March 20, 2008 § Leave a comment
December 21, 2012. Is it:
- An actual date that brings with it a profound manifestation of prophesied Cosmic Destiny?
- A cataclysmic backlash of mass spiritual decadence through violent natural forces?
- Mass fodder for self appointed prophets, doom mongers, and New Age ‘Carpetbaggers’?
Calendars in one form or another, are literally, as old as time. Historically, calendars have been used for a variety of purposes like agricultural, organization of activities, control populous, religious, understanding natural cycles, and measurement.
I use an Ásatrú and Druidry calendar for connecting with natural cycles. In Ásatrú what is mostly used for timing are season, moon phase, and solar position. The Druidic calendar is somewhat more complex, and Druids were renowned in the classical world for their knowledge of astronomy.
Both the Catholic Encyclopedia as well as Calendars, a story of mistakes, reveal that we have to be very careful what we use calendars for, even when their purpose and intent seem clear.
Inexplicable though it seems, the date of Christ’s birth is not known. The gospels indicate neither the day, the month, nor the year. (The Catholic Encyclopedia, p.656, vol. 3, 1967.)
The fact that Dionysus started our AD chronology with 1 is not a mistake, it is a mathematical necessity. However, Dionysius probably did make a mistake in what Christ’s birth year was. Our year 2012 may actually be 2011, or 2010, 2009, or …
The Maya Long Count
Many speak of the End of Time in 2012, while, to be precise, it really is “the end-date of the thirteen-baktun cycle of the Maya Long Count”, put in place by ancients of the Middle Pre-Classic period of the Izapan civilization, 500 B.C. to 50 B.C. The Izapa probably descended from the Olmecs, a culture of ancient peoples 1300 to 400 B.C. – of the East Mexico lowlands. The Olmec people called themselves Xi (pronounced Shi). The Olmecs were clever mathematicians and astronomers who made accurate calendars, and seem to have been the earliest users of the bar and dot system of recording time.
It is Time
For controlled folly. Since ancient days human people have been obsessed with time. The time of the seasons, the times of night and day, time to plant, time to sow, time in the heavens, and time on earth. Cyclical time, linear time, eternal time, and time travel. In short, and simply put, Time is a complex issue. Once the realm of priests and shamans, politicians and merchants, time is no less important today, and our quest to study, measure, and understand time still continues. And probably will continue well beyond that date of December 21, 2012. Puzzling with Time is one of the things that makes us humans human, and realizing the passing of time and how we deal with it makes us more fully humane.
So what can that December 21, 2012 date mean?
- Thirteen baktuns = 260 katuns (Katun periods were probably recognized before the Long Count was developed, and baktuns are in accordance with the vigesimal counting system used in Mesoamerican mathematics)
- 18.104.22.168.0 = an accurate winter solstice
- The astronomical alignment in A.D. 2012
My 2 cents
The fixing of the thirteen-baktun cycle in “real” time seem to have been determined by its end-date, totally unlike our linear Gregorian Calendar based on a start date by supposed birth of a person? Why would these ancients choose to highlight a December solstice? The creators of the Maya Long Count calendar calculated the rate of precession over 2,000 years? Co-incidence? Non-sense?
Measuring the elusive concept of Time, particularly over years or seasons, has been important to all facets of human activity, during night time dreaming we can travel through time, and in (deep) meditation we experience no time at all. Time does not exist. We are connected to everything. We are in the moment. That is where Time Ends.