Today is 12.19.16.7.16 7 Kib 14 Sotz’

1284 shopping days until 13.0.0.0.0 4 Ahau 3 K’ank’in.

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A Note on the Notation

For a couple of years now, I’ve been posting Mayan Long Count dates as the headlines of many if not most of my posts on this blog, previously on my old blog at Salon, and also intermittently on Twitter and Identi.ca, the two “social tools” I use. As far as I can recall, only one, maybe two people have asked me the what and why of that.

The Mayan Long Count is a dating system used by the Ahau, the priest-kings of Maya city-states of the “Classic” period (roughly 100 to 900 CE). The “Burden of Time” was and is central to Mayan cosmology, theology, and political ideology, as indeed it is to most Meso-American cultures.

The Maya were masters of observational astronomy and used  sophisticated mathematics in order to keep their “Count of Days” as accurately as possible. Maya theo-chronology is quite complicated, involving two intersecting cycles of time keeping, one of which is the Long Count. The Long Count is what I employ for my own purposes, so I leave the rest of the gorgeous complications to your googling pleasure.

The Mayan Long Count provides an arbitrary countdown date, 13.0.0.0.0/Dec 21 2112, the completion of the 13th baktun a baktun is a period of 144.000 days/394.3 solar years/400 Haab/360 day Mayan years. For reasons unknown, the Long Count initial date the 1st day of the 1st Baktun falls on August 11, 3114 BCE. As I said, 13.0.0.0.0 falls on Dec 21 2112 ie the winter solstice, a nice “coincidence.” I admire Mayan mathematics & am fascinated by the Mayan concept of time, however, I use 13.0.0.0.0 as a convenient place holder, not as doomsday. I simply think that by the end of 2012, we have a good indication as to how things will turn out on several issues concerning our survival as a culture, as a civilization, & as a species, & the probable ongoing effects of human activity on the Earth.
I’ve been posting Mayan Long Count dates for well over a year now & you’re the first person to ask me about it.
Yes, I’m counting down to 13.0.0.0.0/Dec 21 2012, using the Long Count, for my own purposes and amusement.As far as I know, there is no real evidence that the Maya intended that date to taken as a doomsday, tho there’s plenty of noise on the innertubes citing “ancient Mayan wisdom” to the contrary. 13.0.0.0.0 is not the end of the world in the Mayan chrono-theology it’s the end of the 13th baktun & the start of the 14th. Since the Long Count is vigesimal, ie base 20, it would make more sense to have the end of the world at the end of the 20th Baktun, which is not until 4872 AD. That’s not to say that the Maya did not consider the “turn of the baktun” to be an important occurance, fraught w/meaning & peril. They did.
2012, not 2112. Just under 4 years to a sorta kinda judgement day. Big party on Dec 21, 2112 Everyone’s invited. BYOA. Bring Your Own Apocalypse.
The Mayans thought the gods were trapped in the sky, btween the stars.

What the Mayan Long Count provides me is an arbitrary countdown date, 13.0.0.0.0/December 21, 2012, the completion of the 13th baktun. A baktun is a period of 144,000 days/394.3 solar years/40o ha’ab (360 day Mayan years). For reasons unknown, the Long Count initial date, the 1st day of the 1st baktun, falls on August 11, 3114 BCE. This is comfortably before the first recorded Long Count date, 8.4.o.o.0/July 15, 120 CE.

As indicated above, 13.0.0.0.0 falls on December 21, 2012, i.e. the winter solstice, a nice “coincidence.” Yes, I’m counting down to the winter solstice of  2012, using the Long Count, for my own purposes and amusement. Dr. Omed’s First Law is “First, I amuse myself. After that, the rest of you are on your own.”

As far as I can determine, there is no real evidence that the Maya intended that date to taken as a doomsday, though there is plenty of noise on the innertubes citing “ancient Mayan wisdom” to the contrary. 13.0.0.0.0 is not the end of the world in the Mayan chrono-theology; it’s the end of the 13th baktun and the start of the 14th.

Since the Long Count is vigesimal, i.e. base 20, it would make more sense to have the end of the world at the end of the 20th baktun, which is not until 4872 AD. That’s not to say that the Maya did not consider the “turn of the baktun” to be an important occurrence, fraught with meaning and peril. They did.

I dote on Mayan mathematics and am fascinated by the Mayan concept of time; however, I use 13.0.0.0.0 as a convenient place holder, not as doomsday. I simply think that by the end of 2012, we will have a pretty good indication as to how things will turn out, concerning our survival as a culture, as a civilization, and as a species, as well as the ongoing deleterious effects of human activity on the Earth.

So. Just about 3 and a half years to a sorta kinda judgement day.  Big party on December 21, 2112. Everyone’s invited. BYOA–Bring Your Own Apocalypse.

All moons, all years, all days, all winds
reach their completion and pass away.
So does blood reach its place of quiet,
as it reaches its power and its throne.
Measured is the time in which we can praise
the splendor of creation.
the blaze and warmth of the sun.
Measured is the time in which
the phalanx of stars will wheel.
and the gods trapped within the stars
watch over us.

Book of Chilam Balam

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23 responses to “Today is 12.19.16.7.16 7 Kib 14 Sotz’

  1. Dr. Omed’s First Law is “First, I amuse myself. After that, the rest of you are on your own.”

    Prudent; this approach guarantees at least one person is amused. ;-)

    Will you continue the count into the next baktun if our combined apocalyptic visions fail to yield on 21-DEC-2012?

  2. Does contemplating the relationship between the “modern” human notion of longitudinal time and the implications of space-time as continuum give you a headache, as it does me?

    • adamlovesmushrewms

      RE: Dave
      yeah it does! but its a good hurt cuz you’re exercising something thats is underdeveloped.. time is just relative. there is really no then or now in the linear sense that we perceive it just as there is no here or there in space because then and now and here and there is really just ONE. you-and-I is I-and- I because you and i are the same. OPEN OUR THIRD EYE and you will experience the merging of everything (you and I and I AND there and here and then and now and all you can imagine) as one because what differentiates everything is just an illusion. god is all that exists because god is everything.

      • adamlovesmushrewms

        its not about god though. my definition of the word is so far off from everybody else’s that i probably shouldn’t use it.

  3. Couple things:
    You use 2112 and 2012 in the article, but I’m guessing you meant 2012 in all cases.

    If we can’t immanentize the eschaton by the turn of the baktun, we simply ain’t gonna. :)

  4. Finally fixed that typo. Thanks, giana.

  5. omed you are a brilliant and devious mf. what do the mother and father have in store for us and all the petty gods, unseen and imagined after 13.0.0.0.0? hmmmm

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