Excerpts from Jim Conrad's
Naturalist Newsletter

from the April 10, 2011 Newsletter issued from Hacienda Chichen Resort beside Chichén Itzá Ruins, central Yucatán, MÉXICO
DECEMBER 21, 2012

Some say that the end-date of the current 5,125-year- long cycle of the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar, or Mayan Calendar, occurs next year on December 21st, and that that will coincide with the end of the world. Astronomical alignments have been evoked to support the theory, envisioning catastrophic earthquakes, collisions with black holes, and more. Bring in the Seven Signs of the Apocalypse and Nostradamus's predictions, and you get "unabashed doomsday hype and the worst kind of inane sensationalism," as one critic framed it.

Other than a daily visit to the BBC International News Page on the Internet, I've missed out on the "2012 Phenomenon," as Wikipedia calls it -- their fine page on it at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_phenomenon.

Still, I was curious what real Maya think about the matter, so I asked my Maya shaman friend José. He says that, yes, it's the end of a Long Count, but that only means that it's the beginning of another. I asked José if people should be doing anything in preparation for the event, and without skipping a beat he told me this:

"In preparation for the new beginning, we need to be cleansing and purifying our bodies and spirits."

He was thinking about ceremonies needing to be conducted, about fasts and sweatbaths to be undertaken, and about people getting their minds and spirits in order for the big change.

I don't buy any of this "2012 Phenomenon" hype.

However, I do agree totally with José's notion that at this time in the evolution of humanity it's the exact right moment for each of us to undergo physical and spiritual cleansings and purifications. That's because most of us pollute and abuse our bodies, and so much of what we've become as human beings falls far below our potentials. And December 21st, 2012 is as good a target date as any for our having exorcized our demons and deficiencies, and to start over with renewed energy and vision.

Many paths can help us cleanse and purify ourselves. One randomly encountered but well thought-out path available on the Internet is suggested by Abraham Maslow's ideas on "self-actualization," outlined here.  

For my part, I'm renewing my efforts to understand and to harmonize my life with the teachings of the Six Miracles of Nature, as described at http://www.backyardnature.net/j/6/.

And on December 21st, 2012, I suspect I'll celebrate some kind of renewal and rebirth with anyone who wants to celebrate with me.