MAYAN PROPHECY - The Maya calendar has been the center of attention in recent years, because it seems to predict the end of the world in some form. In fact, the Maya calendar indicates that on their great or long journey, the gods will return to Earth at some point in the near future.
The starting point of the Maya calendar is around 3000 years BC. It uses a combination of three dating systems: the Long Count, the Divine Calendar and the Civil Calendar. When points on these calendars, each represented as circles, coincide, a period in time ends and a new one begins. When a mark on all three circles coincide, the gods will return from their journey.
But was it actually a Maya calendar, or one of their predecessors?
In Meso-America, a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization in the 15th century. Ancient peoples in Meso-America, older than the Maya, had calendar systems.
Particularly interesting are the Zapotec. Traces of the Zapotec civilization are found from the 6th Century BC. The Zapotecs developed a calendar and a logosyllabic system of writing that used glyphs, like the Mayan ones.
Older than the Zapotec is the Olmec civilization of South-Central Mexico. The Olmec flourished from 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished in the area since about 2500 BCE. Olmec symbols have been found that are older than the oldest Zapotec writing. The Long Count calendar used by many subsequent Mesoamerican civilizations may have been devised by the Olmecs. Artifacts with the earliest Long Count calendar dates, found outside the Maya territory, are thought to be of Olmec origin.
So the Aztec and Maya calendars are the most studied and understood ones, but they could have been interpretations or refinements of earlier systems.
There is discussion about the date of the 'return of the gods', the calculation on modern calendars. But one thing, as Erich von Däneken has noted, is remarkable. On the most-mentioned date of 22 December 2012, the Earth's axis is positioned exactly in the centre of the milky-way. Due to a phenomenon called 'precession', this does not happen very often, in fact it will be the first time since 25,771.5 years. The ancient civilizations of Mesoamerica could not have known that. But they did, and they were not the only ones. There is evidence that the ancient Egyptians (for example in the Karnak and Dendera temples) and Sumerians knew about it as well. Evidence from the same time when the Maya and comparable calendars have their starting point..
Quetzalcoatl (or Kukulcan) was the deity of light and duality and the creator of civilization. The name Quetzalcoatl comes from the Nahuatl language and means "feathered-serpent". Quetzalcoatl was related to gods of the wind, of Venus, of the dawn, of merchants and of arts, crafts and knowledge. He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. He is usually depicted half-bird, half-snake. Or, as some say, as an astronaut in a sophisticated space-suit.
Quetzalcoatl is said to return 'with his children'. It can be just ancient myth or religion, but the ancient civilizations of Meso-America had a lot of knowledge of astronomy. There can well be a lot more to it than that. Perhaps the original form or knowledge was lost, and we see only a glimpse of the original through the Maya heritage. Who Quetzalcoatl and his company will turn out to be, remains hard to determine for the moment.