2012 phenomenon (end of earth)

2012 phenomenon (end of earth)

The 2012 phenomenon comprises a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events will occur on December 21, 2012, which is said to be the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar. Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae related to this date have been proposed, but none have been accepted by mainstream scholarship.

A New Age interpretation of this transition posits that during this time, 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 posited for the end of the world include the Earth's collision with a passing planet (often referred to as "Nibiru") or black hole, or the arrival of the next solar maximum.

Scholars from various disciplines have dismissed the idea that a catastrophe will happen in 2012, stating that predictions of impending doom are found neither in classic Maya accounts nor in contemporary science. Mainstream Mayanist scholars state that the idea that the Long Count calendar "ends" in 2012 misrepresents Maya history. The modern Maya, on the whole, have not attached much significance to the date, and the classical sources on the subject are scarce and contradictory, suggesting that there was little if any universal agreement among them about what, if anything, the date might mean.

Astronomers and other scientists have rejected the apocalyptic forecasts, on the grounds that the anticipated events are precluded by astronomical observations, or are unsubstantiated by the predictions that have been generated from these findings. NASA has compared fears about 2012 to those about the Y2K bug in the late 1990s, suggesting that an adequate analysis should preclude fears of disaster.
Mesoamerican Long Count calendar
December 2012 marks the ending of the current b'ak'tun cycle of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, which was used in Central America prior to the arrival of Europeans. Though the Long Count was most likely invented by the Olmec,[8] it has become closely associated with the Maya civilization, whose classic period lasted from 250 to 900 AD. The writing system of the classic Maya has been substantially deciphered, meaning that a corpus of their written and inscribed material has survived from before the European conquest.

The Long Count set its "zero date" at a point in the past marking the end of the previous world and the beginning of the current one, which corresponds to either 11 or 13 August 3114 BC in the Proleptic Gregorian calendar, depending on the formula used.[10] Unlike the 52-year calendar round still used today among the Maya, the Long Count was linear, rather than cyclical, and kept time roughly in units of 20, so 20 days made a uinal, 18 uinals (360 days) made a tun, 20 tuns made a k'atun, and 20 k'atuns (144,000 days) made up a b'ak'tun. So, for example, the Mayan date of represents 8 b'ak'tuns, 3 k'atuns, 2 tuns, 10 uinals and 15 days since creation. Many Mayan inscriptions have the count shifting to a higher order after 13 b'ak'tuns, or roughly 5,125 years. Today, the most widely accepted correlation of the end of the thirteenth b'ak'tun, or Mayan date, with the Western calendar is December 21, 2012, with December 23 remaining another option.[page needed]

In 1957, the early Mayanist and astronomer Maud Worcester Makemson wrote that "the completion of a Great Period of 13 b'ak'tuns would have been of the utmost significance to the Maya". The anthropologist Munro S. Edmonson added that "there appears to be a strong likelihood that the eral calendar, like the year calendar, was motivated by a long-range astronomical prediction, one that made a correct solsticial forecast 2,367 years into the future in 355 B.C." (sic) In 1966, Michael D. Coe more ambitiously asserted in The Maya that "there is a suggestion ... that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the thirteenth [b'ak'tun]. Thus ... our present universe [would] be annihilated [in December 2012][a] when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion."

Coe's apocalyptic connotations were accepted by other scholars through the early 1990s. In contrast, later researchers said that, while the end of the 13th b'ak'tun would perhaps be a cause for celebration, it did not mark the end of the calendar. "There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012," says Mayanist scholar Mark Van Stone, "The notion of a "Great Cycle" coming to an end is completely a modern invention." In their seminal work of 1990, the Maya scholars Linda Schele and David Freidel, who reference Edmonson, argue that the Maya "did not conceive this to be the end of creation, as many have suggested," citing Mayan predictions of events to occur after the end of the 13th b'ak'tun. Stela 1 at Coba, for example, gives a date with twenty units above the b'ak'tun, placing it either 4.134105 × 1028 years in the future, or an equal distance in the past. Either way, this date is 3 quintillion times the age of the universe, demonstrating that not all Mayans considered the 5,125-year cycle as the most important. In fact, many different Maya city-states employed the Long Count in different ways. At Palenque, evidence suggests that the priest timekeepers believed the cycle would end after 20 b'ak'tuns, rather than 13. A monument commemorating the ascension of the king Pakal the Great connects his coronation with events as much as 4000 years after, indicating that those scribes did not believe the world would end on
New Age beliefs
Many New Age thinkers believe that the ending of this cycle will correspond to a global "consciousness shift". Established themes found in 2012 literature include "suspicion towards mainstream Western culture", the idea of spiritual evolution, and the possibility of leading the world into the New Age, by individual example or by a group's joined consciousness. The general intent of this literature is not to warn of impending doom but "to foster counter-cultural sympathies and eventually socio-political and 'spiritual' activism". Aveni, who has studied New Age and SETI communities, describes 2012 narratives as the product of a "disconnected" society: "Unable to find spiritual answers to life's big questions within ourselves, we turn outward to imagined entities that lie far off in space or time—entities that just might be in possession of superior knowledge."

In 1975, b'ak'tun 13 became the subject of speculation by several New Age authors. In his book Mexico Mystique: The Coming Sixth Age of Consciousness, Frank Waters tied Coe's December 24, 2011 date to astrology and the prophecies of the Hopi, while both José Argüelles and Terence McKenna (in their books The Transformative Vision and The Invisible Landscape respectively) discussed the significance of the year 2012, but not a specific day. In 1987, the year in which he held the Harmonic Convergence event, Arguelles settled on the date of December 21 in his book The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology, in which he claimed on that date the Earth would pass through a great "beam" from the centre of the Galaxy, and that the Maya aligned their calendar in anticipation of that event.
Galactic alignment

In the mid-1990s, John Major Jenkins asserted that the ancient Maya intended to tie the end of their calendar to the winter solstice in 2012, which falls on December 21. This date was in line with an idea he terms the galactic alignment.

In the Solar System, the planets and the Sun share roughly the same plane of orbit, 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 12 constellations which line the ecliptic are known as the zodiac and, through the year, the Sun passes through each constellation in turn. Additionally, over time, the Sun's annual passage appears to recede counterclockwise by one degree every 72 years. This movement is attributed to a slight wobble in the Earth's axis as it spins. As a result, approximately every 2160 years, the constellation visible on the early morning of the spring equinox changes. In Western astrological traditions, this signals the end of one astrological age (currently the Age of Pisces) and the beginning of another (Age of Aquarius). Over the course of 26,000 years, the precession of the equinoxes makes one full circuit around the ecliptic.

Just as the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere is currently in the constellation of Pisces, so the winter solstice is currently in the constellation of Sagittarius, which is the zodiacal constellation intersected by the galactic equator. Every year for the last 1000 years or so, on the winter solstice, the Earth, Sun and the galactic equator come into alignment, and every year, precession pushes the Sun's position a little way further through the Milky Way's band.Jenkins suggests that the Maya based their calendar on observations of the Great Rift, a band of dark dust clouds in the Milky Way, which the Maya called the Xibalba be or "Black Road." Jenkins claims that the Maya were aware of where the ecliptic intersected the Black Road and gave this position in the sky a special significance in their cosmology. According to the hypothesis, the Sun precisely aligns with this intersection point at the winter solstice of 2012. Jenkins claimed that the classical Mayans anticipated this conjunction and celebrated it as the harbinger of a profound spiritual transition for mankind. New Age proponents of the galactic alignment hypothesis argue that, just as astrology uses the positions of stars and planets to make claims of future events, the Mayans plotted their calendars with the objective of preparing for significant world events. Jenkins attributes the insights of ancient Maya shamans about the galactic center to their use of psilocybin mushrooms, psychoactive toads, and other psychedelics. Jenkins also associates the Xibalba be with a "world tree", drawing on studies of contemporary (not ancient) Maya cosmology.
Astronomers argue that the galactic equator is an entirely arbitrary line, and can never be precisely determined because it is impossible to say exactly where the Milky Way begins or ends. Jenkins claims he drew his conclusions about the location of the galactic equator from observations taken at above 11,000 feet, which is higher than any of the Maya lived. Furthermore, the precessional alignment of the Sun with any single point is not exclusive to a specific year, but takes place over a 36-year period, corresponding to its diameter. Jenkins himself notes that, even given his determined location for the line of the galactic equator, its most precise convergence with the centre of the Sun already occurred in 1998.

Some Maya scholars, such as Barbara MacLeod, Michael Grofe, Eva Hunt, Gordon Brotherston, and Anthony Aveni, have suggested that some Mayan holy dates were timed to precessional cycles, but scholarly opinion on the subject remains divided. There is also little evidence, archaeological or historical, that the Maya placed any importance on solstices or equinoxes.It is possible that early Mesoamericans had an emphasis on solstices which was later forgotten, but this is also a disputed issue among Mayanists. The start date of the Long Count is not astronomically significan
Planet X/Nibiru

Proponents of a Nibiru collision claim that a planet, called Planet X or Nibiru, will collide with or pass by Earth in that year. This idea, which has been circulating since 1995 in New Age circles and initially slated the event for 2003, is based on claims of channeling from alien beings and has been widely ridiculed. Astronomers calculate that such an object so close to Earth would be visible to anyone looking up at the night sky.


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