2012: A Rational Look
Excitement builds as we approach the "end date" of the Mayan calendar,
December 21st, 2012. As authors of works on both Western and
Mayan astrology, we (Scofield and Orr) are often asked for our opinion
of what will happen in 2012.
The simple answer is that no one really knows.
There some things we do know, however. The following are some
questions and answers related to our simple premise: The Mayan Calendar is a kind of
We have posted some articles and book reviews on this web site (in PDF format) that further explore the
- What is
We define astrology as a mapping technique for dynamic systems that
display emergent properties (climate and weather, collective behaviors,
individual personality). Astrology uses solar system dynamics as a
symbolic model for the behavior of dynamic systems. At present, no
specific causal connections other than gravity, light, and solar
radiation are known to link the solar system with dynamic systems on
Earth. Astrology is difficult to test using reductionist science and
therefore rigorously derived statistical evidence is scarce, though it
does exist. Astrological
systems were originally developed in Mesopotamia, India, China and
- Is the Mayan
Calendar a kind of astrology?
Yes. The Long Count (commonly referred to as the Mayan
Calendar) and the tzolkin (260-day calendar) are a kind of astrology,
that is, they are a
means of mapping dynamic systems. Both the Long Count and the tzolkin
based on day counts that resonate with a number of planetary cycles.
position is not recognized by most in the New Age or academic
- What did the
Maya say about 2012?
We do not know of any traditional Mayan prophecy for the year 2012.
The books of Chilam Balam are authentic Maya prophecy books but they
refer only to a component of the Long Count which is called by
archaeologists the Short Count. (See articles on this subject on this
- Is the Mayan
Calendar related to precession?
While there is no existing archaeological or historical proof that
5,125-year Long Count measures the precession of the equinoxes, we
suspect that it does for the following reasons: (a) it is very close to
1/5 of the 25,700 year period, and the mythology
of the Five Suns and the Popol Vuh suggest that world ages cycled in
groups of five; (b)
the winter solstice point is now passing over the galactic equator (which was exact in 1999) and near the dark band in the Milky Way.
This cycle appears to have had mythological significance in regard to human origins, and
suggests that the end date of the Long Count, i.e. 2012, was computed
advance and the start date computed afterwards;
(c) There is some evidence that other ancient civilizations (e.g.,
Egyptian, Andean, Hindu) were aware of precession and it would be
logical to assume that a civilization that watched the sky over long
periods (like the Maya, who measured cycles with great precision) would
have noticed this slow movement.
- What will
happen in 2012?
We make no specific predictions for 2012. We do think that it is interesting that Western civilization is now facing unprecedented crises due to overpopulation and climate change and these appear to be accelerating. It may be reasonable to view the decade or two before and after 2012 as a time characterized by unprecedented global crises. Western astrology points to a series of major outer planet alignments and positioning on the Cardinal points (equinoxes and solstices) occurring roughly between 2008 and 2016, with particular intensity in 2010.
2012: A Less Rational Look
For a more speculative and light-hearted view of what may happen in 2012, please see:
The Top 13 Things That Will Happen on 12.21.2012