Saturday, January 14, 2012

13.. Ajaw 3 K'ank'in

We are what we eat, so I have been a lasagna since last night. I was the night before too so that means, and I believe in full disclosure, that I am actually leftover lasagna. So anything you read here, you need to consider the source.

Way back around 400 AD, which is before I was born, a lonely Mayan (oops -- already editorializing -- I really don't know if he was lonely or not) stone carver happened to carve the fateful phrase '13.. Ajaw 3 K'ank'in' onto a tablet. At least that is what Joseph Goodman thought was carved when he viewed it in 1897. The tablet was damaged and that was what he, with a bit of extrapolation, thought it said. This inscription was some sort of reference to the end...the end of what, we are not sure. That phrase appeared to be a date. To translate that date into something meaningful took some work because those old Mayan people had a different kind of calendar which involved cycles which are completely different from our annual cycles. But he figured that the date would be, more or less, December 21, 2012. He liked this date because it happened to fall on the solstice -- which was kind of cool.

There are others that say that the 'damaged' phrase isn't a date at all and that Mr. Goodman was liberal with his extrapolation.

So this is where the end of the world thing came from? Not exactly. It seems that the Mayans actually wrote documents too. There was this thing called the Dresden Codex and on the last page it talks of great floods. Well since it was on the last page it must refer to the end of times, and Goodman's find talked about December 21st -- obviously they were talking about the same thing. Catastrophe on that date.

That's it?

Well, in 1966 Michael Coe found some Aztec references to 'Cycles of Destruction'. Since the Aztecs believed in destruction and the Maya had an end date, it seemed kinda' reasonable to tie them together. Maybe they were on to something. It's beginning to sound kind of scary.

The Maya

That is me appearing to be exhausted and hugging the steps about two thirds of the way up. Not true - I was studying ancient carvings in the steps. I translated one that said, "Matt was here". My investigation was ongoing.
I have heard that the extinct Maya were an advanced civilization so maybe we should pay attention. In fact there are more Maya alive today than ever were -- complete with their own language. And they may be perturbed to learn that they are extinct.

We tend to think of the Maya as a great centralized nation, like Rome or Babylon or something. Actually, they we were many distinct tribes each with its own government and religion and there only communication with each other was to kill the other one. The largest tribes were the Tikal and Calakmul and they had fierce wars between themselves. They hated each other. When the Spanish invaded they were not confronted with a unified nation, but with tribes that had to be conquered one by one.

13.. Ajaw 3 K'ank'in

This is from Google Images. Not sure if it is the true thing or not.
This was the damaged markings on a tablet by one tribe. It is from Monument 6 from the ruined site of Tortuguero in Chiapas. The Dresden Codex were documents of another tribe. To continue, another tribe discussed the anniversary of the coronation of K'inich Janaab Pakaal, who was the king of the Palenque tribe, to happen in the year 4772. You will note this is a little bit later than the year 2012. There is another calendar reference which projects events billions of years into the future.

Somehow these other calendar references are forgotten about.

December 21, 2012

Well Sylvanus Morley wrote a book in 1915 about Maya hieroglyphics. In the book he specifically referenced the Dresden Codex and proclaimed that it predicted the end of the world...and the hieroglyphic date of December 21, 2012 pinpointed the precise time.Then in 1946 Morley wrote The Ancient Maya in which he elaborated on the theme. It should be noted that Mayan experts laughed off the book. Actually it was Michael Coe, in his book The Maya that introduced the notion of Apocalypse into the Maya lexicon. (Actually, Professor Coe did not believe it had anything to do with us, but thought that was what the Maya believed.) It was the word 'Apocalypse' that set the stage.

Now we understand the root of it all.

But how did it get from there to galactic alignments, a rogue planet crashing into earth, harmonic convergence, and all the rest?

Do you remember Erich von Daniken of Ancient Alien fame? He said that it was prophisized by the Maya that aliens from space would return to earth on the fateful day. (Actually he quoted the wrong date -- but a minor detail). Then Frank Waters wrote  The Mexico Mystique: The Coming Sixth World of Consciousnessin which he talked about Quetzalcoatl, who actually was Aztec and not Mayan, and the fact that extraterrestrials were coming and tied it into the rising of Atlantis. Oh, he happened to mention the wrong date -- the same one that von Daniken happened to mention.

It goes on. December 12, 2012 was then tied in with  I Ching and would be a day of Transformation of Consciousness. The Harmonic Convergence thing came from Shirley MacLaine's book Out On A Limb.


Note the Maya said nothing about this. But it is speculated that the rogue Planet Nibiru will crash into the earth on December 21 of this year. It is interesting that this is the second date predicted. It was originally predicted to happen in May of 2003. When it didn't happen, the date was revised to coincide with the now popular date this December. The reason they know that Nibiru is going to hit is because the aliens of Nibiru have been channeled and they told us. No evidence of any planets heading our way.

Geomagnetic Reversal

The so called 'reversal of the poles' will occur on December 21st. The Maya mentioned nothing of this. There have been many magnetic reversals in earth's history which actually didn't cause much disruption. It kind of screws compasses up though. But a reversal takes about 7,000 years to is a slow process. It is not Zap! Oh, there is no evidence that one is beginning.

Solar Flares Which Will Cause Magnetic Reversal

Aha. We are entering an active period of solar flare activity. The peak is supposed to be in May, 2013 -- and there is no evidence it will be greater than any previous high solar activity. And, solar flares have nothing to do with the earth's magnetism.

Galactic Alignment

Somehow on December 21st we are supposed to be aligned with the sun and the center of our galaxy where there is a massive black hole. All of that gravitational sucking on the earth will destroy us. Actually we came closer to this 'galactic alignment' in 1998 than we will in 2012. It must have done something because I think that was the year I had a car accident.

But there is also another type of galactic alignment now being proposed. The sun and planets are going to pass through the galactic disc as it does every 25 million years and when it does all life on earth is destroyed. Uh, we are moving away from the galactic disk rather than toward it.
Also another theory. There will be planetary conjunction on December 21st which will doom us. Actually there were planetary conjunctions in 2000 and 2010 and not much happened. Astronomers say no such thing is happening in 2012.

So what is it all about?

Not much. One good thing, I suppose, is that the Maya that live in Mexico now are planning on capitalizing on all the hype. (By the way -- the prevalent attitude of current day Maya about all this is bemusement.) They are preparing souvenirs, tours, mystical journeys to the Chichen Itza pyramids and big 'holy' celebrations on December 12th. I hope they make a killing.

My conclusion
If one wants to believe that the world is coming to the end on December 21st, or that there will be a Harmonic Convergence, or that we will be visited by aliens, or that the second coming of Christ will occur (and this seems to be a newer twist), that is fine. But you would be walking in thin ice to attempt to trace it back to the Maya. We all get a perverse pleasure out of speculating that 'something will happen' -- it is fun to talk and speculate about.  We have this insatiable want for something different. Even now I see so many programs on TV about the 'Doomsday'. There have been over 1,500 books published addressing the subject.

My personal view is that the hype rules and there is no basis in fact as I understand it. Do I understand it all? Nope -- what you see here is my scant review of various articles. You would probably have a lot of fun doing your own research. Here are some starting places:

If I am wrong and the world does come to the end, you have my permission to berate me for misleading you. After all, I am only day-old lasagna.


  1. I notice some ambivalence in your analysis, ergo switching from December 21st to December 12th and back again a couple of times. Or is that the lasagna speaking.

  2. Wow, you are a man who loves research! (did you know your previous post on this subject still comes up in Google Reader, even if you delete it?) ;) BTW, this post was better--better pictures, too :)

  3. I have no reason to doubt the integrity and accuracy of a full lasagna, therefore, something. Like that, you know?

  4. Very interesting!! As you say, people like to think they are in the know! So true! As for me, I'm ready whenever...sort of...ok I'd actually like to experience quite a few more things in my life if I am completely honest lol :)

  5. If it comes, it comes. But I'm thinking it probably won't happen this year.

  6. I thought I saw a terrific Nova show on magnetic reversals which did indicate they happen all at once AND that one is imminent AND that it's no big deal. Hmm. I do think it's significant that all the crackpots are aligning on this one. Poo-poo if you will, but a Whack Job Convergence doesn't happen every year. Well, yeah, lately it has.

    On another note, I don't travel much, so I thought Mayans were extinct too, until I met a woman with an unusual name who said she was Mayan. I couldn't have been more surprised if she'd said she was from Babylon.

  7. Bruce: You stumbled on a secret scientific anomaly. The technical term for it is 'typo'.

    Bridget: Google images can do wonders for a blog. I was, though, able to scrounge up a couple of personal pictures.

    Froth: A technical correction. It is not putting faith in Lasagna, but what Lasagna happened to read. Someday, when I grow up, I'll be able to manufacture my own facts.

    Adrielle: People seem to gravitate to conspiracies. There is a notion that the government knows what is going to happen, but they won't tell us. In fact, I figure I could start a conspiracy manufacturing business and make a killing. My second thought is: Why are people excited about knowing when they are gonna' die? I'd rather not know.

    Gigi: I like your attitude.

    Murr: I think I saw the same Nova program a couple of years ago. Now we are left with one scientific observation versus another. I'll go with the one that is the most fun.

    On a drive to Chichen Itza from Cancun with my previous wife, who spoke fluent Spanish, we encountered whole villages of people who spoke Mayan. And my wife couldn't understand a word of what they said.

  8. I trust your day-old lasagna far more than Shirley MacLaine's channeling of aliens. That being said, the current GOP circus makes me believe the aliens may be an improvement.

    1. You know what -- I just discovered this reply thing on comments. How long has it been there?

      I appreciate your trust in my lasagness and I suspect aliens would make more sense then what we have now.

    2. It has been here since Saturday, dropped on us lowly blogspotters with no warning, because we are meek. And lo, it is good.

  9. There's a reply thing on comments? Why don't I know about this?
    Are you telling me it's different from the little box I'm typing into right now?, before I click Publish Your Comment?

  10. Below your comment is a reply clickeroo. If I click on it I can reply to your comment. Then below this reply comment will be another clickeroo and anyone can reply to my reply....and then it goes on and on. And you can build your comment count in no time.

    1. I've got two folks emailing me that they can't leave comments at all now. I'm sure it's since the reply clickeroo clicked on. Maybe something about the browser of choice? Any techies out there? Anyway (obviously) I don't have a problem leaving a comment.

  11. A black hole made you have a car accident?

    This was a splendid article and a highly enjoyable read. Always liked reading about the end of the world, and the numerous theories (plausible and implausible) which surround it. Thanks for the linkage, too.

  12. If my world history prof. had been this ewntertaining I may have remembered more of what he said instead of the fact that he also, was what he ate. He carried it in his beard all day. One could actually discern his diet from the leavings... Well, I was bored... :}

  13. Great post Jerry! I predict that the earth will end on September 22, 2091. I challenge anyone to prove me wrong!