Cahal Pech – Archaeological site, San Ignacio, Belize. Photo by JJM (2015)

After Dark

So-called “dark ages” are not only dark; they are also light. Although we tend to view dark ages with some trepidation or, perhaps, even with fear, they serve an important role. It is during dark times that we seek out our own light and the light of others. Dark times  show up the shadows in the world and bring them to the surface. It is only by being confronted by darkness that we can truly aspire to light. Thus, from darkness comes light.

One cycle leads to another, and one prepares us for the other. In other words, the whole process should be approached with a certain attitude – namely, an understanding that cycles, whether light or dark, are evolutionary in nature and in purpose, and that we are able to work with these energies, either way.

The Mayan Fifth World, a 5,125-year Great Cycle that started at the end of 2012 is said to hold immense opportunity for spiritual growth. Presently, we are still transitioning into the Fifth World, while slowly pulling out of the Fourth. By seeing the opportunities that this transition holds for personal transformation, we can all become conscious co-creators of the new world as we transition.  

Knowing the Energies

By understanding the characteristics of some of the energies, we are able to know how to work with them. Being familiar with the energies can enable us to step over some of their negative manifestations and traits, and it can allow us to fully experience their positive aspects and influences – and gain from them. This process happens by honoring their symbolism through integrating their purpose in our thought processes and by then applying that to our daily living. When we are completely unaware of these metaphysical energies, we are at their disposal rather than the other way around.

The easiest way for newcomers – unfamiliar with the Mayan calendars – to start learning about the archetypes that embody metaphysical energies is to follow the sacred Tzolkin calendar on a daily basis. This opens up a broader understanding of the cyclical nature – and the interactions – of the characteristics of the various energies with each other. For example, the continuity from one cycle to the next becomes apparent; and the repetitive nature of them in an altered form every time – in a gradual, never-ending, cyclical, but yet overall linear progression of renewal – eventually comes into view. 

Where we are presently

Presently (from 2012 to 2032), we are in two very long ages and one short ‘dark’ age. Oxlajuj Tiku is a 676-year cycle that started in 1987. The Mayan Fifth World is a 5,125- year Great Cycle that started at the end of 2012. Both of these long cycles are considered to have energetic characteristics that are positive, and so these cycles could generally be regarded as two ages of light. Katun 2 Ahau is a 19.7-year short cycle that started on 22 December, 2012 and will end on 7 September, 2032. This short cycle has symbolism and energy that relate more to a negative cycle, or dark age, due to its polarity.

Katun 2 Ahau appears to have the strongest influence right now, as shorter cycles have a tendency to be stronger in overt influence. The two underlying cycles of light are currently more subtle in their influence. Their influence will increase as time progresses within the context of cycles flowing in a wavelike motion, with a wave being low in energy at its start and high at its peak.

What we are going through

Katun 2 Ahau, which started in 2012 and will end in 2032, will be followed up by another 19.7-year short age, i.e. Katun 13 Ahau, which ends on May 25, 2052. These two volatile Katuns add up to 39.4 years in total. Afterwards, on May 26, 2052, Katun 11 Ahau will follow which would be a 19.7-year age with many positive aspects.

As mentioned before – and it is always worth keeping in mind – no dark age has ever been without light and no light age has ever been without dark. Essentially, we are passing through a temporary dark phase during an overall long period of increasing light. Put differently, we are traversing a valley of shadows in the landscape of light.

Where we are going to

Symbolically speaking, the year 2052 should be very significant because from that year onwards we will be in three positive ages (within the Maya cycles) at the same time, overlapping and blending with each other. It would also be the point at which, if all goes well, we should complete the initial forty-year Fourth to Fifth World Great Cycle transition phase. By then, the energies of the two underlying long light ages would have grown stronger in influence, and we would have progressed out of a significant amount of the Fourth World’s hold. The Fifth World’s gestation period should commence around 2052. Although much of the initial transition turmoil should be behind us by then, some may continue, but new growth and rejuvenation should already be sprouting in earnest around then.

Premature Fear and Ecstasy

The Mayan Fifth World’s energy will only be fully active in a couple of hundred years when all growth stages – transition, gestation and maturation – have been completed. Virtually everyone who wrote about 2012 forgot to factor these stages in, which explains why “nothing happened” on 21 December, 2012. That date simply marked the beginning of a 40-year-long initial transition phase, which would then be followed by two more phases – and we are only five years into the first phase (at the time of writing in 2017.) The upside is that the world hasn’t ended, and we still have time to prepare for the upcoming changes.  

Focusing on the Horizon

Naturally, our main interest is in completing the initial transition phase successfully, because this will take up most of the rest of the lives of many, if not most, of us alive today. It is, however, very important to remain cognizant of the bigger picture in order to know where we are going to, so that we can make it through to 2052. While symbolically keeping that arrival point in mind, we would be able to focus more specifically on the intermediate and near future, i.e. the next 15 years – the rest of Katun 2 Ahau (we will take a closer look at that in future chapters).

Transition, Gestation & Maturation

Please see the list of cycles and prophecies in PART 1

Before we continue further, it is important to be aware of how the transition period has been calculated. Although specific information about the length of a Great Cycle’s transition phase is hard to come by, we do (by now) know that all cycles have transition, gestation and maturation phases. Fortunately, details about the duration of time-of- transition phases of other cycles are available, for example, in the case of the 676-year Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle that started in 1987.

In The Book of Destiny, we learn from Carlos Barrios that the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle’s transition phase lasted about five years – from the cycle’s starting point in 1987 until 1992. Following that, there was a gestation period of nine years, from 1992 to 2001 and then, finally, there was a period of maturation that lasted for another thirteen years, from 2001 to 2014. In other words, this cycle only became fully active 27 years after it had started.

By using the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle’s details, we can thereby make a somewhat rudimentary calculation to arrive at the approximate length of the Great Cycle’s transition phase. The main objective of this exercise is not to arrive at absolute accuracy, but rather to illustrate further that the initial transition phase from the Fourth to Fifth World will last for several decades, rather than it having been an instant shift in 2012.

The amount of times that 676 (length of the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle) fits into 5,125 (length of the Great Cycle), which is 7.581 (seven point five eight one), can be multiplied by the length of the Oxlajuj Tiku’s transition stage, which is five years. Said differently: If the Oxlajuj Tiku Cycle is 7.581 times smaller than the Great Cycle, then the Great Cycle’s transition stage should be 7.581 times larger than Oxlajuj Tiku’s transition stage, which, according to Carlos Barrios, is 5 years.

This gives us a rough estimation, proportionally speaking, of the transition length for the Great Cycle. The result is more or less 38 years (7.581 x 5 years = 37.9 years to be exact), and that figure matches quite closely to the 39.4 years of the combined length of time of Katuns 2 Ahau and 13 Ahau – and it also roughly coincides with the dates of those two Katuns, i.e. 2012 – 2052.

Energetically speaking, it makes logical sense that the transition stage from the Fourth to the Fifth Worlds would happen during the final two Katuns in the last 256-year Katun Cycle of the Fourth World, and that those two Katuns would also happen to be two of the most volatile Katuns overall. It also just happens to be that these two Katuns overlap from the Fourth World into the Fifth World, meaning that they are exactly placed in the position where a transition from one 5,125-year Great Cycle to the next is meant to take place. This point of view is also alluded to by Bruce Scofield, in his article, The Maya Katun Prophecies [3].

Everything has Purpose

It becomes clear to anyone who studies this subject that there is an energetic process at work in the universe. If there is, indeed, a process at work, there must be purpose to such a process. Becoming aware of these energy cycles gives us a glimpse of the evolutionary processes organized by the hidden hand of the universe. Every stage of development has purpose, and each stage is a preparatory stage for the next stage – whether dark or light.

As Above, so Below

As has been pointed out before, the Fifth World is prophesied to ultimately result in a state of harmony at its peak. However, for humans to be compatible with such a state or condition implies that they would have to go through a significant transformation or, as prophesied in Maya mythology, a transmutation process [1]. The process is already underway and will continue throughout the gestation and maturation phases, too. 

This should impress upon all of us the significance of the time period we have entered, which will last for several generations. Moreover, the changes, as they accelerate, could very well result in a shock to the system for people unaware of the times in which we live. Being familiar with the evolutionary processes of the universe, as measured by the Maya calendars, could, however, provide much needed guidance in traversing the valley of shadows in the landscape of light.

Taking the Initiative

To date – most probably due to comfort zones and distractions – it would seem that, in general, the majority of humans are most likely not going to be taking the initiative to transform themselves in time before changes in the world potentially end up transforming them. And, indeed, it is debatable whether most people have the wherewithal of doing so all by themselves. Thus, one could argue that the external environment would have to change profoundly first in order to bring about such a significant transformation within people.

This scenario fits the prophecies for Katuns 2 and 13 Ahau very well. It would seem that the energies and circumstances are lined up exactly as they should be in order to bring about a subsequent grand renewal of the world, externally (first) and (then) internally. After the collapse of the old world, a new world with a new approach will arise naturally from the ashes.

Why am I here, now?

At this point, we may wonder why we as individuals have to go through this process – and especially if we factor in the journey of the soul in Maya mythology. We may wonder why we, as journeying souls, would choose to be here, right now. Why would we not choose to arrive in the world at the height of a Great Cycle when spirituality and consciousness would be at their peak? Surely that would be much more enriching and much more fun! The answer is that we have, perhaps, chosen to be in the world at a stage in time that would hold the greatest potential for spiritual growth and that such times are not necessarily meant to be the easiest of times.

If we choose not to take full responsibility for being here right now, we could simply let all the changes sweep us along (and, perhaps, sweep us away) and hope for the best. Alternatively, each person can engage actively with the process by getting to know their energetically assigned role and their higher purpose – and by doing so they can consciously assist in the birthing of the new world. This will allow them to reach their full potential as conscious co-creators in the grand cycles of life.

Individual Purpose

In order to consciously participate in the renewal of the world, individuals would need to become familiar with their own energetic purpose and personal destiny. That can be achieved through the sacred Maya Tzolkin calendar and The Maya Cross. These tools are ideal for comprehensive self-discovery, and readers are encouraged to use them to start exploring their place in the world and to become acquainted with their deep authentic inner selves, which would naturally lead the way.

In the next article we will delve into the Spirit of the Age of recent and future Katuns and consider how we can use this Katun to prepare for the next one. This will illustrate how both hindsight and foresight, in the context of the Mayan calendars, can be very useful in the real world.

Continue to Part 3 >> 

J.J. Montagnier is a futurologist and writer based in South America. He has an interest in anthropology, archeology, 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.

[Please note that this series is a work in progress and some edits to the content may occur after publication. Some content initially earmarked for follow-up chapters might eventually only appear in later chapters due to limitatons in scope of each chapter. Final versions with expanded content will later appear in e-book format].

The Energy Shifts series now has a dedicated home at:

This article has been written for general consumption and some concepts have been simplified. The views and opinions are those of the author.


The following main sources have been consulted during the writing of this article:

  1. The Book of Destiny – Unlocking the Secrets of the Ancient Mayans and the Prophecy of 2012, by Carlos Barrios (published in 2009). [1] [2]. 
  2. The Mayan Prophecies – The Renewal of the World 2012 – 2072, by Kenneth Johnson, (published in 2012).
  3. The Maya Katun Prophecies, by Bruce Scofield (article: Alternate Perceptions, 1996).
  4. The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, by Ralph Roys (published in 1933).
  5. The Long and Short of the Mayan Calendar (Published in The Mountain Astrologer, Dec 2004 /Jan 2005) By Bruce Scofield

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Plaza A with Structure A1, Cahal Pech, San Ignacio, Belize. Photo by JJM (2015)



Explorer, Philosopher, Photographer


  1. Josh Gross | The Jaguar

    An incredibly fascinating read, as always. It does seem that we are headed for major external and internal changes, although I fear that in the short term this will be catastrophic for what we refer to as civilization. But I suppose that if enough of us become active participants in the current transition, then the medicine will be easier to swallow.

    I admit, it does often feel like I’m being swept along on a path that I can only partly control. I can’t help but be carried downstream, but the current is just weak enough that I can keep my head above water and guide myself to the opposite shore. Following my time in Belize, however, there have been bizarre developments that I could never have foreseen.

  2. Jean-Jacques

    Josh, thank you for your thoughts and feedback – they are appreciated, as always. The issue with our civilisation – “civilisation as we know it” – is that it’s built on and relies on resources that are not infinite – in particular: fossil fuels. When that starts running out we are going to not have much of a choice but to revert to more simple living.

    At the moment modern civilisation is in many ways very negative for the plant (pollution, contamination, over-exploitation, deforestation and driving some species to extinction).

    I think if we can acknowledge and admit that we have designed our civilisation with no resilience built into it to deal with resource depletion, then maybe we can see all the changes that will come about not as negative, but as positive and a great opportunity to correct our ways. In the very least we can start brain-storming ways to adjust – that in itself is already doing something positive and constructive.

    To a large extent all of us will be swept along regardless, but by making preparations for the upcoming changes people can avoid some of the worst negative effects. (More on this later).

    I very much look forward to hearing more about your time in Belize and it would also be interesting to hear how things have developed since your return.

  3. Thrifty Campers

    Agree. There is something to that light can be shed from darkness. Sometimes in order to see the light, we have to be in darkness so to speal. Great post?

  4. John Harris

    Well written, informative and inspirational read. I see close parallels and co-relation in the prophecies of my Faith so this I relate to very much.

    It reminds us to remain awake and mindful of our responsibilities as humans and that even though it seems like nothing is really happening, it really is and is part of a much larger plan.

    Thank you so much.

  5. Pingback: Paradigm Shifts in the Age of Polarity | Gypsy Café

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