Discover what 2012 holds for you
Author: Dr Ronald Bonewitz
Book Review by: Diana McMahon-Collis
Everyone is talking, lately, about 2012 and the Maya Prophecy. This slim volume publication bearing that name should not be underestimated as its author, Dr Ronald Bonewitz, has packed a lot into its 164 pages. In fact he begins by including an additional guide to pronunciation of the Maya language, which comes in very handy for when he later discusses specific people, places and literature titles. Many readers will recognise a few of the names: Lake Titicaca might not present too many challenges, for example, But many could be glad for the inbuilt mini-dictionary when faced with how to pronounce the name of the hero god Xbalanque or the father of astronomy, Itzamna, it being that neither name is pronounced quite as it appears.
It is attention to detail that makes this book a winner. It seems obvious that Dr Bonewitz lives and believes in his work. He takes the time to go over small but important points, such as that, whilst the language is termed Mayan, the Prophecy and the people are “Maya”. He also has the vision to include a helpful index in this book so that, if you thought you had found something (or someone) useful, you can look it up again easily – a feature all too often overlooked in books of this type.
At its heart, the Maya Prophecy is not so much a text book as a story book – basically, an adventure story and a chunk of ancient history, woven in together with a mix of supposition, speculation and imagination – which, overall, makes for very interesting reading.
It is a wide ranging book in that, in various areas, the author explores wide stretches of the world; geography is charted, from continents as distant as
That it is a timely book is obvious in the subtitle: “Discover what 2012 holds for you”. Many authors have been focussing on 2012 and many people in the spiritual arena are talking about it currently. Those who have looked at all into the Maya Prophecy and 2012 may have already decided that 2012 is not the key date, although it is an important date.
Dr Bonewitz, as might be expected, goes into much detail about the Long Count Calendar, the Maya method of counting time. Particularly interesting is his understanding of how the calendar is primarily linked to rulers and gods, perhaps not unlike the ancient Egyptian calendar. Indeed, he spends some time in the book going over the history behind Maya civilisation and
This is not necessarily a simple story but the author is effective at bringing together all the strands that make sense of what the Prophecy means and why it is important in our modern times. We may take calendars for granted but Bonewitz makes it clear that it is the effectiveness of this ancient people, through mathematics and dedication to the calendar, that makes it possible for us to consider the relevance of an impact event today – an “impact event” typically being a comet or meteorite that will devastate the area where it lands. In this book it suddenly becomes possible to see how much time itself is a construct and that we have developed a fairly complex way of organising our sense of reality according to the time comparisons that we regularly tend to make. Other, inter- related areas covered in depth are astronomy and numbers.
This quality of the book to move from historical events to an appreciation of the workings of the mind is extended in an unexpected way into a series of exercises, meditations and guided visualisations, which can be experimented practically with, intended to “connect the reader experientially with the ancient knowledge of the Maya”. Dr Bonewitz says the exercises include sacred imagery, incorporating universal archetypes and may trigger memories of past life experiences. For anyone interested in these areas, it is hard to resist having such “toys” to play with! Hence this writer did try out one of the early exercises, the Pyramid Visualization – and recorded a highly significant dream had that night, as a result. This was tried on two occasions with similar positive, powerful results.
Overall, the Maya Prophecy draws together factors that influence spiritual, sacred and divinatory ideas through many disciplines. Focuses included are: cardinal direction duality and the Mother archetype, showing the way that symbols can encompass so much for us. Such inclusions may have special interest for readers of Tarot cards whilst other disciplines are directly or indirectly referred to, such as numerology (ritual numbers) and astrology/astronomy.
The subtitle of the book is “Discover what 2012 holds for you”, hinting that the Maya Prophecy has a special, personal message. What is that message? You will have to read the book to find out! It is worth having your own copy, in any case, for the practical exercises, which are a real bonus with this volume.
Fully revised edition, expanded and updated to include the latest research;
Published by Piatkus November 2008
ISBN 978-0-7499-2987-9 RRP £7.99