Lake Yaxhá, North-East Petén, Guatemala. Photo by JJM (2015)

*For background on the Mayan Fifth World and the Fifth Element, please see: The Maya World Tree

Mayan Mythology and Symbolism

The Mayan Calendar constitutes at least three calendars in contemporary terms which are used to map different cycles, but there are at least twenty Mayan calendars in total. For the sake of brevity and simplicity we can summarize that the most important thing to know about the Mayan calendar systems is that time is cyclical. As cycles return they tend to have the same or similar characteristics and features. In that sense similar events can be expected to happen again. Mayan shamans can therefore make reasonably accurate forecasts within symbolic and archetypal contexts. Western scholars can attempt to do the same, but with varying results. Some of the symbolism can be misinterpreted by them, or taken too literal, or the cycles and dates are sometimes mixed up.

When you travel to Central America and meet with the descendants of the ancient Mayans in the former Mayan lands, for example the indigenous peoples of Guatemala, Belize or Honduras [1], it’s unlikely that you would find many in the region who would make predictions in the way that Westerners would. They would rather refer to their ancient mythology or perhaps to wisdom passed down through the ages by word of mouth, but there is a great reluctance to speculate about any “endings”. A grave error that many Western scholars in the Mayanism [2] movement has made, is to have predicted various types of Mayan calendar related endings. This has caused a lot of confusion amongst people with an interest in the subject.

It would therefore be better to do one’s own research by consulting a variety of sources and by focusing on content provided by serious historians and scholars known as Mayanists [3] (as opposed to sources from within the Mayanism movement). Having said that, in this research subject there will always be a degree of speculation involved on the part of outside scholars. Interpretations are part and parcel of the research and learning process and cannot be avoided altogether. In fact, it is indeed the predictive aspects or components of the Mesoamerican calendars that hold so much interest to scholars worldwide.

In Kenneth Johnson’s book, The Mayan Prophecies [4], we learn that for the Mayans, time reveals itself by unwinding cyclically, which means that time is already mapped – energetically and archetypally. The Mayan calendars have been formulated and designed to accurately follow and study these cycles and patterns as they interact with each other.

The energetic features that the calendars hold interrelate with the ebb and flow of human consciousness. In the larger cycles of the calendars human consciousness is mapped as rising and falling over many centuries, in a wave-like motion. At the start of each 5125 year cycle consciousness rises and at the crest (in the middle) it reaches a peak and then descends.  This concept is mapped similarly in the Vedic belief system [5].

Human consciousness would therefore be at a relatively low level at the end or beginning of each cycle. That means that in December 2012 (at the end of the Mayan Fourth World) human consciousness was not at a high point, a theory that had been put forward by some scholars in the Mayanism [2] movement. In fact, notwithstanding our technological advances, humanity is currently in a slump, or perhaps very much in the doldrums regarding consciousness.

The idea that humans reached or started to enter peak consciousness in 2012 (or in 2011 already) is therefore clearly incorrect. Not only does it not bear out when you take a critical look at the mapping of consciousness in various ancient belief systems, but you arrive at the same conclusion when you take a critical look at many factors in actual reality in society today (as is being explored in the series: New World Within on this website [6]).  


Please note: the following paragraphs contain interpretations arrived at by the author and are not necessarily the view of Mayan day keepers or elders, except where stated otherwise:

In the Mayan creation story , the Popol Vuh [7], the sky is lowered (“falls”) at the end of each world cycle. It is then raised again. So far the sky has been raised four times and we are currently in the space between ages before the next sky is raised. As a thought experiment: if we take “the sky” as a metaphor for human consciousness, then the sky “falling” takes on significant meaning: At the end of each 5125 year world age, as consciousness diminishes; systems, structures and thought processes related to it, become unstable or “challenged”. Subsequently they start to show strain or start to crumble. The consciousness aligned to the old energetic direction would be out of sync with the new incoming direction.

Although one would expect that from the ashes of the old would rise something completely new (and that was likely the case during previous transitions), we have to keep in mind that this time the directional flow of the energies are more or less doing an about-turn in some respects. This would be the first time in 20 000 years (within the context of the Mayan Five Worlds concept) that energy will not move outwards towards one of the cardinal directions, but will turn inwards and move towards the center.

One can therefore expect that there will be a return to some of the old ways, blended in with something completely new. However, that’s not to say that people would voluntarily align themselves with this partial back-to-the-past “regression” as some would view it. The truth is that humans are not necessarily consistently naturally harmony-oriented yet. At this stage of human evolution we are still evolving to such a state. 

Let’s analyze this further, by first summarizing: We know that during the first four world ages the energy expanded outwards into each one of the four cardinal directions and we also know that during the fifth age the energy will be moving inwards towards the center (For more information on this point, please see: The Maya World Tree). Therefore, it would follow that a turnaround point would be reached at some stage, and that shortly after that point the directional energies would find themselves in direct opposition or in conflict with each other. Due to its already strong momentum, the expanding energy (see “1” below) is likely to continue moving outwards, while the contracting energy (see “2” below) would be moving inwards while building up momentum.

To test this theory we should therefore look at real-life events: We could speculate that generally speaking the outward and inward moving energies contain more or less the following characteristics in terms of identity, and that we have already observed some of these (surprising to some) energetic movements play out in recent world events such as in the case of Brexit in the UK and in the results of the United States’ presidential elections at the end of 2016:

  1. There had already been a trend of expanding energy that had been moving away from intrinsic individual core identity (known as the Self in Jungian terms) towards a type of universal identity only distinguished by local varieties or flavors. A reflection of this can be observed in global consumer culture with its ever expanding selection of “consumer identities”. This energetic trend had over time moved away from traditional forms of group identity such as national, cultural or language related identity and placed its group identity in political ideology and gender orientation (identity politics and gender-ism). Followers of this trend has shown a tendency towards being opposed to identity related to traditional or conservative values. This means that these types of identity groups are often at odds with groups that had formed their identity naturally through established and traditional methods.
  2. A “new energy” or trend has appeared recently which once again associates individual core identity with self-defined personal values, or values that are found in more traditional types of group association, such as cultural, national, language or heritage related identity. This “new energy” benefits from the fact that there is a base of traditionalists and conservatives who had over time become marginalized because their politics had fallen out of fashion during the rise of popular ‘progressivism’, but the new “reversing energy” trend has given them a voice again. The reasons for this is that not everyone who found themselves in the outwards expanding energy movement wanted to move so far away from the political center or from their own personal identity center, and therefore many individuals who had been swept along by the ever expanding outwards moving energy felt they had gone too far and so they took the opportunity to move back over to the returning, contracting, more traditional, “reversing” energy. These events were reflected in the strong turn-out of voters that favored Brexit in the UK and in the results of the US presidential elections at the end of 2016.

These two “energy movements” seem to be generally contrasted by the one having an expansionist or global-oriented world view, which tends to support the idea of open or no borders, whereas the other seems to favour a more localized or regional world view with an orientation towards a return to protectionism and well defined and well controlled national borders.

These events reflect and highlight the importance of identity in general and the fact that human identity is a core factor in the overall energy shift as far as humans are concerned. In a future segment we will look at the practical reality of the future of these two energies and delve deeper into them within the context of a global energetic contraction, a feature that is expected on various internal and external levels within the Maya Fifth World.

Conflict Resolution:

Let’s take a look at the expected nature of masculine and feminine polarity within the context of the Fifth World. The following information is reproduced here exactly as it appeared in an article written by Maya day keeper and spiritual guide Carlos Barrios in 2006:

The first cycle was of a feminine energy and fire was the element that ruled it.
The second cycle was of a masculine energy and earth was the element that ruled it.
The third cycle was of a feminine energy and air was the element that ruled it.
The fourth cycle was of a masculine energy and water was the element that ruled it.
The fifth cycle is of harmony between the masculine and feminine energy and the element that will rule it will be ether. [8]

Here we notice immediately that during the Fifth world, we are not returning to a cycle ruled by either masculine or feminine energy, but that we are entering a cycle that will be energetically conducive towards harmony between the two. This may be somewhat disappointing to people who have been looking forward to (or have set their hearts on) “ruling” from a gender perspective. However, considering the collapse in gender relations in recent years, perhaps now would be a good time to pause and reflect upon whether harmony between the sexes would really be such a bad thing (?). People seem to have forgotten that there was a time when the two genders got on reasonably well.

Significantly, it would be the first time in 20 000  years (within the context of the Mayan five worlds concept) that neither the masculine, nor the feminine energy would dominate. That doesn’t mean that male/female polarity would disappear, but that the potential for conflict would be largely reduced, energetically speaking. Potentially we in the West may even (re)learn how to complement each other again as men and women, instead of being in perpetual competition. That possibility in itself may be tantalizing enough to celebrate (and not only for nostalgic reasons), but there’s no doubt that high drama and conflict are currently favored pastimes for many gender oriented groupings in Western populations, as can still be observed on a daily basis at the time of writing (in 2017).

These recent “political turnings” that we have observed are not viewed by everybody as “moving forward towards harmony”. To the contrary – and perhaps with good reason. However, as has been mentioned before, sometimes when pendulums swing too far, an over-correction can be expected. The situation is sometimes that “passengers on pendulums” who simply tend to go along with the general flow of things may not become aware that the pendulum they are traveling on could be due for a natural correction because it has swung too far. This can happen when people become set in their ways.

For example, gender equality in the developed Western World has been reached in many countries to varying degrees (some time ago already), yet acknowledgement of that remains either completely muted or is non-existent. In many cases the borders between rights and privileges have become blurred, and it could be argued that the previously disadvantaged have in many cases already arrived at more favorable conditions than their counterparts across the gender line. That however has not stopped many, if not most, gender-oriented groupings from continuing to claim victim-hood as a matter of course.

There is no doubt that some of these issues will remain controversial and that many people will in the meantime simply continue on their trajectories. Nevertheless, from an energetic standpoint a more balanced trajectory with harmony as its final arrival point is already under way, but some turbulence may be expected along the way. The role of the Fifth Element having entered the post-2012 scene, is to illuminate our dispositions within the above contexts and to especially illuminate our shadow sides, to ourselves and to others. In this way the universe can assist many of us in motivating us towards self-correction where we are clearly out of tune with the new directional flows of the universe.

Once those individuals who are naturally drawn to this process are sufficiently centered and grounded and have their intentions more aligned with overall harmony, they should be perfectly poised as balanced proactive co-creators of the Fifth World in order to raise the Fifth Sky from within their core Selves and towards the symbolic energetic center of the Fifth World, which they have already envisioned through vision quest.

[arrow_forms id=’6403′]


These themes will be explored further in the next installment. This is the third part in a ‘mini series’ – an article published in parts. Continue reading

Part one is here: The Fifth Element; Part two is here: The Fifth World: Part four is here: The Fifth Earth (Part 1)Also see: Shift of the Stages

J.J. Montagnier is an intuitive creative writer. He is a student of mythology, ancient cultures, philosophy, psychology, sociology, politics and metaphysics. His writings are inspired and influenced by his world travels, personal observations, intuitive insights and deep study of relevant and related subject matter. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.

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:

Copyright © 2017 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café


  1. The author travelled in the region in 2015.
  8. Prophecies from the Mayan Elders, March 2006 by Carlos Barrios (.Pdf)

Explorer, Philosopher, Photographer


  1. Debra

    Great article and well researched! Astrology is also forecasting this as time for harmony between the divine feminine/masculine. in lak’ech, debra

    • Jean-Jacques

      Thank you, Debra. Yes, there were quite a lot of strands to pull together for this segment and I relied on a lot of research. That’s good news about the astrology forecast! All in tune then! 🙂 in lak’ech

  2. Josh Gross

    I hope you’re right about approaching a time of greater harmony. Current happenings are anything but harmonious, but hopefully the pendulum will become more centered after discharging excess momentum. Here’s to hoping for the best…

    • Jean-Jacques

      I’m sure that’s what will happen Josh. In the meantime it is up to us not to get drawn into all the drama and fuss – that is the challenge – it doesn’t mean one should not have an opinion – to the contrary, one should – but people should clearly define their personal values (as opposed to their group association values) – according to what they deeply believe in – and really think about it (and consult conscience too) – and then when they put their opinions forward or disagree with someone, they should go about in a respectful and peaceful manner (as is the general way of doing things in democracies). We live in very volatile times – energetically speaking – so it can be very easy to get swept up in all the emotional anger and turmoil (a lot of that is happening on university campuses, so it would seem that young people today have particular difficulties with managing their emotions). The best thing to do is to pause for a second and take stock of one-self and ask: “How do I set myself apart from the group?” “Who am I, when I am not part of the group?” “Which identity is stronger? “The group’s or mine?” If the answer is “the group”, then its best to develop one’s own identity further, as a priority, in order to become an autonomous, well-defined and balanced human being.

  3. Wolfgang

    An inspiring article with illuminating insights – thanks, Jacques, for sharing your interpreation of the fith element! An interesting, energetically more harmonious future to look out for then? 🙂

    • Jean-Jacques

      Hi Wolfgang! Yes, but only if we work towards it – in other words: “we are the people we have been waiting for…” – this is the co-creation part that many people tend to miss – we are part of the process – the universe provides the energies – we have to provide the attitudes and actions to match them (it doesn’t happen automatically, because we are also autonomous beings).

      Thanks for the feedback and for visiting!

Write A Comment