Much is said of the Long Count Maya calendar and associated prophecy for the end of the year 2012. Unfortunately, it is rather less common to actually see the original prophetic material, and even less so to have any kind of analysis of its likely meanings for human civilisation.
In my opinion it is insane for people to talk about the end of the world, or a great consciousness shift, based on a prophecy they have in fact never personally studied.
There is actually only one place where we find Mayan engravings definitively speaking about events for the prophetic target date of the December 21, 2012, the last day of the 13th Bak'tun period in the Long Count calendar system. To find this stone rendering of prophecy we must look to the ancient site of Tortuguero situated in Southern Tabasco, Mexico.
Tortuguero, now covered by a cement factory, lays just 50km from the major Mayan city site of Palenque, to which it was seemingly a dependency during the period of the engraving (circa 670AD), or was at least in some way associated with that city, evidenced by use of matching royal glyphs. Palenque also has ancient writing that related to the beginning and ending of the Long Count cycle.
It is notable that at Palenque we find the legendary engraved sarcophagus lid of Lord J'anaab Pakal, known best as the lid of Palenque featured in the books of Eric Von Daniken. The Tortuguero stelae in question is now known to the world simply as monument 6. Until the start of 2012 the engraving had been translated as follows below, though some of it was badly damaged making it quite illegible.
7 days 7 Uinals 0 Tuns and 8 Katuns, previously it happened. On 8th day of Chuen, the 9th of Mak, the pibnaah / Becoming-Ripe-House was constructed(?). It was the 'underground house' (shrine) of (the god?) Ahkal K'uk'. It was 2 days, 9 Uinals, 3 Tuns, 8 Katuns and 3 Baktuns before the 13th Baktun is completed on 4 Ahau 3 Kankin. Then it will happen - darkness, and Bolon-Yokte will descend to the (???)
More recently the last section has been revised, giving us the following rendition:
7 days 7 Uinals 0 Tuns and 8 Katuns, previously it happened. On 8th day of Chuen, the 9th of Mak, the pibnaah / Becoming-Ripe-House was constructed(?). It was the 'underground house' (shrine) of (the god?) Ahkal K'uk'. It was 2 days, 9 Uinals, 3 Tuns, 8 Katuns and 3 Baktuns before it will be closed, the 13th Baktun is on 4 Ahau 3 Kankin. It will happen this Bolon-Yokte display in the great investiture.
To the casual first glance any meaning is almost completely obscured by the need to have some fairly advanced knowledge of Mayan culture. One can certainly imagine a Fox News journalist scratching his head trying to find any sense at all in the engraving, let alone a confirmation of the supposed doomsday prophecy his network is happily ascribing to the Maya peoples. Thankfully we have had the help of numerous anthropologists and cultural historians to give us a better comprehension of just what it was being recorded by Balam Ahau, or Jaguar Lord, the incumbent ruler of Tortuguero.
The 2012 researcher Geoff Stray, author of Diagnosis 2012, has done some great work in bringing us the potential meaning of this inscription. The following is based almost entirely on his extrapolations, though he credits various academics for providing key data and does not claim it all as wholly his own work.
The first part of the text refers to the completion of a structure known by the Maya as a 'Pibnaah', which translates as both 'steam bath' and 'becoming ripe house'. Ritual steam baths were used by the Maya in much the same way as they were by the Hopi, to attain spiritual states of mind, though as we have seen they called theirs Kiva's. The Maya and the Hopi both associate these with the underground realms, or at times even construct them under the ground, and in both cases there is an association with corn (from which humans were considered to be made) and its development. This particular Pibnaah was dedicated to a being named Ahkal K'uk and it is assumed that he was a Maya god, personally I am unable to find details of such a deity, there was however a K'uk dynasty at Palenque, so it may be that Ahkal K'uk is actually a legendary sun king.
Before examining the rest of the inscription we must gain a deeper understanding of the functions of a Pibnaah. In this we are again not required to travel any further from Tortuguero than Palenque, there we find three stepped pyramid temples with engravings that mark them as being Pibnaah's. Modern historians have revealed that these temples were built to act as alternatives to the cave entrances which traditionally could allow kings to enter into the underworld, known by the Maya as Xibalba. In this case it was king Kihnich Kan B'ahlam II, son of the more famous king K'inich Janaab' Pakal, whom had used these structures for ceremonial functions. The actual result of his required spiritual initiations within these three structures seems to be an aligning with divine energies, eventually fully incorporating the energies of the gods, in particular one named Bolon Okte.
The suggestions is that the king became a heavenly avatar on Earth. Thus, the ripeness we are reading about in association to the Pibnaah is actually the culmination of a process of spiritual growth, the raising of human consciousness to a more divine vibration.
Having revealed the meaning of the first part of the inscription we now know it details the historical construction of a shrine, dedicated to elevating human consciousness toward that of the gods.
We can now progress to the second half of the inscription, in which for some reason the Pibnah is linked to a distant future in which the fourth world age would end and the fifth would begin (again mirroring Hopi belief), after the completion of the 13th Baktun. It is here that we are provided with the time period remaining before that event comes to pass, and also the day names for the final date from both the sacred Tzolkin count and the vague year Haab count, being together 4-Ahau 3-Kankin.
Expert commentary on the inscription suggests two expectations by the original scribes, one being that the king of Tortuguero, Balam Ahau, would be somehow present for a far future ceremony within his underground shrine (possibly in an astral form or as a reincarnation), and that the God Bolon Yokte would be involved.
If we are to make any sense of the reference to Bolon Yokte's display and great investiture, we first need to take a look at this particular god and any special associations it has with earthly events. The very first thing that we find out is that this deity's name actually means God of Nine Strides, on some occasions he is also referred to as just Bolon Okte, or in later records as Ah Bolon Yockte, which means God of the Nine Paths. The Mayan language does allow for some further translations of the name however, these include God of Nine Steps, Nine Footed God or Jaguar Foot Tree.
The mystical cosmology of the Maya links Bolon Yockte to happenings such as social unrest, conflicts, wars, eclipses and natural disasters. As we already know this deity is also linked to the underworld of Xibalba, demonstrated by his role at Palenque. Important to note too is that of the three Pibnaah at Palenque, two are dedicated with associations to the number nine, one being connected to the jaguar (jaguar is often used in Mayan to mean nine) and the other to a god named Kawil, the God of Nine Generations. Bolon Yockte is considered responsible for having helped create the current world and appears at the end of each Baktun, and will seemingly play some role in creating the next world.
It is extremely important to note that Bolon Yokte was not always seen as one deity but sometimes as a collective of nine deities working together. This additional fact draws one's attention immediately to Mayan literature discussing nine gods of the underworld whom once did battle with thirteen gods of the heavens. We have little reason to doubt we are dealing with the same pantheon ascribed with having once helped night conquer day.
When we consider the link between the kings of Palenque, pibnaah, and the god Bolon Yokte, especially in the context of their initiation to become god-king avatars, it is very interesting to note that the king of Tortuguero is discussing an investiture involving this same god. The likelihood is that king Jaguar Lord, whose very name is rooted in the number nine just as is Bolon Yokte's, is predicting some kind of merging of himself with this deity at the end of the world age at the site of his own pibnaah. It is clear that the royal house of Palenque, to which he seemingly belonged or was associated too, saw themselves as able to be avatars for the gods and also had a keen interest in the Long Count calendar system. It is important perhaps to note that the special site for this predicted event has now been destroyed.
End of part 1.
Part 2: The real Mayan prophecies investigated – The Chilam Balam books
By Bruce Fenton
Co-author of '2012 Rising The Last Tzolkin'
All images: courtesy of Bruce Fenton.
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