Posted by: Johan Normark | November 27, 2012

2012: The history of Mayanism and the 2012 phenomenon, pt 2

Although most people have heard stories about the “end of the world” through cataclysmic events happening on December 21, 2012, that is not the main current in the history of 2012-phenomenon. It rather deals with enlightenment and a transformation of consciousness, which sometimes is preceded by cleansing catastrophes. Here I follow up my post from yesterday with the more recent development of the 2012-phenomenon that is part of the broader field of “Mayanism”. What you could see in the previous post is that the Western “invention of a sacred 2012 tradition” is falsely claimed to have originated in another culture. When this invented tradition filters back into Maya culture we have a hermeneutic feedback loop known as the “pizza effect.” The galactic alignment, crystal skulls, and the Five Suns are now part of the esoteric teachings of some of the Maya Elders. We also have a newer generation of Western New Agers who attempts to legitimize their ideas by quoting the Maya Elders’ “primordial wisdom.” This is a bad form of recycling. How did this particular 2012-circus begin?

In answering that question I largely rely on a recently published paper by Kevin Whitesides and John Hoopes, who I claim are the leading experts on the 2012-phenomenon/2012-mythology. What they argue, and what I agree with, is that the 2012-phenomenon “was created in 1966, in the context of Cold War fears, and most of the elements of 2012-related mythology can be construed as a hallucinogen-inspired legacy of the Sixties” (p 53).

Whatever happens in 2012 it is a New Age that is believed to be on the rise. In this view there is a collection of triggers or psychotechnologies that will change our consciousness (such as meditation, sensory deprivation, biofeedback, hypnosis, yoga, astrology and Tarot). The mistreatment of scientific concepts like quantum and galactic is also part of psychotechnology. The trigger Whitesides and Hoopes (p 52) focus on is the “ability to overcome cognitive dissonance (a sense of discomfort that comes with the recognition that one holds beliefs that are contradictory to one another).”

Flawed perceptions of both ancient and living Maya create this dissonance when New Agers, through their own spiritual revelation, believes that “an internalized reality of an indigenous culture as savage, violent, or “backward” cannot possibly be reconciled in the face of evidence for their “superior” technology. The revelation frequently takes the form of a belief that there must have been a decline from an ancient, highly sophisticated, superior knowledge to contemporary decadence, accompanied by the sense that our own culture has been similarly debased” (P 52).

This dissonance leads to yet another dissonance. What is taught in universities is therefore not the real story according to New Agers. Scientists are either deceitful or duped. People who share the esoteric explanations are deep, insightful, awake, and truthful. The path to spiritual enlightenment begins by rejecting academic/scientific knowledge. If you want an example of this, take a look at John Major Jenkins’ review of David Stuart’s book The Order of Days.

Let’s take a quick journey through the history of academic Mayanist research related to the Long Count. Joseph Goodman (the G in the GMT correlation) worked out the basic workings of the Maya Long Count in 1897 and he correlated it to the Gregorian calendar in a successful manner. He also launched the idea that the Long Count was cyclical (73 cycles in total). Later, Ernst Förstemann (1906) discussed the events described on the final pages of the Dresden Codex as representing a Great Flood and an apocalypse but he did not link it to the future 13 baktun ending. However, like other Mayanists back then,  Förstemann could not read the hieroglyphs apart from the calendars. The Great Flood in the Dresden Codex is a questionable interpretation but it has survived in the esoteric literature.

It was Michael Coe who first tied the correlation of the future Long Count date to a universal catastrophic event in the first edition of The Maya (1966). He linked this event to the Aztec cosmology of Five Suns. This fifth world is destined to be destroyed by earthquakes (ollin/movement). He miscalculated the “end date” or “Armageddon” to December 24, 2011. Coe was apparently “playing on Cold War fears to grab the attention of his readers” (P 55). For this the astrologer Raymond Mardyks claims Coe should be charged for crimes against humanity… Now we shall shift focus back to Mayanism again.

1975 is an important year in the history of the 2012-phenomenon. Four influential books were published by the authors Frank Waters, Terence and Dennis McKenna, José Argüelles, and Alan Landsburg. Waters cited Coe’s erroneous date but combined it with ideas from plenty of esoteric writers like Blavatsky, Cayce, Donnelly, and Le Plongeon, some of which I mentioned in the previous post. The latter authors were used to support ideas regarding Atlantis. Waters’ hyperdiffusional ideas created connections between the Maya and the Hopi as well, which is a recurrent theme in 2012-mythology. Waters’ main contribution is his use of the precession of the equinoxes, ideas later used by both Raymond Mardyks and John Major Jenkins (“the galactic alignment guys”). Waters followed Coe’s use of the Aztec Five Suns mythology but argued that five Long Counts creates a Platonic Year (roughly 26,000 years).

Alan Landsburg produced both a documentary and a book about outer space connections which are ideas prevalent in the 2012 mythology. I have covered Terence McKenna’s ideas on the Timewave before and I will not repeat them here. That blog post is also one of the most commented upon on this blog. I will add that Whitesides and Hoopes say that McKenna’s first version of the Timewave was based upon events in his own life (such as his birthday and later his mother’s death date). Not until he became aware of the “correct end date” (December 21, 2012) did he change the end-date of his Timewave to this date.

In 1983 the Mayanist Robert Sharer provided readers with the December 21, 2012 in his revised version of Sylvanus Morley’s The Ancient Maya. Eventually this new and “correct” correlation filtered into the esoteric camp as well. Argüelles, who died last year, has had a biography written by his fourth wife. There it is stated that he has been committed to 2012 from the very beginning (in 1975). This is not true because he began to focus on 2012 after he met McKenna at the Ojai institute in April 1985. There was no mention of a specific day in Argüelles writings before this meeting. This is a common strategy when one attempts to invent a sacred tradition, they change the historical trajectory in hindsight. After the meeting Argüelles wrote up a manuscript that discussed both the “Harmonic Convergence” (August 16-17, 1987) and December 21, 2012.

McKenna’s interpretations were tied to psychedelics and he claimed the Maya consumed psilocybin which revealed hidden knowledge. He was in favor of technology whereas Argüelles was technophobic. We find the same divergent tendencies regarding technology in other 2012-related literature. However, what all 2012 prophets share is that they “fail to achieve accuracy or consistency and often appear to bank on the hope that readers simply will not check them on their facts. The concern is with mythmaking, not objective reality” (P 67). This is a scenario that fits all 2012ers I have encountered so far.

One could list a multitude of literature and prophets that have emerged since the mid-1980s but that would take too long. I have also covered several of these 2012 prophets before on this blog. I conclude here, with a quote from Hoopes’ article I covered yesterday, that the 2012-phenomenon is “a contemporary projection of Western ideas with roots in European and more ancient Jewish and Christian cosmology and eschatology onto the ancient Maya for the purpose of achieving goals of individual renewal, self-improvement and self-actualisation” (Hoopes 2011:55).

Whitesides, Kevin A. and John W. Hoopes (2012). Seventies dreams and 21st century realities: The emergence of 2012 mythology. Zeitschrift für Anomalistik 12:50-74.

Psilocybe tea to wash down the pizza effect, anyone?

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  1. What will happen, if nothing will happen on Dec 21 2012 ?
    Maybe all the new agers, light workers, saviors, gurus, messiahs,
    channelers, secret agents, aliens, crazy people, prophets
    will make up a new date ?

    • October 2, 2027 is the date of the true apocalypse…

  2. My own plan for Dec 21st is to host a small party, and buy more than a consumable amount of perishable food. The extra will be placed in the fridge for Dec 22nd.

  3. Och den här gruppen Ocean Explorer som härjar på Facebook med sina 13 000 medlemmar. Alltså ett UFO på Östersjönbotten.

    • Föga förvånande ser man länkar till bosniska “pyramider” osv.

  4. [...] “end date” is understandable only from taking a look at the history of the 2012-phenomenon. As Whitesides and Hoopes writes, it was the Mayanist Michael Coe (1966) who related the 13 baktun “cycle” with that of [...]

  5. I have a book from 1970 which mentions the Mayan Long-Count end-date, so the idea has floated around in the zeitgeist quite a while. Seems a pity that the modern day Maya never received a penny from the spiritual hucksters who profited from this nonsense.

  6. [...] point of views was the same as these people’s views. They are the result of the infamous Pizza effect, the effect that has driven the whole [...]

  7. I, Ray Mardyks did not follow Waters in using the precession of the equinoxes. My primary source is the Maya codex called the BOOK OF LIGHT aka Dresden Codex. The galactic alignment has always been recognized by me as one of several factors in the astrology of our time and a precurser to Venus and Eclipse events forecast in the codex. The simplistic and misinformed JMJ version is based in precession, but mine is not. Precession is a local solar system occurance while Maya astrology is GALACTIC. 2012 is a GALACTIC phenomenon, beyond the consciousness of most of humanity. Please stop misinterpretiing my work. This puts you in the club with JMJ and Hoopes.

    • I will not misinterpret your work anymore, I will completely ignore it.

      • Ignore it completely? That means not thinking about the galactic alignment or those whose theories are built around my work. Not going to happen. We set out to offer people an alternative association with 2012 other than the end of the world and “galactic” is it. We got you!

      • No, I got you. You are the one who cannot ignore me. You keep returning and post comments for your need of attention (isn’t JMJ replying you?). I don’t need you but you apparently need me…

        Here are some numbers for you. I mention the galactic alignment (usually in the passing) in 13 posts and you by name twice (out of 243 that deals with he 2012 circus and 749 in total). See, I have almost ignored your idea in the past as well. You have now also reached the top position of comments on this blog (excluding me of course). Of the past 1000 comments you have made 62. No matter how you turn things around you are captured by this blog by a far greater degree than I am captured by the galactic alignment. So, go back to our stars and other dimensions and keep dreaming of your greatness.

      • Do you think you can do your book on 2012 without “any” mention of the galactic alignment? I doubt it. It is a central theme in the meme. I came here because you were publically saying ignorant and stupid things about it. I thought you may want to be less stupid about it. Guess I was off base there. Oh, well. I reread some of my contributions here and I think they may be very helpful to some of your more open-minded audience. I feel done, for now. Thanks for the opportunity. Gratitude is good for opening the heart. Ta ta.

      • I will of course mention the galactic alignment but I will emphasize JMJ (and ignore your irrelevant contribution all together). I will illustrate the works of cranks with comments from you (and JMJ). Thanks for your valuable comments (not in the way you intended them)…

      • Use my comments, but not as I intended them? Focus on the JMJ alignment? Thanks for being more honest about your intentions to misinterpret my work. Now that’s a shift in consciousness! Lol

      • No, it is about being consistent. Since the book is about my blogging about the 2012-circus I will focus on what I have covered in my entires and I have not covered you in any detail as you are not a major figure in this circus (although you clearly think you are). When it comes to JMJ, I am also mainly focusing on his “esoteric” interpretation of the alignment rather than the phenomenon itself.

        I assume your comments, from your perspective, is about clarifying whatever you believe in. To me they reflect a typical behavior of a crank and therefore I will use them in that way. I will use direct quotes but I assume that is also a way to misinterpret your work?

      • JMJ is not esoteric. Maybe to you. His work is on youtube and TV! The true esoterics regarding the galactic alignment continue to elude him and you. Maybe you need to clarify for yourself the true definiton of esoteric. You seem to be confusing it with “crank”. In your field, what is the term for trying to gain knowledge by attacking the source in hopes of a defensive apocalypse or letting down of the veil? 2012 was a mass consciousness mind control experiment. Your reactions are being monitored. Try that for something esoteric.

      • After clarifying the definitions of esoteric, stupid and crank, I find that you are confusing myself and JMJ. Understandable. I’m the esotericist and he is the crank. Putting us together makes you look stupid … REALLY stupid.

      • You seem to have missed the “” around the word esoteric. Yeah, I am the one who looks stupid… LOL. Thanks Ray, keep bringing me the fun stuff.

    • Hi Ray.
      Are you sure, th Maya Astrology is Galactic?
      All the Mayanista know that the Maya did not know that the Galaxy even existed.

      • Yes, I am certain, because that is what it can do. I recognize that most people who work with the 260-day count and other aspects of the calendar never access its galactic potential. “Galactic” refers to a level of consciousness, not the modern idea of what a galaxy is. It involves the stars. Astrology that works with the stars, rather than just signs is approaching galactic. These are not the same stars that scientists or astronomers perceive. True astrology maps inner space and is not based in astronomical reasoning. The Maya as well as other indigenous people speak of those from the stars teaching their ancestors and this falls under “galactic”.

      • Mardyks,

        Let’s see if I understand this….

        Galactic astrology, unlike the other kinds of astrology, is about the stars, but they aren’t really stars, and the galaxy isn’t really a galaxy, and it was taught by beings from the stars which aren’t really stars either…

        So, galactic astrology has nothing to do with either stars or galaxies, or anything that is measured by astronomy. Why even bother with the galactic alignment, then, or trying to measure precisely the date on which it takes place? If the positions of the real stars and galactic center don’t matter to begin with, what difference does it make?

        I can understand the idea of it all being symbolic, but if you are trying to interface real data with symbols, there has to be some criteria for distinguishing which is which, and what are the relations between the two.

      • I doubt that Mardyks follows any objective criteria. It is all in his mind and there it should stay.

  8. Well now we all know what Post-21/12/12 looks like… not much different to before 21/12/12. Which most of us kind of knew, but secretly worried wouldn’t be the case.

    • I wasn’t worried at all.

  9. Mr. Mardyks,

    Regarding this statement directed at Johan Normark in your post of December 30, 2012 at 17:42:

    “Use my comments, but not as I intended them? Focus on the JMJ
    alignment? Thanks for being more honest about your intentions to
    misinterpret my work.”

    No reasonable person would infer (from his post to which you were replying) an *intention* to misinterpret your work. Especially since your post of December 30, 2012 at 00:13 eliminated any motive he might have had for doing so. Your version of the “Galactic Alignment” described in that post is not the one that gave rise to the 2012 Circus. JMJ’s is. So, just as Johan said, your version is irrelevant to Johan’s subject. I suspect that Johan will be happy to quote said post to make the irrelevance of your Alignment obvious to all.

    • A genuine researcher would recognize that my earlier writings on the galactic alignment, associating it with the ancient Maya and 2012 are seminal to JMJ’s theory. Prof. Hoopes has done his homework and recognizes this fact. READ the Wikipedia entry under MYSTICISM. JOHAN HAS CLEARLY STATED HIS INTENTION TO MISINTERPRET MY WORK, AS HE FOLLOWS IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF JMJ. I’m not here to argue.

      • No, I have not stated that my intention is to misinterpret you (and writing in block letters does not make your claim accurate). I have stated that I shall ignore you in my book since I have not discussed you in any greater detail on this blog. This book is not about your ego or the galactic alignment. It is about four years of blogging about a public archaeological phenomenon (note the emphasis on archaeology, not astrology). It is not a history about the 2012 phenomenon or intended as a “complete coverage”. Far more important 2012ers are largely left outside this coverage (Argüelles and Pinchbeck). As a representation of a non-Mayanist perspective you will fit just fine as you have turned out to be the top commentator this year.

      • NASA recently posted a page to discuss the galactic alignment, an expression also used in the 2012 movie. As we reached the final hour, I didn’t see any of Jose’s or Pinch’s ideas circulating in mass consciousness. But the “galactic” alignment … still going strong. And of course, CIA operative Coe’s “apocalypse” and Forstemann’s “end of the world”. I didn’t put my ego out there, like Jose’, JMJ, Pinch and others … just the WORK. Get a perspective on this.

      • Well, you are for sure putting your ego out here on this blog. Get a perspective on that first. Why waste time on a blog with 300-400 hits a day (and perhaps 10-15 on this particular post)? If the galactic alignment is truly circulating in mass consciousness you should still see it in the news. You are not. I am guessing your presence here is a last grasp of straw for some attention in the post-2012 era.

      • Really? Then what is this?

      • It is one of your last straws. The shortage of Twinkies is much more important.

      • Mr. Mardyks,

        I checked the “Mysticism” section of Wikipedia’s “2012 Phenomenon” article.

        The alignment attributed to you there -and which you are quoted as saying “would be most definitely of utmost significance to the top flight ancient astrologers”- is stated in terms of conventional astronomy. Your post of December 30, 2012 at 00:13 indicates that Maya astrology didn’t deal with conventional astronomy.


      • Ray,

        What evidence do you have that Michael Coe is actually a CIA agent? And if he is, who is he supposed to be spying on?

        I recently read his 2011 edition of The Maya and it doesn’t contain any scary warnings about an end-of-2012 apocalypse, so if he put anything like that in an earlier book, he has since revised it. (If I recall correctly, he gave the Dec. 23 date for the period ending.)

        ~ Agent 007-Macaw

      • I have decided to stop feeding this particular troll. If you want answers from him you can probably find him in some dimension beyond the grasp of non-astrologers.

  10. The galactic alignment was introduced using the imagery of conventional astronomy, so people could “begin to approach” an understanding it. It was a starting point. Find my blog posts introducing spinning pyramidal, octahedral hyperdimensional sacred geometry and you may glimpse a little closer. My work in terms of an authentic MAYA CODEX AND ITS MATHEMATICS gets little to no positive response. People don’t seem to care what the ancient Maya actual said about our time. Johan’s fixation on JMJ’s bullshit seems to be the norm.

    • The imagery of the solar disk across the galactic equator was originally mine. An example of major 2012 stupidity is how JMJ got a 36-year cycle by measuring the relative size of the solar disk. The Maya calendar tracks the galactic frequencies transmitted “through” the Sun. 13-tun periods from 1987 to galactic alignment 2000 to 2012. Focusing on the Sun itself totally misses the point. And there is no 36-year cycle in the Maya system. Really, really stupid shit IMHO. And this is what gets quoted and repeated. This misinformation is what fascinates Johan and many others.

      • Mr. Mardyks,

        Regarding your post of December 31, 2012 at 03:10:

        You are very badly mistaken if you think that either Johan or I are unaware of how bogus JMJ’s astronomy is, starting with JMJ’s ignorance of what the galactic equator is. An ignorance which you and JMJ share, funnily enough, despite his magic mushrooms and your vast knowledge of “spinning pyramidal, octahedral hyperdimensional sacred geometry”.

      • Mardyks is delusional about pretty much everything. Either that or he is just trolling because he has nothing else to do (apart from trying to find few supporters to his insignificant idea). This is the second time I have decided to stop letting someone’s comments through. The first time was another astrologer. Astrology seems to attract people with issues. Let’s hope Ray can find some peace in his horoscope. The stars are not looking bright for him now.

    • Mr. Mardyks,

      Regarding your post of December 31, 2012 at 02:57, in reply to mine of December 31, 2012 at 01:31:

      The assertions attributed to you in the Wikipedia article to which you referred me, and the post of yours that I cited, do not mention anything about helping people “begin to approach” the galactic alignment. Instead, the Wiki article says that the real alignment of the Sun with the Equator of our real Galaxy would undoubtedly have been of “utmost significance” to top-flight astrologers.

      This assertion about the interests of top-flight astrologers seems difficult to reconcile with your post of December 30, 2012 at 00:13, which indicates that Maya astrology didn’t deal with that galaxy and conventional astronomy. That apparent contradiction (regarding what Maya astrology was and wasn’t based considered important) is what I would like to clear up.

      Also, you’re taking for granted that the ancient Maya were aware of the Galactic Equator. What do you base that upon? How do you propose that they knew, 2000 years ago, how the IAU would choose to define it in 1958? I assume you know that the IAU *defined rather than *determined it, and that it’s not the Galaxy’s equator in the sense that the word “equator” is commonly used?

      Furthermore, you said in your post of December 30, 2012 at 00:13 that “Galactic” refers to a level of consciousness, not the modern idea of what a galaxy is. What is the relevance of the IAU-defined Equator of the real galaxy to the “level-of-consciousness” galaxy?

      Please provide links to any sources you might give in reply. Until you show that you’ve thought these questions through better than you seem to have at this point, I won’t bother hunting down yout writings just because you tell me that somewhere therein all will be made clear.

  11. Your work does get “little to no positive response”. You don’t understand why? Think about that for a while.

    My fixation and fascination regarding JMJ’s galactic stuff? What part did you misunderstand now? I have devoted 1 page out of 139 pages on that theory. I don’t believe it and neither do I believe your stuff. You are just mad that JMJ got all the attention, an attention that you seek here. Pathetic really. Go troll someone else, preferably in another dimension.

    • Hmmm. I have read this “envy” of jmj suggestion before. Now where was that? Of course, it was jmj himself. Looks like you are still following and promoting him and his ideas. How many times do you mention his name? Notice how you directed our dialogue to a discussion of him, rather than the ideas involved. If I really wanted attention, I would do a web site and leave links everywhere, just like jmj. I am just testing Einstein’s theory of human stupidity. He seems to be right on. Thanks for your help. You can have the last word now …

      • Promoting his ideas? Man, you are truly a moron. You brought him up and I have responded to your delusions… Poor man, you are so ignored and will continue to be so. Yes, this was indeed the last time I let your deranged comments through.



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