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Monday, December 17, 2012

Mayan Long Count, Duck and Cover vs. Four Horsepower Apocalypse

I have dealt with the end of the world before. In the first of a series of essays on fabulous beasts I described those singular events encountered on Patmos Island. They were noted by St. John,  a keen observer, and contributed to the overall Apocalyptic picture in the Book Of Revelations:

This painting, by Victor Vasnetsov, is typical. It shows four riders, two of whom don't look at all well, determined to lay waste to the world. They are listed as Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death, and are intended as allegorical forms, manageable forces, which makes sense. Even more sense is made if the student of prophesy consolidates them as avoidable, correctable evils humanity inflicts upon itself in the privatization of greed, conquest and insensitivity.

An increasingly industrialized populace realized four horsepower will run a small rototiller but falls far short of plowing a planet.

On the other hand, we have this:

It is a central detail of the Mayan Calendar. It is from Mesoamerica, a region extending from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. Like all ancient Mesoamerican calendars it relies upon pictographic guidelines, arithmetic and is really really heavy. Here is the Aztec version:

It is called, Piedra del Sol, Stone of The Sun. When somebody slams the kitchen door and makes them fall off the wall, ancient Mesoamerican calendars can level a house. Under increasing fear of the remote possibility of everybody slamming their kitchen doors at once, thereby destroying civilization, banks and other businesses down there quit handing them out free to customers every year.

There is an apocalyptic community, surrounding pre-Columbian Mesoamerican calendars, currently enjoying its cultic phase. Its followers are numerous and quite sincere in their efforts to accept universal cataclysm and  frighten children. But doubters point out there are very few of these things still in use; not nearly enough to end the world even if they do fall down. These doubters believe energies would be better spent avoiding unnecessary Famine, Pestilence, War, and Death --and I agree, but it couldn't hurt to close kitchen doors more gently too.


  1. I've already been trampled by the four horseman, but I eventually managed to get up and dust myself off.
    I'm now nervously waiting for an Aztec calendar to plummet. Perhaps I should wear a helmet on Friday, the 21st.....and avoid slamming kitchen doors....?

  2. Jon-- Good precautions. I'm wearing my old motorcycle helmet to bed for the next week. Those calendars are round and roll through walls!

  3. One of my coworkers is convinced that the 21st is the end. But yesterday she registered for a conference next month in Louisville. When I good-naturedly pointed out the contradiction, she became defensive and said that I was mocking the Mayans. Funny stuff.

  4. It will end when it ends....could be ten minutes from now or ten million years from now...who knows. The trick is to live each minute like it's your last...cause it darn well could be. But just to be on the safe side I'm staying away from horses and stone calendars for a few days.

  5. Agreed. Less slamming of doors.

    I'm not worried about the end. It comes for all of us, and every century has the world coming down around our ears... I think we actually LIKE to think it's all coming to an end...


  6. I know someone who isn't shopping until Saturday, just in case. And I've sent the link to this post to everyone who's been going on for months about this. Thanks, Geo.!

    I still say, my calendar runs out every year. Doesn't mean anything except I need a current calendar. But I'd like one of those Mayan ones. I don't own enough stone things.

  7. I really like Delores' comment. She's right. Que sera, sera... but don't slam the door.

    On the other hand, maybe we should all go out and charge everything our little hearts desire today, without giving a thought about having to pay for it later. Never mind. That philosophy's already sunk enough ships.

  8. I first of this 'prediction' in !978 when I lived in Santa Cruz and friends of mine persuaded me to participate in a 'sacred circle' in East Santa Cruz on the occasion of the 'Harmonic Convergence' on August 17.

    There were about 50 of us in a circle holding hands in an empty lot on Seabright Avenue, and--sure enough--we all felt the galvanic energy surging through us from, first, right to left, and then in the opposite direction.

    I have also experienced that kind of magnetic attraction in sessions demonstrating hypnotism and so-called mesmerism in others around me. But this was way more powerful than anything I'd experienced before.

    Rather than accepting this as some 'higher spiritual message' or such, I investigated the two leading figures who had propounded this prediction--for December 21, 2012 being the Mayan endtime-and then had announced this--and found that they-Terence McKenna and Jose Arguelles (both dead now so they cannot answer my points) were newage hippies who had this vision of cosmic collapse while high on 'shrooms.

    For me, that was enough said. For you? Let me know!

  9. Oops! I see I left out "heard" before "of" in the first sentence of my response....


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