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What is the Mayan Calendar?

by Richi Who

The Mayan Calendar was a predictive system of progressively shortening cycles that came to a finish at the end of 2012.

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The doom and gloom pundits had many believe that it was the coming of the end of time! The dire predictions ranged from Armageddon to a shifting of the earth’s poles.

The date in question was December 21, 2012.

(I had seen dates ranging from October 2011 to the end of December 2012 supported by arguments as being the correct date. Whilst there was some contention as to the actual date, the overall picture hung together very well, so I went with 21 Dec 2012)

So what was said to happen to the planet on that date? Well, actually, nothing out of the ordinary in the way of natural disasters! The sun would still come up each morning as the world kept turning and life was to go on for the inhabitants of planet earth.

If the Mayan civilization still existed, no doubt their calendar would be extended from the Mayan calendar into a new cycle of the Mayan calendar, after all, it was cyclic, not open ended.

However because there was a final date for the existing Mayan calendar, the doomsday advocates had a field day.

Ten years earlier, almost no-one even knew of the existence of the calendar, then leading up to 2012 apparently the Bible, and Nostradamus both seem to have had something to say about it all along.

However, what was happening was not of the physical world, but of the spiritual and, in particular, our collective consciousness, which had a direct influence on the economies of our nations.


According to the Mayan Calendar December 21, 2012 marked the beginning of a new era. Many believed that it marked a point of transition from where mankind has consciousness, to a higher level where mankind is consciousness.

Whether this time marked the end of the transition or its beginning was a matter of conjecture, however what was important was that a New Age was happening, and the Mayan Calendar was just one more pointer.

As we approached the end of the Mayan Calendar, a critical mass of consciousness and life-force was collecting on our planet. Conscious awareness is what we bring with us to the planet when we are born, and what we take with us when we pass on. That is - our soul for want of a better term. However it is more than this. The total of all our consciousnesses forms a gigantic pool which we can tap into.

This is the human collective consciousness which augments our own individual consciousness. At this time, the pool of collective consciousness was greater than ever before.  There are more beings which have a conscious awareness, at present alive on the planet than has ever been.

The flow on from this pool of consciousness is a growing awareness of our role in cooperating with each other. This is for both the good of the planet and for our societies. No doubt you noticed that change is not just speeding up, but the pace of change is increasing. Well hang on, we are in for quite a ride yet! We are talking change here - not disaster.

We are evolving in the development of our consciousness at an increasing rate, and the power of the entire human collective consciousness is fuelling our development.

Of course there are vested interests which view any change they cannot control as a disaster, but as it has been said - "resistance is futile"!  A lasting time of peace will be possible - simply because collectively we consciously shall will it! This coming new era heralded by the end of the Mayan Calendar is the era of conscious creation. The new age everyone has been waiting for.

So how did we arrive at this magic date? The Mayan Calendar was a fascinating invention which combined the passage of time, development of consciousness, evolution and predictions of both the distant past and future. 

There is not just one Mayan Calendar, but several:

  • The shortest cycle is the 260 day 'year' of the Ritual Mayan calendar. - The Ritual year is a cycle of 20 named days, divided into 13 months.
  • Next comes the 365 day 'year' of the Solar Mayan Calendar. - The solar year consists of 18 Months of 20 days (=360), plus 5 "unlucky days".
  • Then we have the Short Count Mayan Calendar, based on the Venus cycle of 584 days and the Ritual Calendar. - In this way, "short" periods of 13, 52 and 104 years are generated.
  • Finally we have the amazing Long Count Mayan Calendar. - The Long Count calendar spans an incredible 5125 years.

The Long Count Calendar

The Long Count calendar consists of 13 periods called baktuns. A baktun consists of 400 (20*20*360) Tuns which makes 144,000 days which equals 394.3 of our years, thus the Long Count calendar spans 5125 years. Most archaeologists agree on a beginning date for the Long Count of August 11, 3115 BC. Thus when corrected for rounding errors, and historical adjustments to the Gregorian calendar: 3115 (BC) + 5125 = 2012

In the interests of keeping the picture clear, I shall keep Mayan terminology to a minimum in this article. As we are all familiar with the terms of days, weeks and months and years, let's stick to them!

Mayan Calendar Note: A Mayan year is 360 days long, called a Tun ie. the Mayan solar year minus the 5 "unlucky days".

Each day in the life of a Mayan citizen was defined by a combination of the Ritual and the Solar calendars. When a Mayan citizen got out of bed in the morning he or she knew what the purpose of that day in their life was to be, as set out by the symbolic meaning of the day and the period in which it occurred. From the time of their birth the combination of Ritual and Solar calendars produced 52 years of unique days of their lives. Of course if they lived longer than 52 years the calendar was reset and the days repeated.

To add further importance to end date of the Mayan calendar, we need to examine the nine stepped evolution pyramid of the Mayans.

Mayan Pyramid

The Mayan Pyramid of Evolution.

Whether the Mayans themselves regarded their nine stepped pyramid design as a symbolic representation of the evolution of higher consciousness or not cannot be known for sure. 

However, a generally accepted interpretation of the pyramid is that it represents nine cycles of time which represents a concept of the evolution of the universe.

Each layer is symbolic of a period in time and presumably the developments which occurred during that time.

Perched on the topmost layer is a tenth symbol, a temple which represents completion and spiritual oneness. If we overlay the Long Count over the pyramid with the end date of 2012 at the top of the pyramid, the Long Count spans exactly the upper four levels of the pyramid.

This gives us a time frame for each level so that each level can be said to span a given period of time, each twenty times longer than the one above.

Articles written describing these levels define each level as an Underworld, however I am more comfortable with the terms Creation Cycles or Levels of Creation.












13 x 20 kin = 260 days

13 x 20 tun = 12.8 yrs

13 x 20*1 tun = 256 yrs

13 x 20*2 tun = 5125 yrs

13 x 20*3 tun = 102,000 yrs

13 x 20*4 tun = 2 Million yrs

13 X 20*5 tun = 41 Million yrs

13 x 20*6 tun = 820 Million yrs

13 x 20*7 tun = 16.4 Billion yrs




1755 Industry

3115 BC Civilization





Big Bang

Mayan Pyramid Steps

Each level is then divided into 13 periods of "7 days" and "6 nights" to which can be assigned the symbols of the 13 months of the Ritual calendar. This assigns meanings to each period, so now we have a divination tool for predicting both the past and future.

The length of each of these 13 periods is of course determined by the level in which it occurs, therefore as we move up the pyramid, the time taken to complete each period becomes shorter and shorter.

Here in reverse order is the Day/Night period for each level:

  • Cellular level - 1.26 Billion years
  • Mammalian Level - 63 Million years
  • Familial level - 3.2 Million years
  • Tribal level - 160,000 years
  • Regional level - 7,900 years
  • National level - 394 years
  • Planetary level - 19.7 years
  • Galactic level - 360 days
  • Universal level - 20 days

As you can see, things are definitely becoming faster and faster. 

The next age began in 2012, and the pace of change/evolution will make our heads spin. The accepted term for this speeding up of change as we evolve is "The Quickening".

A great deal has been written about the quickening over the last twenty years or so, but the Mayan Calendar was the first time I had seen it set in stone! Of course much of the interpretations of the Mayan culture was speculation based on solid archaeological research, and may even have been projections of our own expectations.

However, it did all hang together rather well, and up to the recent past the predictive aspects of the calendar had shown to be surprisingly accurate.

The only aspects of the predictions of the end of the Galactic period and the Universal age I had issues with was the doom and gloom, collapsing of civilization, Armageddon, magnetic pole switching and alien attack type scenarios which were obviously written to attract publicity.