For years now 2012 has been a hot topic for discussion. This is true not only on ATS. In fact this is a “conspiracy” that has worked its way into
everyday discussions. It has become so pervasive that millions have been made in book sales and at least one major motion picture has been created
based around the claims regarding 2012. There are those who claim that it marks the end of the world. There are also those who claim that 2012 is
going to be a time of ascension. No matter what side one subscribes to the source for these claims always go back to one civilization. The Maya. It is
my hope with this thread to dispel some of the false claims that have been attributed to the Maya and to set the record straight as to what the Maya
actually claimed regarding the start of the 13th baktun.
The origins of connecting the Maya with eschatology goes back to before anything was actually known about them. In 1502 Christopher Columbus was in
the area of Honduras when he heard of a tribe on the island of Guanaja named the “Maia.” It is a known fact that Columbus was greatly influenced
by the Catholic bishop Pierre d'Ailly, specifically his book Imago Mundi.
It is from this book that Columbus based his estimates of the
circumference of the Earth. In this book d'Ailly also portrays the schism occurring in the Church at that time as an apocalyptic event. Certain
passages from d'Ailly's book convinced Columbus that his discovery of distant lands, and by association the “Maia,” would bring about the
Apocalypse (Hoopes, 2011).
The first mention the Europeans actually had of 13 baktun comes in the form of the Popol Vuh
For those that are unfamiliar with the Popol
, it is a compilation of the creation myths of the K'iche' Maya who resided in the highlands of Guatemala. In the Popol Vuh
stated that we are currently living in the fourth world, with the previous three ending after 13 baktun (Schele & Freidel, 1990).
On top of the Popol Vuh
, most modern claims regarding 2012 stem from the Dresden Codex
. The first one to associate cataclysmic events
with the Dresden Codex
was Ernst Forstemann in the early 1900s. Forstemann stated that the final page of the Codex
catastrophic flood. Forstemann however never mentioned a specific date, or whether or not the flood was a past or future event. In 1946 Sylvanus
Morley picked up on Forstemann's claims and embellished them for his book The Ancient Maya
Prophecies & Prophets
Beginning in the mid-70s writers began to pick up on the writings regarding the 13th baktun and incorporate them into their own theories. The first of
these was New Age writer Frank Waters (1975). In his book Mexico Mystique: The Coming Sixth World of Consciousness
attempted to tie the date of
the 13th baktun to astrology and the Hope Blue Star Kachina prophecy. He believed that the convergence of these factors would produce a global shift
Similar claims were being made by Jose Arguelles and Terrence McKenna, although they did not originally associate their theories with the Mayans. It
wasn't until Robert Sharer published a correlation table in the 4th edition of Morley's The Ancient Maya
(1983) that corresponded the 13th
baktun with December 21, 2012 that McKenna and Arguelles jumped on the Maya bandwagon.
The next major proponent of a shift in consciousness was John Major Jenkins. Jenkins picked up the astrological aspect of Waters, McKenna, and
Arguelles, but greatly expanded upon it. Jenkins main focus was on something known as the Dark Rift. The Dark Rift is a series of non-luminous dust
clouds that, to the naked eye, extend from Cygnus to Centaurus. It appears as a dark band in the night sky (McClure, 2009). Certain scholars believe
that the Maya knew the Dark Rift as Xibalba be, or the “Dark Road.” Jenkins believes that using the Xibalba be the Maya were able to determine the
location of the Galactic Center and then calculate when the Sun will align with this position, which he states will occur on December 21, 2012. He
states that this alignment will then be a harbinger of a global change in consciousness (Jenkins, 1998).
It was around this time that Maya elder started to support the claims of these New Age writers. Most notable of these are Hunbatz Men and Don
Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj. Hunbatz Men first threw his hat into the ring when he was mentioned Jose Arguelles. Hunbatz Men stated that Arguelles'
claims regarding Mayan cosmology was correct and that the end of the Long Count did mark a change in consciousness. Don Alejandro on the other hand
began talking about prophecies that seemed to support Jenkins' claims regarding 2012.
On the other side of the argument are the doomsayers. While seemingly less organized than the consciousness shift crowd they also appear to be the
most vocal. For the most part their claims cannot be connected to a single writer and instead most are made by anonymous internet posters. There are
however exceptions to this. Probably the biggest name associated with claims of doomsday is Graham Hancock, who in Fingerprints of the Gods
(1995) stated that remarks made by Michael Coe in his 1992 book Breaking the Maya Code
were evidence for a doomsday prophecy.
Much like those who support a consciousness shift a major claim that is used by doomsday supporters is that the Maya were connecting the end of the
Long Count to a celestial alignment. The common claim is that the alignment will create a kind of gravity well that will cause devastating
seismological events and/or a pole shift (Astronomy Cast, 2008; Cessna, 2009a).
The doomsday believers did gain some credibility to their claims in 1996 when Stuart and Houston published a paper in Antiquity
published a translation of Tortuguero Monument 6. At that time Tortuguero Monument 6 contained the only reference to the 13th baktun in the entire
Classic period. Stuart and Houston claimed that this monument contained a prophecy about the return of Bolon Yokte', an ancient god connected to war
and strife. This paper seemed to support the belief that the Maya believed the 13th baktun would bring death and destruction.
edit on 5-10-2011
by Byrd because: (no reason given)