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Wednesday, March 2, 2011
The Mayan calender ends on the 21st of December 2012. A bunch of movies and books have been created having all those theories about how the world will end on that year, which created a world wide pandemic scare.
This article has long been idle in draft because I wanted sufficient time for research and study. And I wanted to write this carefully because I respect everyone's religious belief. This article however, is based on pure facts to try to make sense out of this rising pandemic scare.
So to begin with, I thought it was critical to study the Mayan calendar and its importance. The Maya believed time was cyclical instead of the western conception of a linear time. This means they thought that time repeated itself, therefore in knowing the past, they could predict the future. The question is, Were they really able to accurately calculate the beginning of the world to therefore accurately pinpoint the end to be on December 21st, 2012?
One proof of the Mayan accuracy is what's called the Venus Cycle. The Maya were excellent astronomers, and could calculate the Venus cycle with only a two-hour margin of error. They were able to achieve such accuracy by careful observation over many years. The Venus cycle was especially important because the Maya believed it was associated with war and used it to divine good times for coronations and war. Maya rulers even planned for wars to begin when Venus rose.
(You can have a more detailed study of the Maya Calendar through Wikipedia.)
Through Wikipedia, my study of the Maya Calendar can be summed up as follows:
What is the Mayan Calendar?
The Maya calendar is a complex and highly developed system of calendars created by the Maya Civilization of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. These are series of calendars that include a sacred 260-day calendar, called the Tzol'kin, a 365-day calendar called the Haab, and 52-Haab cycle called the Calendar Round, which synchronised the Tzol'kin and Haab cycles.
The Tzol'kin calendar combines twenty day names with thirteen numbers to produce 260 unique days. It was used to determine the time of religious and ceremonial events and for divination.
The Maya believed that each day of the Tzol’kin had a character that directly influenced events. The Maya had a shaman-priest, whose name meant day keeper, that read the Tzol’kin to predict the future. When a child was born, the day keeper would interpret the Tzol’kin cycle to predict the baby’s destiny. For example, a child born on the day of Ak’abal was thought to be feminine, wealthy, verbally skillful, possibly a cheat or complainer. The birthday of Ak’abal was also thought to give the child the ability to communicate with the supernatural world, so he or she might become a shaman-priest or a marriage spokesman. In the Maya highlands, babies were even named after the day they were born on.
Origin of the Tzol’kin
The exact origin of the Tzol’kin is yet to be known, there are several theories however. One theory is that the calendar came from mathematical operations based on the numbers thirteen and twenty, which were important numbers to the Maya. The number twenty was the basis of the Maya counting system, taken from the number of human fingers and toes. Thirteen symbolized the number of levels in the Upperworld where gods lived. The numbers multiplied together equal 260. Another theory is that the 260-day period came from the length of human conception or pregnancy. It is postulated that midwives originally developed the calendar to predict babies’ expected birth dates.
The Haab was the Maya solar calendar made up of eighteen months of twenty days each and a five day month at the end of the year known as Wayeb or Uayeb that was called "the nameless days." Victoria Bricker estimates that the Haab was first used around 550 B.C.E. with the starting point of the winter solstice. The Haab was the foundation of the agrarian calendar and the month names are based on the seasons and agricultural events. For example the thirteenth month, Mac, may refer to the end of the rainy season and the fourteenth month, Kankin, may refer to ripe crops in the fall.
The five nameless days at the end of the calendar called Wayeb were thought to be a dangerous time. Lynn Foster writes that, "During Wayeb, portals between the mortal realm and the Underworld dissolved. No boundaries prevented the ill-intending deities from causing disasters." To ward off these evil spirits, the Maya had customs and rituals they practiced during Wayeb. For example, people avoided leaving their houses or washing or combing their hair.
The Long Count Calendar
There was also a Long Count calendar which started at [0.0.0.0.0] (with Maya record) on August 11, 3114 BC according to the "Goodman, Martinez-Hernandez, and Thompson" correlation (nicknamed "GMT"), the most widely accepted correlation between the Maya and Gregorian calendar. This cycle is 1,872,000 days in length, terminates on the Winter Solstice of (December 21) AD 2012 and is designated [220.127.116.11.0] or [0.0.0.0.0], since the Maya believed that time is somehow periodical. Another widely-used correlation, that of Lounsbury, correlates the start-day to August 13, 3114 BC and the terminal date to December 23, AD.
The End of the World
The turn of the great cycle is conjectured to have been of great significance to the Maya. According to the Popol Vuh, a sacred book of the Maya, the gods failed in making the perfect world in the first three worlds that were created. The fourth world would end in catastrophe. And the fifth and final world created would put an end to mankind. This is where the fear is coming from because the end of the Mayan calendar connotates this final world, end of mankind.
The Mayan calendar did not have the information as to how the world would end. It just has the date we know to be December of 2012.
So this led me to study some possible astronomical occurrences and facts of when the world would allegedly end. And it brought me directly straight to NASA.
Question: Are there any threats to the Earth in 2012? Many Internet websites say the world will end in December 2012.
NASA: Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.
Question: What is the origin of the prediction that the world will end in 2012?
NASA: The story started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012. Then these two fables were linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 -- hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.
Question: Could a phenomena occur where planets align in a way that impacts Earth?
NASA: There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible. Each December the Earth and sun align with the approximate center of the Milky Way Galaxy but that is an annual event of no consequence.
Question: Is there a planet or brown dwarf called Nibiru or Planet X or Eris that is approaching the Earth and threatening our planet with widespread destruction?
NASA: Nibiru and other stories about wayward planets are an Internet hoax. There is no factual basis for these claims. If Nibiru or Planet X were real and headed for an encounter with the Earth in 2012, astronomers would have been tracking it for at least the past decade, and it would be visible by now to the naked eye. Obviously, it does not exist. Eris is real, but it is a dwarf planet similar to Pluto that will remain in the outer solar system; the closest it can come to Earth is about 4 billion miles.
Question: What is the polar shift theory? Is it true that the earth’s crust does a 180-degree rotation around the core in a matter of days if not hours?
NASA: A reversal in the rotation of Earth is impossible. There are slow movements of the continents (for example Antarctica was near the equator hundreds of millions of years ago), but that is irrelevant to claims of reversal of the rotational poles. However, many of the disaster websites pull a bait-and-shift to fool people. They claim a relationship between the rotation and the magnetic polarity of Earth, which does change irregularly, with a magnetic reversal taking place every 400,000 years on average. As far as we know, such a magnetic reversal doesn’t cause any harm to life on Earth. A magnetic reversal is very unlikely to happen in the next few millennia, anyway.
Question: Is the Earth in danger of being hit by a meteor in 2012?
NASA: The Earth has always been subject to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. Today NASA astronomers are carrying out a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to find any large near-Earth asteroids long before they hit. We have already determined that there are no threatening asteroids as large as the one that killed the dinosaurs. All this work is done openly with the discoveries posted every day on the NASA NEO Program Office website, so you can see for yourself that nothing is predicted to hit in 2012.
Question: Is there a danger from giant solar storms predicted for 2012?
NASA: Solar activity has a regular cycle, with peaks approximately every 11 years. Near these activity peaks, solar flares can cause some interruption of satellite communications, although engineers are learning how to build electronics that are protected against most solar storms. But there is no special risk associated with 2012. The next solar maximum will occur in the 2012-2014 time frame and is predicted to be an average solar cycle, no different than previous cycles throughout history.
As a matter of fact, NASA categorically denies all theories of an end of the world in the year 2012. NASA Space Scientist, David Morrison, talks about this issue.
Source: The Truth about 2012 from NASA Lunar Science Institute on Vimeo
video source: http://vimeo.com/7463829
"...Again, all this 2012 talk is just a hoax. It’s a fake. It’s nothing you should worry about... It’s really sad. And the point of my talking to you now is just to explain to you that there is no problem there. Don’t worry about 2012, and enjoy 2013 when it comes."
-David Morrison, Senior Scientist of NASA Astrobiology Institute
After doing all researches and studies for this article, I still have that question, "What if?" And are those NASA answers already sufficient enough to put your mind at ease?
This part is where our faith comes in. We have to believe that something greater out there who created the universe and everything else, has that same power to destroy it, but that in the end, everything is for a greater good. And that everything is going to be alright.