by John Lash

from MetaHistory Website




  1. Stars on the end-time Horizon - Real-Sky Observations for 2012

  2. Countdown to 2012 - Reflections on Kali Yuga, the Maya end-time, and the Western Narrative Spell

  3. The Discovery of the Next World - Reflections Beyond the Maya end-time

  4. The Party of Xolotl - Magic and Initiation Among the end-time Tribes

















Stars on the end-time Horizon
Real-Sky Observations for 2012

5 March 2007



I guess I began contemplating the 2012 end-time in the early 1970s, inspired by the publication of Mexico Mystique by anthropologist Frank Waters. I had been working with precession for some years, but tools and techniques were quite primitive back in those days.


I had no access to a computer, and there was not yet a lot of fancy calculation in print, either on precession or Mesoamerican calendrics. Anthony Aveni's Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico was not published until six years later. In the next decade, the 1980s, archeo-astronomy took off famously, with many books appearing at once. It was a heady time to be on the trail of ancient skylore.

It is worth noting that Waters' book appeared in 1974, the inceptive moment of the 1974-2012 interval centered on the nodal year, 1993. I have suggested that this 38-year interval marks the unique generation that will navigate humanity toward the Maya end-time. 1974 signals the initial conditions for the global perspective to emerge in the minds of that generation. Those who initialized the vision of planetary transformation (or whatever) in the 1970s will transmit it to the younger members of the generation, those who live at the post-millennial end of the interval. I believe that generational continuity is essential to the viability and coherence of end-time visions.

The wave of interest in archeoastronomy, and its legitimization as a scientific genre, falls neatly into the 1974-2012 interval. John Michell's cult classic, The View over Atlantis, went up like a signal flare in 1969, calling attention to sacred landscape and ley-lines. Peter Lancaster Brown's Megaliths, Myths and Men, still the best overview of the subject, came out in 1976. Sky/ground mirroring and the stellar orientation of megalithic sites (e.g. Graham Hancock, Heaven's Mirror) are recurrent topics of the end-time.


From megalithic astronomy we take instruction on the long view of civilization and the millennial parameters of cultural evolution.



The Path of Heart

Mexico Mystique was a revelation. I remember reading it in one long summer day and a short night, hunkered down in my little adobe house on La Vereda, just off Palace Avenue in Santa Fe, and trembling with excitement. It was a thrill to see end-time speculation treated seriously by a well-known anthropologist and specialist in the indigenous lore of the Southwest, especially Hopi tradition.


At the time, Frank Waters was the dean of Native American anthropology. He lived not far from me, up north in Taos, about an hour's drive along a spectacular route that (after Pilar) follows the course of the Rio Grande. That summer I visited him at Arroyo Seco. Tall and thin as a beanpole, he was an amiable and elegant man. We discussed the long-range parameters of cultural change and historical upheaval reflected in planetary and sidereal cycles.

There are some things in Mexico Mystique that do not stand up today, but much more that still bears consideration. Waters used the subtitle, "The Coming Sixth World of Consciousness," linked closely to the Aquarian Age. Although he worked equally with Maya and Aztec myth and calendrics, Waters emphasized the Aztec Ages or "Suns," and in particular the motif of Ollin, "movement."


He noted that the Fifth Age is not just another age in the sequence because,

"the Fifth Sun, or Sun of Movement, held for the Nahuas the added significance of being the unifying center of the four directional suns that preceded it" (p. 121).

Citing Aztec Thought and Culture by Miguel Leon-Portilla (a superb book, by the way), he added:

Within the Fifth Sun, world, or era, lay another synthesizing center  - the soul of man.

Writes Leon-Portilla:

"The profound significance of movement to the Nahuas can be deduced from the common Nahuatl root of the words movement, heart, and soul. To the ancient Mexicans, life, symbolized by the heart (y-ollo-tl), was inconceivable without the element which explains it, movement (y-olli)." (p. 121)

Waters saw in the heart-movement motif our challenge at the end-time: to find the path of heart for humanity, our species. He sensed that we might respond to that challenge by taking instruction from the myth of Quetzalcoatl. In his rendition of this myth, Waters noted that Xolotl was identical with Kukulcan of the Maya, a lightning god associated with Itzamna, the celestial serpent (Milky Way).


Maya and Aztec myth alike see in Xolotl the twin of the Plumed Serpent Quetzalcoatl, whose Mayan name is Gucumatz.

Mexico Mystique touches on both the cataclysmic possibilities of the end-time (oddly calculated for 2011), as well as its transformational prospects for our species, but Waters does not elaborate too much on the latter. He deemed it valuable (as do I) to reckon the full duration of the Long Count. To do so, he used the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson (GMT) correlation and a start date of August 12, 3113 BCE.


In his overview of the full 5124-year period, Waters discussed the Hindu Yugas and drew upon the work of siderealist Cyril Fagan, anthroposophist Gunther Wachsmith, Gurdjieffien Rodney Collin, all of whom attempted to construct a coherent model of the Zodiacal ages - alas, without much success.


The problem is, or was at that time, that none of these people had the complete astronomical picture that shows how the pattern of Zodiacal ages is structured according to an extra-Zodiacal factor: the galactic center.



The Galactic View


The solar system (* SS) in the spiral arms or limbs of the galaxy.

The third limb, counting outwards from the center, is called the Orion limb.

Distance from the SS to the galactic center (GC), about 24,000 light-years.

Full span of limbs, about 30-32,000 LY.

The view is foreshortened, making the outer limb look larger.

Today we have the advantage of knowing quite a lot about the galactic alignment of the Zodiac.


Many current discussions of 2012 assume this alignment to be the determining factor in the Long Count, considered astronomically, but, for some odd reason, the pattern of Zodiacal Ages is rarely factored into this perspective. The galactic alignment of the Zodiac gets a lot of attention, but the overall pattern of the Zodiacal Ages is ignored - a serious oversight in end-time astronomy.


Yet 2012 has been associated with the Aquarian Age.

The Zodiacal Ages (Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, etc) are measured by star-patterns on the ecliptic, a band of thirteen constellations of uneven size and extent. The stars in these constellations lie in relatively close proximity to the earth in the immediate region of the galactic limb we occupy, the third limb of four counting outward from the center. In their totality all the stars visible to us in all directions from the earth comprise about three percent of the stars in the galaxy!


Of this three percent, only a minute selection comprise the massive figures of the Zodiacal constellations. The maximum distance of these stars is not more than 1500 light-years, compared to the distance of 24,000 light-years to the galactic center.

The constellations of the entire celestial sphere, including the Ecliptic band of 13 figures and 75 extra-Ecliptic formations, are composed of near, naked-eye stars in the local limb, or arm. Because we are located within the arm, we notice the region of dense star population, the edge of the spiral arm, and on either side of that, constellations spread across less densely populated space. The lateral edge of the spiral arm, seen from within, is the Milky Way.


It intersects the band of Zodiacal constellations at two points, between Taurus and Gemini, and between Scorpio and Sagittarius.



The above map (Erlewine, Astrophysical Directions) shows the Milky Way as the shaded area.


The path of the ecliptic where the sun moves through the sky (actually, the orbital plane of the earth) runs from right to left, crossing the Milky Way at an angle of about 65 degrees. Out of the 88 constellations in the celestial sphere surrounding the earth, the ecliptic traverses thirteen distinct star-patterns: Taurus, Gemini, and Cancer are shown here.


The Zodiacal constellations, or ecliptic constellations as they can also be called, stand apart from the extra-Ecliptic constellations, such as Orion seen here beneath Taurus. Orion, with his right arm raised up toward the horns of Taurus, seems to dangle off the Milky Way.

The Milky Way intersects the ecliptic at an angle of 65 degrees, as just noted. Erlewine follows astronomical convention and inserts a hypothetical median line or equator in the Milky Way, the so-called galactic equator. It runs from Perseus to Auriga, between Taurus and Gemini, down into Canis Minor and so on around the full celestial sphere. The region where the Milky Way and ecliptic intersect is visually remarkable because the horns of Taurus extend into the dense starstream of the Milky Way, and the feet of twins likewise dip into it. In naked-eye observation, these graphic details create a striking visual impression.

So, the entire celestial sphere we see does not comprise the galaxy, but a mere section of the local limb, the third from center counting outwards. All the stars around the earth fit into a "bubble of observability" crisscrossed by two bands, the band of the Milky Way, consisting of eighteen constellations, and the band of the thirteen Zodiacal constellations on the Ecliptic.


Other star-patterns are spread out over the expanse of the celestial sphere in all directions.



The Two Zodiacs

The best way to track the Zodiacal Ages is with a flat model that displays all thirteen ecliptic patterns in a circular format. Such models are extremely hard to find, however. Despite all that has been written on the Ages, you will not find a clear, straightforward illustration of the Zodiac in a circular format except, perhaps, among the little-known school of sidereal astrology. I developed the model that I now use at the start of the 1974 - 2012 interval.


The illustration below shows at the center a typical horoscope plotted on the grid of twelve astrological signs, and simultaneously, the real-sky constellations excluded from the horoscope.



Although it is difficult to make out the details, the central wheel consists of the twelve zodiacal signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini) with planets in them on a specific date.


The sign Zodiac of popular astrology uses a division of the ecliptic plane into twelve equal slices, like a pizza. Planetary positions are measured on this uniform grid irrespective of their actual. observable positions relative to the surrounding stars. Beyond the sign Zodiac we see the shape and extent of the real-sky constellations that lie along the rim of the ecliptic; hence I call this model the "Rimsite."


The arrows extending outwards from the starless horoscope show how each planet in the sign Zodiac has another position in the star Zodiac. This is conversion to Star Base™, the graphic format of the real-sky constellations.

It is perplexing to learn that Sun sign astrology based on uniform ecliptic sectors ignores the stars, but this is an irrefutable fact. I have spilled tons of ink in the effort to sort out the two formats, sign Zodiac and star Zodiac, but that is not the issue here. The above illustration serves to show that the ecliptic plate with the full array of astrological signs - i.e., the horoscopic format - is independent of the surrounding constellations.


Astrologers locate planets in that format (the orbital plane of the earth divided into twelve equal sections of 30 degrees each) and totally ignore the irregular star patterns visible in the night sky. Astrology ignores the stars. We have to look to astronomical resources to work out any patterns of Zodiacal timing that may apply to 2012.

To track the Zodiacal Ages, we observe how the ecliptic plate rotates against the surrounding stars. Precession is mapped by a carousel movement: the slow rotation of the ecliptic plate with its array of twelve Sun signs, at the rate of one degree every 72 years against the background of the fixed stars. 72 X 360 = 25,920 years for the full cycle.

Precession occurs as the solstices and equinoxes (the four quarters of the starless astrological grid system) shift against the starry background of the constellations. The conventional marker for the Zodiacal Ages is the spring equinox or vernal point, abbreviated VP. This is the first degree of the astrological sign Aries.


It might be equated to the one-hour mark on a clock face. Imagine that the immense ecliptic plate is a clock face numbered 1 to 12 and divided into four quadrants, framed by a graphic display of thirteen mythical figures such as a bull, crab, scorpion, centaur, etc. The clock face rotates so that in one epoch of history the one-hour mark stands in front of the bull (Taurian Age: 4400 - 1850 BCE), but in another epoch, it stands in front of the crab (Cancerian Age: 7800 - 6150 BCE).


Precession, then, is the rotation of the ecliptic sign-carousel relative to the circle of environing real-sky constellations.



Real-Sky Graphics

The position of the sun against the background of the Star Zodiac on March 21 of any year shows the Zodiacal Age for that historical epoch. Currently, the VP stands in the constellation of Pisces, the Fishes, at the nine o'clock position in the model above. It is slowly shifting clockwise from under one of the fishes into the next constellation, Aquarius, the Waterbearer.

There are two ways to show the real-sky constellations, by composites or dot-to-dot patterns, as seen on astronomical maps:



 - and by graphics, presenting a visual or imaginary version of the star-pattern:



Any astronomical map will show the position of the spring equinox for a given date (VP: 1950), but traditionally, maps used for naked-eye observation depict the constellations graphically, e.g., the two fishes of Pisces in the celestial atlas of Elijah Burritt, 1835, based on the woodcuts of Albrect Durer, 1510.


One of the fishes swims up and away from the ecliptic, toward Andromeda, the Chained Woman. The other swims westward along and above the ecliptic toward the neighboring constellation of Aquarius.


The second fish might be imagined to be swimming into currents that stream from the urn held by the Waterbearer. This is one way to visualize the transition from Pisces to Aquarius.

However you picture it, the VP has a long, long way to go before it enters the composite stars of Aquarius - at least eight hundred years. This is not a matter of speculation, but a simple astronomical computation.


Beta Piscium, the star that marks the nose of the fish swimming left to right along the ecliptic, has a longitude of 348.59 for the year 2000. This is 11.41 degrees from the VP, the zero point on the ecliptic. 11.41 X 72 = 822 years until the VP reaches that star and leave the Pisces composite. Technically, the VP does enter the composite stars of the constellation of Aquarius until 2822 CE!

The Fishes are joined by a thread that provides distinct visual separation from the neighboring constellation, the Ram. The VP coming from the Ram touched that thread around 120 BCE, when the Piscean Age began. Measured strictly in astronomical terms, the duration of the Piscean Age is about 2900 years. The Zodiacal Ages are uneven in length, because the star-patterns that designate them are irregular in shape and extent.


Unlike other students of cosmic timing, I reject the model of twelve Ages computed in uniform periods of 2160 years. It is far more instructive, I contend, to look at the timing of the Ages in real astronomical terms.

Every star in the ecliptic constellations can be precisely dated. The Zodiac is a star clock, a precision instrument for tracking the Ages. The graphic formations used to track precession belong to the observable Star Zodiac and have nothing to do with the starless, non-observable signs. Due to this situation, we require two sets of names to distinguish signs and constellations.


I prefer to the leave the well-known Greco-Latin names (Aries, Taurus, Gemini, etc) to designate the astrological signs, and to adopt pictorial, "story-book" names for the real-sky constellations: Ram, Bull, Twins, etc. Unfortunately, astronomical maps use the astrological names. In the astronomical map above I have supplied the pictorial names, Ram, Fishes, Waterbearer, in place of the usual Latin names.

Getting the habit of using the story-book names is not easy, but it helps hugely once it is acquired. We can then refer to sign and constellation simultaneously. Someone born, say, on September 26, has the sun in 4 degrees of the sign Libra on the ecliptic scale, and in the face of the Virgin in the graphic form of the constellations.


The placement in the constellation does not mean that this person, presumed to be a Libra, is really a Virgo. The real-sky placement of the sun, the moon, and planets does not denote personality, and does not yield a stereotype comparable to the Sun sign types in astrology.


It points to another dimension of human experience, the transpersonal realm.



Midnight Hour

To return to the question of how 2012 relates to the Zodiacal Ages: we noted that Frank Waters and other scholars were unable to determine this connection because they did not have the extra-Zodiacal factor that identifies the midnight hour of precessional timing.


The VP goes around the Zodiac from one Age to the next, precessing against the natural or seasonal order of the constellations.


The Ages run in reverse:

  • Geminian (6150 - 4400 BCE)

  • Taurean (4400 - 1820 BCE)

  • Arien (1820 - 120 BCE)

  • Piscean (current, began 120 BCE)

This is the sequence of the Ages, but it does not reveal their pattern. We only discover the pattern of cosmic timing when we lock the complete cycle of Zodiacal Ages into an extra-Zodiacal framework so that the zero hour or midnight hour can be determined. The decisive factor outside the Zodiac is the galactic center.

The galactic center does not, of course, lie in the local limb where the Zodiacal star-patterns appear. It is situated at the core of the four-armed galactic spiral, about 24,000 light-years from us, eighteen times more distant than any star in the Zodiac. The core itself is not visible to us, but the direction toward it can be seen in the area where one Zodiacal figure, the Archer, comes together with another, the Scorpion. The galactic center, which is far, far beyond the stars of the Zodiac, can be located provisionally within the Zodiacal constellations, thus providing a midnight setting for the cycle of the Ages.

The full precessional cycle is called the Kalpa. When the VP aligns to the galactic center, the Kalpa "turns over," and a new precessional cycle commences.

Although the vernal point is the hour-hand of the Zodiacal Ages, it is not the alignment of the VP to the galactic center that determines the midnight moment. Calculations of precession, comparison of the World Ages in different traditions, and other details of astro-mythological lore have led most scholars (including myself) to conclude that the zero hour happens when the winter solstice aligns to the galactic center.


Currently, the position of the winter solstice, where the sun stands on December 21 each year, is about three degrees westward from the best estimate for the sightline to the galactic center: that is, 27 degrees of the astrological sign Sagittarius, or ECL 267. The position of the winter solstice is by definition at 270 on the ecliptic scale.

At 72 years per degree, there are three degrees or about 200 years to go before the Zodiac ticks down to the zero hour, the end of one full cycle of 25,920 years and the start of another. According to my studies of the Dendera Zodiac, an ancient artifact that shows graphically how galactic alignment defines the frame of the Zodiacal Ages, the exact date would be 2216 CE.


The start-date for the cycle then ending would be 72 X 360 (the full cycle) less 2216 years = 23,704 BCE. The full duration of the current precessional cycle (Kalpa) is 25,920 years. If you compare this period to a 24-hour day, we are living in the last eleven minutes of that day.

Michael's Erlewine's groundbreaking manual, Astrophysical Directions, was published by the Heart Center School of Astrology in Ann Arbor in 1977, three years after Mexico Mystique appeared. It clearly shows the location of the galactic center near the tail of the Scorpion, just above the sting. The neighboring constellation of the Archer appears to aim his arrow directly at this point - one of numerous cosmic directional signals encoded in the Zodiac and extra-Zodiacal constellations.


(Paul LaViolette, known for his cataclysmic cosmic ray theory, claims to have discovered that the Archer points to the galactic center, but Erlewine's book appeared before his work. In 1977 anyone looking at Michael Erlewine's detailed sky maps could have made the observation. I clearly recall discussing it with astrologer Ray Mardyks in a cafe in Santa Monica in 1978.)



Erlewine's map (detail above) clearly shows the galactic center (GC) at 0 on the scale of the galactic equator, an imaginary line running transversely through the local limb.


The darkened region is the Milky Way, the lateral edge of the galactic arm we inhabit. We have already seen how the Milky Way intersects the ecliptic constellations of the Twins and the Bull in the northern reaches of the sky. Here, toward the south, it intersects the Scorpion and the Archer (the "story-book" names).


There is a distinct bulge in the Milky Way in this region, suggesting the bulge of the immense star mass at the hub of our galaxy. Toward the Archer we are looking at the hub, but cannot actually see it because, astronomers say, it is shrouded in a thick cloud of black dust.

In the constellation of the Archer (astronomical name Sagittarius, not to be confused with the astrological sign of the same name!), the star gamma, shown by the Greek letter resembling a y, marks the tip of the arrow aimed toward the Scorpion. The galactic center (GC) is a little above his line of aim. Close and sustained observation of these immense composites shows that the Archer aims at the star eta in the lower torso of the Scorpion. Yet the close proximity to the GC leaves the impression that his arrow points to that locale as well.

It is certainly remarkable that the distinctive pointing gesture of the Archer directs our attention on a sightline on the galactic center. Bear in mind that the Archer visualization is highly improbable, and does not intuitively come to mind. The composite of this constellation is often drawn dot-to-dot as a teapot, which it roughly resembles.


It certainly looks more like a teapot than an archer aiming his bow! I would not claim that this constellation was designed to point out the galactic center, because, obviously, no star-pattern is a human construct.


But I would suggest that from time before reckoning people were taught to visualize the composite stars as an archer aiming his arrow in that way so that their attention would be graphically directed to the galactic center. Almost none of composites of the constellations resemble the graphics attached to them. They are deliberate devices of visualization intended to bring attention to specific astrophysical directions.

On the above astronomical map, the ecliptic is the line marked 240 - 250 - 260, running right to left. This is the path of the sun throughout the year. At 270 the sun reaches the winter solstice. With precession, the solstice point shifts west (to the right). Clearly the point of the solstice is close to alignment with the GC, but it has a way to go - around 200 years.


The infrastructure of the Dendera Zodiac confirms this timescale.


Detail of the Dendera Zodiac, showing how Axis E points
to the sightline for the galactic center, located at the tip
the Archer's arrow, above the tail of the Scorpion.




Starry Endowment

The constellations shown here, called by their story-book names, Archer and Scorpion, are not the same at the astrological signs, Sagittarius and Scorpio.


Likewise for the Fishes, which is a real-sky composite not to be confused with the astrological sign Pisces. If you are a Pisces (February 20 - March 21), you do not have the sun in the star pattern of the Fishes, but in the star pattern of the preceding constellation, the Waterbearer.


Yet this is not exactly the case, either. If you are born in the last 10-12 degrees of the sign Pisces (i.e., after March 10), your natal sun is indeed located in the composite stars of the fish that swims along the ecliptic. Can we say, then, that in some cases a sign or part of a sign will coincide with a constellation? Not really.

There is no point-to-point "correspondence" between signs and constellations, and there never was a time when they coincided. The sign Zodiac and the star Zodiac are two distinct formats. This fact does not invalidate Sun sign astrology, but throws it into an entirely new perspective.


I discuss this matter at length in my book, Quest for the Zodiac.


The formidable task of decoding the Star Zodiac reveals what I call stellar phylogenetics. I mention it here because it may turn out that phylogenetic transfer is one of the key revelations of the end-time.


Rather than impose this notion as a pet idea of mine, I would like to see how it reveals itself over time, in the immediate future and the years leading up to 2012.

In Quest for the Zodiac, I explain that we all have two kinds of inheritance. The first is our universally recognized genetic inheritance from blood relations. This is the component of genetic replication carried in the chromosomes, where about 3 percent of our DNA is configured.


The other kind of inheritance is a transfer to the individual from the human species as a whole - genomic, rather than genetic (chromosomal).


The genomic inheritance, which I call the endowment, can be decoded from the array of planets in the graphic constellations, Ram, Twins, Virgin, Scorpion, etc.


Unlike the astrological signs, which present a set of twelve psychological types, the constellations of the real-sky Zodiac do not indicate consistent personality traits but transpersonal gifts and faculties inherited by each person from the experience of humanity at large: the genomic endowment of humanity's long-range potential.

Phylogenetic transfer is pan-species inheritance, the way humanity transmits its high-end learning assets from one generation to the next.

In Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, John Major Jenkins writes:

"They [the Maya] used thirteen constellations rather than twelve. This fact would result in a different timing for the anticipated shift in World Ages, one that would not agree with the dawn of the Aquarian Age recognized in Western astrology"

(p. xxxvi).

Precisely so. The real-sky Zodiac of thirteen irregular constellations is not only the frame of the World Ages but also presents the "cosmic code" of phylogenetic transfer. It shows how the genius of the human species evolves over time by a genomic transfer of peak potential.


Jenkins says,

"according to Maya calendric science, the Great Cycle times our collective unfolding as a species, as well as the cycles of culture"

(p. 22-23).

The trick is, to understand how long-range changes in the human species come to fruition via self-actualized individuals living in a particular historical epoch.



Sophia's Correction

I seem to recall that Jenkins refers somewhere to the genius of the human species.


His language for the Maya end-time points to that conception. In many ways Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, which appeared in 1998, is a parallel text to Quest for the Zodiac, published a year later. Jenkins based book on studies of the Maya calendar and cultural mythology of Mesoamerica, and I based mine on the Dendera Zodiac and comparative mythology.


The difference is in the way we each set up expectations for the Next Age. Jenkins asserts that precession is a model of evolution with each Age as a "growth cycle" comprised of particular parameters and lessons (p. 22). He assumes that with the change of the Age or shift to the "Next World," humanity as a whole undergoes a spiritual rebirth:

If precession is understood as a collective gestation of the human spirit, it requires a birth moment in which the cumulative achievements of the 26,000-year growth cycle come to fruition. (p. 324)

In this moment of fruition or "spiritual embryogenesis" (a notion derived from Oliver Reiser), Jenkins sees the Galactic Center "as the supreme sociopolitical organizing principle" (324), and he anticipates that the connection to the center will produce a massive catalytic effect upon humanity, shifting the attitude, if not the behavior, of our entire species.

For my part, I am far less optimistic about a collective shift, and more inclined to see a surge of genius potential in certain individuals. My efforts to decode the real-sky Zodiac have led me to believe that phylogenetic transfer is perpetual, and there is no key moment of collective shift into a higher octave of awareness  - although there are sudden cataclysmic moments of collective breakdown.


In the 2012 shift I see a moment when the surge of genius potential in individuals who realize their endowment can play over into collective life, inducing critical changes. To me the most fascinating thing about 2012 is how the surge parlays into a social and collective correction - or IF it does.

While Jenkins (and others) anticipate "the transformation of humanity into something completely new (p. xxxv)," I see novelty emerging through gifted individuals all the time, all through history, but in particular ebbs and flows that can be tracked (as Terence McKenna attempted to do with his timeline based on permutations of the I Ching).


Novelty is a feature of human expression carefully observed and nurtured in the Mysteries, as I explain in Not in His Image. Gnostics identified the singularity of the human species by the Greek word monogenes, which scholars translate as "only-begotten." I protest that "only-begotten" is a received concept reflecting bogus theological doctrines that have nothing to do with the educational insight of the telestai, the seers who maintained the Mysteries. The singularity of the human species - its capacity to continually express novelty - is a central theme in the Gnostic myth of Sophia.


I propose that novelty emerges as the peak potential realized by certain people in one generation or historical epoch assumes a new configuration in a later generation or epoch.

Phylogenetic transfer is ongoing and diachronic, with novelty possible at any moment, although there are certain moments when it surges. 2012 is one of those moments. Both Jenkins and I agree that this date is not the dawn of the Aquarian Age, nor the end of the precessional cycle.


I propose that it is the moment when we acquire the navigational skills to get to the end. In this process, which will take about 200 years to unfold, the concept of the Galactic Center is of paramount importance. Jenkins makes this point several times, and I too insist on that emphasis, but with a different spin.

Additional to singularity, monogenes, the sacred narrative of the Old World Mysteries carries the themes of self-organization, autogenes, and correction, diorthosis. Self-organization, or autopoesis, is the property innate to all living matter, but according to the sophisticated parapsychology of the gnostikoi, we, the human species, can deviate from what is innate due to our preference for abstraction and model-making. We come to like our ideas about reality more than reality itself.


We cocoon in ideational and technological gimmicky, in models and memes. Doing so, we lose touch with the essential intelligence that informs all life, and we even lose our connection to humanity itself, becoming dehumanized, routinary, banal and predictable (as don Juan remarked to Castaneda in their conversation about alien intrusion by "the flyers").

In some manner that is not entirely clear in what remains of Gnostic writings, the ancient seers understood that our tendency to deviate from our true potential into artificiality was connected with a problem facing Sophia, the goddess who morphed into the earth and who is now the living intelligence of the earth, the planetary entelechy.


They taught that Sophia is involved in a correction by which she becomes aligned to the cosmic source of all organic life in our galaxy: the galactic core or Pleroma. We have seen that knowing the actual physical locality of the core is essential to plotting the cycle of Zodiacal Ages by the determination of a midnight hour based on extra-Zodiacal alignment.

Is this alignment, so far stated purely in astronomical terms, somehow related to the correction of Sophia by which she reintegrates herself with the Aeons in the Pleroma?


Exploring this question is, in my view, the leading challenge of the 2012 end-time.

I will continue to develop the notion of Sophia's correction in follow-up articles on real-sky lore relating to 2012. For now, I would like to wind up this article with a summary comment: The correction of Sophia, the planetary entelechy, is the single most important factor yet to be integrated into our growing intuition of the 2012 end-time and what lies beyond it. As far as I know, nothing in the current debate refers explicitly or even by implication to the role of the planetary intelligence in the immanent changes facing our species.


There is huge speculation about pole shift and the reversal of the magnetic fields, but these phenomena are not considered in terms of conscious orientation of the Gaian mind. As far as Gaia is concerned, the materialistic paradigm still prevails, and the assumption of blind, unconscious matter pervades the debate.


When do we start talking about the shift of the planetary mind, Sophia's correction, rather than a shift in the collective mind of humanity, and how do we establish the syntax for such a conversation?

2012 brings an opportunity to contemplate the mind of Gaia as the supernatural intelligence that complements human genius and engages singularity rather than the collective psyche or mass-mind mentality. It may be that Gaia-Sophia favors the gifted, those who fulfil the genomic endowment, and depends on them for her correction.


This is what the Gnostic teachings appear to indicate.


Back to Contents








Countdown to 2012

Reflections on Kali Yuga, the Maya end-time, and the Western Narrative Spell
January 2007


Spanish version



With the turn of the new year, I found myself reflecting on the proximity of 2012, the end date of the Maya calendar. Discussion of this timing has been escalating rapidly for a number of years now, and not just in New Age circles.


A great many internet sites and forums are dedicated to it.


It is the main subject of Daniel Pinchbeck's book, 2012 The Return of Quetzalcoatl (which I have yet to read), and a dozen other speculative tomes. Currently, John Major Jenkins and Carl Johan Calleman are slugging it out to see who will be the victorious visionary of the 2012 countdown.

This may be the apt moment for me to weigh in on this arcane subject. Apart from a tentative essay for, I've kept mum so far. More and more of late, friends are asking me what I think about the "end-time" and what others like Jenkins and Calleman are saying about it.


Those who know something of my work in astral phylogenetics (Quest for the Zodiac), stellar mythology, the World Ages, and precessional timing (Dendera Decoded), are curious about my views. Having spent a good many years in the practice of skywatching and investigation into the Zodiacal timeframe and various schemes of long-term chronology - Hindu, Egyptian, Tibetan, Maya, Aztec, Persian, Mithraic, Gurdjieffian, theosophical, anthroposophical, and others I forget - I feel almost obliged to comment on this trendy topic.

I will dispense with a pungent Lashian overview of the World Ages (he says, barely restraining the urge to salivate heavily). What follows is a short description of the Maya Long Count, with some thoughts about what might be facing us in the countdown to the end-time.


Maya fresco thought to depict the Flood, with volcano
erupting in the background.


Thirteen Baktuns

The Maya calendar is a cultural artifact from the general category of the World Ages. Computing the long-term chronology of the cosmos was a concern in all ancient cultures from China to Peru.


The introduction of calendars to regulate civic life and agricultural planning was a long and complex process. In devising these systems, the calendar-makers did not limit themselves to time in the human scale, but extended their computations to countless thousands of years. In these permutations, they sometimes came up with remarkable figures.

The number 4,320,000,000 occurs in Hindu chronology where it is associated with the cosmological motif of the "Days and Nights of Brahma." This number caught the attention of Joseph Campbell, who observed that 4,320,000,000 years, or 4.32 billion years, is intriguingly close to the current estimate for the geological age of the earth, 4.5 billion years. (I apply the Hindu norm rather than the accepted geological estimate in my calculation of the age of Gaia.)


4320 is the base number that generates the four Yugas of Hindu cosmology. It also shows up in the chronology of prediluvian kings compiled by the Babylonian priest, Berossus, and elsewhere. It is an artificial norm (a sacred canonical unit, if you prefer) that also factors into various geological, sidereal, solar, lunar, and planetary time cycles.

Like the Hindu timescale, Maya calendrics runs into "nonillions" of years - the range of remote, unimaginable numbers. The mathematician-priests who devised the Maya calendar recorded exact dates of events, down to the day, but they also liked to extrapolate far backward and forward in time. The precision of their planetary, solar, and lunar tables is impressive.


They calculated the cycles of Venus and the Earth as accurately as we do today, down to four decimal points.


This mastery of verifiable time-cycles commands respect, and obliges us to look closely at their long-term extrapolations. For the Maya and all other ancient peoples, verifiable and non-verifiable calculations were integral to a single system of sacred calendrics.


I see nothing woolly-minded in granting some respect to their long-term timeframe, especially if something can be learned from doing so.

According to most experts, the Long Count dates from early in the Classical Maya era, 200 - 900 CE, although it may be much older in conception (possibly originating among the Olmecs in the 7th C. BCE).


The engravings that record the earliest dates are Chiapas de Corzo, Stela 2, 32 BCE, and Tikal Stela 2, 292 CE.


The last date recorded was January 909 CE. The calendar uses a string of five units factored on a 20-base: k'ín (1 day), winal (20 days), tun (360 days of 18 winals), katun (7200 days or 20 tuns) and baktun (144,000 days or 20 katuns).

The stele or engraved stones with calendric glyphs record dates by hieroglyphs and dot and bar notations, showing the units by position. Scholars notate the dates in five placements, from baktun to k'in, like this:, equivalent to June 18, 751 AD.


December 21, 2012 is written There are three standards of correlation and, you bet, a lot of quibbles and fine tuning in Maya chronology. (Stela drawing from Beyond 2012, used by permission. See box below.)


Beyond 2012 by Geoff Stray is the source book on the 2012 debate. The author pulls together a staggering array of theory and information and on the end-time, including my discovery of the fifth axis in

the Dendera Zodiac.

Stray's book is especially strong on technical information and telluric sciences - for instance, the correlation of fluctuations in the earth's magnetic field to precession (Ch.9). Geoff Stray is the creator and manager of the Diagnosis2012, the premiere database on 2012.


The Long Count is backdated to August 13, 3114, and comes ahead to December 21, 2012.


This is a total of 5126 years or 1,867,145 days. This interval is close to 13 baktuns of 144,000 days each, so the Maya Long Count is routinely called "thirteen baktuns." Not a terribly long period of time as sacred calculations go, but long enough to frame a vast historical perspective.

The Long Count of 5126 years is roughly one-fifth of the full cycle of precession of the equinoxes, 25,920 years. This fits the Long Count into a verifiable frame of astronomical timing, which is impressive. Because the Count is an increment of the full precessional cycle, it can be analyzed in parallel with the Zodiacal frame of precession.


The current debate centers on what is going to happen when the Count expires in December 2012, just five years and eleven months from now. I will be more precise: there was a new moon on the eve of the winter solstice, 21 December, 2006. This is exactly six years to the end of the Long Count. In six years there are 74 new moons (occurring on the synodic cycle of 29.53 days).


We can count down to the end-time by lunar intervals. As I write these words, we are in the 74th moon.



Making It Up

Before looking ahead at what the Maya end-time might signify, let's look back at the initial date.


So far, this has received far less attention than the end date. But I would argue that outcome of the Count will be reflected, in some manner and some measure, in the initial conditions. If we are expecting something to end in 2012 CE, it might be helpful to know what began, what conditions prevailed, at the start date in 3114 BCE.

When scholars first worked out the correlation of the Long Count to the Julian calendar that we use - the Goodman-Martinez-Thompson correlation, lately improved by John Major Jenkins - some esotericists loitering on the sidelines noted that the 3114 BCE start date is close to the Hindu date of 3102 BCE, said to mark the beginning of a cosmic cycle, Kali Yuga.


Hindu legend states that Kali Yuga, the age of darkness or decadence in which we now live, began with the death of Krishna on February 16, 3102 BCE. This is perhaps the most famous date in sacred calendrics. Hindu calculations make the length of Kali Yuga hugely longer than the Maya Long Count, but the coincidence of start dates is striking. This is the Hindu-Maya correlation.

In Dendera Decoded (unpublished), my study of the sacred calendrics of the Dendera Zodiac, I show that Axis D on the bas-relief at Dendera marks the date 3102 BCE, indicated by alignment of the equinoxes to the star Antares in the Scorpion. (Right now, the planet Jupiter is aligned to that star, the red giant in the heart of the Scorpion, making a lovely predawn spectacle here in Andalucia.)


In Egyptian myth, the date 3102 BCE designates the murder of Osiris, parallel to the death of Krishna. This gives the Hindu-Maya-Egyptian correlation.


(For a short summary of my Dendera work, including the discovery of a fifth, hitherto unknown axis, see Colin Wilson, The Atlantis Blueprint, and the website:, and scroll down to item 38.)

What to make of the correlation between Kali Yuga and the Maya Long Count?


Buddhist and Hindu sources present quite a lot of material on Kali Yuga. In the Tantra of the Great Liberation, Shiva discourses to his consort Parvati on the deplorable conditions into which humanity will sink at the end of Kali Yuga. Many of the things he describes are now commonplace in our world.


The prophecies of Padma Sambhava from Tibetan tradition also present similar predictions, ranging from trivial social customs (people will eat standing up, and even running) to technological inventions (the metal bird will cross the skies) to spiritual decadence (guides to enlightenment will be sold on street corners).

There is no such record of what the Classical Maya thought about the way the world would be at the end of the Long Count, or if they had anything like a prophetic conception of the last days.


Without evidence of what the calendar-makers believed, we are obliged to make up our own minds about the social, spiritual, and psychological aspects of the end-time. I may differ from other scholars in openly admitting that I am making up what I say about signs and prospects of the end-time. Others more qualified than I tend to claim that they draw their interpretations from ancient evidence, or follow what the ancients believed, even though there is no written account to tell us what the Maya believed.


What I make up may or may not be true, or helpful, or even interesting. The fact that I make something up - that is, devise interpretations from my own learning and imagination - may disqualify it as mere invention to some minds. Fine. I prefer to let you know how I operate, keeping my pretences right out in the open.


Take what you like and leave the rest.



Krishna and Osiris

The Hindu-Maya-Egyptian correlation provides some mythological clues for profiling the start date of the Long Count.


The death of Krishna and the murder of Osiris represent mythogenetic moments (Campbell's term) when our species' intrinsic access to the Sacred was ruptured. Consequently, the cultural reflections and creative expressions of that access began to decay dramatically.

Here I do not read Krishna and Osiris as patriarchal icons, but prepatriarchal consorts of the Goddess. Krishna may be pictured as the divine teacher or male-guru-avatar of the Bhagavad Gita, but equally, and more anciently, he was the orgiastic love god who romped with the matron Radha and the gopis, cow-herding girls always ready for a roll in the hay. In this perspective, Krishna is not an empowered patriarch but more like an Asian version of Eros.


This view is consistent with the preponderance of Vaishnava scholarship. (See the anthology, The Divine Consort. Vaishnava is the name for cults dedicated to Krishna worship.)


Krishna and Radha, Gita Govinda series,
Pahari School, Himadel Pradesh, 18th C

Likewise, in the predynastic culture of southern Egypt, Osiris was the consort of Isis who was born at Dendera.


The supreme mother goddess of predynastic Egypt was Hathor, to whom the temple of Dendera was dedicated.


Hathor was a female divinity without a male consort, except for her own offspring, Horus, who had no father. Her totemic animal was the vulture, said to be fertilized by the wind. The Hathor-Horus myth points to the time when men did not rule society and paternity was not the determinative factor in social status or organization. That is, pre-Osirian times.

The roof chapels at Dendera present the most complete account in hieroglyphic writing and iconography of the resurrection of Osiris, along with the sole intact model of a working Zodiac that survives from antiquity. Osiris, the grain-god in Hathor's cult, preceded Osiris the divine pharaoh of northern Egypt. In other words, there is a pre-theocratic Osiris in the goddess-oriented culture that left us the Dendera temple, a Ptolemaic construction incorporating some extremely ancient motifs.


In the Denderic context, Osiris was an epiphany of the trans-sexual regenerative powers of nature, specifically the phylogenetic code. Osiris represents the "ingrained" language or operating instructions of nature, the linga sharira ("long sheath") in Tantric terms, and Hathor was the ancient matriarchal guardian of his Mysteries.


In dynastic times, the priesthood who ran Egyptian theocracy elevated Osiris to status of a divine avatar, and made him the deific model of the theocratic ruler, the pharaoh. Such is a typical theocratic script.

With this view of Krishna and Osiris - idiosyncratic perhaps, but based on well-known mythological material and matching the profile of predynastic times - I propose that the start time of the Long Count represents a break from goddess-oriented nature-wisdom, the co-optation of sacred biology for a theocratic agenda, and a consequent loss of contact with the Sacred immanent in the natural world, leading humankind into a dark age when contact with the Sacred is mediated by beliefs dictated by men who claim to speak for God.

Although the full historical picture would place its inception somewhat earlier, around 4400 BCE, the Age of Patriarchy can be synchronized with the Count along these lines... Since the dawn of that Age, communion with the intelligence of nature, embodied awareness of the Sacred, and reverence for the Divine Feminine, not to mention mortal woman herself, have all declined drastically.


With this decline, the human species lost its gender balance, its natural moral disposition to goodness and cooperation (widely recognized in Paganism, as I have explained in Not in His Image), and fell under the spell of patriarchal and theocratic narratives such as the Egyptian and Babylonian fables of divine kingship and, of course, the Old Testament tale of the Chosen People.



Nodal Moments

How does this interpretation of the start date of the Long Count play against the historical record?


Well, here's a little trick: go to the midpoint of the Count by subtracting one-half of 5126 years from 3114 BCE. This comes to 551 BCE. The 6th Century BCE was the moment when the Yahwist narrative of Genesis came into rigid formulation under the reforms of King Josiah (ruled 640 - 609), lauded as the ideal ruler in that brutal manifesto of theocracy, Deuteronomy.


Between 587 and 537 BCE a large part of the Jewish nation was exiled to the city of Babylon. When they returned to Canaan, the Yahwist scribes who were writing the program of the father god merged their racial myth with Persian split-source dualism, a world view that attributes good and evil to the same super-human agency.


This model of cosmic conflict was worked into the Biblical narrative and determined all later variations of divine retribution and apocalyptic violence consistent with the crypto-fascist theocratic agenda, enacted in the global wars of religion that threaten the world today.

Obviously, I am not making this part up. I am simply connecting the events at the midpoint of the Long Count with my thematic overview of the significance of the Count. To do so, I use a method of computing nodal moments that I picked up years ago in anthroposophical circles: 3114 BCE > 551 BCE < 2012 CE.


This is as simple as it gets, yet it's amazing what kind of information this tool can generate, once you have a framing concept or heuristic phrase to tell you what to look for. In this case, the heuristic tool is the concept "goddess-based societies overthrown by theocratic agenda" or "nature-wisdom versus revealed religion." The nodal moments reveal pivotal historical events that make sense within the heuristically predefined frame.

Want to try another node?


Go to the midway moment between 3114 BCE and 551 BCE. This is 1832 BCE, the period assigned to the patriarch Abraham who was born, by some accounts, around 1812 BCE.


The Code of Hammurabi (b. 1810) is the earliest surviving example of a totalitarian, male-mandated social agenda. The transition into patriarchy gained huge momentum during the period when the vernal point shifted from the Bull into the Ram, Taurus to Aries, around 1850 BCE. (No causality implied here, folks: it is simply a matter of synchronal dynamics.)


In eonic studies of history - chronological plotting of events in the frame of the Zodiac and long-range planetary cycles - the Ram indicates the domain of patriarchy. In 551 BCE, the vernal point was transiting the head-stars of the Ram. In the time of Alexander the Great, two centuries later, it still in this region, and had been remarked by skywatchers for some time.


Egyptians called the Ram constellation Amon, and Alexander identified himself with Amon - that is, he deified himself.


The priests at Siwa, who declared him the "Son of Amon" to appease the lonely boy's narcissistic fixation, disingenuously advised him to have himself pictured with ram's horns on coins. These priests would have been veteran skywatchers who knew that the horn motif matched the current Zodiacal picture.

Coming forward in time, midway between 551 BCE (midpoint of the Count) and 2012 CE (end of the Count) is 731 CE. Just at this historical moment the Moors were engaged in massive waves of invasion against Europe and extending into the Russian steppes. The 8th century saw both expansion and defeat of Islamic aggression on several fronts.


Quite often, nodal dates are amazingly precise. Note that scholars designate 731 as the exact year when Classical Maya civilization peaked out, and began to decline rapidly.


Here is an example of how a simple time-factoring tool with no connection to the Maya calendar, and far removed from the complex computations usually applied to it, can generate discrete data-points consistent with the historical profile of the Long Count.



Printing Power

In Europe, the Battle of Tours on October 11, 731, marked the defeat of the 90,000-strong Moorish army that had invaded southern France under the command of the Yemenite governor of Spain, Abd-ar-Rahman.


741 saw the death of Byzantine Emperor Leo II who had successfully repelled the Arab invasion, as well as of Charles Martel, the key figure in resisting the Moorish advance into France (Gaul).


With the major power-players shifting, Europe became more vulnerable to Islam, the most virulent form of theocratic fascism on earth. The rise of Islam involved wide scale genocide, often committed by Arabs against other Arabs, as seen today in Iraq. In 750, Abu-Abbas al-Safah, a descendant of Mohammed's uncle, founded the Abbasid dynasty that would establish an Islamic empire to last for 350 years.


Doing so, he massacred the Umayyads, the competition surviving from the preceding dynasty.

The Moors occupied Spain from the middle of the 8th century until 1492, when they were expelled. The Islamic offensive against Europe was re-inaugurated with the call to return Andalusia to Islam, raised in the wake of the Madrid bombings of March, 2004. Will the 2012 end-time be marked by an intensified replay of the Islamic offensive of 731 CE?


According to the Eurabia theory of Bat Ye'or, an Egyptian-born British historian who specializes in the experience of non-Muslims in Muslim countries, this is precisely the case. (See Wikipedia for an excellent article on this debate.) In While Europe Slept (2006), American ex-pat author Bruce Dawer paints a frightening, thoroughly documented picture of the Islamic subversion of democracy in Europe, especially in Scandinavia.

Currently, Islamic imperialism in Europe is rolling like a shock wave across the continent.


Moslems demonstrating against what they view as intolerance toward Islam are manifesting the very intolerance they condemn, but they are succeeding in their demands for special exemption of their religion from rational criticism.


Islam presents the endgame formula of patriarchy and dominator religion, the stage where it wins or destroys itself trying (the parasite destroys its host).


The initial conditions of the Long Count culminate in the theocratic fascism of Islam with its program for rigid social control, blind submission to revealed authority, menacing intolerance, and sexual apartheid, all founded on a book attributed to the creator god.

Looking at historical precedents is one way to sketch out a "predictive" profile of events leading to the end of the Count. In fact, there is no prediction involved: one merely looks at the all-too-obvious consequences of recorded events. This is, however, not the way that 2012 diagnoses are usually conducted.

To summarize: the death of Krishna and Osiris around 3114 BCE indicates a sharp escalation in the agenda of patriarchy. Male domination gained momentum when sacred kings were no longer anointed in rites of sexual congress with daughters of the Goddess.


(I have repeated this point numerous times on this site, and I don't like to repeat myself, but I insist that this is a key historical insight we cannot afford to ignore. Read Merlin Stone, When God Was A Woman.)


The suppression of goddess-oriented society led to the success of patriarchy, the domination of nature, and sexual apartheid - a pattern that can be traced in close historical detail, if one is so inclined. All this was accomplished by force and intimidation, of course, and by operating "by the Book."

The factual record of history - one damned thing after another, as Henry Ford remarked - is largely a side-effect of the writing of the patriarchal narrative. Emphasis on the ideological instrument of "the book" (or Holy Writ) fits the heuristic profile I am developing here. Indeed, it supplies a main motif that can be seen reflected in many specific events.


In the 8th century, Islam was spreading globally and Arabs battled with the Tang dynasty for control of central Asia. Moslems remained the dominant force in Transoxiana for 150 years. One consequence of the Arab-Chinese confrontation was the setting up of the first paper mill in the Muslim world. This happened in 751 (20 years off the nodal date) in Samarkand after two Chinese prisoners of war revealed the technique of papermaking to their captors.


Immediately, Muslim scholars began to use the new technology for translations of ancient Greek and Roman writings, but also to produce copies of their revealed scripture, the Koran, of course.

So, around the nodal moment 551 BCE, Yahwist scribes buckled down to composing the rigid doctrinal narrative of the Chosen People, the directive script for Judeo-Christian salvationism, and around the nodal moment 731 CE Muslim scribes acquired the paper-based technology to spread their version of the story, inscribed in the Koran.


The Holy Book (of whatever faith) is the main tool of indoctrination and behavioral control for the theocratic agenda of white male supremacy.


The fact that Muslim women embrace and adore the Koran is no measure of their compliance, but an indication that they know their lives are at risk were they to do otherwise. If you are a Muslim, the penalty for dissenting from or renouncing the Faith is, according to the Koran, death.


For women in Islamic societies, there are penalties worse than death.

The authority of Holy Writ is beyond human critique - quite plainly, Abrahamic religion is incompatible with a civil and democratic society that allows freedom of expression.


Today, Moslems in Europe use the freedom of expression granted to them by the democracies in which they live to call for the repeal of that freedom, and no one tells them that's unacceptable. Figure it.

The Book is, and has ever been, the sovereign tool of behavior modification, off-planet imperialism, a potent catalyst to ecocide, genocide, and suicide.


It is the mass-produced weapon of mass destruction par excellence.



The Narrative Spell

So, my expanded definition of Kali Yuga is:

the age of darkness (ignorance) and decadence (moral and material derangement), due to the break from Goddess wisdom, the imposition of off-planet morality dictated by a father god, and the cancerous spread of faith-based religion operating on the theocratic authority of The Book (Torah, Bible, Koran).

Over the last 5000 years, the entire human species has fallen under the thrall of The Book.


In Not in His Image, I propose the term narrative spell for the uncanny power of the salvationist script that encodes the beliefs of the three Abrahamic religions.

The mandate of the male-only creator god has a vast, fixating power based in fear and shaming. Those who adopt the Paternal Lie, or, more often, have it mindlessly imposed on them, live it out as if they are acting under post-hypnotic suggestion.


Those who are forced to believe in the story of revealed religion enact it madly and without critical reflection or restraint. What they have received mindlessly, without consent, they act out mindlessly, disregarding the free choice of others. They behave as they believe. What they are told to believe is inscribed in The Book (Torah, Bible, Koran).

The end of the Long Count plunges the entire world into the violent drama of the culmination of such behavior.



Mystic Confidence

If the ascent of The Book as a tool of mass-scale ideological programming fits the historical profile of the Long Count, as I have tried to show here, can we bring to the end-time the inspired will to challenge and repel that power?


This is my suggestion for thinking constructively about the dangers and prospects of the Maya end-time.

Speculation about the meaning of the Maya end-time peaked briefly in August 1987 with the "Harmonic Convergence." In the debate at that time, José Argüelles played a central role with his declaration that the end of the Long Count indicated a moment when a beam from the galactic center would sweep across the earth and produce magical effects.


If I recall correctly, the period of the beam matched the precessional cycle of 25,920 years.


Hence, Arguelles simply attached a fantastic interpretation to known phenomenon of astronomical timing. In The Mayan Factor, he claimed that Maya civilization disappeared by dematerialization when some of the population were teleported off the earth on that mysterious cosmic beam, and predicted that the same would happen for many people in 2012. His theories won him two minutes of fame on CNN.

I am not deeply enough involved in the current debate around 2012 to know if Arguelles's ideas are undergoing a revival, but I sense that others, a younger and more creatively inspired crowd, have taken over the discourse, and morphed it considerably. There may be a reprise of Arguelles' notion of dematerialization in some circles, but I would rather hope not. Calls for escaping the planet will not be tolerated on this site.


I am probably out of touch with the pulsations of the new crowd who are building expectation of 2012, but it looks to me like the best options for the Maya end-time are erupting from the orgiastic imagination of younger people in the counterculture, people who are ignited with all manner of erotic, cosmic, artistic, mantic, mythopoeic, and esoteric inspirations.

I have not sensed anything comparable to this excitement since the Psychedelic Revolution of the 1960s.


There is true mania in the air, a hint of divine madness, a sense that fantastic things are possible in life and art, that the world itself might be transfigured by acts of imagination. (This is, of course, exactly what the Romantics believed and proposed, a couple of hundred years ago.) A multi-frequency surge of mystical confidence is spreading through some areas of the youth culture.

It would be extremely foolish to dismiss that possibility that the huge buzz around 2012 is the reflection of a collective psychic event of some kind. The question is, do the discussions, speculations, and predictions about 2012 point to that event, or do they merely draw attention to themselves?

So far, the discourse on 2012 has been dominated by claims about the evolution of consciousness making a huge jump, a paradigm shift. We will realize the noosphere of Teilhard de Chardin, for instance. I have a gut feeling that this kind of high-toned chatter might be distracting us from the genuine possibilities of the moment ahead.


This type of speculation could be off the mark if it does not offer a message of change that specifically addresses the terminal social and material conditions of the Kali Yuga. It is one thing to claim a quantum leap into cosmic consciousness, and support it with abstruse computations that go back 16 billion years (Calleman), and another, say, to rally against the social menace of revealed religion.


The first is a mere hypothesis, glorious or not, the second is a revolutionary stance, involving a call for action and transformation.

I, for one, begin to wonder if the promise of a sudden, spectacular shift in the collective mindset may not be deviating or undermining the actual breakthrough that is emergent as the world lurches toward 2012. What if this breakthrough is about facing the human condition, rather than skateboarding at warp speed beyond it? If Sophia relies in some way on humanity to achieve her correction, as the Gnostics taught, the human condition will either contribute to that magnificent possibility, or impede it.


To accomplish the breakthrough, then, would depend on how we view the human condition, regarding both resistance to entering the correction, and the skill and inspiration required to enter it.

I sense that expectations of a paradigm shift attached to 2012 are contaminated by two distortions, concerning the scope and the manifestation of the shift. So far, I am not convinced that the notions circulating about 2012 offer a reliable preview either of what can happen, or the scale on which it can happen.


My main criticism of the speculation is that, although it may use historical references, as seen in the close correlation of the "thirteen hells" and "nine heavens" to known events, etc., in Calleman's scheme, this approach does not identify the prevalent pathological motif of Kali Yuga: the narrative spell of revealed religion, enshrined in the authority of The Book.


In fact, it may come down to substituting one lurid totalitarian scheme for another: instead of the apocalypse prescribed in The Book, we get blasted into cosmic consciousness, so says another book.

  • But what if the breakthrough of 2012 involves breaking the spell of The Book?

  • What would it mean to disempower the narrative spell?

  • What conditions would arise?

  • What kind of behavior would result?

  • How would the human condition itself be changed, radically and permanently altered?

  • The mystic confidence in the air is savory and palpable - but where is the new-born confidence located?

  • In what do we, the human species, invest our deepest confidence?



Mental Scheming

As for the scope of the coming shift, there is talk of a sudden awakening in the mentality of our species, sweeping through a vast segment of the global population.


As if millions of people around the world will wake up one day and see life in a totally different way than before. Such predictions of quantity are not helpful, I believe.


They set up false expectations.


Such a mass-scale shift could occur if it were to be triggered by an external event, such as the meltdown of the Greenland ice shelf, but not purely due to internal dynamics. Given a nuclear strike, a biological terrorist attack, or a geological upheaval that devastates a major urban area, the attention of the entire world would be affected, and people would collectively and simultaneously have to adjust their way of life to the new situation.


Lacking such events, it is hard to believe that masses of people will suddenly change their minds about how we live on this planet.

You don't have to be a shamanic wizard to predict that catastrophic events and more terrorist mayhem will occur in the next six years. It is known that Israel will launch a preemptive strike against Iran in the spring, probably in April. This could escalate into nuclear war in the Middle East, into WW III - something that is bound to happen, sooner or later, if the current concatenation of historical events is not averted. In due time, there will also be another terrorist event in the USA, a biological attack on a major urban center.


All the experts say that it is not a matter of IF, but WHEN, and a large segment of the public are apprehensive, tensed for what is to come. Such tension can be expected to reach excruciating heights in the next six years.

What has all this frightful business to do with the Maya Long Count?


These awful events would be happening whether or not the Count was down to its final years. They are not the result of calendric determinism, but the cumulative madness of history.


They stem from initial conditions going back some 5000 years. Elaborate breakdowns of the Count - the nine heaven periods and thirteen hell periods, for instance - are just exercises in mental scheming, ways to impose a comfortable sense of order on events, but such exercises do not prove the predictive power of the Count.

In my view, to use the Count as a tool for prediction is to misuse it. The question,

"What's going to happen?" is less helpful than the question "What is the behavior that most urgently needs to be changed in the immediate future, if we are to have a future?"

The Count can be an heuristic tool that allows us to frame events and learn something about the compulsive patterns of history, as I've demonstrated above. As such, it need not be taken for a mysterious oracle that has the power to bring about what it foretells.

The forces set in motion at the dawn of Kali Yuga are now playing out,

  • their final stage

  • the endgame of patriarchy

  • the global showdown for theocratic fascism

It may not all end abruptly in December, 2012. More like than not, it won't die with such elegant brevity.


But in the way we approach the designated moment, mindful of the historical trajectory that brings us to it, something crucial to ending the lethal spell of patriarchy could be achieved.


Against the Book

In the first chapter of The End of Faith, Sam Harris makes two outstanding observations:

  • first, "most of the people in this world believe that the Creator of the universe has written a book"

  • second, "criticizing a person's faith is currently taboo in every corner of our culture"

Of course, these are perfectly obvious facts of modern life.


The force of Harris's argument throughout the book consists in his stating the obvious in such a way that it looks at once novel and alarming. Once it is said, in just so many words, that most people believe God has written a book, the belief looks patently absurd. Yet we know this belief is universal, deep seated, and longstanding. It determines the way a good many of people on this planet behave.

Now, if suddenly countless numbers of people who hold this belief and adhere to The Book were to repudiate it, that would be an event worthy of Long Count expectations. That would be a paradigm shift to exceed the wildest prophecies of Jenkins and Calleman. It would also be the shift consistent with the historical profile of Kali Yuga sketched in the above paragraphs.


Recall that we identified two nodal dates, 551 BCE and 731 CE, when the composition of the patriarchal agenda was highlighted.


These were key dates in establishing domination by The Book: the Bible in 551 BCE and the Koran in 731 CE.

  • Does the moment 2012 portend the opportunity to disempower or even reverse those earlier moments?

  • Are such massive trends in psychosocial behavior reversible?

The End of Faith may indicate what can really happen in the end-time better than any number of prophetic tomes that purport to describe what will happen, or what is hoped to happen, such as Jenkins' speculations in his books on galactic alignment.


At least it may indicate what could optimally happen to precipitate a radical shift out of the down-spiraling madness of Kali Yuga.

But is this likely to happen? Consider the certainty of world-shattering events, such as terrorist biological attacks and geophysical catastrophes, and what do you conclude?


I would guess that when such events occur, most people are going to go scrambling for The Book, rather than chuck it away. The certainty of frightening events that will disrupt or even destroy social and personal security almost totally precludes the possibility that masses of people will opt to throw off the narrative spell. On the contrary, they are likely to hunker down into it ever more deeply. They will fall on their faith when the system fails. They will die with clenched hearts, believing rather than divested of belief.

Yet there will be some spell-breaking in the end-time.


The mass awakening of the human species may be a comforting fantasy to some, but others are perhaps more inspired by a different scenario in which a few people break through the spell that still holds the vast majority of human beings in thrall. Is this an elitist view of the end-time opportunity? No, but it may be a genuine survivalist view.

It would be foolish, I think, to expect that between now and December 2012 untold millions around the world will renounce the Torah, the Bible, and the Koran, and liberate themselves from the vicious and irrational beliefs encoded in those texts - but there may be a more reasonable expectation for the end-time.


If the antireligious debate signaled by The End of Faith were to escalate into an open public controversy, we would, I reckon, find ourselves living through an event that truly reflects optimal change for humanity. If the sexual apartheid of Islam were to be openly challenged and condemned in public debate, that would be an earthshaking event and a vast gain for positive change and social healing.


The problem today is, not only that sexual apartheid exists - most blatantly in Islam, but also in the other two Abrahamic religions, not to mention in Indian and Chinese religion - but that it cannot be called into question, due to perceived political incorrectness and fear of offending Muslims.

Let's recall Harris's second observation of the obvious: it is absolutely taboo in our society today to challenge or criticize matters of faith. But what if this taboo also were suddenly to be challenged and overridden?


Suppose that it became acceptable to confront and even offend people on their beliefs. Suppose the tables were turned, and it was the offended party, not the offending party, who must go on the defensive in the debate over religious beliefs and faith-based principles. That would be a shift in social reality and social syntax consistent with a breakaway from the narrative spell of patriarchy that has dominated Kali Yuga.

It would be a tremendous shift to start offending some people to get them to be accountable for what they believe, and for what is done by blind adherence to their irrational, threatening, and intolerant convictions.



No Exemption

A recent court ruling in England established that "offence is not incitement."


This legal ruling introduces what could be a radical shift in the rules of discourse on faith issues. Ii changes the syntax of the debate over faith issues. The case concerned the leader of the British National Party, Nick Griffin, who described Islam as a "vicious" religion.


Regardless of the source of the remark, it is true that offence is not incitement. Griffin did not say that Islam is a vicious religion and Muslims ought to be hanged. The latter phrase is sure-fire incitement. With the privilege of free expression comes the responsibility to use language in a sober, rational, and measured way: to be careful what you say, but not be so cautious that you never challenge or offend. Any sane person of good conscience knows what it is to talk incitement, and what it isn't.

The argument that offensive talk leads automatically to incitement is invalid and supports the plea for special exemption that is antithetical to open debate in a free society. Likewise for the argument that offensive talk alienates the offended people from positive dialogue that could lead to social reconciliation and better integration: to take being offended as an excuse to withdraw from open social discourse is just another way to extort special exemption.


The offence response is specious and rejects the creative dissonance that makes democratic society possible.

Living in an open society, we are all exposed to a lot of offence, things said and done that offend us for one reason or another. This is a consequence of the free expression offered by such a society. Currently, it is absolutely taboo to offend Jews, Christians, or Muslims by saying anything critical or derogatory about their faith, their beliefs, and their customs, including how they dress, how they treat their children, and how they slaughter animals.


The fear of offending is not a measure of compassion or consideration, although it disguises itself as such. It a concession to the demand for special exemption exerted by members of these religions, who seek the advantage of enforcing their agenda by operating on values and beliefs that cannot, they insist, be questioned, criticized, or ridiculed.


But the demand for special exemption on any issue whatsoever is inconsistent with the principles of an open society (or civic society, as Harris calls it).

The demand for special exemption is a disguised tactic for spreading tyranny and totalitarianism, the rule of The Book. There can no special exemptions from open social critique of any subject in a free society, least of all religious beliefs that drive social behavior and religious practices that define social identity. The society that succumbs to this demand is committing moral suicide (which is precisely what's happening, Bruce Bawer argues in While Europe Slept.)


But the West, and especially European society, has become ever more and more compliant with this demand over the last few decades. I submit that the policy of appeasement signals the terminal decadence of Kali Yuga and the end of the long countdown to a planet-wide orgy of righteous self-immolation.


Defiance of the taboo against religious offence would be a true paradigm shift with worldwide repercussions for the good. This is the kind of mass behavioral change to look for in social life as the Maya end-time approaches.


This is something worth discussing, not as a mere expectation, but as a challenge for the 2012 moment.


Belief Change

My book, Not in His Image, is an attempt to challenge and break the narrative spell of patriarchy.


It presents a radical critique of faith in The Book. So do many articles on this site. proposes belief change as the single most powerful act that can make a difference for human life on this planet today. Some essays on this site exemplify realistic expectations we might hold for a positive grand finale of the Long Count: for instance, The Promise of a Lonely Planet.


People of faith can be as offended as they want to be - that is their problem, and when they make it the problem of others, they act spitefully against the principles of open, democratic society. It is no crime to hurt someone's feelings, nor to discount what they have invested in their identity. In fact, it is a sign of a healthy society that this can be done without fear of reprisal.


But if society at large complies with the demand for special exemption, the faith-based program of patriarchal domination that got rolling into high gear at the start of Kali Yuga will prevail, down to the last man standing.

Breaking the narrative spell is only possible if open debate on religious beliefs can unfold without restraint and without fear of reprisal, in a theatre of non-threatening debate, guided by the principle that offence is not incitement. As it stands now, anyone who even jokes about the Prophet can be threatened with death. It is bad enough that Muslims feel this way, but worse that we infidels in the "democratic West" are willing to appease their feelings.


Freed of the threats routinely expressed by outraged Moslems, the antireligious debate would grow to considerable proportions, or at least it would have a chance to grow.

Although it is, I believe, unlikely that many people will renounce their beliefs and break away from the spell of The Book, societies around the world would be hugely improved if some people could at least talk openly about what they see as insane and inhumane in religious traditions.


(We started to do this on this site back in 2002, with a slim ten-year lead on the end-time.)


Many people could then become involved in the debate, and who knows how many might undergo a radical change of heart regarding God, salvation, and survival? To see something like this happening in the next six years would be one of the best outcomes of the Long Count.

Breaking the narrative spell by open, non-inciting debate on faith issues is not the only way that the end-time could turn into a healing time for humanity. There is also another major path toward the breakthrough into a future safe for debate and difference...


I will present my ideas on this subject in the companion article, now in development: The Discovery of the Next World.

Back to Contents







The Discovery of the Next World

Reflections Beyond the Maya end-time
28 January 2007




Additional to the slim chance that a few people with guts and intelligence might stand up to intimidation from the Abrahamic hordes and defy the taboo on critical thinking about faith issues, as suggested in the previous article, what other prospects might we envision for the Maya end-time?

Having pondered this matter for quite a few years, I am convinced that some kind of momentous shift is indeed immanent on this planet, although it will not, I believe, transpire in a sudden, spectacular way. In many respects, it is already unfolding, and has been for some time: it involves a progressive transformation, rather than a sudden, once-and-for-all breakthrough.


I believe this is the view held by a good many people now writing and talking about 2012, such as Daniel Pinchbeck, but there is also a building expectation of a particular breakthrough tied to the date December 21, 2012. The progressive transformation underway might be compared to breaking the sound barrier in a jet: a steady acceleration up to the specific moment, BAZOOM, when the barrier is passed.


(I went through the sound barrier twice on the Concorde, which used to level off at a little faster than Mach 2: you don't feel or hear a thing, but the world outside gets seriously bazoomed!)

We may well wonder, Since when has the steady acceleration to 2012 been in effect, and detectible?



Temporal Vortex

It might be helpful to think of December 2012 as a nodal moment around which events are clustered, before and after.


I have found this concept consistently useful in my studies of historical patterns, plotted against stellar and planetary cycles. For instance, 1821 is the nodal moment of the Romantic movement. Constellated around that moment, before and after, are the key events that defined the movement.


A nodal moment signals a vortex in time - a "dissipative structure," to use the odd term proposed by Ilya Prigogine - where the innate evolutionary potential of the human species undergoes review and reworking. Some potentials (reflected in cultural tendencies, discoveries, currents of thought and behavior) dissolve into the vortex, others emerge, simultaneously.


Patterns of change anchored in the nodal moment can be imagined as event-ripples that spread around the temporal vortex. (Obviously, current ideas of autopoesis, emergence, and fractality enter into this analogy, prompting us to consider how historical patterns might have self-similar and self-ordinating properties.)

1821 is a nodal moment in a pattern of 172-year intervals, following the cycle of the uranus-neptune conjunctions. It comes ahead to 1992-3, the last time such a conjunction occurred. (The middle node between 1821 and 1993 is 1907, the vortex moment of Modernism.) From 1993 to 2012 is 19 years. Could this be the period of sensed acceleration?


Perhaps, but I propose a further permutation of the nodal dating: make 1993 the nodal year between 2012, which is 19 years ahead in time, and 1974, which is 19 years back in time.


Then we arrive at the interval 1974 - 2012 (with the midpoint at 1992-3, a key pivotal moment) for the acceleration into the Maya end-time. Readers of Not in His Image may recall that in the last chapter I trace the co emergence of Gaia theory, Goddess studies, and the Gnostic revival ahead to today from around 1974.

One good thing about this timeframe is that it encompasses just one generation, which is neither too long nor too short an interval. People who were working out their world view in 1974 can relate to people coming into their world view on the approach to 2012. The interval is manageable in terms of generational continuity.


The experiential lessons accrued by many people in this period of time can be compared and shared by direct interpersonal communication, one generation interfacing with another, without reliance on books, recordings, or other second-hand sources.


This is a huge advantage for plotting and navigating the slope of the acceleration.



Mythic Orientation

The mythical date arrives if a series of circumstances combine to produce the event. Unlike the profane date, the sacred one is not a measure but a living reality, charged with supernatural forces, which is incarnated in determinate places.
Octavio Paz,

The Bow and the Lyre (1967)

What makes 2012 important is that it has been identified as a sacred date, to be distinguished from mundane calendric time.


Arguelles originally pointed out that we are entrained by the linear scheme of the Gregorian calendar - along with the patriarchal salvationist program attached to it, I might add.


Thus he attempted to introduce a 13-moon, 28-day calendar related (he claims) to biological time, as an alternative way to keep track of what we're doing. Arguelles's calendric reform has been dismissed as a distortion of Maya calendrics (true), but it has value by reminding us to reground in lunar and biological timing. A sacred time-keeping device must incorporate both seasonal and (human) somatic rhythms, including, of course, the macro-rhythms of Gaia.

Octavio Paz points out that a sacred date is "not a measure but a living reality."


One problem with Maya calendric speculations is that, once 2012 is identified as a sacred date, it is treated as a measure, factored down, permutated, analyzed, etc. I suggested in the previous essay that such computations can draw attention to themselves and away from what we need to discover in the progression to the end-time.


The solution to the Long Count in historical and experiential terms will not be found in the Count itself, i.e., in some grand scheme encoded in it, but in the "living reality" of the eruptions and occlusions of human potential that are right now constellating around the forward nodal moment, 2012.

How, then, to read these "eruptions and occlusions of human potential"?


It is tempting to jump imaginatively into a prospective stance and make an inventory of all kinds of events and tendencies that reflect the slope of acceleration. To some extent, this appears to be what I am doing here, but not really... To clarify my approach, I propose a metaphor that locates end-time developments within a single, comprehensive frame of reference.


That way, rather than merely pile up an inventory of supposed end-time developments, we can each place ourselves in the developing wave. The language for this metaphor is: the discovery of Next World, compared to Columbus's discovery of the New World. But with this qualification: Columbus did not merely discover the New World, he discovered the native peoples who inhabited it. Likewise, the discovery of 2012 depends on meeting the natives who inhabit the Next World, the end-time tribes.

Acceleration to the Maya end-time entails discovering the tribes of the Next World, in which human community will survive when civilization as we know it so far has dissolved into the temporal vortex of 2012.

The New World was discovered in 1492, so the old story goes. Not such a trustworthy story, we suspect, but there it is. To this sorry old tale let's now add a futurist ending: the Next World will be discovered by 2012.


This discovery unfolds as we meet the natives of that world, finding the end-time tribes among us, and ourselves in the tribes.


As a mythologist dedicated to translating received myth into existential terms, I like this formulation because it says concisely and precisely all we know about what the Maya themselves must have thought of their calendar cycle: that in 2012 one world would end and another one would begin. By "world" they understood a world age, a long-term planetary cycle.

The end of a world age is not the end of life on this planet, it is the transition to another way of living here. This is the glorious promise of the Maya end-time.

Joseph Campbell had a term for the nodal moment or temporal vortex: he called it the mythogenetic moment. On the first page of Creative Mythology, he signaled the12th century as the last great mythogenetic moment in the history of Western civilization.


Campbell felt passionately that the transition into the 21th century could be a mythogenetic moment morally and spiritually equivalent to the 12th century, and possibly even resonant with it.


I find a lot of veracity in this view.

In Maya-Aztec calendrics, the current world is called Ollin (on left) and designated as the Fifth Age or "Fifth Sun." This is a close equivalent to the Kali Yuga of the Hindus.


Not much is said of Ollin except that it will end with "movement," possibly meaning earthquakes, crustal shift of the earth's mantle, collapse of ice sheets, rising of sea levels, etc.


Ollin also means "shift of consciousness, mind movement." Curiously, this glyph recalls intertwining strands of DNA, with the three-prong, four-notch motif suggestive of three-letter codons composed of four bases.


Okay, so tell me I'm fabulating, but perhaps not. One of the several mysterious features of DNA is the shifting of histones, the chief proteins in the chromatin that act as spools around which DNA winds, keeping genes in place. In effect, histones lock or seal the genetic code, and when they move, they unseal it.


This biochemical action is the equivalent to the mythological concept of the apocalypse, "the lifting of the seal." The apocalyptic moment when histones shift cannot be determined, because biologists are uncertain what makes histones shift. Could histone-shift happen massively for the human species at a particular moment - say, due to the traumatic impact of massive life-threatening events? No one knows, but it cannot be ruled out.

Whatever the Aztecs made out of it, I strongly maintain that we today can regard Ollin as an icon of genomic and phylogenetic shift, linked to the 2012 end-time. I will have more to say on this idea in the third article of this sequence.

Ollin is a day sign in the Aztec calendar. One of the better websites on MesoAmerican calendars ( gives this definition:

The protector of day Ollin (Movement) is Xolotl. This is an auspicious day for the active principle, a bad day for the passive principle. Ollin is a day of the purified heart, signifying those moments where human beings may perceive what they are becoming.


A good day for transmutation, which arrives like an earthquake that leaves in its wake the ruins of rationality, order and the preconceived.

Which sounds pretty damn relevant, I'd say.


The allusion to Xolotl (Sho-LOW-tul) is telling. He is the twin or double of Quetzalcoatl, the mythological figure most often associated with the Maya end-time. Xolotl is the evening star (Venus, appearing after sunset), the Lord of the West, a shapeshifter - that is to say, a sorcerer and master of occult powers, siddhis.


I will return to this theme at the close of this article. (right, Xolotl from the Codex Borbonicus.)

So, we are deep into a mythogenetic moment when human potential is arising in new expressions, simultaneously with the dissolution of old expressions, and this dynamic, two-way escalation, up and down (Ollin), is revealing the outlines of the Next World when the planet earth will be inhabited by the end-time tribes.


Mythological figures such as the Gnostic Sophia and the Aztec Xolotl loom over the emergent tribes and in some manner preside over the birth of a transmuted, transmigrant humanity.


Each such mythogenetic moment holds in solution a constellation of powerful choices, but the magic of the moment only becomes real when these choices are actually defined and made, one person at a time.


Following the metaphor I've proposed, the essential choice we each face on the accelerating approach to 2012 could be stated like this:

Who do I want to be among in the Next World - Columbus and his crew, dumbfounded before the native tribes, or the tribes themselves?

"The mythical date arrives if a series of circumstances combine to produce the event" (Paz, cited above).

If some readers are now on board and find the language in use acceptable, how about we expand the guiding metaphor? To paraphrase Paz,

"The mythical date 2012 arrives when a series of discoveries combine to produce the immanent event, i.e., the emergence of the Next World."

These discoveries are all of one kind: social, interpersonal, and intimate meetings between people, members of tribes who recognize each other. To foster this recognition, it would be helpful to have a tentative sketch of the tribes.


I characterize them by these names:

  1. the Originals

  2. the Orgiastics

  3. the Sustainers

  4. the Evolvers

  5. the Visioneers






Ceremonial dancers, Kamiura tribe, Xingu River, Brazil

The Originals are the first peoples of the earth, or what's left of them.


They live in reflective symbiosis with the places where they live, which gives them a special grounding power. At the same time, they are vulnerable to being uprooted and displaced by predatory societies driven by the double ideology of conquest and entitlement.


Members of such societies believe that the planet belongs to them, materially, and they have an entitlement to claim it by force from any peoples who may be inconveniently sitting on resources they would like to possess for themselves. Their sense of entitlement is enforced by the belief that they are made in the image of a paternal deity who gives them permission to breed like lice and dominate the earth.

Consider this statistic: in 2006 around 40,000 indigenous people committed suicide.


You don't have to ask yourself why. It is painfully obvious that some people cannot live if their way of life is destroyed. A way of life is not a way to Earn a living," not a matter of holding down a job in the System, the dominant socioeconomic game.


For the Originals, their way of life is rooted in the earth, framed by the stars, linked to plants and animals, nurtured by past generations and consecrated to future ones. Take all that away and some people will choose to die rather than accept the alternatives that "civilization" proposes to them: the San Bushman woman I quote in Tree and Well, for instance. She is an Original.

In the acceleration to the Maya end-time, we may be seeing the demise of the last remaining Originals, but there is also a resurgence of that tribe, for those who are still with us have a crucial role to play in the passage into the Next World. The global tour of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers, for instance, is an end-time project conceived by Originals to alert the world to the healing and guiding power of entheogenic plants.

Members of the tribe of Originals include not only the remaining indigenous peoples of the world, but those who embrace their cause and work to protect and support them. Years, ago, when I first spoke at the Marion Institute, I proposed in the spirit of reviving the Mysteries that each person adopt an indigenous tribe and an endangered animal.


The Originals and the animals come together, and they may disappear together. Upon signing a treaty with European settlers in 1854,

"Chief Seattle of the Suquamish tribe of the North Pacific is reported to have said that when the last animals have perished 'humans will die of loneliness.' "

Loneliness and Presence

by Thomas Berry

Parabola Magazine

Animals, birds, fishes, and insects, also belong to the tribe of Originals.


Most indigenous peoples around the world recognize the four-leggeds, the crawlies, and other species as kin to us, with no less dignity and intelligence, and no less value for the earth. Meeting blue whales, white lions, dolphins, scorpions, spotted owls and Andalucian golden eagles, is essential to discovering the Next World. The recognitions that shape the world ahead will have to be profoundly rooted in the all-species connection.


Those who champion this connection belong to the tribe of the Originals.





Amber mask of Dionysos, Roman, 1st Century

This tribe is a kind of distant reflection of the Originals, or perhaps a forward projection in evolutionary terms.


It consists of a huge spectrum of "urban tribes," the diverse community of younger people who share a clan sense of identity and a common spirit of celebration; the followings of Burning Man and the Rainbow Tribe, for instance.


There are thousands of clans within the Orgiastic tribe, some of them consisting of no more than two or three members. Many of them use the Internet to organize their activities and keep communication up and running, yet they stand apart from the cybernetic community as such by their pronounced affinity for the natural world and native-mind peoples, the Originals.

It could be said that the next generation of Originals is being recruited from the Orgiastics. Many of this young tribe will be elders in the tribal communities that emerge after 2012.

As Dale Pendell (Pharmakopoeia) noted,

"There are no plants in cyberspace... nor in the noosphere."

Nothing happens on the Internet, which is an electronic grid dependent on wired-off acres of blinking consoles in featureless concrete warehouses, but it a great medium for announcing things that happen, and even generating the "buzz" that makes them happen.


Many Orgiastics are inclined to chemical highs and the vacant cybernetic ideologies that come with it, but they are essentially organophiles and nature-lovers, and as such, they ought not be confounded with the segment of the younger generation that does not know where eggs come from (which is, according to a recent study in France, sixty percent of the twenty-somethings surveyed).

Why Orgiastics?


The Greek orgia means "operation, working." In the Mysteries, orgies were group events like collaborative seminars in which members worked together on certain projects. Sometimes, but not always, orgies had a sexual component. But even when they did, sexual activity was not merely hedonistic. Rather, it was more like a group Tantric session intended to raise and fine tune somatic, emotive, and cognitive intensity.


Members of the Orgiastic tribe share an innate longing to revive this kind of communal synergy, and connect through it to the body of the earth and the cosmos at large. Hence, they are prone to trance and dance, celebrating the Dionysian arts of music and mime, not to mention divine mania.


Even when they do this in an urban setting, surrounded by the blast and blare of electronic gimmickry in total oblivion to natural conditions, their inborn ritual rapture reprises the ecstatic celebrations that were originally enacted free of the electronic setting and the urban venue.





Foundation text for the sustainability movement

This tribe shares with the Orgiastics a primary orientation to group effort and the pleasures of the natural world, but they enact it in a more conservative manner.


The movement for sustainable living is the brainchild of the Sustainers. Much of what they do overlaps with the Orgiastics who, like them, look to primitive and indigenous peoples to model the future. Members of the Sustainer tribe tend to be homebodies, attached to creature comforts, focused on self-reliance and socioeconomic independence.


They network a great deal, but for the purpose of implementing specific programs and plans rather than to party.

By necessity, Sustainers take an adversarial stance to the System with all its economic and political tyrannies, because they recognize that so much of what is done in the System is non-sustainable. Their overriding desire is less to improve the System, than to come up with alternatives to it. They often tend to live on the borderline, in the System but not of it, driving a hybrid car, for instance, but their preference is to get clear of it entirely, if that were possible.


If you have the spirit and outlook of a Sustainer, it makes no sense to stake your life on something that is unsustainable. This tribe contains the true survivalists whose knowledge of natural ways will be indispensable to founding the end-time communities.


The ecomimicry of Jeanine Benyus represents the focal point of the Sustainers' mission, the tip of their visionary arrow.

Sustainers have a huge and voracious hunger to learn. They are forever collecting and disseminating information on "alternative lifestyles," organic food, natural healing, edible gardens, solar heating, earth and straw bale bale houses, and proposing innovative ways to create a sustainable society. Their role in the five-tribe world is sober, stable, and generationally based, by contrast to the free-form hedonism and teepee-style living of the Orgiastics.


The Marion Institute, which sponsors this site, exemplifies the mission of the Sustainers, combining visionary and practical elements into a futuristic world view with a focus on "connecting for change." Some of its projects offer service to the Originals, such as Mangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize, who founded the Greenbelt Movement. Planting trees is a Sustainer ritual - performed, in her case, by an Original.


The Institute's support of Jeremy Narby's Nouvelle Planete, a program to establish the legal claim of the indigenous peoples of the Amazon to their native plants and medicinal knowledge, is another good example of Sustainer-Original crossover.





Nomad, an ecotourist lodge on the south coast of Kenya

This tribe shares many of the characteristics of the Sustainers, with one crucial difference:

Evolvers work within the System, seeking to improve it rather than create something else, something better than the System.

The Natural Capital Institute founded by Paul Hawken, which promulgates methods and models for socially responsible investment, is typical of this tribe.


The Marion Institute also supports the NCI, so TMI is actually a hybrid organization, inspired equally by Sustainer and Evolver incentives. This coordinative or balancing role in end-time projects is reflected in the fact that the Marion Institute was founded in 1992 at the pivotal node of the 1974 - 2012 interval.

Coming into the interval in the early 1970s, Fritz Schumacher's manifesto Small is Beautiful (1972) set the trend for Evolver programs fitted to the human scale, and many have followed his lead. More recently, Capitalism 3.0 by Peter Barnes attempts to redefine the operating principles of free market economy. If I am reading the signs correctly, Daniel Pinchbeck's Evolver project is , like the Natural Capital Institute, dedicated to creating and promoting new and progressive forms of commerce within the System.


The operative word here is commerce.


By contrast to this approach, the incentives of the Sustainer tribe do not generally include programs set up to yield capital gains. What is sustainable has merit in the way it sustains itself: it does not have to "grow" economically. There is an ideological divide between the tribes here, for sure, but (let's hope) no cause for intertribal warfare.


As long as the current economic system does not fall into total chaos, there will always be opportunities for Evolvers to work out benevolent forms of capitalism and planet-friendly free enterprise. At the same time, in parallel efforts, the Sustainers will be working with other models that do not depend on economic return.

The natural food market is a prime example of the profit-making incentive of the end-time tribes. Wild Oats and Whole Foods are shrines to Evolver economics. Ecotourism also exemplifies the kind of commercial services set up by Evolvers for others of like mind as well as consumers in the general public.


In many instances, Originals or their descendents are employed to feed, lodge, guide, and entertain ecotourists, allowing the natives to live a double life, working in the System yet free to maintain their ways of life independent of it as well.


Ecotourism is not a perfect thing, but it's a great challenge for Evolvers who believe in benevolent capitalism. Given that the entire economy of certain regions of the planet depends on tourism, it may be the leading edge of the Evolver tribe's global outreach, an optimal place for them to center their efforts. Sustainers, by contrast, are more likely to be stay-at-home types.


Orgiastics, who are unlikely to be able to afford the price of ecotourist package deals, usually manage to make life itself into a grand touristic adventure.

Members of the Evolver tribe tend to take a utopian or at least optimistic view of technology, if they are not out-and-out technophiles. The aim of the Evolver project is to promote,

"technologies in sustainable food-production, community organizing, alternative energy, complementary currency, shamanic and meditative transformation, etc. Then through the membership organization, we will help people access these tools as quickly and locally as possible. We are counting on an active and engaged membership who will help us to envision, and implement, a new planetary culture"

Daniel Pinchbeck

cited from the interview with Tim Boucher

The new planetary culture so envisioned is not an educational and cultural venture, it is new phase of planetary commerce, far more sophisticated than anything that emerged from the hippie movement of the 1960s.


If Evolvers have true entrepreneurial flair, there is a great deal they can do to make the current economic picture more human and innovative, with a reduced ecological footprint.

The issue of profit versus non-profit runs through intertribal relations, as I just noted. In some respects, the difference cannot be reconciled. According to the lesson of an old planetary fable (called "the rise of agriculture"), the profit motif spreads tension among the tribes, tension that leads to social division and war.


But all tribes would agree, I believe, that we as a species will view survival (i.e., food, water, clothing and shelter, if you need to be reminded) more wisely, and have a better chance of achieving it, if we do not make it a for-profit venture.





"Elfstar" by Rebekah Bovey-LeBuillou

The mark of the Visioneers is, obviously, their visionary capacity, their talent to frame the grand overview and propose models that help all the tribes to navigate the evolutionary bend of the end-time.


Originally bring to the modern world various visionary systems of ancient provenance, such as the glorious sky-serpent cosmology of the Desana of the Northwest Amazon.


(See Amazonian Cosmos by Gerardo Reichel-Dolmatoff. I cite this vision in my book on astral phylogenetics, Quest for the Zodiac, explaining how the sky-serpent-brain motif of Desana cosmology triggered a profound insight that allowed me to decode the stellar writing.)


The song-lines of the Australian Aborigines present another example of Visioneer tribe legacy that can enrich our self-knowledge as a species, and assist us to devise our evolutionary niche. Members of this tribe hold the long view of human experience.

It would be tempting to try to inventory the grand schemes produced by various Visioneers since 1974, but such a list would be hard to be complete within the limits of this article. First and foremost, of course, is Gaia theory, developed by James Lovelock (atmospheric aspects) and Lynn Margulis (bioevolutionary aspects). It came to definition at the start of the 1974- 2012 period, and is without question the overarching vision of our time, and the end-time.


The interactive model of Gaian planetary symbiosis is far from finished.


I would say that we are only at the elementary stage of defining it. As the vision unfolds through the collaboration of many people, we are challenged to become discerning and selective, able to choose wisely among those visionary models that contribute to Gaia theory, perhaps even enhance and deepen it, and those which do not.

A well-known example of Visioneer talent is the noosphere concept of Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1955), the French Jesuit priest and paleontologist who proposed a teleological scenario in which the culmination of human history at the "Omega Point" would be achieved through "Christogenesis," with the human species somehow completing the mission of Christ.


Although Teilhard rejected the literal interpretation of Genesis, he retained the religious belief that Jesus Christ somehow embodied or focalized the fullness of human potential and holds the Omega Point until humanity can advance to it.


This Christocentric view strongly recalls the teachings of Rudolf Steiner (1875 - 1925), the Austrian philosopher and founder of Anthroposophy, who regarded Jesus Christ as the "representative of mankind." The works of Steiner and Teilhard exemplify what I call totalistic male-mind models in which feminine, ecofeminist, or Sophianic aspects of cosmology are downplayed, if not entirely absent.


The vast scope of such visionary scenarios appeals to many people, despite these (to me) serious shortcomings. Some leading voices in the counterculture find in Teilhard's noosphere a prefiguration of the Internet as a global collective mind in cyberspace.

In The Seeker's Handbook (1991, coming into the nodal midpoint), I ventured a tentative short list of theories of planetarization:

  • Teilhard's orthogenesis

  • Dane Rudhyar's vision of eonics and the shishta, the avant-garde of planetary evolution

  • McLuhan's Gutenberg galaxy and the global village

  • Oliver Reiser's cosmic humanism and embryogenesis (lately reprised by John Major Jenkins for 2012 ruminations )

  • the evolutionary spiral of Barbara Marx Hubbard

  • the Aquarian conspiracy of Marilyn Ferguson - this last being a summary of visionary models and programs, rather than a model itself

Obviously, the list is paltry. Today it could be expended by a factor of ten.


It would have to include everything from Terence McKenna's timewave (also closely linked to 2012 calendrics) to Irving Lazlo's connectivity hypothesis, and on and on. Ken Wilbur, who is by now regarded as the tenured dean of Visioneers, would have to be included. I only include him to admit that I exclude him.


I can't read Ken Wilbur. Nor can I get my head around a great many of these grandiose schemes.

Truth be told, I have a strong aversion to totalistic male-mind models, even when they are produced by women such as Barbara Marx Hubbard. I am also in diametrical disagreement with Hubbard's view, shared by many others, that the human species is the glory-crowned animal at the growing point of millions of years of cosmic evolution.


I don't believe that self-consciousness in our species is a great achievement, toward which all of nature have been laboring for untold eons. I am more inclined to view it as our worst handicap, the ego hang-up of a wounded animal that has lost its way.

I am slipping into I-language here because, considering the "Sophianic vision of the Mysteries" developed in this site and in my new book, Not in His Image, I myself might be placed among the Visioneers tribe, perhaps in competition with the names on the marquee. But there is no competition. I do not compete. The Sophianic vision based on the sacred myth of the fallen goddess is not my invention.


It is a legacy I have recovered and restored. I would not place myself in the Visioneer tribe, but among the Sustainers, in the clan of deep ecology. I have not developed a cosmic evolutionary scheme of vast scope and detail.


That's not been my calling in this life, although for a long time I thought it was. Because I worked in astrology and naked-eye astronomy, I thought that I was a cosmologist, an originator, but it would be more accurate to say that I am a teacher of cosmology and a consumer advocate of cosmologies. I assess and critique the master schemes, but I do not offer one of my own.


(The system of astral phylogenetics I present in Quest for the Zodiac is not a cosmological scheme, it is a cosmographic method, a way of decoding the endowment of an individual out of the genomic potential of the species.)

Bioneers, founded by Kenny Asubel and Nina Simons, is the flagship event of the tribe of Visioneers. At bioneers the five tribes converge, and members of the Visioneer tribe are often invited to give plenary talks, providing a sense of holistic orientation for a vast diversity of projects and programs. Clearing houses such as Esalen, the Noetic Institute, Omega, Hollyhock, also provide platforms for Visioneers to hold the talking stick.


The biomimicry of Jeanine Benyus is an offering from the Sustainers to the Visioneers, a savory evolutionary potlatch. I would probably place Terence McKenna among the Orgiastics, but he is known for his Visioneer-like modeling genius. Members of the Visioneers tribe include not only those who produce the defining visions and cosmic scenarios, but also those who embrace and propagate them. The cosmic model of Brian Swimme, "The Story of the Universe," has spawned an entire movement in which other people spread the evolutionary myth that Swimme initially articulated.

So much for a rundown of the five end-time tribes. In the Next World, we will find ourselves living on a five-tribe planet.


People who represent the five tribes and speak of their hopes and fears for emergent communities in the future can be heard on, the sister site of, produced and broadcast by Joanna Harcourt Smith. Many other examples could be cited (The Nature Conservancy, for instance.) I have certainly overlooked some of the more obvious and vivid. It would be fun to make an inventory of tribal activities. Any volunteers?

The characterization of the tribes is not a game for stereotyping people. It is a loose frame for recognition. Tribal identity is a volunteer process. The Next World will be discovered in the eyes of those who bring it forth.


As Thoreau noted at Walden Pond, the great adventure of each day, which we each share with the sun, is to make the day.



The End of the New Age

Time does not end when the defining moment of the end-time comes in 2012, but time is running out for a lot of things humans do.


Among the activities that are getting close to their expiration date, I would place new age spirituality.


Many of you who are reading this article to the end might think that new age spirituality, in some respects, at least, points the way to the end-time and what's possible in the coming shift, but I would suggest another view. I sense that much that passes for spirituality today will be shed rapidly as we enter a time when real spiritual trials, formidable tests of intent and imagination, are forced upon us, individually and collectively.


With the acceleration toward 2012, the game may be expiring for new age pretensions and empowerment regimes such as come under the catch-all term, "shamanism."

This may sound extremely perverse on my part, I realize. But hold on a sec. I have been following the New Age from its inception out of the Psychedelic Revolution of the 1960s. I wrote a critical guidebook to the phenomenon of alternative spirituality, a rather naive work, but useful nonetheless. I do not say casually that new age spirituality is expiring. I say it with a sober view toward how transformation comes out of death, when an impulse is genuine and rooted in the evolutionary potential of humankind.


By this I mean that all that has been so far categorized as new age spirituality may have been, up to now, the mere husk of a deeper, richer fruit. The New Age, fraught with so much pretending and false pretence, so much phoniness and disguised narcissism, will have served its purpose well if now it leads to something truly genuine that transcends it.

The discovery of the Next Age will come in part through the end of the New Age as a phenomenon of spiritual naivety uncritically embraced by many who are seeking a genuine commitment to humanity... but this demise might open the way into a deeper path, the way of the double, the shapeshifter, Lord of the Evening Star... Xolotl.


Back to Contents





The Party of Xolotl

Magic and Initiation Among the end-time Tribes

February 2007
In the 73rd moon of the end-time


Dani tribeman drinking iced tea, Irian Jaya,
Indonesia, 1997. In Peuples by Pierre de
Vollombreuse and Edgar Morin
Flammarion, Paris, 2006



Mixing and mingling with the end-time tribes is a strange lot of free-lance wizards on whom one hardly dares to put a name.


Shamans, they are. But shamans of another order, whose lineage extends from the future as much as from the past. These wizards have an imaginative flair, the gift for magical realism (more below).


They can be elusive, but they are strangely, disarmingly direct when it comes to imparting the initiatory secrets of their trade. Exhibiting a paradoxical mix of arrogance and humility, they are fine teachers, although they do not belong to any tradition, school, or educational program. They are generous and ruthless, but also capricious. And in social and spiritual style, they are occasionally brutal.

One thing they are not is fashionable, unless you count the occasional personal fetish such as the spiffy mesh tie worn by the gentleman pictured above. But shamanism, let's face it, is pretty fashionable these days. It is the height of trendiness in some circles. The craze has been building for quite a while.


Peter Furst's Flesh of the Gods (published in 1972, right on the far node of the 1972 - 2012 interval) set the standard for anthropological studies that made hallucinogens legitimate, finally overthrowing Eliade's opinion (reconsidered at the end of his life) that the use of psychoactive plants belongs to the decadent phase of shamanism. Since Furst, shamanism has become the central subject of anthropology as well as the sacred pastime of the drug culture.


And beyond the counterculture, it has engendered pop obsessions including everything from ayahuasca tourism to communal drumming in the park.



Serpents of Wisdom

Conversation on the Plaza in Santa Fe around 1974:

"Hey John, have you heard all this talk about shamanism? Some people are saying it's the oldest religion on earth."
"Hmmm. Well, if it's that old, how much longer do they expect it to last?"

Shamanism was the radical chic of the 1990s, and coming into the 21th century it seems to be holding strong, but could this be a sunset phenomemon? Do I risk sounding extremely perverse (once again) by posing such a question?


Let me qualify: Could it be that the present ubiquity of the phenomenon - with everybody and his cousin now claiming to be a shaman - might give way to something at once more discreet and more demanding, a shamanic order that does not announce itself as such? This would be the party of Xolotl. In the spirit of magical realism, I will write of the party as if it already exists.

The party of Xolotl is definitely an order, not another tribe among the tribes, but the order encompasses and permeates all tribal activities. Think of the tribes as trees, great many-branched and many-rooted wonders, leafed with countless expressions of personalized creativity and steadied by massive trunks of communal solidarity. The five families of tribal trees - Originals, Orgiastics, Sustainers, Evolvers, and Visioneers - represent the emergent human community of the end-time.


Then the hidden shamanic order, the party of wily and elusive crypto-shamans, would be the bone-white angel-hair mesh of underground mycelium in mycorrhizal relationship with the family trees.


Wasson (in Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality):

"Since 1885 mycologists have recognized the mycorrhizal relationships between certain species of mushrooms, and certain species of trees..."

How convenient that someone noticed.

"Be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves."

This adage, attributed to Jesus, may be one of merely three lines in the New Testament that reflect some genuine Gnostic insight.


The other two would be,

"Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free, " and "If thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."

All three lines play on the same theme: the paranormal faculties (siddhis) of those who master the serpent power, kundalini.


I have argued extensively that the gnostikoi of the Pagan Mysteries were kundalini adepts. They did not control the serpent power - no one does - but allowed themselves to be supple channels for it. They mastered its effects by achieving states of steady concentration free of hallucinations.


This type of concentration, achieved while standing with eyes open, is requisite for observing the Organic Light. One effect of this sublime encounter is a sense of exquisite tenderness, infinite softness, for the luminosity of Sophia's primary substance body is soft. The Organic Light has a texture comparable to marshmallow. (I originally considered calling it the Mallow Light, and do call it so in certain writings on Gaian biophysics.)

Witnessing the Light makes us "gentle as doves." Another effect is that you see truth, you do not merely understand it. In ancient times when cultural and literary conventions followed the educational lead of the telestai, the Mystery School teachers, the Greek word aletheia used to mean both "truth" and "reality." This is the norm in some Gnostic writings, and the same sense occurs in Plato. What is ultimately true is Reality itself.


Only Truth is real. Beholding the Organic Light, "ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free," because in the omnipresent soft luminosity you see the Suchness, the primordial Void that is Shunyata, not emptiness but a fullness, a self-radiant plenum in which the truth of every possible thought, emotion, and perception reaches pure and paramount ripeness, and reaches it, and reaches it....

"Ripeness is all," Goethe said, he who was used to contemplating nature "intensively" to observe what happens within the senses, rather than merely what the senses present as an external, seemingly finished product. The Organic Light is rich in content: a well of living information, a fountainhead of boundless, self-articulating intelligence.


Asian traditions call the realization it affords sambija samadhi, "perfect concentration with seed," contrasted to nirbija samadha, "concentration without seed." In The Seeker's Handbook (1991), I explained that the first is knowing nothing through knowing everything, and the second is knowing everything through knowing nothing. It's fun to have options..

Such matters would be - will be - routine tradecraft for the party of Xolotl, the technicians of the sacred who move surreptitiously among the end-time tribes. Technicians, they are. But they may often appear as poets, novelists, dancers, musicians, herbalists, body-workers, stone-workers, animal-keepers, and simple artisans who do not openly disclose their adept status.


There is a harlequin aspect to the dog-headed end-time guides, although some of them are somber, prone to dress in black and wear silver and coral ornaments, like Silvio Manuel. Some of them sit modestly aside, grinning in the dark. Xolotl is dog-headed because in occult jargon that animal represents clairaudience, hearing in the canine frequencies.


The party of Xolotl have various occult faculties, but most notably the capacity to hear subvocally - hear and transmit.

Jean Delville's drawing of Parsifal was done around 1885 at the height of the Occult Revival in Europe. Delville was associated with the "20" and the Rose + Croix, artistic movements permeated with esotericism.


In this stylized image, he depicts the secret of the dog-headed clairaudience: the eustacian tubes, columns of air that work like antennae to mediate frequencies beyond the range of normal hearing.


He shows the columns shooting down from Parsifal's ears, and around the head, the horns of clairvoyance, another set of antennae but receptive to light rather than sound, particularly the soft, lunar Organic Light.

Delville wanted to depict Parsifal as the example of the trained initiate able to send and receive clairvoyantly and clairaudiently. He could as well have been representing one of Xolotl's crew.


The serpent current in the spine bends like a fiddlehead fern into a three-forked knot of warm fire in the soma chakra, a psychosomatic center beneath the heart, known only to siddhas and excluded from the usual model of the chakras. Delville represents it symbolically by the Hebrew letter Shin, "divine fire."

The party of Xolotl may appear cold, aloof and austere, even threatening.


But to know these wizards intimately is to touch the secret candor (warmth) they embody, inflected in sexual flair and erotic finesse. The serpents of wisdom move among the end-time tribes like - well, like soft, feathery serpents.


They slither among categories and terms, evading and subverting cultural codes and memes, but they are clear and explicit in their syntax.


Their muse is language itself, the consummate whore and ultimate shapeshifter.



Shock Therapy

There is a close parallel between Xolotl and Kali.


Consider the way Kali is depicted in her role of Tripurasundari, destroyer of the three worlds at the end of Kali Yuga, when civilization goes down in fire and flood: naked, adorned with a necklace of severed heads, drinking blood and eating carrion, she dances ecstatically on the body of the inert Shiva, her consort.


This is a mythic image of anesthetic shock, the kind that comes over humanity as it faces extinction by natural catastrophes, as well as by psychological catastrophes, the breakdown of ordinary life, the shattering of paradigms, the loss of all expectations, the immolation of faith, and the end of all hope.


Today we are on the verge of witnessing a collective manifestation of what Stan Grof calls "spiritual emergencies."


His recent book, When the Impossible Happens, presents a vivid inventory of such emergencies.


Newari style thanka, Katmandu, 1999.
Shamanism and Tantra in the Himalayas,
Muller-Ebeling, Ratsch et al.

In an unparalleled career spanning fifty years, commencing with clinical observation of thousands of LSD sessions, including his own, Grof has shown that traumatic experiences normally dismissed as due to "mental breakdown" or "mental illness" are actually opportunities to break through into non-ordinary reality and acquire paranormal perception.


The 2012 end-time marks a global pandemic of such opportunities. It signals a world gone mad, with millions of crazed and helpless people stunned by the loss of their habits of living and terrified on a daily basis by the scale and severity of geophysical changes.

Imagine the look of dumbfounded horror on the faces of people helplessly caught in catastrophic geophyical changes such as the sudden rise of sea levels,
earthquakes, and violent storms: this is the expression of Xolotl, blank-eyed and aghast.


The red mouth recalls the bloody grin of Kali. The head is a skull, like the face of a shaman who turns magically into a skeleton, and the elaborate ears suggest the dog-like powers of hypertonicity.


On his torso, Xolotl has a kind of armor-plating, an insectoid or armadillo belly, but there are two round holes (for burning incense) in the place of the soma chakra and the solar plexus: heart and guts traumatically pierced by the awesome spectacle of mass-scale destruction.


Yet this horrendous trauma has another face, as Grof has taught for so many years: physical and psychosomatic traumas present a shock course in the acquisition of paranormal abilities.


When ordinary reality crumbles before our eyes, non-ordinary reality dawns.

Quetzalcoatl has two brothers. One is the competing shaman, Tezcatlipoca, Lord of the Smoking Mirror. The other is his twin brother, Xolotl. Aztec statuary depicts the two deities Quetzalcoatl and Xolotl back to back, joined into a single, Janus-faced entity.

The vast spiritual emergency to be undergone by the human species in ever-increasing numbers, with natural disasters, social violence, and outright madness escalating up to and beyond 2012, will open the seals of paranormal faculties and burst the floodgates of non-ordinary reality.


As the world humans have made comes apart in convulsions of fire and flood, a world will arise anew, but first within human perception, because seeing the Next World comes with traumatic extrapolation of the senses toward non-ordinary reality, in the very moment we behold the destruction of the existing world.

The 2012 end-time will bring physical destruction on an unimaginable scale - this is not a prophecy but a common sense inference based on observable events and data, such as the meltdown rate of the Greenland ice-shelf (dystropic feedback).


It entails a total planetary makeover in parallel with a visionary awakening and plunge into altered states and paranormal perception, a shift into evolutional anomaly and shamanic magic.


The scale of natural law will be reversed: instead of survival depending upon everyone's conformity to consensus reality, it will depend on some individuals entering and navigating the realms of non-ordinary reality.

Some evidence of this shift from normal to paranormal can be seen in traces of human activity through previous extinctions. The painted caves of Southern France and the northern coast of Spain, such as Lascaux and Altamira, date from the close of the Upper Paleolithic and deglaciation of Europe around 9,500 BCE.


Archeologists estimate that these extensive paintings range from 22,000-9,000 BCE, indicating that a good deal of this artistic activity (thought to be closely related to shamanic visionary states) occurred while some groups of hardy folk were living through the last Ice Age.

But in December 1994, a remarkable discovery was made in the Ardeche region of south central France. The Chauvet Cave displays art work that is not only 15,000 years older than Lascaux and Altamira, it is artistically and esthetically more finished, more sophisticated. This discovery proved that cave painting in more remote times was, both in technique and representation, more evolved than the art that survived from the close of the Paleolithic Era.


It suggests that access to non-ordinary perception, including shamanic rapport with animal powers ubiquitously depicted in those caves, and the gender balance suggested by erotic markings and goddess effigies, declined from a peak that may be identified temporally as the crisis point of extinction going into the last Ice Age.


In other words, the few survivors of the last minor extinction event were traumatized into altered states of perception and entered non-ordinary reality in ways that allowed them to survive by magical-shamanic practices, evident in the art of these caves.


They survived by practical skills, of course, but I would argue that their practical skills were, for the most part, acquired magically. Learning from the animals how to live, choose food, find water, learning from the moon and stars how to formally order their activities and transmit their generational experience in long-term narratives, and so forth - are not abilities that can be gained through trial and error alone. They require, and reflect, magical enhancement.

What if, in the long run, the survival capacity of our species depends on supernatural experiences?


This may be a good question to ponder throughout the 2012 end-time.



Gaian Mercy

For those who lived through the Ice Age, practical and magical skills were complementary.


But these skills declined slowly over many millennia, and split apart. Hence early Neolithic cave relics and rock art are markedly inferior to what preceded them in the Paleolithic. We did not evolve from grunting, hairy cave people who hacked out stone implements: we evolved from handicapped cave people who themselves were degenerate heirs of far more skilled, sophisticated primitives.


And these skilled, sophisticated primitives were themselves the diaspora of civilizations destroyed by a combination of natural and human-made factors. The mark of such civilizations was high attainment of social order and technological accomplishment at the expense of the dissociation of the magical and practical faculties which, working together, comprise the dual psychosomatic endowment of the human species.

We lose our survival sense as access to non-ordinary reality becomes less and less common, and even comes to be rejected entirely. This, I would propose, is a peculiar evolutionary rule of the human species.

Time and time again, Stan Grof brings attention to the baffling yet widely accepted denial of the healing, life-directing value of non-ordinary experience.


As we come forward in history, paranormal perception and altered states of cognition are not only dismissed by science (although previously they engendered science) and rejected by religion (although previously they informed religion), they are deemed anathema in society worldwide, if not dismissed as pure silliness.

  • What is to be made of this situation?

  • Why in our time in history is it ridiculous and unacceptable to have or confess to having experiences of non-ordinary reality?

Ask the party of Xolotl.


They will say this: Behold the face the dark twin of Quetzalcoatl and see there the expression of our own petrified horror as we enter the endgame of civilization. (And hey, did the Aztecs know something about the endgame of civilization!).


See the dumbfounded terror of what's to come, when millions of people realize they cannot face the makeover of the planet because they have denied those very faculties that would equip them for "spiritual emergencies" of the magnitude now beginning to overtake us.

But see, also, how you can awaken to the shamanic survival power of human imagination, and access our inborn gifts for magic, mutation, and transmigration.

Recall Kali dancing orgiastically astride the inert Shiva.


Here is an image of collective anesthesia, Gaia's merciful way of allowing people en masse to desensitize themselves when the moment for Her cosmetic makeover arrives, so that they will be too stupefied to suffer from horrific death, bodily injury, trauma and loss.


Gaia exhibits the same law of mercy throughout the animal kingdom where, for instance, the gazelle brought down by the cheetah does not suffer the horror of being eaten alive, but undergoes a shift of consciousness and bodily sensation due to specific chemicals released by the mortal strike, the lethal bite, chemicals that activate a trance state of blissful anesthesia.


We have all seen this happen with cats and mice, with the mouse clearly in an altered state. Humans who have survived attacks by lions, tigers, and grizzlies report how they are plunged into a semi-comatose state of bliss. They do not feel the pain of being mauled to near-death, but are caught up in a state of ecstatic anesthesia.

The inert Shiva depicts the fate Gaia has prepared for the vast majority of the human species leading into the extinction now underway - but not just that. Shiva is also the autochthonous god of the wilderness, long worshipped by hunters and shamanic tribes in Dravidia, Southern India, the land of the sacred cobra.


Shiva is the honored deity of siddha yoga, the tradition in which Stan and Christina Grof were intimately involved for many years. Lord Shiva is the master of animal powers and the patron saint of those who acquire paranormal faculties, siddhis.


His sleeping form represents the "general anesthesia" of humanity, yes, but also the occult or sleeping powers of the self-selecting few who will face the end-time with heightened perception, empowered by a magical intention to survive.



Poor Carlitos

The party of Xolotl is the party of the Nahual. So what on earth is the party of the Nahual?

Well, it's kind of a motif in a long novel, a serial novel....

Conversation on the Plaza in Santa Fe, circa 1989:

"John, did you hear this shit: people are saying that Castaneda invented don Juan. He just made up everything in those books of his."
"Hmmm. I wouldn't be surprised if Castaneda did invent don Juan. What I wonder about is, who invented Castaneda?"

Poor Carlitos.


Idolized by millions, his books published in twenty languages, his adventures the inspiration for a huge cult movement lasting over 30 years, Castaneda saw his secrecy violated, his personal history smeared in the face of the general public, his human foibles exposed, and his writings dismissed as phony shamanism, the invention of a schizophrenic poseur.


Yet no matter what you may think of Castaneda, the magic he sowed in our minds is real.


Poor Carlitos was in the party of Xolotl, a creative genius and genuine end-time seer.


Forum discussion about CC

I often wonder why, among all that is said about him, and since his death, predominantly against him, no one has remarked that the ten books he wrote - The Teachings of don Juan, A Separate Reality, Journey to Ixtlan, Tales of Power, The Second Ring of Power, The Eagle's Gift, The Power of Silence, The Art of Dreaming, Magical Passes, The Active Side of Infinity - present a serial novel, a unitary masterpiece of magical realism. I am astounded that no one has yet made this observation.


Magical realism is the genre of fiction, mainly from Central and South America, associated with names such as Miguel Angel Asturias, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Julio Cortazar, but equally so with European writers such as Hermann Hesse and Italo Calvino. (I exclude the sophomoric mysticism of Brazilian Paolo Coehlo, an obvious stooge of the Catholic Church disguised in Sufi wool.)


Castaneda would not, I think, be unhappy among this company, where he certainly deserves a place. The incomparable genius of Castaneda lies in how he got so many of us involved in his feat of magical realism, as participants and not merely readers, and how his fiction (if such it was) included so much shamanic lore that is durable, testable, and veracious.

Magical realism is a guiding device of the party of Xolotl, some of whom write it, while others interpret and instil it. It is not merely a literary genre, it is an occult medium for narrative entrainment. In the hands of able tricksters, the "master narrative" is not a totalitarian scheme with closure, but a grounding and framing device, an heuristic and hermeneutic tool of immense suppleness.


The members of the party are deeply versed in literature and literary trends. Adepts of lucid syntax, they are well-read, critically and eclectically minded alchemists of the Word, like Dale Pendell. Magic realism is their natural mode of discourse. Probably the inceptive work in this genre was Don Quixote by Cervantes. Or was it Don Quixolotl?


Anyway, this novel, generally taken to be disenchanting satire of chivalry, was written right after the Conquest of Mexico, and there is a significant parallel here. Allow me to elaborate.

We all know the extraordinary story of Montezuma and Cortez, and the downfall of the Aztecs. What no one knows is how the bloody Aztecs got to be there in the first place. Their arrival in central Mexico around 1250 is one of the more enigmatic events in world history.


Something weird happened when this scruffy, bellicose tribe marched into the Valley of the Moon and overthrew Toltec civilization, only to be overthrown themselves less than 300 years later, at which point in time they were annihilating themselves due to ritual ingestion of toxic doses of the royal addiction, chocolotl; hence their aberrant and psychotic behavior.

Now, the curious thing is, the party of the Xolotl descends from the Toltec sorcerers who went into oblivion with the arrival of the Aztecs around 1250 CE. Readers of Castaneda will know that don Juan also attributed his lineage to the Toltecs, but insisted that the new sorcerers be distinguished from their ancient forebears.


The party of Xolotl is the outgrowth of the underground dissemination of the lost Toltec wisdom, raised to a higher octave and transplanted into the present by a retrograde magic operating from the future. This is how the Toltec adepts, past masters of serpent wisdom in MesoAmerica, worked out their survival - their transmigration in time, if you will. An elaborate technique, to say the least. But the old sorcerers were exceedingly intricate in their ways, as don Juan astutely noted.

The party of Xolotl associated with the nagual Julian and other preceptors of Castaneda's lineage came out of oblivion sometime around 1740, if I recall correctly. The party of Xolotl who are intimately involved with facing the 2012 end-time emerged somewhat later, around 1850, the time Hermann Melville was writing Moby Dick.


Curiously, Melville is not usually included in the school of magical realism, but he surely ought to be. He may be regarded as the patron saint of the party in literary terms. Mardi is a flawed masterpiece of magical realism in which Melville tried to channel some erotic projections mixed with end-time visions set in Oceania.


The spiritual crisis he underwent while writing Moby Dick is typical of the "spiritual emergencies" recounted by Grof. In Melville's intense psychological trauma, undergone in hermetic solitude, we can see the birth pangs of the party of Xolotl that now move among the end-time tribes in America.

Imaginatively speaking, the White Whale could be the Greenland ice-shelf.



Maya Blue Face

In The Eagle's Gift, Castaneda presented his vision of the nahual's party, comprised of eight men and eight women, forming a line with arms linked in a DNA-like braid. Imagine a line of dancers in a kundalini conga.


Don Juan said this was the form of the Plumed Serpent that allowed the party to transit as a unit to the other side.


To some minds, this image will suggest dematerialization, recalling the claim of Arguelles that in the 2012 end-time some people attuned to the right frequencies of awareness could be swept into another dimension on a cosmic beam emanating from the center of the galaxy. But is this literary image of Castaneda compatible with such a literal notion of off-planet transport?

I have been asked on more than on occasion if the cosmic beam theory found in Arguelles' writings, and, in a different version, in the cataclysmic astrophysics of Paul LaViolette, relates to the fall of the Aeon Sophia from the Pleroma, the galactic core. As a mythological motif, the fall of the Goddess is unique and cannot be associated with "the fall of humanity," a notion refuted in Sethian Gnosticism.


Since humanity does not fall from a divine state, there is no need to return to the divine source. Pagan, non- and pre-Christian Gnosis set the aim of realizing divinity here and now on earth, in the realm of the senses, by a direct encounter with the indwelling goddess, Sophia.


Wisdom is her name, diversity is her game, and novelty is the key to the importance of humanity in Her Dreaming, the imagination of the earth.


Escape from the planet by dematerialization or miraculous transport is not the option here, but knowing first hand the presence of the Nahual in this world always is.

The Nahual is the Unknown, the Otherworld, the other side of what we know via the mind and senses in their ordinary modalities. The nahual, non-capitalized, is the member of the party of Xolotl who on any occasion points to the Unknown, sees it first, divines its effects, or otherwise indicates its presence to the party. (In Pagan Mysteries at Eleusis and elsewhere, the nahual was called the hierophant.)


This person is immediately recognized by the others as the nahual for that occasion. Sometimes the nahual is identified by the oracle of rubbed charcoal. The sound of small cubes of burnt wood grated together gently in the palm signals the hypertonic hearing that points, like a hunting dog, to the looming presence of the Nahual.

The Nahual is not exactly the presence of the Aeon Sophia in her primary substance body, the epiphany of the Organic Light. It is the presence of the boundless cosmic reality, the truth of Shunyata, that looms behind the Light.


In that soft wellspring of shadowless luminosity, everything is knowable, but the Unknown looms over the knowable, and within the Unknown looms the Unknowable.


Castaneda carefully made this distinction between the Unknown and the Unknowable, explaining that the former is inexhausible, there being always infinitely more to know, but we cannot even know if the Unknowable is infinite or finite! (Vedanta and Kashmiri Shaivism make similar distinctions.)

There is enormous salubrity in the Organic Light.


Even a momentary glimpse of it bestows eternal youth and ineffable wisdom:

"Never was a man in such pain but from that day he beholds the Stone, he cannot die in the week that follows immediately after. Nor will his complexion ever decline...


If that person saw the Stone for two hundred years, his hair would never turn gray. Such power does the Stone bestow that flesh and bone immediately acquire youth."

So is the Grail described in Arthurian legend (Parzival, Ch. 9).


The Organic Light is a wellspring of healing power. In the 2012 end-time and after, Gaia will heal herself with catastrophic changes, but many other miraculous healings will occur as the geophysical shift unfolds.

In the tradition of siddha yoga followed by the Grofs, the appearance of Blue Person is highly auspicious. People see the Person, or sometimes the Blue Pearl, spontaneously in altered states. The traditional depiction of Krishna with blue skin points to this mystical experience. The 2012 end-time may portend sightings of Blue Person on an unprecedented scale.

The Nahual associated with the Organic Light is a place one can look into, and go into if you have the adequate stealth, but some entities, including human beings or humanoid forms such as Blue Person, inhabit it permanently. Among these are the Maya Blue Face, a tight clan of diviners and healers who continually "make the rounds" to the galactic center and back.


They are the Lords of Palenque, allies of P. azurescens, the most potent of psilocybin mushrooms (left). Azura: blue face.


They are the Asuras of Hindu-Persian mythology, traditionally portrayed as fearsome sorcerers and gorgon-like monsters to veil their true identity and protect their benevolent mission from snoops and sidewinders.

The flesh of the Maya Blue Face is like clay, soft and porous, its color fluctuating from greyish blue to rich, dark azure. Their faces show the profile of local royalty depicted in the murals of the Classical Maya: sloped forehead, oval eyes, wide rounded nose like a fat slice of melon, long ears.


Most distinctively, they bear on their cheeks the teardrop marking of the highest shamanic skill, predation, which is also the source of the deepest healing of which humans are capable.


Blue Face shamans are warriors gifted with lethal and baffling abilities, powers for killing and torture, and flesh-eating savvy.


They acquired the supreme skill through a millennial pact with the great predator cats, the jaguar and puma, who also have teardrop markings. Linda Tucker discovered the same symbiotic link between prey and predator among the White Lions of Timbavati.


The Zulu Lion shaman Credo Mutwa explained the link to her, connecting the lion to celestial patterns. The connection is pan-terrestrial, but the Maya Blue Face are special agents of the periodic return to the celestial center.


They know the spidery tracks to the galactic core and out again into the spiraling arms.

To see the teardrop markings of the Maya Blue Face is one of the most poignant experiences of planetary mysticism, for the tatooed shapes send a message that is eternally true, at once infinitely sad and infinitely hopeful:

only those who know how to kill magically can resurrect the human species from extinction.

The Blue Face shamans do not enact predation, but they use the feline savvy of the great predatory species to guide and heal whomever they encounter on their rounds.


Emanating the deliciously feral presence of the big hunting cats, they are benign and serene, the time-honored elders of the party of Xolotl.



Children of Novelty

The 2012 end-time is a global event, encompassing the entire planet and all its inhabitants.


Geophysically, it seems to have kicked off in Asia, in Iran, Thailand and Sumatra. But the Western world, the Americas, is the place where it will be dramatically defined. There the younger generation are already deeply involved in the next evolutionary breakthrough, because the ground for a forward leap has been prepared in the Americas by the party of Xolotl since the 13th Century when the Toltec adepts went underground.


Many members of the five end-time tribes have party connections.


The work of Xolotl adepts depends on their reception by the tribes. They are not self-proclaimed prophets, but sly masters of divination. Not guides, but guardians of the directive gnosis. Not messiahs, but no-nonsense mystics as able to navigate the apocalypse as to row a canoe.

The return of Xolotl will come to expression in the West in lavish and outrageous fashion. The Orgiastics are the Dionysion avant garde for this revelation.

The 2012 end-time signals a spiritual emergency of the entire human species. The other plant and animal species going extinct by the hundreds each day are preparing us for this, previewing the experience, in some sense preparing us for it. Kali's apocalyptic dance represents the catastrophic situation to which the party of Xolotl will apply their occult skills, but in a highly selective manner. There are only two responses to extinction: anesthetic denial or sudden awakening of non-ordinary states.


The face of Xolotl mirrors both to us, as explained above.

Stan Grof's When the Impossible Happens (2006) could be regarded as a survival handbook for the end-time.


It contains no prophecy or speculation, but presents a rich inventory of non-ordinary experience:

  • extrasensory perception

  • telepathy

  • out-of-body transport

  • astral projection

  • precognition

  • clairvoyance

  • psychometry

  • materialization and dematerialization

  • near-death experiences

  • after-death survival and communication with the dead

  • lucid dreaming

  • channeling

  • rebirthing

  • holotropic states

  • alien contact

  • synchronicities

  • reincarnational memory

  • peaceful and wrathful deities

  • naked awareness of the Clear Light of the Void

  • spontaneous kundalini awakening with kriyas

  • remote viewing

  • healing anomalies

  • conscious access to genetic and phylogenetic codes

  • visionary teachings and cosmic epiphanies

  • verifiable psychic feats such as picturing places one has never been in this life and speaking in unknown tongues

Grof writes:

It is clear there is no plausible explanation for these phenomena within the conceptual framework of mainstream psychiatry and psychology... They represent a formidable conceptual challenge for traditional science, and they have a paradigm-breaking potential.

(When the Impossible Happens, p.165. Emphasis added.)

Precisely so: experiences such as these, rather than any amount of social argument or scientific proof or messianic persuasion, will shatter the blind paradigms that bind us to the self-destructive behavior now escalating toward the 2012 end-time.

To Grof's impressive inventory I would add ISP and bilocation (often attained or anticipated in lucid dreaming), involving the plasmic double. ISP, the complement to ESP, is infrasensory perception: seeing in participation what unfolds intensively within the senses, not merely what they reveal in the outer world, seemingly independent of the observer.


Bilocation is physical embodiment in two places at once, fully and simultaneously conscious of both places and both bodies - perhaps the paramount thrill in the cosmos. The hilarious antics of don Genaro illustrate some of the wilder possibilities of bilocation for cosmic clowning. Grof's account of his bilocation ("Temptations in a Non-Local Universe: Failed Experiment in Astral Projection") provides sobering and cautionary insight into the pitfalls and aberrations of this most occult of occult phenomena.

All the anomalous experiences Grof describes are relevant to the end-time, but most particularly the NDE (near death experience). The 6th extinction will be a near-death experience for the entire human species. This is Gaia's way to operate the higher mutation codes and affect transpeciation, consistent with her divine purposes.


She is capable of resurrecting any species - on evidence for this claim, investigate the Cambrian explosion - and the Maya Blue Face are uniquely complicit in how she does so.



In the NDE (near death experience) people are drawn into a tunnel of the Organic Light via a particular channel that leads to the Treasury of Lights described in the non-NHL Gnostic texts, the Books of Jeu and the Pistis Sophia.


Some will go the entire route and expire, others will return, endowed with transmigratory secrets. Such secrets cannot be applied without intimate parallel knowledge of nature, especially reproduction in the plant kingdom and cultivation of fungal spores. (Amanita witch with her animal familiar, a fox.)

In Brahmanical teachings pirated by Madame Blavatsky and upscaled by Dane Rudhyar, members of the end-time tribes who manage transmigration are called the shishta, "seed people."


They are in a literal sense people who preserve and disseminate seeds, like Dominique Guillet, founder of Seeds of Kokopelli. In another sense, the shishta carry forward in time the seeds of culture, mainly symbolic systems, math, music, and languages, insuring their continuity through the precarious passage of extinction.

The shishta are the ultimate survivalists and children of novelty. New tricks require new tricksters.


These vital young warrior-lovers are the beneficiaries of magic and initiation in the end-time, the spiritual offspring of impeccable parents, dreamers and stalkers in the party of Xolotl.


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