Mayan calender ends, but the world doesn't: 12/21/12 arrives and no sign of Doomsday

10:37 AM, Dec 21, 2012   |    comments
Mayan priests arrange flowers for a ceremony Thursday at the Iximche site in Tecpan, Guatemala.
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Merida, Mexico -- The crystal skulls have spoken: The world is not going to end.

American seer Star Johnsen-Moser led a whooping, dancing, drum-beating ceremony Thursday in the heart of Mayan territory to consult several of the life-sized crystal skulls, which adherents claim were passed down by the ancient Maya.

The skulls weren't the only inheritances left by the ancient civilization that have been making waves this week: The supposed end of the Maya long-count calendar on Friday has prompted a wave of doomsday speculation across the globe.

See Also: Doomsday safe havens

"This is not the end of the world, this is the beginning of the new world," Johnsen-Moser said at a gathering of hundreds of spiritualists at a convention center in Merida. "It is most important that we hold a positive, beautiful reality for ourselves and our planet. ... Fear is out of place."

The supposed 5 a.m. Friday doomsday hour already had arrived in several parts of the world with no sign of the apocalypse.

The social network Imgur posted photos of clocks turning midnight in the Asia-Pacific region with messages such as: "The world has not ended. Sincerely, New Zealand."

A new age

In Merida, the celebration of the cosmic dawn began with a fumbling of the sacred fire meant to honor the calendar's conclusion.

Gabriel Lemus, the white-haired guardian of the flame, burned his finger on the kindling and later had to scoop up a burning log that was knocked out of the ceremonial brazier onto the wooden stage.

Still, the white-clad Lemus was convinced that it was a good start, as he was joined by about 1,000 other shamans, seers, stargazers, crystal enthusiasts, yogis, sufis and swamis at the convention center about an hour and a half from the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza.

Events at the conference

Set up in the conference's exhibition hall were dozens of booths, where in addition to having your aura photographed with "Chi" light, you can buy mandalas, get a shamanic cleansing, develop your "golden light" and buy sandals, herbs and whole-grain baked goods. Cleansing here is done studiously and repeatedly, and usually involves have copal incense waved around one's body.

Visitors also could learn the art of healing drumming with a Mexican Otomi Indian master who calls himself Dabadi Thaayroyadi and says his slender, hand-held, plate-sized drums are made with prayers embedded into them.

Warning of 'mass psychosis'

Not all seers endorse the celebration.

Mexico's self-styled "brujo mayor," or chief soothsayer, Antonio Vazquez Alba, warned followers to stay away from all gatherings on Friday, saying, "We have to beware of mass psychosis" that could lead to stampedes or "mass suicides, of the kind we've seen before."

"If you get 1,000 people in one spot and somebody yells 'Fire!' watch out," Vazquez Alba said. "The best thing is to stay at home, at work, in school, and at some point do a relaxation exercise."

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