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The Road to Xibalba 

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Lately, I am hearing the discussion about 2012 just about every day. The concept of this being an important year was introduced to popular culture by Jose Arguelles at the time of the Harmonic Convergence in 1987. His work is inspired by Mayan astrology, and in that system we experience a turnover in the calendar, which—so far as I have been able to discern, from the best source I have—reaches the date on December 21, 2012.

That 13 at the front tells us that on the winter solstice of 2012, the 13th baktun will have ended. A baktun is 5,125 years, and five of them represent a “great cycle”—the precessional cycle of about 26,000 years. (Our scientists still cannot calculate an exact length of one precessional cycle.) This is one full wobble of the Earth’s axis, which makes the backdrop of the cosmos seem to slide along and which causes the astrological ages to change.

When you hear about the “Age of Aquarius,” that is a reference to precessional movement. There are no exact dates when these ages begin and end. Generally, when people talk about an astrological age, they are making reference to the position of the Sun on the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. This will come about one day earlier every 70 years. However, a Mayan scholar and New Age author named John Major Jenkins has proposed that what we need to be looking at if we want to understand the Mayan system is not the first day of spring but rather the first day of winter—the position of the Sun at the Winter Solstice.

When you look at that, you find that it aligns closely with the center of our galaxy. That position is retrograding towards the Galactic Center and in particular the dark band at the center of the galaxy, which is known to some modern-day Mayan thinkers as the Road to Xibalba. It is the opening to another dimension, the Mayan underworld; and the symbolism is distinctly yonic in nature. Cave systems in Belize and Guatemala have been referred to as the entrance to Xibalba, though one physical expression referred to by K’iche’ peoples is the dark rift visible in the Milky Way.

Let’s set aside the Mayan symbolism for now and consider the Western astrology on the road to 2012. As of June 1, 2009 we are exactly 1,300 days from the winter solstice of 2012. During that time we experience many significant changes. For example, Uranus, Neptune, and Chiron all change signs. We recently experienced the sign change of Pluto, which transited from Sagittarius to Capricorn (were it will remain until about 2023). As the other outer planets follow suit, our perception of the world will shift again and again with each of the transits.

Then there exists a wide diversity of aspects that tell the story. The most significant of which is occurring right now, as you read this: Chiron conjunct Neptune in Aquarius. Jupiter also happens to be in the mix and even through June these planets are within one degree. Through the month of June they remain in an exact conjunction. My sense is that this is astrology that will shape our time in history. More to the point, it is helping open up a new dimension of reality wherein we have increased creative authority over our lives. And we can, together, create a space where we can meet in psychic space and physical space and restructure our patterns of social interaction.

When we talk about the need for humanity to get free of its current moribund spiral into fear, materialism, and darkness, opening up such a living space, and re-creating our relational patterns, is essential.
Aquarius, where this conjunction occurs, is the sign of both mental and social patterns. Neptune, which has been there for a decade, has melted away the structure of our old patterns, though for many introducing a layer of pure fantasy, media haze and drug haze that makes it impossible to see reality. Chiron focuses Neptune energy, at once applying it precisely and providing an antidote, if necessary. Chiron is like a utility that helps us work with the energy of the outer planets.

Its conjunction to Neptune draws in and clarifies Neptune energy like a laser, which can be applied to awareness, to healing, and to creative endeavors. Jupiter adds a wisdom factor, the quality of expansion and a global theme.

Speaking of...

  • Eric Francis Coppolino looks ahead to 2012.


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