Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End Date, by John Major Jenkins and Terence McKenna. Bear & Company Inc., Santa Fe, NM, 1998.
I was startled to notice that I began writing this review at noon on May 20. This is the day that the Sun is overhead at noon with the Pleiades. It was a sacred day for the Toltecs. "Sacred" for the Mayas and the Toltecs meant participating in the great calendar round, or the Long Count, helping to bring the next place of rebirth around.
For the Toltecs, the zenith was their major time marker over thousands of years. For the Mayas, the Galactic Center was their place of creation and re-creation, the place where they identified World Ages. Both cultures were very aware of precession, which is the slow movement of the earths pole around the zodiac, taking 26,000 years to complete.
Chichen Itza, with its pyramid of Kulkulcan, and the serpent shadow slithering down it at sunrise at Spring Equinox, is where the two cosmologies meet and blend. The mouth of the serpent may represent the great womb of creation at the galactic center, identified by a rift in the Milky Way. The rattles of the snakes tail were associated with the Pleiades. The Zenith and the Galactic Center come together through the serpent.
What is the galactic alignment of December 21, 2012? In the first place, we are dealing with huge times and distances and many variables, and getting an exact, precise time is impossible. However, the Maya do give this date as the end of the Long Count calendar. Jenkins believes that the most precise range, astronomically, is from 1999-2018.
During the years around this time, the Eclipticthe Suns pathcrosses the Galactic Equator. The December Solstice on December 21, 2012, will conjunct the Galactic Center, which we now measure in longitude to be at the end of Sagittarius. This is the Zero Point of the Galactic Cycle, an event that previously occurred 26,000 years ago. (Click here for Maya's analysis of the Winter Solstice 2012 chart for Washington DC.)
What does this return to the Zero Point mean? For the Maya, it meant a return to the Great Mother in the womb of the Milky Way. Maya cosmovision reminds us that all life springs from the Great Mother.
For the Maya, this will be Creation Day, when Cosmic Mother and First Father join forces to engender a new World Age. The Maya understood that this alignment would have apocalyptic effects, and Jenkins says they designed their World Age mythology to remind us of what is essential and what can help us through the transformation. Through myth, legend, and ancient messages, they tell us that we must all remember where we came from, where everything comes from: Mother.
No message could be more important today.
John Major Jenkins has been a dedicated researcher on Mesoamerican cosmology for many years (see Daykeeper's review of his book Galactic Alignment this past March). He has published half a dozen fine books on the subject. His research is impeccable and fascinating, but more importantly, he synthesizes puzzle pieces to create coherent, meaningful wholes. And then he joins wholes to show us a vast picture of the Mayas view of the cosmos. Understanding of the complex Maya cosmology is his goal, and he helps us to do this.
Mr. Jenkins says that the information to decode Mayan thought is all available; it is not lost. And then he goes on to use myth and story, astronomical observation, building complexes, and the symbols of Mayan art and writing to show us the larger picture. There are many clear diagrams, maps, and detailed drawings which help to demonstrate the Maya connections to the cosmos.
The great change which brought Cro-Magnon Man is flashing on me. This was perhaps 30,000 years ago. The beautiful cave paintings in France and Spain blossomed about 20,000 years ago. Perhaps these developments represent the last great leap in human consciousness. Perhaps we are in the process now of making another giant leap. (We better!)