End of a Long Count

Similar to how the date of Christmas is not anywhere near the actual birthday of Jesus — yet we can surely celebrate his earthly entrance, as we should daily — the 21st of December 2012 was never meant to be a prediction associated with any form of doomsday by the Mayan people. In case anyone has suffered confusion due to this recent spectacle, I would like to share a few thoughts and resources relating to the topic. My message is primarily intended for Christians who are either out of touch with what people have been talking about over the media, or are a little gullible to all waves of hype and worldly opinion.

The truth is that the 21st marked a transition on the Mayan Long Count calendar from the 12th to the 13th B’ak’tun, which is a unit of 144000 days. Now, what motivated them to setup their calendar in this way? It was because they were able to observe the stars with a high level of accuracy and decided to plan out their days in accordance with patterns that they had discovered. As confirmed by astrophysicists, this particular date exhibited the concurrence of the year’s winter solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere) and the Sun appearing to be in the middle of the dark rift of our Milky Way Galaxy. For further details, refer to the video, “Why the Maya Picked 2012”, based on the essay by Thomas Razzeto.

Contrary to popular opinion from “those who survived the apocalypse”, the Mayan wise men were absolutely correct in their astronomical forecasts. They managed to calculate and pinpoint an occasion that happens roughly every 25800 years. The 21st was, indeed, a very unique day and credit must be given to these ancient astronomers for their precision, even without the aid of using the modern telescope.

Not your average pin-up calendar.

And so the Mayan predictions never indicated that the Earth would face destruction in this case. Instead, all the doomsday talk arose out of our sensationalistic pop culture. While I do personally believe that our world is steadily closing in on the depiction portrayed in the Book of Revelation, it has little to do with the relative positioning of planets and stars in our galaxy. The psalmist wrote: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.”1 Yet the usage of celestial bodies in determining the fate of humanity is as imprudent as astrology. There is nothing wrong with scientific astronomy, since the more we understand how the universe works, the more we are in awe of how wonderful the Creator God is. On the other hand, omen-based astronomy — the act of observing stars and calling upon them as though they are gods — is a dangerous practice that ultimately leads to deception.

The Mayan civilisation was definitely guilty of such worship. They were a people that uttered the names of spiritual entities, and their belief system and lifestyle were intimately intertwined with their stargazing practices. Therefore, even if the 21st had no correlation with the ruin of the world, it is still important to be aware of the spiritual connotations linked to the arrival of a new era. For the increasingly prevalent New Age movement, as well as other pagan traditions whether public or secret, the times that we are living in are of particular interest as multiple cycles come to an end and begin afresh. As we have witnessed, these are often heralded by distinctive planetary activity. An example apart from the 21st would be the 3rd of December whereby Mercury, Venus, and Saturn aligned in correspondence with the Giza Pyramids, which occurs every 2737 years. For more information, refer to the report, “December 2012, the Age of Aquarius and the New Earth”, compiled by Scott Mowry.

The big theme is that the time is ripe for humanity to experience transcendence, that there is an imminent shift in our consciousness as we collectively move from ignorance to enlightenment. It is the New Age when Homo sapiens may finally evolve into a higher form of existence, expand our perception and influence on reality, and also redefine what it means to be human.

Despite the great optimism pouring forth from such potential changes, Christians must see past the veil and learn to live by the true meaning of renewal. Rather than celebrating the beginning of a different epoch, we would do well to establish and anchor our lives according to the ages defined by the work of God and his covenant with the people under his rule — namely, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and his future return as the sovereign king over the whole Earth.

Hence it is transformation that we seek, not transcendence. God the Father is constantly at work on this impossible task through the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit who lives in us. And rest assured that the outcome will be better than anything we can evolve into by our own efforts, as Paul wrote, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”2

In conclusion, the 21st of December 2012 was an interesting date for its cosmological phenomenon, but carried no direct consequence on our physical and spiritual wellbeing. Unfortunately, those who are still living under worldly principalities may be tossed around by the subsequent waves of deceitful spirituality founded on occult philosophies. Christ followers, however, are simply reminded to deepen our roots with God so that we may stand firm and persevere in times of confusion and hostility.

Lastly, always remember to admire creation, but give praise to the Creator!


  1. Psalm 19:1 (NIV).
  2. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV).