Thursday, October 8, 2009

The 13th Baktun

The Mayan calendar is made up of cycles. I’m very impressed at their ability to predict movements of the galaxy over long periods. However I wouldn’t say that it is unbelievable, or that they could only have done it with the help of divine or alien help. To say that is to say that they were not as smart as us.

The date that everyone is focusing on right now is the 21st of December, 2012. That date was determined by converting the Mayan calendar to ours. On that date, there will be a close conjunction of the Winter Solstice Sun with the crossing point of the Galactic Equator and Ecliptic. Of course if you’re like me and didn’t pay that much attention in school, you don’t know what any of those things are. In simpler terms, when the Sun rises, the center of the Milky Way will be right behind it. Of course you won’t see it because the Sun will be there.

Some people think this is significant. Given that this is a 5,000 year cycle in a universe that is 14.5 billion years old, I have my doubts.

But I can still have fun with it. It’s easy because there are so many references from so many cultures. Looking up at the sky has been going on for a long time. It is the beginning of much of what we call religion. It is only with the advent of street lights that we have lost the connection to the stars. Phrases like “cast into the outer darkness” or “following a Northern star” have lost their meaning. A surprising number of people don’t even know why our galaxy is named the Milky Way.

Observing the movements of the heavenly bodies is also the source of science. The farther back you go, the harder it gets to separate ritual and science. The person who could place a few rocks on the ground and tell you that they would line up with where the Sun was going to be on a certain day no doubt had a lot of power in the tribe. Predict an eclipse, and you were close to being a God.

Today, you can spend a lot of time on the Internet and find references to Ouroboros, a snake representing the Milky Way, the Greeks Suntelia Aion, Revelation 12:7, Qi energy and the Chinese Year of the Dragon, channeling Lord Metatron, Sun spots, predictions of the poles flipping and crop circles. All somehow related to this one day. Here’s the thing, none of this means anything. Every religion uses the image of death and rebirth, or destruction and re-creation in some form or another. If the Mayan priests were around today, I’m sure they would be loving the attention.

Why are people spending so much time putting together these ancient pieces? Because we don’t have our own story to work from anymore. As an adolescent, I was not handed one version of a story and told that it explained my place in society. I was blasted with a variety of images and had to sort them out myself. Although this made the job more difficult, I prefer it to the simpler model. I live at the 45th parallel in the Northern hemisphere in a quiet place, so the cold dark nights following the winter solstice work just fine as a time to reflect and hopefully renew my energy and think about making the world a better place before the next significant alignment of stars.

I hope you will all find the time to do the same.

If you haven’t heard about this yet, you probably will. I have been following the advance work for the movie 2012, this one is definitely my favorite, and links to all the rest.
This is the End

Via that site, I was led to the 2 part video below. Given the nature of linking on the Internet, I haven’t figured out yet how related the two are, but I like the coverage provided in it. There is a point where he says, “if you don’t want to hear my analysis, feel free to shut off the video at this point”. He shifts to a Biblical analysis. I am always surprised when a seemingly scientific analysis shifts like this. But that’s for another day.


  1. John, this really is my first careful look at your blog. I appreciate your reflections above; I think the Jesus story has more to commend it than you would seem to give it credit for.

  2. When it comes to eschatology, I am definitely sapiential (or realized) and not apocalyptic. There is definitely more to be addressed on that subject.