When discussing December 21st, 2012, the biggest question, obviously, is why this date? In reality, there have been many so called "end of days" dates predicted oer the years. There is even one for this year. If you have read my previous posts you know that a church group is convinced that the rapture will happen on May 21st of this year. That said, most of these dates come from gut feelings or when something thinks God told them so. The topic of this series, however is based on much more than that.
It is believed that many ancients peoples were focused on this general time. there is no better place to begin than with the Mayan civilization. The Mayans were a very knowledgeable people who's civilization existed from roughly 700 B.C. (there is much debate on the begin date) 10 about the year 1300 A.D., when they seemed to scatter, although not totally disappear. They were very interested in learning and embraced writing,epigraphy and the calender. There influence can be found in architecture all over Central America.
The Maya believed in a cyclical nature of time. Meaning that life experience was a series of "cycles" with specific lengths in days.We should insert here that the Mayans never predicted the"end of the world"-only the renewing of one of these cycles on the winter solstice (December 21st) of the year 2012. Among their other accomplishments, the ancient Mayas invented a calendar of remarkable accuracy and complexity. It uses three different dating systems in parallel, the Long Count, the Tzolkin (divine calendar), and the Haab (civil calendar). Our focus should be directed to the Long Count portion of the calender. in the Mayan calender, the long count portion lasts exactly 5,125 years. So if you know the beginning date, you should be able to figure the end date.
Logically, the first date in the Long Count should be 0.0.0.0.0, but as the baktun (the first component) are numbered from 1 to 13 rather than 0 to 12, this first date is actually written 184.108.40.206.0.
Officials disagree on what 220.127.116.11.0 corresponds to in our calendar. There are three possibilities:
|18.104.22.168.0 = 8 Sep 3114 BC (Julian) = 13 Aug 3114 BC (Gregorian)|
|22.214.171.124.0 = 6 Sep 3114 BC (Julian) = 11 Aug 3114 BC (Gregorian)|
|126.96.36.199.0 = 11 Nov 3374 BC (Julian) = 15 Oct 3374 BC (Gregorian)|
Assuming one of the top two are correct, the Long Count will again reach 188.8.131.52.0 on the 21st or 23 of December 2012, marking the end of this cycle and the beginning of a knew one.
So what happens when the cycle renews? Of course, nobody knows. We can get some clues however, by respecting the Maya's ability to chart the sky. They had a remarkable ability to predict planetary alignments with great precision, many years in advance. They even knew that our year was actually 365.25 days long, adding a full day to the calender every four years. There are largely debated theories about certain rare and not so rare galactic alignments in December of 2012. Due to the lack of consensus about them, I will not get into it. All we know is that there must have been a reason for the ancient Maya to settle on a precise 5,125 year long count cycle. One thing is for certain, we will know next year.