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Posted October 4, 2012
A masterpiece, great work on Maya culture, astronomy, myth, and their calendar
Jenkins understands that Mayan culture and mythology are dominated by astronomy. Everyone has heard that the Mayan Long Count - a 5125 year cycle often erroneously referred to as "The Mayan Calendar" - ends on December 21, 2012. But there are some strange ideas about a new expansion of consciousness or the end of the world. The Mayan calendar (which like our own calendar, never ends) is based on cycles of the precession of the equinoxes - the slow wobble of the Earth's axis of rotation. One of these astronomical cycles of about 25,800 years does end on December 21, 2012, if we use the same references many ancient cultures like the Maya used: the winter solstice sun will be in close alignment with the center of our galaxy. Is this a historically meaningful moment in time or is it like someone's odometer flipping from all nines to all zeros? Jenkins rules out the insignificance of the date. The Maya describe the astronomy we are about to see in the sky in their myths about One Hunapu and the Hero Twins. They devised a Long Count of over five thousand years which they *backdated* to begin long before Maya society existed, so that the cycle of this great length would end in December 2012. The Maya also built a pyramid at Chichen Itza which is like an alarm clock for the 21st century, when an astronomical conjunction takes place on the 2012 end date. Jenkins also admits that the Maya were very focused on world ages, world creation and destruction, and world renewal. He knows that 2012 is central to these concepts. But he does not believe there will be a pole shift or any other physical catastrophe that would end civilization, despite acknowledging that such destructive events have happened in the past. (p. 330) Jenkins expects a "pole shift in our collective psyche" and a positive transformation of consciousness. As an author on related topics, I am disappointed in Jenkins; this spiritual transformation of consciousness strikes me as new age drivel best suited for hippies in the 1960s, a silly disregard of Maya cosmology and their central thoughts on the creation, destruction, and renewal of the world. Jenkins knows they believed in several worlds which were destroyed in the past, and that they believed we would enter a new world after 2012. I do not believe this is meant to be interpreted as a development of consciousness; I think very bad times are ahead. My research suggests that the 7 years from December 2012 to December 2019 are crucial, and that while Christians might view a 7 year tribulation as the last years in the old system, the Maya view them as the first years in a new world, one which will be far different from what we know as soon as 2013. Aside from Jenkins' speculation that the Maya didn't really expect much to happen at the end of 2012, I think "Maya Cosmogenesis 2012" is a fantastic introduction to Mayan astronomy and beliefs. There is a focus on astronomy, myth,and archeology, and readers could do a lot worse with other books on the Maya. Readers may also be interested in books like Hancock and Bauval's "Message of the Sphinx," Hapgood's "Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings," Weidner and Bridges' "The Mysteries of the Great Cross of Hendaye," and de Santillana and von Dechend's "Hamlet's Mill."Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 28, 2010
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