Diary of A Layman #23 (Summer): The Mayans Predicted the Coming of Green Lantern
By now you have no doubt heard that according to astronomers and anthropologists, December 21, 2012 correlates to the “end” of the Mayan calendar. And, despite having repeatedly heard about this for many, many years now, it is also very probable that you still have no idea exactly what this means. The reason is because it’s very complicated. To even begin to understand it you need to look to the Mayan myths of the Sacred Tree and understand their incredibly complex Long Count calendar of tuns, k’atuns, and b’aktuns as well as their concepts of the Great Cycle, the Great Great Cycle, and cycles within cycles. You’d also need to understand astronomical occurrences involving the precession of the equinoxes and the conjunction of the sun at the intersection of the plane of the ecliptic and the Milky Way. You can do all that, or, you can simply read my interpretation of this summer’s Green Lantern movie, which shares the same message as the Mayan mythology.
If you’re unlike most people, you actually saw Green Lantern, the critics’ least favorite of this summer’s slew of superhero movies that included Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and X-Men: First Class. Going in with really low expectations, I actually enjoyed the film, but was a bit disappointed on how little of Green Lantern’s abilities were explored. Unlike every other superhero, Green Lantern must rely on his mind to conjure up his powers. For this reason, he is only as powerful as his imagination. He is the superhero of creativity, but the film only touched on this briefly towards the end, choosing instead to focus on fearlessness as the source of his power.
On the face of it, the film was pretty standard superhero fare, but looking deeper, I really dug the film’s unintended, subconscious message, channeled by the movie’s shamanic writers. In The Myth of Lost and previous columns, I wrote how I believe today’s writers, musicians, artists, and poets are modern day shaman, translating the messages of the collective unconscious to the masses—even if they themselves are unaware that they are doing so. There are many messages out there, and different groups of writers and artists are in tune with different channels, or frequencies. It’s like there is a giant universal radio playing and the shaman have the volume tuned up louder than most people but are all listening to different stations. I’ve suspected that I have been listening to the same station as Damon Lindelof, J. J. Abrams, and M. Night Shyamalan because their stories often share the same mythological messages as whatever I’d been working on at the time of their release. It’s also the same station that Matt Stone and Trey Parker of South Park listen to. In fact, this week’s episode focused on a spoof of Thor and The History Channel involving pilgrims, Native Americans and a space portal while my translation of the same message (which hit me back in June) involves Green Lantern, The History Channel, the native Latin Americans and an energy portal from space. It’s the same core message for different audiences. This particular message is also the same as that of the Mayan legends relating to 2012, since we are approaching the end of the same cycle that they are based upon.
To begin with, let’s get something out of the way. To the Mayans, the end of their calendar had nothing to do with the end of the world. In fact, they made prophesies about dates that would occur well after the December 2012 end date (correlating to their calendar’s K’atun 4 Ahau). The end just marks the end of a Great Cycle (5,125 years). Upon its completion, it simply begins again, with events, life lessons, and growing experiences occurring in a similar fashion to the way they had when the cycle was run through previous times. Only now, with societies having grown since then, these events would play out differently. It’s just like a vertical spiral where each point plays out similarly to the corresponding point directly below it but in a slightly elevated way.
So if this is the case, why all the focus on world disasters, crashed economies, and world upheaval? We’ve seen major uprisings in the Middle East, devastating tsunamis in Japan, floods in the Mid-West and earthquakes all over the place. In New York City this year alone I’ve experienced a hurricane, earthquake, and massive blizzards, not to mention a major Nor’easter in October! What gives? Well, since we are reaching the end of a cycle, we are coming to a checkpoint that allows us to continue up the spiral. If we had been proactive and grown enough on our own, it would’ve been smooth sailing. However, we have not done this and so must experience challenges that will help us to grow. Government upheavals are happening to help rid the world of corrupt dictators, crippling tsunamis to push us away from our reliance on nuclear energy (since the station in Japan was flooded), a major oil leak to encourage us to move away from our reliance on fossil fuels, global economy crashes to try to get us to move towards a more equal system, and natural disasters to help us to work together to solve many our current problems including water shortages, crumbling infrastructures, and bankrupt cities. We are not being punished; we are being pushed to grow because we did not do enough on our own. The world is about to evolve and if we are going to stay here we must evolve with it.
So, what does any of this have to do with Green Lantern and how does that film in any way resemble Mayan mythology? As described in Kenneth Johnson’s Parabola article, “The Shape of History: Time and the Mayan Calendar,” the final segment of the Mayans’ Great Cycle calendar is known as K’atun 4 Ahau, representing a roughly twenty year period that began (in its most recent appearance) on April 6, 1993 and ends on December 21, 2012. Each of these k’atuns last about twenty years and has its own set of prophecies expressed in poetic metaphors. The most repeated prophesy for this k’atun is: “Hulom kuk, hulom yaxum,” translated as “Come is the quetzal, come is the blue-green bird.” The quetzal is a bird that is symbolic of the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatal—the Feathered Serpent whose spirit was believed to return during each repetition of K’atun 4 Ahau. If you know mythology, or at least my writings about it, you probably know that snakes (most likely because they shed their skin) often represent the illusion of time in the physical realm (as opposed to the spiritual realm where time does not exist as we know it). To me, a feathered serpent would be a portal between the material world of time and the spiritual world (spirit is light as a feather, and feathers allow creatures to fly high, where the spiritual realm is thought to exist).
According to Johnson, “the reference to the ‘blue-green bird’ is puzzling when applied to the quetzal which is in fact bright green in color”—green, much like our superhero friend and the ring that is the source of his power (which I’ll get to soon). Johnson goes on to write that, “In Mayan thinking, the center of the universe is blue-green” and the word used to describe it, “yax” is also often used to refer to “beginnings or to the center point.”
So during this final k’atun, which we are quickly approaching the final year of, the Mayans believed that the spiritual energy of the Feathered Serpent will reach our world from the very center of creation. While it may bring about massive growing pains, this energy is in fact meant to lift us higher so that we can exist on the next, higher plane of existence, just as it did the last time it came around. Since the Mayan Great Cycle is the equivalent of 5,125 years, that is how often each of these k’atuns repeat and how long it takes for the Great Cycle to go full circle and begin again. The last time humanity experienced the end of a Great Cycle was in 3,114 BCE (the scientific equivalent of B.C.), which corresponds to the beginnings of civilization in Egypt and Mesopotamia and with it the start of urbanization, writing, and the spread of metallurgical technologies. Before that the Great Cycle came full circle in 8,239 BCE, which marked the transition from hunting to agriculture, allowing humans to settle down and build societies. Since 1993 when our current k’atun began, we’ve seen the rise of the Internet, which has helped unite the world and push technology along faster than any other time in history. We are now at a point however, where we must grow to be responsible for the effects of this technology on ourselves and our world. That, will most likely be the theme as we enter the next Great Cycle beginning December 21 of next year.
Interestingly, there is an incredibly rare astronomical event that coincides with December 21, 2012. This event is foretold in Mayan mythology and has remnants in our own mythology involving the snake in the Garden of Eden and the Tree of Life. On that day, our sun will align at the exact intersection between the plane of the ecliptic (the path that the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars appear to travel, from east to west, as seen from Earth) and our Milky Way galaxy. This cosmic cross was known as the Sacred Tree (Tree of Life) to the Maya with the north-south band of the Milky Way being the trunk of the tree and the main branch intersecting the tree being the plane of the ecliptic. The ecliptic intersects the Milky Way at a 60 degree angle near the constellation Sagittarius where there is a 13th constellation that crosses the ecliptic known as Ophiuchus. It is represented as a man (humanity) grasping a snake (the illusion of time) and is often considered the mysterious 13th sign of the zodiac. According to Mayan mythology, when the sun crosses at the center of the Sacred Tree (the center of the Milky Way where there is said to be a massive black hole), an energy portal is created between the earth and the world beyond so that we can interact with the spiritual realm. Many spiritual types today believe that the alignment will open a channel for cosmic energy to flow to Earth, raising us to a higher vibration.
Due to a phenomenon known as the precession of the equinoxes caused by a slight spinning top-like wobble of the Earth, the position of the stars as seen from our perspective slip a little from year to year (one degree every 71.5 years), becoming more noticeable over long periods. For this reason, the apparent location of the Winter Solstice (December 21st) sunrise has been inching towards the galactic center. Because of the Earth’s wobble, a true alignment takes even longer than a Great Cycle of 5,125 years. In fact, the sun has not aligned this precisely with the galactic center in 25,800 years—long before the Mayans even existed. So December 21, 2012 not only marks the end of the Mayan’s Great Cycle, but also the end of the Great Great Cycle of 25,800 years known scientifically as a Great Year or Platonic Year—the time it takes the precession of the equinoxes to make one complete rotation. This is a pretty big deal.
The question you may be wondering then is how did the Mayans know all this? Did they learn it from a more advanced civilization that predated their own? Was it gleaned using an ability to mind-meld with the planet? Did ancient alien visitors clue them in? While I am open to any of these possibilities, the real answer is probably more feasible. As a society that lived much more directly off of the land, they were far more in tune with its cycles than we are today. Having a simpler way of life also made it easier to recognize repeating patterns, and having a far clearer sky not polluted by smog or lights made it possible for the average person to see the stars and calculate their movements fin order to chart crop cycles and other important rituals. Like many civilizations of its time, Mayans also relied on shamans to interpret events and make predictions. While shamanism is making a comeback today, for the most part our modern society has lost a way to get in tune with the natural pulse of the planet and the heavens.
Ancient shamans were gifted with the ability to hear the frequencies of the world and their people, and they used the fresh, natural plants all around them to enhance these abilities further. These medicines were a more natural mix of plants than the synthetic, enhanced, pesticide-rich, nutrient-poor drugs of today and were used by skilled shaman who either took them themselves or guided others on how to properly do so. Ancient drugs used by Mayans, Egyptians, Greeks, and others allowed shaman to connect with consciousness, or what they would consider their gods. When Christianity came around, it banned drug use because why should anyone need the church to interpret what God wants when drugs allowed you to do it on your own. Being illegal and then synthesized into increasingly potent combinations, drugs than led to abuse, which is why we have such a negative connotation of them today. Truth is, the banning of natural mind-enhancing drugs has effectively slowed our evolutionary process and losing our connection to relevant rituals, shamans, and a connection to the rhythms of life have practically brought it to a standstill. This is why ancient man could build gigantic pyramids, predict the movement of the heavens without telescopes, and move gigantic stones on top of one another while the average modern man wouldn’t last a week in the wilderness without any technological toys.
Thankfully, due to the incredible challenges mankind has overcome over the past 5,000 years, we have grown to the point that we can connect to universal wisdom without the use of drugs, and many artists, inventors, and game-changers have used them anyway to help fill in the gaps. The problem is that modern man no longer recognizes the messages of artists and storytellers for what they are—clues to where we are and where we are headed. I’m sure that few people walked out of Green Lantern with a message that ties in with Quetzalcoatl the Feathered Serpent, the galactic alignment, and the new era we are entering in 2012. For whatever reason, I did.
Green Lantern is our Quetzalcoatl. In our modern mythology, he represents the same archetype of the Feathered Serpent. Green Lantern is a bright green, just like quetzal, the symbolic bird representation of Quetzalcoatl. He is able to travel though portals like Quetzalcoatl, and in fact, the ring, which is the source of his power, took him through one of these portals to receive his initial training after he stated the oath. That oath is:
In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light
Interestingly, since the Earth will align with the sun and the Galactic Center on December 21st, I assume that it is also in relative alignment six months later on June 21st 2013, albeit, on the other side of the sun. These two dates are, of course, the Winter and Summer Solstice when we have the blackest night and brightest day on Earth. The oath also alludes to Green Lantern’s light—much like the blue-green light that emits from the center of the galaxy, the Mayan word for which also denotes a beginning or center point.
This brings us to the symbol of Green Lantern’s ring that he also bears on his chest—a glowing circle between two horizontal lines in another circle. Viewing the symbol through the lens of Mayan culture, it initially reminded me of the hoop for one of their games called pok-a-tok that is similar to our basketball and that I first learned about on a History Channel special about 2012. According to the special, the Mayan’s goal of getting the ball into the hoop represented the alignment of the sun with the galactic center. The victor of the game would be decapitated allowing him to pass directly to the spiritual realms without having to take the usual 13 steps to get there (correlating to the 13 constellations perhaps?). For the record, the loser would be killed as well, but without the express ticket to heaven.
The symbol of Green Lantern could also represent the galactic alignment itself. The glowing center would be the center of the galaxy with the lines above and below it representing the straight band of the Milky Way. All of this occurs behind the spherical sun represented by the bigger circle that surrounds the two parallel lines and the smaller, glowing circle. Put it together and the symbol represents the galactic alignment as it would appear from Earth
If these similarities weren’t enough, even the plot of Green Lantern can be seen to represent the galactic alignment. It involves an evil entity known as Parallax—a dark, shapeless creature that sucks up all in its path—much like a black hole (such as the one at the center of our galaxy) would. Interestingly, the December 2012 alignment also occurs with the Dark Rift—a dark band that runs along the Milky Way, parallel (sounding like Parallax?) within it from its galactic center northward. The Mayans called this Dark Rift the Black Road. So in a sense, on December 21, 2012, we will be aligned with our sun at the crossroads of dark and light.
At the conclusion of the film (spoiler alert), Green Lantern defeats Parallax by using its own immense gravity against itself, causing it to suck into the sun. To do this Green Lantern, representing the Earth, aligns himself with Parallax (the Dark Rift black hole) and the sun and must keep from getting sucked into either as the sun pulls Parallax into its fiery core. By proving himself, Green Lantern elevates all of humanity which is now accepted among the Guardians of the Universe as an elevated species worthy of protection. And what initially chose Earth for this honor? The alignment-shaped ring, representing the galactic alignment of 2012. It is interesting to note that while Green Lantern was created way back in 1940, the same year Batman appeared in his own comic book, it took until 2011—the year before the galactic alignment—before he would star in a motion picture. Why? I’d say because only now are we ready for the mythological message that the character represents. Its the same message that Quetzalcoatl represented for the Mayans: that we are entering a new era and are on the verge of being ready to enter it. To be deemed worthy, we must successfully overcome challenges we have never faced before. Challenges that will force us to grow so that we can handle the higher energy of this new era. Successfully doing so will earn us the respect of other entities and perhaps even other beings of this universe which may reveal themselves to us during this next Great Cycle.
As I mentioned earlier, we have many modern shaman and it isn’t just Green Lantern that is giving us this message. I also recognized it in this Summer’s J.J. Abrams/Spielberg film, Super 8. The film is about a group of children in 1979 who discover a dangerous monster that adults are unaware of (due to a government cover-up) and are initially belittled for their belief that it exists. They use their childlike innocence, inner spirit, and imagination to repel the monster (which represents adult fear, superficiality, materialism) and send it away from our world. On a metaphorical level, the movie speaks to how people today have become disillusioned by government, big business, and materialism and believe we are headed for certain doom. Only those who are tune with a higher vision will be able to steer our world away from devastation (those who were kids in the 1970s perhaps?). Both Green Lantern and Super 8 share a hero who is courageous and creative and an otherworldly villain that threatens mankind by consuming it. They also both feature governing bodies that initially are hindrances to mankind (the Guardians in Green Lantern and U.S. government in Super 8 because they don’t view them as mature enough to handle the real-world challenges.
Getting away from movies, someone else who was preaching a similar elevation message is the recently ridiculed Harold Camping who made the failed predictions of a worldwide rapture/judgment for May 21, 2011 and the end of the world for October 21, 2011. While his predictions didn’t come to pass, I think he may have been onto something. Perhaps we are currently going through a judgment of sorts. One where we are tested with day-to-day challenges—some even seemingly trivial like a handicapped person asking for help or a homeless person angrily threatening you. Your response may determine the level of challenges you will need to undergo in order to handle the world to come.
I may be wrong, but just in case, I’ll be keeping my eyes open for strange encounters and tests from now until at least December of next year and really make an effort to grow out of my comfort zone. And you might want to do the same. Because even if nothing out of the ordinary happens on December 21, 2012, the world we live in now already requires us to tap into inner strengths we didn’t know we had. And challenging yourself is the best way to get them to rise to the surface.
May your inner spark grow to light your way,
Every “Diary of a Layman” is Now Online!
The orowriter.com website and The Layman’s Answers to Everything blog are now up and running! My hope is that they will allow all of us to benefit from each other’s wisdom with posted comments and exchanged ideas. For updates on new columns, videos, interviews, and more, join The Myth of Lost Facebook page or follow me on Twitter!
If you aren’t familiar with my books, here’s a brief synopsis:
The Layman’s Answers To Everything is a spiritual comedy (or spiromedy) about an unlucky guy who believes he’s meant to do something amazing, but has no idea what it is. After experiencing many challenges and meeting a bizarre cast of characters, he stumbles upon secret messages hidden in TV, movies, and music that are aimed at guiding humanity. Using these messages, he starts a new religion that changes his life, and ultimately, the world. This is so much more than just a story though, because throughout the journey, we learn how to discover and fulfill our own destiny using the clues of the universe that are all around us.
The Lost book is called, The Myth of Lost: Solving the Mysteries and Understanding the Wisdom. It not only reveals an alternate solution that actually explains all the mysteries of the show, it also explains how the show’s wisdom can be applied to our real lives.
My newest project is a book called, Synergy For Singles: Why you need to lose your mind to find true love. Co-written with matchmaker/relationship coach Rachel Russo and certified coach/relationship consultant Scott Schwartz, the book encourages readers to let go of the ritualistic dating patterns that have trained them to only be concerned with their own needs. Synergy is about having a fulfilling and blissful relationship that empowers couples to be the best version of who they are and experience the love that’s been waiting for them.