Conference Exemplifies Concept of “Transformation Consciousness” Espoused by Speakers (archive)

Conference Exemplifies Concept of “Transformation Consciousness” Espoused by Speakers
photos by Georgeann Johnson

"We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.” – Benjamin Franklin

On Saturday, August 23rd 2008 the city of La Antigua, Guatemala welcomed over 1,100 guests and speakers to participate in “The Maya Prophecy of 2012: The Dawn of a New Age,” a conference hosted by Jades, S.A. of Antigua.

The conference was held at the historic Casa Santo Domingo Hotel and included a dance presentation by Ballet Folklorico entitled “Nin’ha,” a lyrical interpretation of the Popol Vuh, kindly donated by INGUAT (El Instituto Guatemalteco de Turismo).

This distinguished event brought together the leading-edge theories of independent researchers, whose aim is to reconstruct and illuminate Maya cosmology, with the inestimable knowledge of Maya Spiritual Guides and indigenous leaders. The various segments of the conference shared a definitive message: that on this fragile planet, we have an inherent responsibility to “hang together” in the effort to honor the knowledge of the indigenous Maya.

Mary Lou Ridinger opened the talks by underscoring the most important new revelation in the study of the Maya Prophecy of 2012: our deepened understanding of the link between the Maya ballgame, the creation myth written in the Maya Popol Vuh, the images found on carvings at the site of Izapa, and the galactic alignment set to occur on December 21st, 2012, which is the end of the 5,125 year Maya Long Count Calendar.
To headline the program and to help explain this complex area of study was John Major Jenkins, author of numerous books and articles that reflect a nearly twenty-year study of the Quiché Maya, the Long Count Calendar and its end-date in 2012, and the subsequent transformation of consciousness predicted by the ancient people of Mesoamerica.

Mr. Jenkins outlined his striking theory about the significance of Izapa, a ceremonial site located in southwestern Chiapas, Mexico, as the birthplace of the Maya Long Count Calendar. According to Jenkins’ research, astronomers at Izapa accurately predicted what modern scientists now acknowledge as a rare galactic alignment between the December solstice sun and the Milky Way, an event that will occur on December 21, 2012. 

Jenkins illustrated his presentation with a series of slides depicting various stelae found at Izapa, each of which present a different element of Maya creation mythology found in the Popol Vuh. These stone carvings serve as eloquent illustrative metaphors for the astronomical events of 2012. Mr. Jenkins’ talk emphasized that though it may take radical thinking on the part of contemporary men and women to internalize the concept of multiple creations, of many re-births of the world, to do so is the beginning of the transformation towards a new form of consciousness, the consciousness of unity.

The conference also recognized the wisdom of Maya spiritual guide Aq’ab’al (Aurelio Sajvin), who shared with participants his knowledge of the Maya concept of time. Aq’ab’al gracefully reminded his listeners that the essence of understanding Maya time is a spiritual wellness on an individual level. He pointed out that in today’s world, we frequently find ourselves “…bumping into each other, looking for a flat road to where we are going” and that in order to truly understand Maya time, we must first become “energetically well”.

The film “Understanding 2012” by Jim Reed of the Institute of Maya Studies was presented in English, with subtitles in Spanish. Mr. Reed, who has presented his work alongside that of John Major Jenkins, developed the film to help any audience better understand the ancient Maya perception of the galaxy.
Additional speakers included Georgeann Johnson, whose presentation focused on the alignment symbolism found in the Maya ballgame. “The story of the Maya ballgame is a story of being on a team. It’s a story of collaboration, and working in a group.” Johnson showed that the ballgame employs “the ancient astrological dictum: as above, so below,” by introducing the crowd to the elements of the game as symbols for the galactic alignment. Ms. Johnson concluded that if we are to recognize Maya myth as a lesson for our time, then “…The era of collaboration and team play for the common good is dawning.”

This call for unity was emphasized by Grandfather Cirilo (Don Alejandro), Guatemala’s Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples, who spoke against what he perceives as a growing trend in Western media of using Mayan spiritual traditions in its books and films, while failing to include contemporary indigenous Maya people themselves.

Mary Lou Ridinger of Jades, S.A. proposed an ongoing discussion regarding this and other issues for the following day, and stressed the importance of future dialogue.

“The Maya Prophecy of 2012” conference drew members of the local and international press, as well as 1,112 participants, including over 200 international and Guatemalan tour operators and guides, various international Ambassadors and Consulates, 52 Spiritual Guides representing many of Guatemala’s indigenous ethnolinguistic groups, and representatives from over a dozen museums and universities of Guatemala.

Following the conference the public was invited to the inauguration of the new Maya Cosmology Museum, located inside the Archaeology Museum at Jades, S.A.

Speakers and participants of the conference were treated to a traditional prayer and blessing offered by Spiritual Guide Rigoberto Itzep Chanchavac of the Misión Maya Wajshakib Batz’, held Sunday morning at the Casa Concepción.

The video “Understanding 2012” by Jim Reed, as well as a video production of the Conference can be purchased by contacting Jade Maya.

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2007 SInkankas Symposium

Jade expert and archaeologist Mary Lou Ridinger attended the 2007 Sinkankas Symposium held on April 21 at GIA´s Carlsbad Campus in California. There she spoke about Jadeite from Guatemala´s Motagua River Valley, which have been exploited since Mayan times.

"Mary Lou Ridinger has developed several concessions to mine specific areas in the region and operated a vertically integrated business with manufacturing facilities, museums and showrooms in Guatemala. The mission of our business in Guatemala has always been to mine with care to protect the environment, not exploit workers or subject Guatemalan jadeite to bleaching treatments, she said. We are adamant about protecting Guatemalan Maya archaeology and never trade in archaeological artifacts. She described green, lilac, black, galatic(which has metallic inclusions sprinkled through the material) varieties of jadeite and noted that a form of blue jade as also been found there." quote from The Loupe GIA World News Vol. 16, No. 3

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