The Mayans, whom Edgar Cayce believed were descending from Atlantis, lived in a rich culture rife with scientific knowledge. Expert engineers and astronomers, the Mayans gave the world a calendar based on cycles, in which five “ages” resulted in major cataclysms at the end of each cycle. Unlike a modern day calendar which consists of perpetual year-long cycles, the Mayan calendar has a “zero day” or end point at which time the world as we know it will cease to exist.
How Mayans used their Calendars
Mayans used several calendars with each calendar acting as a specific measure of time for a very specific, practical use. Believing that time was a meshing of spiritual cycles, Mayans created calendars for social, agricultural, commercial, and administrative tasks and merged them with religious beliefs. Where they differed from modern day calendars was their tight binding to Mayan religious cycles and the belief that calendar cycles were marked by major (and historical) events.
Doomsday believers note that Mayan religion itself explains the purported event. The Mayan’s primary religious text, the Popol Vuh, asserts that mankind lives in the fourth world or the fourth calendar cycle (known by the Mayans as the baktun cycle). According to the Mayans, the world was designed by gods after three failed attempts (Mayan ancient texts describe them more as aliens from another world). The fourth attempt began on August 11, 3114 BC. When it ends, the fifth and final cycle will begin. Whether or not that fifth and final cycle includes human life is unknown.
How Mayan Calendars Work
Most Mayan calendars covered very short timetables. The Tzolk’in calendar lasted for 260 days and the Haab’ timetable approximated the solar year of 365 days. The Mayans combined both the Tzolk’in and the Haab’ to form the “Calendar Round”, a cycle lasting 52 Haab’s (around 52 years, or the approximate length of a human life at that time). Within the Calendar Round were the trecena (13 day cycle) and the veintena (20 day cycle). Finally, the “Long Count” calendar encompassed all of their calendars and this is where the controversy begins. As with all Mayan calendars, it does not cycle repeatedly but rather denotes a specific end of time.
Our modern day numerical system is based on 10 (the number of fingers on our hands). Mayan numerical systems however, were based on 20 (the number of fingers and toes). The Mayan Long Count calendar was recorded using this 20 base unit numerical system. The base of the Long Count calendar begins on 0.0.0.0.0 which represents the modern day August 11, 3114 BC (as explained above, the beginning of the “fourth cycle”). Each digit in this order runs from 0 to 19 (with the orders, running from left to right, being known as baktun, katun, tun, uinal, and day). For instance, the first day on the Long Count calendar is 0.0.0.0.1, the second day is 0.0.0.0.2, and so on. It runs from 0.0.0.0.1 to 0.0.0.0.19 at which point the next level (known as uinal) is bumped up by one to become 0.0.0.1.0 (representing the 20th day) and the 21st day represented as 0.0.0.1.1, 0.0.0.1.2, and so on.
Mayans used the numerical numbers 13 and 20 as the root of their numerical systems and hence, the Mayan calendar ends on 188.8.131.52.0 which represents the number 5,126. Given that the calendar begins on August 11, 3114 BC (they Mayan creation date or “fourth cycle”), 5,126 days later is 12/21/2012 marking the mysterious end of the Mayan calendaring system.
The End of Days
What makes the end of the calendar significant is not only the Mayans common use of abrupt terminations of their calendaring systems but a translation of an ancient Mayan religious text (the Chilam Balam) which states, “Presently Baktun 13 shall come sailing bringing the ornaments of which I have spoken from your ancestors. Then the god will come to visit his little ones.” Doomsday believers point to this text as proof that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of mankind.
How our Modern Day Calendar Fits in
One date that the Mayan calendar flagged as an end-date was 12/21/2012. 2012 itself was an unusual year on the Gregorian calendar too. Jan 1 of that year began on the first day of the week – Sunday. In addition, it was a leap year making January 1, 2012 the “perfect beginning” to a new year. Astronomically, December 21, 2012 was the exact date of the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere (at 11:11 AM GMT). Calendaring systems aside, the winter solstice of 2012 was unique in another way – for the first time in 26,000 years, our sun aligned directly with the center of the Milky Way galaxy (and unusually dark area known as the “dark rift”) demonstrating that the Mayan’s ability to predict astronomical cycles is eerily accurate.
Does the Calendar Reset?
Many believe that the Mayan Doomsday Prophecy is incorrect and that the calendar simply resets to 0.0.0.0.0. Some (albeit few) belief that the calendar will continue to 184.108.40.206.0 (approximately 8,000 AD). In Dr. Karl’s Great Moments of Science, he said, “”…when a calendar comes to the end of a cycle, it just rolls over into the next cycle. In our Western society, every year 31 December is followed, not by the End of the World, but by 1 January.
Others believe that the assumption of a Doomsday is premature and needs further thought. The end of the Mayan calendar could also predict a great religious miracle. Rather than a apocalyptic event, the planet and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may have marked the beginning of a totally new era.
Mayan Calendar Math?
x 1 x 2
x 2 x 1
x 1 x 2
Mayan Calendar – Current Date
Today’s date is 0/11/2010 which corresponds to Mayan date 220.127.116.11.5
There are only 1074 days until December 21, 2012.