What is the 2012 Galactic Alignment all About?
By John Major Jenkins
It is important to define what the Galactic Alignment is in precise astronomical terms.
The Galactic Alignment is the alignment of the December solstice sun with the Galactic equator. This alignment occurs as a result of the precession of the equinoxes.
Precession is caused by the earth wobbling very slowly on its axis and shifts the position of the equinoxes and solstices one degree every 71.5 years. Because the sun is one-half of a degree wide, it will take the December solstice sun 36 years to precess through the Galactic equator (see diagram below).
The precise alignment of the solstice point (the precise center-point of the body of the sun as viewed from earth) with the Galactic equator was calculated to occur in 1998 (Jean Meeus, Mathematical Astronomy Morsels, 1997).
Thus, the Galactic Alignment "zone" is 1998 +/- 18 years = 1980 - 2016. This is "era-2012."
This Galactic Alignment occurs only once every 26,000 years, and was what the ancient Maya were pointing to with the 2012 end-date of their Long Count calendar.
These are the astronomical facts of the matter. From a larger perspective, we can visualize the 2012 Galactic Alignment in the following way:
Position A is where the December solstice sun was in relation to the Milky Way some 3,000 years ago. Position B is 1,500 years ago. And position C is "era-2012", when the
December solstice sun has converged, as a result of the precession of the equinoxes, with the exact center-line of the Milky Way (the Galactic equator). Notice that the place of alignment is where the 'nuclear bulge' of the Galactic Center is located.
A long awaiting digital portrayal of precession and galactic alignments is now available on Nick Fiorenza's web site.
Descriptions of the process are also there, but it should be noted that Nick describes what I refer to as "the solstice-galaxy alignment" with a preference for the equinox as the measuring reference. Thus, he speaks of the "Holy Cross" of the equinox axis and the Milky Way. The point is that "solstice-galaxy alignment" and "equinox-galaxy cross" refer to the same event.
It is my hope that the these definitions will help to standardize the terminology so we can clearly discuss the rare precessional alignment that culminates in era 2012.
Galactic Alignment Simplified
If you imagine our solar system as a bunch of peas on a plate, with a huge meatball in the center, imagine the Milky Way as a city-size pizza with the "Guiness World Book Record Meatball" in its center!
Prior to December 2012 we have been drifting on the top of the pizza, never really able to see the bottom. The plate and pizza are not parallel. They are moving at different angles. We've been drifting down, down, down... and on December 21st, 2012, we will be exactly level with the crust -- forming an "x" at the Galactic Equator where galactic gravity is the strongest. After 2012, if we are still here, we will be passing through the bottom zone, viewing the Milky Way pizza from the South.
What is Galactic Synchronization?
Galactic synchronization is a term coined by José Arguelles in "The Mayan Factor" in which he calls this current period in time an era in which the ascension process begins, or possibly a time for us to make an evolutionary leap to the next dimension.
The Great Cycle in the Maya Cosmology, is a fifth and final cycle in the 26,000-year Precession of the Equinoxes, except that the Mayans measured it from the Winter Solstice instead of the Spring Equinox. "On 18.104.22.168.0, the December solstice sun will be found in the band of the Milky Way. We can call this an alignment between the galactic plane and the solstice meridian. This is an event that has slowly converged over a period of thousands of years, and is caused by the precession of the equinoxes. The place where the December solstice sun crosses the Milky Way is precisely the location of the "dark-rift in the Milky Way...'Xibalbá be' - the road to the underworld." , which the Maya called the Mouth of the Crocodile, (or jaguar-toad); the Crocodile Tree being the Milky Way itself.
How is the Mayan calendar related to the Milky Way Galaxy?
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How are the Mayans and the Olmecs related?
What is the relationship between the Mayans and the Sumerians?
How is the Mayan Underworld Seperated?