From 28/10 to 21/12: Part 1

My motivation for this piece arose with a flash of intuition that came unexpectedly last September, while I was focused on other things. It indicated that the energies of 28/10/11 remain available in principle, can still be accessed and will be particularly accessible on 21/12/12. This supported an earlier feeling that there was some integral connection between these dates. I believed this because, while human consciousness may be selective in raising one date above the other, Consciousness itself hasn’t erred in ordaining that both should come down to us. Hence the Izapa Long Count start date of 13/8/3114 BCE does indeed project an end after 13 baktun cycles on 21/12/12 while the alternative Palenque date of 17/6/3115 BCE championed by Calleman would indeed end on 28/10/11. It seemed to me while preparing ‘The Spirituality of 2012’ that whichever date one favoured, the other still stood as a remarkable non-coincidence: 28/10 for being a 13 Ahau day and 21/12 (4 Ahau) for falling on the winter solstice of an almost mythically auspicious year.

The fact that both dates have been so prominent suggests that comparisons between them serve the purpose of advancing consciousness. Most Mayanists agree with John Major Jenkins that the later of the two is the true ‘end date’ of a 13 baktun (5,125 year) cycle. This is distinct from Calleman’s vastly grander 9-tiered scheme, which was scheduled to end on 28/10 of the previous year. Not only is 21/12 more favoured by the Maya, it is also specifically designated by stela 1 from Coba, the carved stone upon which Calleman bases much of his argument. Again following my intuition, I felt drawn to look more closely at this stone to see if I could find evidence of a link between these two ‘end’ dates.

Stela 1 from Coba

For two days I pored over this diagram. As shown, it features two columns of time-related information and clearly specifies 4 Ahau as the end date that arises after the passage of 13 baktuns, 0 katuns, O tuns, no uinals and 0 kins (13, 0, 0, 0, 0) from a start date that would have to coincide with the Izapa date of 13/8/3114 BCE (1). One problem that might be reasonably noted with this account is that it ignores the higher powers of twenty times tuns (203-21) that are also clearly represented. Applying the same logic to these higher levels suggests that the date indicated would be completely specified only if twenty 13s were to precede the four 0s rather than just one. These would specify all the periods that have elapsed from a mythic creation date that is unimaginably more remote than modern datings of the Big Bang that gave birth to our Universe – i.e. 13×18x2022 days ago. This figure is 2014 times greater than the 16.4 billion years Calleman over-estimates as the time lapse since our Big Bang!

This is usually countered by saying that the Maya haven’t used the Long Count for over a thousand years; that even the names assigned to higher orders in the diagram were invented by Mayanists rather than the Maya and (with varying degrees of imprecision) that the higher powers of 20 indicated simply point to the fact that cycles of time were believed to stretch way back into a mythic past. The concerted stress on higher powers of 20 would appear to be grossly misleading if this were all that was intended. Calleman’s specification of a time 13 hablatuns (13 x 207 tuns) back from our present is less arbitrary in that the 16.4 billion years this number of days amounts to at least approximates modern scientific estimates of the age of the Universe. That said, Calleman too is silent about 14 higher powers of 20 that are also shown.


If we view this calendar stone purely as a date-marking device that specifies periods of time due to elapse between a given start date and some projected end, this implies a purely linear accumulation of consecutive time periods: 12 baktuns, 7 tuns, 4 uinals and 3 kins, for example. We can also see this with other eyes. We know that there are 20 kins in a uinal, for example, 20 tuns in a katun, 20 katuns in a baktun and so on. What if we view these periods as a nested hierarchy, such that successive periods – having been activated sequentially – then unfold simultaneously? This would mean, for example, that instead of a period of 13×2021 tuns elapsing and another of 13×2020 beginning only then, the second period would be nested within the first, having begun 95% of the way into it.

Applying this rationale to sections of the stone that encompass time periods that are intelligible within the frame of modern science, its practical significance becomes immediately apparent. Suppose we agree that the Universe began 16.4 billion years (13×207 tuns) ago. It makes no sense to say that these 16.4 billion years (13 hablatuns) must first pass before the next period of 820 million years (13×206 tuns) can begin. This is particularly so if you view the sequence as a modern evolutionary biologist with an awareness of apparent time acceleration – i.e., one who realises that more and more tends to happen in less and less time the further into the evolutionary process we get, as Calleman did.

This is not a perspective that would have been available to the ancient Maya but that is no reason why modern people shouldn’t sense new patterns in old arrays. Adopting this course and realising (I assume) that the role of the vigesimal (base 20) system had been grossly overstated if the stone’s purpose is simply to pinpoint a day that arises some 5,125 of our years after August 3114 BCE, Calleman proposed a series of 9 ‘Underworlds’. Each of these unfolds 20 times faster than its predecessor, having been instigated 95% of the way through it, and each is supported by a ‘creation wave’ whose frequency is x20 times faster than its predecessor.

Calleman describes 9 creation cycles, each of which has its own distinctive (hablatun, alautun etc.) rhythm and nests within its predecessor in the hierarchy. Hence the second ‘Mammalian’ Underworld lasts 820 million years (1/20th of 16.4 billion) and its entire unfolding coincides with the final 5% of the first ‘Cellular’ Underworld (2). It doesn’t start after the Cellular Underworld has finished any more than humans evolve only after apes have gone extinct. Calleman then takes his 9 waves-Underworlds schema and, applying the modern scientific record, finds a concordance that is better than plausible. He has been criticised for presenting evidence selectively, highlighting dates and phenomena that support his case and ignoring others that don’t. While I believe that the fit is far from complete, neither is it random or capricious. There is a case to be made for his model as a visionary articulation of the evolutionary process rather than as an exact scientific description of it (3).

Calleman has also been criticised for adopting the notion of 9 Underworlds because this motif is present in Mayan and other mythologies. It is generally good practice for scientific theorising to be mythically informed and, when possible, consistent with the wisdom of earlier ‘Underworlds’ and their modes of knowing. I doubt that this was ever Calleman’s conscious attitude and that his work is strictly ‘scientific’. Despite this, I found his account of the Underworlds powerful and intuitively compelling. He has also been criticised for likening 13 Heavens of Mayan mythology to a genesis pattern of 7 Days and 6 Nights, although they clearly evoke a developmental pattern. His citing of evidence may again be viewed as selective. Nevertheless, I applaud his initiative as a potentially vital source of mythological renewal (4).

More fundamentally, Calleman has been criticised for inventing an 18 day time cycle  (oxlahunkin). This comes of applying the x20 time compression rule systematically as we work down the time scales indicated from hablatuns to tuns. Here, it is generally said, an exception is required because a tun comprises 18 months, each of 1 uinal or 20 days duration. This is true but Calleman is not seeking to correct the Maya when he sticks with the x20 time compression rule that features everywhere else on the stone. He might even be credited with having un-covered (rather than ‘invented’) an 18 (9+9) count that was always implicit in the tun-based system of time-reckoning that the stele depicts. In general, 13×20n tuns = 13×18x20n+1 kins across a range of 13×18x200-22 days. This reveals that 18 (9+9) is a constant across all levels of the calendar down to 28/10, despite being masked by tun-based designations on the stele.

The 18 count becomes clearly apparent as the 9 up/9 down of the 7 Days of the 9th wave and 9 down/9 up of its 6 Nights (5). The same pattern is also observed at different levels of scale throughout the calendar’s structure, where it always inhered. The only difference is that the 13 Heavens (Days and Nights) of each wave or Underworld get 20 times longer as we rise through each level/section depicted by our diagram. Hence a ‘Heaven’ during wave/Underworld 9 is 18 days long; 360 days during wave 8; 7,200 during wave 7; 144,000 during wave 6 and so on. That is to say, the same essential pattern is observed on all levels, where it describes a continuous, dynamically fluid relationship between Day/Night, Light/Dark and Yang/Yin aspects of the calendar. It also underpins a relationship of fractal resonance across all levels.

Calleman has also been criticised on the grounds that, if we start from the 13×207 section of the stone, there are actually 10 intervals (Underworlds) to the 4 Ahau end date rather than the 9 his model calls for. This criticism is based on misunderstanding but is none the less instructive to pursue. An explanation comes via Calleman’s sense that all 9 waves/Underworlds should end simultaneously on a 13 Ahau day, which 28/10 was. (This follows from his assumption that the Long Count, which nests inside even longer ones, actually began on the Palenque date of June 17, 3115 BCE.) Hence his end date can be rendered as 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, 13, spanning all levels from hablatun to oxlahunkin (winal on the stele). This entails a powerful consequence that all 9 waves, each with its own distinct rhythm, ended at the same time on 28/10, which also marked the end of a tzolkin round.

The 4 Ahau-21/12 date has nothing of this compelling power or intuitive appeal. Its tzolkin profile suggests a day for stabilising or assimilating enlightenment. Hence both dates may be related if the second is acknowledged as an opportunity to integrate the gifts of the first. In this scenario, the spare interval (labelled 0 kins in our diagram) corresponds to the time between 28/10 and 21/12, the Time of No Time evoked in my earlier work (6). This is not a proposition of science for which I am claiming to find evidence either in the wisdom of the ancient Maya or scholarly deciphering of the Coba stone. It is rather an intuitive reflection that may show how imagination serves to renew tradition by positing an integrative relationship between energies of 28/10 and those of 21/12.

To facilitate and explore this possibility, I will stage a private Sacred Play called ‘Birthing a New Earth’ from December 20-22 (7). If my intuition is valid, fresh information will become available as a result. (This happened after ‘Dreaming a New Earth’ marked the onset of Wave 9 back in March 2011). I don’t know now what horizons may emerge but will write about them in a sequel to this piece. The new Play locates themes of individual spiritual creativity (Divine Child series) within a macro- frame of calendar developments to date, thus uniting what had appeared to be distinct streams in my work. This is consistent with the notion that human response-ability and spiritual creativity must come to the fore now that the driving power of 9 creation waves has been absorbed into Earth’s energy field, if not yet the consciousness of a species that was meant to be her steward.


New Age commentators are now acclaiming 2012, if not 21/12, as ‘the Beginning’. They don’t usually say of what. If it is simply the start of a new cycle of 13 baktuns, then the proclamation is almost trivial. It may have been a notable accomplishment for the ancient Maya to predict that 2012 would be a time of great change but this is hardly so for people who are actually alive today. It is entirely obvious that we are living through a period of great change and knowledge or ignorance of the calendar doesn’t determine our ability to note this.

The Maya associate the end of this baktun cycle with a proximate alignment between Earth, our Sun and the centre of our Galaxy. This alignment has been around for decades. Nothing especially significant to do with it will occur on 21/12, in 2012 or as a result of 2012. Moreover if the baktun cycle were scheduled to repeat, this would suggest that all other tun-based cycles indicated by the stele would be too. Indeed they must already be doing so if they unfold consecutively rather than simultaneously (as per the staggered accessions of Calleman’s model). This would make a chaos of any multi-levelled calendar: the opposite of the coherence entailed by Calleman’s account (which implies a simultaneous 13.13.13… ‘end’ for all cycles). Unless his version of a nested unfolding applies, a completed cycle of 13 piktuns (for example) would be starting over at the same time as a new baktun cycle was about to begin and so on up through all higher levels.

This would mean that some form of nested unfolding had to be in operation and hence that the consecutive counting foundation on which use of the stone as a linear date-marking device depends, cannot preclude the additional layers of signification that Calleman reads into it. If it did, there would be no grounds for anticipating a renewal of the baktun cycle. But if there are grounds for anticipating this, there must also be grounds for anticipating renewal of all other cycles. And if all cycles repeat, it makes far more sense, logically and empirically (given Calleman’s evolutionary correlates), for a newly nested ‘wave’ to arise near the end of its predecessor – as part of its fruiting – than at the start of its first repetition. Otherwise, we would have the strange phenomenon whereby, for example, the Cellular Underworld would first complete and then start up again for no reason, immediately give rise (during its own ‘seeding’ rather than ‘fruiting’) to the ‘seed’ of the Mammalian Underworld. The Mammalian would then complete before giving rise to the Familial (Primate) and so on. This result implies total nonsense in terms of calendar structure and evolutionary process.

The fact that the Maya haven’t used the Long Count (or x20 times Longer Counts) for a thousand years doesn’t diminish the implications of this for efforts to make sense of information that the stone relays. Calleman has no grounds on which to account for the specific designation of 4 Ahau-21/12, even if it’s not the day on which 9 primary creation waves (and 14 secondary ones?) ‘end’. In what way might it be significant? Calleman says it isn’t significant and everyone else has failed to note specifically how it might be. My sense is that it has to do with a focusing of human consciousness in relation to changes that have already taken place up to and during the ‘shift’ of 28/10.

What happened then to cause a ‘shift’? Nine ‘visible’, sequentially released and in the end simultaneously unfolding creation waves fused momentarily to reconstitute in the sphere of manifest existence, the primal integrity of a formerly implicit Oneness that needed to move out through 0 (the Zero Point of Creation) in order to know itself better by remembering its first nature in space-time.

This fusion was the essence of the ‘shift’ on 28/10. It engendered a Point from which consciousness in time can remember its origins beyond time and know existence as the Dream of its Becoming. The image of this Point is now imprinted at the centre of every human spiritual Heart (chakra), awaiting activation. 21/12 offers a paradigmatic occasion to realise its effects in consciousness and recalibrate our psychology as a result. I will write more about this in Part 2, having completed my Play of 20-22/12. (21/12 is not the first 4 Ahau day since 28/10. This confirms that 21/12 is specifically indicated and not just any 4 Ahau day, although the energy of this day – serving to stabilise and integrate enlightenment – is clearly important also, not least regarding the evidence from Coba stele 1.)


Our notion of the Big Bang represents a contemporary mythological evocation of what I call ‘visible Source’ because its effects of manifest ‘creation’ are observable by modern science. But this ‘visible Source’ is not fundamental: it ultimately arises out of a mysteriously un-manifest Ground of Being. This is what powers of 20 above 7 on the stone point to and is a necessary metaphysical postulate. As such is not amenable to the observation practices of empirical science. But if Calleman is correct in noting (and he is, whether the ancient Maya knew it or not) that our Big Bang happened within the 13×207 tuns of the Cellular Underworld, this would suggest that the slower frequencies indicated by still higher powers of 20 refer to a rhythmically structured Sacred Time before the physical time of manifest existence. The farther back we go in this sequence, the slower its rhythms become until eventually – as the stone asymptotically conveys – we tend to absolute stillness, before the Breath of God stirred at all. This Breath becomes ‘winds of history’ by the time of our Mayan Long Count. It would be churlish not to take note of the powerful mythological content secreted by this imagery. I will write more about it in ‘Mysterium’ (in preparation).


21/12 will be a day like any other except by virtue of focused human intent that it calls forth. In so far as we align with current motions of the Breath of God, this will produce effects that outlive the occasion. Otherwise we will still be dupes of our own vanity. The calendar is an instrument of awakening, a stimulus to it. Its purpose is to serve consciousness, not the other way around. Its purpose is to deliver us beyond dependence on the structures it describes, having served to induct us into patterns of Sacred Time that express the Breath of God in existence. If we only celebrate the fact that something is starting over, we miss the point of a symbolic end that heralds the resurfacing in awareness of a Time of No Time. This marks a return of metaphysical or Sacred Time that was there before ‘the Beginning’ (Big Bang) and the presence of material phenomena in terms of which time’s passage could be marked. A Time of No Time surfaces in time with awakening intuition, delivering us from effects of apparent time acceleration and into consciousness of Now, the stillness of Being within which Becoming forever arises. If we just recite mantras of recurrence, whether to a 13 or 18 count, we are as stuck as those who remain addicted to rampaging innovation. Both tendencies perpetuate old habits that fall way beneath the promise of our ‘2102’.

Notes (all references are to ):

(1) A kin is a day; a uinal is 20 days; a tun is 360 days; a katun 7,200; a baktun 144,000 and so on. Hence all periods specified above tun-level ascend by increasing powers of 20.

(2) The first ‘Cellular’ Underworld corresponds to the section of the stone labelled 13 x 207 tuns in the diagram; the second ‘Mammalian’ corresponds to that marked 206; ‘Familial’ corresponds to 205; ‘Tribal’ to 204; ‘Regional’ to 203; ‘National’ to 202; ‘Planetary’ to 201; ‘Galactic’ to the section marked 0 tuns and ‘Universal’ to 0 winals.

(3) This is the ground on which I defend Calleman against most of the criticisms directed at him pre-shift. I won’t burden the present text with my reasons for this but will return to them in future writing.

(4) Again, I will explain the significance of this in future work.

(5) See ‘Reflections on the 9th Wave’ under ‘9th wave/early’.

(6) See section 9 of ‘The Spirituality of 2012’ and piece 13 of ‘9 Little Pieces’, both under ‘2012’.

(7) See outline for ‘Birthing a New Earth’ under ‘2012’. I am staging this Play privately primarily to focus on effects it induces in my own awareness, without having to attend to other people’s needs. I will offer it publicly in due course.


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