Mild Paradigm Shifts
An example of a mild paradigm shift happened for many people during and after the unexpected global financial crisis of 2008. That crisis had been forecasted by lone voices for quite some time before it happened. Those voices were independent financial analysts who had been paying close attention to real unfolding non-mainstream events, but few people paid heed to their warnings. Virtually until the last moment, mainstream economic analysts painted a rosy picture and ignored the evident-enough signs.
Although often unexpected, financial crises do happen. They are not obscure or unknown events. In fact, we expect them to roll around every once in a while. In the case of the financial crash in 2008, many people could still remember the Dot Com crash of 2001 which was still etched on the minds of those who had worked in the IT sector back then.
An Instant Paradigm Shift
Many ideas were floated about what could or would happen on or around December 21, 2012 – some of them bordering on the fantastic: duality would disappear, the magnetic poles would switch positions or shift, instant telepathy would ensue, volcanoes would pop, earthquakes would shake and tectonic plates would shift.
Nothing of the sort happened on that day, and the result was an epic let-down for many people who had expected an instant paradigm shift . Thus, most people lost further interest and got on with their lives.
A Real Material Paradigm Shift
An example of a real paradigm shift would be if we had to revert from our present-day, modern, industrial-age lifestyles to pre-industrial, traditional, agriculture-oriented lifestyles in a relatively short period of time, say, within a decade or two. That would constitute a real paradigm shift. However, having to live with limited access to electricity, for example, or without machinery or automation would, perhaps, be just too far-fetched an idea to contemplate.
Going back in time in practice would be completely counter-intuitive to what we would normally conceive of as going forward, which would be to use more-advanced technologies. In modern times, paradigm shifts are often thought of as being linear events, like all jobs being taken over by robots – a shift that would require using more electricity, not less. While holding that thought, let’s consider the concept of paradigm shifts a bit further.
The Shifts of the Short Ages
In the context of the Maya calendars, a shift happening from one short age (which consists of approximately 20 years) to the next would constitute a mild paradigm shift. Such a transition would happen within a short-enough time frame for most people to become aware that many things seem to be changing at the same time, which would make it seem as if time is speeding up; yet, actual changes would be happening slowly enough to not cause a shock to people’s systems. At first, there may be some resistance to some of the changes, but most people would eventually adapt to the new paradigm.
Individuals who are somewhat traditional or more consciously autonomous would usually assess social and cultural changes according to their own personal values, principles and ethics – which they had already clearly defined – and would then make conscious decisions about going along with certain new trends or not. They may eventually settle somewhere in the middle, retaining some of their old ways and adopting some of the new ones depending on what suits them best.
Energies at Play
Trends happening in post-modern societies these days are generally perceived within the context of moving forward, i.e. “progressing”. Whether negative or positive, they are considered as progress nonetheless – and when changes produce negative results they are perceived as being the price that we have to pay for progress. That is because post-modern Western culture is not values-, principles- or ethics-based (anymore), but trends-driven. Society, therefore, tends to go along with whatever new is taken up by society in general – and that is usually commercially driven.
Nevertheless, few people are aware that there are also energetic movements at play in the universe which can influence real events and trends. On a higher level, metaphysical energy influences the Spirit of the Age (collective consciousness), and when that shifts it causes behavioral changes in people’s ways of thinking which are reflected in their attitudes. These changes are usually most clearly reflected in group attitudes.
By having done away with traditional internal structures in the form of human value systems (which would usually regulate external conduct), group consciousness is today much more prone to being affected by the negative aspects of the Spirit of the Age than before. Today, technology – in the form of personal devices – provides a broadcasting channel for the boundary-less (and anonymous) expression and projection of the negative as much as for the positive elements of the Spirit of the Age.
Decadeology vs. Katunology
When we consult extensive online discussions about cultural changes over the decades – a practice known as ‘decadeology’ – we find that there is consensus in forums dedicated to the subject of when major cultural shifts took place (see appendix).
The objective of decadeology is to identify the distinctive cultural Spirit of the Age of each decade, for example, how 80’s culture differed from 90’s culture. However, ‘decadeologists’ seem to accept that decadeology is not an exact science because cultural shifts never seem to happen exactly at the beginning or ending of Gregorian calendar decades.
A Maya Katun measures 19.7 years, and a half-Katun measures 9.85 years. The midpoint of a Katun indicates a peak. The two sides (halves) of a Katun are slightly different in character from each other, due to ascending and descending energy. Lengthwise, half-Katuns are almost equivalent to decades but are almost never exactly synchronized with the start or end dates of decades.
When decades are compared with half-Katuns, it can be observed that cultural shifts tend to take place around dates closely matching Katun and half-Katun shift points.
Maya “Katunology” could, therefore, be considered more accurate than Gregorian decadeology, because Katunology is based on finely calculated energy shifts corroborated by centuries of observation, is recorded in mythology and is also embedded in the symbolism of the archetypes and numbers (known as Tones) that are used in the Maya calendars. The Gregorian calendar, however, does not imply any energy shifting, and it does not contain any symbolism.
We can conclude then that the cultural shifts observed and recorded by decadeologists are (unbeknownst to them) more than likely Katun energy shifts observed and placed within the context of decades.
Transition Time Frames
When considering some of the actual cultural shifts of past decades by using discussions in the decadeology community as a source, we can get a feeling for the time frame that cultural shifts took to occur. This may give us a sense of the impact that shifting energy can have on group psychology and group consciousness. On average, energy shifts appear to take between two and four years to complete, due to overlap each way.
The famous Maya calendar symbolic shift point of December 21, 2012 signified both an actual Katun shift point as well as a shift point between Great Cycles (which last 5,125 years each). However, the energy of the new Katun took until around mid-2014 or, perhaps, a bit later to really show itself.
In comparison, the Great Cycle shift from the Maya Fourth to Fifth World will take around 200 more years to reach completion when factoring in its combined transition, gestation and maturation stages. The transition period alone is likely to take around 40 years (as discussed in Part 2).
Instant paradigm shifts are, therefore, very rare occurrences, because even shifts between short 19.7-year Katun ages can take as long as three to four years to complete.
From a Jungian perspective, periodic expectations for instant paradigm shifts more than likely stem from archetypical impulses within our consciousness. Certain archetypes within our psyches (on an individual and on a group level) subconsciously recognize or pick up on imminent energy shifts, but the archetypes are unable to interpret the duration of time that shifts would take to complete or when changes would manifest in practice.
These instinctual archetypical early-warning impulses are – most probably – subconscious markers and indicators that have the purpose of prompting us into action. However, working out how we should act in preparation for change is something that has to be done consciously on an intellectual level, and it has then to be applied on a practical level. Few people follow through on this part of the process, as most people tend to remain in “the sky-is-falling” phase (see: The Inside Story).
An Age of Polarity
Today, in 2017, the polarity of Katun 2 Ahau (2012-2032) is clear to see, but the arrival of such strong polarity with polarization as a result has been counter-intuitive to the expectations that many people had for a post-2012 world, i.e. a linear progression towards harmony. One of the reasons for expectations of natural continuity was that the previous Katun, Katun 4 Ahau (1993-2012), was relatively well balanced in nature.
However, evolution is not linear; it is cyclical. The fact that our Western civilization makes use of a modern, non-cyclical (Gregorian) calendar means that most people have been out of the energy loop. If more attention were paid to Katun shifts as opposed to mainly the Great Cycle shift, and if it were not approached solely from a linear perspective, we might have been more prepared for the very high levels of polarity that we can observe almost everywhere right now.
Having said that, even non-linearity has energetic continuity by design; energetically speaking, Katun 4 Ahau had the natural purpose of preparing us for Katun 2 Ahau. During the highly spiritual Katun 4 Ahau, we were being prepared for the volatile dualism of Katun 2 Ahau.
Spiritually speaking, this could also be viewed from the perspective of human souls being in training. The personal development that had been achieved on an individual level during Katun 4 Ahau is now being tested on a group level in Katun 2 Ahau. For example, do we allow ourselves to be swept up in identity politics (which is a form of group-think), or are we able to remain individually autonomous enough to act only in accordance with our personal value systems?
Younger people who have not experienced Katun 4 Ahau can still benefit from both Katuns as they have the advantage of learning directly from the volatile energies of the present Katun age – while they can also benefit from the Spirit of the Age of the previous Katun by selectively accessing the positive elements of that age through some of its cultural artifacts which can be found in some of its television series, books, cinema and art.
Metaphysical Paradigm Shifts
In the meantime, it is important to keep in mind that there are important underlying Great Cycle factors that have already come online, even if the overall Great Cycle transition will take a long time to complete. These are more-subtle, growing energies and, due to some of them being completely new and unknown to us, their characteristics hold the potential for generating unexpected paradigm shifts.
Exploring Mild Paradigm Shifts
Shift Point 1993: Katun 6 Ahau (1973-1993) shifts to Katun 4 Ahau (1993-2012)
Let us now return to what mild paradigm shifts may look like, and let’s imagine the example of someone who had become stranded on an isolated island with no communications from mid-1991 to mid-1995 – a time period of around four years which consists of the shift point in 1993 with an energy overlap of more or less two years each way. On being rescued and on returning to society in 1995, this person would have been under the impression that things were more or less similar to when they left.
In the meantime, while they were away, trends – such as music, fashion, technology, and attitudes – had changed significantly, to the extent that by 1995 they fully embodied the general trends of the 1990s as opposed to those of the late ’80s (and very early ’90s). Our returnee might have been surprised to find that things had changed so much after they left. Nevertheless, having to adapt to this new paradigm on their return would not have thrown them off-balance completely – notwithstanding the probable light culture shock that they were experiencing. Things were different but not completely different.
There seems to be a relatively strong consensus amongst decadeologists that the actual cultural shift point between the ’80s and ’90s only happened in 1993, and not in 1990 as one would have expected . The year 1993 just happens to be the exact shift point from Katun 4 Ahau to Katun 2 Ahau in the Maya Short Count calendar.
The Spirit of the Age: Katun 4 Ahau
By 1995, the general atmosphere in the developed world incorporated some or all of the following characteristics: a general positive outlook for the future and a sense that peace was increasing in the world (it was post-Cold War and politically, culturally and socially the world was warming up again); a relatively good level of civility and courtesy amongst people and a live-and-let-live philosophy; strong individuality in the sense of personal autonomy; a relatively good level of trust amongst people; a relatively strong concern for the environment; mostly free-range childhoods; and just the right amount of technology  so that it did not take over people’s lives completely.
Spirituality seemed to be in revival, and books such as The Alchemist and The Celestine Prophecy were popular. The television series Friends was growing in popularity and would later become one of the most watched television series of all time. The film Groundhog Day was notable for its depiction of the trials and tribulations of personal development in a humorous and entertaining way.
Shift Point 2012: Katun 4 Ahau (1993-2012) shifts to Katun 2 Ahau (2012-2032)
Let’s return to our example of a castaway with no communications, but this time let’s imagine that the person was away from mid-2010 to mid-2014 – also, a time period of four years. The actual shift point was in 2012, but the transition took a couple of years to manifest and there was some overlap each way.
Upon returning in 2014, our ex-castaway would probably have been surprised to see virtually everyone, young and old, walking around with Smartphones. That trend had already started in 2010, but it was much less ubiquitous back then. However, by 2014, social networking had more or less completely taken over all social and non-professional communications.
As for music, art, fashion and creativity, there seems to be a consensus on decadeology forums about the lack of many new or original happenings and that there was a general lack of quality in the early- and mid-2010s .
The Spirit of the Age: Katun 2 Ahau
By mid-2014, and especially by the start of 2015, the general atmosphere in the developed world already incorporated some of the following characteristics: a general negative outlook for the future and a growing sense that peace was decreasing in the world (the year 2014 was a record year for world conflicts ); a much-deteriorated level of civility and courtesy amongst people, especially online; a victimhood mentality with the attitude that the world and other people owed people something; weak individuality in terms of personal autonomy combined with high levels of group conformity and finding personal identity in group identity; rapidly deteriorating levels of trust amongst people; a limited concern for the environment; childhoods featuring parents being overprotective on the one hand and outsourcing their parenting to teachers and personal devices on the other; and personal technologies having generally more or less completely taken over people’s lives .
Other impacting features were gender relations taking a turn for the worse; race relations deteriorating; sectarian, cultural and religious conflicts and their negative effects dominating the news more than ever; and protests, especially in the developed world, visibly increasing – and becoming ever more violent . While some of these protests seemed to have legitimate causes, others seemed to be for superficial or artificial reasons, and it often came across as if people were protesting “for the sake of it” or simply to be part of recreational group activities.
The Book Fifty Shades of Grey crossed the 100 million sales mark in 2014, whilst, amongst others, television series such as Black Mirror and Game of Thrones were getting huge ratings. On the big screen, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was raking it in at the box office.
The Yin and Yang of the Katuns
Naturally, neither of the above Katun snapshots tells the whole story – all ages have their positives and negatives and, indeed, their ups and downs. However, the atmosphere of Katun 4 Ahau was well balanced in general, while Katun 2 Ahau is rather unbalanced in comparison, to put it mildly.
From a Maya calendar perspective, the Spirit of the Age of each of these two examples conforms on a basic level to the symbolism found in their numbers known as Tones in the Maya calendars: Tone 4 generally results in a balanced and harmonious atmosphere, while Tone 2 can mean a doubling in strength of duality and polarity.
That’s not to say that positive things are not also happening during our volatile times, but the positives are clearly less evident than the negatives in this Spirit of the Age, compared with that of the one before.
Dealing with Duality
On the surface of it then, with having some perspective on how the present Spirit of the Age differs from the one before, it should not be too difficult for us to conclude that there are various things that we can do in order to work with the elevated levels of polarity that are present in this age.
More than anything, a starting point for each individual could be to define their personal values clearly. Continuously shifting energy, a strong feature of Katun 2 Ahau, is likely to test individual integrity and group values on a regular basis by highlighting inconsistencies, double standards and hypocrisy.
With the influence of the Fifth Element assisting in exposing inconsistencies, the ideal energetic circumstances have been created by the universe to prompt the clarifying and refining of personal values and personal beliefs, whether ideological or otherwise.
Learning how to clearly distinguish between right and wrong in reference to one’s own conscience is, after all, one of the very objectives of the presence of duality and polarity within our paradigm here on Earth.
Paradigm Balancers and Pillar Raisers
There are also other things we can do to avoid falling into the natural traps of polarization. We could revert to levels of etiquette and social behavior as practised during Katun 4 Ahau; we could treat people online in the same way as we treat people off-line; we can set boundaries, show respect and insist on mutual respect in return; we can wean ourselves off excessive use of personal technologies and set time aside for personal development; we can assume more personal responsibility in shaping our social culture; and we can foster self-responsibility within our children and promote that in society in general, thereby dissolving the all-pervasive victimhood culture present in the developed world today.
The Tzolkin as a Guidance System
Positive values, traits and characteristics are naturally embedded in the energies of the days in the sacred Maya Tzolkin calendar. By following the Tzolkin on a daily basis and by paying attention to the higher qualities contained in the combined energies of each day, we can acquire, embrace and come to embody natural, organic and consistent universal values that would not only serve our own selves but would also serve our communities and our environment, regardless of which Katun we find ourselves in.
This process would strengthen conscious personal autonomy and individual identity by getting to know our intrinsic archetypical traits on an individual level. Moreover, it would make us more prepared for dealing with some of the real paradigm shifts that we will be encountering during the rest of this Katun and the one that will follow.
By J.J. Montagnier
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This article has been written for general consumption and some concepts have been simplified. The views and opinions are those of the author. Creative license has been applied to make some concepts more accessible,
The Book of Destiny – Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012, by Carlos Barrios (published in 2009)
The Mayan Prophecies – The Renewal of the World 2012-2072, by Kenneth Johnson, (published in 2012)
The Maya Katun Prophecies, by Bruce Scofield (article: Alternate Perceptions, 1996)
The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, by Ralph Roys (published in 1933)
The Long and Short of the Mayan Calendar (published in The Mountain Astrologer, Dec. 2004 / Jan. 2005), by Bruce Scofield
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