September 28, 2012

Maya Calendar Cycle Celebrated in Boulder. ~ Joshua Berman

Aumrak, Tierro, and John Major Jenkins to help Premiere Documentary Film
2012: The Beginning

BOULDER, COLORADO – December 21, 2012, the upcoming winter solstice, was identified by the Maya nearly 1,400 years ago, as the end of 13 bak’tuns, or 5,125 years. The date has become the source of enormous curiosity and debate. Some believe it will bring catastrophic events; others see this cycle-ending as nothing less than humanity’s entrance into an era of enlightenment.

But what did the ancient Maya themselves believe and what do the modern Maya say? Their voices are often lost in the discussion about 2012 and beyond.

A Celebration of Maya Culture

While researching my book, Maya 2012: A Guide To Celebrations In Mexico, Guatemala, Belize & Honduras, I got the privilege of meeting a wide spectrum of people whose lives are somehow wrapped up in the upcoming cycle change of the Maya Long Count. I’ve always been both a collector and a connector of people, and part of my journey in 2012 has been working with authors, archaeologists, shamans, elders, and documentary film makers.

I’ve invited a few of my new friends to my neighborhood independent theater this Friday for the Colorado premiere of 2012: The Beginning, a 52-minute documentary film by WildHeart Vision and Director Shannon Kring Buset. This Friday is Gregorian Date September 28, 2012, and Maya Long Count, 11 Kib, 19 Ch’en, the day of the screening. The event will benefit the San Rafael School of Copán Ruinas, Honduras (Friday, September 28, 2012, at the Nomad Theater in Boulder, tickets are $20 in advance, available at http://2012filminboulder.eventbrite.com/).

A few New Friends

The evening will begin with a sacred fire ceremony by Aumrak, Guatemalan priestess, as well as a talk by 2012 author/scholar John Major Jenkins, a Q&A with Director Shannon Kring Buset and a special musical performance by TIERRO, the new musical group by Kan’Nal co-founder Tierro Lee.

AumRak, who is featured in the film 2012: The Beginning, is an acclaimed public speaker, curandera (medicine woman), transpersonal psychotherapist, and ceremonialist, who is from Central America and travels around the world to do her work. A yogini for over 30 years, Aumrak has explored the paths and disciplines of yoga, leading her to enhance her psychic gifts of channeling, empathy, and other intuitive reconnections.

John Major Jenkins is a pioneering voice in the evolving 2012 discussion with over twenty years of experience defining and debating the issues. Jenkins is one of the most prolific and passionate 2012ologists out there. Based in Fort Collins, Jenkins’s 1998 book Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 is regarded as a groundbreaking work in the field, and his book, The 2012 Story: The Myths, Fallacies, and Truth Behind the Most Intriguing Date in History (New York: Tarcher/ Penguin, 2009) was one of the first I read on the subject. He’ll be explaining his Galactic Alignment Theory in Boulder this Friday.

“I’m excited to return to Boulder,” he said in an interview, “and for a showing of this wonderful film. I wrote several of my early books while living in Boulder.”

When I asked what attendees can expect to learn this Friday, he answered, “cutting-edge research on what the ancient Maya thought about 2012, and what the modern Maya think about 2012.”

What Do the Modern Maya Say?

Many modern Maya grew up with no living reference to the Long Count or end of 13 b’aktuns, and learned about these things from foreign archaeologists and epigraphers. There are some impressive efforts underway to change this and transfer the ancient knowledge back to Maya youth. There are also a few outspoken Maya elders healers who are using this as an opportunity to reach out to the world.

I attended one talk in 2011 by a K’iche’ elder in a community center outside Denver, Colorado. He had come, he said, as a messenger from his grandfathers in the mountains of Guatemala with this message about 2012:

“A better world is possible! That is my grano de maiz,” he said, my grain of corn, “as we enter the age of the fifth sun.”

Then he told us about a school they were building in his village, and the ceremonies they were performing to prepare all of humanity for the upcoming transition.

“You are invited,” he said to the crowd of 200 or so. “The elders have opened the doors for whenever you’d like to come. Maya spirituality is for everyone. It is universal, it is not just for one group.”

Dr. Jaime Awe, Director of Belize’s Institute of Archaeology, says that 2012 “represents the ending of one cosmological cycle, and the beginning of another. It’s very much the way most people would look at the end of one year and the beginning of another, but over a very, very long period of time. It is a time for reflection, and for considering future direction.”

More Information: http://2012filminboulder.eventbrite.com/

Joshua Berman is a columnist for the Denver Post and author of Maya 2012: A Guide to Celebrations in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize & Honduras. His website is http://joshuaberman.net/


Editor: Elysha Anderson

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