This page will provide basic introductory material, as well as critique-reviews of new books on 2012 and the Mayan calendar. It will also share ongoing dialogues I have with professional Maya scholars, which are often revealing on a number of different fronts.
***See the "Late Breaking Discoveries and Dialgoues" section below***
It is important to be grounded in a good understanding of various Mesoamerican traditions, including astronomy, folklore, iconography, mythology, religion, calendrics, and science. In my own process of studying Mesoamerican tradition, my travels and research between 1987 and 1997 were augmented by the following studies, which were compiled into the bibliography for Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: Bibliography of Important Studies
Basic introductions to the Mayan calendar systems, including how the tzolkin, haab, Venus cycle, eclipse calendar, year-bearers, Calendar Round and Long Count operate, were published in my early books Journey to the Mayan Underworld (Four Ahau Press, 1989), Mirror in the Sky (Four Ahau Press, 1991), 7 Wind (1993), and Tzolkin: Visionary Perspectives and Calendar Studies (Four Ahau Press, 1992, reprinted with Borderland Sciences Research Foundation, 1994). Online excerpts include:
Intro to the Mayan Calendar (excerpt from Tzolkin: Visionary Perspectives and Calendar Studies, 1992/94). Calendar basics - a straight forward primer.
The Correlation Question (excerpt from Tzolkin: Visionary Perspectives and Calendar Studies, 1992/94). Knowing what day it is in the indigenous 260-day sacred calendar is essential to acting in solidarity with modern daykeepers. This is known as the "correlation question" and I've researched this topic thouroughly. The upshot is that there is one authentic Mayan count of days. In other words, the Classic Period count is still being followed in the highlands of Guatemala.
Mayan scholar Floyd Lounsbury argued for a December 23, 2012 end date, which assumes a two-day shift in the Mayan daycount. His work is flawed for several reasons, as explored in this chapter of my 1992 book Tzolkin.
I also examined Lounsbury's argument in his 1992 paper published in The Sky in Mayan Literature (Oxford University Press, ed. Anthony Aveni).
In 1996, Linda Schele suggested that the 13-baktun cycle and the 2012 end-date were less significant than a 20-baktun cycle ending in the 48th century AD. I responded to the fallacy of this notion multiple times, including in an appendix to Maya Cosmogenesis 2012. The original unabridged appendix is here.
Exchanges with scholars on the Aztlan email list, 1999 is very revealing of the incomplete knowledge of specialists, as well as their resistance to entertaining evidence that might expand their limited understading.
July 28. My review of the History Channel's 2012: The Doomsday Prophecy, in which I appear.
of new books on 2012 and the Mayan calendar.
--links added and expanded periodically---
Will Hart's declarations
Patrick Geryl's doomsday
Steve Alten's 2012 Domain
Geoff Stray takes us Beyond 2012
2012, the Maya, and the Galactic Alignment in Terence McKenna's Temporal Novelty Theory.
Bruce Scofield's books and articles.
Daniel Giamario's Shamanic Astrology.
Daniel Pinchbeck's new book: 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl
The Holy Cross of Nick Fiorenza.
Jay Weidner's alchemical insights and the galactic alignment.
Vincent Bridges' underground stream.
The Cross at Hendaye (book by Weidner & Bridges)
Ruh Allen's Web site
Mike Finley's Web site
Late Breaking Discoveries and Dialogues
Early snail mail dialgoes included exchanges with Munro Edmonson, David Kelly, Antoon Vollamaere, Timothy Laughton, Ed Krupp, Dennis and Barbara Tedlock, and others. I've been in an ongoing endeavor to engage scholars regarding my work; as of 2005 I amped up my efforts to actively engage scholars, and with a growing circulation of my work found myself responding to various unsolicited comments that percolated up (e.g., Milbrath, Malmstrom and Aveni). This is all good news, as the continuous dialogue is very important. The more recent exchanges follow.
The Tortuguero Files
The Aztlan list
Exchanges on the University of Texas Mesoamerican list
Exchange with David Stuart
V. Garth Norman's pages
Anthony Aveni's comments
Susan Milbrath's critique and my response
Exchanges with John Hoopes
March 2008. TWO BREAKTHROUGHS! Barbara MacLeod decoded a methodology in the hieroglyphic corpus, known as the 3-11 Pik formula, revealing that the Classic Maya utilized a precession interval and tied it to kingship rites. May 2008. I stumble upon the dissertaion work of Michael John Grofe, who decoded the Serpent Sequence in the Dresden Codex. He writes: "I can confidently say that I believe that the Maya absolutely knew about precession in the Dresden, and I think they probably knew about it long before this. Therefore, they would have been fully capable of knowing about the upcoming alignment with the Milky Way." He goes on to propose a query that can lead the discussion further, and will be the subject of ongoing dialogue.
My recent essays, mostly online pieces and mostly related to the challenge of engaging scholars on my work:
Izapa field research trips, measurements, and findings
The Trinary Deity Figure
The Throne-Metate paradigm
Stela 48 from Takalik Abaj
Izapa's ballcourt endangered by Road Widening project
Comments on the new Breakthroughs in Decoding Precessional cosmologies in ancient Mesoamerican thought
Rational Approaches to 2012
Response to Milbrath, unabridged version (addressing the non-dual astronomical and paradigmatic importance of the solar zenith passage on August 12, 3114 BC and the December solstice placement of the 13-baktun cycle endi date in 2012 as part of an intentional precession-tracking scheme).
An Equation Between Realms: Some Observations on the Length of the 13-Baktun Cycle.
Approaching 2012: Piece Written for the 2012 Conference in Hollywood, March 1, 2008.
Thoughts From a Typographer - Tom Parson on the Hieroglyphs