Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 by John Major Jenkins
Enjoy reading another great book review on the topic of 2012. Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date is published by Bear & Company and written by John Major Jenkins.
Curtis’ review brings the book alive while giving you the author’s perspective and an overview of what you will learn when reading this fascinating book.
You will find yourself imagining what it may have been like 10,000 years ago when ancient cultures, like the Izapza, walked the earth.
The Harrowing Journey to Chichen
The overloaded night bus from Playa del Carmen to Merida has been roaring at breakneck speed through the pitch black jungle on this narrow thread of road for hours and now screeches to a halt to let one skinny gringo disembark.
I had asked the driver to let me off in Chichen and now here I stood watching two red dots rapidly fade in blackness so deep I have to bend down and feel where the edge of the pavement meets the shoulder.
The forest is crushingly quiet save for an occasional rustle nearby. What sort of creature may slither or stalk out onto this road and in which direction do I now walk?
Eventually I find my destination, the Hacienda, catch a few hours sleep, and just before dawn, jungle now raucous with life, find myself walking back up the road to the spot whereupon I’d been unceremoniously dropped off; precisely in front of the Great Pyramid of Kukulkan, the center of the sprawling complex known as Chichen Itza.
Nearby is the Ballcourt where I step down onto the “playing” field and into a sublime silence. Trees backlit by the rising sun are still as sentinels. Groundskeeper’s low conversation at one end of the stone walled court I can hear clearly more than a football field away at the other end with no echo or distortion.
As I sit cross legged on the close cropped grass covering the broad stone tiled floor sketching the intricate murals carved on one wall more than a thousand years ago, I realize this is where priests, shamans and royalty witnessed warrior/players acting out a celestial drama; their creation myth in the form of a “ball game.” The literary version is elucidated in the sacred book “Popul Vuh,” the actual is written in the stars and they all refer to our current era.
Origin of the Mayan Calendar
Creation myth, cosmology, the ballgame, history are all brought together under the galactic arc of the Milky Way in John Major Jenkins’ book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, an impressively erudite work that sheds new light on an ancient enigma; the Mayan Calendar and its imposing end date, December 21, 2012.
I wish I’d had this book on my fateful journey to Yucatan in 1980 instead of Sylvanus Morley’s The Ancient Maya, a stalwart classic of MesoAmerican studies. Jenkins had not yet turned his curiosity and powerful analytical skills toward the great Mayan civilization. His odyssey would begin in 1986 and soon focus on the newly uncovered site of Izapa, center of an enormously influential proto-mayan culture that flourished between 250 BC and 50 AD.
Jenkins presents carefully articulated evidence of Izapa as the origin of the Mayan Calendar and the ball game as its physical expression. Furthermore he clarifies the story line of the Popul Vuh and reveals that the Maya, like other ancient civilizations read their founding myths first in the night sky and the rhythms of the sun and moon, then found correlates in the affairs of humans.
From a solid platform of admittedly controversial scholarship, Jenkins then takes an adventurous intellectual leap into the twilight realm of myth.
Cultures Guided By the Stars
The steady pace of Jenkin’s unveiling of his remarkable conclusions is a testament to his skill as a writer and his confidence in the way he has pieced together existing ethnohistoric data, archeoastronomy, his own fieldwork and an admirable empathy for the people who first articulated this monumental story, this key to understanding the nature of our place as humans in the galactic patterns of existence.
He tells of the people led by shamans and guided by the pole star/big dipper who came from Siberia, Mongolia and northern China across an icy land bridge at least 10,000 years ago. Recent archaeological evidence establishes that there has been human habitation in the Americas for at least 50,000 years, so these northerners were not the first peoples and the pole star was not an original deity of MesoAmerica.
Ancient Mayan priest/astronomers utilized the pole star as their fixed point in the sky until, disturbingly, the star, now low on the horizon in the tropical latitudes, whereas it appears overhead in northern latitudes, began to move. The once essential god has proven to be false, egotistical, domineering and the mystery of his fall from grace was precession, the gradual shift in the axial rotation of the earth.
But who could depose this fearsome god, Seven Macaw, who had beheaded One Hunahpu, raiser of the world tree, so many worlds before? The answer, as always, is in the sky, written in the galactic mural that is the Milky Way.
The true cosmic source and center must be found. “Centering the village, centering the body, centering the sky-in effect, centering the cosmos on all levels-was a primary concern to Mesoamerican society, affecting each region’s ritual and socio-political existence,” writes Jenkins.
Cycles of the Mayans
By the era of Izapa, precession was understood to be a cycle of 25,625 years divided into 5 periods of 5,125 years; five world ages.
We are nearing the end of the fifth, the Long Count or what we know as the Mayan Calendar.
The Maya understood the mathematics and astronomy of precession, how the position of the rising sun on the horizon of each equinox and solstice gradually moved backward in the zodiac. However, they needed to know WHY in a cosmological sense, because, as Jenkins puts it, “The Popol Vuh describes a succession of World Ages, each one ending in cataclysm.
The current age is the one in which the Hero Twins endeavor to resurrect their father, One Hunahpu, and it ends when the Lords of Xibalba are defeated in the Underworld Ballcourt and One Hunahpu is reborn. Before any of this takes place, however, the Hero Twins must do away with Seven Macaw…”
Izapa Priests and their Wizardry
The Izapa Wizard Priests were able to locate the Cosmic Center in a great empty place in the Milky Way galaxy. Aided by psycho-active plants, they traveled there (and still do today I’m sure) along the Dark Rift, the road to the underworld and return with detailed information regarding the cosmic rhythms of the universe.
Recently scientists have calculated the center of the galaxy precisely where the Maya located it thousands of years ago and even more recently have determined the center to be a black hole, a great emptiness. The Maya also refer to this Cosmic Center as the Great Sky Mother and the dark rift as the Cosmic Birth Canal.
Now we can understand the “why” of precession. Over the past five thousand years, the solar disk, the father/creator principle, the severed head of Hunahpu, approaches at each winter solstice-time of renewal-closer to the Womb of the Great Mother.
The severed head/sun/game ball is played by cosmic forces until at precisely the right moment it passes through the stone ring high on the wall of the Great Ballcourt. The black hole source of creation in the Milky Way’s center has been joined in alignment with the solar system’s central star-sun in an act of galactic copulation birthing a new world on December 21, 2012.
A Modern Day Shaman
Jenkins tells this fantastic tale in the manner of a modern shaman using his skills as a storyteller, with a computer astronomy program and, perhaps, some of the same plant guides as the ancient Maya cosmonauts.
So what happens…then…at the end?
After the galactic alignment?
Does the sun roll over and light up a cosmic cigarette?
Do the phones still work on December 21, 2012?
Jenkins views this event as an opportunity rather than a cataclysm. An opportunity for mankind and kindred planetary beings to make a quantum evolutionary leap, “…a moment in which the human spirit can emerge from unconscious patterns and blossom.”
In perspective, the scales of time and distance are so vast, we are already in the process of this change, this evolutionary leap. Our generation is the one the ancient wizards and shamans, priests, kings, ballplayers and school children learning their history, were dreaming about as they enacted our dramas on their festive stages and ballcourts.
As the Hopi Elder, in the lineage of the Popul Vuh, states, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
To learn more visit Amazon > Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 by John Major Jenkins
Writer, photographer, raconteur, Curtis McCosco fled from academia to further his education in Haight-Ashbury and the streets of Hollywood. He’s worked as a furniture maker, Moviola repairman, documentary film maker, Motown tech, carpenter, masseur, and explores the the worlds of indigenous wisdom and shamanism, Hermetic occultism, remote viewing, history, politics and the evolution of consciousness, all from a Buddhist perspective. You can find more of his writing on his blog, NOOZINE.com.