The Mayan Prophecies: The Renewal of the World 2012-2072
Global media has convinced many people that the Mayan prophecies are carved into stone monuments and are foretold by the Long Count calendar that “ends” December 21, 2012.
Neither is true. (Though Monument 6 at Tortuguero, Mexico does record that date and what may happen, it is inconclusive because the final glyph is illegible.)
Books of Chilam Balam
The only authentic Mayan prophecies in writing are revealed in books made of fig bark—the Books of Chilam Balam from Yucatan, Mexico. The katun wheel prophecies are the subject of The Mayan Prophecies: The Renewal of the World 2012-2072, a new book by Kenneth Johnson, who is best known for Jaguar Wisdom.
Aware of them since the 1960's, I never paid much attention to these "knowledge books" until now. Linda Schele, in Maya Cosmos argues that there is so much influence of the early Spanish friars, who translated them into Spanish following the conquest, that they are too difficult to interpret.
But Johnson points out that because the language employed, especially in reference to the katun wheel prophecies found in these books, is poetic metaphor, the trained eye can sort out many of the Christian influences.
These cycles are measured in katuns. A katun is 20 tuns, the Long Count year of 360 days, or 19.7 years in our calendar. A poetic prophecy for each katun gives clues as to what will happen then. Johnson quotes them in Yucatecan Maya as well as in English.
They consist of four volumes written by the local Chilam Balam, or Jaguar priest in the Yucatecan cities of Chumayel, Mani, Kaua and Tizimin, for which they are named. In addition to local history, they recorded the katun wheel, a 260-year calendar divided into thirteen cycles. The Paris Codex, a Mayan hieroglyphical book, contains a complete katun cycle of 13 katuns and devotes a full page to each.This calendar is also known as the Short Count.
It is these prophecies that foretell the potential future. The Maya view time as cyclical. And though the identical things do not recur, the pattern or rhythm of the times can lead to similar events.
Pointing out how the katun might be thought of as a way of organizing the entire Long Count, or even as a model for the universe, he does an admirable job of making the prophecies and other information easy to understand. His observations on the esoteric "ring numbers" and various markers of "deep time" show how such complex astronomical numbers like those in the Dresden Codex were used as far back as the Classic Period.
Johnson goes into depth on the prophecies, the Long Count and other topics, provides vital historical background. For the first time in my knowledge, Johnson shows how these prophecies materialized in previous katuns. The prophecy for the katun of Richard Nixons' final years as President, for example, is “…madness and lies.”
He relates a Ki’che’ fable illustrating their vision of the Mayan concept of time. His view is that the Long Count was as much about myth and cosmology as it was about a means of recording the dates of the reigns of kings and queens and their accomplishments.
Next Katun: 2 Ahau
Johnson's interpretations for the next katun, 2 Ahau, which began December 22, 2012, and 13 Ahau, which starts in 2032, are as provocative as they are unsettling. The prophecy for 2 Ahau is "For half the katun there will be bread; for half the katun there will be water."
Currently corn and other crops are failing around the world due to record-breaking heat waves and droughts, and it appears things will get worse before they get better.
2 Ahau will, he concludes be, a time of the haves and have nots. Besides meaning food and water, the prophecy may also refer to the Occupy Movement's catch phrase, "the 99% and the 1%."
The Katun of 13 Ahau
In September 2032, things get even uglier: "Descended will be the blood of sticks and stones. Burned will be heaven and earth...." Not looking good, is it?
And the outlook gets darker and grimmer if you consider a passage following the 13 Ahau prophecy in the Chumayel book (13 Ahau is the final katun in the 260-year cycle that then repeats). That describes the descent of the Angel of Death, who will slay the wealthy and poor alike. Johnson does not mention this, as he, unlike Mexican Professor Erik Garcia, is unconvinced it is a genuinel prophecy. And the Maya, of course, did not have angels.
He discusses the final two prophecies: "The World Turned Upside Down" (September 8, 2032- May 25, 2052) and "The Renewal of the World" (May 26, 2052 through February 10, 2072). Without spoiling the ending, let's just say it appears things will sort themselves out.
The book is amply illustrated and crammed with charts, tables and photos. An illustration depicts the Katun mountains at Tikal and other sites, and photos of actual pages from the Books of Chilam Balam are included.
Most useful for other scholars are tables of Long Count dates and their correlation with the Gregorian calendar and the katun from Baktun 7 (May 23, 61) through Baktun 13 (December 21, 2012).
The Mayan Prophecies: The Renewal of the World 2012-2072 is highly recommended for those seeking the most up-to-date and thorough information about authentic Mayan prophecies. It is available as a PDF for Windows and Macintosh computers at Mayan Prophecies.
Researched and written in Guatemala, The Mayan Calendar User's Guide reveals astrological techniques and secrets never before published in the English language.
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