history and philosophy of astrology

2012 and Millenarianism


I recently realized that I may have been a bit too brash last year in my declaration that people who are freaking out about 2012 need a reality check.  Now, I don’t really feel the need to recant that statement so much as I feel the need to explain my position a bit better than I did previously, perhaps in a slightly less mocking tone (some allowances must be made for the picture on the left, because it’s awesome). ((Image from Gemini Observatory/Lynette Cook))

The impetus to better explain my position on 2012 arose recently when I realized that it was slightly absurd for an astrologer to be mocking other people who are into weird, paranormal notions, particularly ones that are purportedly based on an astrological premise.  This will be the first part in a series on the subject.  So, here it goes.


The 2012 phenomenon has always struck me as a typical example of millenarianism.  What is millenarianism you ask?  The term is derived from the Latin term ‘millennium’, which means ‘one thousand years’, and in the most narrow sense it is  often used to refer to the Christian belief that world history is divided into specific thousand years periods.  For example, the thousand year reign of Jesus mentioned in the Book of Revelation.

The term can also be applied more loosely though.   The historian Nick Campion explains that in addition to its Christian connotations the term millenarianism can be loosely defined as

…the belief that, periodically, the world experiences a major historical crisis that may be both natural and supernatural in nature.  People who believe in such events are known as millenarians.  (( Nick Campion, Astrology, History and Apocalypse, Center for Psychological Astrology Press, London, 2000, pg. 91. ))

Wikipedia has an even broader, although perhaps more appropriate definition of millenarianism as

the belief by a religious, social, or political group or movement in a coming major transformation of society, after which all things will be changed.

2012 as a Millenarian Myth

It is within the context of this broader definition of millenarianism that I view the 2012 phenomenon.  It is the belief that there is a historically significant date or time frame in the near future in which some sort of natural or supernatural crisis or transformation will take place, thus changing the world.

The problem with this particular movement is that the Mayans didn’t actually predict anything about what would happen in 2012, and thus different people have taken it upon themselves to speculate upon the nature of the allegedly impending event(s).  This is why the speculations themselves range from predictions about a worldwide cataclysm to predictions about a more intangible worldwide spiritual shift in consciousness – because the Mayans didn’t actually say anything specific about something significant happening.

As is the case with most millenarian movements, many of the would-be 2012 prophets are simply projecting their own hopes and wishes onto the future, particularly the New Age crowd that says that there will be some sort of positive spiritual enlightenment occurring that year.  Underlying these predictions, and often millenarianism in general, are strong religious or spiritual undertones related to the type of ideal world that the individual hopes or expects to see in the future.

In many ways this is no different than the Christians who say that the return of Christ and his 1,000 year reign is imminent, and this is why the 2012 movement has always struck me as millenarianism.  The New Age scenarios may sound nicer in some ways, and everyone who is hoping for various versions of them has genuinely good intentions, but it is still nothing more than a religious group or person who is predicting that their own particular version of paradise is imminent.  The fact that they are attributing the consummation of their beliefs to an older civilization doesn’t really obscure this fact, especially when said civilization is conspicuously silent on the matter.




The second part in this series is tentatively titled ‘2012, the New Age Movement, and the Age of Aquarius’.  It will be available soon.   If you would like to receive updates when new articles are published on the Horoscopic Astrology Blog then you can either sign up to receive them by email, or subscribe to my RSS feed.



8 replies on “2012 and Millenarianism”

It’s impossible to believe the short-sightedness displayed in this blog post! Really? You are obviously as unread about the Mayan Calendar as you are blind to the evolutionary changes that have been occurring in this world that are setting us up for a different type of world and lifestyle.

Indeed the Mayans did not have much to say about 2012. But what they did say was, “The only existing inscription from ancient times that discusses the meaning of the Mayan calendar “end date” for instance speaks of Nine “deities” that will descend then as its crucial event.” – from the article 9.9.9 and the Mayan Calendar written by Carl Johan Calleman. (see

There are two books that you should read. One is “Solving the Greatest Mystery of Our Time: The Mayan Calendar” and the other is “The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness” both by Carl Johan Calleman.

Once you read the evidence for the changes that are occurring and how they are predicted by the Mayan Calendar, you will not be able to post rubbish like this anymore.

Janet Hickox

Christ, thank you for writing this. I’ve long felt that the 2012 hype was just another form of exceptionalism by some in the New Age community, much akin to belief in the Rapture or any other “the few chosen will survive while the rest suffer” scenario. Just replace “saved” with “spiritually evolved,” and it’s the same idea. I appreciate your putting these thoughts out there, and look forward to the next part.

Hi again Chris, from Athens, Greece;
whereas each one of us is free, of course, to accept or reject any belief system, what I cannot explain, in this and similar matters, is fanatism: there are people willing to get into a fight to persuade others, as if there could ever be a HUMAN being that holds the ultimate truth;
on the other hand, there are also people whose idea of fun is spreading fear and taking advantage of ignorance;
my wish is for a healthy, calm exchange of ideas and for a peaceful planet in general;
keep up the good work.

Number One. The truth is that we don’t know what the Mayan’s said. The construction of their ideas by scholars hasn’t been surmised in a fashion that is consistent with the Mayan’s cosmology, and for that reason the Mayans are in the process of publishing a book, signed by over 400 Members of the various Mayan Tribes, explaining the actuality of what they believe is going on.

Number Two. A contact made with an entity calling itself Ra (indeed, the Ra who helped build the Pyramids) occurred after 30 years of research done by a scientist into the topic of channeling. It is an important distinction to make between any kind of fanaticism and scientific research. The results of this channeling were published in a series of books entitled “The Law of One. From [by:] An Humble Message Of The Law Of One”

Assuming that these channelings are authentic (comparative philosophical inquiries have been made into this work and do not doubt between the philosophy it teaches and the scientific research that went into this, that it is indeed: the real shit), then perhaps there would be something regarding “2012” in these books, which are dated 1981-1983. That is, before we even knew about the Mayan Calendar.

“Questioner: Is this inconvenience imminent within a few years?

Ra: I am Ra. This inconvenience, or disharmonious vibratory complex, has begun several of your years in your past. It shall continue unabated for a period of approximately thirty of your years.

Questioner: After this period of thirty years I am assuming that this will be a fourth-density planet. Is this correct?

Ra: I am Ra. This is so.”

Questioner: Will the effects of the fourth density increase in the next thirty years? Will we see more changes in our environment and our effect upon our environment?

Ra: I am Ra. The fourth density is a vibrational spectrum. Your time/space continuum has spiraled your planetary sphere and your, what we would call galaxy, what you call star, into this vibration. This will cause the planetary sphere itself to electromagnetically realign its vortices of reception of the in-streaming of cosmic forces expressing themselves as vibrational webs so that the Earth thus be fourth-density magnetized, as you may call it.

This is going to occur with some inconvenience, as we have said before, due to the energies of the thought-forms of your peoples which disturb the orderly constructs of energy patterns within your Earth spirals of energy which increases entropy and unusable heat. This will cause your planetary sphere to have some ruptures in its outer garment while making itself appropriately magnetized for fourth density. This is the planetary adjustment.

You will find a sharp increase in the number of people, as you call mind/body/spirit complexes, whose vibrational potentials include the potential for fourth-vibrational distortions. Thus, there will seem to be, shall we say, a new breed. These are those incarnating for fourth-density work.

There will also be a sharp increase in the short run of negatively oriented or polarized mind/body/spirit complexes and social complexes, due to the polarizing conditions of the sharp delineation between fourth-density characteristics and third-density self-service orientation.

Those who remain in fourth density upon this plane will be of the so-called positive orientation. Many will come from elsewhere, for it would appear that with all the best efforts of the Confederation, which includes those from your peoples’ inner planes, inner civilizations, and those from other dimensions, the harvest will still be much less than this planetary sphere is capable of comfortably supporting in service.”

Conclusion. Between the Law of One and not knowing what the Mayans have to really say, and following the work of David Wilcock – who know has all the scientific proof for what Ra stated nearly 30 years ago – and Drunvalo Melchizedek – a person initiated by the Mayans – I must say …. I have no idea what is going on…. And that’s okay, I will choose the middle path, I would not make any definitive statements, except present the evidence I have gained, for comparative purposes.


@Janet Hickox, who said “Indeed the Mayans did not have much to say about 2012.”

End of story.

Thank you for mentioning Calleman though. Another 2012 researcher mentions him in a book I was reading the other night, and I literally laughed out loud when I read this part of the description:

“According to him (Calleman) the ultimate step will take place not on December 21, 2012, but rather on October 21, 2011. On that day we cross over into the Universal Underworld of Consciousness. That is when we take on the awesome responsibility of co-creator (with God). This is a task well worth preparing for, and links on Calleman’s Web site offer hints on how to proceed: you should cleanse your colon with bentonite clay elixir so that you will be fully receptive to the “Pranic energy,” or life force, that will arrive then to reset your body in balance.”

lol. Indeed.

The quote is from page 25 of Anthony Aveni’s new book The End of Time, which there is an Amazon link for over on the right sidebar if anyone is interested in checking it out. So far its really good.

Loved the blog, Chris, but I think you gave the 2012 phenomenon all of the attention, study, and citation it’s worth in your first blog about the subject. Crazy people are crazy, and they tend to have allergic reactions to fact with symptoms including bruised egos, fear mongering, irritated skin, and projectile conjecture.

You might as well get all of the miles out of mockery that you can, because defenders of the 2012 phenomenon will react in about the same way to somber debate. At least with mockery you get to have more fun and feel like you earned it. 🙂

Agree with Ryan, crazy people are crazy.

And your first post was more on the mark. People who believe on 2012 are just stupid. See jane´s comments above as an example. Too much loudness and pretentiousness, but the same old BS as always.

God help us with the Indigo Children. Hopefully they will all be eaten by zombies in 2012.

Methinks thou doth protest too much on this issue. Isn’t it obvious to anyone’s perception that the world stands in the doorway of some kind of apocryphal change? Chaos and entropy have been rearing their heads for while now as part of a natural process. Whether or not man has contributed is not so much a question as it is a perceptual reality.

I understand that the Mayans are not the only ones to represent this 2012 thing. There are sects all over the world, separate, who believe in this phenomenon. Why? What is it about that particular year? As a student of astrology, I see no obvious planetary combinations that spell death for our world.

I have always thought that the Mayan contribution to this mess was that their calendar simply ended that year. Of course, I’ve lived as a hermit since the harmonic convergence, and may not have become aware of the new information.

Isn’t it obvious to anyone sentient that we’re in for a world of shit? That we’re in a world of shit? To believe that we will gracefully continue as we always have is beyond naive. An “explosion” of some sort will occur, whether it’s in 2012, 2011 or tomorrow. We can all hope that suddenly Jesus will fill our hearts at the same moment because it’s probably the only thing that will save us..