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