Column of the Americas

The Mayan worldview of the universe portends that a new era begins in the year 2012

By Patrisia Gonzales and Roberto Rodriguez
Published on LatinoLA: January 9, 2000

Column of the Americas

Last year, U.S. News & World Report published a cover story titled, "Is Ours the Only Universe?" Its contents were mind-boggling, to say the least. Among many things, some scientists posited the existence of multiple universes. These speculations remind us that not every culture views the nature of life in the same manner. Which leads us to the millennium.

The millennium is a Christian marker. For the Chinese, the year 2000 is actually 4697. For Jewish people, it's 5760, and for Muslims it's the year 1378. It also marks 5014 years from the start of the Mayan calendar. And for sticklers, it's actually one year shy of the third millennium.

In the Americas, using pre-Columbian calendars, the year 2000 is virtually meaningless. However, the year 2012 in the Mayan calendar marks the end of a 5,200-year "sun," or era, and also the end of five suns, which make up a 26,000-year astronomical cycle.

Most indigenous peoples in pre-Columbian America used variants of the same astronomical calendars, and many held similar beliefs regarding the end of each sun, that each ended in cataclysms like earthquakes, fires, volcanoes and floods.

Many still use these calendars. What ancient Mayan scientists did was not so much prophesize as predict. Not surprisingly, the year 2012 figures prominently. Based on thousands of years of astronomical observation, a cataclysm is indeed predicted by indigenous elders, as opposed to "prophesized." No one is predicting that at the strike of midnight, December 20, 2012, the world will end. Instead, Mayan elders predict that the cataclysm can occur within a year or 100 years -- and the cause would be something astronomical as opposed to metaphysical.

Mayan scholar Hunbatz Men, in "Secrets of Mayan Science/Religion" (Bear and Co., Santa Fe N.M.), says that the Western world is not familiar with the Mayan view of the universe primarily because Europeans did everything to destroy all indigenous knowledge. Subsequently, Europeans set out to rewrite indigenous history through their own eyes. As a result, he says, to understand the Mayan worldview and vision of the cosmos -- which is quite complex -- we are "compelled to discard 99 percent of the material produced and used by official researchers, and resort to sources closer to our indigenous American culture." Those sources, he says, are indigenous elders and the thousands of ceremonial centers throughout the Americas that survive to this day.

Hunbatz Men believes that the Mayans are the original teachers of the world and that their ancestors traveled throughout the world to disseminate their knowledge. For instance, he says that the 300 B.C. Hindu writer Valmiki credits the Naga-Maya with bringing Hindus their culture in the year 2700 B.C. The Tibetans and Greeks have similar stories about being visited by the Cara-Maya in ancient times. Similarly, the Egyptian priest-historian Manetho also says the Mayax also visited Africa. He adds that people from all over the world visited the Americas in ancient times.

Don Alejandro Cirilo P?rez Oxlaj, a Mayan elder who spoke at a recent medicine conference, amazed the audience by not only confirming Hunbatz Men's ideas, but also by adding that the Mayans had received their original teachings from beings from the Pleiades star system, who visited them in ancient times in Yucat?n, M?xico.

Believing that the Mayans received their original instructions from beings from the Pleiades cannot be any less valid than believing, as Christians and Jews do, that Jehovah spoke to Moses on a mountain and gave him the Ten Commandments, or that Jesus and Mohammed ascended into heaven. It's certainly as valid as scientists speculating that there may be multiple universes, existing in different dimensions.

Cultural bias and military might are responsible for many of our societal beliefs. That, of course, does not make them right. We don't know what will happen in the next few days or in the next 12 years. What we do know is that it wouldn't hurt to listen to the words of Don Alejandro who said that on Dec. 20, 2012, Mother Earth will pass inside the center of a magnetic axis and that it may be darkened with a great cloud for 60 to 70 hours and that because of environmental degradation, she may not be strong enough to survive the effects. "It will enter another age, but when it does, there will be great and serious events. Earthquakes, maremotos (tsunamis), floods, volcanic eruptions and great illness on the planet Earth. Few survivors will be left."

Don Alejandro has been sent as a messenger from a council of elders to warn the world that we must change the way we live and take care of Earth. We hope his message resonates with people of all faiths and beliefs.

COPYRIGHT 1999 UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE The writers can be reached at PO BOX 7905, Albuquerque, NM 87194-7905, 505-242-7282 or

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