Skip to main content

Maya 2012: The Long Jump calendar counts down to 12-21-201

Written By | Apr 17, 2011

National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City. Maya mask. Stucco frieze from Placeres, Campeche.

April 1, 2011 — Maya 2012.  On December 21, 2012, or, the Mayan Long Jump calendar comes to an end.  Depending on whom you are speaking with, this has a variety of meanings from the end of the world to a new global awakening of spirituality and peace.

The Mayan Long Jump Calendar

The Mayan Long Jump calendar is divided by thirteen baktun, each baktun equaling 144,000 days or twenty katun of 7,200 days.  The Maya year, or tun, was 360 days in length consisting of 18 winal, or twenty-day months.

The number thirteen is repeated as a number of importance to the Maya.

“Thirteen was a significant number to early Mayans, but we do not know why,” Dr. Moore says.  “We watch the patterns in their building and we see that there are thirteen doorways, thirteen steps, thirteen pillars.  Unfortunately the invading Spanish and Catholicism, who viewed the culture as pagan, destroyed so much of the written history.”

“It is hard to find the patterns, to make sense of the patterns, but we continue to look, uncover and record patterns that repeat over the lifetime of the early Mayan civilization hoping to find answers,” Dr. Moore continued.

The Mayan Long Jump Calendar is divided into five segments, each 5,125 years long (please note 5+1+2+5=13; I am just saying) and each has its own ruling energy and element.  Those Jumps, or cycles alternate between masculine and feminine energy and are:

A feminine energy, fire is the element that ruled the first cycle.

A masculine energy, earth is the element that rule the second cycle.

A feminine energy, air is the element that ruled the third cycle.

A masculine energy, water is the element the rules the fourth cycle.

The fifth cycle, which ends on 21-12-2012, has been a cycle of harmony between the masculine and feminine energy and the element that has rule it is ether, a substance that allows electromagnetic waves to travel through it.

Astronomically, the end of the Mayan calendar, December 12, 2012 is a solstice day of significant importance.  On this particular solstice there will be a rare event in our sky as the sun moves to a “unique” position in the sky where it will actually stop and hold still, precisely on the crossroad of the Milky Way, our solar system, and the galactic equinox.

The December solstice sun has been moving toward this junction for more than three-thousand years and on the date the Mayan Long Jump calendar ends, the sun will sit in the exact center of Milky Way at a point where the “nuclear bulge” of the Galactic Center rests.

Where is the nuclear bulge?  On a crisp spring night, when the sky is very dark and ambient man-made light is non-existent, look up and see the swatch of “white” that swirls across the sky – almost looking like smoke at times.

That is the visible to the naked eye portion of the Milky Way, the nuclear bulge.

Astronomers who closely watched and tracked the sun, moon and stars, the early Mayans were able to foretell this event and choose this date that they predicted some 25,625 years in the future as the end of their calendar.

It is difficult not to image that this event is imbued with some mysticism, even if it is just that the Mayan people were able to so accurately predict a celestial event more than twenty-five thousands years in the future.

For Dr. Moore, the end of the calendar simply heralds the end of the millennium as charted by the Mayan people.

“I expect on December 12, 2012, I will get up and go to work as I did on the 11th,” Dr. Moore said.

Maya Glyphs found in Palenque, Mexico

Maya stucco glyphs diplayed in the museum at Palenque, Mexico.

Which is as good a predication as any as to what the end of the 13th Baktun of the Long Jump calendar will mean.  For Dr. Moore it does signify the beginning of a new cycle, that we will start a new segment in time.

“With every New Year, new beginning we make promises and resolutions,” Dr. Moore says.  “And that could be interpreted in the Maya world as a promise; I will appease the Gods and they will send more water for my crops.”

Not everyone agrees with Dr. Moore’s assessment, reading significance into the event; some prediciting doom for mankind and others proclaiming that this day holds promise for the future of all people.

Carlos Barrios, from the Eagle Clan of the Mam Mayo of Guatemala has said that with the end of the Long Jump Calendar that:

“The world will not end. It will be transformed… Everything will change…Change is accelerating now, and it will continue to accelerate…If the people of the earth can get to this 2012 date in good shape, without having destroyed too much of the Earth, we will rise to a new, higher level. But to get there we must transform enormously powerful forces that seek to block the way…Humanity will continue, but in a different way. Material structures will change. From this we will have the opportunity to be more human…”

Only the turning of calendar pages will tell us if December 12, 2012 will bring forth apocalypse or peaceful change, or as Dr. Moore predicts, the beginning of yet another cycle of time that begins on the day of the winter solstice.

Until that day, some six-hundred and thirty days, or 31.5 winal, from this date (April 1, 2011) we invite you join us as we travel through Central America, visit the cayes and pyramids of Belize and the extensive barrier reef on the Caribbean ocean’s floor. Learn of the present day traditions and arts steeped in a history of people. Ask questions about political structures and socio-economic levels in the populations.

Visit with us as we explore Nicaragua and learn what it is like to ski an active volcano or zip line though the canopy of the tropical forest.  In Central America | Maya 2012 we will share information to help you plan a trip, understand a culture, enjoy the arts and festivals of Central America as we explore the Maya influence on this, the youngest land, of the blue planet we call home.

Central America | Maya 2012 is being written by Lisa Ruth, Jim Picht and Jacquie Kubin from the Communities at the Washington Times.

Jacquie Kubin

Jacquie Kubin is an award-winning writer and wanderer. She turns her thoughts to an eclectic mix of stories - from politics to sports. Restless by nature and anxious to experience new things, both in the real world and online, Jacquie mostly shares travel and culinary highlights, introduces readers to the chefs and creative people she meets and shares the tips, life and travel information people want to read.