As we approach the winter solstice, you may be asking yourself what triggered all the talk about Mayans and the end of the world. As we continue our 2012 Countdown (and give away one prophetic book a week!) NABCommunities aims to give you the low-down on everything from the 2012 basics to advanced theories that predict an evolutionary leap before the year is up. During this week’s installment, we start at the beginning:
Long before Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492, Mesoamerican peoples like the Olmec and Maya used a calendar called the Long Count to schedule activities like harvests, war initiatives, holidays and dry-cleaning pickup. The intricacies of this calendar are exceptional, however, explaining the math in full requires an explanation that encompasses astronomy, math, and ancient, hieroglyphic languages. What you absolutely do need to know is that the Long Count calendar is not divided into months or weeks, but instead, is divided intoÂ tuns. When stacked upon each other, a whole lottaÂ tunsâ€”144,000 days or roughly 394 years on the current 12-month calendar systemâ€”make up a b’aktun (or, with a bonus apostrophe: b’ak’tun).
In the mythology of the Mayan people (see: Popol Vuh) the gods created three unsuccessful worlds before the current one. The previous world ended after 13 b’aktunsâ€”approximately 5,125 years ago. December 21, 2012 marks the completion of the current cycle’s 13th b’aktun… which has made many folks uneasy.
To take a deeper dive into the origins of the 2012 phenomenon, check out 13 B’aktun by Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez (translated by Robert Sitler), just one of the nearly 10 books we’re giving away each week during our 2012 Countdown.
If you missed it, be sure to check out last week’s kickoff post too! Nancy M. was the winner of last week’s giveaway. Enter below for your chance to win this week!
Congratulations to Vanessa L., the week-2 winner in our 2012 Countdown Book Giveaway!
Check out our post for week 3 for another chance to win the book of your choice!