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I've recently watched «2012» trailer. Trailer. The one where «California is going down» and everything exploding.
I've actually heard about that date before - 2012 but never thought about it. But now I thought about ancient Mayans and their calendar and decided to dig into that question.
It was fun to search. If you google something like "2012 Mayan prophecy" or just "2012" you will find a lot of same articles. They are so identical that I'm going to post one of them here.
«Scientists recounted the Mayan calendars according to modern chronology and recovered some interesting information from mysterious texts...
It appears that some events will take place on earth on 23rd December 2012. The day when Fifth Sun will come to an end!
According to Mayans, modern age begun on 12 August 3114 BC and will end on 23 December 2012 AD Nobody knows where Mayans took this dates and why they used such an elaborate time measuring systems
In 2012, during the December solstice the Sun will be in Milky Way zone. During that phenomenon, when the Sun will be in that zone, the world renewal should appear, it's new birth
In a word, the Mayan prophecy concerns of an event that should change the course of history. Some suggest that new era will begin on Earth - an era of enlightenment. Others tend to think that Mayans predicted the end of the world
It's not trendy to think seriously about such prophecies about the end of the world in XXI century. It's customary to count them as the products of superstitious minds and ignore. But as we getting to know more about the achievements of one of the greatest ancient civilisations, some inner voice whispers: maybe we should listen to their ancient prophecies?
Maybe there is a tiny chance that the authors of this prophecy are not some superstitious barbarians? Maybe they knew something we don't? What if their prediction of an end date of the Fifth Sun is true? Maybe there is some horrible geological catastrophe predicted by Mayan sages.
Even by today's standards Mayans precisely predicted various astronomical events. What does their prophesy about 2012? We will know soon...»
This text appears in many sites without any changes - link
That's Russian copy-paste. I couldn't find anything good among all that trash.
So I've decided to dig another way - the calendar. May calendar is well known and described. There were 3 calendars actually, the religious (Tzolk'in), civil (Haab) and Long Count. First two are able to count sections of 52 years and Long Count was used to count global periods of time, centuries and millennia
In fact, Long Count was a constantly growing day counter similar to Julian days only with one difference - Maya had vigesimal and not decimal numbers
The lowest number was kin - day. 20 kin is 1 uinal, 18 uinal - 1 tun. 360 kin gives roughly a tropical year.
20 tun is 1 katun, 20 katun - 1 baktun, 20 baktun - 1 pictun.
And here comes the strange thing. All who tell about Maya prophecies say that in Long Count baktun is changed from 1 to 13 and not from 0 to 19.
So 13 baktun comes and that's it - a new world order. Why is that - it was 20 all along and now it's 13? It's unknown and I have to go deeper.
Further studies showed this - 13 is based on Mayas era beginning which started with 184.108.40.206.0 and the there was 0.0.0.0.1 and so on. I guessed that when it gets to 220.127.116.11.0 again it will reset, but that's not that simple.
It seems logical but I didn't have a proof. I have found a site supported by Maya World Studies Center, Merida, Yucatan, Mexico although they didn't find anything about Maya prophecy.
At last I have found it - site - Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc`
You can see for yourself what are they tellinghere and those who have a lot of time can read this.
Here is my subjective compilation of their ideas below.
It's actually known who created the myth about 2012 prophecy. It was Michael D. Coe, an American archaeologist and anthropologist, Mayanist.
To keep it short - modern mayanists don't believe in that. They are sick of all the talking about 2012.
Let's start with the prophecies. Some people always wait for the end of the world and if there was one in Maya culture, what of it? Christians was waiting for the Judgement day in 1000 AD and in 2000 AD but it still didn't show up. Some people suggest that if Maya were so good at predictions, why they didn't predict Spanish Invasion. But there was nothing about it. Although there was nothing much about 2012. But first things first.
Maya is one of the many mesoamerican ethnical groups. They were part of one big language family and used from 22 to 30 languages. It's not right to think of Maya as one nation. During the period of prosperity in 100-900 AD, Maya was close to citizens of ancient Greece city-states. Although, we call them Greeks they called themselves Spartans, Athenians and so on. Maya didn't call themselves Maya as well. They were citizens of Tikal, Kopan, Palenque.
Civilisations rose and fall. There wereOlmecs before Maya and after them there were Aztecs. Although, Aztecs took many things from Maya they didn't leave any prophecies about 2012.
It all ended with the arrival of the Spaniards in 1500 for about 40 years. Enlightened Spaniard brought diseases and conquered and plundered everyone.
Let's continue - the legend of Five Suns cycle Leyenda de los Soles which is mentioned with the prophecy is not Mayan but Aztec. The version of this legend that considered canonical is set in Aztec Calendar Stone also known as Sun Stone or Altar of Axayacatl.
I'll retell this legend. So era of the first sun started in 956 BC and lasted for 13 cycles of 52 years and ended with all inhabitants were eaten by jaguars. After some time era of the second sun has begun. It lasted for 7 cycles of 52 years and ended with a hurricane and all inhabitants were turned into turkeys. Era of the third sun also started after some time, it lasted 6 cycles of 52 years and ended with a rain of fire. Era of the fourth sun started with 52-year flood lasted for 13 cycles of 52 years and ended with catastrophic flood and it's inhabitants were turned into a fish. It was approximately XI century AD.
Each of these eras was described as unstable, ruled by the gods which were in a constant conflict. Each era was tied to som direction - north, south, west and east. Current era - Era of the fifth sun - the era of the centre is different from other eras. Gods made a bloody sacrifice and made the Sun move and now we just have to "sprinkle the flower" to make it move. An era can stay in balance infinitely and it will be the last era that will end with an earthquake.
As we see there are no cycles or "sixth suns". The Funny thing is that Aztecs didn't use the Long Count and their Judgement day was every 52 years.
But why Legend of Five Suns is mentioned with Maya?
The thing is there aren't many artefacts telling myths about Maya and Aztec myths are researched way more. It's considered that Aztec could borrow Mayan myths. It's also considered that Mayan myths were some kind of reflection of more ancient Mayan beliefs. That's it.
But what have Maya left us?
There are two artefacts that could be associated with 2012.
The first one is Chilam Balam of Chumayel book written between 1775-1800 in Chumayel village, Guatemala. "The quetzal shall come, the green bird shall come. Ah Kantenal shall come. Blood-vomit shall come. Kukulcan shall come with them for the second time. It is the word of God. The Itzá shall come." This prophecy is corresponded not to 18.104.22.168.0., but to the end of a 256-year cycle which falls precisely on 2012.
The second is the final phrase of Tortuguero Monument 6. And it's a SINGLE known classical Mayan age document which explicitly refers to the date 22.214.171.124.0 4 Ajaw 3 K'ank'in which falls to 21(or 23) of December 2012.
It's said that when 13 B'ak'tun ends the God or Gods, called Bolon Yokte will come down...
But where it/they will come down and what will do - the las 2 glyphs of the monuments are broken.
It's known that Bolon Yokte is a god of changes and destructions or endings of periods - the dates with a huge amount of zeroes. Maya noticed such dates. Although, this god was mentioned a couple of times in Dresden Codex it's not so important to have a picture of him there.
Is there any chance to discover what was on that broken glyphs?
In principle, for the extension of horizons we can see what Mayans tell about the previous date 126.96.36.199.0 4 Ajaw 8 Kumk'u which fell on 3114 BC. Can we draw parallels?
No, we can't. Most surviving description of this event is on the Quirigua stelae, it's the eastern text of stelae C.
What does it say? It's a legend about gods creating a hearth, 3-Stones story. Mayans, when building a new house, always began with the hearth according to this legend. Although, it's not the single version of the myth about the world creation. There is a version that came to us in form of pictures on vases, there is a mention about the world creation on stelae 1 in Coba, in Dresden Codex, greenstone mask from Rio Azul, Palenque monuments etc. There are some common and different things. It's was different for each city.
The most interesting thing is that the date of the world creation on stelae 1 in Cob looks like this 188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124.0.0.0.0, i.e. some uncountable number before times. It's even older than our universe age. It shows that Mayans thought of it as something unique. For this reason, some scientists are of the opinion that the date 126.96.36.199.0 (if it's about the world creation in the past) has just symbolic meaning as "the beginning of time", and not as "reset the counter date".
Stephen Houston interprets the structure of the phrase from the sixth monument of Tortuguero as "text, retelling the events of the present, schematically mentioning the future and returning back to the present". As a proof, he uses the similar construction of phrases on La Corona and Naranja monuments.
There are also evidence that although Maya "reset the counter from 188.8.131.52.0 to 0.0.0.0.1 in ancient times, they are not going to do that again.
There are 3 different evidence such as this, but only 1 prophecy.
First is a hieroglyphical ladder in Yaxchilan
Second is writings in the temple of Palenque.
And third is a monument in Tikal.
Now some things about «modern facts proving the prophecy».
Winter solstice date
«Winter solstice date» – happens every year
«Unusual solar maximum, predicted by NASA» - happens once every 11 years.
«The intersection of the Sun with the galactic equator» - Because the Sun is not a point object, this intersection has already begun in 1999 and will last at least until 2019. Moreover, due to the phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes, the sun has crossed the galactic equator, for example, December 23, 1870, year and December 22, 1941
«solar conjunction with Venus» - Venus, Earth and the Sun line up in one line - first, it will happen June 6, 2012, and secondly, this approximately happens twice per century.
«Changing the Earth's magnetic poles» - well, that's unreal.
In general, as I understand it, the whole theme of the Mayan prophecies speculating on the mysterious "counter reset" in 3114 BC. Without this, the inscription on the monument 6 Tortuguero would not even be noticed. The remaining facts are adjusted to the idea.
If we go deeper, the «Mayan Great Cycle» consist of 13 baktun and «Sixth Sun» of Maya/Aztec and the end of the world are nothing more than modern imaging eschatological fantasies that have no relation to reality.
As for 2012 - everybody can go to the movie and relax and I'm done typing and tell you about Maya calendar next time.