The 'prophecy' does not stem from the Mayans at all. Instead, the beliefs come from two New Age books in the Seventies and Eighties, says a British academic.

People who are expecting the world to end on December 21 - the so-called 'Mayan Apocalypse' - should be in for a pleasant disappointment.

The 'prophecy' does not stem from the Mayans at all - or date from thousands of years ago.

Instead, the beliefs come from two New Age books in the Seventies and Eighties.

The two books predict outcomes as surreal as a 'upgrade' to human consciousness predicted by a spirit from the seventh century. The date itself comes from a prophecy based on a magic mushroom trip.

“December 21st will be just another Friday morning,” said Andrew Wilson, Assistant Head of Social Studies at the University of Derby. “A hippy guru called Jose Arguelles associated the date with the Mayan calendar in a book called The Mayan Factor in 1987. But it's an obsolete form of the calendar, which had not been used since the year 1100AD.”

“He claimed to be channelling various spirits, including the spirit of a Mayan king from the seventh century. He predicted a ‘shift in human consciousness’ - mass enlightenment.”

The actual date of December 21 first appeared in an earlier work - a 1975 book by Terence McKenna, a writer known for his descriptions of “machine elves” seen while under the influence of drugs.

The date appeared in McKenna's ‘Timeline Zero’ prophecy, and was based on McKenna’s own mathematics, the Chinese I Ching and a magic mushroom trip.

McKenna later met Arguelles and the two became, Wilson says, part of a circle of New Age authors who cited each other’s work, lending the ‘prophecy’ an air of believability.

“The significance of December 21 2012 in ‘New Age’ circles emerged from the work of ‘ethnobotanist’ Terence McKenna as he travelled deep into the Amazon in the 1970s,” says Wilson. His calculations of a ‘zero time wave’ suggested the world would go through a large change on December 21.”

“Arguelles, who had a long-held interest in Native American spiritualties, was inspired by McKenna’s work. He popularised the date in connection with the ‘long count calendar’ of the Mayan people in his new-age circles.”

As the belief has evolved, it has become associated with other, wilder predictions - such as the idea that Earth will be hit by a ‘rogue planet’, Nibiru, or swallowed by a black hole.

“There is no central belief,” says Wilson, “It varies from the ideas that Earth’s magnetic poles might shift, to the idea of a ‘galactic council’ visiting Earth. There’s no one, definite idea - it mirrors the New Age beliefs from which it comes.”

With some new-age groups predicting the end of the world on December 21, one village in southwestern France has gained fame as being the only place set to survive the apocaplypse.

“It’s become part of a lot of religious movements. For instance, ‘The Galactic Federation of Light’ believes that ‘Planet X’ will make a close pass by the earth in 2012 – causing a deep transformation of human life on Earth.

“What this and other apocalyptic dates have in common across new religious movements is that they are often predicted to occur within a believer’s lifetime - making their beliefs urgent and important,” said Wilson.

“However, most people who believe in the significance of December 21 2012 have tempered their predictions of an apocalypse to, instead, signifying some significant change in humanity. Whether that is a change in culture or a world-wide event - most believers in an apocalypse won't be preparing for an earthly end but looking forward to an imminent transformation."

“A lot of people look to this story for reassurance - about the financial climate, or even about fears of, for instance, the Large Hadron Collider.”

“What’s been popularised is the dramatic stuff - but I am definitely still doing my Christmas shopping as normal this year.”

Wilson’s paper, ‘From Mushrooms to the Stars’, will be published by Ashgate in 2013.

Responses to "How the 'Mayan Apocalypse' came from a New Age magic mushroom trip"

  1. Anonymous says:

    i'm sorry but i have to completely disagree with this information. i was born and raised in Guatemala and followed the old customs.i am insutlted by the notion that what was written thousands of years ago by my people is nothing more than a hippie acid trip. i don't want to argue information, but if i may suggest you take a trip to my country and learn what was written on the stelas.the Maya NEVER said the world would end- simply that one era would end and a new one would begin. thank you

  2. Anonymous says:

    Meanwhile, I don't know anyone who has taken it as seriously as this author.

  3. Unknown says:

    I think the point of the article is that the Mayans didn't predict apocalypse, but some druggy New Agers making a mess of what the Mayans did say.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dear "Unknown". I agree with you. I think this author ponin at the fact hat the Mayan NEVER predicted apocalype but that this new Agers did interpreted the Mayan calendar wrong... W. Nyberg

  5. Anonymous says:

    Everyone is talking about the Mayan Prophecies of 2012.
    But who is listening to the Maya?


  6. seamroeg says:

    i believe that it IS a coming of a new way thinking. i think its already happening. That is why many in this world are speaking up and out about injustice, inequality and such. There are other tribes in Central and South America by the way, and we all have our prophecies as well.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I want some of what HE was having!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: ἀποκάλυψις apocálypsis, from ἀπό and καλύπτω meaning 'un-covering'), translated literally from Greek refers to a revelation of something hidden.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Those who r given a little bit of knowledge from the past, don't think about the information they are given. They run with their first thought on how they can make a profit with the information they are given. Where I come from we don't act in haste the way some people do, we think things thru before we make a decision. God/Creator has been misunderstood right from the beginning - including the fact that Creator has no "favorites" as the Bible misinforms everyone about the "jews" being the "chosen ones". Creator has NO favorites, we r ALL equal in Creator's eyes. Its a balancing act WE ALL need to do, both good & bad, come from Creator!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I agree with you exactly. Thank you and God Bless. I look at it this way if you are regelious in any way the scripture says not even Jesus knows when he will return. So if Jesus doesnt even know do you really think anyone on earth would have more information? I highly doubt it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    WE are talking about cycles of time....To think this isn't a time of change for humanity is pretty ignorant...you obviously bought the propaganda and hype the media are pushing..Neither Arguelles or Mckenna said anything about the world ending although they may have had some theories about what may happen....Do some research before you perpetuate more 2012 propaganda...

  12. Anonymous says:

    Blame the hippies. It's a lonely wolf out there writing a book in the 80's?. What about Hollywood and the movie 2012?

  13. Wow!!! Don't know what or who to believe!!! Whatever happens on 21/12/12. I hope it will be something good for all mankind!!!:)

  14. Anonymous says:

    I agree with White Dove & the comments about Creator, however I do not agree with playing the "blame game" we all did it whether we were aware of it or not, I only smudge, hope & pray for a better world, we wrecked this one so...hey ppl...LET'S OWN IT & PRAY WE GET A 2ND CHANCE!! Let's DO BETTER next time...& be KINDER TO EACH OTHER WHILE WE'RE AT IT!! <3

  15. Anonymous says:

    If all the dimwits, dead heads, & ditzy dodos disappear, that will be such a relief for the whole Planet in every possible way. I have a dream: that I shall awake from this nightmare.

  16. Anonymous says:

    having read the Popul Vuh, i must completely agree w/ the first comment; it is the end of one age, the beginning of another (which has happened before). i have been pointing this out to many friends and encouraging those whom continue to harbor disbelief to go out and buy Y2K generators, ammo, MRE's, etc.

    ...and on a tongue-in-cheek sidenote, when you make your calendars out of stone, you don't want to throw them out every year.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Changes are and will be very radical and everyone can see that. But there won't be a apocalypse or anything like that. It just will be the next cycle of human era like you can see it in the past. Now it is important materialism and totally not important human, anomals and nature. And this is ending now. Now it will be an era when human and animals have equal rights, spiritual world will be the most important and connection with nature. Money will fall and human will live free. That's what will happend and it is happening now. Demonstration all over the world. you can't see that on tv, because they hidding it. Check the internet and you can see demonstration all over the world every day. Now is time and now world will change.

  18. Anonymous says:

    The Mayan prophesies are a very important threshold for our times.
    I agree with poster number 1...the author has obviously not studied either McKenna or Arguelles, and doesn't seem to know what he is talking about...also "new age" prophesies incorporate alot of "old age" wisdom..from the Mayans, Hopi, Egyptians, vedas, sumerians, wisdom that is 1000's of years old.

  19. Anonymous says:

    wtf? Jesus? seriously dude?

  20. Love the way this all fell flat after 21/12 other than the very apt questioning of Anonymous 26/12. pmsl!
    The vain ignorance of modern man, so bloody clever he even wants a cataclysmic end in his own lifetime. Sorry for you, wingnuts, unless man himself blows this lot apart it's still going to be there long after your homo sapien trash species has seized to exist.

  21. Anonymous says:

    this article is wack!

    wake up! it's readily observable that shifts are occurring on a mass scale and that novelty is
    now 'common place.' also, arguelles and mckenna (who are luminaries, imo) never said anything
    about an apocalypse (at least not in the dooms-day christian sense) regarding "2012." their interpretations are
    much more profound, integrative, and positive. the anachronistic apocalyptic flavor comes from western
    consciousness, and is a reflection of western consciousness en masse, as is the myopic perspective
    of this article. and i love the petty tactics: first they present jose's & mckenna's notions in scarecrow form, then
    conflate their ideas with a bunch of nonsense, and then passively and underhandedly imply that many
    people who believe in anything about "2012" do so only because they lack the 'psychological strength
    to face reality,' e.g., "A lot of people look to this story for reassurance." meanwhile, the author and the
    single source being cited remain completely in denial of all the hypocritical maneuvers they just made.
    ridiculous :v

Write a comment