Arizonans Prepare for December 21

The Mayan calendar ends December 21, 2012, but does that mean the world is ending?  Arizona Public Radio’s Janice Baker looks at how some are preparing for this auspicious date.

Let’s get to the main point.  Is the world ending? 

“No. The world is not going to end,” said Brian Bates.  He teaches science at Coconino Community College.

He’ also a self-described Archeo-Astronomer.

There are, of course, different views on why the Mayan Calendar ends on December 21, 2012.

Some believe the Mayans foretold the end of time.  

Archeologists say the calendar was an attempt to give people hope that the world would continue well beyond their lifetimes. 

Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff has been hosting Mayan Mondays, a series of talks about the Mayan calendar to demystify it for the public.

Irene Askelson, a visitor from North Dakota, came to get more information.

“There’s been a lot of hype about the end of the world coming on December 21, so I was a little leery about it and I guess I’ll just wait and see what happens now,” she laughs.

Bob Voltz was visiting from Florida.

“This is an interesting time for us to come hear this talk, actually,” Voltz said. “So to be able to sit down and get a little more perspective on what all the sensation’s about.”

But a 45 minute drive from Flagstaff, some Sedona residents have a different outlook on the day and what it will bring. 

Many believe Sedona to be the home to dozens of so-called vortexes, which New Age enthusiasts believe contain healing energy.

“Wherever you go in Sedona there’s a picturesque view in front of you,” said Mark Pinkham, an author and self-described visionary.

“It’s very uplifting and there’s a secret to Sedona that has been revealed to me for the last 25 years,” he said.

Pinkham is leading a conference this week called “Birthing the Fifth World,” celebrating the end of one era, and the beginning of another.

He said that on December 21st, he’ll be visiting the vortexes.

Inside a local coffee shop, Sedona resident and retreat operator, Puma St. Angel says she sees the struggles of people trying to break free of the old and latch onto the new.

“We are in a transitional period,” she said, “and people are needing  to discover new tools. The tools that we’ve had to get us where we are now are not going to be the tools to get us out of this space.”

But Archeo-astronomer Bryan Bates says there won’t be much of a change on December 21st.

“There may be a few people who wake up December 22 with a hangover,” he predicts, “but other than that, I think it’s going to be a pretty normal winter solstice event.”

The Mayan carved their calendars into stone towers called Stila. 

And according to archaeologists, some of these towers located throughout the Yucatan show the end of the calendar as December 21st.

But others show the end as December 23rd. 

It might be a long weekend.