How the Maya of Today Are Marking December 21

Below is an article from National Geographic.  The original article can be found here.
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In the modern, future-focused Maya culture, there’s not a single “doomsday prepper” in sight as contemporary Maya celebrate December 21, 2012 – the arrival of a new calendar, bringing with it a New Age and a New World.

Merida, Mexico, 12/12/12:

As Mary and I checked into the Fiesta Americana Hotel and started to unpack for the JPAC (Commission Environmental Cooperation) meeting in Merida, we were drawn to our window by amplified voices coming from someplace outside. On the grand avenue below we could see a large, high-tech stage being fitted with lighting and sound equipment. Pickup trucks marked ‘Policia’ lined the boulevard and traffic was redirected as barricades were placed and giant digital screens set up on corners.

We high-tailed it down to the activity on the street to discover that huge, framed black and white photographs of Maya ruins as they appeared a century ago and as they appear today were dividing the wide walkways in front of the ornate mansions and thriving businesses along this lovely paseo.

Fireworks technicians buzzed about, clearly preparing for an extraordinary and illuminating display. Large shiny white moving vans packing brand new super-telescopes were unloaded by hordes of university students in black t-shirts emblazoned with OBSERVANDO EL UNIVERSO MAYA. Waiting to support the jumbo telescopic star viewers, tripods by the dozens filled the street for an entire block, ready to give the masses an astonishing look at the mysterious beauty, which visibly surrounds our planet at night.

Young girls in crisp white linen dresses with bright embroidery wore colorful flowers in their braided buns as they perfected their hair and make up around other stages appearing along the esplanade. A 3-story Christmas tree towered above the happenings on the street while hundreds of children in white shirts and bright red Santa hats waited patiently below it to be organized by choreographers for their performance in this mysterious extravaganza. Elderly women made beautiful baskets on the spot.

As we soon discovered, the event we were watching unfold was a once in a lifetime – actually a once in a hundred lifetimes – event… This was the 21 December 2012 Celebration, the week-long event that will officially mark a new start for the planet as the Maya calendar approaches the end of its 13th Baktun and the start of its 14th next week. (A baktun equals 394.26 tropical years.)

But! As it turns out, the Mayas of today are making no gloomy preparations for a Day of the Dead to end all Days of the Dead. No, this is a celebration of great hope, a welcoming festival for a bright and beautiful tomorrow, the passing of one era and the grand entrance of the next.

The Mayas know this to be and they bask in its promise.

Then why have countless other cultures around the globe so readily subscribed to the ‘end of the World’ theory? Is it simply human nature to look for the negative over the positive, even in the absence of hard proof? Have religious zealots used this opportunity to strike fear into the hearts of men (and women, and dogs and cats, for that matter), because that’s not really working for me. Clearly the Mayas want no part of that concept either. They laugh at it!

So what does a new beginning mean for the World? Well I, for one, am hopeful. I see potential for unparalleled change and enlightenment. I see access to more information than we could ever put our hands on before and with that access I believe will come amazing opportunities for the betterment of man and planet. I am convinced that future generations will be better stewards for life and environment and that ethical choices will prevail as younger generations start entering and taking over boardrooms.

What Mary and I witnessed on the streets of Merida seemed to be a look into the future of mankind, and from the spirit we saw there in the modern day Mayas, it’s so bright ya gotta wear shades!

The new Maya calendar begins with it a grand opportunity for the transformation of man’s consciousness.

One Maya message relays that we are making a choice regarding how we enter the future ahead. Our moving through with either resistance or acceptance will determine whether the transition will happen with cataclysmic changes or gradual peace and tranquility.

This is a time that the International Council of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers view as a re-awakening of the feminine. Grandmother Flordemayo stated:

“A transfer of the staff of power from the masculine to the feminine is occurring now.” So we end a 26,000-year chunk of history to begin the next 26,000 years with the nurturing spirit of a feminine power overseeing us; a power that will graciously guide us to work with nature rather than against it.

It seems clear that rather than the end of the world we face a transition from an old World into a new; a World that we can create and cultivate in choosing to do the right things by our people and by our planet.

Strolling away from the 13 Baktun festivities, we soon found ourselves at the Plaza de la Indepencia in the heart of Old Merida, an area adorned with magnificent architecture, including dozens of cathedrals and centuries-old government buildings. Like many Central American cities, the colonial history of Merida reminds us that the concept of freedom should never be taken lightly. In the view of the modern Mayas, they know where they have come from and they know where they want to go. This is an opportunity to avoid the wrong methods and to achieve prosperity through healthier and wiser means.

Wedding parties lined up in front of cathedrals in Old Town Merida as a few blocks away fireworks filled the night sky in celebration of the new Maya calendar.

During this week of celebration, we were able to visit a remote area of Mexico and see flamingos wintering at the Celestun Biosphere Reserve. The village of Celestun, an indigenous subsistence fishing community, is now promoting Eco-tourism to provide for a sustainable future. Its location on the Gulf of Mexico is stunning and the people of this small community are preparing for pending prosperity – not pending doom.

In the most of simple terms, this time is solstice. December 21, 2012, marks the end of the 13th Baktun, and it marks the beginning of the 14th Baktun. The significance of 21 December, 2012, this calendar’s end, and this particular 13/14 Baktun transition, is that it marks the end of a 26,000 year galactic cycle, and begins the calendar of the next 26,000 years galactic cycle. By the very detailed prophecies of the Mayas, this means leaving the calendar of Night and beginning the calendar of Day.

After finding ourselves at the very epicenter of the Maya within just a few days of the ‘current’ Maya calendar’s end, this is what we learned: In another 395 years or so, the 15th Baktun will arrive, and then the 16th, and so on. There will be more Maya calendars and more celebrations clearing the path for change. One happy side note for me is that the last 26,000 years were considered by the Mayas to be the Night. The next 26,000 years they tell us will be the Day. And this, as I see it, is not the dawn of the dead – it’s the dawn of a new day! So let’s join the Mayas in creating a new age of positive, responsible and wise human advancement. We’re in! Are you?

Peace~

Jon

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