martedì 4 gennaio 2011
This picture is The Temple of Kukulcan at the Chichen Itza Maya ruin site located in Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Occupied during the Terminal and Late Classic periods of the Maya empire (roughly 600-1000 AD), Chichen Itza rose to prominence during a time when most Mayan cultures were in decline.
The Temple of Kukulcan (also known as El Castillo) is said to be a physical embodiment of the Maya Calendar. For instance, there are 91 steps on each of the four sides of the pyramid (totaling 364) plus the top platform giving us 365 to match the days of a solar year. There are many other representations of time within the construction of the pyramid as will be pointed out later.
One of the more interesting aspects of the Kukulcan pyramid is the famous decending serpent illusion which can be seen on the Spring and Fall equinoxes. An equinox occurs when the Sun is located in the middle of the transit between solstices. A solstice occurs when the tilt of the Earth's axis is either closest to or farthest away from the Sun. It is on these days when the Sun's apparent movement north and south through the sky appears to halt and reverse direction, signaling the changing of seasons. An equinox is the midpoint between solstices (usually March 20 or 21 and September 22 or 23). Equinox and Solstice dates can be found here.
The serpent represented is one of the 13 symbols within the Mayan Zodiac. It is the descent of the Rattlesnake. Maya decendents today believe the Snake decends upon the temple every year (as evidenced by the illusion) however the rattles have yet to descend. These descendents believe according to the Mayan Calendar 2012 is the year when the rattles will descend. The Rattles are the Pleiades Star Cluster. You can verify this by looking further into the Mayan Zodiac.
In addition to the Kukulcan pyramid Chichen Itza is also home to The Great Ball Court. It is at the Great Ball Court where the Maya would re-enact the creation of the world and the subsequent destruction and rebirth that followed. The game involved 6-7 players on each side competing to get a ball through a round stone carving, intertwined by stone serpents, some 10-12 meters off the ground. The captain of the winning team was honored through sacrifice as depicted on carvings surrounding the court.
What is the Mayan Calendar 2012 connection?
In conversations I’ve had with Maya decendents living in Guatemala we often spoke of the Mayan Calendar and the year 2012.
First off I will tell you much of what was discussed revolves around a time period, not a specific date. The time period is the 6 month period between the Spring and Fall equinoxes. After that period comes the Winter Solstice on December 21 2012.
The Maya had numerous calendars with which they tracked the movements of the planets (Venus, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter) and the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. Two of these Mayan calendars are those which draw our attention to 12/21/2012.
The Maya Tzolkin Calendar and the Maya Long Count Calendar both contain references many today believe point to the year 2012. The sacred Tzolkin calendar represents a 260 day period that uses 20 days rotating in conjunction with 13 tones which create the foundation of the calendar. The day 4 Ahua (aka: Ajaw - the day name can vary depending on which Mayan dialect is used) is a special day as it is always on this day during which the Baktun periods begin (the 5,124 year periods). Baktun periods however are represented in the Long Count Calendar. Baktuns are the fifth placemark in the Long Count and the upcoming date in 2012 marks the movement from 12 to 13 (126.96.36.199.0).
Tortuguero is a Maya ruin site in southern Mexico that contains a stone carving (Monument 6) with the Dec. 21, 2012 date represented in the Tzolkin calendar. The carving references 4 Ahua (the beginning date within the Tzolkin and Long Count calendars) and the remaining visible glyphs are interpreted as referecing an event occuring on the beginning date upon which the diety will descend.