The Fifth Earth – Energy Transitions (Part 3) – Paradigm Shifts in the Age of Polarity

Stucco friezes on El Castillo pyramid, Xunantunich, Belize. Photo by JJM (2015).


Note – this article refers to the Original Mayan Prophecies listed in Part 1 (updated)


Paradigm Shifts in the Age of Polarity

Mild Paradigm Shifts

An example of a mild paradigm shift happened for many people during and after the unexpected financial crisis of 2008. That crisis had in fact been forecasted by lone voices for quite some time before it happened. These 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 2008 financial crash, many people could still remember the Dot Com crash of 2001 which was etched on the minds of those who had worked in the IT sector back then.

An Instant Paradigm Shift

A real paradigm shift would look very different. Many ideas were floated about what would or could happen on or around December 21, 2012, some of them bordering on the fantastic: Duality would disappear, the magnetic poles would change 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 expected an instant paradigm shift. The one time that people actually paid attention to warning signs (although it was not very clear what they were meant to do to prepare for it), nothing happened! 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 back to pre-industrial age, traditional, agricultural lifestyles, in a relatively short period of time, say, within a decade or two. That would be a real paradigm shift. Having to live with limited access to electricity for example, or without machinery or automation again. The prospect of such a thing happening is just too far-fetched to ponder.

Going back in time in practice would be completely counter-intuitive to what we would normally conceive of as going forward, which would be: using more advanced technology. Therefore paradigm shifts are normally conceived of as being linear events – for example, all jobs being taken over by robots – a situation that would require more electricity, not less. While we hold this thought, let’s consider the concept of paradigm shifts further.

Shifts of the Short Ages

In the context of the Maya calendars, shifts happening from one short age to the next would constitute mild paradigm shifts. Such transitions happen within short enough time frames for most people to become aware that many things are changing at the same time (that change seems to be speeding up), but yet changes are happening slowly enough to not cause a complete shock to the system. At first some people may be resistant to some of the changes, but most 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 clearly defined, and would then make conscious decisions about whether to go 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

Most new trends happening in society nowadays are generally perceived in the context of moving forward (progressing). Whether negative or positive, it is usually considered as “progress” none the less – or, when very negative, it is perceived as being the price we have to pay for progress. That is because modern (Western) culture is not values, principles or ethics driven (anymore), but trend driven. Society therefore tends to go along with whatever new is taken up by society in general, and what that is, is usually commercially driven. 

Nevertheless, few people are aware that there are also energetic movements at play in the universe which can influence real life events and trends. On a higher level metaphysical energy influences the Spirit of the Age (group 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 (value systems) that had strong frameworks for outward conduct, group consciousness is today much more prone to being affected by the negative elements of the Spirit of the Age compared to before. 

Today, technology in the form of personal devices provide a broadcasting channel for the boundary-less expression and projection of the negative as much as the positive aspects of the Spirit of the Age, whereas before the negative aspects would have been constrained by the natural boundaries that were set by in-person, face to face communications – even when internal structures (value systems) had collapsed. 

Decadeology vs. Katunology

When we consult extensive online discussion boards about cultural changes over the decades, a practice known as ‘decadeology’, we find that there is consensus in these forums about 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 a Gregorian calendar decade.

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. Length-wise half-Katuns are equivalent to decades, but they are almost never exactly synchronized with the  dates that decades start on.

When decades are compared with Katuns and 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” is therefore 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 (tones) that are used in the Maya calendars. The Gregorian calendar however does not imply any energy shifting at all 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, but observed and placed within the context of decades.

Transition Time Frames

By 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 duration of time that it took for cultural shifts to occur. This gives us some understanding of the impact that shifting energy can have on group psychology and group consciousness. On average the shifts seem to take about two to four years to complete, incorporating some overlap each way.

The symbolic Maya Calendar shift point of December 21, 2012 signified both a Katuns shift point as well as a (5125 year) Great Cycle shift point. 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 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 ages (19.7 year Katuns) take as long as three to four years.

From a Jungian perspective, periodic expectations for instant paradigm shifts more than likely stem from archetypical impulses within our consciousness. Certain archetypes within our psyche subconsciously recognize or pick up on (imminent) energy shifts, but these archetypes are unable to interpret the duration of time that the shifts would take to complete or manifest.

These instinctual archetypal early warning impulses are most probably subconscious markers and indicators that have the purpose of prompting us to action. However, working out how we should prepare for change is something that has to be done consciously on an intellectual level and then it has to be applied on a practical level. Few people follow through on this part of the process. 

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 had for a post-2012 world: a linear progression towards harmony. One of the reasons for such an expectation 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 may have been more prepared for the high level 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 (1993 – 2012) had the natural purpose of preparing us for Katun 2 Ahau (2012 – 2032). During the highly spiritual Katun 4 Ahau we were meant to prepare 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.

As we shall see later on (to be explored more in a future article), if we have forgotten what we have learned during the previous Katun, we can still capitalize on its benefits even in retrospect.

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, while they can also benefit from the previous Katun by selectively accessing its positive elements that are found in some of its artifacts, such as 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 real unexpected paradigm shifts, which may or may not be “instant”.

Shift Point 1993: From Katun 6 Ahau (1973 – 1993) to  Katun 4 Ahau (1993 – 2012)

Let us now return to how 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. On being rescued and on returning to society in 1995 this person would have been under the impression that things were more or less still the same as when they left. 

In the meantime, while he or she was away, trends such as music, fashion, technology, and attitudes had changed to the extent that by 1995 they fully embodied the general trends of the 1990’s, as opposed to  those of the late 80’s (and early 90’s). Our returnee may have been surprised to find that so many things had changed “virtually overnight”. However, having to face this new paradigm would not have thrown him or her completely off balance either, notwithstanding the slight culture shock that they were experiencing, because things had not changed enough for that to happen.

Note: There seems to be strong consensus amongst decadeologists that the actual cultural shift point between the 80’s and 90’s happened in 1993 and not in 1990 as one would have imagined. 1993 just happens to be the exact shift point from Katun 4 Ahau to Katun 2 Ahau. 

The Spirit of the Age – Katun 4 Ahau

By 1995 the general atmosphere in the developed world, particularly in the English speaking countries, 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 still post Cold War and politically speaking 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; just the right amount of technology to not to take over people’s lives.

Spirituality seemed to be in a 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: From Katun 4 Ahau (1993 – 2012) to Katun 2 Ahau (2012 – 2032)

Lets return to our example of a castaway with no communications, but this time lets imagine that the person was away from mid-2010 to mid-2014: also a duration of about 4 years. The actual shift point was in 2012, but the transition took a couple of years to manifest and there was some overlap both ways.

On returning in 2014 they would perhaps have been surprised to see virtually everyone, young and old, walking around with Smartphone’s or other forms of personal mobile devices. 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 consensus on decadeology forums about the lack of much new and original happening and that there was a general lack of quality in the early and mid twenty-tens.

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 (2014 was a record year for world conflicts) ; a much deteriorated level of civility and courtesy amongst people, especially online; a victim-hood 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 over-protective on the one hand and outsourcing their parenting to teachers and personal devices on the other; personal technologies having in general more or less completely taken over people’s lives.

Other features were that gender relations were taking a turn for the worst, race relations were deteriorating, sectarian, cultural and religious conflicts and their negative effects were dominating the news more than ever and protests, especially in the developed world, were visibly increasing – and were 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 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 television. On the big screen the Hunger Games – Mockingjay was raking it in at the box office.

The Yin and Yang of the Katuns

Naturally, neither of the above examples tell the whole story – all ages have their positives and negatives, balance and imbalance and dark and light. However, the atmosphere of Katun 4 Ahau was very well balanced in general, while Katun 2 Ahau is rather unbalanced in comparison, to put it mildly.

The Spirit of the Age of each of these two examples conform on a basic level to the symbolism found in their numbers, known as Tones: 4 = balance & harmony; 2 = duality & polarity. That’s not to say that there’s not more to it, or that positive things are not also happening, but the positives are clearly less evident than the negatives in the Spirit of the Age of Katun 2 Ahau (if compared with Katun 4 Ahau). 

Dealing with Duality                

On the surface of it then, with having some perspective of 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 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 thus 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 conscience is after all one of the very objectives of the principle of duality within the context of human spiritual development.

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 back to levels of etiquette and social behavior as practiced 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; we can foster self-responsibility within our children and promote that in society in general, thereby dissolving the all-pervasive victim-hood 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 day 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 selves, but would also serve our communities and our environment, regardless of the Katun that we are in.

At the same time it 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 Katun 2 Ahau.   

Continue to Part 4

J.J. Montagnier is a futurologist and travelosopher based in South America. He has an interest in anthropology, mythology, psychology and spirituality. His writings on the Mayan calendars are influenced by his knowledge of Jungian psychology and are also intuitively inspired. The author visited Central America in 2015 to do research on the subject.

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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.

Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

Please note: References to and excerpts from this article may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content: please use the  page address (URL) in the browser.

Internet Resources:

Main resources:

The Book of Destiny – Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012, by Carlos Barrios (published in 2009). [1] [2].

The Mayan Prophecies – The Renewal of the World 2012 – 2072, by Kenneth Johnson, (published in 2012).

The Maya Katun Prophecies, by Bruce Schofield (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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6 Responses to “The Fifth Earth – Energy Transitions (Part 3) – Paradigm Shifts in the Age of Polarity”

  1. Debra says:

    Thanks for the insight, Jacques! Your desert island analogy really helped to put this in perspective. in lak’ech, Debra

  2. Katharine Otto says:


    While the year of 2012 is significant from a symbolic point of view, I hold that the 9/11 event created an instant paradigm shift from cheerful to fearful, at least in the US. It happened in the middle of the bust, and Entron’s collapse made headlines the following month. Many of the victim-thinking seeds were sown way before that, but they have grown into weeds since, with the witch-hunt for terrorists, the wars, growing prison population, drug explosion, and the general paranoia–to name a few–all feeding off each other.

    I responded to your comment on my blog about the above interview with Yasuhiko Genku Kimura. He seems to link 2012 with the incoming Age of Aquarius (in astrological terms). The age would show itself in things Aquarian, like the brotherhood of man (universal and detached rather than personal love), electronics, communication, including mental telepathy. As “fixed air” it is scientifically minded but inclined to be rigid. Iconoclastic. Co-rulers Saturn and Uranus, suggesting order within chaos, or chaos periodically upsetting order. Saturn castrated his father Uranus and was forever fearful that his own children would do the same to him.

    You mention personal growth. In astrology, the energies in themselves are neither good nor bad. The distinction lies in how they are used, such as the ways people use social media.

    By the way, in astrology, the moon’s nodes complete a cycle every 19.5 years. The nodes symbolize karma, and the direction a person needs to grow.

    • Jean-Jacques says:

      Katharine, very good points – yes, that event was indeed a paradigm shift – I’m sure a complete, almost instant paradigm shift in the U.S. Even outside the U.S. the global atmosphere was markedly changed afterwards.

      Very interesting points about the Age of Aquarius! Thank you for sharing – your description definitely matches what seems to be happening right now with technology and iconoclasm and the general trends. I will look into this – please let me know if you have any links.

      My feeling from reading some of the Mayan forecasts is that later on in the New Age, some of these things may be left behind – for example mass technologies – because most of them have a negative impact on the planet – also, we may experience power problems in terms of energy (electricity generation) in the future, so we are likely to – to a certain extent – have to revert back to traditional living – on a practical level.

      Thank you also for the mention of the 19.5 year moon nodes cycle – something new to me too – my knowledge on Western Astrology is rather limited.

      I think being able to distinguish between “wrong and right” is necessary in order to develop morality – and to evolve. Morality is necessary as a component of human development: on a spiritual level. (It has its shadow side too however, in the form of puritanism – as we can see a lot today in relation to the application of over-zealous political correctness.)

      Here is a very interesting talk on morality by Yasuhiko Genko Kimura – also from the Involution and Evolution point of view – not sure I agree with everything he says, but he certainly makes a good case for why we need morality and how important it is:

  3. Katharine Otto says:

    I watched the video but have a slightly different view about morality, because animals are essentially amoral, from a human perspective, but they seem to have their own standards of right and wrong. I like to claim all animals gather at the watering hole. There is a give-and-take in nature that we humans only dimly understand and appreciate even less.

    I’m thinking of writing a blog about astrology, because there are so many misconceptions. Glad you appreciate the tidbits I’ve passed on. There’s not much on the internet about it, at least nothing I would recommend.

    About the mass technologies . . . we may leave them behind. Another aspect of the Aquarian Age is the development of mental telepathy and “psychic sciences.”

    Finally, you may like the Seth series, by Jane Roberts. Seth is a discarnate “energy essence” channeled by medium Jane Roberts, whose husband took verbatim notes when she went into trance. The first is “Seth Speaks,” but my favorite is “The Nature of Personal Reality.” The books cover a broad range of subjects, but I’ve found over and over that they support what I believe and take the thoughts further.

    • Jean-Jacques says:

      Katharine, thank you for your comment. There is, as you say, a give and take principle in nature in terms of the ecosystem, but some animals also serve as food for other animals. To use the watering hole analogy: all the non-predators come and drink together, but there are often crocodiles lurking just beneath the surface and lions waiting in the bush, just a few yards or metres away.

      (Modern) Humans however, find themselves at the top of the chain in the ecosystem in relation to other animals, and have grown a sense of superiority in terms of “ruling” over all – and it is this sense of superiority that is causing it (the human race) to destroy the planet and its own ecosystem and thereby committing ecocide.

      Indigenous peoples used to (and still do) revere animals as sacred and as being equal (but different) beings. Although animals serve humans in terms of food, indigenous peoples show thanks through ritual and ceremony to thank the animals for their sacred sacrifice in this life. That way, they never lose respect for their fellow beings and they have a similar approach to the natural environment. In this regard, modern (Western) people do not need to learn anything profoundly new – they just need to learn from indigenous peoples… which for the moment is considered “going backwards”, because it is counter-intuitive to what progress is in a modern sense.

      Humanity – if taken as a single unit – has not managed to tame its ego yet, and it is its own ego that will be the death of it – and of everyone / every other living thing – if it does not manage to tame it. Animals function on instinct. Human instinct is much diminished and the ego has replaced it in terms of a driving force.

      Humans are still in development, and we have not reached a stage yet where we can naturally step over our egos – once we reach that stage we will be living from our whole and authentic Self – in the meantime it takes years of hard work and dedication (personal development / spiritual growth) for an individual to reach a stage where he or she can step over (or side-step) ego sufficiently to not be drawn into ego politics that permeates all levels of human interaction as well as interaction with our environment.

      This new paradigm that we are slowly going into will demand deep and consistent inner work. Most people are still waiting for instant paradigm shifts to magically transform them in a flash, but that’s not how it works.

      Each individual’s Authentic Self can only be reached through deep introspection (and a few hard knocks in life), but there is no culture of introspection in the developed world, which is why so many people [even more than before, since the introduction of mass technologies*] project so much [*because there’s even less space/time for introspection than before]. By projecting upon others, responsibilities are rejected on a consistent basis – and there is not much room for conscience to fully come into play either – for the same reasons.

      On telepathy – yes, I think that is a very likely development – and intuitively I’m inclined to think that all the mass technologies that people are now so willingly addicted to, are actually limiting them from tuning into telepathy, which is more likely to be(come) accessible without so much self-imposed electronic interference.

      On channelling – I tend to take a Jungian view on it, which is that what is being channelled is most likely from the deep unconscious (sub-conscious) – if I remember well, Jung viewed this as repressed components deep within the psyche (split off parts, coming to the fore), so it is not (in Jung’s opinion) being channelled from outside, but from within. So, I tend to view the concept from that perspective.

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