Reconstructing Ancient Maya Astronomy:
The Field of 2012 Studies in Year 2012

The Latest book from John Major Jenkins


In May of 2012, Maya scholar and independent researcher John Major Jenkins gave a presentation at the New England Archaeological Research Association in Concord, New Hampshire. He was then invited to write an article for that association’s journal, and this book is the result. It incorporates material written for the Explorers Journal and new discoveries presented at the First Izapa Round Table Conference held in Tapachula, Mexico (June 2012). It expands his astronomical research on the new “2012 inscription” from La Corona that was posted on The Center for 2012 Studies website in July 2012 and critiques the latest academic perspectives on 2012, as published in Archaeoastronomy Journal Vol. 24 in August 2012. Three brief appendices preview the very latest material to emerge in the 2012 discussion, as of October 2012, including a mysterious “third reference” to 2012 in the Maya inscriptions.


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Much has occurred in the 2012 discussion since Jenkins’s authoritative and comprehensive book, The 2012 Story, was published in 2009. This new book, Reconstructing Ancient Maya Astronomy, provides an overview and an update for anyone who wants the low down on 2012, on the eve of its passing.



Table of Contents



Background of Research and Publications

A Few Topics Worth Dealing with Up Front:

      Origins of the phrase “The 2012 Phenomenon”

      Maya Spiritual Teachings / Perennial Philosophy

Archaeoastronomy at Izapa

Lord Jaguar and 2012

   Two Camps in Academia: 2012 Means Something vs.  
    2012 Means Nothing:

            Tortuguero Monument 6

Deciphering the 2012 Text

Reactionary Views vs. Investigating the Evidence

            Beyond the Two Camps

Another 2012 Inscription is Found!

      Kings of the Creation Mythos: La Corona and Tortuguero



End Notes


Appendix 1: The Third ‘Reference’ to the 2012 Date

Appendix 2: Lady K’abel: Planetary Deities in the Womb of the Milky Way Goddess on

Appendix 3: Abstract for my Forthcoming Chapter in the Benfer/Adkins Archaeoastronomy Anthology, University Press of Florida, 2013





This new book was written between August and October of 2012. It is a tightly formatted 64 pages, roughly 19,000 words. Published in October 2012 by Four Ahau Press.


Four Ahau Press



John’s books have been published by six trade publishers since 1992, including Tarcher/Penguin, Borderlands Sciences Research Foundation, Sounds True, and Inner Traditions International. Four Ahau Press has been publishing John’s independently produced books since 1989. Why? The reasons  why John has offered some of his publications through independent publishing are as follows: It allows the author/researcher to not be influenced by market forces, as encouraged by trade publishers, agents, and editors, to define or shape the content of their books. This is an especially relevant issue in recent years as bottom-line mandates of the marketplace, combined with an increasing thirst for salacious and stupid spectacle in all arenas, have marginalized content having intrinsic worth. The Internet, with its social media networks and free-form appropriation and plagiarizing of original copyrighted works, has blurred fact and fiction and has confused value and worthlessness, to the extent that an author is sometimes forced to compete with distorted secondary appropriations of their own work, fed back to them in the Internet zone. The author as publisher revives an old school way of presenting works, to preserve the content from distortion and the author’s creative control of how it is designed. 


How to order:

The book is available for shipping as of October 15, 2012. The first run is a signed and numbered limited edition of 130 copies, packaged with John’s 3-CD audio program called Unlocking the Secrets of 2012 (Sounds True, 2007 --- 3 ½ hours of spoken word).  This special offer is $20, plus $3 for shipping & handling to United States destinations. For shipping to other destinations, including Canada, please inquire:





You may purchase only the book for $17, shipping included to U.S. destinations:




Reader comments / reviews:


"I received and read your latest book (Reconstructing Ancient Maya Astronomy), and listened to the CD-set. Thank you for an insightful presentation and discussion of your work to-date. My hats off to you, for defending your work so rigorously, in light of the hackneyed attempts to criticize, or ignore, your scholarly body of work; meanwhile, many others twist your theories to their own ends. Your insights have contributed on many levels to my understanding. Your analysis of Izapan iconography as it relates to precessional astronomy is groundbreaking work; it offers insights into an ancient worldview that probably casts its shadow across monuments, all over the ancient world ... a Mythology and "Royal Astrology" mirrored by the heavens. Your open-minded inquiry into the possible roll of entheogens, used ritually by the priest-kings of old, helps to enlarge the scope of my understanding into the ancient worldview, and its strange mileau of designs. Your tempered understanding of mythological realities brings a very appreciated gravitas to your ideas, as well. It's a sober lesson, sorely missing from today's common worldview."

— Franklin LaVoie




John Major Jenkins is a pioneering voice in the evolving 2012 discussion with over twenty years of experience defining and debating the issues. Informed by innovative field work at key archaeological sites and inspired by living and working among the Highland Maya, Jenkins’ comprehensive work covers media misconceptions, assessments of 2012 theories, consciousness studies, Maya shamanism, archaeoastronomical research, Perennial Philosophy, academic misconceptions, and the crisis of sustainability faced in the modern world. His own unprecedented “galactic alignment theory” is now receiving new support from recent discoveries in the Maya inscriptions. While integrating the scientific and spiritual viewpoints, Jenkins honors contemporary calendar Maya tradition and the ancient Maya vision of a unified cosmos. 


  • Advisory director and founding member of The Maya Conservancy, a non-profit foundation dedicated to education and preservation of ancient Maya sites
  • National Fellow member of The Explorer’s Club
  • Director of The Center for 2012 Studies
  • Manager of and
  • Member of The Society for American Archaeology and The Institute of Maya Studies


His work has been featured since 1998 in media produced by ABC Nightline, the U.S. News and World Report, the New York Times, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, and NBC’s SyFy Channel. He has taught at numerous institutes and universities nationally and abroad, including the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Antigua Guatemala, the Esalen Institute, Kingsley Hall in London, the Society of Henry XIII in Belgium, the University of Southern Oregon, the New England Antiquities Research Association, the Institute of Maya Studies in Miami, the Society for American Archaeology, and Naropa University. He is also a regular at popular venues such as the Conscious Life Expo, Megalithomania, and the Mind Body Spirit Expo.

Since the 1980s John’s articles have appeared in many magazines, newspapers, websites, journals, and book anthologies, including: The Mystery of 2012 (2007, Sounds True), You Are Still Being Lied To (2009, Disinformation Company), Towards 2012 (2008, Penguin). His major works include Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 (1998), Galactic Alignment (2002), Unlocking the Secrets of 2012, (3-CD audio program 2007), The 2012 Story (2009) and Lord Jaguar’s 2012 Inscriptions (2011).  His books have been translated into twelve languages. His work appeared in a feature profile in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, July 2007. Websites:,,,