Belize features predominantly in global, pop culture this year, like no other. In case you have been able to avoid the 2012 meme over recent years, what makes this year so special for Central American countries, like Belize and neighboring Mexico, is a cosmic prophecy foretold by the ancient Maya. According to the Maya Long Count calendar, which they believed tracks the age of the universe, the winter solstice of this year (December 21st, 2012) marks a very special moment in time. At this point the calendar page of the universe flips and turns to a new era.
Unfortunately, the Hollywood marketing machine co-opted the 2012 meme a number of years ago and turned the prophecy into one that foretells an apocalyptic event. This could not be further from the truth. On the contrary, the Maya did not believe this to be the end of the world, nor the end of time. Rather they saw an upcoming, unique astronomical event known as “galactic alignment.” Galactic alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the galactic equator, which occurs due to the precession of the equinoxes. This rare celestial event terminates the Age of Pisces and ushers in the Age of Aquarius.
What exactly will December 21st, 2012 bring? The answer to this question is fervently debated and hotly contested. There are no clear answers. The Maya originally believed that this moment would precipitate a mass evolution in the collective consciousness of humanity, a type of mental and spiritual breakthrough. However, over the years, the ideas of what will happen on December 21st, have become muddled, as they traveled from researchers and academics, through the minds of New Age adherents and finally into pop culture. Some theories cloud the matter with ambiguity but sound positively magical, describing the prophecy “…as a transformative nexus in time, a still point turnabout inviting us to reconnect with our cosmic heart and eternal source, with the Divine Wisdom.” Regardless of conceptual differences surrounding the date, as far as the Age of Aquarius is concerned, there are a variety of widely accepted words that describe the coming of the new, astrological era. Some examples are: democracy, freedom, humanitarianism, philanthropy, veracity and humanity, among others. Very exciting times may be upon us. But then you may ask, what are the exciting places?
The ancient Maya empire spread across much of the Yucatan peninsula and today straddles what is Belize and Mexico. One of the most famous Maya ruins of Belize is Caracol. Caracol means snail in Spanish, and refers to the winding trail that leads to the ruins. Caracol lies in the Cayo district of Belize, where it sits roughly 40 kilometers south of the town of San Ignacio Cayo. Caracol was inhabited by the Maya as early as 1200 B.C. The site covers around 200 square kilometers, and boasts dozens of monuments as well as hundreds of structures. Caracol supported an estimated 15,000 inhabitants and may have reached as many as 120,000-180,000 citizens at its peak, which made it one of the largest Maya cities. Caracol may be an ideal place to visit for the December solstice event, as an alternative to the more well-known, Maya city, Chichen Itza in Mexico. Before you go, it’s recommended to learn more about the Maya prophecy.
One of the foremost experts on Maya civilization is John Jenkins. Though his theories are widely contested by mainstream science, he’s popularly viewed as one of the most astute authors on the subject and one of the keenest researchers. Mr. Jenkins has made a number of television and film appearances and he also has written a number of books regarding Maya culture and the 2012 prophecy. Without a doubt, after just brief exposure to his work, you will be pulled into the mysterious and cosmic world of the Maya and want to investigate more for yourself. There’s no better year to do it than 2012, and no better place to do it, than Belize. Leave as an uninitiated tourist and come back an evolved human being? Only you can know.
BIO: Jason Hall is Brand Manager for Budget, Australia’s preferred car hire source.
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of and should not be attributed to The Lodge at Chaa Creek.