In the Year 2012
Dispelling the Mystery
Searching “Maya 2012” online yields a morass of some 10 million results, so Natural Awakenings sought clarity about the phenomenon of expected world change associated with December 21, 2012, by focusing on what leading authorities have to say.
John Major Jenkins, a respected 2012 author of Cosmogenesis 2012 and The 2012 Story, and director of The Center for 2012 Studies, created contemporary awareness of the galactic alignment of the sun with the center of the Milky Way galaxy, which underlies the famous 2012 cycle-ending date on a winter solstice. His studies of the original Mayan calendar, located in Izapa, supported the true day count of the Mayan Long Count calendar.
Jenkins points out that according to the calculations of astronomer Jean Meeus, this alignment began around 1980 and will end around 2016. “Meeus’ calculations support my belief that the alignment occurs over time, rather than precisely on December 21, 2012,” advises Jenkins.
Robert Sitler’s long-standing personal relationships with today’s Maya and formal study of their living communities in Mexico and Guatemala inform his latest book, The Living Maya: Ancient Wisdom in the Era of 2012. He serves as director of Latin American studies at Stetson University, in DeLand, Florida.
Both experts agree that December 21, 2012 signals neither the end of the world nor the conclusion of the complex Mayan calendar; it is however, the end of the 13-Bak’tun cycle of 5,125 years. The calendrical cosmology indicates that this period comes to fruition on December 21, 2012, the northern hemisphere’s winter solstice.
“Nothing in any of the ancient hieroglyphs refers to the end of the world,” advises Sitler. He further notes that contemporary Mayas’ strong environmental ethic aptly supports the needed shift in consciousness forecasted for 2012.
From Jenkins’ perspective, the shift is what the ancient Maya saw as a transformation and renewal involving an awakening of consciousness. “It is a misconception that the awakening will automatically happen on December twenty-first.” He explains that Mayan spiritual teachings intended to empower individuals and provide guidelines for how awakening can occur in a ceremonial context at the end of cycles. “To the living Maya, awakening from a state of ego-centered, self-serving sleep means waking up to a larger perspective of unity consciousness; of seeing that our collective state of out-of-control egoism and greed is not good for Earth,” says Jenkins.
Daniel Pinchbeck, author of 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl and editor of the online blog Reality Sandwich, concurs. He believes, “We are undergoing a transformative process now, as a collective organism, which will lead to an evolutionary leap of consciousness on a species level.” He believes we’re on the way to developing an integral worldview; a holistic perspective that realizes the value of indigenous and traditional knowledge systems, without rejecting the scientific and technical developments of modern times.
Linda Sechrist is a senior staff writer for Natural Awakenings.