In light of recent doomsday predictions based on one of the Mayan calenders I took a look into the issue to see for myself what all the hype is about. As usual there's a cast of characters with diverse information presented- from scaremongers to scientists, from the spiritual to the charlatan - who knows the truth?
Below are some videos and a link to a NOVA website that may fascinate you and help you to understand what all the hype is about. The video at the bottom, featuring Ian Lungold, is where you may wish to start for the deepest understanding - but it takes 3 hours to get through the whole two vids. What is fascinating is the precision by which the glyphs are claimed to mark time - and the comparisons the speaker makes with pivotal events in history and the sea changes in life as we know it throughout the ages. Are the conclusions accurate?
If you are concerned mostly about investing check out the one with Carl Calleman - again there are no real answers although the man claims accurate predictions can be made about the collapse of the present monetary system and shifts of power in the world. Everybody has opinions, this gentleman is careful about giving out advice. What the heck, why NOT listen to his predictions based on the Mayan calender - it's got to give better unbiased information than CNBC on money or Glenn Beck on politics - that is if you compare the performance of the two systems side by side. At the very least it's fun and there's no shouting. Also the exercise encourages the questioning of our own dogmas - rather than our present prognosticators who discourage questioning that which we are to accept undubitably as fact.
If you just want to look at the glyphs and hear them spoken, check out the NOVA site. Pay close attention to the mural found - a most recent discovery with glyphs that predate those so far decoded. Another fascinating mystery to ponder. See my note at the bottom where I conclude the fate of the planet based on this mural.
To see the trouble one must go through to get to such treasures see the video "An Amazing Mayan Discovery."
What did I learn that I didn't know?
1. The Mayans divided each day into 13 hours, then further divided by 13 into "min", then 13 "sec", infinitely: while the number 13 is considered an unlucky number in the "Western Culture."
2. The Mayans didn't use fractions.
3. The Mayans account for billions of years of time.
4. The Mayans had three calenders -
HAAB: 365.25 day calender (fractions when expressed in terms of our "days" not theirs)- used only for taxation - agrarian society therefore based on length of solar year.
TZOLKIN: "count of days" - 260 "days" long - astrological calender of the Maya - or the "personal calender" of the Maya intermeshed with 13 "intentions" - one may visualize this as two intermeshed gears - explained in Lungold vid.
Go here for Tzolkin page: click here
TUN: The "Divine" or "prophetic" calender - this is the one we hear the prophesies about - this is the calender the pyramids immortalize - you can learn about this in the Ian Lungold video. I commend the video if you wish to understand the basics - and watch a nicely prepared and delivered talk- click HERE to see the calender superimposed onto a pyramid so you can visualize the symbolism.
5. The day the Mayan calender ends is October 28, 2011, according to the folks I've chosen to believe - while I've heard through most fear-based American media that the end date is in 2012.
6. Every 52 TUNs the Mayans would put out every fire and spark in their entire civilization for a night - then fire was relit at the temples in the morning by priests, and this fire was spread via runners with torches to spread fire anew throughout their entire civilization.
7. How central something we take for granted, like a calender is, to our entire belief system, and the limitations it may impose on our very ability to perceive.
Cracking the Mayan code - look at the mural and decoding of the stele
Ian Lungold: This video may fascinate... it's the most boring-looking from here - but purely amazing and explains a lot
Note: I'm going to take a leap here and get everyone mad, but if you pay attention to the information available and try to sort it all out - the comet theory looks good as depicted by the snake with the Maize god on it, and the birth scene to the left in the mural at the NOVA site. What are your theories? Either way I suppose I'll continue with business as usual - we'll see what happens when the day gets here.
Update Feb 17, 2010 One of the commenters pointed out that this video is valuable - it is from one of the linked sites above - but in case you don't find it yourself here it is. Thank you commenter. (Sometimes I don't link the videos directly because the most interested readers will find it at the links - helps the researchers out and keeps the vid in the context intended - but I agree it's a good idea to put it here.)
UPDATE FEB 17, 2010 Note: I had the link for the TUN calender on the wrong line yesterday - it was under TZOLKIN- I moved it to proper location today. There was a link at mayanmajix under "daily TZOLKIN" where one could see the two wheels intermeshed depicting the TZOLKIN astrological concept. It isn't working now as I write this but maybe they'll fix it. It was while trying to work that link into the paragraph that I made the errors. Sorry 'bout that.