The Mayan Calendar is expiring
because there are no more time-keepers. The next cycle of years and eons
became impossible to calculate when the ancient guild of stargazers was
abolished by the Spanish conquistadores. Cultural assault, not a looming
apocalypse, is the reason for the loss of the Mayan system of tracking
The ancient Mayans celebrated the passing of the years as an evolutionary
cycle of birth, ripening and fulfillment at both physical and spiritual
levels that was coordinated with the movement of planets and the Moon.
Their stargazers kept time with astounding accuracy, surpassing the inexact
Gregorian calendar of Europe.
Mayan chronology was a casualty of the Holy Roman Empire’s drive to impose
its authority over indigenous America. During the 170-year conquest of
the Yucatan Peninsula, the Mayan time-keepers were killed, enslaved or
driven into the forests, and their stone-inscribed astral records deliberately
smashed by the invaders.
The destruction of Mayan astronomy and mathematics is one of the greatest
cultural crimes against our world heritage and sadly the so-called Mayan
Doomsday only reflects and perpetrates the Western misunderstanding of
a grand scientific tradition.
War Against Astronomy
“Explorers” from the Habsburg Empire pillaged the Incan and Aztec realms
of their gold and silver, but their vandalism against the scientific achievements
of the Mayans was immeasurably worse. During the 16th and 17th centuries,
the Spaniards systematically exterminated the Mayan culture, slaughtering
astronomers and defacing inscriptions across the Yucatan Peninsula.
This sustained campaign to suppress a native scientific tradition required
expensive and risk-filled voyages to supply the thousands of soldiers,
horses and weapons at a cost exceeding the value of any loot taken. What
compelled the Europeans to banish forever the centuries of knowledge accumulated
by Mayans? Simply stated, a visceral hatred of scientific truth.
In the same period that Yucatan was vanquished, the Habsburg emperors
were locked in a fierce intellectual struggle against free thinkers across
Europe who opposed irrational religious dogma and fought against subjugation
to absolute monarchy. The Thirty Years’ War was being waged against Protestant
dissenters, who considered biblical texts and not ignorant friars, as
the genuine basis of theology and morality and parliament, not an absolute
monarchy, as the foundation of government.
A corresponding struggle for control over the human mind was directed
against the heliocentric theory of Nicholas Copernicus, who suggested
that the Earth is a planet revolving around the Sun. Armed with only a
primitive telescope and equations, the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei
tracked the orbit of the planets, whose irregular movements indicated
that the Earth as a platform of observation also circles the Sun.
For the Crown even more than the Church, this solid fact was heresy.
Divine Right of Kings
As an heir of the Renaissance, Pope Urban VIII was intrigued the challenge
of Galileo’s findings. Since God could act in mysterious ways, even a
pontiff must adapt to the greater divine plan. The cardinals from Habsburg
Spain tolerated no such deviations from doctrine and demanded the Vatican
organize an inquisition against the astronomer.
For Phillip IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Iberia, absolutism required
a terra-centric system. The Escorial Palace was the center of the world,
and the imperial throne a fixed point on Earth under a system of never-changing
perpetual power. .
The unthinkable possibility of adopting the heliocentric theory would
mean that humanity inhabits a desolate rock circling through the icy emptiness
without rules or order. At his trial in 1633, therefore, Galileo was found
guilty of promoting the infernal notion that the Earth is not the center
of all existence.
It is no wonder then that Spanish colonizers were deeply disturbed by
the native astronomy of the New World, which like Galileo relied
on empirical observation rather than dogma. The Mayan priesthood
was a highly disciplined corps of astronomers, who spent every night atop
temples, which served also as celestial observatories. Their meticulous
records taken over the centuries, and likelier several millennia, were
more accurate than any record in Europe until the invention of the telescope,
and surpassed the ancient Babylonians.
Their patient work and empirical method meant, however, that hundreds
of years of data-collecting were needed to calculate the next grand cycle
of the Mayan calendar. During these recent centuries leading up to the
coming winter solstice, however, have witnessed a high culture reduced
to peonage and poverty under the “superior” European regime. The grand
cycle of the Mayans was broken by cruelty, greed, superstition and ignorance.
The few astral records that survived the Spanish rampage indicate the
Mayans were able to calculate the orbit of Venus around the Sun a mathematical
triumph not easily attained due to planetary retrogression. As in the
past summer’s transit of Venus across the Sun, the second planet (as seen
from Earth) appears to reverse its direction, that is, go retrograde.
The only way that the Mayans could have accurately estimated the Venusian
orbit was to factor in the Earth itself as planet revolving around the
In Mayan hieroglyphics, land is depicted as a circle within a larger plane.
Typically condescending, modern archeologists suggest that this symbol
is a flat-earth map. The empirical methods of the Mayans, however, indicate
otherwise, that the circle of land is a two-dimensional representation
of our planet in space. From the standpoint of European theology, such
a model of the Universe was intolerable.
It was easy enough for the inquisitors to demonize Mayan astronomy. The
Mayans named the planet Venus after Queztlequatel, a feathered serpent
and symbol of fecund renewal, much like the mythical phoenix of the Orient.
The “morning star” never sat well with the Christian clergy, being identified
with the pagan goddess of erotic attraction and, thus, diabolical in nature.
Astronomy was the path to damnation.
Attacks Against the Scientific Spirit
The obliteration of the Mayan record by the Holy Roman Empire is a tragic
loss for humankind. It also serves as a warning today against the falsehoods
spun by global institutions and major corporations, which aim to bend
science toward sinister purposes. Blind faith in genetic modification,
an unbalanced view of climate change, a dependency on pharmaceutical drug
and vaccines these are just a few of the many bogus “solutions” promoted
by the huckster industries.
The Fukushima disaster is the Yucatan of this decade. The nuclear industry,
big government and international agencies are financing a worldwide disinformation
campaign to deny the dangers of radiation to human health and the environment.
Radiation levels in Japan and in North America are being deliberately
undercounted by the IAEA or not counted at all.
- An inhumane campaign
is being mounted, even by the World Health Organization, to deny
the negative effects of so-called low-dose exposure.
data on food and water are being underestimated.
- The fallout impact
on the upper atmosphere is being ignored despite the expansion of the
Arctic ozone hole since March 2011 and the spate of freak tornados and
derechos, which are wrongly attributed to global warming
- Poisoning of marine
life in the Pacific is being pinned on an imaginary “red tide” in cold
waters where such algae cannot survive
The blatant publication of falsehood on behalf of the nuclear industry is
tantamount to a New Inquisition against fact-based science and empirical
observation. The enemies of scientific honesty annihilated the Mayan civilization,
and perhaps today their psychological descendants will have to destroy Japan
to eliminate the evidence. No matter how much the records are rigged, they
can never entirely wipe away the facts - liars be damned.
Therefore, on the coming winter solstice, it would be wrong-headed to cower
in fear of time running out. We should instead offer tribute to the scientific
spirit of an indigenous tradition whose astronomers gazed at the skies with
awe and studiousness and emulate their mathematical rigor and respect
Yoichi Shimatsu, a science writer based in Hong Kong, is director of Above
& Beyond, which provides health counseling to residents of Fukushima