Beyond Main Street

For the last 7 years, I have been giving historical walking tours of my home village--Woodstock, Vermont. I try with each walk to turn this seemingly tidy and wholly unmysterious place upside down and inside out, to create perceptual surprises. That is what I would wish for this blogwalk to do as well. Thanks for joining me.

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Location: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Christ and the Maya Calendar" excerpt

This morning I put up a short synopsis of the book that I have written with Robert Powell, Christ and the Maya Calendar: 2012 and the Coming of the Antichrist, on the Reality Sandwich website

and it has made me aware that it would be helpful to have some excerpts available for people to read. Here is the Table of Contents and Preface, which I hope will give a better glimpse of our research.


Part I: The Mayan Calendar and the Apocalypse Code – by Kevin Dann


Chapter 1: Calendars Do Not Forget
The World Tree, the Milky Way, and the “2012 Window”

Chapter 2: The Gospel in the Stars
The Apocalypse Code
The Incarnation of Ahriman
Krishna and the Kali Yuga

Chapter 3: The Mexican Mysteries
The Sacrilege of Bloodletting
The “Prince of the House” and the Rise of Huitzilopochtli
The Attack on the Holy Grail

Chapter 4: Redeeming Lucifer, Rediscovering Itzamna
Clothed with the Sun, the Moon under her Feet
The “Descending God” at Zama

Chapter 5: Recognizing Evil, Manifesting the Good

Part II: Penetrating the Mysteries of Time – by Robert Powell

Chapter 6: The Dating of Kali Yuga in Relation to the
Mayan Calendar
Chapter 7: The Rhythm of 666 Years
Chapter 8: The Redemption of Lucifer
Chapter 9: The Rose of the World
Chapter 10: The Mystery of Love

Appendix: The Central Sun


About the Authors


Katun 11 Ahau is set upon the mat, set upon the throne, when their ruler is set up. . . The heavenly fan, the heavenly wreath and the heavenly bouquet shall descend. The drum and rattle of the lord of 11 Ahau shall resound, when flint knives are set into his mantle. . . Ahau 11 is the beginning of the count, because this was the katun when the foreigners arrived. They came from the east when they arrived. Then Christianity also began. The fulfillment of its prophecy is [ascribed] to the east. . . This is a record of the things which they did. After it had all passed, they told of it in their [own] words, but its meaning is not plain.

-- The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel

As we read these words from the Chilam Balam – the collection of Mayan oracular texts – we cannot help but feel grateful for the honesty of the Mayan chronicler who wrote them. Written down in the 19th century, in the Yucatec Mayan language, the images and sentiments stretch back to the time of the Spanish conquest, and there is much bitterness along with the honesty: “[Katun 11 Ahau:] when Christianity was introduced by the real Christians. Then with the true God, the true Dios, came the beginning of our misery. It was the beginning of tribute, the beginning of church debts, the beginning of the strife with purse-snatching. . .” Thanks to their passionate devotion to both prophecy and history, the voices of the ancient Mayan people resound into our own time, telling us something about this extraordinary moment through which we are living. Something . . . “but its meaning is not plain.”

Indeed, despite the explosion of books and videos that claim to penetrate the mystery of “2012” – the numerical shorthand for the completion on December 21, 2012 of the thirteenth B'ak'tun cycle in the Long Count of the Mayan calendar – consensus about its meaning seems ever more elusive. As metaphysical speculation mounts, professional astronomers and ethnologists dismiss the whole body of modern interpretations of the Mayan calendar as New Age gobbledygook. Among the supposed seers themselves – José Arguelles, Carl Johann Calleman, John Major Jenkins, Daniel Pinchbeck ¬– doctrinal disputes worthy of academics are now the norm. The scholars have every right to be miffed at the sometimes sloppy thinking and exaggerated claims – which tend toward enthusiastic proclamations of an imminent, universally accelerated psychic evolution – of the seers; the seers have legitimate critiques about the limits of scientific inquiry when it comes to the prophetic traditions of ancient peoples.

For us 21st century moderns perhaps more than for the anonymous Mayan chronicler above, it would be deeply unsettling to think that Christian prophecy could be brought to bear upon the Mayan calendar in order to solve the riddle of 2012. That is the premise of this book.

Five centuries ago, the Maya and other native peoples of the Americas saw their lives shattered by the long-prophesied arrival of the strange, cross-bearing peoples from the East. In the case of the Mexica (the name the people called themselves; “Aztec” became widely used in the 19th century by English-speaking students of the region), this shattering was facilitated by their indigenous prophetic tradition, as the courageous Lord Montezuma, mistaking Hernan Cortés for the Plumed Serpent deity Quetzalcoatl, allowed the conquistadores easy entry into the heart of Tenochtitlan, the capital city of the Mexica empire. Given our historical knowledge of the terrible violence of the human sacrifice practiced there, we could perhaps sympathize with Cortés as he ordered the bloodthirsty idols in the sacrificial temple pyramids to be smashed and replaced by the Cross and the Virgin Mary. Nevertheless, we human beings of today resent the hubris of the act and correspondingly feel incensed by the arrogance of the conquistadores. Today we cringe to think of the destruction by the Spanish of the vast repositories of Mexican and Mayan chronicles, which might have helped us unlock the riddles of their calendrical systems, their myths, their prophecies.

Those riddles are vast, persistent, and yet demanding of renewed inquiry. The question of the significance of the Mayan Long Count’s end date in 2012 has taken on particular relevance, given its imminence, and the variety and vociferousness of some of the claims made about it. In May 2008, in Tulum, Mexico, participants at a week-long field study and lecture series led by Robert Powell and sponsored by the Sophia Foundation of North America were able to take up this question of the mystery of the Mayan calendar. Inspired by visits to the Mayan ruins at Tulum, Coba, and Chichen Itza and by the discussions among the participants, Robert Powell extended his pioneering research on the Apocalypse Code to help make sense of the “timing” of the Long Count. Building from Rudolf Steiner’s important indications about the incarnation of Ahriman, and the activity of Lucifer and Ahriman on the American continent at another crucial moment in human history, he also has brought forth new discoveries about the nature and identity of the spiritual beings whose continued activity have played such an important role in the spiritual history of America and the world. Finally, Robert here presents crucial research about the cosmic dimension to the unfolding events of our own time.

Teaching a course in Modern World History – “modern” in this case meaning from 1500 to the present – I have a wide range of places and times which I can choose to explore with my students. For the past three years I have focused on the encounter in 1519 of Hernan Cortés and the Aztec emperor Montezuma, since it brings so poignantly into focus the confrontation between the magico-mythological worldview of the Mexica and the rational worldview of the Spanish. While the early modern era saw countless encounters all over the globe between European rationalism and pre-modern native mentalités, there was for me a special urgency to bring new understanding to the story of the Aztec empire, in light of Rudolf Steiner’s stunning revelations about an earlier episode of spiritual battle in the region. Reading Morris Collis’s Cortez & Montezuma (1954), my students were able to enter into the thought world of the Aztec, deeply enough to suspend their innate skepticism that an entire civilization could mistake Cortés for the god Quetzalcoatl.

Participating in the Tulum field study, and subsequently editing the lecture material, has given me the opportunity to reflect further on both the history of the “Mexican Mysteries,” and their relationship to the Apocalyptic events now transpiring. Personally, it has been an extraordinary challenge to walk a path between exoteric and esoteric scholarship; I invite readers to walk that path with me and see what rings true.

Perhaps the year 2012 and what it is bringing also offers an opportunity for a path toward the synthesis of the prophetic traditions of North American native and European newcomer. From the long-misused heart of Christian prophecy – the Book of Revelation – and two of its modern interpreters – Rudolf Steiner and Robert Powell – come images that can affirm and extend the deep intuitive wisdom that has rippled down through the ages from the Mayan astronomer-priests, scribes, kings, and common folk. Like the images that still adorn the ruins of Mayan temples, these Christian apocalyptic images become living only if we take them in deeply and discerningly. The time is truly at hand; let us begin.