The giant earth crocodile with mouths at all of her joints.
Giant ape-men with backward feet and hanging intestines that waylay travelers.
The plumed serpent of the sun, wind, and mercy, who raped his human-shaped sister while divinely hammered and still got to keep the “mercy” portfolio, and is also the planet Venus for some reason.
Feeding the sun with the beating hearts of thousands of sacrifices.
And you thought Revelation was sick.
Maya mythology, containing the above mishmash of Mesoamerican traditions to varying degrees, holds that the “age” that began on 11 August 3114 BCE (on our calendar) is the Fifth Age. Each of the previous four ended in a particularly bizarre and disturbing way, here described with Aztec specifics:
5. The Fifth Age was set in motion when Quetzalcoatl resurrected his repeatedly-destroyed people and gave the sun throne to Huitzilopochtli, otherwise known as the Aztec god of war, and would end when the gods of the stars, the Tzitzimitl, declare war on and defeat Huitzilopochtli. To keep Huitzilopochtli’s strength up, the Aztecs fed him still-beating human hearts by the thousands, because the Aztecs make eating the body of Christ look reasonable.
Fortunately for the world, this aspect of Mesoamerican religion hasn’t made it into 2012 fever, not that one can tell after looking at all of the meticulously inscribed skulls that fill Mexico’s tourist traps. This apocalyptic undertone simply resonates underneath the steaming foundation of sensationalistic absurdity that is 21-12-2012 itself.
It’s not uncommon to hear, and is entirely true, that the Maya devised one of the most fantastically accurate calendars in human history, complete with an elaborate base-20 place-value system. 20 December 2012 coincides with the end of one of the layers (the ~394-year baktun) and the changing of the next-highest one, making all the lower digits zero, on a calendar designed to continue for about 63 million more years. Kind of like how 31 December 1999 coincided with the end of one of the layers (999) and the increasing of the next-highest one (the millennium going from 1 to 2), making all the lower digits zero, on a calendar that could go indefinitely.
That’s seriously it.
The Maya calendar has a bunch of zeroes in it that day, and a new-agey sillydoodle named Anthony Argüelles forgot he wasn’t Harold Camping and started spouting off gibberish about the Maya’s fantastically accurate calendar and how it “ends” on one of the last good shopping days between my dad’s 55th birthday and Christmas. His yarns about a “Harmonic Convergence” or wave of mind-changing radiation don’t sound much like the rains of fire and blood that accompanied the other ages, but he couldn’t get everything right, especially since he kept talking about 1987 and 1992 and a few other years instead of 2012. Sheesh. It’s not like he’s discovering an ancient prophecy that defines the future course of the world’s important events or anything.
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