Some New Reflections on the Mayan Calendar “end” date

by Carl Johan Calleman,

(original link : http://www.calleman.com/content/articles/SomeNewReflections.htm)

It is timely to reflect on the deeper meaning of the shift that has taken place as a shift in the Mayan calendar requires some time to manifest before its consequences may be fully pondered. Some time has now passed since the date, October 28, 2011, that some of us held as the end of the thirteen baktuns of the Long Count of the Maya. After the passing of the alternative date for this, December 21, 2012, a reappraisal of the Mayan calendar, and especially its continuation, may now be warranted. What did the shift on October 28, 2011 (13 Ahau) actually mean and what turn did the world take at that time? The nature of a true paradigm shift is that its manifestations cannot be fully predicted beforehand and thus to some extent will be surprising. If not, then the shift would not be a true paradigm shift. It then also follows that after such a shift almost everyone will find himself or herself in some sense having to revise some of the notions about reality he or she had prior to the shift and this may be a time for this.

From such a viewpoint our understanding of the Mayan calendar is bound to continue to evolve. The Plumed Serpent, which is the Mayan name for the wave movement of seven DAYS and six NIGHTS, was for instance in ancient times known to sometimes molt its skin and direct evolution in ways other than predicted. After such turns the calendar would need to be reappraised. Some archeologists believe that the ancient Maya had great expectations of the baktun shift that took place in the year AD 829, which was when a new DAY started. This baktun shift may indeed, in a global perspective and especially in Europe, be seen as a step forward for civilization. Yet, locally speaking – among the Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas – it meant the collapse of the Classical Mayan culture. This collapse was presumably unanticipated by the Maya themselves and it may in fact have been the very reason that they later abandoned the Long Count (the last inscription with this is from AD 909). Since this is the very calendar whose “end” is now being discussed it is curious that it might have been abandoned because this shift did not conform to the expectations that the Maya had at the time. Some who have narrowly focused on “end dates” are maybe today inclined to do the same especially considering the relatively uneventful nature of the December 21 date, at least as what concerns world events.

Yet, the Mayan calendar is not about specific dates, but describes more or less long-term manifestations of shifts in human consciousness. It is the consequences of such shifts that it may help us understand and take part in and it comes with the territory that scholars will be needed to clarify such matters. The knowledge about the Mayan calendar is not something that is static and that you may once and for all acquire. It is more like a constant inquiry into the purpose of the human race. Thus, basic assumptions sometimes need to be questioned and misunderstandings need to be ironed out if you want to continue to use it in a meaningful way. On my own part I am however more confident than ever that, correctly understood, we still have very profound and valuable things to learn from this ancient calendar system. To substantiate this I have started writing on The Paradigm Shift Trilogy and hope that its first volume The Global Mind and the Rise of Civilization – Tracking the Boundaries of Consciousness from the Paleolithic to Modern time will be available in about half a year. I believe that it provides the first original idea in many decades as to how and why civilizations emerged on our planet.

Because the Maya, possibly due to disappointment, abandoned the Long Count a long time ago our knowledge about this does not come from an unbroken living tradition. Instead, everyone interested in the meaning this particular calendar had to the ancient Maya, and also what he or she may learn about the world from this, will have to some extent rely on information retrieved by archeologists. If the popularizers who use their information do not understand, or distort, this information there is a real risk that this information, crucial to understanding the current or future state of humanity, trickles down in a distorted form. In the case of Mayan calendar studies this takes on a special acuity, since little more than three decades ago the calendar was only of interest to a small group of scholars working in dusty libraries, none of whom had a clue that this was to become the most important information humanity has about its future. They may thus not have asked the questions that later have turned out to be the most relevant and others may uncritically have come to fill in the gaps.

Based on studies by Mayanist scholars, it has generally been believed that the Long Count is a calendar made up by thirteen baktun periods, each of 394 years, amounting to a total time of 5,125 years, starting in 3114 BC and ending in AD 2012. At this crucial juncture it may however again be time to ask if this basic understanding is correct. Leaving aside all the silly suggestions, promoted by the media, that the end of the Long Count would mean the dramatic end of the world, there is however a need for further scrutiny. This should be directed to how the Long Count, and actually all the nine waves of the Mayan calendar system, would continue after the thirteenth baktun comes to an end. As far as I can tell, there are in principle three different ways in which the waves of the calendar could be conceived to continue (A, B and C in Fig 1) after this shift point and they seem mutually exclusive.

Fig 1. Three possible ways that the Long Count could continue after its thirteenth baktun (which is the same as Day 7). These three alternatives apply also to the eight other waves.)

José Argüelles, who through his book The Mayan Factor in 1987 was the first to more broadly bring the knowledge about the Mayan calendar to the world, advocated model A above, thus predicting that history would come to an end with a discontinuity on December 21, 2012:

“Then it shall be ready. The unique moment, the moment of total planetary synchronization, 13.0.0.0.0 on the beam, will arrive, the closing out not only of the Great Cycle [Long Count], but of the evolutionary interim called Homo sapiens. Amidst festive preparation and awesome galactic–solar signs psychically received, the human race in harmony with the animal and other kingdoms and taking its rightful place in the great electromagnetic sea, will unify as a single circuit... At last Earth, will be ready for the emergence into interplanetary civilization.”

His vision of a profound discontinuity at this date was partly based on what the archeologists then were saying, namely that after thirteen baktuns the Long Count would come to an end. Although I, unlike Argüelles, questioned the archeologists’ end date, and placed it a little more than a year earlier than he did, I still followed his lead in believing that the end of the thirteenth baktun would be the end of the Long Count and so did not predict an evolutionary scenario beyond October 28, 2011. We knew of course that there were Mayan inscriptions with dates deep into the future, but chose to ignore them. I, too, had read very prominent archeologists such as Michael Coe stating that the Long Count would come to an end after thirteen baktuns. Thus, at the time I saw no reason to investigate the matter more deeply.

As it now turns out however the basic assumption that both Argüelles and I had based our respective theories on, namely that the end of its thirteenth baktun meant the end of the Long Count, really cannot be substantiated by ancient Mayan sources. As Mayanist Mark van Stone quite recently was probably the first to point out (in 2012: Science and Prophecy of the Ancient Maya) there is actually no evidence that the ancient Maya regarded the end of the thirteenth baktun as the end of the Long Count (or a beginning of a new Long Count). Rather the evidence is pointing in the opposite direction, meaning that the Maya believed that the present Long Count would just go on endlessly without interruption after the end of its thirteenth baktun (This, it should be added, is independent of whether we believe this to have taken place on October 28, 2011 or December 21, 2012, which is a different question). What Van Stone’s discovery means is then that a crucial assumption that millions of modern people, knowingly or unknowingly, have based their thoughts on regarding this actually lacks validity. It also means that the present time is not, at least not according to the ancient Maya in Palenque, the beginning of another 5,125 year Long Count. Both alternative A and B In Fig 1 are thus incorrect.

I am not here trying to put the blame on Argüelles, or the archeologists that we were both informed by, since I could have chosen to explore the matter myself. In retrospect I also think that it must be considered as a very understandable mistake that was made. Modern people are so indoctrinated with the notion that calendars should describe identically repeating cycles that the archeologists who did the research just took it for granted that the same would apply to the ancient Maya and their Long Count. Because the present Long Count (the Fifth World) starting in 3,114 BC, indisputably had been preceded by a pre-Long Count of thirteen baktuns starting in 8,239 BC (the Fourth World), Mayanists would then just assume that the present Long Count similarly would be limited to thirteen baktuns. In this case a series of Worlds with the same duration would just follow upon one another. And yet this is apparently not how the ancient Maya thought of their calendar system. What the new research instead indicates is that the ancient Maya did not look at the thirteen baktuns as a recurring cycle. Instead, the present Long Count was the last creation and for this reason it was developed by an unending sequence of baktuns. The correct continuation of the Long Count wave of shifting DAYS and NIGHTS in Fig 1 is thus the model presented in C.

If the reader does not see the finding reported in the previous two paragraphs as truly remarkable I suggest that he or she has not fully grasped what it means. I cannot imagine that this is something that many people today can just accept as normal or regular. The new finding thus highlights how unique and anomalous among the calendar systems of the world was that of the ancient Maya. We know of no such non-cyclicity from any other calendar system in the world and this simply adds to its mysteriousness. This non-cyclicity shows that the Mayan Long Count requires to be understood from another context than other calendars and cannot be looked upon as just another astronomical calendar. The Maya themselves were in fact treating it as a metaphysical calendar. Thus, according to them the Long Count began as the “First Father erected the World Tree” and the various baktuns and katuns that followed were ruled by deities with different spiritual qualities. I personally only take seriously such work about the Mayan calendar that take these qualities as its point of departure. Only from this, what the ancient Maya were actually saying, can we draw meaningful conclusions about the course of events in our own time. Why it is that many people today think that they are in their right to just ignore this and out of the blue make up things that were supposed to happen at the purported end date of December 21, 2012 is beyond me.

Regardless, what is very well worth noting in Fig 1 is that model C is the only one of the three alternatives where the shift at October 28, 2011 would not be discontinuous. Already this explains something in our own time, namely why the baktun shift we went through may have been experienced as lacking drama or immediate consequences. Many authors, like Argüelles above, and also myself, have based our thoughts on models implying that the shift in our own time would be a discontinuity, but from model C we may understand that it was not. I strongly want to emphasize that this does not mean that there was no baktun shift last year or that the Mayan Long Count would not truly describe the evolution of consciousness on our planet. That the Mayan Long Count is our best source for understanding the evolution of history has been massively evidenced through the books of myself, and those, such as Barbara Hand Clow, who have followed its basic premises, and all of this evidence still holds up. What does not hold up however is that this calendar would be limited to thirteen baktuns.

The new finding also definitely proves that the Mayan Long Count is not based on the so-called precessional cycle of 26,000 years or any other astronomical cycle for that matter. A 26,000-year period is never mentioned in any Mayan text and we may now fully understand why this is so. The reason is that the Long Count is not a cyclically recurring phenomenon. Yet, precession has provided a very widespread modern interpretation of the Long Count, something which deprives this calendar of its true value and turns it into just another materialist phenomenon. Why so many people has come to believe in and promote a theory for which there is zero evidence is for me frankly as a scientist very hard to understand. Presumably it is because many have failed to appreciate the uniqueness of the Mayan calendar system and thought it convenient to just assume that it would be essentially similar to European or Vedic astrology. To do so is however to deny the mystery of the ancient Maya and their unique place as the metaphysical calendar makers of our world. The calendar system of the ancient Maya is to my knowledge the only calendar system used on our planet, which, in addition to its cyclical aspects, has a non-cyclical layout from which we may understand that the mental evolution of our species has a direction.

Superficially this new finding may seem to mean that the baktun shift that we went through on October 28, 2011 would be meaningless as the Long Count is not even ending and no new Long Count is beginning. Nothing can however be further from the truth! The new finding merely explains why we did not experience a discontinuity at the baktun shift. In other regards, this shift was very important and no shift of a similar importance is in fact visible on the horizon, especially since the Long Count should now be recognized as continuing indefinitely.

To understand the importance of the shift on October 28, 2011 it is however necessary to consider that there were nine different waves (out of which the Long Count is the sixth) that then simultaneously came to their thirteenth period (or Seventh DAY). Such a synchronization of the nine waves is also consistent with the reading of the famous Tortuguero monument 6, (http://www.calleman.com/content/articles/the_tortuguero%20_monument.htm), which states that the “nine-support-god would appear in his full regalia”. Since the nine-(step/fundament/support) god presumably refers to the nine evolutionary levels of a pyramid I interpret this, the only existing inscription about our own time from the ancient Maya, to mean that all the nine waves of evolution would then for the first time come to be synchronized.

That such a synchronization was going to take place in their future is something that the ancient Maya indeed could have calculated and we do not have to imply that they had superhuman abilities to do so. Yet, in this new light it deserves to be pointed out that this famous monument does not really say that any wave would come to an end. The fact that they did erect such an advance notice of some 1400 years however tells us that they saw the shift in our own time as very important even if none of the nine waves would actually end. Why then is our current shift so unique? If you want to dramatize it you may say that in accordance with model C above the synchronization date of October 28, 2011 means that we have now entered eternal endless time. If Van Stone’s discovery is valid, and I believe it is, this means that those that created the Tortuguero monument knew this.

This synchronization meant that the build-up of the nine creation waves of the universe, which has been going on ever since the Big Bang 16.4 billion years ago, has now been completed and finally topped off by the activation of the Ninth Wave. The activation of this wave on March 9, 2011 meant, for the first time in 5,125 years, the possibility for human beings to download unity consciousness from the metaphysical realm, which will be the prime causative factor in the transformation of humanity that since March 9, 2011 now continues. Moreover, it meant the end to the acceleration of time as no creation wave with a higher frequency than the ninth will be activated in the future. There is thus no reason to deny that a very significant shift has taken place.

We may however not yet be able to fully see what kind of world that will be created as people download this new frame of consciousness. Yet, we can already now see some of the consequences that the activation of the Ninth Wave immediately had. This is shown in Fig 2, which displays notable protest movements in the world in 2011. The frequency increase following the activation of the ninth wave of March 9, 2011 was then immediately followed by the earthquake and crisis for nuclear power in Japan and the beginning of the wars in Syria and Libya. This year also saw not only the Arab Spring, but also the Occupy movement and the world many times balancing on the brink of economic collapse. While I did not predict the details of the many protest movements that then mushroomed across the world I did indeed very correctly predict when the frequency increase would set in. Thus, the protest movements were all consequences of the fact that as the Ninth Wave was activated the veils (see the face in Fig 2) were removed from people so that they suddenly became aware of many aspects of the oppressive systems they were living in thus prompting a desire for change: As inside - So outside.

Because of the activation of the Ninth Wave the year 2011 saw one of the most widespread global protest movements ever against the established order. When it came to its end Time Magazine in fact proclaimed “The Protester” as the Person of the Year. The activation of the Ninth Wave thus had an effect that can be verified through what actually happened at the time and I see absolutely no reason to doubt the reality of this wave. The question remains however why all these movements for political and economic change did not escalate further. The year 2012 in fact by comparison became relatively uneventful and not on the same scale full of protests against the establishment (typically Barack Obama became the Person of the Year in 2012). It then seems as if the synchronization date of October 28, 2011 was the time when this movement for change started to take new, maybe less openly visible, forms and we may wonder why. The reason for this was probably that, according to model C, all the nine waves on this date turned into NIGHTS and only the 9th Wave, because of its high frequency, returned to a DAY soon thereafter. Based on such a social analysis it then seems quite clear that the dates of March 9 and October 28, 2011 had very significant effects on the movements of the world and that October 28, 2011 indeed was the synchronization date of the Mayan calendar; the date when all nine waves were synchronized. If the alternative date of December 21, 2012 then was not correct, it is only natural that the many things people had predicted for this never came to pass. The true meaning of the shift of the ages is instead that we have now gone through the activation of the ninth Wave on March 9, 2011 and the deactivation of all other waves on October 28, 2011. The pattern of how the latter will be reactivated is however a much too complicated question to discuss here and is something I plan to address in the third volume of The Paradigm Shift Trilogy.

Fig 2. A few protest movements under the influence of the eighth and ninth waves up until October 28, 2011. Shown are also the respective consciousness polarities of the two waves. Note also that while the 9th Wave quickly returns to day mode, this was not true for the 8th or lower waves.

Not surprisingly then, because of the continued effects of the Ninth Wave, the number of people spiritually awakened in the world according to Oneness University in India has increased markedly since October 28, 2011 and has recently intensified even more. This is not something that makes headlines in the press, especially since this is experienced on an individual basis. Yet, the spiritual awakening made possible through the Ninth Wave is very much what prepares for the creation of a new world. You can describe the shift by saying that during the year 2011 the sentiment, because of the polarities ruling then, was: “First change the world then become enlightened.” After the synchronization date of October 28, 2011 it shifted to become: “First become enlightened then change the world” and maybe the latter may come to have fortunate consequences. In fact, one of the lessons we may learn from the Mayan calendar is that the world operates according to the principle of As inside - So outside and so maybe the outside world will become more beautiful if we project an enlightened inside onto it. After the October 28, 2011 synchronization date there is no particular upcoming date at which we have reasons to expect dramatic change. Rather, to be part of this ongoing global co- creation is what will provide the joy for many over the next twenty or thirty years. I trust that some of the celebrations on December 21, 2012 allowed people to catch up with the shift that had already happened and so partake in a step by step transformation of the world. As we now know, the Ninth Wave will continue endlessly and will fuel the transformation of the world.


Carl Johan Calleman
Seattle, December 31, 2012 (1 Oc)