According to the Popol Vuh, a book compiling details of creation accounts known to the K’iche’ Maya of the Colonial-era highlands, we are living in the fourth world.The Popol Vuh describes the first three creations that the gods failed in making and the creation of the successful fourth world where men were placed. In the Maya Long Count, the previous creation ended at the start of a 13th b’ak’tun.
The previous creation ended on a long count of 126.96.36.199.19. Another 188.8.131.52.19 will occur on December 20, 2012, followed by the start of the fourteenth b’ak’tun, 184.108.40.206.0, on December 21, 2012.
Three figures within the New Age, the artist and theorist José Argüelles, John Major Jenkins, Daniel Pinchbeck and the late ethnobotanist and psychonaut Terence McKenna, have publicized theories concerning the significance of the end of the cycle. (They arrived at their conclusions separately from one another).
They have jointly inspired a number of articles and books that this will be the end of this creation, the next pole shift or, as McKenna speculated in his theories, the end of history and events as "novel" as the origin of life on Earth, which we could not possibly imagine. The date is supposed to mark the return of the Mexican god Quetzalcoatl.
His name is a compound of the Nahuatl words for plumage (quetzalli) and snake (coatl). The symbolism of this name implies that the catastrophe could be a unification of opposites, the merging of flight and slithering, dark and light, life and death, suggesting that 2012 could be more of a paradigm shift than a physical cataclysm. Jenkins has focused on the occurrence of a Galactic Alignment in the "era of 2012". Other, more mundane speculations involve a worldwide catastrophe, such as a pole shift. The idea of the significance of the date has also increasingly passed into popular culture.
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