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Apocalypse

Easily influenced by scant fact and wild interpretation, the general public believes that the Mayans predicted the end of the world.  Yet there is nothing contained in the Mayan record to indicate they were describing a catastrophic, world-ending event.  Although there are some that are tempted to inject prophecy into the fact that the last date on the last calendar the Mayans decided to chisel out before they disappeared from history forever falls within their lifetime…

Mayan codices

Only four Mayan codices are known to still exist.  Each one is named after the place in which it was found or kept.  The Dresden Codec tends to be the most referenced one.  Investigations over the centuries have uncovered three other codices – in Madrid, Paris and Mexico City.  The Dresden Codec is still considered the most ornate and complete.

The Dresden Codec references and predictions for time and agriculture, favorable days for predictions, as well as texts about sickness and medicine.  It describes celestial events and movements of stars, conjunctions of constellations, planets and the Moon.

The Codec in Paris refers to questions of ritual and their corresponding gods and ceremonies.   Some pages are full of predictive almanacs, New Year ceremonies and a zodiac.

The Madrid Codec is mostly filled with signs and omens that helped priests make predictions. It includes rituals for the gods Kukulcan and Itzamná; and the final parts refer to hunting, calendars, death and purification.

The so-called Grolier Codec was found in Mexico in the 1970’s.  It is badly degraded and damaged but seems to show a list of dates.  It contains no information not already known from the Dresden Codec.  The validity of this document is often questioned however.  Many scholars only recognize the other three as authentic or relevant.

The Mayan departure

Somewhere around 900 AD, the Mayan civilization all but vanished from history.  The Spanish would not arrive for another 600 or 700 years and the Mayan left us no clues as to where they went.  All we have left are three curious documents that managed to survive the tests of time.

The Mayan Calendars

one of the original Mayan books that set the end of the Mayan calendar on December 21, 2012

"Dresden Codec" goes on display in Dresden, February 24, 2012.

The Mayan solar, lunar and planetary calendars are curious to say the least.  Nearly as accurate as our modern-day atomic clock.  The Mayans and many other ancient cultures believed that the world had been “remade” many times over in the long forgotten ancient past.  Think of it as recycling, albeit on a cosmic scale.

According to the Mayan Planetary Calender the last thirteenth b’ak’tun occurred on August 11, 3114 BCE.  The next thirteenth b’ak’tun occurs on December 20, 2012.

Creepy, huh?

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    • Stephen

      The end of the world has been prophesied and petcidred time and again for centuries with no positive results.The 12/21/2012 prediction comes from the cyclical Mayan calendar. This calendar has been around for nearly 7,000 years.The short count calendar was measured in rounds just like our calendar has weeks, months, and years. The Mayan calendar is divided into cycles of 13 days (trecena), 20 days veintena), the 260 day sacred round (Tzolkin), and 365 days (Haab). The Haab is 18 or 20 veintena cycles plus 5 nameless days. There were also segments of time amounting to the 584 Venusian cycle. Many of these rounds indicated holidays and sacred observances rather than the passage of linear time.In addition to the short count calendar there is a long count calendar. This began on a mythical date of August 11, 3114 in the Gregorian calendar, and September 6, 3113 in the Julian calendar. The Mayan ages are 1,025.2 Gregorian years. They are called Fire, Water, Hurricane, Serpent, and Jaguar. We know there was an age of the Serpent and there was an age of the Jaguar. The other ages, Fire, Water, and Hurricane aren’t as well understood.If the 3114 B.C. is added to 2012 A.D. the result will be 5126. 5126 divided by 5 equals 1025.2. Day by day, 12/21/12 falls within the variance between the Gregorian and Julian calendars for the cyclical Mayan ages to stop one and begin another. December 21, 2012 just might be little more than the equivalent of a new year.

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