Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hebrew and Mayan Calendars

Something interesting must have happened back in the fourth millennium BC. I gather this because the Hebrew Calendar, which dates from the year of Creation, therefore 3760 BC, is echoed by the Mayan Long Count Calendar which begins on August 11, 3114 BC using the Gregorian and September 6, 3113 BC using the Julian calendar. This date, for the Mayans was also the date of creation.

According to the Judaic tradition, the first 6,000 years after creation correspond to the six (might we say “long”) days; the seventh millennium would be the seventh, the day of rest, and it would inaugurate the Messianic Age, also lasting a thousand years. The first year of that cycle is referred to as Year 6000 of the Hebrew Calendar, which corresponds to 2239-2240 of ours. In that year begins the Messianic Age.

The Mayan Long Count Calendar is based on periods one-day long multiplied four times to get other, intermediate periods. One is multiplied by 20 to get what we might call a long week, that number by 18 to get a year of (360 days). Thereafter 360 is multiplied by 20 again to obtain what might be called a “month of years,” and that figure ( 7,200 days), is once more multiplied by 20 to get one “long year” in that cycle of 144,000 days. That period is called a b’ak’tun, and thirteen of them is the period of a “world.” We are now in the 13th b’ak’tun of the Mayan calendar†. It will end on December 21 of this year, thus signaling the end of a world. Unlike the Judaic tradition, which sees the world absolutely created, and for the first time, 5,772 years ago, the Mayans saw multiple earlier “worlds,” each lasting 13 b’ak’tuns. The fifth Mayan world, therefore, is about to begin late in 2012.

Concerning the interpretation of that day, December 21, I’ll have more to say that day. But here I’d like to point to something else.

Interesting that two cultures as distant one from the other as the Judaic and Mayan, or more precisely the Olmec culture in Mesoamerica (which is credited with the invention of the Long Calendar), should hark back to the fourth millennium BC and see the beginning of the world there. Granted. The Jews put the creation nearly 700 years earlier than the Mayans—so that the two beginnings are off by three-quarters of a millennium. But there may be a reasonable explanation for that. I note that the Mayan calendar also recorded very close observations of the cycles of Venus. That’s odd for an ancient culture unless it was once important to keep track of Venus. Odd bits like that cause me to credit claims, like Velikovsky’s, that great solar system cataclysms may first have made humanity—all over the place—keen observers of what happens in the skies. There is Stonehenge in Europe, too. It’s fashioning is dated to 3000 to 2000 BC. Regarding Velikovsky, here are two posts (link, link) on this blog.

†Here is the math. 3114 + 2012 = 5126 years. Times 365.25 = 18,772,271.5 days. Dividing that by 144,000 we get 13 b’ak’tuns. The image shown is the Mayan symbol for a b’ak’tun (link). Where the Mayans and the Olmecs lived? Here is a link to that.

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