Posts Tagged ‘Mexico’

So lets start off with probably the most important fact when discussing the Mayan Calendar;

The Maya don’t, and never did say with complete certainty that the world will defiently end on December 21, 2012.

The way people and the media go on about the Maya is hugely disrespectful to one of the most beautifully creative, insightful, and mysterious civilisations that has ever been around. Unfortunatley the Mayan’s ancient culture seems to be another causalty in the present world where people just spew out any sort of information they heard from some other person that heard it from a disaster movie or some other completely baseless source.

North Acropolis, Tikal, Guatemala

The root of this misunderstanding seems to be in the misinterpretation of the word ‘apocalypse’. The word, instead of meaning ‘end of the world’, actually means ‘revelation’ or ‘awakening’. In the Book of Revelations the Apocalypse of John doesn’t mean the end of the world for John, but refers to the ‘revelation’ of Jesus Christ as Messiah.

The connections between different religions and cultures all over the world through this use of the word apocalypse and its different variations (apoch, epoch, aeon, age, etc) is a striking one which does not seem to be given the attention it deserves. One example of this is the correlation between the Christian belief of Jesus being born at the moment the sun entered the Age of Pisces on the spring equinox and the Mayan Calendar’s astrological calculations which perdict defining moments in their history.

This relationship between astrology and religion, or to be more percise, the basing of religion on astrology is common throughout history with virtually every religion or cult basing its significant moments on significant moments on the Zodiac (The Sun god Ra in Egypt, Newgrange, the Magi of Persia (who were the three wise men by the way!), and almost every world religion today; Christianity, Islam, Judaism, etc). These last few lines would perhaps agitate some readers, angered by my apparently proposperous assusations about world religions which millions of people believe in and have believed in for thousands of years. And if you are one such reader, then perhaps you might know now how the Maya feel. For more information on this – 

So what do the Mayans actually believe will happen in 2012? Well since there is at least 7 million of them still alive today some have different opinions to others.

“Depending on who you talk to, one can find evidence that some living Maya endorse the 2012 date as being of critical importance, while some may not be aware of it, or do not necessarily agree with its projected significance. Some think it is a matter for the shamans and priests, and do not relate to the western apocalyptic themes we’ve married the 2012 date to.”

One significant member of the Maya believes the following;

“[Grandfather Don Alejandro] stated that amongst the Maya of today, they can’t collectively say for sure when the cycle is ending because almost all of their calendars and books (and countless sacred artifacts) were brutally destroyed in 1562 by the Roman Catholic Bishop De Landa.”

The Maya Carlos Barrios notes;

“For the Maya, the famous date of December 21, 2012 marks the begining of the fifth cycle of 5,200 years called Job Ajaw, of the Fifth Sun. This potentially apocalyptic date is the beginning of a change in consciousness, a time when a new socioeconomic order will arise in harmony with Mother Earth.”

For almost any information you want on the Mayan Calendar and the beliefs and misconceptions about 2012 you should visit this site; It goes into more detail than I did about the astrology which is the probably the most important part about the whole topic if you want to really understand the reason for the perdicted date of 2012.


For some reason, the Western media only seems to cover certain stories. We tend to see images stranded tourists in airports after the Icelandic volcano, and plenty of celebrities lending a hand in Haiti, so we assume that these are the top stories in the world at that moment in time. With all of these cameras pointed in the same direction, it’s easy to forget about the other ongoing situations all around the world that seem to go unnoticed by the majority of media outlets. Here’s a few examples of the unreported conflicts that are ongoing in today’s world…

DR Congo

Mining in Kailo by Julien Harneis.

Above: A mine in the Maniema region of the DRC. Wars over the control of these mines have been the source of countless civilian deaths in recent years.

The demand for metals such as zinc and copper, used for the production of software and mobile phones has driven this conflict out of control. Global Witness, who investigate the links between conflict and natural resources, have reported on how militia groups in the East African country control much of the trade in minerals in the area. Tungsten, tantalum, gold and tin are all sought after, and warring factions have caused massive upheaval in the country because of this.

Disease and famine have been another huge cause of hardship, and it has been estimated in the most recent figures (2009) that an average of 45,000 people die every month in DR Congo. These figures came from a New York Times article by Nicholas D Kristof, which was alarmingly entitled “Orphaned, Raped and Ignored”. This is very much the case at the moment, since nobody seems to be covering the bloodiest conflict since the Vietnam War, one which has claimed the lives of over 4 million people and displaced many more.

Falun Gong

The Chinese government wants to do away with this “dangerous cult”.

The group has been outlawed and persecuted in the secular Chinese state for years now. They are quite an innocuous group, who teach the virtues of meditation, morality, and personal development. The Chinese government officially outlawed the group on July 20, 1999. They claimed the organisation had been “engaged in illegal activities, advocating superstition and spreading fallacies, hoodwinking people, inciting and creating disturbances, and jeopardizing social stability.” The movement draws influence from Buddhist, Taoist, and Qigong teachings, as well as modern science, and the meditation aspect is comparable to yoga. It has always taught the importance of peace and compassion, and yet they have been vilified by their own government.

Frequent reports of torture and imprisonment of members have been (quite typically) covered up by Chinese authorities. It is yet another indictment on the way the country is run, and China will have to make major changes to their free speech and human rights policies if it ever wants to be seen as the modern, dynamic nation it always claims to be.


ezln_subcomandante_marcos.jpg picture by whitepony05

Above: Subcomandante Marcos, EZLN leader

Since New Year’s Day of 1994, the people in the Chiapas region of Southern Mexico have been waging war on the federal government, claiming that they are so out of touch with the needs of their own people that they have become an illegitimate authority. The leaders of this revolution are the EZLN, or “Zapatistas”, led by the charismatic, pipe-smoking Subcomandante Marcos.

The conflict began in 1994 when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) came into effect, giving multi-national companies from America the right to fell trees and extract natural resources from Mexico for a low price. Southern Mexico is mostly jungle, but since 1994, deforestation has become a huge problem, especially for the native Zapatistas, who are constantly on the move in a bid to keep out of reach of Mexican officials.

Although they are an armed group, the EZLN have not used their weapons since January 12th, 1994. Instead, they rely on the internet and other media to get their message across to the outside world in the hope of instigating some kind of change. Marcos himself said of their non-violent approach “We didn’t go to war to kill or be killed. We went to war in order to be heard.

Clearly, despite the backing of plenty of NGO’s and politically-charged bands such as Rage Against the Machine, their message has yet to bring about much change. They remain the ultimate victims of capitalism, having seen their homes quite literally cut down in front of them.