The Mayan Prophecy – 13 Bak´tun
With the world focused on the Mayan world this coming December 21st, it is time to understand what ’13 Bak’tun’ and the ‘Mayan Prophecy’ really mean. Here, Mario Galindo, an expert in Mayan Cosmovision and teacher at Utatlan Spanish School in Quetzaltenango Guatemala, explains what the significance is to the indigenous Mayan people:
Unlike other Mesoamerican civilizations, the Maya used a number system based on twenty. Independently, they developed the concept of “zero” in 36 BC, which is the first documented use of the number. The Maya created a number system as an instrument of measuring time, not for mathematical calculations. For this reason Maya numbers have to do with days, months, years, and the organization of the calendar.
One of the sciences that played a major role in their system of numbers was astronomy. By observing the movement of the stars they achieved the development of their calendar. The Maya calendar is a collection of almanacs that integrates three simultaneous calculations of time. It is a cyclical calendar as it repeats the same dates and series of years. For example, in the current Gregorian calendar, the date “February 10, 1999” will never come again. But in the Maya calendar it will repeat countless times to reinitiate a new century.
The current cycle began August 13th, 3114 BC and will end December 21st, 2012 AD. Because of this, this date symbolizes a kind of Maya prophecy that many scholars have related to “the end of the world” but this comes from the perspective of western religious concepts or European ideas. The Maya don’t speak of “the end of the world” in terms of total destruction. Instead they refer to it as a series of changes at the physical level of the planet and in the consciousness of the human race in their base philosophical concept of religion. Their vision of the world was not planetary but of a galactic character. For this reason their calendar called “The Calenderial Wheel of Long Calculation” records huge cycles of time that don’t have a human scale. Supposedly we are at the beginning of a rebirth that will be more spiritual and harmonious with the earth and energies of the universe.
They believe that we humans have the answers and that our behavior will determine our future, specifically our awareness of our continuing destructive influence on the planet. They say it is necessary that we humans end our predatory conduct and align ourselves with nature’s rhythm. They also say that only with good will can we free ourselves from the fear of what is our civilization could become. If there is good will, we will take a step towards a new harmonious reality. It is necessary to be conscious of the existing movement of the energies of the universe, nature, and the cosmos. Only then may we may achieve a new era that will not have a human race based on military economics or the imposition of “truths” by force or a system of unequal distribution of wealth.
We are at the end of a cycle of 5125 years, at the end of the galactic day of 26,000 years. We are at the forefront of an era of great change that the Maya called “The Time without Time”, a prophesized era that also has also been predicted by other cultures and religions that concur that we are at a point of changes of grand proportions. All of the prophecies look for a change in the minds of humans, that we can comprehend our fundamental connection with all that exists and can understand that we are an integral part of the cosmos.
In short, “The Maya Prophecy” does not refer to the end of the earth, but the end of our previously established mentalities. We will be responsible our own change, for better or for worse.
To find out more about the ancient (and modern) Mayan civilization, we suggest you come and visit Guatemala and experience first- hand the richness and diversity of the culture, history and natural beauty of the county.
For information about Guatemala: http://www.spanishxela.com/about-guatemala.html
For information about Spanish classes, family home-stay, cultural activities and volunteering: http://www.spanishxela.com/index.html