Originally published Dec. 21, 2012 | Link to original
Dear Friend and Reader:
The third week of December has been, at least, the last week of the Mayan 13th baktun — a span of time within the Long Count that dates back to 3114 BCE, or 5,125 years. By human standards, that’s a vast reach, encompassing 1,872,000 days. A baktun is 144,000 days, though it’s not the longest measure of time that the Mayans used; there are several longer ones documented, including a piktun, though there is a controversy — we don’t know for sure if a piktun is 13 baktuns or 20 of them. Either way, time goes on, and so too does the Mayan calendar.
Yet if the 13th baktun, which ends today [see SKY section], is the end of the piktun, which I believe it is, then 12/21/12 was the culmination of a significant cycle, constituting one-fifth of the Great Cycle — the precession of the equinoxes — 25,625 years. The Mayans knew about the precession of the equinoxes, and they knew about a lot of things it took our scientists centuries to figure out, such as the Galactic Core, which had a central place in their mythology. It contained the gateway to the underworld.
One reason I give the Mayan calendar a little extra weight is because it’s an indigenous creation of the Americas. It’s how the most advanced ancient civilization we know of here thought of time, and devised the elegantly beautiful systems of mathematics to keep track of it. Their ability to end the cycle in a year with a transit of Venus, one of their favorite events (back in June) and to land on the winter solstice is truly impressive and worth taking note of.
I think that these things, whether consciously or not, influenced not just the popularity of 12/21/12 but the subtle respect that many people seemed to feel about it.
In Mayan tradition, the end of an era would be a cause for celebration. A baktun is 394 years, far longer than a human lifetime, and we made it. This era started in 1618, shortly after the founding of the Dutch East India Company, at the dawn of colonial times. [Related article here.]
Since then, we in North America have endured a Book of Revelation-induced mass exodus from Europe, a holocaust of the buffalo and many native tribes, slavery, being pioneers on the prairie, the Wild West, a war between the states, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, nonstop war in the 20th century, 140 air burst nuclear bombs over the Southwest, the contamination of our entire continent (and the world) with PCBs and dioxin, repeated nuclear accidents, the rigging of the planet with hydrogen bombs, too many drunk or otherwise incompetent drivers, and the dawn of the GMO era.
Sounds like a good excuse for a party. We are doing fantastic. Today I am baking a cake and finishing up my list of resolutions for the new baktun, and a separate list for the new piktun. This is a special moment.
There is another model called the Mayan time pyramid that says something similar. This is arranged in layers, each layer up being more recent and 20 times shorter than the previous one. The base layer is a little over 16 billion years. The next layer up was 828 million years, the next one up was 41 million years, and so on upward in reverse exponential form. Each time pulse contained a certain amount of experience equivalent to the one that follows, but in 1/20th the span of time.
The one at the top of the pyramid began March 8, 2011 and lasted 234 days. That might explain why 2011 felt the way that it did: like everything happened all at once. I am not sure where this model comes from or how well it can be verified, but I think it’s a really interesting concept of time, and it helps explain why it does feel like we have exponentially more to do every few years. That helps explain why every new, faster model of computer is slower than the previous one, or why it seems like I have to write the monthly horoscope more often than the weekly.
And this model, too, suggests that we’re off the map; we made that particular jump in late 2011. It does not directly correspond to the Long Count that turned over on Dec. 21, 2012, but it’s close.
As for the Long Count: the last week before the solstice has been a compressed moment; an eternity lived out in a week. It was to be, by any estimation, a special week, a kind of bellwether of what was to come, and an indicator of where we were at. The conditions at the end of one cycle often point to the conditions at the beginning of the next, and vice versa. So these have been seven days worth looking at carefully, and remembering for what we learned during them.
They began on Dec. 14 with the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. This was, said The Nation, the 16th mass shooting in the United States since the beginning of the year. We watched and grieved the burial of 20 kids, ages six and seven, as well as six of the adults whose job it was to take care of them. We got a look into the dark world of the household from where this well of death had sprung.
During that final pulse of the 13th baktun, we saw every problem our society faces flash by before our eyes, through our minds, and weigh heavily on our hearts. The Onion even parodied this: “In Wake of Tragedy, Americans Demand Reform of Everything, Anything.”
The shooting was one of the most appalling ever, killing mostly kids six and seven years old, and it demanded an explanation. Bob Geldof’s line, “And he can see no reasons ’cause there are no reasons” was no longer good enough. Nothing happens for no reason. For every effect there is a cause — which I believe is the spiritual lesson that we in the United States need to learn more than any other. So, I went looking for the cause.
After so many other shootings with the same MO, the lone gunman version of events was starting to feel implausible. Over the summer, after the shooting at the Milwaukee Sikh temple, I had begun to consider the potential for a relationship between the events. That’s usually, or nearly always, what it is, right? A solitary nutcase who, of his own accord, with no help from anyone, ruins everything.
Therefore, I spent a good part of the following weekend researching the basic facts and many different conspiracy theories about the most recent incident, in Connecticut. I don’t like speculative constructions of events, but I had a reason to check them out as best I could, after ironing out the basic facts. Even the basic facts proved to be challenging because details of the story changed a number of times during the first few days.
Meanwhile, the astrological chart for the shooting, set for 9:35 am the morning of Dec. 14, was not, so far as I could read it, the chart of a ‘lone gunman’ at work. The planets were concentrated in the public sectors of the chart, the 10th and 11th houses, and there was a strange cluster in the house of secrets and secret enemies — the 12th. There seemed to be collaboration.
And, there were theories of people working together. The most outrageous of these linked the shooting in Aurora, CO, back in July, plus the killing of two kids by a nanny who then killed herself, to the one in Newtown, CT, by way of men involved (in all cases, fathers) purportedly being “about to testify” before the U.S. Senate about the vast, far-reaching and underreported LIBOR scandal, said to be one of the biggest financial heists ever. This link seemed beyond any possible credulity.
However, 1) people do kill over these things and 2) the astrology presented a question. It was easy, following basic rules of reading a chart, to see a government and/or corporate connection. There were financial connections and corporate connections indicated in the chart as well.
Every planet seemed to have a relationship to every other planet. There seemed to be a secret co-conspirator, which doesn’t fit with a lone gunman. The cause of death included meticulous planning and was not a spontaneous act; yet once it started, it was an uncontrolled release of energy. The chart, with a prominent Mercury (similar to the chart for Sept. 11, 2001), described a message. That message seemed to either come from far away, or be global in nature. In short, you could read this chart in such a way that could encompass any of the darkest possibilities, including being a false-flag event: that is, something with a cause bearing no resemblance to what we were being told.
At the same time, the chart also supported the psychological health issues that were coming out in the official version of events, the sense of wounding and the isolation of the alleged gunman; there is a mother, who shows up in the chart as recently killed, but also as a collaborator.
There was the involvement of drugs. A New Moon the previous day was conjunct planets that I had summed up as describing the unmitigated release of evil that shattered the family structure, a valid description of this event on the most basic level.vIn other words, both versions of the scenario fit: some deep, dark and sinister conspiracy, as well as an eminently private set of circumstances involving individuals with really serious problems.
The scenario fit something happening in a deeply secretive space, a description which we learned was true of the perpetrator’s household. Working with a researcher, we dismantled both the official version of events and the various theories, and at the end of this process, the official version is what withstood the scrutiny better than the theories — that is, based on the available facts. There are still a few things I am questioning, based on the fact pattern and my knowledge of history.
It started to occur to me that the public’s obsession over conspiracy theories — which was impressive in this situation — serves a psychological purpose: distraction from the serious issues at hand, and abdication of responsibility. If this was a government hit, that implies this was something we have no control over, no power to do anything about. Yet investigating the theories pushes the mind open and compels objectivity.
After a while, the official version started to make more sense; the element that pulled the whole scenario into focus for me was that the shooter’s mother was a Prepper — that is, a doomsday survivalist whose preparations for civil disorder included a small arsenal, complete with a .223 Bushmaster, the equivalent of an M4 assault rifle. The psychology of the shooter seems to have emerged from a world of fear and pain and spiraling paranoia.
Yet I was still left with a chart that described something vast, where all the parts were interrelated; a chart that described something much larger. Then a wider scenario began to emerge.
On the most obvious level, it included government policy that allowed these weapons in the hands of people. This in turn contributed to a state of paranoia that, if not culture-wide, is characteristic of a vast subculture, where these powerful weapons are presumed to be kept at the ready for use against the government in some kind of presumed defensive episode or insurrection. The emerging scenario from within the alleged shooter’s household included the possibility, indeed the high likelihood, of prescription meds used by the killer, which points directly to the pharmaceutical industry. These meds can make a person extremely sick, and switching from one to another can do genuine damage to a person’s neurology.
Next, we have what typically happens to young people, especially young boys: they are exposed to a lot of violence through every possible avenue, from movies to television to news programs to video games. To grow up today is to see tens of thousands of simulated deaths, and not Wile E. Coyote falling off a cliff.
Then there was the angle of a government that kills a lot of people, including children. The United States’ 22-year war against Iraq comes to mind — the one that began during Bush I, continued through Clinton, was escalated again through Bush II and extended into the Obama administration. During the Clinton years, the U.S. and the U.K. regularly bombed Iraq, including water treatment plants, the loss of which caused children to drink contaminated water and contract cholera.
Then-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked on 60 Minutes whether the resulting loss of 500,000 Iraqi children on her watch was worth it, and she said that it was. When the government sets an example like this — and there have been many of them — it’s not surprising when that example extends into the well-armed population. Indeed, from an honest look at society, it’s sincerely amazing that these kinds of massacres don’t happen every single day of the week.
With a little perspective, the systemic level of the problem became obvious. There was a conspiracy, composed of many facts of our lives.
And, remarkably, I heard that being discussed. I saw, at least among the people I know and the public that I serve, the awareness emerge that the killings must stop and that part of that involves gun control, and part involves raising awareness and addressing all the other problems that contributed to this school massacre, and other related crimes. It involves seeing the ‘unintentional conspiracy’ of the society in which we live. And that has started to come into focus.
Said another way, what seemed to emerge during the last week of the 13th baktun was the awareness of a relationship between an effect and the cause that preceded it; as well as an awareness of the problems that we face on a systemic level.
The world, so far anyway, has not ended on Dec. 21, 2012. There was not, that I could discern, a merger with the 5th dimension, inducing spontaneous enlightenment. But there seemed to be, on a level that to my perception was more than vague or ephemeral, a clear look at the process of karma — an understanding that the conditions of society have consequences in society, for all of us.
I don’t believe in panaceas, and I may not be spiritually advanced enough to believe that deeply entrenched problems, whether personal or cultural, will just work themselves out spontaneously. I do believe in starting places, and if we got there, if we got to the point where we can see the interrelation of complex causes, and understand that there is a result that manifests, that’s a really good place to enter a new era in history.
Assuming we keep hold of this thought, it’s all we really need to go forward in the direction of a future different from the past.
About the Images Above
Illustrations above are from the Dresden Codex, a Mayan document and the oldest known book created in the Americas. It originates to the 11th or 12th century of the Yucatecan Maya in Chichen Itza. This Maya codex is believed to be a copy of an original text of some three or four hundred years earlier, made during the classical era.
It contains astronomical tables of great accuracy. It is most famous for its Lunar Series and Venus table. The Lunar Series has intervals correlating with eclipses. The Venus Table correlates with the apparent movements of the planet. The codex also contains almanacs, astronomical and astrological tables, and ritual schedules. There are no advertisements.
The Dresden Codex also includes instructions concerning New Year ceremonies as well as descriptions of the Rain God’s locations.
Text design and selection of codex details is by Sarah Bissonnette-Adler.