As we approach the mysterious end date of the Mayan Calendar, questions -- and anxieties -- about the meaning of 2012 are becoming more widespread, and more urgent. No longer a distant date in the theoretical future, December 21, 2012 is happening this year, and people want to know what will happen and what, if anything, should we do to prepare.
First, you can look ahead to see what's coming in 2013! A Big Picture Yearly Astrology Forecast is a first step toward calming your nerves. Next, let us lay it out for you:
Mayan calendar researchers and scholars have come to different conclusions about the meaning of the end date, and even the date of the end date (some believe that the Calendar ended in 2011). However, many agree that the ancient Mayans intentionally left us, their future ancestors, valuable information about this time period in which we find ourselves.
Here are a few pieces of the highly involved and multi-layered puzzle:
The Mayan Long Count
The ancient Mayans were master time-keepers, using a complex system of several calendars. They were also cosmologists -- avid sky watchers -- who predicted planetary cycles with amazing accuracy.
The calendar known as the "Long Count" tracks longer cycles of time and is non-repeating. For these reasons, the Long Count was generally used on monuments to document significant past and future dates. Dates beyond 2012 have been found on ancient Mayan monuments, reassuring us that -- at least in their minds -- the world will not cease to exist in 2012!
According to the Long Count, what is coming to an end on December 21, 2012, is a 5,125-year "Great Cycle," which began on August 11, 3114 BC. Around this time the Babylonian culture was born in Mesopotamia -- the area that is now Iraq. The first dynasty of Egypt was also established around 3100 BC, and the first stage in the construction of Stonehenge. The birth of human civilization or human history is how this period is typically described.
The ending of this Great Cycle may signify the end of civilization as we know it, and the birth of a new civilization. Not the end of the world, but a new way of living in the world. With or without being aware of the Mayan Calendar, many people are recognizing the need live more sustainably and peacefully, if we want to survive and protect our precious home planet. 2012 could represent a point of culmination or critical mass in this shift in consciousness, at which point we'll start to tip the balance in the direction of planetary healing and restoration.
The Fifth Sun and the Age of Energy
The Mayans refer to the current Great Cycle as the Fourth Sun, which is associated with the element Earth. In 2012 we'll move into the Fifth Sun, considered to be a Golden Age of peace and enlightenment. The Fifth Sun is associated with the element Ether, which represents the invisible realm of energy.
Over the past several years, the collective consciousness has increasingly embraced a more energetic perspective, reflected in the pervasiveness and acceptance of Quantum Physics. The basic premises -- that everything is made up of energy or vibration and that energy follows thought -- have led to the increasingly popular belief that we create our own reality.
If there is truth to these ideas, and if we are moving into the Age of Energy, the question of 2012 then becomes not so much "What will happen to me?" as "What will I make happen?" If we indeed are the creators of our reality, then whether 2012 brings an apocalypse, the age of enlightenment, or nothing at all may depend on our state of mind and consciousness. What do YOU want to create?