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Why the Maya Picked 2012 : The Sacred Triple Rebirth of the Sun and the Sacred Tree Over the Maya (cont.)
By Thomas Razzeto

John Major Jenkins's Alignment Zone

It is very important for me to point out that in the mid-1990s, John Major Jenkins became the first person to link the restart date of the Maya calendar to an astronomical event driven by precession and he refers to this event as a "galactic alignment." John is well aware of the Maya's metaphor of the dark rift as the birth canal and he clearly sees the sun's presence in the dark rift as a rebirth. But there is something astronomers call the galactic equator that is very near the middle of the dark rift and this is what John focused on since its exact location is precisely defined by astronomers. Because of this and for other reasons, John has picked a range of years centered around 1998 as what he calls the "alignment zone." This zone goes from 1980 to 2016 and it obvious includes 2012. In his view, this zone is the intended target of the Maya calendar.

I have tremendous respect for John personally and I like much of his work. While he most certainly discovered that precession links the calendar to the astronomy, I do not find this zone approach to be very satisfying. With so much precision being demonstrated by the creators of the calendar, I felt there must be something special about the exact day of the winter solstice of 2012 as seen from the specific location of the Maya. Both the restart date and the place where the calendar was found are important. We cannot ignore that this is a Maya calendar, not an Egyptian calendar or a global calendar. This is why I went further with my own original research and thinking and I came to the conclusion that both the triple rebirth of the sun and the unique configuration of the sacred tree flying through the sky over the Maya on that special day was the target of the calendar. While the sun will be exactly in the middle of the dark rift during the day for the Maya, this event will happen during the night for people on the other side of the world. So the triple rebirth metaphor will not play out very well for those locations. But this is not a problem since the Maya were only concerned with what they will see on that day, not what others will see from elsewhere.

My view focuses on the center of the dark rift, not the galactic equator, although again, these two things are very close to each other. But more importantly, my view focuses on what will happen on that day over the Maya, not what will happen over a long period of time. Please consider the fact that no one can ever look up into the sky and see the galactic equator for it is as invisible as the equator of the earth. Both are precisely located by scientists yet both are imaginary lines. It is important to note that the Maya could look up into the sky at certain times and actually see the dark rift with their naked eyes and this makes the astronomy useful for their metaphorical folklore. I think this is an essential point in understanding 2012. The idea that the Maya restarted their calendar because of the combination of the triple rebirth of the sun and this unique configuration of the sacred tree is to the best of my knowledge, original with me. While other people are aware of both the solar rebirths and the sacred tree in general, to my knowledge no one has connected them to 2012 like I have.

As a side note, consider that in about 130 B.C., the same time frame as the creation of the Maya calendar, the Greek astronomer Hipparchus estimated precession to be 36,000 years or less. He was off by 10,000 years! Even so, Hipparchus is very famous for his work on precession and he wrote two books on the subject. He is considered by some people to be the greatest astronomer of antiquity. I can only add that it's a good thing he was not in charge of creating the Maya calendar!

Well, that concludes this essay. If you were looking for a clear, quick and easy way to understanding why the Maya picked the winter solstice of 2012, I hope you found it here. Yet I also hope that I have inspired you to take a deeper look into both the actual astronomy of 2012 and the timeless metaphorical message that the Maya are offering us. You can get more information in my other 2012 essays.

The End. Thanks for reading my essay!
Written: October 10, 2009, modified: April 3, 2010, Copyright 2009 Thomas Razzeto
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