The world will end in 2012! At least this is believed by a growing number of people that are falling for the Mayan calendar hoax. I call it a hoax because once you learn about the workings of their three (at least) calendars and hear what else they believed you will see that this end time event is being used like Y2K to make money by capitalizing on fear. By writing this article I hope to reduce some fear about the unknown in some individuals by outlining and investigating the Mayans, their calendar, and their belief systems.
The Mayans utilized at least three different calendars. The main Mayan calendars were called the Haab, Tzolkin, and the Long Count. The Haab was a 365 day long calendar and was used for planting crops. The Tzolkin was a 260 day long calendar that consisted of 20 weeks of 13 days and was used for religious ceremonies. The Long Count calendar simply kept track of the time since the beginning of the current cycle. The Mayans believed that we are currently in the 4th cycle since the beginning of time.
The Mayans kept track of the days with a number system that looked like this:
The numbers worked like an odometer on a car, when the number on the right flipped it made the number to the immediate left increase by one. The only difference between these numbers and the numbers in your car is that these numbers did not flip after the number nine like American numbers. Rather each number slot increases to a certain number such as 13 before flipping back to zero.
Using the numbers above, the number 9 is in the slot that was called the kin and it could range from 0-19. The same range of numbers was used with the third (15) and fourth (13) numbers reading from the right to left as well. The second number from the right (5) was called the uinal and it had a range of numbers that went from 0-17. The last number (11) reading from right to left was called the baktun and could range from 1-13. For the baktun to switch from 11 to 12 for example it would take approximately 394 years.
The key point of the Mayan calendar system is the significance the Mayans placed on the numbers 13, 18, and 20. Even if one could accurately proclaim that the numbers 18 and 20 were determined based on observable astronomical cycles the same cannot be said about the number 13. Since the cycle of the baktun (13) takes approximately 394 years to complete, and no Mayan lived to be that old, there is no way to be 100% sure that the cycle should end at the number 13. So we must assume that more than likely the number 13 came from some type of religious based system or oral tradition. Either way this throws a monkey wrench in the doomsday scenario created by the Mayan calendar. Putting all reason aside that there is even a 5,126 year cycle in the first place and assuming that the calendar is right and that when a complete cycle occurs dramatic events unfold on the face of the earth we are still faced with the problem of the chosen final number 13. If the final number would have been 12 then the end of the world would have occurred around 390 years ago. If the final number would have been 14 then we would not see the end of the world until the year 2406. Still, what if the final number of the baktun cycle should have been 99? This would put the end of the cycle somewhere around the year 33,887. The doomsday prediction is based on the fact that the Mayans somehow knew exactly when a complete cycle ended. Do you see the folly behind this reasoning?
Even if you believed that the Mayans knew some kind of hidden knowledge about earth cycles there still is not any reason to panic about December 21, 2012. Contrary to popular belief the Mayan calendar does not stop on December 21, 2012. Rather the calendar continues to predict eclipses and other pertinent events after the so called 2012 doomsday. In fact, the most famous ruler of the Mayan people, Pacal, predicted that his accession would be celebrated by people in the year 4772. That is 2760 years after 2012! Furthermore, according to Sandra Noble, executive director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, the Mayans did not look at December 21, 2012 as a day of doom but rather a day of celebration:
“For the ancient Maya, it was a huge celebration to make it to the end of a whole cycle.” To render Dec. 21, 2012, as a doomsday or moment of cosmic shifting, she says, is “a complete fabrication and a chance for a lot of people to cash in.” Source: USA Today
You may search the internet and find thousands of so called experts predicting the end of the world in 2012 based on information attained from the Mayan calendar but I would prefer to listen to an expert such as Sandra Noble. We should have no fear about the Mayan calendar as it does not predict a doomsday occurring on December 21, 2012! In part two of this article I will highlight the belief system of the Mayans and I believe that this will cause you to lose even more faith in anything that the Mayans proclaimed.
No related posts.
Related posts brought to you by Yet Another Related Posts Plugin.