A Millennium Prayer

For The End of Days

Aligning With the Spirit of the Maya Calendar End-Date 2012

by Dwayne Edward Rourke


January 1, 2000

A great turning of the Gregorian calendar wheel has brought us to the threshold of a new millennium. Throughout the planet, people are filled with the sort of expectancy, excitement and anxiety such a threshold evokes. However, if any of us are looking to the calendar itself for guidance as to how to align with the spirit of this new time, we will likely be disappointed. Very little is provided there, other than a rather utilitarian segmentation of time into years, months and days. In contrast, the workings of a sacred calendar such as that found throughout Mesoamerica and especially in those areas inhabited by traditional Mayan people, provide a wealth of symbolism able to empower its adherents with insight and energy.

Clearly, all calendars throughout the world are arbitrary man-made constructions. Generally, they are based on alignment with particular celestial phenomena such as the solar or lunar year. Mayan calendars are no exception and currently the Mayan calendar tradition calls attention to the day we call December 21 , 2012. The Maya have been aware for hundreds of years that on that Winter solstice day, a unique astronomical event will occur: a very rare conjunction of the Sun with the ecliptic of the Milky Way galaxy.

The question naturally arises: "Could such an abstract astronomical event have any meaning for us personally, here on planet Earth?" I believe so, and I believe that the Mayan calendar tradition can assist us if we allow it to. Here is why. As shown by John Major Jenkins in his recent book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, not only have the Maya anticipated this rare celestial event for hundreds of years, but they have consciously prepared for it through the passionate creation of sacred art and architecture, an art and architecture closely aligned with a sacred ritual calendar that guides them spiritually on their journey through life. Importantly, Mayan elders such as Hunbatz Men, assure us that the sacred wisdom contained in their traditions is for all humanity. This is guidance available to anyone willing to receive it.

In order to understand the possible significance to our own lives of this sacred gift, we must realize that there are many Mayan calendars, each with its own purpose and level of application. We see this, for example, when we examine more closely, the date December 21,2012. The Mayan Long Count calendar calls attention to this date as the final day of a 5,125 year cycle known as a Great Cycle. Five Great Cycles combine to make up one Precessional Year: the 26,000 solar years it takes for the Earth's axis to "wobble" its way through one revolution. That revolution is viewed against the backdrop of seemingly fixed stars to which humans throughout all time have assigned various cultural meanings. For example, we in Western cultures commonly relate to this backdrop through a frame of reference we call the zodiac of constellations. In other words, we project our beliefs onto the heavens in such a way as to give meaning to the random pattern of star-dots seen there. And because we each have a solar birthday aligned with this projected map, we can locate it and associate it with particular qualities of being. This is how we come to know ourselves astrologically as being an Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Aquarius,etc. The Maya have done essentially the same thing. They too have projected their sense of meaning and purpose onto the sky-dome and have developed ways of making this personally significant. This process has produced a very significant spiritual tool: the sacred ritual calendar known as the Tzolkin.

To understand the significance of the Tzolkin, we need to realize that the Maya consider the center of our Milky Way galaxy to be a cosmically conscious source of energy and intelligence orchestrating the evolution of all life on Earth. They believe we need to align ourselves consciously and prayerfully with this source in order to live in harmony with its deepest spiritual directives. Divining what those spiritual directives are, is primarily a matter of inner spiritual work involving learning, and applying, ancient metaphysical arts and sciences associated with the galactic realm. Inevitably, this engages us in some way with the Tzolkin calendar.

20 Hieroglyphs of the Mayan Sacred Calendar (Tzolkin)

Surrounding Symbol for Galactic Center (Hunab Ku)

For centuries the Maya have used the Tzolkin for the timing of spiritual activities and for the reckoning of personal destiny. It continues to be a spiritual tool of unrivaled depth and complexity. Simply as a divination device alone, it compares to Tarot, Runes and I Ching as a map of consciousness conveyed through symbols and numbers.

Maya consider the Tzolkin to be a universal spiritual tool capable of transmitting to humanity, cosmic messages emanating from galactic center, what they call Hunab Ku. Essentially, the Tzolkin is a 260 unit matrix of symbols derived from 20 meaning-laden hieroglyphs and 13 sacred numbers. These 260 combinations reveal through their interconnectedness, a cosmic web of spiritual essences palpable to human emotion. This occurs through the phenomenon of sympathetic resonance, or re-sounding. Through resonance, an immediate similarity and correlation between the perceived events of a person's life, and the symbolic events of the Tzolkin can be understood. Mircea Eliade eloquently described this phenomenon when he wrote that " the man who understands a symbol not only 'opens himself' to the objective world, but at the same time succeeds in emerging from his personal situation and reaching a comprehension of the universal....Thanks to the symbol, the individual experience is 'awoken', and transmuted into a spiritual act."

The steady cultivation of an awareness of correspondences between sacred calendar symbols and our own direct experience is the basic orientation we must take if we wish to receive the gift from spirit that is the Tzolkin. In doing so, we will have begun to cultivate within ourselves what the Maya call the Mind of Light, a flower-like mind totally aligned and resonant with the Sun. This is the goal of all sacred calendar spiritual practice and, like the flowering plant, we must rely on our roots to ground us and to supply us with the necessary nutrients for growth and ascension.

A Mind of Light is actually comprised of four component minds and can be visualized as a medicine wheel with one mind oriented to each cardinal direction, counted counter-clockwise: East, North, West, South. In the center of this sacred medicine wheel is the observer/operator, the witnessing consciousness, the aspirant to ascension, the Self. A sacred calendar hieroglyph is associated with each direction and with each mind. Understand these symbols and you will understand each mind.

In the direction EAST, universally acknowledged as the place of new beginnings, the Maya place the hieroglyph CHICCHAN (pronunciation: cheek'chan). CHICCHAN is the serpent mind, the mind that is constantly renewed and regenerated, through a process of shedding what no longer serves us. The physical body itself can be seen as an evolutionary skin periodically released, as one life ends and another begins. It is a body fueled ultimately by a form of solar energy the Maya call kultunlilni. Kultunlilni is the vital life force empowering all human growth and development. This crucial life-force is the same as what is known in Hindu cosmology as the serpent power: kundalini. Kundalini is the great evolutionary force making of each body and its occupant, a potentially powerful source of solar wisdom. Important for us to remember, however, is that this primary, very intimate and very powerful source of wisdom is only accessible to the extent that we are able to hear what our bodies, as carriers of its sacred gift, are actually telling us. Inevitably in this process, we turn to those with whom we feel a strong attraction or affinity. We activate the second of the four minds: OC.

The second Mayan mind is aligned with the direction NORTH, and is symbolized by hieroglyph OC (pronunciation: oak'). OC refers to the mammalian mind of Man, the one we develop through our associations with family and friends: the people who are closest to us, to whom we are loyal and faithful and with whom we work out our emotional issues. All issues of trust and personal guidance come under the domain of OC. Where the heart's desire is, there is OC. Where there is devotion, there is OC, and there is the animal associated with it: dog. Where our companions of destiny gather, there is OC. OC offers us guidance on our path through recognition of those who share the same vision and purpose as we do.

To the WEST is placed hieroglyph MEN, symbol of the eagle and of the Planet Mind. This is the emerging domain of consciousness referred to by futurist Peter Russell as the Global Brain. To fully manifest this mind requires that we access within ourselves, the qualities of vision, leadership and spiritual power. In the words of a popular phrase, we need to "think globally, act locally." For MEN calls us to become empowered on behalf of planet Earth and to sustain an intention to align ourselves with a Greater Reality of Spirit, a reality inaccessible to a merely casual or parochial view of life. MEN would have us rise up in transcendence of the limiting beliefs of our egos, into the inclusivity and beneficence of our Souls. It encourages us to follow our dreams and visions with the inner knowing that we have a divine purpose in the larger pattern of planetary evolution.

To the cardinal direction SOUTH on this great medicine wheel of minds, the Maya place hieroglyph AHAU, (pronunciation: a how'). As representative of the goal of all sacred calendar spiritual practice, this symbol is also the final and most inclusive hieroglyph in the series of twenty that make up the Tzolkin calendar. AHAU is the Solar Mind, the Mind of Light and is directly related to the magic of flowers and flower essences. It, like a flower, represents a consciousness in complete resonance and accord with the Sun. The Sun itself is here seen as an intelligent intermediary between Earth and the center of the galaxy, Hunab Ku. Further, AHAU refers to all forms of sacred union and wholeness. Thus it counsels us to embody not only our Solar selves, but our Lunar selves as well.; not only our power, purpose, and direction, but also, our nurturance, support and acceptance.

AHAU is the Mesoamerican equivalent of enlightened consciousness and through countless human aspirants, has been active for centuries, anticipating a time when much of humanity was connected and aware of itself as a global organism. Because of the pervasive impact of industrialization and the telecommunications revolution, such a globalization of humanity has, in fact, taken place. Now, perhaps the time has come for a deeply transformative convergence of human intent to occur and for a critical mass of humanity to consciously create a new era of peace and universal brotherhood on planet Earth.

Such is my Millennium prayer for the time leading up to the End of Days that is the Winter Solstice , 2012 A.D. Ho!


January 1, 2000.

Green Mountain,

Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

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The Tzolkin calendar is a timeless storehouse of sacred symbols potentially able to assist humanity in the expansion of consciousness along ancient visionary lines. An introduction to this type of symbolic guidance is available to you on my web site. Click on the serpent glyph to go there.