MesoAmericas

Mayan End Date / Winter Solstice / Galactic Alignment

Courtesy of Nicholas Mann
Courtesy of Nicholas Mann

The Midwinter Sun crosses the galactic equator very close to the galactic centre, the centre of our Milky Way Galaxy. It means the Winter Solstice Sun, the Earth, the Sun and the Galactic centre are lined up. Traditionally, this can be seen to mark the beginning of a new 26,000 year cycle of precession, what Plato called the “Great Year”. This is a very slow process, the fixed stars on the ecliptic shift by one degree every seventy-two years, when measured against our vernal equinox point. And this alignment has actually been exact within a half-degree at winter solstice since 1980, and will remain so until 2016. The 2012 Solstice for the Mayans is when it coincides with the end of their 5125 year Baktun cycle and the beginning of their Fifth Great Age. And while it is important to distinguish the Winter Solstice alignment at 12/21 from the Mayan calendar end-date at 12/23/2012, consider what the Mayans understood about the galactic centre and the precessional alignment and how they weaved this into their mythology and cosmovision.

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