2012, Galactic Alignment & The Mayans
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Author and researcher John Major Jenkins returned for a discussion on the Mayans and 2012. He first began researching the Mayan calendar in the early 1990s and discovered that their Long Count calendar (which ends on Dec. 21, 2012) originated with the Mayan's predecessors, the Izapans and the Olmecs. It was Jenkins who first made the connection between the galactic alignment and 2012/Mayan tradition.The sun is due to align with the Milky Way's galactic center in 2012, as part of a 26,000 year cycle. But rather than viewing this cycle as going around in circle, Jenkins suggested it could be thought of as the expansion and contraction of a circle. We're not coming to the end of time, but to the "center of time," he explained, adding that we have the opportunity to connect with our true source/center during this period.The galactic "alignment zone" is a gradual occurrence, and Jenkins is not necessarily expecting calamity to occur in 2012. "We need to look beyond the apocalypse veil, towards transformation and renewal," he commented. Biography:John Major Jenkins is an independent researcher who has devoted himself to reconstructing ancient Mayan cosmology and philosophy. In 1994 he delivered relief supplies to a Quiche Maya community in the Western highlands of Guatemala. Since beginning his odyssey of research and discovery with the Maya, John has authored dozens of articles and seven books.As a visiting scholar, Jenkins has taught classes at The Institute of Maya Studies in Miami, The Maya Calendar Congress in Mexico, The Esalen Institute, Naropa University and many other venues both nationally and abroad. He has been interviewed on numerous radio and television shows. Last October, the Discovery Channel featured John's work on two episodes of the "Places of Mystery" series, which continue to be broadcast regularly on the Travel Channel. WikipediaThe 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs according to which cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on 21 December 2012. This date is regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae have been proposed as pertaining to this date, though none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth's collision with a planet called "Nibiru".Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea of such cataclysmic events occurring in 2012. Professional Mayanist scholars state that predictions of impending doom are not found in any of the extant classic Maya accounts, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history and culture. Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the proposals as pseudoscience, stating that they conflict with simple astronomical observations and amount to "a distraction from more important science concerns, such as global warming and loss of biological diversity" Galactic alignmentThere is no significant astronomical event tied to the Long Count's start date. However, its supposed end date has been tied to astronomical phenomena by esoteric, fringe, and New Age literature that places great significance on astrology. Chief among these is the concept of the "galactic alignment".PrecessionIn the Solar System, the planets and the Sun lie roughly within the same flat plane, known as the plane of the ecliptic. From our perspective on Earth, the ecliptic is the path taken by the Sun across the sky over the course of the year. The twelve constellations that line the ecliptic are known as the zodiac and, annually, the Sun passes through all of them in turn. Additionally, over time, the Sun's annual cycle appears to recede very slowly backward by one degree every 72 years, or by one constellation every 2,160 years. This backward movement, called "precession", is due to a slight wobble in the Earth's axis as it spins, and can be compared to the way a spinning top wobbles as it slows down. Over the course of 25,800 years, a period often called a Great Year, the Sun's path completes a full, 360-degree backward rotation through the zodiac. In Western astrological traditions, precession is measured from the March equinox, one of the two annual points at which the Sun is exactly halfway between its lowest and highest points in the sky. Presently, the Sun's March equinox position is in the constellation Pisces and is moving back into Aquarius.