Imperial Civilization Has Run Its Course: The Birth of a Planetary Culture is Upon Us


Only the most superficial details about Mesoamerican Calendrics (MAC) have been popularized as the now infamous Mayan Calendar and its cycle renewal date of Dec. 21, 2012.  [Note: this article was originally published on my Emergent-Culture website on September 15, 2009]

The poorly informed and opportunistic have attributed many erroneous meanings to the “end of the Mayan calendar” cycle. The general and popular misconception is one of spectacular natural catastrophe.

From my vantage point, the catastrophe is upon us, and it’s called Western Civilization version 1.0, gasping for its last few breaths as it strives to maintain the status quo at all costs.

What more calamity do we need in order to recognize that the world as a whole is in the grips of a serious and unprecedented socio-environmental crisis? You might ask how is the world crisis, the sunspot cycle, 2012 and the MAC system related.

The Theme

In short MAC calendrics is about the tracking and study of subtle and overt natural cycles, and their accompanying themes. Recurring themes that happen at every scale of the energy-matter spectrum. For example, cell division is the thematic equivalence of a woman giving birth, a couple separating, or a business opening another branch.

Those examples are acute transitional stages in the process of life’s unfolding, and they are characterized by hyper-activity and some distress. There are many other themes, but the theme particular to the present time is crisis. Crisis implies the search for resolution and relief. Transformation, birth, rebirth, emergence (emergency), and transition are themes closely related to crisis and resolution.

Critical Junctures

December 21, 2012 is the day a Mayan time cycle of 5125.26 years resets to day But what does that camels backmean to us? The Ancient Maya realized that an earth year is useful only to track our orbit around the sun.

The Maya or some proto-Maya group discovered a mysterious and poorly understood 260 day cycle known as the Tzolkin Cycle. The Tzolkin cycle is the very core of the entire Mesoamerican calendrical system. The Long Count cycle that comes to a close on December 21, 2012 is known as the 13 baktun cycle.

This article is not a deep explication of the MAC system, but rather a brief look into what I call “Critical Junctures”. Critical Junctures (CJs) occur at the point when a system reaches maximum instability and must then reset or reorganize itself in order to re-stabilize. CJs occur at every level of the energy-matter continuum.

Examples of CJs are the point at which avalanches occur, wars break out, babies are born, atoms decay, cells divide, stock markets fall, earthquakes occur, revolutions ignite, volcanoes erupt, or when you have to relieve yourself. It is the point at which the dam breaks, or when the “proverbial camel’s back is broken”.

Tipping point is the popular term of the moment to describe Critical Junctures. A Critical Juncture alludes to the dynamic convergence of the requisite factors inducing the tipping point.


The Birth, Rebirth, Development Cycle

Properly understood the MAC system can be used to track a host of different phenomena, and the Critical Junctures at which events of any kind are apt to occur. The average gestational period of a human being is 266 days. From a CJ perspective that means that the Tzolkin Cycle is closely correlated with one of the most dramatic stages of human growth  – our intrauterine development and birth or entry into our next stage of development.

That the most complex cyclical system (Tzolkin Cycle) known to us is related to the developmental period of life’s most complex organism is not a random coincidence. I will delve into the relationship between the Tzolkin Cycle and the human gestational period in my introduction to Tzolkin Cosmology

The theme implied by cycle renewal is birth and/or rebirth. Birth and rebirth may be understood as the fractal expansion of a system as it grows and develops over time. According to the MAC system the most notable junctures of growth occur at increments of 260 days or its fractal equivalents–multiples of 260 days.

The Galactic Birth Cycle

galactic traverse

The December solstice conjuncts with the galactic plane (equator) every 26,000 years or what amounts to a processional cycle. The Sun also happens to be part of the current alignment.

The sun is traversing the galactic equator at this very moment. December, 21, 2012 marks the date on which the sun enters the last 4 years of its 36 year journey across the galactic equator.

The galactic equator is assigned a one degree width and it takes the sun 36 years to enter and exit the one degree wide galactic equator. The Maya depicted the December 21, 2012 date as the culmination of a “birthing event”.

It is a mytho-symbolic way of describing astronomically what was to take place at the conclusion of what is known as the Maya Long Count Calendar.

By my optimistic estimation, birth or the emergence of a Planetary Culture is the theme implied by the convergence of a renewing 26,000 year processional cycle, with humanity poised on such a critical and hyper-dynamic stage.

Cell division and human birth are critical and hyper-dynamic states respectively of micro-systems and macro-systems. Humanity as a whole is a mega-system in the grips of some potentially transformative state.

A Cooperative Planetary Culture or a Murderous Military Culture: You get to choose

In other words humanity stands at a crossroads of unprecedented magnitude – planetary scaled breakthroughs and breakdowns. Breakdown is necessary to transformation, but to what degree are we going to allow our leadership agencies to continue trashing the planet.

Either we will breakthrough and begin to establish a global village of increasing cooperation, or we continue business as usual and can then expect to see increasing examples of breakdown in the form social degeneration, widespread warfare, and collapsing ecosystems.

Humanity as it stands is a fragmented and incoherent system dominated by the dysfunctional ideologies of what I collectively refer to as the Judeo-Christian Culture Complex, aka the Western Civilizational process.

Most of you reading this article know that the present and dominating world order is stomping the life out of the planet.

Millions around the planet including most scientists recognize that the current world order must be transformed in order to accord with the carrying capacity of the planet and the good will of the Earth’s majority. The only other alternative is a cascade of increasingly catastrophic scenarios. The sociopaths leading us are an extremely deranged, but powerful minority.

The tension and various pressures we are all feeling are in some way related to the essential struggle between the demise, dysfunctions, and gasps of the current world system, and the emergence of sustainable and sane modes of collective human conduct.

The former is bound and determined to maintain the status quo at all costs, and the latter is compelled by a sense of justice and righteous urgency to transform the current world order.

The needed changes are so at odds with the current world order that only very large scale collective actions will suffice to say “enough is enough” to the marauders trampling everyone and everything under the iron boot of the “Western Way”.

The only way out from the perennial nightmare of Western culture is a Planetary culture based on egalitarianism, eco-sensitivity, gender balance and non-violence.

I am not predicting that we will transition entirely from one state to another during the next few years.

But I am saying that the essential tension and struggle felt on planet earth is between the old world order of predatory domination and a desiring to emerge new world order founded on ecological and egalitarian principles.

We can’t have both. It’s either more of the former, or growth of the latter. One grows at the expense of the other. The only difference is that we all win if ecology and egalitarianism prevail.

We have but two options – either utter breakdown into a hellish fight for the dominance of a dying planet, or breakthrough in which the people reclaim control of their respective governments, and insist upon a solution oriented and an ecosocio sensitive economic system.

Western History is the History of Organized Warfare for the Sake of Empire

It must be understood that Western Civilization as we know it is a 4500 year old history of empire building and demise. The building and maintenance of empire necessitates the plundering of others resources, excessive taxation, social oppression, and economic exploitation.

Empire building has also brought us to the point of irreversible ecological catastrophe.

We are at a critical juncture in the most all encompassing sense of the word, and the scale is planetary. The US is not reducing its already bloated military budget, and it has plans for what is known as the Long War. Therefore we should expect more war mongering by the United States as the militaristic beast demands it be fed.



There is a direct correlation between solar maximums and the outbreak of wars, recessions, and political uprisings. There are hints and rumors of a looming attack on Iran.

It is all very reminiscent of the rhetoric just before the war on Iraq. The wars against Iraq and Afghanistan were both launched during the last solar maximum of early 2000. The 1st Gulf War was started during the solar max of the early ’90s.

The Vietnam war was launched in 1959 during the solar max of the late ’50s and early ’60s. As we know, the 1960’s also saw unprecedented political uprisings in the US. revolution-book-by-heather-zydek

Many economists say that we have yet to hit the bottom of the ongoing recession. The world’s people are becoming increasingly aware that their respective GovCorp is to blame for our dire socio-economic and environmental situation.

The democratization of information and communication systems will continue to fuel the growth of a better informed public.

An increasingly informed public is at odds with empire building. Confrontations looms –  it is inevitable. The question is when? The ongoing solar max coupled with ongoing macro-trends should bring us some of the most momentous and definitive events in the history of humanity thus far.

“Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”– James Madison 4th US President



  1. Heather

    Great stuff! Very glad to have come across your site. Thank you.

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