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Apocalypse in 2012? What Happens at the End of the Mayan Calendar?

Last Updated May 30, 2023 by . First Published in 2009.

Apocalypse in 2012? What Happens at the End of the Mayan Calendar?

Just as Y2K and its batch of predictions about the end of the world in the year 2000 become a distant memory, here comes apocalypse in 2012.

Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. Painted in 1887.
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse, by Viktor Vasnetsov. Painted in 1887. 

We all know that the Mayan culture existed many thousands of years ago and created thriving cities such as Teotihuacan long before Western civilisation was civilised. Mayans also had an advanced understanding of astronomy and in particular time, with Mayan calendars being famous for calculating various astronomical events such as Eclipse, conjunctions and planetary alignments. Mayan calendars can also be synchronised and interlocked, with their combinations giving rise to further, more extensive cycles and predictions.

One calendar, in particular, the Long Count, has recently spawned a new wave of Apocalypse theories as for the date, 21st December 2012, marks the end of a 5,126-year cycle, or a Classic Maya millennium. This is when the Maya calendar will turn over to all zeros - by the long count. Speculation is rife about why this date was chosen. Was it because they thought something terrible would happen? Why does the Mayan calendar stop at 5,126?

How was this date chosen? Well, the Mayan calendar is based on a few units, similar to our years, months and days. One Baktun is equal to 394.3 years or 20 Katun, which is equal to 19.7 years. The Mayan calendar started on the Mayan epoch of August 11th 3114 BC, and comes to an abrupt end in 2012AD, 13 Baktun after the epoch.

Equals20 Katun20 Tun18 Uinal20 kin

This date also happens to correspond with the winter solstice and it also marks an alignment of the sun with the centre of the Milky Way.

Some say that the Earth will pass into a stream of gamma radiation from the black hole at the centre of the galaxy, while others think that the alignment will trigger a solar flare or geomagnetic storms on Earth. Some are even predicting severe and violent earthquakes, volcano eruptions, tsunamis and hurricanes, all caused by the galactic alignment. Even further fetched is the notion that the Earth's magnetic poles will switch, or that we start spinning backwards!

But it isn't all doom and gloom. While 2012 marks the end of one cycle, it must also mark the beginning of another, one in which some Mayan mythology predicts that the ancient wisdom of the Maya will be rediscovered by the world and it will be a new dawn for mankind!

Another Mayan mythology predicts the end of mankind. The Popol Vuh is a sacred book of the Maya and describes how the Mayans were living in the fourth world. The Popal Vuh describes the first three worlds in which the gods failed in making a perfect world, but the creation of the successful fourth world gave life to mankind. The Maya believed that the fourth world would end in catastrophe and the fifth and final world would be created that would signal the end of mankind.

So, did the Mayans know something we don't? or did they simply not get a chance to finish their calendar system? Will the doomsday theorists get it right in 2012, or will this be another Y2K?

One final thought: The doomsday theorists will get it right one day!

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  1. AN

    On Wednesday 11th of March 2009, Anonymous said

    The Mayan Calendar that the Mayan elders use ends in 2011, not 2012. The 2012 calendar is called the "Dreamspell calendar" and was made up by someone who had no contact with the Maya. The Long Count "Tun" calendar is complete and will finish it's purpose in 2011. The significance has to do with the evolution of the human race on this planet. Read more, learn more. Particularly the work done by Ian and Calleman. Love and Light
  2. CH

    On Sunday 8th of March 2009, cherishengbrock said

    Preach the Gospel in season and out of season
  3. TK

    On Sunday 1st of February 2009, THE FIFTH KNIGHT said

    There are many current events that clearly reflect beyond a 'shadow of a doubt':We have already entered a major convergence, a confluence of external and internal forces in nature, to progress through the initial transition, thus becoming manifest upon the entire material realm.Mankind is directly within the cross-hairs of this ultimate change, which shall accelerate as we move forward!THE AWAKENING HAS ALREADY BEGUN!Please Visit: THE FIFTH KNIGHT'S BLOG: and Spirituality arise from this material matrix, going forth among all beings great and small.Make a difference now, while there is still a 'now' to make that difference!