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2011: Less Than Two Years to Go Until World Destruction

“Anyone can be a millionaire, but to become a billionaire you need an astrologer.” That’s what J.P. Morgan, early 19th century billionaire, said about the stars. The Mayan’s might have agreed. But more important than becoming a billionaire, the Mayans concerned themselves with creating an extremely accurate calendar that could not only tell time by studying the movements of heavenly bodies, it could tell the future.

Obsessed with the position and movement of heavenly bodies, the Mayans incorporated these rotations into a complicatedand astonishingly accurateset of calendars that work together much like a nested set of gears. The most significant calendar, known as the Tzolkin works on a 260-day cycle. Scholars believe that this calendar was used as a common, daily time accounting tool.

The Tzolkin interacted with a second calendar called the Haab, which functioned on a 365-day cycle. When these two calendars were used together, time was divided into synchronized cycles of 52 Haab years. This cycle creates a third calendar called the Calendar Round. Eras of time longer than the 52-year cycle of the Calendar Round were reckoned using a fourth calendar called the Long Count.

THE TZOLKIN
The Tzolinthe calendar most generally used in the Mayan culture for divination, ritual, and the accounting of daysfunctioned on a 260-day cycle. The Tzolkin worked by combining a group of 20 named days, each associated with a patron god, with 13 numbers. Each day was also represented by a glyph. Some such days are: Kan or “maize,” the young maize lord who brings abundance and ripeness; another day, Caben or “earthquake,” represents astonishing power.

Shaman priests, known as Ah K’in, translated as “day keeper,” acted as oracles to the Mayan people. They used the Tzolkin and ritual tools such as seeds to divine events and to recommend optimal days for certain activities such as going to battle, conducting business, or holding festivals and celebration.

THE HAAB
The Haab, based on a 365-day solar year, acted as a seasonal calendar. Dropping the extra day in the actual tropical year caused the Haab to be an inaccurate accounting of seasons. Seasons shifted in their relationship with the Haab, causing season names to not correspond with climate seasons over decades of time.

The Haab year was divided into eighteen months of 20 days. At the end of the eighteen-month year, a 5-day period of uncertainty was known as the Wayeb.

The Haab, when used with the Tzolkin created another calendar called the Calendar Round.

THE CALENDAR ROUND
The two monthly Mayan colanders, the Tzolkin and the Haab, worked together like a pair of gears to create a larger accounting of time: the Calendar Round. The full Calendar Round cycled at the rate of about 52 solar years per rotation. One full cycle of the Calendar Round occurred usually once during an average lifetime. At the end of each cycle, there was a period of uncertainty, during which the Mayans wondered, and hoped, that the gods would grant them prosperity for another 52 Haab-year period.

The Calendar Round did not satisfy the need to account for longer periods of time, such as blocks of hundreds of years. Another calendar existed to accomplish this purpose called the Long Count.

THE LONG COUNT
For the purpose of recording history, a process that lasts far beyond the length of any single lifespan, the Long Count was used. Mayans reckoned time in the Long Count by subdividing it into chunks of called K’atuns. Each K’atun lasted approximately 395 solar years.

With each K’atun, comes a divination, as ascribed by the Mayan Ah K’in (day keepers). Some believe these predictions to be accurate, much like the prophetic utterances of Nostradamus. Notable historical eras like that of Neopolian and Hitler can be traced to certain predictions made in ancient codecs written by the Mayans.

The long count has a definite beginning and end: its inception occurred on August 11, 3114 BC and it ends on December 21st, 2012. Some believe that the end of the long count will mark the beginning of a devastating and far-reaching catastrophe that will end the world as we know it.

Some of the most astonishing aspects of the Mayans lie in their ability for such an ancient race to have an almost scientific knowledge of astronomy and in their capacity to predict seasons and account for time with extreme accuracy. J.P. Morgan said that, to become a billionaire, you need an astrologist. Some might view this as superstition; but then there are some who will be holding their breath when the clock rings in December 21st, 2012.

2 Comments

  1. avatar Snakesbeard
    Posted January 11, 2011 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    I actually read somewhere that in honor of “the long count”, mayans are appointing Count Von Count to Telecast the final countdown for the apocalypse.

    “Only ten days until world destruction… Ah-ah-ah!
    Nine days till world destruction… Ah-ah-ah!
    Another day down makes eight days till world destruction… Ah-ah-ah!” Etc…

  2. avatar Aldo Camolez
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Craig thanks a lot for sharing.

    Quite interesting. I really liked it.

    Now on a very personal note: I do believe that to be a millionaire one needs more than an astrologist. Maybe a rich father you can inherit a million, a good advisor and the right stocks so you can turn that into two million and so on… Coming from a poor family and making money out of my job chances are the world will end before I ever become a millionaire.

    As for the end of the world, at the rate we humans are messing things up with mother earth I think it should have already ended. We are already living extra years.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ben Fuller. Ben Fuller said: RT @mediaRif: Blogmaster 2000: 2011 – Less Than Two Years to Go Until World Destruction by Craig Nybo. http://bit.ly/gkAjgr […]

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