaking at around A.D. 250 (1,757 years ago) in present day Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Western Honduras, El Salvador, and Northern Belize. Most archeological findings date the most significant productivity of the Ancient Mayans in what is known as the Classic Period, A.D. 250-900 (1,107 years ago). We also know that during their near five-thousand-year reign, the Ancient Mayans accomplished remarkable feats in the written language, mathematics, astronomy, astrology, art, architecture, agriculture, and much more.

The years between 2600 B.C. and 100 A.D. were, for the most part, the golden years for the Maya civilization. With the introduction of the Omelc civilization in 2000 B.C., Mayan culture expanded. Extensive trade routes were built, knowledge and goods exchanged, and farming was established throughout Maya regions. This is when writing was developed in Mesopotamia, when the first solar calendars were carved in stone, and when the Maya set their spiritual, religious, and political roots in a hierarchal system governed by nobles and kings. This is also the time when their greatest pyramids and observatories were created.

The Ancient Mayan structures were remarkable in their own right due to their seemingly perfect alignment, their awe-inspiring size, their attention to detail, the exquisite artwork and architecture, and the products they developed and learned to work with in their buildings, such as plaster. Several of the buildings are even more mysterious in that they produce certain effects, such as the sound of a chirping bird, or the shadow of a snake slithering up their slopes during specific times of the year. But what’s even more astounding is that the Ancient Mayans created these elaborate pyramids and observatories without the use of metal tools!

Ancient Maya religions are still not completely understood, but it is clear that the Maya people honored, worshipped, and made sacrifices to many gods – gods that, unlike individual entities, are thought to have the ability to merge and morph with one another as needed or appropriate to portray differing aspects. The Mayans were also heavily founded in beliefs in the supernatural. Because the Mayans understood all things to work in cycles, good and evil were not set concepts, which could be how they justified, in part, their acts of human sacrifice.

Everything, to the Mayans, had a pattern of moving in cycles. This helped with their advancements in farming and their understanding of the movements of the heavens and the Earth. Combined, their knowledge of astrology, astronomy, mathematics, time, their spiritual and supernatural beliefs, as well as their understanding of cyclical patterns, is what led to the creation of the Dresden Codex.

The Maya didn’t just work with one calendar, but instead had a multitude of ways they dissected, analyzed, and measured time. They had two yearly cycles, one known as the Tzolkin, measuring 260 days; and the other being the Haab, of 360 days. These two calendars worked directly with the movements of Venus and Mars, and with a “special” number of 1,366,560 days, a number that is not yet fully understood by modern researchers. But then there was a third form of measuring time, and this third form is the one with which we’re most concerned. A person could easily spend ample time of their own trying to understand the complex intricacies of the Ancient Mayan calendars, but to suit the purpose of understanding the Dresden Codex in relation to doomsday predictions, we can simplify as follows, based on the third form of Ancient Mayan time measurement.

The Ancient Mayans began with a start date, known as the birth of Venus, which is understood as 3114 B.C, the beginning of time recorded. As with our calendars today, the Ancient Mayan calendars were divided into what can be identified as months and years. The months measured 20 days, and the years consisted of 360 days. The Ancient Mayan calendar then exceeded the calendars of today, grouping together even longer periods of time, the first being known as the kuton and measuring 7,200 days; and the second, called the baktun, measuring 144,000 days.

Another number relevant to the Mayans that we don’t yet fully understand is the number 13 (superstition, perhaps?). They believed that after 13 buktuns, each buktum measuring 144,000 days, would be the end of a cycle – or, as many of today’s time understand it, the end of the world. By doing the math, we are able to understand that the end of this time period translates to December 22, 2012. Some accounts suggest December 21, others pinpoint December 23, but that may depend largely on geographic location. Nonetheless, we are faced with potential drastic change in December of 2012. As of the writing of this article, according to the Dresden Codex, the end of the world is roughly five and a half years away.

No one disputes the advanced workings of the Ancient Mayan civilization. We’re all impressed with the knowledge they possessed and how they chose to apply that knowledge. However, how or where they gained such knowledge is open for debate, with theories ranging from simple and natural evolution, to involvement from alien beings. Adding to the mystery of this ancient people are findings such as the Crystal Skulls in locations close to Mayan ruins. These unexplained crystal skulls are said to possess certain metaphysical or paranormal attributes, such as psychic communications. Science is puzzled over the skulls because no one has yet been able to determine exactly how or when the skulls were created because they reflect absolutely no signs of tool markings. As with any unexplained, potentially paranormal phenomena, several theories have been laid out, including that the crystal skulls, once they’ve all been found and united, will unveil great knowledge capable of saving humankind. Naturally, it is suspected that the year 2012 may not be the end of the world, but may in fact be the end of the world as we know it, marking the beginning of a new way of life on earth.

Even though scientists and archeologists have learned a great deal about the Ancient Mayans, how and where they lived, and have been able to, in part, decipher the Dresden Codex, there are still many holes in the doomsday prediction pointing to 2012. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is that though several codices are believed to have existed, only a few of those remain – and even fewer are accessible to us. Many of the codices were lost or destroyed by time or conflict with other ancient civilizations. Others are currently protected as sacred text by the Elders in modern day Mayan cultures whom are not willing to share the extent of their knowledge. Taking this into consideration, we have to rationalize that we only have a small portion of the information on which the Ancient Mayans founded their belief systems and civilizations. We may have a list of ingredients, but we are lacking the full recipe! We cannot logically reason that we can formulate a crystal clear understanding based on a portion of ancient information taken out of context.

Will the crystal skulls found around Ancient Mayan ruins come together alas in 2012, shining upon us their wisdom and glory, paving the way to a new way of life? Is 2012 the date the alien nations will reunite on our planet to share with us their technology? Is the world itself destined to die less than 6 years from now? Or are we setting ourselves into a panic based on insubstantial evidence? Only time will tell.

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