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Lord Jaguar and 2012

Posted by on July 26, 2013

Here is an excerpt from an essay I wrote largely in mid-2010, and finalized in early 2012. The astronomical evidence on Tortuguero Monument 6 strongly suggests that Lord Jaguar (b. 612 AD) was aware of the alignment of December solstice sun with the Dark Rift / Crossroads on December 21, 2012 ( The question arises as to where this knowledge came from, and if the alignment was embedded into the structure of the Long Count when the Long Count was invented (more than 2,000 years ago). If it was not, then Lord Jaguar’s astronomers must have “discovered it” accidentally, and the fact that it coordinates with a great period-ending in the calendar must be a mind-boggling accident or coincidence.

In fact, as I summarized in my essay, it would be a quadruple coincidence. If reason (aka, being reasonable) is a value, we are confronted with a choice between an accurate knowledge of precession during the pre-Classic versus an almost impossible to swallow quadruple coincidence.  Actually, we know through Marion Popenoe Hatch’s work that the Olmec at La Venta (ca. 1000 BC) and the inhabitants of Takalik Abaj (pre-Classic) were both adjusting for the precession of the equinoxes. So, I’m not quite sure why the idea that the creators of the Long Count knew about precession (by ca. 40 BC) is not more reasonable than defaulting to a quadruple coincidence.  Such a line of logic is probably distasteful to the scholars who continue their efforts in denying that 2012 had any meaning for the ancient Maya, which explains why the publication of my essay is currently in a holding pattern.

Here’s the excerpt:


Since the early 1990s, I have offered careful definitions and discussions of this  alignment process. The Milky Way’s mid-line is a very precise celestial marker that astronomers call the “galactic equator.” The body of the sun is one-half of a degree wide. With such basic parameters defined, the precessional shifting of the position of the solstice sun will take slightly over 36 years to fully move through the galactic equator.  Astronomer Jean Meeus (1997) and Rutherford Appleton Laboratory astronomer Patrick Wallace (Jenkins 2002: 249-256; Jenkins 2009: 145-146) have both calculated the dating of the alignment process. Summarizing these calculations, and applying the duration of the sun’s precessional shift through the galactic equator, I identified a minimum range for the alignment running from 1980 to 2016 AD (Jenkins 2002, 2009). In order to avoid the misconception that the alignment happens only on and precisely on December 21, 2012 (an irrational notion because precession is a very slow process), I have referred to the alignment as occurring in “era-2012” (Jenkins 1998, 2002, 2009).

Despite confused assessments offered by NASA astronomers (Morrison 2009; see summary in Jenkins 2009: 230-235) and a general distortion of the entire topic of 2012 astronomy in areas of academic treatment as well as in the popular marketplace (see Jenkins 2009: 99-113, 245-260; 2011d), the so-called “galactic alignment” under question is, properly understood: 1) a fact of astronomy and 2) occurs within a temporal range that includes the 13th Bak’tun period ending of December 21, 2012. Some critics (Krupp 2009, Larsen 2011) have suggested that the slight discrepancy between the actual year of the alignment (precisely defined) and the 2012 period-ending date of the Maya (a difference of some 14 years), is a problem for my reconstruction. However, such a critique requires that the ancient Maya astronomers could have made an absolutely precise calculation in the precession of the equinoxes projecting forward over 2,000 years (the earliest Long Count date known is from Chiapa de Corzo, dating to 36 BC). I’ve anticipated these critiques in treatments published long ago (Jenkins 1998) and reiterated recently (Jenkins 2009; 2011d; 2012; see also response to critics at

In regard to Bahlam Ajaw [Lord Jaguar], the future alignment on and its parallel to his birth date astronomy was either an extraordinary, albeit useful, coincidence or the 2012 alignment was an already ancient knowledge. Was the fact of the alignment of the solstice sun and the Milky Way in era-2012 intentionally embedded into the structure of the Long Count at its inception? How is it that the 2012 alignment factors so nicely into so many Maya concepts, dates, and traditions? We may want to entertain coincidence, but then we have a striking convergence of four unrelated lines of coincidence: 1) The date of the 13-Bak’tun period ending in 2012, which 2) coincidentally falls on a solstice which also 3) coincidentally happens within a narrow “alignment zone” of precession and 4) occurs at sidereal features (the Crossroads and the dark rift) that are central to the Maya Creation Mythology.  The congruence of the solstice sun’s alignment with the Crossroads on in the Long Count suggests either an incredibly unlikely quadruple coincidence that was accidentally noticed by the Tortuguero astronomers, or that the alignment’s association with the 2012 period ending was embedded into the structure of the Long Count when that calendar was devised in the pre-Classic period (Jenkins 1995, 1998, 2010).



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