A Pyramid Window with a View – Xunantunich, Belize [Photo by JJM, 2015]

In front of them lie the bright foundations of a New World. Those who have managed to traverse the Valley of Shadows in advance have become transformed by the process. They are now able to add their unique individual building blocks to the foundations of a bright New World while the Old World continues to crumble  behind them.

The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

The evolutionary drive of humans seems to know no bounds, to the extent that it would override obvious resource limits when it comes to material growth. Yet, many indigenous peoples around the world have willingly continued to live within their natural resource boundaries and have continued to do so even during our very materialistic times. 

This phenomenon is very likely by design, because for there to be built-in species’ resilience on the planet some foundational cultures need to remain in place in the event of advanced civilizations collapsing. Wiser and simpler ways of living would then still be in place that could be emulated or returned to until new civilizations rise again.

An overlap of civilizations, cultures and communities, with different levels of complexity as a feature, has resulted in the weaving of a rich tapestry that is the history of human progress and development.  For such continuous diversity to unfold, natural breaks in continuity between the rise and fall of civilizations would need to occur from time to time.

Timeline of Ancient Civilisations
Fig 1 – Timeline of Ancient Civilisations [click to enlarge] © Parthenongraphics.com 

Each civilization has a timeline that matches its life cycle. In the same way that humans are powerfully driven to build grand civilizations, civilizations eventually run out of steam and peter out or collapse spectacularly due to forces apparently beyond their control. The Classic Maya civilization and the Roman Empire were cases in point.

The best that could be done when facing a collapse scenario, it would seem, is to aim for a soft landing or a slow decline rather than being caught up in a sudden and destructive unwinding of a complex system.  

Keeping an eye out for signs of collapse would always be a wise thing to do and, when they appear, planning accordingly would be the prudent thing to do. However, knowing what to plan for would require an expansive big picture view that would ideally also offer some kind of road map for the future.

Energy Mapping

A big picture view of growth and decline would require a framework that could measure not only material growth, but also human growth in terms of the rise and fall of human consciousness. It is, after all, human consciousness that directs the rise and fall of civilizations.

Such frameworks do exist; they can be found in ancient metaphysical energy-measuring and energy-tracking systems. One such system is the collection of ancient Mesoamerican calendar systems from Central America, composed of numerous overlapping and interlocking calendar cogs and wheels that measure different evolutionary cycles, processes and phenomena. The Maya calendars are the most well-known amongst the  Mesoamerican calendars (as explored in previous chapters.)

The Vedic Great Year

Another such framework is the 24,000-year procession of the equinoxes’ cycle known as the Vedic Great Year from ancient India, as interpreted by the Hindu Swami Sri Yukteswar Giri in his acclaimed book “The Holy Science” published in 1894. In this book, he sets out to correct an error that was made in the calculation of world ages during the Kali Yuga Dark Age (at the time, all ages were erroneously multiplied by 360) [1].


Fig 2 – The Vedic Great Year Yuga Spiral

In the Vedic Great Year – which is a combined circular and cyclic system – evolutionary processes flow outwards and downwards from the spiritual source at the top of the cycle into material growth for the first half of the cycle. In Theosophy, this process is described as a descent of spirit into matter and is known as involution [2].

During the second half of the Great Year, after crossing the halfway mark at the bottom of the cycle (which would mark a spiritual low point and a material high point), evolutionary processes start flowing upwards again, this time inwards back towards the original source at the top of the cycle.

This happens through ever-diminishing material growth and ever-increasing spiritual growth as the growth process moves along the ascending arc. In Theosophy, this process is described as an ascent of spirit out of matter and is known as evolution [2].

The shift point from involution to evolution happened in the year AD 498 at the very bottom of the Great Year which marked a low point for human consciousness. Notably, the collapse of the Roman Empire concluded around that time.

Energy Overshoot

We are presently [in 2018] 1,520 years into the 12,000-year ascending arc of the Vedic Great Year [3]. The good news is that we are evolving out of matter as we speak and that we have been doing so for quite some time. On the surface of it, however, it would appear to be the other way around, i.e. that the world is devolving further into matter and materialism, and that is because we are deep into energy overshoot.

The Four Yugas

Each 12,000-year half cycle of the Great Year is segmented into four distinct ages, each with its own characteristics: an Iron Age known as Kali Yuga (2,400 years), a Bronze Age known as Dwapara Yuga (2,400 years), a Silver Age known as Treta Yuga (3,600 years) and a Golden Age known as Satya Yuga (4,800 years) [4].


Fig. 3 – The Vedic Great Year Cycle

The Golden Age at the top is the most spiritual age of all; the Iron Age at the bottom is the most materialistic; the Bronze Age has a more subtle materialism; and the Silver Age is quite light in materialism. The higher you go, the less influence material energy has; and the lower you go, the more materialistic it becomes.

The Golden Age at the top and the Iron Age at the bottom of the cycle are ‘cut in half’ by the symbolic shift points from ascending to descending energy and vice versa respectively [See Fig. 3 – Yuga Cycle: descending on right, ascending on left].

To recap: Spiritual energy has its strongest concentration in the top half of the Great Year, covering both the ascending and descending arcs, and material energy has its strongest concentration in the bottom half of the Great Year, covering both arcs, too.

Kali Yuga, the Iron Age, had already been active on the descending arc for 1,200 years prior to the involution to evolution shift point in AD 498. It then progressed upwards on the ascending arc for another 1,200 years until the year 1698 when our present age, Dwapara Yuga, commenced. We have been in this Bronze Age of Dwapara Yuga for 320 years at the time of writing in 2018 [3].

Energy Transitions

As we have learned in previous chapters, all cyclical energy systems have transition phases from one age to the next which cause energy overlap. In the Great Year, these transition phases are known as sandhis – and they take around 200 years to complete.

Dwapara Yuga that started in 1698 (around AD 1700) only became fully active, therefore, 200 years later in the year 1898 (around AD 1900.) This means that, energy-wise, we have only been in it fully for 120 years since the 200-year transition phase was completed. Our Bronze Age is, therefore, still at a very young age and still in the process of ‘growing up’ [See Fig 2: ‘Yuga Spiral’].

This is significant in terms of pinpointing where we are, because it shows that in the big scheme of things we have only just recently stepped out of the Vedic Dark Age (the very materialistic Kali Yuga Iron Age.) In addition, even though the 200-year sandhi was completed 120 years ago, our Dwapara Yuga is still to a large extent under the influence of Kali Yuga (which will be illustrated in detail in a future installment.)

Built into the Cycle

In the overall context of the Vedic Great Year, we can thus observe that material overshoot is, in fact, built into the cycle. In a general sense, that would mean that we are still metaphysically bound by materialism, because – as noted before – materialism dominates most of the bottom half of the Great Year, covering both the descending and ascending arcs.

As Above, So Below

The universe is governed by energy, and the metaphysical configuration of the energy influences what happens materially. The strong tendency for humans to be materialistic is thus explained by this phenomenon – it is due to the influence of metaphysical material energy on human consciousness.

As material energy weakens gradually on the ascending arc of the Great Year, it will incrementally fade out. That will happen to the extent that social, societal and civilizational structures based solely on materialism will start to crumble (we have already entered such a state.)  New systems that are more in line with the new incoming energy configuration would then be required to take the place of the old structures.

However, a gap may develop between the collapsing of old systems and the establishing of new ones due to the energy still being in flux, which could make it difficult for anything of a lasting nature to form. Once the energy has settled, new structures should be able to form naturally. In the meantime, we are in an old-paradigm overshoot – intellectually, philosophically and spiritually speaking – while the seeds of new growth are still forming.

The Great Year Within

It’s worth noting at this point that within every individual resides a symbolic Vedic Great Year. Individuals can be at different levels of spirituality and materialism than the general position would indicate in the Great Year. Some people could still be living in Kali Yuga, while others may have progressed much further along the ascending arc.

The Great Shift

As energy continues to shift upwards, it will become increasingly difficult to hold on to the old paradigm. The more individuals start focusing on inner growth – which is what The Great Shift is all about – the closer they will bring humanity into line with the naturally evolving direction of energy growth that is taking place in the universe, which is a shift from material growth to spiritual growth. 

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

Copyright © 2018 · All Rights Reserved · Gypsy Café

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

[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: http://energyshifts.net/

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Holy_Science
[2] http://davidpratt.info/cyclicevo.htm
[3] All calculations were made according to the Yuga timeline dates and shift points listed in: Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33.
[4] Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33.

  • Bibliography & Further Reading
    Astrological World Cycles by Tara Mata (Laurie Pratt) Published in Serial Format in 1932-33:
    [download-attachment id=”5282″ title=”Astrological World Cycles (Pdf)”]
  • The Sacred Tree – The Daiva Yugas and The World Cycles of Human Evolution:
    [download-attachment id=”5283″ title=”The Sacred Tree (Pdf)”]

Recommended Documentary
The Great Year by The Yuga Project LLC [full length version below]


Explorer, Philosopher, Photographer


  1. Debra

    Jacques – I really love this article, all pieces and parts of it. Thank you so much for sharing from all the resources you’ve studied. I really related to the concept of overshoot. All the concepts covered are an awesome delivery of Chicchan energy. Your photograph is beautiful and really captures a moment. As always, feels like standing there.

    I intend to share with a title, credit and link posted so others can benefit from this wisdom and also see your photo from Belize. I’m curious about anything you may know about Ek’ Balam. Elders say there are specific reasons to visit one pyramid or another.

    Thank you.
    in lak’ech, Debra

    • Jean-Jacques

      Hi Debra, thank you very much for your comment, it’s
      greatly appreciated. I have put a lot of work into this
      article and in fact there was so much information to try
      and fit into one chapter that a lot of rewrites were
      involved, but with a comment such as yours it was all
      worth it! I’m glad I have pulled it off and that it all
      fits together.

      That would be great if you share it around – Muchas gracias!
      I have no specific knowledge on Ek’ Balam as I’ve not
      visited the Maya sites in Mexico yet, but from my experience
      of visiting Maya sites in Guatemala, Belize and Honduras is
      that every site is unique and has its own energy, character,
      atmosphere and history – and they all leave a lasting

      Yes, that goes for the pyramids too. At some of them I spent much
      more time than at others. I have some great photos from this
      particular pyramid in the featured photo and there were two very
      synchronistic events that happened there that I will perhaps
      share at a later time. In a sense each pyramid has the power of
      personal revelations and insights. I hope you manage to plan a
      trip to Mexico soon!

      Thank you Debra
      in lak’ech,

      • Debra

        Happy Mayan Birthday! I wrestled over when it was Tone 8 or 9. Either one seems more powerful 4 rounds later. I am just now seeing a reply that didn’t come through my email, so glad I stopped by.

        Thanks for your insights on the locations. The dream has been twisting and turning all over the place, and I believe I have the courage to go alone if it’s meant to be a solo Jaguar journey.

        Blessings to you for a new round of blessings. love, in lak’ech, Debra

        • Jean-Jacques

          Thanks so much Debra! It’s 8! Just got
          this now. You are very welcome. I really
          hope it’s a Dream Come True! Already
          looking forward to reading all about
          it! 🙂

          in lak’ech,

          • Debra

            Thanks Jacques! Now that I’m more familiar with Chicchan, that’s a lot of energy going on with your Kin. This has been such an energetic 2 trecenas.


  2. Josh Gross

    This is a very engaging post, Jacques; I’ve never heard to Vedic Great Year’s before. It’s interesting, though, that the Mayan and Vedic ‘calendar’ systems both claim that we’re in similar stages energy-wise.

  3. Jean-Jacques

    Josh, thanks for the feedback. It was my research about the nature of the shift that we are going through that lead me to delve into the Yuga Cycles and The Great Year . It is indeed amazing how they are aligned in some respects. On the other hand they also seem to measure different aspects of energy changes.

    Having more than one system to refer to for world changes is very useful in the context of this series. In the next chapter I will be using both the Maya Calendars and Great Year to look at present and future material energy transitions, i.e. fossil fuels & renewables – and how that would affect us. I was going to include all of it in this article, but it would have been too long and would have been too much information all at once.

    I have added a clip of a short interview with Gregg Braden above (below the post) where he explains the correlation of the Maya Calendars and the Great Year and also how that relates to the changes we are going through – worth watching.
    The Great Year documentary above I think also provides for greater understanding in how the energy processes in the universe work.

  4. Katharine Otto

    You’ve been silent awhile. This is an engaging post, obviously well researched. I watched both videos and was struck by the correlations with astrology, too. The precession of the equinoxes correlates with the astrological ages, as mentioned in one of the videos. The Age of Aquarius, which we are entering now, is a 2000-2,400-year cycle that is linked with technological and scientific advancement, electronics, “higher mind” communication, including mental telepathy, and the brotherhood of man.

    Interestingly, Aquarius is co-ruled by Saturn and Uranus, planets of structure and chaos, respectively. I interpret this to mean it will necessitate flexible structure within chaos.

    Your comments about material energy, such as fossil fuels, suggests to me we need to find new ways of relating to energy, meaning slowing down and being more conservative in our use and demand. For instance, it seems most energy is used in transportation and shipping, to serve materialistic ends. People seem in a frenzied hurry to move from place to place, to what purpose? In other words, I think we need to show respect for the energy itself and not waste it in such frivolities as consumerism and single-use packaging. In Uruguay you have the luxury of a simpler lifestyle than we have in the US.

    Finally, the take-home message for me is that we each individually have the capacity to grow in understanding, no matter what the spiritual cycle of the planet.

  5. Jean-Jacques

    Katherine, thank you for your comment and your feedback.
    Your two last paragraphs are very well said and I can only
    fully agree. Yes, in Uruguay things are a bit slower, but
    I have been told that the way of life here used to be much,
    much slower just a decade or two ago, so this little
    country is also speeding up. Fortunately it’s still very
    community and family oriented, which means it has a foundation
    still in place which could be returned to, should it become necessary.

    On the point of The Age of Aquarius – according to Laurie Pratt (aka
    Tara Mata), the author or ‘Astrological World Cycles’ – the main source
    that I used for my article – The Age of Aquarius will only start later
    in Dwapara Yuga, our present Bronze Age, about 620 years from now, more
    or less. You can download the file [Astrological World Cycles Pdf] from
    the ‘Bibliography & Further Reading’ below the article – have a look at
    Page 56, – see paragraph 1.

    However, this Bronze Age is known as ‘the electric age’ and the ‘age of
    the atom’ and the The Age of Aquarius will start during this Bronze Age –
    I would interpret that as being the time when the higher, more advanced
    characteristics of the energy will be activated. So, although we have
    already seen a lot of technological and scientific advancement and
    electronics, these developments happened under the material influence of
    Kali Yuga. There are much higher level developments to come, but for the
    moment those developments are beyond our reach. Virtually all of our
    present technologies rely on energy derived from fossil fuels, so most
    likely it will be ‘back to the drawing board’ as we run out of especially
    liquid fossil fuels in future decades.

    Most likely the “higher mind” communication, including mental telepathy,
    and the brotherhood of man that you refer to will all come to pass and
    will develop later in the age as well – and all of this is in fact
    predicted to happen during Dwapara Yuga, so it correlates very well
    with what is said to be the characteristics of the Age of Aquarius,
    it’s just that we are not quite there yet… but we are on our way!

    Always a pleasure to discuss with you Katherine – have been quiet lately,
    doing research and writing this article, which I have found much more
    interesting and fulfilling than engaging in all the identity politics
    going around.

  6. Richard

    The idea of the rise and fall of civilizations throughout earth history being governed by great cycles of materialistic and spiritual energy that influence our levels of consciousness is fascinating. Where did they learn such advanced knowledge? It wasn’t until the 1920’s that Edward Hubble showed that the Milky Way was just one galaxy.

    The fact that the Vedic Great Year and Mayan Calendars are so similar is striking. My feeling is that the Mayans and Indians both learned of the Great Year from a common source – one that they were both part of in the distant past before migrating to Mesoamerica and India – such as the ancient lost continent of Mu (known as Kumari Kandam in India) who in turn learned of the great year from the ‘sky people’ who feature so strongly in the Anasazi and Mayan cultures and mythology.

    • Jean-Jacques

      Richard, thanks for your input. Fascinating indeed! The idea that there could have been humans centuries ago that were much more advanced than us boggles the mind, because most people are linear-thinkers. We don’t have a cyclical framework in order to naturally conceptualize the rise and fall of consciousness which would mean the rise and fall of intelligence too.

      What is fascinating is if we look at the time the Roman Empire collapsed – it coincided with human consciousness dropping to its lowest point. One can imagine that under such circumstances people lost the capacity to maintain such an advanced civilization as consciousness continued to diminish.

      Interestingly the period of Enlightenment in Europe started up just after Kali Yuga ended, around 1750 – so just as consciousness started rising again metaphysically, it manifested in practice: ” *to advance ideals like liberty, progress, tolerance, fraternity, constitutional government and separation of church and state” [*quoted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment ]
      More thoughts on this in my next chapter.

      I think you may be right about all of the knowledge coming from a common knowledge source that reigned during the previous Golden Age on the descending arc of the Great Year.
      In ‘The Book of Destiny’ by Carlos Barrios, a Maya Priest and spokesperson, he explains that the Mayans are descendants of a mother civilization called Tula (or Tulan) – and this civilization was located on a continent, now gone, in the middle of the Atlantic – and it was the mother civilization of tribes i n India, Tibet, part of the Mediterranean and North Africa.

      Amazing stuff – thanks for visiting!

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