As the Popol Vuh’s penultimate date for our era creeps ever closer, we thought it a good time to poll some Reality Sandwich contributors and find out where they would most like to find themselves on the coming Winter Solstice, December 21, 2012, as the Mayan calendar’s 26,000-year astronomic cycle comes to a close. Here is a selection of the responses.
McClure’s Beach, California
By Diana Slattery
Beauty, mystery, and danger—what more could you ask for the pre-apocalyptic party? McClure’s Beach has it all: nature at its most stunning and mysterious, as well as the ever-present danger of sneaker waves that sweep away a couple souls a year. The perfect place to be when, as Nikki Scully puts it, “the shift hits the fan."
Imagine this: a line of fabulously costumed avatars of advanced states of consciousness, coming down the steep trail carrying firewood, and a feast, poi, and a shrine by which the past will be honored, the present celebrated, and the future acknowledged to be up for grabs. The sun sets; the sacramental Last Supper is consumed at the edge of the thundering waves. Flutes and drums echo from the cliffs. A gibbous moon haunts the horizon. Howling is heard in the distance. The dance begins.
The sky opens like a burst pinata; the path to the galactic center is revealed; choices are made; broken promises are forgiven; karma suspended; love and terror join hands and traverse the stairway to heaven. Sunrise brings the First Breakfast, and the universe begins again, according to custom, with the smell of bacon.
Image by Bryan_Chan, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.
Day Zero Festival
By ST Frequency
With the ancient Mayan Calendar nearing its much-anticipated finale, modern-day observers are searching for the best party on the planet to celebrate the occasion. Devotees of underground dance music, look no further than Day Zero Festival. The brainchild of visionary DJ/producer Damian Lazarus, Day Zero has been dubbed “the rave to end all raves"—an epic dance party synchronized to trace the course of 24 hours leading to the prophetic crescendo of 6:11 P.M. on December 21st, 2012. Set in an as-yet-unopened Mayan theme park in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, just hours from sacred ruin sites, the revelry unfolds amid a stepped pyramid, two lakes, and four swimming pools. Picture Chichén Itzá meets Ibiza, with a Terrence McKenna twist.
Against this mythic backdrop, Lazarus has curated a suitably stellar lineup of forward-thinking electronic artists including Jamie Jones, Trentemøller, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, 3D (Massive Attack) vs. James Lavelle (U.N.K.L.E.), and dozens more. The sonic abundance, visual spectacle, and natural beauty Day Zero promises are enough to make any seasoned raver swoon. But Lazarus intends something deeper than just a party. Mayan elders will lead special ceremonies throughout the event, while guests take classes in yoga and meditation to explore the magical energy of the moment. The spirit embraced here is not fear and destruction but a profound transition in time opening up an opportunity for rebirth and positive progression. Day Zero aims to enlighten and uplift—while getting down to the most amazing music in the universe. Bring on the dancepocalypse!
Image by mtsrs, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.
Joshua Tree National Park
By Jill Ettinger
When I think of the approaching “end” of the Mayan calendar, my mind sees it as one of those sped-up movie montages where the passing of time is illustrated by the days of a calendar peeling away in fast-forward, just before slowing to a stop at an important date.
Regardless of what meaning the date has for anyone else, for me it now represents an opportunity. And the vast, empty, virtual quietude of Joshua Tree National Park seems a most fitting place to be when the calendar comes to that halt (permanently or otherwise) on December 21st.
The appeal to Joshua Tree is, like most any ancient and virtually untouched place filled with magical realms both seen and unseen, it seems better equipped at handling such a shift than most anywhere else on the planet. And as a Los Angeles resident deeply involved in my local community, it feels important to be close to home during the galactic alignment. The park, just two hours from LA, provides a wireless respite from the tangled web that keeps Los Angeles abuzz. Free from the nonstop pulse of electromagnetic stimulation and grounding out among the massive, ancient rocks with just the charge of excitement and inspiration about nothing in particular to surge through me, I’ll glimpse up at the starry night—as if it were my last—through the park’s immense skyline, patiently opening to whatever will happen within the universe…or within me…no difference really, anyway.
Image by sysrc, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.
A Typical Friday Night
By Eliezer Sobel
On Friday evening December 21, 2012, the place I would most like to be is the same place I would most like to be every other Friday night: at home, cuddled up with my wife Shari and our two cats, Peanut (who never got over a bad Ketamine trip) and Squarcialupi (Italian Catholic stand-up comedian cat)—wearing our pajamas, watching a movie, reading a little, going to bed and snuggling for the 43 seconds it takes for Shari to be completely out.
I once heard Terence McKenna confess that there was a possibility his calculations may have been slightly off—by about 2000 years—and that TEOTWAWKI might not actually occur until December 21, 4012. (So plan accordingly. A few extra bags of rice, maybe.)
Obviously our world is undergoing massive transformations on every level, but I am convinced that this process began a few weeks before the beginning of beginning-less time, and is likely to continue beyond the end of endless time, regardless of whether or not our planet disappears in the interim, along with its unseemly, surface infestation of two-legged creatures.
My sense is that the end of the world as we know it actually occurs every moment; but if there were going to be a specific, dramatic turning point on a particular day, it is far more likely to happen on a Saturday, when most people have the day off.
Deep in the Forest Funhouse
By Morgan Maher
My desired December 21 location: a sunny, geologically stable, sovereign landscape, in a lovingly hand crafted home in the forest. Wood stove blazing. Spring water flowing. Family and friends as abundant as the food. All ages and ancestors. Rocket stove roaring. Cheers! Deer and fox, wolves and salmon dance outside in snow. Birds fly by, jungle cats slither, a cow jumped over the moon. Things just got weird – and wonderfully resolved – layers overwhelmingly blooming. Like Lite-Brite the stars re-arrange the big picture for everyone to see – continuously reminding, restoring, and upgrading all. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 dimensions (at least) and at last! Collapsed, unfolded, connected and mingling.
Image by Moyan_Brenn, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.
The Arms of the Great Gaian Goddess
By David Jay Brown
When I asked Terence McKenna what he thought the ultimate goal of human evolution was, he replied, “Oh, a good party.” Sounds like a good plan to me.
Whatever it is that’s happening on this wayward world–evolution, development, order, growth, decay, chaos, or something else entirely–it’s happening faster and faster, and getting weirder and weirder all the time. So it appears that our species is headed toward something really big–like the destruction of the planetary biosphere and our extinction, our entrance into a magnificent, technologically-advanced, spiritually-aware world that is beyond our wildest imaginings, the Singularity, the end of historical time, or our descent into the infinite novelty of a DMT vision.
As the interspatial portals to the higher realms dilate into superpositional dimensions, antiquated reality constructs eagerly dissolve themselves into primordial plasma, and the interstellar community merrily welcomes us into the Federation of Awakened Galaxies. On the magical night that the ancient Mayan calendar draws to a close and the great transformation begin, I would most like to be melting in a smiling state of tranquil peace and blissful understanding, in the arms of the great Gaian goddess, nestled deep in her sacred heart of hearts, in the center of all existence, in the eternal void, infinity, the delicious everlasting mystery, home, with You.
The Armageddon Ceremony
By Jonathan Talat Phillips
This December 21 I will be joining my ayahuasca group at an undisclosed location in the American northeast, participating in an epic psychonautic all-nighter that we are calling “The Armageddon Ceremony." We’ll be singing from songbooks with titles like “New Era," “New Alliance," and probably the most daunting, “New Dimension," the last of which prophesizes a dimensional shift toward “a new world, new people, new age, and a new teacher." Admittedly, I’m somehow both exhilarated, terrified, and bored by my 2012 prospects, as I could be either sailing the cosmic grooves of the high-vibe ascension love party, fighting to backstroke through a once-in-a-century tsunami on high-octane psychedelics, or simply singing in another shamanic ceremony on another date in another moment of the history of the universe.
Will something extraordinary happen on December 21? Personally, I kinda doubt it. Beginnings and endings occur every day—some major, some less so. But what do I know? Maybe on that day the coasts will flood. Maybe aliens will appear on the White House lawn. Maybe we’ll all be given some sort of glimpse into Eternity. Or maybe something that we could never have conceived of.
If that happens, you can find me at my favorite hometown café. Unlike some of the more “polished" places around, the tables there are a bit rickety and the chairs not all that comfortable. This is where the artists, the eccentrics, the tattooed dreamers go to sit, sometimes for hours on end. (I should know, since I’m there that long myself.) The lovely parrot-haired barrista draws a picture of me in the foam of my latte. It’s where I go to write. It’s where I go to meet with friends. My husband proposed to me there, got down on one knee beside the woven tapestries on the wall with the sound of the baglama filling the background.
So whether it’s aliens, oceans rising, sudden revelation, or something else entirely, that’s where I’ll be. I’d like to be around folks who are likely to greet the new world with fire and optimism … and a cup of Dancing Goats Blend in hand. In fact, that’s where I’ll be if nothing happens at all.
Image by 3oheme, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.
Avoiding Apocalyptic Chatter
By Chris Kilham
The human appetite for drama, apocalypse and terror’s edge seems to be hard-wired into our psyches. We crave the tantalizing end of time, as if time could ever end at all.
We lust for the end game, imagining our small lives swept up in a fever tide of monumental events that blow up the entire experience of life in one massive, crashing pitch.
With all this in mind, I intend to spend December 21 2012 with my wife and friends, enjoying holiday cheer and assiduously avoiding yet one more round of apocalyptic chatter.
Humanity is not going to undergo a cosmic thrill ride that alters all of human history on that day. We are not going to be tossed into the yawning chasm of the mysterium tremendum.
If we have learned anything at all from every previous prediction of the end of days, it is that these events are always postponed for another tomorrow. Beneath this constant craving for massive global change and havoc lies a deep desire. That desire, that unfulfilled yearning, is nothing less than the too deeply buried calling of inner illumination. I urge all of us to avoid the repetitive stress of end game consciousness, and to turn instead to the brilliance and the revolutionary change possible through enlightened living. Do you really want a revolution?
This is the way.
Image by LaPrimaDonna, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.
By Jonathan Zap
Where I plan to be on December 21, 2012 is in the nowever, at the center of time. 12/21//12, as I learned from my close friend and colleague John Major Jenkins, was not thought of by the Maya as the end of time, or the beginning of time, but as the center of time. John first wrote about this in his 1995 book, The Center of Mayan Time. John and I discuss this in a Trialogue about 2012 the Center of Time and Mythos.
From my perspective, any sort of count down date takes you out of the nowever, the center of time, and puts you in a state of time sickness where you hope to find your salvation or transformation of some sort in the future.
Meister Eckart, about 700 years ago put it this way:
“Time is what keeps the light from reaching us. There is no greater obstacle to God than time. And not only time but temporalities, not only temporal things but temporal affections; not only temporal affections but the very taint and smell of time”. —Meister Eckart . (c. 1260–c. 1328)
Eagerly awaiting December 21st 2012 is like hurrying toward tranquility. We are beset with time sickness, and the reset of that orientation is not to be found in time, but beyond time.
In his book, The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley points out that the religions and political philosophies that are framed in linear time are the ones that cause violence and generate suffering. The progressive may seek radical means to create a future world where conditions are more ideal. The reactionary may take repressive measures to turn the clock back to some imaginary earlier time, when “traditional” values reigned. Both seek to find their salvation in time, in the temporal world, and both will employ temporal means to get there, usually claiming that the ends justify their dubious means.
So on December 21st 2012 I hope to be in the nowever, at the center of time, and that is where I prefer to reside in general.
Image by Alan Cleaver, courtesy of Creative Commons licensing.
Over the course of 2012, I journeyed a number of times with the sacred mushroom and repeatedly experienced a voice channel through me. This voice repeated the advice that the “new civilizations would begin where the first civilizations had been born," that “the beings of the earth are becoming a galactic civilization," that “the visitors are coming to teach the voices of the next generations," and “these voices are lights gathering at the global festivals."
Once I learned of Synthesis Festival, a holistic indigenous and electronic music, healing, arts, and teaching festival at Chichen Itza, I knew that this event echoed the call of my medicine journeys. Etymologically, Chichen is the serpent, and the pyrmaid of Kukulcan is filled with images of the feathered serpent—or dragon. Also, in Chinese Astrology, We are nearing the end of the Year of the Dragon, and about to emerge into the Year of the Serpent.
It seems then, that we are riding within the wheel of the Uroboros, that serpent who swallows its own tail. This symbol of the alpha-omega point, beginning and ending at the same peak moment, is a moment of ultimate novelty, the wide-eyed, the completely new. In his lectures, pioneering psychedelic philosopher Terence McKenna spoke of The Eschaton—a force magnetizing us, pulling us towards a singularity, and unifying apex of consciousness, a “New Sun," that pulsing heat-light of self-awareness and identification with our Source.
The reason I chose to be in Chichen Itza was to celebrate the experience of this singularity of BEING through the reflection of thousands of others ready to weave, write, sing, and dance a new meta-narrative of humanity’s sacred role. Once I contacted the organizers and expressed my interest in participating, I was offered a role in presenting a lecture on the Shamanic Artist’s role in the Aquarian Dawn, as well as a DJ gig in the down-temple zone. This invitation confirmed my calling to the Yucatan.