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New Beginnings on December 21, 2012

December 21, 2012 by  

Today is December 21, 2012. So far, the world has not ended as some predicted. In reality,  the modern Maya didn’t think the world was going to end on this date either. Somehow that idea grew from misconceptions.

Maya Ceremony

Maya Priest performing a Ritual

 

I visited Riviera Maya, Mexico in May 2012,  and was repeatedly told, “We are entering into a new cycle. This is just a new beginning.” The Maya will now celebrate the beginning of the next 5,125-year cycle of the Long Count calendar.

While touring I observed a number of Maya rituals, some fairly basic and others very complex. The ceremonies always appeared to demonstrate the relationship between man and his environment. Landmarks such as mountains, wells and caves (cenotes) are valued by the Maya and they assign specific ancestors to them. Important parts of rituals take place in or near these landmarks, and as I discovered, often prior to entering them.

Ceremony to ward off Underworld demons.

Ceremony to ward off Underworld demons.

The Mayas worship the gods of nature as a part of their daily life. Some of their gods include the God of rain, the God of maize (corn), and of course, the God of sun. The Mayas believe that without the help of these important gods, there would be no crops and everyone would starve.

Maya Performers at Xcaret.

Maya Performers at Xcaret.

But, Maya religion is much more complicated than the simple worship of nature gods. The Maya believe the world has three layers: the Heavens, the Earth, and the Underworld. Their priests conduct ceremonies to keep the demons and bad gods in the Underworld.

I also learned they are hopeful the new era will bring higher consciousness, greater peace, and enhanced understanding among people. Sounds like ideals we should all strive to achieve.

Climbing Coba at Dawn

Climbing Coba at Dawn

I’d like to use this date to reflect on what I learned from the Maya and to think of this as a personal day of new beginnings. A time when I can reset my clock and perceptions.

Personally I’d like to become less judgmental and more loving. I’d like to let go of the past and move forward. I started working on this after my divorce, more specifically when I moved to St. Augustine a year ago. I believe I have made some progress but now, with another move (fortunately just upstairs in the same complex), I can symbolically start again. Perhaps if I combine both this day of new Maya calendar and upcoming New Year’s Day with specific goals, I can double my results. Let’s see where I go  in 2013.

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