by Carl Johan Calleman, Ph.D.
I have found that a large number of people still believe that the Mayan calendar ended in 2012, not only those that took a casual interest in this calendar, but also some of those that were quite engaged. Possibly partly because of disappointment everyone in the latter group did not fully assimilate the discussions that did follow upon 2012 in order to understand what had happened. I should already here recognize, as I did in an article written on my blog on December 31, 2012 and later in my book The Nine Waves of Creation that I have also myself contributed to the confusion regarding the so-called “ending” of the Mayan calendar. At least I have however corrected myself and taken responsibility for my part in this. Yet, that a whole field of researchers gets it wrong is nothing unusual in scholarly endeavors. Moving through such errors is what the scientific process is all about. What is important is however that the errors are corrected so as to create a new opening for understanding and this is what I am going to discuss in this article. For some, this may seem like a somewhat technical article, but on the other hand the topic remains of critical importance for our understanding not only of the past but also of the future of humanity. Thus, I think it is worth diving into the matter. The Mayan calendar itself was not wrong. A large number of researchers and students of this were however wrong on a critical point and I am not talking about silly Hollywood disaster moviemakers, but of the serious people. Because of this error in our understanding of the Mayan calendar we have to make the appropriate corrections if we are to arrive at a new and expanded understanding of this.
To begin with we may wonder from where the idea came that the so-called Long Count would come to an end. When people used to talk about the “end” of the Mayan calendar they were actually referring to this particular calendar, the Long Count, which is a wave form that have been developing in phases called baktuns of 144,000 days each starting in 3115 BCE. (We will here leave aside the question of when this began exactly and in what context the Long Count existed to other waves). This was the highest frequency creation wave followed by the Ancient Maya, which is not surprising since at the time no wave with a higher frequency had been activated. Hence, to them the Long Count was their main chronology to which they related especially their own dynastic histories. A critical question regarding the purported end of the Long Count is then how many baktuns this was supposed to consist of. Is the Long Count constituted by thirteen baktuns, of twenty baktuns or is it in fact endless going into the future never to end? If it would have been thirteen baktuns long then it would have ended in 2011 (or 2012) and the world would have experienced a profound discontinuity as the Long Count conceivably would have been followed by a new cycle. If it would be twenty baktuns long then its end would generate a discontinuity in 4772 CE, but if it was in fact endless there would never be any discontinuity or end of time generated by the Long Count. There would only be an ongoing wave movement going up and down with its shifting phases (baktuns). Hence, there are three different possible solutions to the problem.
Although the contemporary Maya hardly argued that their calendar would come to an end, they had long since (about 1000 years ago) ceased to follow the Long Count or any of the other higher waves of the calendar system. Hence, modern scholars had to rely on what they could gather from the archeological findings about the calendar system of the ancient Maya. Quite a few archeologists would argue that the Long Count would be limited to thirteen baktuns and this included in the very influential book The Maya written by Michael Coe. He originally placed the end of the Long Count after thirteen baktuns to 2011, but later changed it to 2012. This shift date was then picked up as being of significance by some early pioneers giving the Mayan calendar meaning, such as Peter Balin and Frank Waters. What had a much greater impact was however when Jose Argüelles wrote The Mayan Factor and said about December 21, 2012: Then it shall be ready. The unique moment. The moment of total planetary synchronization, 22.214.171.124.0. on the beam, will arrive – the closing out not only of the Great Cycle, but of the evolutionary interim called Homo sapiens. Amidst festive preparations and awesome galactic-solar signs psychically received, the human race, in harmony with the animal and other kingdoms and taking its rightful place in the electromagnetic sea, will unify as a single circuit. Solar and galactic sound transmissions will inundate the planetary field. At last, the Earth will be ready for the emergence into the inter-planetary civilization.
To Argüelles there was obviously no doubtthat the Long Count was limited to thirteen baktuns and that the date this would come to a close would generate a profound discontinuity as described above. Yet, few people would probably agree today that the above was a good description of what happened on December 21, 2012, which by all standards was a very uneventful day. Something must have been wrong here. Argüelles himself however had passed away about a year earlier and we do not know what he would have now said about it. As far as I know none of his followers has taken up the mantle and addressed the issue. This again raises the questions as to whether the Long Count was truly thirteen baktuns and if it was not, could this explain why there was no such discontinuity on December 21, 2012 as Argüelles had envisioned. Could it then be that the idea that most archeologists had been promoting, namely that the Long Count was limited to thirteen baktuns was in error? Certainly, it was on their information that Argüelles had based himself.
I should here say that Argüelles was not alone among more visionary researchers to hold the idea that the Long Count was limited to thirteen baktuns. He just came out first and was the most influential proponent of this. I myself also essentially believed the archeologists to have been right and so did the late John Major Jenkins, who gave one of his books the subtitle The true meaning of the Maya calendar end date. To our defense, and to the defense of the archeologists, there were in fact some very good reasons to believe that the Long Count should have been limited to thirteen baktuns. One is the prominence of the number 13 in the sacred tzolkin calendar of the Maya, which is a microcosmic matrix for all the waves including the Long Count. Another the fact that there are many inscriptions from the ancient Maya describing a pre-Long Count lasting from 8240 BCE to 3115 BCE, which was then in fact thirteen baktuns. If so, why would not the Long Count similarly be limited to thirteen baktuns. Indeed, if the Long Count would not be thirteen baktuns similarly to its preceding creation wave, this would be truly very mysterious. It would imply that the Long Count would not be a cyclically repeated phenomenon of identical duration as astronomical phenomena are. If the pre-Long Count and the Long Count did not have the same durations then they would have to emanate in the activation of waves in the quantum field and at the time for many this seemed unthinkable.
From my own perspective I had always known that there were ancient Mayan inscription dates deep into the future, but had chosen to ignore them (I take it both Argüelles and Jenkins did the same). After all, most disciplines of study display some anomalies, outliers that cannot be understood from the established context and I thought those dates were examples of such. I thus only started to realize that there must have been something seriously wrong with the established idea about the Long Count when I heard from Dr Mark van Stone that there was in fact no evidence from the ancient Maya saying that this would be limited to thirteen baktuns. On the contrary, there was evidence from ancient times that they believed this to go beyond thirteen baktuns. I quote from van Stone’s book 2012 – Science and Prophecy of the ancient Maya: There are bits of evidence suggesting that although the Maya reset the Long Count at the last 126.96.36.199.0 they don’t plan to do it in 2012. At least some of them expected no more recreations after this one. After 188.8.131.52.0 would come 184.108.40.206.0 and 220.127.116.11.0, and on up. (We are in other words now in the fourteenth baktun of the Long Count and not in the first baktun of a new cycle). The evidence for this comes from Yaxchilan, Palenque and Tikal, places that were at the leading edge regarding calendars in the ancient Mayan world.
For example, at the Temple of the Inscription in Palenque there is a relief describing different (presumptive) celebrations of the anniversaries of the coronation of Pacal. One of them points to a date 18.104.22.168.0.8 (1 Pictun, 0 Baktuns, 0 Katuns, 0 Tuns, 0 winals and 8 kin) in the future, which would point to the year 4772 CE. The point is not here only that this date shows that the Mayan Calendar in the view of the Palenqueans continued well beyond our own time. This notation also shows that the Long Count was not expected to reset in 2012, in which case it would have been described as 22.214.171.124.8 (deducting 13 baktuns from 1 Pictun, which corresponds to twenty baktuns). In the ancient view the Long Count would thus not reset with a discontinuity on December 21, 2012, but would go on to at least twenty baktuns and maybe the added 8 days was a message that it would go on endlessly, which is what I believe.
This was profound knowledge and meant that the whole idea of a discontinuity at the end of the Long count lacked a foundation in ancient sources. The Mayan calendar did not end and there was no indication that a new cycle would begin in 2012. Starting with my article Some New Reflections on the Mayan Calendar “end” date from December 31, 2012 I began to correct my earlier view and develop one where there was no end to the wave movement of the Long Count (or any of the other eight waves of creation). The consequences of these discoveries by van Stone were profound as they meant that logically speaking all the waves of the Mayan calendar system, not only the Long Count, should continue into the future. In principle we can then still understand what is happening in the world from the interference patterns of these different waves of the Mayan calendar, although they may not always be easy to interpret.
While obviously John Jenkins must also have been surprised at the uneventful nature of December 21, 2012 date, it was his long time supporter Geoff Stray who addressed the issue of the duration of the Long Count in an article of July of 2013 called Mysteries of the Long Count which he sells on his web site. This is a good article and describes in much detail what views different Mayanist researchers in the past had held regarding the duration of the Long Count. His conclusion is essentially the same as mine, except that while I clearly say that the idea of a thirteen baktun Long Count was wrong, he merely entertains this as a possibility. While he criticizes the archeologists for not having gotten it right, he does not take a clear stand for twenty baktuns or more himself. Since John Jenkins endorsed Stray’s article we have reasons to assume that it reflected also the view of John and in fact may have been what ultimately defined his legacy regarding the Long Count.
But why, we may ask, did Stray not take a clear stand regarding the duration of the Long Count to say that it was actually twenty baktuns (or more). I think he had strong reasons to avoid this, We should then remember that Stray before the shift would say that on the very day of December 21, 2012 there would, because of the “galactic alignment” of the midwinter sun, be a burst of DMT (dimethyltryptamine) affecting many people, which would generate a widespread transformation. Again, this did not happen on this date and so for him there was little reason to claim that the Long Count would have been limited to thirteen baktuns. Why then did he sit on the fence about it and did not clearly recognize that the Long Count is at least twenty baktuns? This is explained by the fact that this would make irrelevant all what he had been saying for so many years about a galactic alignment and the precessional cycle’s role for this. All of this would go out the window because if indeed the Long Count was not limited to thirteen baktuns the shift on December 21, 2012 would not have had the meaning as an end date as Jenkins had proposed and so the whole idea of a galactic alignment would be exposed. There was in fact no ancient Mayan text mentioning anything like a galactic alignment or a 26,000 year precessional cycle that this was linked to. These were ideas made up and believed by modern people.
It should here be mentioned that, based on the idea of a thirteen baktun duration of the Long Count, many of Jenkins’ followers had come to believe in a precessional cycle of 26,000 years. They thought this was the basis of the Mayan calendar because it seemed that the duration of five Long Counts, 5 x 5,125 = 25,500 years was so close to the duration of this astrological cycle. Consider then what would happen to this correspondence if the Long Count (which after all Stray implies) would be twenty baktuns. Then five presumed Long Count cycles would have a total duration of 4 x 5,125 + 7,900 = 28,400 years, which would not jive very well with the precessional cycle. The whole theory that the Mayan Long Count would be based on the precessional cycle would then also be exposed at least among critically thinking people. This is presumably the reason that Stray does not take a stand regarding the duration of the Long Count as either way – whether the Long Count is thirteen or twenty baktuns – the idea of a precession-based galactic alignment in 2012– would be seen to lack any foundation. Despite Stray having written this article and Jenkins endorsed it you however still find people who believe that the Mayan calendar was based on the 26,000 year precessional cycle and that this ended on December 21, 2012. Based on Stray’s own arguments this can however not possibly have been the case. Regardless of the fact that Stray does not draw the full consequences of his article it is however well worth reading.
Someone may then wonder why the ancient Maya wrote the Tortuguero Monument No 6 inscription about the recent shift if this was not indeed an end to the Long Count. And yes, it is actually quite astonishing that the Maya some 1500 years ago wrote an inscription pointing to a very profound shift in our own time. They must then have seen that this indeed was a very significant shift. And here comes what may be the most difficult for many to understand: The October 28, 2011 date (or as some believe December 21, 2012) was not an important date because it was an end date, but because it was a synchronization date. The meaning of Bolon Yokte Kuh (The nine step divinity – Bolon means nine in Mayan language) appearing in his full regalia (as the inscription reads) is important because for the first time in the history of the universe all nine waves (the full regalia of the nine level god) had been activated by March 9. 2011. They were actually for a moment in time in October of 2011 also synchronized and in the same thirteenth phase at this particular shift date. This was indeed a highly significant shift opening up for a new era determined by a new interference pattern between different waves that we are living in now. Yet, in this may be the main point of this article: this had nothing to do with the Long Count coming to an end.
Fig 1. The Long Count did not come to an end on October 28, 2011 (or December 21, 2012). What happened on this date was that all the nine waves for the first time in the history of the universe were all synchronized and went into a phase shift together. Bolon Yokte Kuh the nine level “god” now appeared in his full regalia.
So over all, all of the major players (including myself) who were involved in the Mayan calendar before 2012 were in error when it came to the idea that the Long Count would then come to an end. We were right however in that there was a very significant shift as heralded by the Tortuguero monument. This shift was however not based on an ending of any wave, but on the activation of all the nine waves of creation and their synchronization, which are now (including the Long Count) continuing to run in parallel shaping the destiny of humanity. The new interference pattern between these waves creates both challenges and opportunities. The opportunity essentially lies in creating resonance with and following the guidance of the Ninth Wave, which is the one that is manifesting the unity consciousness that will shape the future of humanity. Despite what many seem to believe the Mayan calendar did not end in 2012 (or 2011).