Posted by: Johan Normark | December 21, 2009

2012: The Long Count does not end on December 21, 2012

This post will be the last one on the 2012 circus for this year. In “honour” of today’s date, it is time to present the evidence that the Maya never believed that the Long Count (LC) would end and begin anew at 13.0.0.0.0 (December 21 [or 23], 2012). Many 2012ers (and plenty of Mayanists as well) falsely believe that the LC cycle spans 13 baktuns (roughly 5125 years) and that a new one will follow this one.

Some 2012ers (read Jenkins and his followers) further believe that there are five LC cycles that together form a longer cycle that is related to the precession of the equinoxes (a Platonic year of roughly 25,920 years). According to Jenkins this is also related to a Galactic alignment when the ecliptic crosses the galactic equator. However, as Mark Van Stone shows, this alignment actually occurs every year but due to the precession this event occurs on different days. As regards the 21 December date, the sun touched the galactic equator already in 1983 and will do so until 2019. Hence the 2012 date as the chosen date for this event is wrong. If we choose the December 23 correlation that crossing actually occurred during the 1870s. If you use that correlation we should already be dead or have transformed our consciousnesses. Further, solstices were unimportant to the Maya. Van Stone says that “when faced with a choice of an auspicious day on which to schedule an important event, Maya almost never chose a solstice or an equinox.” The likelihood that the winter solstice three years from now was significant is slim.

The idea of five LC cycles forming earlier and current creation is mainly based on circumstantial evidence because the Aztecs mention that they live in the fifth creation/Sun and that four earlier ones have preceded this one. It is further argued that Popol Vuh from the early Colonial period also mentions earlier creations that have been destroyed. However, Popol Vuh was written down in the highlands of Guatemala after a century of Aztec influence and several centuries of contacts with Central Mexico. Although there are earlier traces of the same mythology in much earlier lowland iconography and epigraphy one should read Popol Vuh carefully. Just remember how much the early missionaries distorted the data used by later Mesoamericanists when they created a multilayered cosmological model.

Similar processes of hybridization occurred in Prehispanic times as well. As far as I know there is no evidence of multiple creations in Classic and Late Formative iconography or epigraphy. Only one earlier creation is mentioned (particularly at Palenque). Further, the Aztec creations are multiples of Calendar Round (CR) cycles (52 year long periods). One is 7 CRs long, another is 6 CRs long and two others are 13s CR long. Following this logic the multiple LCs would also be 7 baktuns long and 6 baktuns long, etc. In Jenkins’s model all cycles are 13 baktuns long. Thus, the 2012ers pick something here and something else there and create a non-existing cycle. Further, all Aztec Suns experienced a period of limbo, the cycles did not begin immediately after one and another as is argued to have occurred with the LC cycles. Neither are the Suns completely cyclical since every new cycle is an improvement of the earlier one. Earlier creations were unstable but the current one is stable. Van Stone argues that this Sun could last for ever since it is in balance. Both Aztec and Popol Vuh says this is the final creation so even if there were multiple creations preceding this one, they apparently saw no end in sight. That is just Christian end of days talking.

However, there is evidence that the Maya knew of the precession of the equinoxes as a phenomenon and they may actually have attributed some relevance to it. But they never divided it into five parts or creations. Van Stone mentions that Barbara MacLeod has detected an interval of time that the is called 3-11-pik/baktun. If you multiply 3, 11 and 144,000 (the number of days in a baktun) you end up at 13,010.5 years which is roughly half the length of the precession cycle. The rulers celebrated a portion of this long interval. Every 8,660th day (roughly 24 years) there is an 11-Pik/Baktun station in the LC. A long-lived ruler that experienced three of these stations (71 years) would be given the title 3-11-Pik Ajaw. 71 years is also the time needed for the equinox sun to precess one day. However, the well known archaeoastronomer Anthony Aveni is skeptical to MacLeod’s ideas.

As mentioned in earlier posts, the idea that the LC will end on 13 baktun is just a projection of the beginning of the current LC (which began at 13.0.0.0.0, in 3114 B.C.) to the supposed end date. Monument 6 at Tortuguero mentions this future date but there is no indication that there will be a change in cycles. However, there are at least three other monuments in the Maya area that describe future events beyond 13.0.0.0.0. These are the Hieroglyphic Stairway at Yaxchilan, the West Panel of the Temple of the Inscriptions at Palenque, and Stela 10 at Tikal (three rather large and important sites, not an “obscure” and fairly “insignificant” site like Tortuguero).

Van Stone mentions a step from the Hieroglyphic Stairway at Yaxchilan that depicts two dwarves playing ball. There is a LC above them (9.15.13.6.9) but this also contains larger time-periods that relate to this creation, not the earlier one. These periods are all stuck at 13 and are believed to be “symbolic”. The inscriptions at Palenque mention an event in the year AD 4772, which is within the next piktun, indicating that the baktuns are 20 and not 13. The Tikal inscriptions have a date of 1.11.19.9.3.11.2.? (the k’in position is unknown). Here the higher orders are not stuck at 13, the piktun coefficient is 19 and number 13 is not given any special treatment on this monument. In short, Yaxchilan, Palenque and Tikal all had different ways to record events. In the great meta-narrative of the “ancient Maya civilization”, such differences tend to be erased by 2012ers.

Stela 10 to the right

As Van Stone argues: “It seems that different schools of time‐reckoning existed in different city‐states. These were proud, squabbling polities, constantly jockeying for power like Athens and Sparta. When one thinks about it, it seems much more likely that they would have competing mythologies and scientific systems, than that they would have been of one accord.”

Thus, to say that the “Maya culture” had one homogeneous system of recording dates is dead wrong and this belief relies on Westernized/Christian assumptions. But I am afraid the 2012ers will not be able to understand this, their ideas solely rest on arborescent models where everything can be traced back to a master-signifier (this one may differ depending on one’s preferences). Some of these people do not even see Aztec Suns as myths but as evidence of what really happened. There is no way one can debate with such people.

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Responses

  1. If we assume that the Mayan Calendar predicts the world end, I propose that such event may occur in the third week of February, 2015 – not December 2012. I base this by making calculated assumptions from reviewing two anomalies. First, the linear calendar which we refer to, which points out the doomsday event as 12/21 (or 23)/2012, is erroneous. This, I surmise by two historic occurrences: the believed date of Christ, Dec 25, year 0000, has been, in the last 50 years or so, shown to be incorrect by at least 2 years and maybe 4 1/2. Now we have “estimated” datings. On a more direct occurrance, our calandar had to be “adjusted” in the year 1752, ‘disposing’ of 11 days in September (see calendar at = http://alturl.com/j8f8 )… they were not sure just how many days they neded to “jump”, but it was obvious that after 1,750+ years, the dates had “drifted” off of accuracy. So how do I come to the conclusion that the CORRECT date is 2/22/2015? Simple – as the calendar was incorrect so was our review of the “non-event” predicted by Nostradomus, in July, 1999. This event actually occurred on Sept 11, 2001, which gives us the precise adjustment that we need – 2 years, 2 months, forward. This will bring the Mayan End Date to the 3rd week in February, 2015.

  2. The problem is not on which date in our Gregorian calendar the Long Count will end. The problem is that there is no such end date in the first place..

  3. 2012 really is an interesting topic. I started my own site and a companion blog about it. I like the comments on this blog. Any feedback is welcome. I try to present an objective viewpoint and position it as a starting point for the topic. It can be found at http://www.2012endofdays.org. The companion blog is http://www.2012endofdays.com.

  4. I will check it out. I need more data to my book as well.

  5. The problem with the 2012 date is procession is not linear. The long count calendar fell out of use and was never corrected, unlike the Gregorian calendar.

    The simple fact of the matter is we are at the 270 degree point in the processional cycle, not the end of it, the 3/4 point which occured in 1998.

    For anyone wanting more info on the processional cycle I highly suggest Nick Anthony Fiorenza’s website http://www.lunarplanner.com/HolyCross.html — Lets see Johan debunk this advanced work. Good luck!

  6. At least try to get the name of the phenomenon right. Then I may consider your brilliant comments. It is precession, not procession…

  7. Sorry master, didn’t bother to check the spelling. You get the idea, now get with the times.

  8. I am the master of puppets and I am pulling your strings.

    • hehe maybe you are. The only problem I have with your writing on all these researchers is you find another article saying 2208 or whatever it was and believe that in it’s entirety yet ignore all other research presented over the years. Maybe nothing will happen, I dont believe it will be an instantaneous event. If you read thru the entire lunarplanner website you will see the real truth, that consciousness, behaviour is governed by rotational spherical systems that are outside the earth. That is much easier to believe than the likes of Patrick Geryl etc. That’s all. On that site is says if the entire processional cylce was to take place in one day, the mayan calendar was a mear 12 seconds off.. Not bad for an ancient civilisation with no modern technology.

  9. The Mayan calendar and year 2012:
    Astrology, science, religions and New Age have made us understand that the comet NEAT may hit planet Earth “late 2012″, something experts “deny”! Will these meteors also finally judge “PIGS” actions in “PIGS” countries like in Italy? The Mayan calendar sais that a major happening will occur at 12.21.2012. That moment in time is victim to many mysterical predictions. 9.11.2001 is programmed into Mankind from the dawn of Man and 2012 may be an other major happening to Mankind. We face earthquakes, fornication, hunger and parties on Earth, but not many wars, also indicating a warning of The Father’s Messiah to return to Earth, but the prophecies also speak of wars and rumours of wars several places in front of that. Will a world war start in 2012 with very hard pressures upon Mankind until “Cosmos” visit Mankind? A world war can put an end to a lot of hindrances against all Cosmic progress! Note: 12.21.2012 is the “end” of both the Mayan calendar and the I-Ching predictions and is the darkest period of the year exactly when darkness turns into brighter days on planet Earth. Can we say that Mankind awakes then? Will a business city be hit by a comet from space that lightens up the night and followed some later by a second part that ends in the ocean creating a tsunami that overflows towns later? Is that the interpretation of “Planet X”? This is an approximation by me, based on Revelation by John chapter 17-18. On 12.21.2012 Mankind and “alien” intelligences in outer space end priority rulership, for “Cosmos” to gain direct impact, making Mankind to wake up. Has Oslo, Norway, anything to do with this, that may matter Rome in Italy? Will a town be hit with many meteors the night until 12.22.2012, during 1 hour, and other meteors hitting the ocean later, damaging land areas and towns caused by tsunamis by meteors? 
    NB! The Roman calendar has a huge gap where several years are missing. I assume that such a correction is done! That you may study by related books.
    NB! The Maya Long Count is a cycle of 1,872,000 days until 12.21.2012. That is the date 13.0.0.0.0. There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012. The notion of a “Great Cycle” coming to an end is completely a fake modern invention. It’s not the end of the world what the ancient Maya tell us about 2012, but rather a start of a new 13.0.0.0.0 cycle of 1,872,000 days. The Mayan Long Count calendar would not reset after 13.0.0.0.0, it would continue up past 19.0.0.0.0, to the six-digit 1.0.0.0.0.0. The Maya Long Count calendar “started,” not at zero, but at 13.0.0.0.0; and in late December 2012 (12.21) it will reach 13.0.0.0.0 again for the first time in 5125 years, like a clock striking midnight. If you believe that the Maya regarded this recurrence as significant, rather than a coincidence, then perhaps they also believed coming day in 2012 might herald a new “Creation.” The Lord’s Day comes after the sun has become red. According to science that will not occure for many billion years! Before that there shall be 1000 years with peace, ruled by Cosmos on Planet Earth.
    Please check this as my major source:
    http://www.famsi.org/research/vanstone/2012/index.html

  10. You forgot the emerging organic spacecraft in snake form coiled up in the Chicxulub crater that is beginning to move now. The oil spill in the gulf is a leakage from that spacecraft. BP does not stand for British Petroleum, it is Baktun Prophecy!

    • Tata Cirilo Ox’laj “Wandering Wolf”Political Leader Of The Indiginous Council Of

      Guatemala,Part Carney,Self Promoter,Is Having A Internet Talk On

      08/15/10.Price $9.90.Going To Be In NYC For 10-10-10 Maya Conference.Good

      To See An Original Getting A Cut Of The “Shift” Hoop-la.

  11. Thanks for this very informative post! I’ve been searching for posts like these for hours now. LOL It’s always interesting to know more about 2012.

  12. Years ago, when you began your study of the Maya, could you have believed that you would find yourself in the middle of one the greatest firestorms of idoicy the world has ever seen?
    Keep up the good work.

    djp

  13. No, my plan with this blog was simply to discuss Maya research and archaeological theory. However, I began to blog at the same time as the 2012 hysteria began to rise. It is indeed a great firestorm of idiocy. Much ado about nothing.


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