Several years ago I was able to fulfill a life long desire to visit the Yucatan Peninsula and the land of the Mayans. As a child my father had gone there on a hunting trip and he talked about going into the jungle on roads built by the Mayans thousands of years ago. My visit had no such romance as the southern side of Yucatan now was packed with hotels while movies such as the “The Real Cancun” had hit the big screen. While I did enjoy the aspects of modern Mexico and the resort amenities, my main goal was to delve into the ancient world of the Mayans. I did this and had the good fortune of visiting some of the largest and best know archeological sites in Southern Yucatan.

Just before one of the trips the History Channel had a show about the Mayans and the end of the world. I found it interesting more from the scientific and astronomical aspects rather than the feeling of doom that the world was ending. I talked with a Mayan tour guide about this while visiting Tulum and he invited me to Chitchen Itza for December 21, 2012. I hope to be there for the festivities. Since that visit December 21st 2012 has become well known around the world as the end of time and even a large budget movie has been produced to depict this end. But now other prophesies also point to December 2012 as a time for the ending of mankind. These include the Hopi Indians, Far East Cultures and of course Nostradamus.

The Christian religion states that no man will know the end of the world. Other religions do not depict this specific date either and as we look at the different prophesies during this year, these depictions are presented as an information item to identify what other cultures believed and no way reflects a stance that the world will truly end on December 21st, 2012.

The Mayans believed there had been four worlds. The first three ended as false starts for man but the fourth is the world we are in today. A b’ak’tun is a period of time in the Mayan Calendar that is 394.3 years long and the 13th b’ak’tun ends the Mayan Calendar. This date is December 21st, 2012 and has led to speculation that this identifies the end of the world. Other speculations are that this date is not the end of the world but the beginning of a new era and a time of celebration. The end of several other b’ak’tuns were highlighted in significant events within the Mayan culture such as the end of the Mayan Classical Period, the arrival of the Spanish and the desertion of religious centers such as Chichen Itza.

There is also a major galactic event known as “Precession” that aligns astronomical objects only once every 26,000 years. That event will occur on December 21st 2012. The Mayan’s were known for their detailed knowledge of astronomy and this is depicted in their calendar. Some argue that this intersection in the sky proves that a major is going to occur and the Mayan’s were aware of it.

When I was in College and NLU I took a summer archeological excavation course and we had a young man with us from Guatemala. His name was Ricardo Cajas and he now head of the Guatemalan Government’s archeological ministry. He is totally against any notion of the end of mankind. Instead he believes that this will be a time of human enlightenment. As for me, I do not believe this to be the end but I do want to be at Chichen Itza just to say that I have been at one of the biggest events of the 21st Century. The timing is right as I can watch the serpent descend down the great pyramid and be back home for Christmas with the family and life will go on.




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