4. Galactic Alignment
The Mayan calendar and the fractal patterns of the McKenna brothers are only human constructs, descriptions of our journey through time. But out in our galaxy there is a giant wheel revolving - we are actually on a slow wobble and the stars are just appearing to revolve. This "precession of the equinoxes" takes 25,800 years to complete one cycle, and within this cycle we can observe conjunctions in the heavens between the stars and our solar system.
Ancient cultures recognised four major dates within each year: the two solstices (when days are at their longest or shortest) and the two equinoxes (when the lengths of day and night are equal). They could tell when these dates were approaching by watching which stars were on the horizon at sunrise and sunset, and where they were relative to the sun. If you watched for long enough, for hundreds of years, then it became apparent that the stars were moving slightly out of position each year. The star that was due east at the winter solstice sunset 70 years ago is one degree out today. The Greek astronomer Hipparchus (c. 190-120 BC) is widely acknowledged as the discoverer of the precession of the equinoxes, yet the ancient Egyptians and Maya were also aware of it.
Independent researcher (that is, not an accredited scientist) John Major Jenkins has written a long and involved book titled Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 which shows that the Maya not only understood precession, but that their 2012 end-date predicted a special happening in our universe.
Our galaxy has a centre which all the stars take millions of years to revolve around, and it is located in the starriest part of the Milky Way, as seen from Earth. On four occasions within the 25,800-year cycle our galactic centre aligns with the sunrise of a solstice or equinox. The last time it occurred was on a fall equinox 6,450 years ago, approximately the dawn of Old World civilisations. On Dec 21, 2012, which is a winter solstice (Northern Hemisphere) this centre will align with our sun once more. Jenkins presents a mass of astrological, monumental and mythological evidence to show the importance of this event for the Maya, and how their calendar runs out on this day for a reason. Unfortunately he is not sure what that reason is.His book mentions:
a door into the heart of space and time will open
the cosmos will be reborn or recreated
we will reach the Zero Point of the process - a moment of collective spiritual birth
".our basic orientations will be inverted. On the level of human civilization, our basic assumptions and foundation values will be exposed, and we will have the opportunity to embrace values long since driven under the surface of our collective consciousness"
"On a literal level of interpretation, one supported by many popular writers, the field-effect reversal that mystics and futurists intuitively feel occurring on this planet bodes an impending pole shift, a literal shift in the position of the Earth's North Celestial Pole, an event that would have disastrous effects around the globe. I suppose there is not much we can do about it... I prefer to emphasize what might be termed a pole shift in our collective psyche. This places the possibility of successful, positive transformation squarely in our own hands."
So, what will happen? Maybe the McKenna's flood of change, a global cataclysm or the dawning of the Age of Aquarius? Could there be a new age love-fest in 2012?
Age of Aquarius
No one knows when it starts! The twelve zodiacal constellations are of different sizes, and the borders between them are very indistinct. We will be moving into the New Aquarian Age of western astrology sometime within the next 200 years. There is no singlular date on which it will happen, just a gradual change. In the same vein we find hidden in the fifth appendix of Maya Cosmogenesis 2012 an admission from Jenkins that.
"it would be more accurate to say that the alignment occurs in the era of AD. 2012; because precession is such a slow phenomenon, fifty years on either side might be appropriate." [Author's italics]
It appears we must look elsewhere for the why and how of what may happen. It is unlikely that the Mayan calendar end-date coincidentally occurs on a solstice, yet a solstice is only an annual position within our orbit around the sun - a solstice on its own cannot change or harm us. I suggest that 2012 is a year that the Maya always knew of, a year in which a cosmic activity will affect our planet. Their choice of Dec 21 to end the calendar on was chosen only because the winter solstice is the gloomiest day of the year, and the most appropriate day to form myths around.
 John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page xlvii
 John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 30
 John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page xlvi
 John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 329
 John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 330
 John Major Jenkins, Maya Cosmogenisis 2012 (1998), Bear & Co, page 361