2012: End of the Fifth Sun
by Will Hart
Certain aspects of the interlocking Maya calendar system have filtered into public consciousness in the last decade and a half. One of them is the prediction that we will come to the end of a solar-planetary cycle in 2012. But what is this cycle exactly and why is it going to end on the winter solstice of that auspicious year? Is the world going to end as some people are forecasting?
The Maya conceived of time and human history as moving in cycles, small and large. While we use a single calendar to keep track of our annual solar circuit and to mark all of the important days within a year, the Maya used a variety of calendars. The array included a 365-day solar calendar; a 260-day sacred calendar and a Long Count calendar that operated something like an odometer with a zero start date. Unlike the other calendars the Long Count clocked linear time and was programmed to stop after 5,125 years elapsed.
The Long Count was begun at the onset of this current cycle, known as the 5th Sun, in 3114 BC. It will clock the required number of years to complete a full cycle of five suns on December 21, 2012. John Major Jenkins has made the case that this date corresponds to two major alignments, (one between the winter solstice sun and the galactic equator; the other an approximate one between solstice sun and galactic core) and it also completes the Great Zodiac precession cycle of 26,000 years. I am not questioning this thesis however I do wonder if that is all there is to the end of this solar cycle- the 5th Sun?
The Maya began their Long Count on what they referred to as the ‘Birth of Venus.’ Scholars have never been able to determine what the Maya were referring to and neither have alternative researchers. Nevertheless their sacred calendar, the Tzolkin, placed the synodic cycles of Venus in a central role. The 104-year ‘Venus Round’ cycle (2 Calendar Rounds of 52 years each), was a very important ceremonial event as this was the point in time when the solar and sacred calendars realigned with the cycle of Venus.
I need to insert an important numerical progression at this point to provide a basis for the rest of the article. The number thirteen was a root number for the Maya. It is both a prime number and the eighth number in the crucial Fibonacci series that is one source of the Golden Ratio, 1.618.
If we use 13 as the root of the Mayan calendar system we find the following sequence: 13, 26, 39, 52, 65, 78, 91 and 104, which are achieved by simply adding 13 to each succeeding sum. These are the key numbers in the Mayan calendrics and they have a solid scientific footing. Venus was the central component of the Mayan cosmology.
It is for good reason that our nearest planetary neighbor is called earth’s sister planet. They have a phase-locked orbital cycle that is based on a 13:8 ratio. That is derived from the fact that Venus revolves around the sun 1.6 times faster than Earth so that 13 Venus revolutions is equal to 8 years.
The image to the right has been made by hand with help of computer software for drafting. First, let’s draw a square and two circles so one fits inside a square and the other outside the square. Strangely this represents accurately proportions of the orbits of Venus and Earth. Second, let’s draw equally spaced points on each circle representing number of days per orbit (365 points for the orbit of the Earth and 225 points for the orbit of Venus). Next, let’s connected lines between orbital positions of each planet for each day – picking for the starting point a day when both planets are closest to each other. After repeating this process for 8 orbits of the Earth the lines form this amazing image >>
This image (to scale) shows dance of Venus and Earth – each of the fine lines connects both planets over time required to complete 8 orbits by Earth (and 13 orbits by Venus). Orbit of Earth is cropped out. Copyright by World-Mysteries.com
Why is this important? By establishing Venus as the key component of the sacred calendar they automatically built the Golden Ratio (1.6) into the system since that ratio defines the difference between the two planets orbital cycles. By using 13 as the root number they also included the crucial multiples, or powers, of thirteen – 13,000 and 26,000 – or half as well as the full number of years in the precession. We see that the 5 Suns, each lasting 5,125 years, also add up to the Great Zodiacal Year.
We can break these numbers down in different ways and each will show that there was nothing arbitrary about the Mayan system. We somewhat arrogantly disdain other cultures for being superstitious until we come to the number 13 and our own irrationality surfaces. But let’s examine how deeply embedded this number – as well as 26, 52 and 91 – are in our own calendar. Our year is divided into four seasons that are demarcated by the equinoxes and solstices.
Each of the four seasons is 91 days or 13 weeks long, which gives us a year of 52 weeks. We see the key Maya 13-base numerical progression reflected in our own calendar. Half of a year is 26 weeks. It is beyond the scope of this article to delve into all of the intricacies of the Mayan calendrical and mathematical systems; they were extremely adept in these fields.
What I have uncovered during my decades of research into this topic are two crucial keys to understanding the system: the ‘Transit of Venus’ and solar output cycles. It just so happens that the 2012 end date corresponds to a Venus Transit cycle that occurs twice in the next 10 years in 2004 and then in 2012. As mentioned above Venus was central to the Mayan cosmology. The Long Count began on what the Maya call the “Birth of Venus” so it is perhaps not too surprising that it ends on a Transit of Venus.
A transit is the astronomical event that occurs when one celestial body appears to move across the face of another celestial body, as seen by an observer at some particular vantage point. The word “transit” refers to cases where the nearer object appears considerably smaller than the more distant object. Cases where the nearer object appears larger and completely hides the more distant object are known as occultations.
One example of a transit involves the motion of a planet between a terrestrial observer and the Sun. This can happen only with inferior planets, namely Mercury and Venus (see transit of Mercury and transit of Venus). However, as seen from outer planets such as Mars, the Earth itself transits the Sun on occasion.
A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, obscuring a small portion of the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of 2004 [photo to the left],lasted six hours). A transit is similar to a solar eclipse by the Moon, but, although the diameter of Venus is almost 4 times that of the Moon, Venus appears smaller because it is much farther away from Earth.
Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable astronomical phenomena and currently occur in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The periodicity is a reflection of the fact that the orbital periods of Earth and Venus are close to 8:13 and 243:395 resonances. Before 2004, the last pair of transits were in December 1874 and December 1882. The first of a pair of transits of Venus in the beginning of the 21st century took place on 8 June 2004 and the next will be on 6 June 2012. After 2012, subsequent transits of Venus will be in December 2117 and December 2125. –Wikipedia
My research has revealed that a Transit of Venus occurred in 1518 and 1526. This was the period when Cortez landed on the shores of the Yucatan and wound up conquering the Aztec empire. The next transit was in 1631-’39. It was followed by a complete stoppage of the sunspot cycle, which lasted for 70 years (science has no explanation for this event). The ‘little ice age’ occurred between 1645 and 1720. What do we find associated with the next transit in 1761-‘69? We discover the birth of the American Revolution.
There is no doubt that the Transit of Venus was an important divinatory alignment factored into the Maya calendar. We will not have to wait for long to test this theory and also get a glimpse of 2012 during the ‘passage’ years. But in reality as Jose Arguelles and others have pointed out the precursor years began in 1987 and the final stages of this cycle really kicked into gear in 1991-’1993. How do we know? There has been a tremendous surge in the number and magnitude of natural disasters and this was also forecast as a harbinger of the 5th Sun’s demise.
13,000 years is a very important time period since we know that the last ice age ended then. This indicates that there is a periodicity to the solar output cycle. There are short and long term fluctuations in solar output and as a result great ice ages, little ice ages and warm interglacials, which we are in and nearing the end of now.
The cyclical nature of the long range weather patterns are well established as is the variable nature of solar activity. We know that that is true since we have been in a ‘global warming’ period for the past 300 years. The “little ice age” started to thaw in the early 1700s when the sunspot cycle returned. The level of solar activity has been increasing steadily from that ‘zero sunspot point’ right up to our recent sunspot cycles in 1989-‘90 and the double peak in 2000- ’02. [ See sunspots peak example below --Source: CSA ].
Is it a coincidence that 2012 also coincides with the next solar sunspot maximum? The actual peak of this 300-year cycle of increasing solar output occurred in 1960 when the number of sunspots exceeded 200, the usual peak is around 100-150. Now, what is interesting is that during the first half of the 20th century the Earth’s seismic and volcanic activity were comparatively quiet.
Then after 1960 the level of seismic and volcanic activity increases steadily to the point that the 1990s can accurately be called the ‘decade of disasters’. The surge in major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions radically departed from earlier decades. According to the chief scientist for the world’s largest reinsurance company Zurich Re, “since 1960 natural disasters are a growth industry.”
I hardly need to mention “global warming” since it is constantly in the headlines. However, the truth is obvious for those that care to see it. The Earth has been warming for 13,000 years with periodic short-term cold spells. However, solar output is the forcing mechanism behind global warming and the 5th Sun is intimately tied to that phenomenon. What does the end of the 5th Sun really mean?
I take it very literally to mean that the sun’s output is going to change. We are going to enter the flip side of a new 13,000 year cycle. The earth is overheated and so is the sun, the result being planetary instability manifested in rising earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and erratic weather patterns.
These will increase further starting in 2004. The volcanic ash will create more and more cloud cover and that will begin to cool the planet down. If my theory is correct the Maya knew that the Venus Transit acted like a circuit breaker switching off the sunspot cycle and impacting the Sun-Moon-Earth-Venus system. This appears to have happened just prior to the previous two ‘little ice ages’ that were preceded by what solar physicists call the Spoorer (1400-1510) and Maunder Minimum(s) 1640-1710), periods of radically diminished solar activity.
The Venus Transit will trigger the demise of the 5th Sun and set the stage for the next cycle, the 6th Sun. That is the physical side of the Maya 5th Sun forecast. Unlike many predictions this one is built into the Maya calendar and it can be verified with some historical research. Is the world going to end in a violent crescendo of natural disasters and impacts from cosmic objects? I do not think that is likely nor is it what the Maya predicted.
However, a prolonged period of change is on the horizon that will be ushered in by the 2004 – 2012 ‘passage’. It will culminate in the galactic alignment* and complete the precessional cycle at that point.
– Will Hart
- The Rise and Fall of Maya Civilization, Thompson J. Eric
- The How and Why of Maya End Date in 2012 A.D. Jenkins J.M. 1994 (article)
- 2004-2012 Transits of Venus, Espenak, F. (NASA article)
- Little Ice Age a Global Event, Dalziel, D.
* What is Galactic Alignment?
The Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator. This alignment occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes.
Precession is caused by the earth wobbling very slowly on its axis and shifts the position of the equinoxes and solstices one degree every 71.5 years. Because the sun is one-half of a degree wide, it will take the December solstice sun 36 years to precess through the Galactic equator (see diagram below). The precise alignment of the solstice point (the precise center-point of the body of the sun as viewed from earth) with the Galactic equator was calculated to occur in 1998 (Jean Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, 1997). Thus, the Galactic Alignment “zone” is 1998 +/- 18 years = 1980 – 2016. This is “era-2012.” This Galactic Alignment occurs only once every 26,000 years, and was what the ancient Maya were pointing to with the 2012 end-date of their Long Count calendar. — http://alignment2012.com/whatisga.htm
The Maya Fifth Sun
The Maya called an era a “sun” but the exact time span is not clear. In the Popul Vuh, the book of Mayan creation mythology, there were 3 unsuccessful attempts at creating humans, and the gods were successful on the 4th attempt. Therefore, current humans are the “fourth creation” and we are now living in the “fourth sun.” As this era draws to a close, we enter the “fifth sun” and a new age or creation begins. But, does a sun refer to a cycle of 13 baktuns (5200 tun or 5125.26 solar years)? Or does a sun refer to a much larger cycle of 5 of these 13-baktun cycles (26,000 tun or 25,626.28 solar years)? Another key question is when did the sun cycle begin and end? Over 60 correlations to the Gregorian Calendar are proposed with a span of 600 years for the present 13-baktun cycle.
The Maya Fifth Sun begins when the current era (Great Cycle) of the Fourth Sun comes to an end. Many believe this will happen on December 21, 2012. The Maya knew that planetary cycles were embedded in vast cosmic cycles, and these kept repeating endlessly to infinity. The cosmic 26,000 tun cycle corresponds to the precession of the equinoxes (25,625 solar years). This cycle is divided into 5 cycles of 5200 tun (5125 solar years). The tun is 360 days, a reflection of earth’s rotation before the cataclysm of 11,500-12,000 years ago that disrupted most of our solar system. The Fifth Sun corresponds to completion of one full zodiac cycle. Astrologers say we are now entering Aquarius, the first zodiac sign, and leaving Pisces. Aquarius the Water Bearer brings peace and harmony to earth. In the Maya Fifth Sun, an age of expanded consciousness, a new human emerges able to live in harmony with the earth, the environment, all creatures, and the greater cosmic order. — Source
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