There’s a lot of buzz these days regarding December 21, 2012, the mysterious and mythical date in the Mayan calendar on which either a great shift is supposed to happen or the world is going to end, depending on who is explaining. If you do a Google search on 2012, you get all kinds of wacky websites chiming in on the hysteria, including a Hollywood movie to be released this November, entitled…um…2012. Of course, it’ll have floods, locusts and without doubt lots of gory end times fantasies, exploiting our most existential fears in a Nostradamus meets Old Testament kinda way. No doubt the studio will carve out a nice little living for their remaining three years on Earth, as will the ammo, dried fruit, and space tourism industries: Hysteria sells.
But don’t cancel your 2013 appointments just yet, it may not all be as easy as 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 . . . . . OMG, LOOK, BIG WAVE . . . . WHEEEEE . . . . and then . . . gurgle gurgle gurgle . . . Whoops We’re Gone!
Whenever we’re presented with material in this kind of fatalistic way, it is highly advisable to take the information with several grains of salt, even if it is the wise and ancient Mayans who have supposedly slipped us our cosmic eviction notice under the door. At the same time, much may be gleaned from looking a bit deeper into the meaning behind this date, not only because a sophisticated Mayan culture arrived at it through a lot of complex calculations but also because our collective imagination has been tickled and shaped by this information, giving it energy and forward motion. It is, as always in our free will universe, up to us what we do with this energy, so I think it’s in our best interest to deepen the discourse on this topic in order to harness the transformational power of the symbolism instead of surrendering the field to shallow doomsayers, fear mongers, and myth profiteers.
Thankfully, a lot of great and insightful things have already been said and written about 2012. Daniel Pinchbeck’s 2012 – Return of the Quetzalcoatl comes to mind, an open examination of the prophesy through his personal explorations of everything from sacred Amazonian ceremonies to crop circles. In a recent essay entitled The Age of Uncertainty, Pinchbeck, considered one of the “experts” in the field, takes a warm and welcome leap into 2012 truth by saying, among many other things he confesses to not knowing, that “I don’t know if anything special will happen on December 21, 2012.”
Yay Daniel, I think you’re on to something! The very acknowledgment that there are things we are intellectually unable to grasp may be one of the keys to what this transition everyone is clamoring for is all about. In fact, trying to explain the Mayan prophesy with our “knowledge brains” may not only be stirring up outlandish predictions and filling self-proclaimed prophets’ coffers, but missing the point altogether. I give the Mayans way more credit than to be as one-dimensional as to throw out a date with some sort of two-dimensional, rational, mainstream media-reportable events, without some much larger, eternally more transcendent lesson attached to the puzzle.
I mean, we scoff at folks who insist on literal interpretations of the bible, so why on earth would otherwise intelligent folks obsess over a particular date? Y2K anyone? The larger point I’m speaking to is that of course something is happening here, it’s just not what we think it is: It’s too big and mysterious for our heads. Our thoughts are freaking out, like the time they were introduced to Darth Vader, convinced they had found the source of evil. I’m wondering if the great cosmic code of 2012 was never meant to be cracked by our seeing eyes, but by our collective Third Eye. Might we have been invited to let go of what we think we know and go deeper into softer and less tangible heart spheres? Feel the force?
The irony of worshiping a particular date in the not so distant future may be that while we’re all looking ahead in anticipation, the change we’re so anxiously awaiting is already happening right here and now. Three or four years, it would seem, are all but a blip in the evolution of the universe and of consciousness, and the whole idea of a shift or transformation is that it has to shift from one thing into another, which means that there’s a period during which the old paradigm fades out and a new one fades in. Unless you believe that there will be some sort of a cosmic earthquake on December 21st, 2012, the more likely scenario is a more natural and gradual transformation, a climate change of the soul, if you will. And if the latter is the case, which I think it is, then we’re already in the middle of a great shift and have been for a while. In other words, 2012 has been here for a while and will continue to be so. Sound crazy? Good.
Allow me to use the ancient study of astrology as an example to illustrate how the greatest, most global shifts in consciousness happen slowly and gradually, to a point where we may not even “know” we’ve entered a new era because we’ve been in the process of entering for so long that the shift itself feels normal and thus isn’t perceived as such. I’m not talking about sun sign “I’m A Leo” kind of astrology or daily horoscopes in the back of the newspaper, but the much slower, epochal movements within our galaxy and even of our own planet.
We’ve all listened to the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius from the 60s musical Hair. Aside from being a nifty little pop song, what it described was the change in the direction of the earth’s equinox, also know as precession, from the sign of Pisces into Aquarius, and its impact on human consciousness. This precession happens so slowly that it takes over 2000 years to move through each of the twelve signs, or 30 degrees out of a 360 degree zodiac. Of course, there are people who have tried to pin exact dates as to when the earth’s axis did or will leave Pisces and enter Aquarius. In fact, some say it coincides with the . . . drum roll . . . end of the Mayan calendar.
But alas, it’s not all as clean cut as you’d think: the earth’s axis kinda wobbles and eggs around, so considering our “equinoxic” snail pace, a little jerk back and forth could mean a hundred years of going in and out of different energy fields. Add to it that the signs of the zodiac aren’t neatly lined up in exact 30 degree intervals, and you’ll find yourself in a gray area, neither here nor there, for decades or even centuries. The point is that even if there were an official date of the equinox switch from Aquarius to Pisces — and to tickle your fancy into supreme ecstasy, let’s say that date were to be 12/21/12 — we would feel an ever increasing dose of Aquarian energy long before then, and a slowly eroding Piscean signature until long after.
So we’ve careened through the Age of Pisces for roughly the last 2000 years. The archetypal meaning of Pisces is that of consciousness itself, our capacity to tune in to the source where all our souls are connected through boundless energy, like millions of individual fish swimming within the same ocean. Sounds really nice and good, and in fact, Pisces energy is probably the closest we can get to our divine essence, or what we call . . . God. But alas, each archetype carries a shadow as well, and, by Jah, we certainly have explored every shadowy corner of Pisces over these past two millennia. The mere mention of the G-word conjures a galaxy full of shadows associated with our human interpretations of God and the consequences of manipulating the divine for worldly gain.
Being human, it’s usually our minds that act out the shadow side. For example, Christianity corresponds pretty closely with the Piscean age, and if you assume that the true intentions behind the archetypes in the Jesus story really point toward love, forgiveness and acceptance of all souls as part of God’s grace, you get pretty close to the highest expression of Pisces. However, once the purity of the Jesus experience gets rationalized and institutionalized, you are injecting the duality of the mind into this powerful symbol. It’s very explosive. As soon as you try to nail down or “prove” your highest ground, you destroy its magic, sometimes quite literally through crusades and witch hunts, but often more subtly, through claims of moral or spiritual superiority.
“Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” really sums up the highest road we could have taken through the Piscean age quite nicely: If you give it a name you give up its true power and slide into the dualistic, separate reality of the mind. Jesus was preparing us to understand the most important lesson to successfully navigate the Piscean age at its dawn, but after 2000 years of fumbling and bumbling our Pisces puzzle, it’s no wonder we’re ready to move on to a much more rational and liberated Aquarian reality.
Aquarius is about true identity, about swimming against the current, breaking away from the constraints of conventional wisdom and tradition. It loves technology as a way to set ourselves apart individually, to go where no one has gone before, to drive, to fly, to be openly weird, and to make friends by clicking a button. Of course, after 2000 years of sacrificing our individual ingenuity for the sake of “oneness” (mostly a false one, as stated above) and deep, often damaging soul contact, it feels really good to leave the mass sermons behind and march to the beat of our own drums.
Within the context of shifts and transitions, it should be quite obvious even to the casual observer that our post-modern contemporary world is drenched in Aquarian energy and has been for quite some time. When pondering technologies that ignited our voracious Aquarian appetite for independence and mobility, one can easily go back a hundred years, to the inventions of the automobile, airplane, and telephone, to find external manifestations of this new zeitgeist. Infused with the vestiges of the Piscean pull toward surrendering the ego to the perceived greater good, we find ourselves in an extraordinary transformational period where nation states wrestle with tribal demands for autonomy, churches compete with self-help spirituality, and longstanding traditions like marriage between a man and a woman are being successfully challenged to include same-sex couples.
Sounds more like a good, creative, and progressive time rather than dire end times to me, but just as with Pisces, there is a shadow side to Aquarius. Looking at where technology is taking us, it may behoove us to be cautious of becoming overly individualistic, and in the process, isolated. Aquarius is often associated with the archetype of the genius, and while we all secretly admire unconventional thinkers, it must be mentioned that some of the greatest spirits are often also the loneliest, unable or even unwilling to be part of the tribe and surrender to the more basic yet essential human need for creature comfort. With that in mind, one of the ways for us to avoid getting completely consumed by the Aquarian shadow of speed for speed’s sake and emotional alienation is to try to keep things “real” by doing things like digging our hands in the dirt or saying hi to our neighbors, maintaining direct human contact as much as we can. We’ve got 2000 years to get through Aquarius, so what’s the hurry, right?
While we may not officially have entered the age of Aquarius, we have by all accounts been properly initiated into its essence through its orb of influence and our own forward momentum, so that even if some sort of an apex in the form of an exact switchover date is yet to come, the experience will hardly compare to a caveman stumbling upon an iPhone. I view the Mayan calendar in the same light, in that we’ve already been experiencing the end of the old cycle blended in with the beginning of the new cycle. Since we’re dealing with the Mayans’ long count here, the great cycle of 5125 years, my gut feeling is that we’ve been getting a healthy dose of the next cycle’s vibe for well over 100 years. Early industrial revolution comes to mind as a time period when our current life-in-the-fast-lane state of consciousness may have begun its initiation for the next great Mayan cycle.
What’s interesting is that if you add five of these Mayan cycles, you get to about 26,000 years, which roughly corresponds to the precession of the equinox through all twelve signs of the zodiac and the completion of its cycle. In a sense then, you could say that at the end of the day (or whatever time measurement you prefer) perhaps we are all talking about the same thing, just in different languages. Ultimately, all calendars are based on the movement of our lovely planet Earth through the zodiac, so it would make sense that any serious observations and measurements, be they Mayan or Gregorian, would — despite different count techniques and temporal divisions —at some point merge together before going apart again. It is plausible that 2012 is one such rare time, and possibly the first time since humans began counting.
It’s no wonder people are excited, and instead of poo-pooing the whole thing as some crazy new age obsession we have a unique opportunity to sync our consciousness with our calendars. And rather than waiting for December 21, 2012 for either some outlandish event to happen or to fall over laughing because nothing happened, our most enlightened choice is to assume that we’re right in the middle of whatever it is we’re projecting into the future. Let’s ask ourselves what we would want the planet and humanity to be like on 12/21/12, and start working toward that wish today. Consciousness can evolve when we make good things happen, and good things happen when we let consciousness evolve. It’s the universal law of cause and effect. The closing of a cycle, and the opening of the next. The end and the beginning all rolled into One. Another day in the universe.