Why the Maya Picked 2012 : The Sacred Triple Rebirth of the Sun and the Sacred Tree Over the Maya (cont.)
By Thomas Razzeto
The Triple Rebirth of the Sun
This special event that I am talking about is the sacred triple rebirth of the sun. Let's go over these rebirths one at a time.
Everyday when the sun sets, it goes below the horizon, seemingly under the ground of the earth, and we are left to endure a dark, cold night. Metaphorically, it can be said that the sun leaves our world and travels into the underworld, where it is said to be dead for the duration of the night. Yet at dawn, it rises above the ground and is reborn into our world bringing forth the light and heat we all need to stay alive. Obviously, if the sun were to no longer rise, all of life would perish and because of this, the sun has been used for thousands of years by cultures all around the world as a symbol of the Creator’s sustaining love.
Since the sunrise is so frequent, it is often taken for granted, but all of us of course know that this rebirth is truly vital. In addition to that, sunrises are often quite beautiful. In fact, this astronomical shift can be one of nature's most dramatic display of beauty with its blaze of red and pink, yellow and gold. This is the shift that naturally awakens us from our slumber, which, by the way, can also be seen as our own daily rebirth since we, too, appear to be dead while we sleep through the night.
Next is the winter solstice, which can be seen as the rebirth of the sun in the time frame of the year since the length of the day will now start to grow longer. If the days were to continue to grow shorter, the cold winter would only tighten its grip and we would all perish. So this rebirth is also vital.
Our comfortable homes insulate us from the long, harsh winter nights but when you think of both the daily and yearly rebirths from the perspective of cultures with significantly less physical comfort, you can appreciate that these rebirths of the sun would be experienced in a very tactile way. Add to that the rhythm of the harvest and you can certainly understand the strong motivation to celebrate these turning points in the cycles of time.
The third rebirth occurs when the sun moves into the middle of the galactic birth canal, the dark rift, and this can be referred to as the galactic rebirth of the sun and again, this happens once a year. So the three rebirths of the sun can be referred to as the daily rebirth, the solstice rebirth and the galactic rebirth. A triple rebirth of the sun occurs in the years around 2012 when the solstice rebirth and the galactic rebirth happen on the same calendar day.
By the way, the solstice rebirth happens once every tropical year and the galactic rebirth happens once every sidereal year. A sidereal year is about 20 minutes longer than a tropical year and this difference is caused by the slow wobble of the earth's axis. This is what causes these two rebirths to come together in the years around 2012. I go into this more in my other essays but for right now, let's just continue.
Now, let's add a little more to our desired triple rebirth scenario. The Maya would most certainly want to celebrate the sun's presence in the middle of the birth canal at a time when this is actually happening in the sky above them - in other words, during the day. Since the sun is considered to be dead at night, if this astronomical event happened at night, it would not be very useful for their metaphor or very interesting for the purpose of their festivities; they would want the sun to be alive during the rebirth celebration!
So the question now becomes: when will the sun be in the middle of the dark rift on the day of the winter solstice while in the sky over the Maya? If there is more than one year that fits these qualifications, what year will also include an interesting planetary configuration? This leads us to the sacred tree.