Empirical support for the Mayan calendar

William C. Treurniet, March, 2007

Summary. Analysis of seismic activity shows that the number of earthquakes in the lower mantle is systematically related to the structure of the Mayan calendar. Earthquakes were counted during successive 360-day periods corresponding to the the Days and Nights of the Galactic Underworld. The number alternated as predicted by a model proposed by Calleman (2004) to explain the cycles of creative activity observed in biological evolution and social and technological progress. The variations in seismic activity are seen as the physical correlate of pulses of a universal consciousness field mediated by the earth's core.

It seems that the world has become more aware recently of the existence of a calendar created by the ancient Mayan people in Central America. This calendar is more than just a device for keeping track of time. It is said to be a tool for prophesy. The main feature that has entered the public consciousness is that the calendar has an end which is fast approaching. The end of the calendar is said to be a time when human consciousness will transform to a new level, and humankind will enter a different relationship with reality. Some people also hold the view that this event will be accompanied by geological and meteorological upheavals in the earth environment.

The invading Spaniards destroyed most of the written record of the Maya, so there will likely always be disagreements about the guesswork needed to bring the Mayan calendar back to life. Because of the holes and ambiguities in the historical and archeological records, there is even dispute about the exact date of the calendar end. In particular, John Major Jenkins supports the established view of archeologists that the last day falls on December 21, 2012, while Carl Johan Calleman concludes that the last day is October 28, 2011. Both have authored books describing their studies and conclusions. I am not qualified to vouch for the accuracy of archeological research in this area, but I am impressed by the relationships Calleman finds between the calendar and significant event sequences in recorded history.

My purpose here is to show that some seismic activity is systematically related to the structure of the Mayan calendar. This relationship was predicted on the basis of Calleman's explanatory model of the calendar. Since the model includes the earth as a component, it can be used to make predictions about earthquake activity. The following analyses use terminology found in Calleman's book, "The Mayan Calendar and the Transformation of Consciousness" published in 2004.

The Model

According to Calleman's interpretation, the Mayan calendar consists of nine embedded cycles, or Underworlds, all ending on the same date. A cycle is subdivided into 13 equal intervals, each ruled by a particular deity representing certain principles. Calleman sees opposing characteristics or yin/yang traits in successive pairs of intervals in a cycle, and describes an Underworld as a sequence of six Day/Night pairs plus a final Day. Each cycle except the first is embedded in the last Day of the previous cycle. This means that the length of the Day shortens exponentially from one Underworld to the next. In Calleman's terminology, the Galactic Underworld began in 1999 and has a Day length of 360 astronomical days, or almost one year. The previous cycle, called the Planetary Underworld, began in 1755 and had a Day length of 19.7 years. There is much more to the calendar, but this short description should suffice for now.

The length of a Day is directly related to the rate at which events unfold. For example, most would agree that the rate at which telecommunications technology developed in the Galactic Underworld is much faster than the rate at which writing technology evolved in the Planetary Underworld. There is an analogy between writing technology and telecommunications technology, and this example shows how history tends to repeat itself in successive cycles, albeit at faster rates. Similar analogies can be drawn in other fields such as politics and religion.

The duration of an Underworld is a reflection of the properties of the "frame of consciousness" present in that time. Calleman attempts to provide a partly physical rationale for the properties of this consciousness field. Because consciousness is involved, the model is necessarily a mixture of intuitive ideas, esoteric lore, and what is known about the physics of the earth. We know that the iron core of the earth has a crystalline structure due to the tremendous pressure that exists there. Calleman proposes that a universal consciousness field is mediated by the crystalline core of the earth. He suggests that "different layers are activated according to the preset pattern of the Mayan calendar" and that "the Nine Underworlds correspond to nine sequentially activated layers of iron crystals in the earth's inner core" (p. 59-60). And, further, "concentrated mental activity arises from resonance with the earth's inner core" (p. 62).

The model proposes that the level of core activation decreases in depth with each successive Underworld. Although not specifically stated, variations in the cycle properties represented by successive Days and Nights should then be associated with modulations of the core activation. Physical correlates of core activations should be most evident in the earth's lower mantle adjacent to the core. Therefore, changes in seismic activity in the lower mantle are predicted to occur in parallel with changes to the consciousness field at the onset of each Day and Night.

Data source

We are fortunate to have access to the USGS/NEIC database containing seismic information for any time period from 1973 to the present. The form provided lets one select ranges of interest for the date, magnitude, depth, and intensity variables. Four ranges of depths were chosen: the lower mantle (> 650 km), the mid mantle (400-650 km), the upper mantle (10-400 km), and the crust (< 10 km). Two ranges of magnitude were defined as quakes (5-10) and tremors (3-5). The intensity field was not used.

Figures 1, 2, and 3 present an overview of earthquake activity from 1980 to 2006. Figure 1 shows the counts for large quakes between magnitudes 5 and 10. On average, the frequency of large quakes has remained relatively constant over the years. Note, however, that the highest frequency occurred in 2005. Figure 2 shows the counts for magnitudes between 3 and 5. Here, there is a quadratic, almost 5-fold increase between 1980 and the present. It is possible that this is due to a continuous improvement in the sensitivity of the network of seismometers over the years so that weaker tremors were more likely to be detected from one year to the next. Otherwise, something is causing the actual frequency of smaller earthquakes to increase over time.

 Figure 1  Figure 2

Figure 3 shows the relationship at each depth between the frequencies of quakes and tremors over the years. Clearly, there is a strong correlation at the crust, but this deteriorates as the depth increases. At the lower mantle, there is almost no correlation. This is an indication that the dynamics of the lower mantle are different from those at lesser depths.

Figure 3 

Tests of the model

The prediction of the model will be tested by examining the earthquake counts during the individual Days and Nights of the Galactic Underworld. As noted above, there is some disagreement concerning the end date of the Mayan calendar. The general consensus of archeologists is that the end is December 21, 2012. However, Calleman has good reasons to differ, and maintains that the end date is 420 days earlier on October 28, 2011. Since the choice of end date will obviously affect where in time the Days and Nights occur, each end date will be evaluated separately.

Table 1 shows the Gregorian calendar dates that correspond to the Days and Nights of the Galactic Underworld for each end date. The Gregorian dates for the 2012 end date were obtained by adding 420 days to the dates given in Figure 7.5 of Calleman's book using a date calculator. Because of the time shift, one less data point is available for the 2012 column.

Table 1. Gregorian dates for the Days and Nights of the Galactic Underworld for the 2011 and 2012 end dates
Day/Night  2011  2012 
1D  Jan 5, 1999  Feb 29, 2000 
1N  Dec 31, 1999  Feb 23, 2001 
2D  Dec 25, 2000  Feb 18, 2002 
2N  Dec 20, 2001  Feb 13, 2003 
3D  Dec 15, 2002  Feb 8, 2004 
3N  Dec 10, 2003  Feb 2, 2005 
4D  Dec 4, 2004  Jan 28, 2006 
4N  Nov 29, 2005  Jan 23, 2007 
5D  Nov 24, 2006   

Figure 4 shows the total earthquake counts at different depths for the first four Days and Nights of the cycle. As predicted, there is something different going on for both end dates at the lower mantle next to the core than at higher depths. For the 2011 end date, almost all of the lower mantle Night counts are higher than the Day counts, while the converse is true for the 2012 end date. The phase shift in the counts of the lower mantle over Days is obviously a result of the 420-day difference in the end dates. Possible traces of the oscillating patterns are visible in the mid-mantle and the crust.

Figure 4 

So it seems that there is something systematic going on in the lower mantle that fades away at smaller depths. These oscillations cannot be due to changes in detector sensitivity, and there is no other obvious explanation. Thus, however speculative Calleman's model might be from a physical perspective, it predicted the observed effect and this can be taken as evidence for the model's validity.

If the large oscillations in the lower mantle earthquake count are due to the periodic increase in the consciousness field, they should not be present to the same extent before the onset of the Galactic Underworld in January, 1999. The longer Day length of the Planetary Underworld means that there is only about one Day's worth of data for this cycle since 1973. A year by year analysis back to 1973 should not show the oscillations prior to the beginning of the Galactic Underworld. Figure 5 shows that this is the case, thus confirming the role played by the structure of the Mayan calendar. The astronomical year is close enough to the length of the Galactic Underworld Day that the oscillatory pattern is still seen here during the Galactic Underworld.

 Figure 5

The oscillating pattern observed in the lower mantle should tell us something about the dynamics of the consciousness field in relation to its physical effects. Calleman makes the case that new social/technological pressures appear to occur during the Days of a cycle, and there is a tendency for gains to be reversed during the following Nights. This indicates that the consciousness field is most active during the Days. Considering only the 2011 end date, we have just seen that the increased physical energy associated with earthquake activity occurred during the Nights. The logical conclusion, then, is that the magnitude of the physical effect is inversely related to the intensity of the consciousness field. However, for the 2012 end date, the increased physical energy associated with earthquake activity occurred during the Days, so the magnitude of the physical effect is directly related to the intensity of the consciousness field.

Unfortunately, the earthquake data appears not to resolve the issue of the Mayan calendar end date. Both end dates were associated with an oscillating pattern in the lower mantle counts. Until we can decide via other evidence which end date is correct, we can say only that a periodic consciousness field appears to either dampen or promote geological activity near the earth's core.