So far I have exposed some of the prophets of nonsense and their overall ideas concerning the 2012 end date. In this post I begin a possibly longer series of posts that emphasize the prophets’ use of data that they claim is Mayan but which is not. The purpose of these posts is to expose these self-proclaimed experts’ poor or twisted knowledge of the Maya. There are other blogs that better expose the flaws of the more astronomical part of these predictions and prophecies, such as 2012hoax, Yowcrooks, Exposing Pseudoastronomy, etc.
Now, if you do end up at one of these prophets’ websites or find their books in a bookstore, you are very likely to encounter a depiction of a calendar. The likelihood is also that this calendar not even derives from the Maya area, but from the Aztec area. You’ll probably see the Aztec Sun Calendar. This large stone, 3.6 m in diameter, was originally located in the central part of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital now buried below Mexico City. However, this is not a fully functional calendar (so it is basically a double flaw in the use of this calendar in New Age literature). The stone commemorates the five mythic world-creations (“suns”).
In the center of the stone we have the sun god Tonatiuh or possibly the earth monster Tlaltecuhtli. It is surrounded by four squares called Nahui-Ollin (Four Movement). These represent four earlier creations (suns), that all were destroyed through cataclysmic events (jaguars, wind, rain, and flood). The Aztec believed they lived in the fifth and final world. Surrounding these are twenty squares that mention twenty Aztec day names (the equivalent of a winal in Maya calendar).
There are eight “arrow looking” details that surround the days. These are sun rays placed at cardinal points. Encircling these rays are two snakes that faces each other at the bottom of the stone. These snakes have designs that are believed to represent the 52 year calendar. At the top of the stone, between the tails of the snakes, is a square with the date 13 Reed carved. This corresponds to AD 1479, and is assumed to be the date the stone was finished or it relates to a date 52 years earlier, in 1427, when the Aztec tlatoani (ruler) Itzcoatl rose to power. It is also the beginning of the current creation which to the Aztec occured in AD 1011 (the Maya long count/the world’s creation is dated to 3114 BC, roughly 4000 years earlier…).
The Aztecs did not use the long count calendar and they did not predict any end in 2012. Now, one of the reasons why this stone figures in New Age nonsense is that it (and other sources) states that the Aztecs were living in the fifth (and final) creation. The prophet John Major Jenkins has multiplied 5 with the length of the long count (roughly 25,500 years) and through this operation he claims that the Maya knew about the precision of the equinoxes, which is roughly this length of time.
However, there is no evidence that the Classic period Maya believed in five creations. Sure, Popol Vuh talks about several creations but this is in the 1550s when the area had been affected by Aztec beliefs. Yes, the Maya and Aztec shared a view of the world being spatially divided in four sections with a center (five in total) and they both had 365-days, 260-days, and 52 years cycles. But where they differ in terms of calendars is that the Maya also used a 360-days long cycle called tun (stone). This is then multiplied with 20, 400, 8000, etc., and these periods were used to describe far longer time periods than the 52 year cycle which all Mesoamerican people used. What we can see in the Classic period Maya calendars is that there are timeperiods way longer than the age of our universe, and there are dates beyond 2012.
So, now you know you see a prophet of nonsense if they use the Aztec Sun Calendar to convince you that the world will end/transform according to the Maya calendar. If they fail to see the difference between Aztec and Maya calendars, I am pretty sure they will have problems seeing other differences as well.