According to the Mayan calendar, winter solstice 2012 is the end of our current World Cycle.  As with all cycles there is an evolutionary intention that guides the process to its destination.  We have been told that we are on the verge of a major shift into a new World Consciousness that has been prophesied as a coming Golden Age.  But before we can get there we must first come to terms with the circumstances of our present reality.

The Sacred Calendar is telling us that we are coming to the end of a period of time referred to as the 5th Sun.  The calendar speaks of the completion of five periods - five Suns - each of which consists of 5,125 years.  In total, all five Suns add up to a period of 25,625 years.  This is referred to as a World Cycle.  It is believed that this is the span of time that it takes our solar system to orbit around the star Alcyone, located in the Pleiades star system.  This present World cycle is said to be the last of 4 World Cycles, which date back over 102,000 years.  Throughout this time period Native American oral traditions speak of our presence upon this earth.  They also speak of ancient civilizations that are today known in myth as Atlantis and Lemuria, and of four World Cataclysms that eventually left these two ancient continents at the bottom of the ocean.  The Old Testament of the Bible, speaks of the Great Flood, “the Deluge”, as the last great world upheaval.  And, despite the devastation, humans did survive the ordeal.  Throughout the world, legends and myths speak of those times of upheaval and, also, of the help that the righteous people received by the Ancient Ones who come from the heavens and who were thought of as gods.  It is said that we have a choice as to what the future brings.  Prophecy is given to warn us of what can happen if we fail to live in harmony with the universal laws of creation.  Throughout history, sacred teachers have walked amongst humanity, and have taught eternal truths that have at times become lost to the people.  For the Toltecs, Lord Quetzalcoatl (known to the Mayans as Kukulkan) brought the sacred calendar and taught cosmic wisdom which flourished in the land of the Meso-American people.  It is said that this wisdom came from the Pleiades and was also strongly connected to the influence of the planet Venus, which was a symbol for Quetzalcoatl.

In understanding the sacred calendar referred to as the “Tzolk’in” by the Mayans and the “Tonalpouhalli” by the Toltecs, an interesting feature is its length of 260 days, and the use of 20 day signs with a 13 day week.  Each sign in sequence is given a number, and when the number reaches 13, the next sign would be numbered 1, and the sequence would continue on so forth until every number and sign combination was complete.  So, 20 x 13 = 260 days.  When the sacred calendar was used along with our year cycle of 365 days, each would repeat their cycles until they were brought back to the same starting point.  This took 52 years to complete. The 52 year period is referred to as a “Round” and was a cycle of major importance.  At the end of a Round all of the fires throughout a kingdom were extinguished.  At midnight a new central fire was kindled with ceremonial intent, from which all other fires were re-ignited.  On a greater level, we see the same process unfolding with the ending of the 5th Sun as we approach the year 2012. 

An interesting and significant prophecy was given by an incarnation of Quetzalcoatl in 999 A.D.  His prophecy of 13 Heavens of decreasing choice and 9 Hells of increasing doom had far reaching consequences.  Each Heaven and each Hell represented a 52 year Round.  The prophecy was given because Quetzalcoatl, as the priest–king of the sacred city of Tula, was overthrown by the dark lord Tezcatlipoca and his followers.  The city was destroyed and the Toltec nation was devastated as a period of civil war followed and through that time Tezcatlipoca’s influence came to supplant Quetzalcoatl’s.  Later, when the Aztecs came to power in their magnificent capital city of Tenochtitlan, under the influence of the false teachings of Tezcatlipoca, human sacrifice was used as a way to make offerings of human hearts to the Sun god Tonatiuh.  This was done as a way to consolidate power and to insure that the world would not come to an end when a 52 year Round was complete.  But at the end of the 13th Heaven in 1519 A.D., Cortez and the Spanish arrived, bringing the prophesized downfall of the Aztecs and the beginning of the 9 Hells for the Native American world.  The 9th Hell ended on August 16, 1987.  This date was internationally celebrated as the day of the Harmonic Convergence, indicating a time of spiritual and cultural renaissance for indigenous people, as well as a time of “quickening” of spiritual wisdom for the world.

The time cycle of 13 Heavens + 9 Hells = 22 Rounds of 52 years each, or 1,144 years.  This measurement is also referred to as a ‘World Cycle’, but should not be confused with the greater “World Cycle” of 25,625 years.  This lesser cycle which ended in 1987 was also referred to as the “5th World” or “5th Sun” – but should, again, not be confused with the ending of the greater “5th Sun” that will take place on December 21, 2012.   This former, lesser “5th Sun” began with the 1st Heaven in 843 A.D.  At the beginning of the 3rd Heaven, in 947 A.D., came the virgin birth of Ce Acatl Topiltzin who was an incarnation of Quetzalcoatl, the Toltec Christ.  His reign as priest-king began in his 31st year and his symbolic fall at the sorcery of Tezcatlipoca represented the archetypal struggle between the forces of Light versus those of the Dark.  His death and subsequent resurrection came at the end of the 52 year cycle in 999 A.D.  In order to redeem himself as the Lord of Light, Quetzalcoatl fulfilled his destiny by giving himself as an offering to the sacrificial fire.  It is said that his heart rose up into the sky and shined forth as Venus.  His spirit then journeyed into the underworld realm of Death for 4 days where he retrieved the bones of the ancestors.   Later he returned as an awakened God and in sharing his final teachings with his followers, he gave his prophecy.  On August 31, 1987 we entered into the 6th Sun or what is referred to as the “Sun of Flowers”.   Native American culture and spiritual wisdom has now awakened and is beginning to flower.  Around the world this quickening brings hope for a greater future, but at the same time the shadow of duality has also become prominent.  The quickening and intensification of the times in which we now live leads us into the shift of the Greater World cycle in the year 2012..

The winter solstice of December 21, 2012 is soon to be upon us.  What makes this date so significant is that our Sun is coming into alignment with the plane of our Galaxy.  This brings us into direct relationship with the Galactic Center which is known by the Toltecs as “Ometeotl”, and by the Mayans as “Hunab Ku”.  The Mayan name is translated as ‘the One who gives measure and motion to all things’.  The power of the black hole that occupies this space, and whose gravitation pull holds all the stars of our galaxy in orbit around it, will be influencing our solar system in ways that are not understood at this time.  But it seems that it will have a profound effect upon life as we know it.  Like a cosmic gong sounding forth, it will be resonating with the Intent of our Creator.  This will be occurring as our sun comes into the peak of its sun spot cycle.  The sun’s volatile activity will be a significant happening of itself as the sun has become much more active than normally expected.  The energy that erupts from its surface out into space if directed towards the earth can have a very disruptive influence on the biosphere.

From an astrological point of view, when planets cross our earth’s plane of orbital motion, referred to as the ecliptic, the usual result is some sort of energetic shift that triggers events into manifestation.  This is also the case with our equatorial plane.  An example of this is when the sun’s apparent motion crosses over our earth’s equator at the time of the equinoxes and brings a shift in our seasons.  This shift becomes apparent as changes in the weather patterns correspond in nature with the new growth of Spring-time, or as the beginning of the death process in the Fall.   With the potential energetic jolt that our sun and earth may undergo as we come into alignment with the Galactic plane, there is a possibility of a shift in our magnetic poles, and in the extreme case a physical pole shift.  There have already been radical fluctuations in the magnetic poles in the past few years.  How a greater shift in the magnetic field will affect the mass consciousness will be of great interest.  Indigenous Elders and spiritual leaders around the world are therefore very active doing ceremony and vibrating healing intent at key power times and places to help balance and stabilize the Earth Mothers energy body.  Through an awakening of the collective consciousness of humankind there is a possibility that we can begin to energetically shift our world drama to allow for a gentler transition into the new time that is coming.  Many people have awakened or are beginning to awaken to the calling of their souls.  It may only require a small percentage of the whole to initiate the consciousness shift that this time calls for.

Towards the center of our galaxy interstellar gases form a dark rift that looks like a pathway, or what researchers believe the Mayans referred to as “Xibalba”, the Black Road which leads to the Underworld.  The winter solstice sun of 2012 will appear to enter this dark rift and symbolically our Sun god makes a journey into the Underworld.  This Underworld is the realm of Death, and it is occupied by its rulers and their cohorts.   It’s described as a frightening place where souls suffered and had to confront challenges in order to redeem themselves.  What our sun aligning to the black rift symbolizes is a good question.  This brings to my mind, the Judgment Card of the Tarot - where the spirits of the Dead, and one’s karmic memories come into view.  If you had bad karma then you would be tormented by the memory of your deeds and bad spirits would plague you.  On the other hand, if your karma was good, it would be like Halloween, you would receive your well deserved treats, but you still had to be careful not to be tricked by false spirits.  As Jesus said, ‘You have to be innocent like children in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven’.  And so it has been said by Indigenous Elders about this coming time that all will be revealed and we will remember who we are.  In remembering who we are, we will step into the next phase of history, which will eventually lead into a new Golden Age, or a time of “Heaven on Earth”.

The mention of Xibalba or the underworld road also brings to my mind as a western astrologer, the position of the planet Pluto.  Pluto is in Greek myth the god who is the ruler of the underworld.  Pluto is now in alignment with the galactic center at 27 degrees of Sagittarius. The cycle of Pluto is approximately 250 years, so that’s how long it has been since the last time that Pluto aligned with the Galactic Center. That time period saw the transformation and gestation that gave birth to the United States of America.  The year 2007 will also be strongly influenced by this position of Pluto, which speaks to me of a time for the collective consciousness to experience a shamanic rite of passage.   It is time for us to soul search and reach deep into our hearts that we might find the true meaning of life.  And, in so doing, this rite of passage can take us past the place of fear and confusion into one of spiritual rebirth.  This rebirth is a shift of focus from an ego-centered everyday reality point of view into one that is coming more from our soul understanding and one that’s leads us to live in greater harmony with the Earth Mother and all who dwell on her.  Because Pluto’s influence is coming from the depths of the collective unconscious, many people may not know how to connect consciously with this energy and therefore the external drama is the catalyst.  But as we internalize Pluto’s message we come into greater understanding of what is required of us as spiritual warriors on a shamanic path.

Astrologically, Pluto represents intense transformative energies that can ruthlessly push one through painful and cathartic experiences that hopefully will lead one to a new sense of self.  Pluto is a symbol for power, and in Sagittarius, the sign of the Archer who shoots his arrows towards his ideals in his quest for the Truth, shows the emergence of hidden wisdom and the transformation of religion and philosophy.  The shadow of this energy is seen in the example of the suicide bomber who in the name of his religion uses death and destruction as a means to bring about the objectives of his religious dogma.  The shadow is also seen in the corruption of priests who have used their positions of power to sexually abuse the children.  By the power of Pluto’s influence in Sagitarius all of this is being brought up to the light of day so that the truth will be known.  The shadow side of Pluto can also push one into a “dark night of the soul” where one feels as though all that they try to hold onto is lost.  So it can bring up irrational fears, hidden agendas and struggles for power and control, as the evolutionary intent is for the transformation of the limitations that define our philosophies and belief systems as indicated by the sign Sagittarius.

Since Pluto is a symbol for death, we must come to understand the mystery that is both life and death.  Many people have died and have come back to life and have shared their experience of being on the other side.  The majority of these people speak of a journey through the light into a heaven realm where they meet their deceased relatives and loved ones.  In this place of beauty and compassion everybody communicates telepathically.  Before they return back to this life, these people get to experience a life review so that they might fully understand the true meaning of their life lessons.  They are then sent back in order to fulfill the lessons of this present life and awaken to their soul purpose.  Some people are angry that they have to return back to their painful earth life, but most are very happy that they have been given another chance to get it right, and they rejoice in the knowledge that they will return to heaven upon their death. 

Of course, some people who have had near death experiences get sidetracked and find themselves in the astral realms feeling very vulnerable or intimidated by shadow spirits.  This is when a person would do well to find strength in their spiritual faith to an all loving Creator God or to one of the Father / Mother God’s many representatives.  Unfortunately, throughout history our religious institutions have quite often cast dark shadows and distorted the truth, and therefore many have turned away from them for this reason.  So today we see a renaissance of shamanic wisdom and spiritual perspectives that allow one to experience Truth directly.  Even in Buddhism, which can give the mistaken impression to some of its followers that there is no God, the followers cultivate a relationship with the Deity of Compassion and seek to align themselves with the primordial wisdom nature.  They turn to the Buddhas of their traditions in order enter the heaven realms at death.  The same eternal truths are at the root of all true religions.

I speak of death because now more than ever we live in a time of uncertainty, as well as great possibility.  Extremes in the weather, potential earthquake and volcanic activity, the melting of our polar ice caps, and the subsequent rising of the ocean tides present us a rather challenging global picture.  These are things that have all been prophesied by spiritual elders of many diverse traditions.  The main message we have been given is for us to strengthen our spiritual paths and to allow the power of love to bring healing into our hearts and souls so that we might live in harmony in this world.  Love is the key that allows us to bring forth Heaven on earth.  

By 2008 Pluto will have arrived at the winter solstice point at the first degrees of the sign of Capricorn.  This is very significant as the solstice is one of the four main power points in the year cycle.  If we were to look at this using the zodiac as a Medicine Wheel, which it is, Capricorn, or the winter solstice point, would correspond to the direction of North.  North is the power of spiritual purification and renewal.  It is also the place of the spiritual elder who takes responsibility to guide his people on a path of wisdom and reconstruction.  So the call to reconnect with the purity and integrity of our true selves will be very important.  Transformation will be in the realms of social power linked to governments and financial institutions. The shadow of this will lead to power plays and manipulations by certain people in authority in world governments as well as those who control the financial and economic structures of our global reality.  This would be a time when there would be strong motivations pushing toward a New World Order where the welfare of the rich and powerful is placed before the good of the all. 

Because of the purifying nature of the North and Pluto’s transformative power, we could see some major upheavals in the world power structure and a potential fall of governments and economic institutions.  This may be triggered by mistakes in foreign policy related to the nuclear power threats of Iran and North Korea, issues related to the Israeli conflict, and other surreptitious threats of rogue interests and terrorist groups. So it certainly is important at this time to pray for a peaceful resolution and that the leaders of the world make the right decisions.  And for the individual, it is not so much about the position of power or status one holds in the social arena, but the integrity with which we express our influence.

Saturn is the planet that rules Capricorn.  In 2001 Saturn’s zodiacal position brought it into opposition to Pluto.  This opposition would be symbolic of the push – pull that comes with the influence of the full moon, but on a greater scale.  This opposition brought to a head a great power struggle as triggered by the bombing of the World Trade Center.  This power struggle is taking place on many levels.  We see it as a clash of cultures, of religious and political ideologies, as well as issues expressed by conspiracy theorist.   So, back in 2001, we got a taste of the theme for the abuse of power combining both religion (Sagitarius) and government (Saturn ruling Capricorn) that took center stage as the attack of the world trade center and the ideological struggle that has manifested as war and philosophical and political antagonism.  The shadow of this influence will again be knocking on our doors as Pluto enters the sign Capricorn, if we fail to make the right choices.  Pluto moving into alignment with the winter solstice and the Capricorn archetype will bring forth transformation and upheaval regarding the right and wrong use of power and authority by those who control or seek to control global and national realities.  The election for our new president in 2008 will be a part of this drama that will be erupting like a volcano into our reality.  Revelations regarding governmental abuses and corruption brought about by corporate interests in the oil industry, as well as the pharmaceutical lobbies, etc. etc. will come into the light.

We are on the threshold of the Age of Aquarius which is an Age of Enlightenment.  But before we get there we have to come to terms with the old Piscean Age drama.  The planet Uranus rules Aquarius and is now transiting through the sign Pisces.  Uranus’ influence is one of change and liberation.  It can bring forth new technologies and scientific breakthroughs.  Its influence is one that leads inspired people into flashes of enlightenment.  And it brings people together in group consciousness who share a common vision to make life better for all.  Sometimes, though, it can bring forth much upheaval and chaos in order to break out of the old and bring in the new.  Uranus is a revolutionary influence whose shadow side can cause people to violently rebel against unfair limitations that inhibit their reality.  Uranus will be leaving Pisces and temporarily entering Aries in May of 2010.  Later it retrogrades back into Pisces until finally leaving and moving forward in Aries by March and December of 2011 where it will remain until 2018.  Aries is the sign that represents new beginnings and the pioneering spirit.  On the Medicine Wheel it is in the place of the East, which corresponds to the time of sunrise and springtime.  Its power is that of rebirth and its keyword is illumination.  It promises the potential for new beginnings and a quickening of our world consciousness and is therefore in good timing with our 2012 date.

Pisces is the Astrological Age which is coming to an end.  This is based on the positions of the star constellations and not on the seasonal signs of our tropical zodiac. If we look at the great cycle of 25,625 years that the Mayans call the greater World Cycle and divide it into 12 for the signs of the zodiac, we would come up with an approximate age of 2,135 years.  Of course, there would be a transition phase between Ages just as the light dawns in the eastern sky for awhile before the sun rises.  Some astrologers claim that the first star of Aquarius is rising at the spring equinox in 2050 A.D.  So we are in this time of transition between Astrological World Ages, which adds to the intensity and drama of this 2012 date and the alignment with the plane of the Galaxy which the sacred calendar has pointed to for so long.  This now leads many people into wild speculation as to what this time may bring.   And just like the millennium fever and the fears that came up regarding the end of the world in the year 2000, many people were then prematurely crying wolf.  But that was a wake up call and its important that we don’t fall back asleep or go into denial of the changes that are manifesting around the world with global extremes in weather, etc. or with the world political drama that is pointing toward the Middle East in a way that fundamentalist Christians and Muslims have anticipated could result in the war of Armageddon.   Hopefully, the majority of people won’t go into denial and find themselves spiritually unprepared for the intensity of the coming times.  This is a time of awakening our connection with heaven, and a time of remembering what we are here for.

The planet Neptune rules Pisces and at this time is traveling in the sign of Aquarius.  Uranus and Neptune are in each others’ signs.  This is what astrologers refer to as ‘mutual reception’ and brings these two planetary influences into a symbiotic relationship and a blending of energies.   Neptune is the mythological god of the oceans.   In the ocean we see the great water as forming a unified whole.  All the waves emerge and return back to the oneness of the ocean.  In the same way, we, as individuals, although feeling separate from each other and from our physical reality, are also part of this unified whole, which is our global consciousness and our oneness in spirit.  Our religious pursuits and spiritual idealism seek entrance into this realm of oneness consciousness.  This is something mystics, saints and shamans have touched upon and connect with, and so remind us of our greater possibilities.  But the social conditioning and limits that define our egocentric understanding of the bigger picture, as represented by the planet Saturn, can keep us separated from this truth while in this physical world of duality.  Saturn is the lord of Karma, his influence is one that makes us define ourselves for better or for worse so that we might learn the karmic lessons that our journey on this earth plane holds for us.

Neptune, like everything else in duality, also has a shadow side.  When one ventures out too far from shore on a boat that’s not equipped to handle the open sea, one can get lost and lose sight of the landmarks by which one is customarily guided.  This is why, since ancient times, sages and sailors have learned to read the stars and motions of the sun, moon and planets.  This is also true of the Mayan Indians whose calendar now points to a potentially world changing time.   There are many things that can cause people to get lost in the illusions and glamour of mundane life.  This is also true of religious fervor or fantasy whether or not it is of a traditional or New Age perspective. 

Pisces is the sign that leads us on a path of selflessness and compassion.  It manifests its influence as the need to sacrifice our selves to a greater truth.  And so in the Age of Pisces we see the Master Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross, as well as the Toltec Lord Quetzalcoatl who also sacrificed his life in order to demonstrate spiritual immortality and fulfill the evolutionary intent of Pisces.   The Mayans, Toltecs, Aztecs and other indigenous peoples, embraced the practice of self-sacrifice with flesh and blood offerings.  Life and death were equal players on the journey through consciousness.  Sacrificing of the lesser to attain the greater was then and is continuing now to be a powerful motivation of these times.  Although the shadow of this, which is sacrificing others against their will, and the abuse of power which comes with it, led to the overthrow and downfall of the great and powerful Aztec nation and subsequently to all the indigenous people.  On the other hand, the shadow side is also expressed through those who sacrifice themselves to false ideals or lose their way in the intoxications of the illusions of our world.

Today we see the suicide bombers who sacrifice their lives in the name of Allah with the hope of going to an idealistic heaven.  Or our young soldiers who are fighting in Iraq and sacrificing their lives for an ideal of democracy.  The soldiers of each side fight willingly, but what of the many people who are victims of the slaughter, people who only wish to live in peace?  And so we see the same old karma repeating itself again and again, sacrificing people against their will.  It is interesting to see that Neptune will be traveling into Pisces for a short while in 2011 before retrograding back into Aquarius.  It will finally move into Pisces by February 2012 and remain there until the year 2025.  Pisces’ symbol is the two fishes tethered together, one fish is swimming into the illusions of life while the other is swimming upstream back to the pure source.  It is this choice that we must all make.  And this choice that the collective of humanity must make will determine what lies ahead for us in this life or the next.

And so we yearn to move out of this old World Age and into a new world, the promised Golden Age.  But like the alcoholic who is having a party and enjoying the temporary high, we awake to the hangover of our present world situation.  We realize that we are self-destructing and we need to make a change because we are about to hit rock bottom.  So the first thing we have to do is admit that we have a problem and like those who have walked the 12 step program, we must surrender to the Higher Power and ask for the help we need to get it right.  Then we have to live one day at a time doing the best we can, and surrender the results to the Great Spirit.  We can’t expect to change others, we can only change ourselves, and pray for the awakening of all peoples and the liberation of all sentient beings from suffering and ignorance.  It is also important that our communities come together to develop solutions to problems that certain leaders fail to acknowledge or just give lip service to.  This is a time for working for that which you love and not fighting against what you hate.  Giving power to the Positive and allowing for clarity and faith to guide your actions is a first step each of us must take.

We face a challenging time, and yet the light is dawning.  The Great Awakening is coming upon us.  Now whether it comes to us gradually through a time of social adjustment with the changes that are and will be taking place on our planet, or if it comes with a big bang and things shift quickly, remains to be seen.  So in the meantime, do the best you can with your life, share love and forgiveness, and ask for guidance from the Higher Power that guides your destiny.  And remember, if you get fearful and stressed out, this life we live here in the third dimension is only our school ground.  It is a temporary reality that gives us a chance to complete our soul lessons, so no quitting or bailing out.  We all must die at some time.  Whether or not we know our time of death does not really matter.  Eventually heaven awaits us either in the higher dimensions or on this earth.  Like the soldier who is willing to sacrifice his life for a higher purpose, we all must become spiritual warriors and walk a path of love and courage.  So, be centered in your true self so that you can follow the guidance that your soul whispers in your ear.  We will all awake one day as if from a dream, and will remember who we truly are and everybody will put away things of illusion and we will all get on to creating our joy in a world of love and peace.  So, in the meantime, take care of what needs doing, and if you feel you need to make changes in your outer reality, know that the inner changes you make will ultimately guide you to who and where you are supposed to be.  This is an exciting and magical time in which we live, so as I, jokingly, like to say: “Trust in Allah… but remember to tie up your camel!”

  2012 Signs of the times
Is it the end or a new beginning?