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Saturday, September 15, 2012
What is the Galactic Alignment 2012 by John Major Jenkins
It is my hope that the these definitions will help to standardize the terminology so we can clearly discuss the rare precessional alignment that
culminates in era-2012.
The ecliptic: The path followed by the sun, moon, and planets. It is the plane of our solar system. The ecliptic encircles the earth and is divided
into twelve constellations, or zodiac signs.
The Milky Way: The bright band of star that our solar system belongs to. It encircles the earth and is wider in the region of Sagittarius because
that is where the ‘nucelar bulge” of the Milky Way’s center is located (our Milky Way is saucer shaped).
The Galactic equator: The precise mid-line running down the Milky Way. Analogous to the earth’s equator, it divides the galaxy into two
hemispheres, or lobes.
The Dark Rift in the Milky Way: A feature caused by interstellar dust that runs along the Milky Way from the Galactic Center northward past the
constellation of Aquila.
The December solstice sun: The sun, on the December solstice. It is one-half of a degree wide.
The December solstice point: The precise midpoint of the sun, on the December solstice.
The Precession of the equinoxes: The earth wobbles very slowly on its axis and this causes the position of the equinox to shift backwards, or
precess, through the signs of the ecliptic at the rate of one degree every 71.5 years. The full precessional wobble is complete in roughly 25,800
The vernal equinox point is defined by the intersection of the ecliptic and the celestial equator.
The Celestial Equator: The earth’s equator projected into the stars. It is the plane of the earth’s rotation.
The Cross formed by the Milky Way and the ecliptic: Exactly as stated. There are two of these, one in early Sagittarius, the other in early
Gemini. The former cross has the virtue of being located within the nuclear bulge of the Galactic Center.
The nuclear bulge / the Galactic Center: A bright and wide region of the Milky Way, visible to the naked eye and between Sagittarius and
Scorpio. The more precise and abstract center-point of the nuclear bulge is the precise Galactic Center, located at about 6 degrees Sagittarius
(sidereal) and 27 degrees in the tropical zodiac.
Additional Glossary of Mayan Calendar terms
We can have a more general discussion of galactic alignments in history if we consider that the solstice axis aligns with the galactic equator
every half precession cycle. Likewise, the equinox axis aligns with the galactic equator every half precession cycle. Thus, galactic alignments,
more generally speaking, occur in era 2012 (1980 – 2016) and every quarter precession cycle before and after era 2012.
In terms of Mayan astronomy and mythology, the Dark Rift feature (which the Maya called the Black Road or Xibalba be) lies along the galactic
equator (the Milky Way) in the place where the December solstice sun will be in 2012. (More precisely, the December solstice sun will reach
the southern terminus of the Dark Rift, where it touches the ecliptic in Sagittarius.) Thus, in terms of Mayan mythology, we can also describe the
Galactic Alignment of era-2012 as the alignment of the December solstice sun and the Dark Rift. This entire region is targeted by the cross
formed by the Milky Way and the ecliptic between Sagittarius and Scorpio. This Cross was also recognized by the Maya, and was called the
Crossroads or Sacred Tree. This entire region is embraced by what astronomers call the ‘nuclear bulge’ of the Galactic Center—the center of
our Milky Way galaxy. As any amateur astronomer or naked-eye star gazer knows, this nuclear bulge is recognizable without the aid of radio
telescopes. It is wider and brighter than other parts of the Milky Way. So, in a general sense we can also say that the alignment in 2012 is an
alignment between the December solstice sun and the Galactic Center. However, since the nuclear bulge is quite large, this definition is not
as precise as saying “the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator”, which occurs in the range 1980 – 2016. This is
the alignment zone I refer to with the term “era-2012.”
What is 2012? In short, 2012 is a quickly approaching
year that has been associated with many theories, scientific
facts and prophecies of a coming global change.
What will happen in 2012? Explore what many believe:
Precession is caused by the earth wobbling very slowly on its
axis and shifts the position of the equinoxes and solstices one
degree every 71.5 years. Because the sun is one-half of a
degree wide, it will take the December solstice sun 36 years to
precess through the Galactic equator (see diagram left).
The precise alignment of the solstice point (the precise
center-point of the body of the sun as viewed from earth) with
the Galactic equator was calculated to occur in 1998 (Jean
Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, 1997).
Thus, the Galactic Alignment “zone” is 1998 +/- 18 years =
1980 – 2016. This is “era-2012.”
This Galactic Alignment occurs only once every 26,000 years,
and was what the ancient Maya were pointing to with the 2012
end-date of their Long Count calendar.
Position A is where the
December solstice sun was in
relation to the Milky Way some
3,000 years ago. Position B is
1,500 years ago. And position C
is “era-2012″, when the
December solstice sun has
converged, as a result of the
precession of the equinoxes,
with the exact center-line of the
Milky Way (the Galactic equator).
Notice that the place of
alignment is where the ‘nuclear
bulge’ of the Galactic Center is
Descriptions of the process are also there, but it should be noted
that Nick describes what I refer to as “the solstice-galaxy alignment”
with a preference for the equinox as the measuring reference. Thus,
he speaks of the “Holy Cross” of the equinox axis and the Milky Way.
The point is that “solstice-galaxy alignment” and “equinox-galaxy
cross” refer to the same event.
His 2002 book, Galactic Alignment: The Transformation of Consciousness According to Mayan, Egyptian, and Vedic Traditions was released
with Inner Traditions International (Rochester, VT) in August 2002.
His new book, co-authored with Marty Matz, is called Pyramid of Fire and was released in November 2004.
He also facilitated the translation of The Key to the Kalevala by Pekka Ervast, editing and writing the introduction for it. This classic text on
Finnish mythology was published with Blue Dolphin Publishers in 1999. In 1995 John was appointed literary executor for Eino Friberg,
Finnish-American poet and translator of The Kalevala, the national epic of the Finnish people.
As a visiting scholar, Jenkins has taught classes at The Institute of Maya Studies in Miami, The Maya Calendar Congress in Mexico, The
Esalen Institute, Naropa University and many other venues both nationally and abroad. He has been interviewed on numerous radio and
television shows, including the Art Bell show, the Laura Lee show, Dr. Patricia Hill’s The Changing Paradigm, and has appeared in
documentaries on Native American prophecy and the millennium such as The Fifth Gate (Milton Media, Denmark) and Earth Under Fire
(Conscious Wave Video).
In October of 2000, the Discovery Channel featured John’s work on two episodes of the “Places of Mystery” series, which continue to be
broadcast regularly on the Travel Channel. John will appear in a documentary on the Maya that will be broadcast on the History Channel in
March 2006. John’s careful scholarship and cutting-edge insights into why the Maya chose 2012 to end a great World Age cycle have been
endorsed by the most progressive thinkers of our day.