No Mayan Apocalypse in 2012
Contrary to a widespread myth – as parroted by the History Channel, the movie and Internet buzz – and contrary to all of the hype from Mexican tourist agencies, the Mayans did not prophesy that the world would end on December 21, 2012.
Initially, there are many dates recorded on Mayan calendars which are well beyond 12/21/2012. The 2012 date was apparently only found on a single Mayan inscription.
And the Mayan elders themselves are having none of it.
As AP noted in 2009:
Apolinario Chile Pixtun is tired of being bombarded with frantic questions about the Mayan calendar supposedly “running out” on Dec. 21, 2012. After all, it’s not the end of the world.
Or is it?
Definitely not, the Mayan Indian elder insists.
Chile Pixtun, a Guatemalan, says the doomsday theories spring from Western, not Mayan ideas.
But you don’t have to believe just any Mayan elder.
Similarly, Ricardo Cajas – president of the Colectivo de Organizaciones Indígenas de Guatemala – said the date did not represent an end of humanity or fulfillment of the catastrophic prophecies, but that the new cycle “supposes changes in human consciousness.” (Translation).
And Maya Grand Elder Alejandro Cirilo Perez Oxlaj is the leader of the National Mayan Council of Elders of Guatemala, Day Keeper of the Mayan Calendar, 13th generation Quiche Mayan Spiritual Leader, the “roving ambassador for the Maya”, a founder and Grand Elder of the Continental Council of Elders & Spiritual Guides of the Americas, an Extraordinary Ambassador in the Guatemalan government representing the indigenous pueblos, and an international lecturer on Mayan culture.
While Oxlaj certainly warns about man-made problems, he says that December 21, 2012 is not the end of the Mayan calendar:
Contrary to popular belief the living elders of the Maya do not agree that December 21, 2012 is the end of their calendar. A new “Sun” represents the beginning of a new Long Count cycle in the calendar system of approximately 5,200 years, which they say may not happen for many years.
Indeed, some Mayan spiritual leaders are angry about the whole 2012 apocalypse myth because it mischaracterizes Mayan beliefs.
Maybe 2012 Will Be a GOOD Thing
New Age folks claim that Earth will be exactly aligned with the center of our galaxy on December 21.
I’m not sure whether or not that’s true. For example, a Cornell astronomer says that the Earth is frequently “aligned” with the galactic center. And it is not even clear whether the Earth will line up with the center of the galaxy in 2012. For example, one mathematician calculates that it happened in 1998.
But even assuming it’s true, is it necessarily a bad thing? What do other ancient cultures say?
Ancient Yogic texts claim that the center of our galaxy emits some type of frequency or radiation which helps humankind to evolve.
Indeed, they claim that – the closer Earth gets to the center of the galaxy as it travels around its around the galactic center – the happier and more evolved we become.
(I’m not promoting the ancient Yogic view; merely pointing out that a very old tradition – which, like the Maya closely studied the stars and had time-keeping systems spanning tens of thousands of years – had positive associations with the center of the galaxy.)
Don’t Throw the Baby Out With the Bathwater
Although the whole Mayan 2012 thing is fake, that doesn’t mean that what happens in space can’t effect us.
As I’ve previously noted, the Sun affects many more aspects of our lives than scientists had realized.
For example – believe it or not – what happens inside the sun can change the rate of radioactive decay in particles on Earth. And solar activity could render virtually nuclear power plant a ticking time bomb.
In 2008, scientists said that the sun’s solar wind is at a 50-year low. Since the solar wind shields Earth from harmful radiation originating outside of our solar system, such occurrences could affect us.
The same year, scientists discovered that we were being bombarded by high-energy cosmic rays from an unknown source outside of our solar system. More interesting still, scientists aren’t sure whether the cosmic rays came from a conventional object or something more esoteric … like dark matter.
In addition, Nasa scientists have recently discovered that black holes – like the one at the center of our galaxy – have “pulses” of radiation, and that our galaxy’s black hole has at times put out much more radiation than it is currently emitting.
Nasa has also pointed out:
The Sun – in fact, our whole solar system – orbits around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.
Indeed, before you get too cocky in doubting that things further away than our Sun can affect the Earth, you may wish to note that a region of space in the Centaurus Supercluster is so dense and has such a massive gravitational pull that it is pulling our entire galaxy and all of the nearby galaxies towards it at the speed of 1,000,000 miles an hour.
What does this mean for us?
As I noted in August:
The science of the affect of space events on Earth is in its infancy, and that there are many fascinating discoveries in our future. When scientists understand all of the ways that the Sun and Earth [and other regions of our galaxy and beyond] interact, we will know alot more about the Earth and our place in the universe than we do today.