I finished it! But it took me four months. Then I got turned on to a book (I read an excerpt in a magazine) called LightShift 2000 by Ken Kalb, which I was able to read in about 2 or 3 hours. I came upon Chapter 7 called "Making Time on Planet Earth" which was an entire history of popular calendars, plus a solution to Y2K! Then the mystical Chapter 9, The Rites of Passage -- explained in 13 pages -- and took the material a step further -- everything and more I had spent four months laboring on in Mayan Cosmogenesis. I am becoming quite the expert on day keeping these days. Jenkins book is a good one to read during an El Nino winter in the Pacific Northwest.
The Earth spins on an axis. Like everything else that spins, it wobbles. That wobble is technically called precession, and it explains why Earthlings have seen the sun rise against different constellations over the centuries. In his latest book, Maya Cosmogenesis 2012: The True Meaning of the Maya Calendar End-Date, John Major Jenkins explains how the Maya mapped the movements of the Earth, including precession, and incorporated their measurements into their calendars.
Jenkins, who has researched Mesoamerican cosmology and calendrics since 1986, has written five other books and numerous articles about the Maya. In Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, he ties together Mayan mythology and astronomy in a scholarly discussion of the source and meaning of "end date" indicated by the Long Count calendar.
He supports his theories with nearly 200 line drawings, and provides extensive appendices, end notes, and a comprehensive bibliography.
Each "wobble" (or precessional cycle) lasts 25,800 years. Researchers believe that the current precessional cycle will end in the year 2012. This date is known as the "End-Date" in Maya calendrics. At that time, the Earth will begin a new cycle in the opposite direction.
Jenkins says his focus is "on how the precession of the equinoxes was mapped and calibrated among the ancient civilizations." He adds that his book "is devoted to exploring the Maya's understanding of the 2012 end-date and the philosophy and cosmology that go with it. This is a book about cosmogenesis, the creation of the world. The Maya believed that the world will be reborn, in a sense 're-created,' in the year we call 2012."
What does all that mean? Will humans survive cosmogenesis? Jenkins thinks we will. He says the end-date marks the beginning of a new and better world. He believes that "what looms before us is a great opportunity for spiritual growth, both individual and planetary." Others, of course, disagree, and foresee a time of cataclysmic destruction.
Regardless of whether they see the predicted end-date as a non-event, as destructive, or as an opportunity for growth, readers will find Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 a fascinating book. Astronomers and students of cosmology and mythology will especially appreciate Jenkin's research and thorough documentation.