Mayan Astronomy the End of Time or a new Beginning in 2012

The Maya were a great civilization who excelled at numerous tasks – building, navigation, irrigation, and the most famous being astronomy, of course. They mapped the sky probably better than they mapped their own earth. In addition to their cartography of the heavens, they understood the bodies that dwelt there and knew their paths well.

Today, the Mayan calendar is a common charm on tourists’ bracelets and necklaces, though its ticking clock has remained dormant until now. As we reach the “end” of the Mayan calendar we come upon a time in which the ancient South Americans believed chaos and destruction would occur – the end times. Could those who seemed so advanced, even by today’s standards, have been right? Is Armageddon upon us?

Today many discoveries and inventions have allowed us to place names and numbers on the various symbols illustrated by the Mayan calendar. They all revolve around “the great year,” a 26,000 year cycle often referred to as the procession of the equinoxes. In science, this great year represents the time it takes for our earth to complete a “wobble.” The earth spins on an axis and as it revolves around the sun the spinning causes the planet to wobble gently. To us on earth, it appears that the stars move west to east and back again one degree every 72 years. They weren’t the only culture to base time on a platonic year; the Greeks, Egyptians and the Hindu also used this measure of time.

This phenomenon is most illustrated in the sign of the zodiac, in which the twelve constellations of the zodiac represent twelve ages, each age lasting a little over 2100 years, give or take a few. The earth proceeds through each of the ages until it completes a great year. Interestingly, a change of the ages is upon us as we exit the house of Pisces and enter the house of Aquarius. We are in the last century of our age. Not only that, but some astronomers believe that we are coming to the end of a great year. Although it is debatable and accurate information is hard to come by, when considering constant changes in the way the earth spins, some point to the Mayan end date of December 21st, 2012 as the end of the current great year.

In addition to the astronomy, signs of change are all around us. We are coming to the end of society’s long exploitation of fossil fuel. No longer will we be able to sustain the sort of lifestyle that many in Europe and America enjoy, this in and of itself is one of the biggest changes in human history. Our governments are converging and uniting to form grander alliances in a more globalized world. Never before have we seen a larger power on earth than that of the United Nations and it will only grow and solidify with the passing of time.

No one can predict what the consequences or advantages of a New World Order will be. We can only know that somehow the ancient Mayan culture, along with many other prophets, predicted a time of change and upheaval in the early years of the 2000 millennium. We can also know that they, in whatever sense, were exactly right.

Ultimately I believe it is entirely up to us whether or not we see fire and brimstone in this decade. And when I say us, I mean we the people, not the bodies who govern our land and society. We are capable of change for the better and at this point, it is only a matter of choice and courage.