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Written in 30-12-2011 by | No Comments

***update – Call of the Hummingbird is now available for live streaming on Gaiam TV…check it out!

Call of the Hummingbird will soon be available for live streaming on Gaiam TV! Check back for a link.

Download Now Available for $2.00

Written in 21-2-2010 by | No Comments

***update – we are no longer offering downloads as Call of the Hummingbird can now be streamed off of Gaiam TV! check it out!

You can now download The Call of the Hummingbird for only $2.00, and watch it today!

Or if you prefer a hard copy you can order the DVD for $5.99

***update – we are no longer offering downloads on film baby as the film will be available on Gaiam TV very soon.

The Call of the Hummingbird Trailer

Evolver Spores: 2012 or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dimensional Shift

Written in 8-11-2009 by | One Comment

from Daniel Pinchbecks blog

Where will you be when the 5,125 year Long Count Calendar of the Classical Maya ends on December, 21, 2012? Will you be hiding in an underground cave from global cataclysm and magnetic polar reversal? Will you be entering a multidimensional realm of hyperspace triggered by mass activation of the pineal gland? Will you be picking up the pieces of a ruined world or dancing the night away at the party at the end of time?

Considering that nobody knows what’s going to happen in 2012, the end of the Mayan Calendar functions as a tremendously intriguing meme upon which we can project our hopes and fears, dreams and desires. Hollywood has now offered up a massive collective shadow projection in the form of a $250 million disaster epic that takes the aesthetics of annihilation to a new pitch of perfection. Paradoxically, this doom-riddled blockbuster could create a great opening to offer an alternative vision of what 2012 could be for our planet. Potentially, 2012 could represent the coming-to-consciousness of the human species, in which we take responsibility for our role as agents of conscious evolution.

A rising grassroots movement now realizes we can no longer expect governments, corporations, or any outside authority to create the beautiful world we long to live in. We have to do it ourselves. This growing network of Evolvers, Burners, Bioneers, Transition Towners, and others are developing new cooperative networks that can help heal our planet while providing sustainable solutions to the disastrously unsustainable economic and political systems that disempower people, keeping them asleep.

For this month’s Spore, cities across the world will host conversations on 2012 and the evolution of consciousness, including “counter-screenings” to Sony Pictures’ “2012” world-catastrophe film. Spores may preview Mangusta Productions upcoming feature-length documentary “2012: Time for Change,” directed by Joao Amorim and starring “2012” author Daniel Pinchbeck, along with a section of Disinfo’s DVD “2012: Science our Superstition,” produced by Gary Baddeley. Also, bestselling author John Major Jenkins will give a short video presentation for those participating in the Spores. Afterward, we will discuss indigenous prophecies and global transformation, and how to prepare ourselves and our communities for rapid changes to come.

Check the list below to find a Spore in your area. Make sure to email the regional host (via their group page) if you’d like to help spread “the evolution” by getting involved in the planning of the event. If there is not yet an Evolver Spore in your community, email jonathan((at))evolver((dot))net to start your own.


Evolver Vancouver


Evolver The Hague

Evolver Stockholm


Cape Town


Evolver Athens

Evolver Atlanta

Evolver Baltimore (Nov. 4)

Evolver Boulder

Evolver Boston

Evolver Chicago (Nov. 17)

Evolver Detroit

Evolver Inland Empire

Evolver Long Beach

Evolver Los Angeles

Evolver Naples, FL

Evolver Nashville

Evolver New Orleans

Evolver New York City (Nov. 12)

Evolver Orange County

Evolver Philadelphia

Evolver Phoenix

Evolver Portland, OR

Evolver Princeton

Evolver Richmond

Evolver Sacramento

Evolver Salt Lake City

Evolver San Francisco

Evovler Seattle

About the Films:

2012: Time for Change” is a feature-length documentary, directed by Joao Amorim of Curious Pictures and featuring Daniel Pinchbeck, the bestselling author of “2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl” (Penguin, 2006). In the style of “An Inconvenient Truth”, “What the Bleep Do We Know”, and “Waking Life”, the film explores ideas about what the immediate future may hold, symbolized by the myths and prophecies of the Mayan culture of Mexico. Interviews with design scientists, anthropologists, physicists such as Dean Radin, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Nassim Haramein John Todd and Paul Stamets and celebrities such as Sting, Ellen Page and Gilberto Gil. “2012” combines film and animation in an innovative way, taking us on a journey through our own evolution.

2012: Science or Superstition”: Countless books and websites, magazine articles and newspaper headlines debate 2012’s meaning, with enthusiasts in two camps: those forecasting apocalypse–the end of time–and those who see a coming renewal, a rebirth of consciousness. How much of what we’re hearing is science and how much is superstition? In this film the leading researchers, writers and scientists in the field tell us exactly what this date means to them, why it’s important, and what we should expect. Featured in the film are Graham Hancock, John Major Jenkins, Daniel Pinchbeck, Alberto Villoldo, Anthony Aveni, Robert Bauval, Jim Marrs, Walter Cruttenden, Lawrence E. Joseph, Alonso Mendez, Douglas Rushkoff, John Anthony West and Benito Vegas Duran.

Call of the Hummingbird Trailer

Written in 8-11-2009 by | No Comments

Will the World End in 2012? Thousands Worldwide Prepare for the Apocalypse, Expected in 2012

Written in 7-7-2008 by | No Comments

July 3, 2008

Two years ago, Patrick Geryl, then 51, quit his job as a laboratory worker for a French oil company. He’d saved up just enough money to last him until December 2012. After that, he thought, he wouldn’t need it anyway.

Instead, Geryl, a soft-spoken man who had studied chemistry in his younger years, started preparing for the apocalypse. He founded a “survival group” for likeminded men and women, aimed at living through the catastrophe he knew was coming.

He started gathering materials necessary to survive — water purifiers, wheelbarrows (with spare tires), dust masks and vegetable seeds. His list of survival goods runs 11 pages long.

“You have to understand, there will be nothing, nothing left,” Geryl told ABC News from his home in Antwerp, Belgium. “We will have to start an entire civilization from scratch.”

That’s because Geryl believes the world as we know it will end in 2012. He points to the ancient Mayan cyclical calendars, the longest of which last renewed itself approximately 5,125 years ago and is set to end again, supposedly with catastrophic consequences, in 2012. He speaks of the ancient Egyptians, who, he claims, saw 2012 as a year of great change too. And he points to science: NASA predicts a sharp increase in the number of sunspots and sun flares for 2012, he said, sure to cause electrical failures and satellite disruptions.

All this adds up, Geryl said, to unprecedented catastrophe. First, a polar reversal will cause the north to become the south and the sun to rise in the west. Shattering earthquakes, massive tidal waves and simultaneous volcanic eruptions will follow. Nuclear reactors will melt, buildings will crumble, and a cloud of volcanic dust will block out the sun for 40 years. Only the prepared will survive, Geryl said, and not even all of them.

These may sound like the ravings of a madman, or perhaps the head of a small apocalyptic sect. But Geryl is not the only one who believes in the apocalypse. Thousands of people worldwide seem to be preparing, in one way or another, for the end of days in 2012. Survival groups exist in Europe, Canada and the United States. A simple Google search for “2012” and “the end of the world” brings up nearly 300,000 hits. And the video-sharing Web site YouTube hosts more than 65,000 clips informing and warning viewers about their fate in 2012.

“It’s bigger than Y2K,” said Mark van Stone, a specialist of Mayan hieroglyphic writings and author of a forthcoming book on 2012. “The year is like a pop song or a popular movie. You type in 2012, and you get hundreds of thousands of hits.”

Dennis McClung, 28, a project manager for Home Depot from Phoenix, Ariz., runs one of the Web sites dedicated to 2012, an online survival supply store, which sells gas masks, knife kits, bullet-proof vests and more.

“I’m not a firm believer in one specific prophecy,” said McClung, who runs his site with his wife, Danielle. “But I think we ought to be prepared for anything.”

Even with December 2012 still 4½ years away, McClung said business is booming. His Web site, which features an “official 2012 countdown” clock and exhorts customers to “be smart, be ready,” averages several thousand visitors a week. McClung’s best-sellers, he said, are emergency medical supplies and water purifiers.

“I get a lot of hits from India. I get a lot of hits from the Netherlands,” McClung said. “But my No. 1 customer is the U.S.”

One of those customers is Thomas Lehmann, a 25-year-old factory worker from Cape Girardeau, Mo. Lehmann said he started researching 2012 when he was 12 years old, and still spends about two hours a day reading about the topic both online and in books. He said he is saving money for survival gear.

“Whatever happens, I’m just trying to be prepared for it,” Lehmann said. “I’m just learning to be independent of the system. I mean electricity, vehicles, alternate sources of energy. I’m learning to live without gas, basically be self-reliant.”

“If this stuff does happen,” Lehmann said, adding, “I have a way to eat. I can hunt, I can fish and I can purify water. I think it’s people in the big cities that need to be worried. People that can’t provide for themselves.”

But for all the hype, there is little evidence the ancient Maya ever intended for the end of their calendar to be read as a portent for disaster.

“These prophecies of doom really don’t have any basis in what we know about the Maya,” said Stephen Houston, a professor of anthropology at Brown University and a specialist of Maya hieroglyphic writing. “The Maya descriptions barely talk about this event.”

Instead, Houston said, the Maya saw their “long count” — the longest of their cyclical calendars — coming to an end in 2012 but also beginning anew on that date, without disastrous consequences.

“Really, it’s a conversion of people’s anxieties about our times, and finding some remote mythological precedent or prediction of it,” Houston said about the origins of the current 2012 myths. “People like to believe that ancient wisdom is somehow predicting this time of upheaval.”

John Hall, a professor of sociology at the University of California Davis who is writing a book on the history of apocalyptic ideas, agreed. He said movements predicting the end of the world often reflect a much larger nervousness about the state of our society.

“Terrorism, 9/11, ecological disasters, floods and earthquakes,” Hall said. “[There is] a sense that modern civilization has had its run. Those kinds of anxieties are much more widely shared than simply among people who believe in the exact date.”

To Lehmann, though, those very events are warnings of what’s to come.

“We had Hurricane Katrina, the recent cyclone in Myanmar,” Lehmann said. “We’ve got major flooding in Iowa. We’re always going to have natural disasters. But they are picking up quite frequently now.”

Lehmann said he eventually hoped to move away from Cape Girardeau, built on the banks of the Mississippi River, to the higher plains of southwest Missouri to keep safe from the floods sure to follow the earthquakes of 2012.

Geryl and his Belgian and Dutch followers have similar intentions, though their plan will take them much farther from home. They are looking to buy a plot of land high up in African mountains, where they’ll be able to withstand the monstrous tidal waves and wait out the cloud of volcanic dust that they said would block out the sun.

Geryl said the group has recently zeroed in on a location, but won’t reveal his find for fear of tipping off rival survival groups in the United States and Canada. On that land, Geryl’s group, whose core membership consists of 16 people but whose wait list supposedly lists hundreds, will build concrete dwellings or outfit caves for survival.

After the cloud clears, Geryl said, they will attempt to create a new, better civilization.

“A guiding principle will be to keep the world population as small as possible so as not to get into the same problems we face now,” Geryl said, adding that the group is currently looking for sponsors and hopes to move to Africa in 2011. “There is too little oil, too little grain in the world now. Those are the kinds of problems we want to avoid.”

One of the group’s members, Jan, a 57-year-old carpenter from Amsterdam whose name has been changed because he doesn’t want to be identified in the press, recently drove five hours to attend one of Geryl’s meetings in Antwerp.

“I thought, if there’s a chance that we can start a new civilization, I want to contribute,” Jan told ABC News. “Because whether I make it or not, and there’s only a small chance I will, this is important.”

Jan, who has never been married and has no children, said he has lost friends over 2012.

“All the people I’ve ever told about this have declared me crazy,” he said. “It makes people feel uncomfortable. Now I just keep it to myself.”

Geryl said he found comfort in sharing his knowledge with others. Since “discovering” what the future holds, he has written three books on 2012 and maintains a Web site on the subject.

When asked what would happen if December 2012 were to come and go without the earthquakes and tsunamis of his predictions, Geryl fell silent.

“I don’t really contemplate that possibility,” he said. “[My predictions] are so spectacular, they can’t possibly be wrong.”

‘Web-bot project’ makes prophecy of 2012 apocalypse

Written in 7-11-2007 by | No Comments

‘Web-bot project’ makes prophecy of 2012 apocalypse

“Web-bot” technology has moved apocalyptic prophecy into the internet age, predicting that the world will end on 21 December 2012.

By Tom Chivers

Conspiracy theorists on the web have claimed that the bots accurately predicted the September 11 attacks and the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami, and that they say a cataclysm of some sort will devastate the planet on 21 December, 2012.

The software, similar to the “spiders” that search engines use to index web pages, were originally developed in the 1990s to predict stock market movements.

The bots crawl through relevant web pages, noting keywords and examining the text around them. The theory is that this gives an insight into the “wisdom of crowds”, as the thoughts of thousands of people are aggregated.

However, the technology was later appropriated for another, more controversial – some say nonsensical – use: predicting the future.

Its study of “web chatter” is said to give advance warnings of terrorist attacks, and proponents claim that it successfully did so ahead of 11 September 2001. George Ure, one of two men behind the project, says that his system predicted a “world-changing event” in the 60 to 90 days after June 2001.

Despite the vagueness of this prediction, many believed it to be genuine. Now its makers claim that the technology can predict natural disasters, and that it foresaw the earthquake that triggered the 2004 tsunami, as well as Hurricane Katrina and the devastation that followed.

Its latest and most sweeping prediction is that 21 December 2012 signals the end of the world, possibly through a “polar shift” – when the polarity of the Earth’s magnetic field is reversed. Believers claim that as well as the bots, the 2012 apocalypse is predicted by the ancient Mayan calendar, the Book of Revelations, and the Chinese text I Ching.

Sceptics have pointed out several major flaws in the theory. First, the internet might plausibly reveal group knowledge about the stock market or, conceivably, terror attacks, as these are human-caused events. But, say critics, it would be no more capable of predicting a natural disaster than would a Google search.

Second, the predictions are so vague as to be meaningless, allowing believers to fit facts to predictions after the event: a blogger at compares them to Nostradamus’s quatrains. They give the September 11 prediction as a case in point.

Third, the prophecies become self-distorting. “The more people publish about 2012 and the end of the world,” says the same blogger, “the more data web bots get pointing towards 2012.”

The polar shift theory is based on a genuine scientific theory, “geomagnetic reversal”, which suggests the Earth’s polarity shifts every few hundred thousand years. However, the theory in its current form is not reconcilable with the web-bot predictions of it taking place on a particular day in 2012: best estimates suggest each shift takes around 5,000 years to complete.

A film based on the predicted apocalypse, by The Day After Tomorrow director Roland Emmerich and starring John Cusack and Danny Glover, is due to come out in November, called 2012.

Earth’s magnetic field is changing

Written in 10-10-2007 by | One Comment

Study: Earth’s magnetic field is changing
Observing fluid motions in core could help scientists predict future changes

By Jeremy Hsu

The innermost part of the earth. The outer core extends from 2500 to 3500 miles below the earth’s surface and is liquid metal. The inner core is the central 500 miles and is solid metal.

Something beneath the surface is changing Earth’s protective magnetic field, which may leave satellites and other space assets vulnerable to high-energy radiation.

The gradual weakening of the overall magnetic field can take hundreds and even thousands of years. But smaller, more rapid fluctuations within months may leave satellites unprotected and catch scientists off guard, new research finds.

A new model uses satellite data from the past nine years to show how sudden fluid motions within the Earth’s core can alter the magnetic envelope around our planet. This represents the first time that researchers have been able to detect such rapid magnetic field changes taking place over just a few months.

“There are these changes in the South Atlantic, an area where the magnetic field has the smallest envelope at one third [of what is] normal,” said Mioara Mandea, a geophysicist at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam, Germany.

Even before the newly detected changes, the South Atlantic Anomaly represented a weak spot in the magnetic field — a dent in Earth’s protective bubble

Bubble bobble
The Earth’s magnetic field extends about 36,000 miles into space, generated from the spinning effect of the electrically-conductive core that acts something like a giant electromagnet. The field creates a tear-drop shaped bubble that has constantly shielded life on Earth against much of the high-energy radiation flowing from the sun.

The last major change in the field took place some 780,000 years ago during a magnetic reversal, although such reversals seem to occur more often on average. A flip in the north and south poles typically involves a weakening in the magnetic field, followed by a period of rapid recovery and reorganization of opposite polarity.

Some studies in recent years have suggested the next reversal might be imminent, but the jury is out on that question.

Measuring interactions between the magnetic field and the molten iron core 1,864 miles down has proven difficult in the past, but the constant observations of satellites such as CHAMP and Orsted have begun to bring the picture into focus.

Electric storm
Mandea worked with Nils Olsen, a geophysicist at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, to create a model of the fluid core that fits with the magnetic field changes detected by the satellites.

However, the rapid weakening of the magnetic field in the South Atlantic Anomaly region could signal future troubles for such satellites. Radiation storms from the sun could fry electronic equipment on satellites that suddenly lacked the protective cover of a rapidly changing magnetic field.

“For satellites, this could be a problem,” Mandea told “If there are magnetic storms and high-energy particles coming from the sun, the satellites could be affected and their connections could be lost.”

The constant radiation bombardment from the sun blows with the solar wind to Earth, where it flows against and around the magnetic field. The effect creates the tear-drop shaped magnetosphere bubble, but even the powerful field cannot keep out all the high-energy particles.

Topsy-turvy history
A large sunspot set off a major radiation storm in 2006 that temporarily blinded some sun-watching satellites. Astronauts on the International Space Station retreated to a protected area as a precaution to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure.

The Earth’s overall magnetic field has weakened at least 10 percent over the past 150 years, which could also point to an upcoming field reversal.

Mandea and Olsen hope to continue refining their model with updated observations, and perhaps to eventually help predict future changes in the Earth’s magnetic field.

The study was detailed in the May online edition of the journal Nature Geoscience.

The Final Days

Written in 7-7-2007 by | One Comment

The Final Days
Published: July 1, 2007

Steven from Arizona — a caller on “Coast to Coast AM” late one night in February — had slipped into a future reality and caught a glimpse of the devastation that was coming when the supervolcano under Yellowstone erupted. James in Omaha, on the other hand, was worried about the likelihood of a magnetic pole shift, while Rod from Edmonton had recently spoken to a member of the Canadian Parliament about the global-warming crisis and couldn’t believe what he had heard.

“We’re coming to an end time beyond anything that anybody has ever imagined,” Rod said with a trembling urgency. “The scientists right now, they’re not even studying the real causes. The Kyoto treaty and CO2 have nothing to do with anything.”

“Coast to Coast AM” is an overnight radio show devoted to what its weekday host, George Noory, calls “the unusual mysteries of the world and the universe.” Broadcast out of Sherman Oaks, Calif., and carried nationwide on more than 500 stations as well as the XM Radio satellite network, “Coast to Coast AM” is by far the highest-rated radio program in the country once the lights go out. The guest in the wee hours that February morning was Lawrence E. Joseph, the author of “Apocalypse 2012” — billed as “a scientific investigation into civilization’s end” — and he came on the air to tell the story of how the ancient Maya looked into the stars and predicted catastrophic changes to the earth, all pegged to the end date of an historical cycle on one of their calendars, Dec. 21, 2012.

“My motto tonight,” Noory intoned at the beginning of the program, “is be prepared, not scared.” What followed was a graphic recitation of disaster scenarios for 2012, including hurricanes, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions caused by solar storms, cracks forming in the earth’s magnetic field and mass extinctions brought on by nuclear winter. The only hopeful note of the night was struck when an unnamed caller asked Joseph what he thought about recent Virgin Mary apparitions in Bosnia.

“I love it,” the author answered. “That’s positive. You don’t need to be a devout Christian to admire the Virgin Mary. She’s a blessing to us all.”

When I reached Noory by phone at his program’s studio in California, he told me, “I’m a staunch believer that we are in an earth cycle.” As 2012 approaches, “Coast to Coast” has been devoting more and more programming to prophecies of doom and the signs and wonders that are thought to be harbingers of the coming end time: U.F.O. sightings, crop-circle formations, disappearing honeybees and flocks of migratory birds that fall from the sky. “There’s no question the planet is changing,” Noory said. “And the fact that the Mayans had an end date and their history talks of change, I find that fascinating.”

But it isn’t just on the lower frequencies, late at night, where people are waiting on the Mayan apocalypse. Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the alternative-culture best seller “2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl” — and a guest on “Coast to Coast AM” — has introduced a young and savvy audience to the school of millenarian thinking that has gathered around Mayan calendrics. To do so, he has employed viral marketing and a tireless schedule of public appearances at bookstores, art spaces, yoga studios and electronic-music festivals. When Pinchbeck appeared on “The Colbert Report” last December to promote his book, the host confronted him in front of a life-size manger scene: “You have been called a new Timothy Leary. Why do we need another one of those?”

Over breakfast at Cafe Gitane in Manhattan, Pinchbeck told me recently that “there’s a growing realization that materialism and the rational, empirical worldview that comes with it has reached its expiration date.” A youthful 41, with long, drooping hair and heavy-framed designer eyewear, Pinchbeck exudes a languid fervency that is equal parts Jesuit and Jim Morrison. His BlackBerry sat face up on the table, the screen dark, beside his bowl of organic fruit, yogurt and granola. “Apocalypse literally means uncovering or revealing,” Pinchbeck went on, “and I think the process is already under way. We’re on the verge of transitioning to a dispensation of consciousness that’s more intuitive, mystical and shamanic.”

Far from its origins, divorced from its context and enlisted in a prophetic project that it may never have been designed to fulfill, the Mayan calendar is at the center of an escalating cultural phenomenon — with New Age roots — that unites numinous dreams of societal transformation with the darker tropes of biblical cataclysm. To some, 2012 will bring the end of time; to others, it carries the promise of a new beginning; to still others, 2012 provides an explanation for troubling new realities — environmental change, for example — that seem beyond the control of our technology and impervious to reason. Just in time for the final five-year countdown, the Mayan apocalypse has come of age.

Light and darkness — heavenly forces and a corrupted earth — are the twin engines of apocalyptic movements. For Christians awaiting rapture or Shiites counting the days until the Twelfth Imam appears, the trials and injustices of the known world are a prelude for the paradise that we can imagine but can’t yet achieve. Judging by the sheer number of predicted end dates that have come and gone without the trumpets blowing and angels rushing in, we are a people impatient to see our world redeemed through catastrophe — and we are always wrong. Gnostics predicted the imminent arrival of God’s kingdom as early as the first century; Christians in Europe attacked pagan territories in the north to prepare for the end of the world at the first millennium; the Shakers believed the world would end in 1792; there was a “Great Disappointment” among followers of the Baptist preacher William Miller when Jesus did not return to upstate New York on Oct. 22, 1844. The Jehovah’s Witnesses have been especially prodigious with prophetic end dates: 1914, 1915, 1918, 1920, 1925, 1941, 1975 and 1994. Any religious movement with an end-time prophecy is certain to attract followers, no matter how maniacal or fringy (witness the Branch Davidians). For those who want to go online and get the latest tally of bad news, there is a nuclear Doomsday Clock and the Rapture Index. If you remember living through Y2K, that was another millenarian moment — except our computer systems were redeemed by the same code writers who corrupted them in the first place.

Who dreams of the apocalypse? Why do they dream of it? Polls indicate that up to 50 percent of Americans believe that the Book of Revelation is a true, prophetic document, meaning they fully expect the predictions of “Rapture,” “Tribulation” and “Armageddon” to be fulfilled. There is a paradox built into end-time theologies in that imminent catastrophe often brings comfort; according to Paul S. Boyer, an authority on prophecy belief in American culture and an emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the apocalypse is an appealing idea because it promises salvation to a select group — all of whom share secret knowledge — and a world redeemed and delivered from evil. “The Utopian dream is a big part of the Western tradition,” Boyer told me, “both the religious and secular forms. But the wicked have to be destroyed and evil has to be overcome for the era of righteousness to dawn.” This is as true in the New Age as much as in any other one. Rumors of global crisis, the distrust of institutional authority, the ready availability of esoteric lore, the existence of individuals drawn to abstruse numerical schemes, the urge to assuage anxieties with dreams of social transformation — wherever these elements exist, apocalyptic thinking is likely to flourish.

The year 2012 first entered the public consciousness two decades ago this August with the Harmonic Convergence organized by José Arguelles, the author of a number of esoteric books about the Mayan cosmos and his experiences with telepathically received prophecies. With a penchant for promotion going back to the first Whole Earth Festival in 1970, which he organized, Arguelles promoted the convergence as an earth-changing event requiring 144,000 participants — the number echoed Mayan mathematics and the Book of Revelation — to free the planet from the dissonant influence of Western science and synchronize with the “wave harmonic of history” set to culminate in 2012. Mayan civilization, to Arguelles, was not entirely Mayan: It was originally a “terrestrial project” managed by a race of “galactic masters” from “star bases.” He saw the convergence as a stage, ordained by prophecy, in a march to the end foreseen by the ancient calendar makers: “Somewhere in that far and distant time, when armies clashed with metal and chemicals released the fire of the Sun, the wonder of Maya would burst again, releasing the mystery and showing the way that marks return among the patterns of the stars.”

Large crowds, some perhaps oblivious to the apocalyptic undertones of the event, did end up gathering at “focus locations” around the world — Stonehenge, Mount Shasta and Bolinas in California, even Central Park — and extensive media coverage of the meditating and dancing masses lent Arguelles and his project an eccentric authority. The New Age had discovered its own eschatology — with a mysterious, mythical people the controlling intelligence — and 2012 joined the lexicon of “energies,” transcendental meditation and crystals. By 1991 Arguelles was popularizing his own calendric system, which he branded Dreamspell, as a corrective to our mechanized time (dismissed, in mathematical shorthand, as “12:60,” the ratio of solar months to minutes in an hour). Inspired by the tzolk’in, the 260-day prophetic calendar utilized by the ancient Maya and common throughout Mesoamerica, Dreamspell functions as a daily oracle, replacing linear time with a “loom of resonances” that users navigate with a “galactic signature” based on the day of their birth. More than just an astrological sign, this signature is a tool for meditation and, as the latest edition of Arguelles’s calendar promises, “your password in fourth-dimensional time.”

Arguelles, under the aegis of his fief, the Foundation for the Law of Time, has lobbied tirelessly for the universal adoption of his calendar — now called the 13-Moon 28-day Calendar — by posting communiqués on the Web and arranging audiences with Mayan elders and members of the Vatican. Lately he has been designing large-scale telepathic experiments in conjunction with a Russian laboratory in Novosibirsk and other groups affiliated with his Planet Art Network.

“The post-2012 world will be a world of universal telepathy,” Arguelles wrote me recently from New Zealand, where he has gone to prepare for the transition. Since 1993, when he claims to have received a new prophecy in Hawaii, he has been calling himself Valum Votan, Closer of the Cycle. “We’ll be literally living in a new time,” Arguelles said, “by a 13-month, 28-day synchronometer that will facilitate our telepathy by keeping us in harmony with everything all the time. There will be a lot fewer of us, with simple lifestyles, solar technology, garden culture and lots of telepathic communication.” As for the many who “have not evolved spiritually enough to know that there are other dimensions of reality,” Arguelles predicts they will be taken away in “silver ships.”

With Arguelles drifting into even more occult realms — his last book, “Time and the Technosphere,” spun elaborate new theories around 9/11 — he has been supplanted in the New Age conversation by the next generation of Mayan-calendar mystics with their own theories about the coming transition. This new generation does not typically think that space aliens guided the Maya and prides itself on its reverence for Mayan culture and tradition. Carl Johan Calleman, author of “The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness,” is a former cancer researcher from Sweden whose calculations have led him to a controversial end date of his own devising: Oct. 28, 2011. As Arguelles’s closest spiritual heir in the Mayan-calendar movement, Calleman has been active in promoting a regular mass-meditation event called the Breakthrough Celebration and other more focused projects including the Jerusalem Hug, which gathered 5,000 people around the walls of the Old City on May 21 to harness constructive energies and create a “cascade of peace.”

While his interest in 2012 is not exclusively focused on the Mayan calendar, Chet Snow — a past-lives regression therapist and author from Sedona, Ariz. — tracks the impending consciousness shift on his Mass Dreams Newsletter, organizes annual crop-circle and sacred-site tours and gathers the disparate camps of the 2012 movement together for conferences devoted to ancient mysteries and the paranormal.

When I asked Snow why he thought people were turning to alternative ideas and explanations like the ones espoused at his conferences, he told me the answer was a simple one. “The pillars of our expectations about the future in the West have started to crumble,” he said. “Religion, politics and economics — none of it is working any more. So when you hear about the ancient Maya and this changeover in 2012 involving solar cycles and astronomical events, you say, ‘Huh, maybe I need to connect with that.’ ”

If the Mayan calendar seems like an unlikely timing device for our salvation — whether it arrives through global catastrophe or telepathic rainbow around the earth — its animating role in the 2012 phenomenon is entirely consistent with popular notions of the “mysterious” Maya that have persisted for over a century. The Maya were just one of the peoples to thrive in Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest of the 16th century, but the civilization’s florescence — spanning the period called the Maya Classic, between 300 and 900 A.D. — was especially bright and spectacular. After growing into a loose confederation of rival city-states that spread across the Yucatan peninsula and extended as far as Chiapas in the west and Honduras in the east, the Mayan civilization fell into a rolling decline that ended with the almost complete abandonment of their cities. The so-called Mayan collapse is a continued source of speculation and a major reason why the Maya have captured the imagination of 19th-century travelers, 20th-century archaeologists and generations of popular fantasists who have connected the Maya to everything from intergalactic colonies to the lost island of Atlantis to Teutonic gods from fire-breathing spaceships. The Mayan sites attract small armies of New Age pilgrims every year, hoping to plug into a stone socket of timeless indigenous wisdom; tens of thousands gather for the spring equinox at Chichén Itzá alone to watch the shadow of a snake slither down the steps of the Temple of Kukulcin.

In the introduction to his book “Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End Date,” John Major Jenkins describes his first visit to Tikal, the vast ruin in the Guatemalan rain forest that thrived as an urban center at the pinnacle of Mayan civilization. Jenkins, perhaps the most lucid figure in the subculture of 2012 prophets, writes of the “bone-jarring 16-hour bus ride on muddy and dangerous roads” that carried him to a “sprawling former metropolis” of pyramids, palaces, residences, ball-courts and scores of engraved monumental stones, or stelae, decorated with intricate, otherworldly images and hieroglyphs.

“Sitting on the stone steps of the Central Acropolis,” Jenkins recalls, “I looked around me at the towering sentinels of stone, their upper platforms stretching above the jungle canopy like altars to the stars, and I listened carefully to the wind whisper messages of a far-off time, and of another world.”

Jenkins wasn’t the first 22-year-old traveler with spiritual yearnings to encounter the sublime at a Mayan archaeological site, but he is one of the few who has found a life’s vocation in the process. As harmonically as Jenkins was struck in Guatemala by the larger mysteries of the Maya, however, it was the calendar that really seized him — specifically the fact that there were Maya living in the highlands who still followed the same day count as their distant ancestors. (A common misconception is that the Maya “disappeared” when their cities emptied; there are six million Maya currently living in the states of Central America, a number far larger than population estimates of Mayan civilization during the Classic period.)

“Here was an unbroken tradition,” Jenkins told me when I went to visit him at his home in Windsor, Colo., one afternoon in late March. We sat in a pair of lawn chairs in the backyard while a neighbor passed back and forth on a noisy tractor. “It’s a lineage going back 2,000 years,” he said, oblivious to the racket. Jenkins, now 43, is difficult to distract when talking about the Mayan calendar and 2012. After years of working as a software engineer to support his research and writing books and papers in his spare time, 2012 is now Jenkins’ full-time job. Influenced by the work of the pioneering psychedelic writer Terence McKenna — whose Timewave Zero system, based on computer analysis of the I Ching, also shows history to be culminating on Dec. 21, 2012 — Jenkins argues that ancient Maya “calendar priests” were able to chart a 26,000-year astronomical cycle called “the precession of the equinoxes” with the naked eye. He fixed the 2012 end date to coincide with a “galactic alignment” of the winter-solstice sun and the axis that modern astonomers draw to bisect the Milky Way, called the galactic equator.

In the alchemical tradition, Jenkins notes, eclipses signify the “transcending of the opposites.” During the period around 2012, Jenkins says, the galaxy will provide the opportunity for the rebirth of creation and a reconciliation of “infinity and finitude, time and eternity.” The Maya knew it, and just like an alarm clock, they set their calendar to coincide with the occasion.

Jenkins and his fellow travelers in the 2012 movement have chosen a particularly arcane source of secret knowledge in Mayan calendrics. The Maya calendar keepers are known to have charted the cycles of the moon, the sun, Mars and Venus with an accuracy that wouldn’t be duplicated until the modern era. Like most premodern societies, the Maya conceived of history not as the linear passage of time but as a series of cycles — they called them “world age cycles” — that would repeat over and over. To capture these cycles, the Maya employed what scholars call the long-count calendar, a five-unit computational system extending forward and backward from their mythical creation day, which is calculated to have fallen on either Aug. 11, 3114 B.C. or Aug. 13, 3114 B.C. All the current hoopla is due to the mathematical fact that the current world-age cycle on the long count, which began in Aug. 3114 B.C., is about to reach its end, 5,126 years later, on a date given in scholarly notation as — which falls, not quite exactly, on Dec. 21, 2012. Enter the apocalypse.

I asked Jenkins how he viewed the passing of one world-age cycle into another in December 2012, and he paused. It was a little bit like asking a seismologist what he thinks about earthquakes. As much as Jenkins has made a place for himself in the 2012 discussion through his independent research on the Maya and precession, he has made an even greater impact by applying academic rigor to the theories of his contemporaries and exposing, in his books and on an extensive Web site, their inconsistencies with established Mayanist scholarship. Jenkins was the first to reveal a major flaw in the synchronization between Arguelles’s Dreamspell and the Mayan day count, and he has been involved in an extensive, long-distance feud with Calleman since 2001 over their differing approaches to interpreting the Maya and over Calleman’s belief that the end time will be in 2011, not 2012. When I first spoke to Jenkins on the phone, he told me, “I think of myself as leading the charge for clarity and discernment.”

“2012 is such a profound archetype,” Jenkins went on. “Here we are five and a half years before the date, and already there’s so much interest. Personally, I think it’s about transformation and renewal. It’s certainly nothing as simplistic as the end of the world.”

But what about the connection many people see between the approach of 2012 and environmental crisis? I asked. What about the popular link between the Maya and end-time prophecy?

“A lot of people are talking about apocalypse right now,” he said, “but there’s a deeper meditation that can and should happen around the end date.” Jenkins — bearded, in a T-shirt and jeans — is originally from Chicago, and traces of a flat Midwestern accent remain in his voice. He looked and sounded beleaguered by the mention of apocalypse. “At any end-beginning nexus — at the dawn of a new religion or a spiritual tradition — you have this amazing opening,” he said. “Revelations come down. There’s a fresh awareness of what it means to be alive in the full light of history.”

To scholars monitoring the 2012 movement from their posts in academia — and some do — this latter-day apotheosis of the Mayan calendar is a source of frustration and an opportunity for deeper reflection. Or sometimes, just an opportunity. Anthony Aveni, an archeoastronomer and professor at Colgate, has a history with 2012 going back to the Harmonic Convergence, when he was interviewed on CNN to provide some perspective. “I got an offer from a literary agent to represent me the same day,” he told me. “So I’m grateful to José Arguelles for that.”

Aveni is critical of Jenkins’s approach and his galactic-alignment theory. “I defy anyone to look up into the sky and see the galactic equator,” he said. “You need a radio telescope for that, and they were not known anywhere in the world that I’ve heard of until the 1930s.” The real question, to him, is how an obscure, culturally circumscribed issue like the end date of one Mayan long-count cycle could manage to gain such traction in the wider world.

“Jenkins and Calleman and Arguelles are the Gnostics of our time,” Aveni said. “They’re seeking higher knowledge. They look for knowledge framed in mystery. And there aren’t many mysteries left, because science has decoded most of them.”

John Hoopes, an archaeologist at the University of Kansas, is more complimentary of Jenkins’s research, even if he doubts the validity of his major conclusions, including the galactic-alignment theory. “John Jenkins has done his homework on the ancient Maya,” he told me, “and he’s thought about their culture a great deal. Arguelles and Calleman largely disregard what we know the Maya believed.” Still, like most Mayan experts, Hoopes is not convinced that the Maya would have considered the end of a world cycle to be an apocalyptic event; one cycle could be subsumed into the next without a hiccup in the system, let alone a rupture in the count of days.

In the wider discussion around 2012, Hoopes sees a parallel to the debate going on in Kansas about teaching evolution and intelligent design in the public schools. It is an issue he takes so seriously that he has included the 2012 phenomenon in a course he developed called “Archaeological Myths and Realities,” which explores how science and history are manipulated to serve a religious or political agenda. Other examples include Nazi archaeology and the recently heralded ancient “pyramids” in Bosnia. Referrring to occult interpretations of the Maya, he says: “What’s interesting is how this fosters community in the New Age movement, and elsewhere, the same way that the anti-evolutionists have coalesced around intelligent design. I’ve started using the terms ‘religious right’ and ‘spiritual left.’ ”

Toward the end of my visit with Jenkins in Colorado, we drove from his home in Windsor to Denver — about 50 miles south — to meet his wife, Ellen, for dinner and a screening of “2012: The Odyssey,” a documentary that Jenkins appears in along with José Arguelles and other authorities on 2012. Jenkins had written me a long, discouraged e-mail message that morning about an item he found on an academic message board, linking to an article about 2012 from USA Today. The article included a description of Jenkins’s galactic-alignment theory without citing him as the source, and to make matters worse, the scholar who posted the link quoted a description of the galactic alignment and asked, “Anyone want to speculate about what this means?”

To Jenkins, it was further confirmation that his work is generally ignored inside a scholarly community that he has looked to for guidance and cited tirelessly in defense of the “authentic” Mayan tradition. He told me, as we drove past new housing developments going up where pastures had once been, that he had gone to conferences to meet the most important Mayanists and had been sending out papers and links to his Web site to selected scholars for years, but his attempts at making contact were usually ignored.

“When you fund your own trip to do fieldwork by putting it on MasterCard,” he said, “and then they really don’t want to engage in a discussion with you, it’s kind of like … wrong universe, I guess.”

I asked him if he thought this might have something to do with some of his more speculative theories, like his assertion that the Maya had practiced pranayama — yogic deep breathing — based on the posture of Maya kings in certain paintings and carvings, which appears similar to full lotus.

“It’s the assemblage of evidence that leads to my reading,” he insisted. “It’s not magically projecting something onto the images. But ultimately there is some guesswork involved. How often can you be 100 percent sure of anything?”

By the time we drove up to the Oriental Theater in the Berkeley Highlands section of Denver, his spirits had lifted again. The Oriental is a handsome, Persian-themed theater from the 1920s that has recently been refurbished after a long decline; it retains elements of both the glamour of its distant past and the seediness left over from its middle age as an adult theater. Now the Oriental is an arts center with a regular schedule of film screenings and live entertainment.

“Look at that,” Jenkins said with a gesture at the marquee, making sure that I saw the big “2012” in black numerals.

While Jenkins mingled with the early arrivals inside the lobby, I sat at a cafe table with his wife, a social worker at a hospital in Boulder, and Gina Kissell, director of the Metaphysical Research Society, a local group that offers workshops and programs in comparative religion and spirituality. The society was a sponsor of the screening that night, and Kissell, an ebullient woman in a sequined top, was thrilled about the turnout. I asked her about 2012 and what it meant to her, and she started in without hesitating:

“To me it’s all about a movement toward enlightenment. We say compassion over competition. This whole shift in consciousness is going to wipe away everything negative. Armageddon isn’t what it used to be, you know?” Kissell told me that she had recently tried spending 21 days without having a negative thought: “It’s really hard! I tried, but I didn’t make it through the second week.”

Inside the theater, it was a festive scene. The seating sections were all full except for the balcony; a pair of waitresses roamed the aisles taking drink and sandwich orders (the Oriental has a full bar and panini menu); and the crowd presented a mix of the buttoned-down and the Bohemian, trending toward the tattooed and pierced. Ellen flashed me a proud look when Jenkins climbed onstage to give an introduction, and he was met with a lively burst of applause. Dressed in a well-worn jacket over a faded T-shirt, he could have been a professor who never quite recovered from his graduate-school years. Jenkins started by giving a primer of his theory about the galactic alignment and how the ancient Maya had calibrated their long-count calendar to coincide with this rare and transformative astronomical event. He shared his belief, reflected in the mantra “As above, so below,” that our lives are influenced by larger forces in the universe and that the Mayan sky watchers had used their sacred science to read the stars and divine creation’s deepest secrets. These same secrets can be ours, according to Jenkins’s theory, if we cup a hand to one ear, raise it to the sky and listen.

“A lot of people ask me if the world is going to end in 2012,” he said, “and I’ve come up with the best way to address that. The short answer is yes. The long answer is no.”

Writing in the forward to Jenkins’s “Maya Cosmogenesis 2012,” Terrence McKenna proffers that “we, by choice or design, actually live in the end time anticipated by the ancient Maya shaman-prophets. Their bones and their civilization have long since gone into the Gaian womb that claims all the children of time. Indeed, their cities were ghostly necropoleis by the time the Spanish conquerors first gazed upon them, 500 years ago. Yet it was our time that fascinated the Maya, and it was toward our time that they cast their ecstatic gaze, though it lay more than two millennia in the future at the time the first long-count dates were recorded.”

It is a splendid, human-size dream, that an ancient people revered for unearthly wisdom could climb aboard a calendar ship and redeem us from our troubled world and the confines of our vexing natures. Dec. 21, 2012, is already here — long before the date arrives — and perhaps it has always been. End dates are not the stuff of fantasy, after all; each and every one of us has a terminal appointment inscribed in our calendars. And the end might just arrive sooner. Perhaps that is why we need to imagine a supernatural force with one eye on a ticking clock, waiting to make everything new again.

It is the Maya who bring us apocalypse this time, and when the next one comes — well, we’ll just have to wait and see if the world is still here.

Benjamin Anastas, a novelist, previously wrote for the magazine about Pentecostals.

Written in 6-4-2007 by | No Comments

A 2012 Eco-Manifesto

In the gorgeous setting of central Brazil, a rag tag group of 10000 mayan calendar followers, bioregionalists, permaculture experts, Rastafarians, alternative health practitioners, and NGO executives work towards a do-it-yourself action plan to make the world a better place in 13 days and prepare for 2012.

But who is going to deal with the garbage? Welcome to “Survivor” for social change addicts where consensus is the only way to make decisions. Anyone can speak. For as long as they like about whatever they want. And they do.

Out of the 400 who volunteered, only a quarter actually show up to work. But despite the seemingly unwieldy process, consensus slowly builds, dialogue happens, the garbage is dealt with and attitudes shift.

The film’s fascinating characters take us on a journey that covers terrain from the practices of permaculture and consensus facilitation all the way to the meaning of the Mayan calendar, which mysteriously ends in 2012,  just a few short years away. In the process we are introduced to new ideas about politics, nature and even time itself.

Call of the Hummingbird is a fascinating exploration of new paradigm thinking about organizing for social change.