The Maya

An Examination of Their Religious Views
and Their Prophecies

December, 2009

Allen J. Christenson
Dennis Tedlock
David A. Freidel
David Stuart

Michael D. Carrasco

Copies To:
Brian M. Stross
Kerry M. Hull
Michael John Finley
Various other individuals


Decades ago I did a cursory and superficial examination of the ancient Maya. I then forgot them until the past few months. I was spurred on to a reexamination by a young man in Mexico City named Luis Conde. Not until I dove into the recent publications on the Maya did I realize the significance of their ancient work. Tremendous work has been done over the intervening forty years. We not only have made many new discoveries, we have learned mostly how to read their strange glyphs.

The heart of the concern to Luis was the filling of the Long Count after 5,000 years, at the end of 2012. And then oddly, at the winter solstice.

But first to other matters.

I learned that the Maya:

  • Remembered a super-human personality who started them on the road to higher cultural developments: Kukulcan (Quetzalcoatl).
  • As a primitive stone-age people had learned to read and write. The Maya are noted for the only known, fully developed, written language of the pre-Columbian Americas. This means they were the only New World civilization that could write everything they could say. No other culture in the New World developed such a system.
  • Had the most sophisticated calendar in the world, superior to any other known, from any other culture.
  • Until destroyed by the Spanish in the 16th century, maintained public records that remembered, although highly distorted, very ancient ages of our planet.
  • Were deeply religious, even though clinging to primitive social habits of human sacrifice. Their world-view recognized and related to a retinue of celestial personalities, coupled with an understanding of spiritual forces in creation. Unfortunately, we in the western world identified that phenomenon as pagan idolatry. Only with the publication of such works as Maya Cosmos are we beginning to come to grips with the religious depth of that ancient civilization.
  • Believed in, and preserved, prophecies about our world. These were not the ravings of ecstatic personalities induced by neurotic or psychological states, but true prophecy, describing the destiny of our world. They truly believed in divine destiny.

I used the following:

  • Popul Vuh, Translation and Commentary: Sacred Book of the Quichť Maya People by Allen J. Christenson, 2007 (PVC). See also Popul Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life: with commentary based on the ancient knowledge of the modern Quiche Maya, translated by Dennis Tedlock, 1986 (PVT).
  • The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, by Ralph L. Roys, Carnegie Institution, Washington D.C., 1933.
  • The Codex Piro and the Book of Chilam Balam of Mani, Translated and Edited by Eugene R. Craine and Reginald C. Reindorp, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1979.
  • The Book of Chilam Balam of Tizimin, Munro S. Edmonson, University of Texas Press, Austin, 1982.
  • Various books by Linda Schele and collaborators.
  • Before Columbus, Cyrus Gordon, Crown Publishers, New York, 1971.
  • Numerous other sources.

In the following I offer URLs for readers who may be unfamiliar with finding Internet resources.

Statements of Earth History

An estimate of the wealth of information available to show the cultural and religious knowledge of the ancient Maya can be obtained by some statements from the Popul Vuh. As I read through the texts I realized the difficulties in translation, and the ease with which the images invoked by the original writers could be confused, especially if we come to the texts with preconceived notions. One such notion is that primitive societies developed through purely evolutionary forces and were untouched by higher outside influences. Hence their religious expression could only be pagan idolatry. Refer to the following Internet sources from Allen J. Christenson and Dennis Tedlock.

  • One World Language

  • Christenson pg 194: There they looked for the coming forth of the sun, when they had one common language. This one common language was not one common Mayan language, but one common world language. This was a lingua franca, a second language that was implanted upon and modified the local tribal languages. It was to become the common language of the world, but a Rebellion disrupted that plan. Christenson plainly shows this universal world background. As he states from the text, This they did for a long time there among the magueys; among the black people and the white people, the people of many appearances and many tongues. Tedlock offers this, pg 83: They did this for a long time, when they were there in the grasslands: black people, white people, people of many faces, people of many languages, uncertain, there at the edge of the sky.

  • This shows an administration of the planet that was above and beyond the evolutionary races, from outside of the world. It had celestial origins. Note that the Maya were acquainted with the colored races, black and white.

  • Physical Miracles

  • Christenson pg 208: It was not clear how they passed over the sea to come here . . . The water divided itself and through it they made their passage here.

  • Tedlock, pg 88: . . . They crossed over as if there were no sea. They just crossed over on some stones, stones piled up in the sand. And they gave it a name: Rock Rows, Furrowed Sands was their name for the place where they crossed through the midst of the sea. Where the waters divided, they crossed over.

  • Although these statements are highly puzzling other similar statements from other cultures, show super-mortal assistance to the people of Earth. One may be found in Exodus 14. Another may be found in Cherokee Indian myths.

  • See
  • This means that extraordinary interference in the affairs of certain people became necessary under unusual circumstances. A superior intelligence deemed it important to extract them from dangerous situations. This importance stemmed from their role in a divine destiny plan.
  • New World Physical Age
  • Christenson pg 213: This therefore is the dawn, the appearance of the sun, moon, and stars. pg 216: There it was that the sun, moon, and stars truly appeared. Everything on the face of the earth and beneath the sky had its dawn and became clear. Christenson, note 599, states that Throughout Mesoamerica the first dawn of the sun is a symbol, not only for the birth of a new age . . .
  • Tedlock, pg 36: THIS WAS WHEN THERE WAS JUST A TRACE OF EARLY DAWN on the face of the earth, there was no sun. But there was one who magnified himself; Seven Macaw is his name. The sky-earth was already there, but the face of the sun-moon was clouded over. Even so, it is said that his light provided a sign for the people who were flooded. He was like a person of genius in his being.
  • Seven Macaw would have been a superhuman personality who worked with the earth tribes.
  • The mechanism by which these mysterious remarks can be explained is really quite simple. Scientific evidence shows that the planet went through a great physical change, from a cloud cover over the entire earth, to the atmospheric condition we know today. Prior to this event the sun, moon, and stars could not be seen from the surface of the planet. This event caused the "dawn" of a new physical age. The sun, moon, and stars truly appeared. When this happened the entire earth was flooded, not flooded in the sense of Noah's story, where the entire earth was covered with water, but in the sense that the entire planet saw a great deluge. The moisture contained in the atmosphere suddenly became unstable and poured down as tremendous rain. The ancient Sumerians not only recorded this event, but placed a date on it, some 30,000 years ago.
  • See and
  • Method of Designating Origins
  • Christenson pg 242: We go to the East from where our fathers came . . . These, then, were the names of the three who went across the sea.
  • Tedlock pg 83: We haven't written their names, but they multiplied there, from out of the east. There came to be many peoples in the blackness; they began to abound even before the birth of the sun and the light. When they began to abound they were all there together; they stood and walked in crowds, there in the east.
  • Clearly, the East is a generic term, not a geographical direction. It denotes some location that is foreign, or perhaps celestial, outside the familiar geographical confines of the Mayan culture.

The Prophecies

Statements from The Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, as translated by Ralph Roys, show the nature of their prophecies:

The prophecy of Ah Kuil Chel, the priest (pg 166):

When the end of the katun shall come, Lord, ye shall not understand when it comes. Who shall believe it at the rolling up of the mat of the katun? The end shall come because of misery. It comes from the north, it comes from the west at that time when it shall be, Lord. Who then shall be the priest, who then <shall be> the prophet, who will declare truly the word of the book, Lord, in <Katun> 9 Ahau? Ye shall not understand, <ye people> in every part of the world . . . shall be cleansed of shame. Oh <there was> joy among the rulers, pleasure among the rulers of the land. Acknowledge it in your hearts, ye ItzŠ.

This prophecy tells us plainly that when the end comes we shall not understand. This is the end of the katun (count), the end of the Long Count. This is the rolling up of the Mat of the katun, the Mat of the Day Count. The term Mat here implies the weave of time, the tapestry that has unfolded for thousands of year. Now that tapestry shall be rolled up.

The end of the age shall not come because of great misery; great misery shall face the nations when the end comes. 

Where does the end come from? From the north. From the west. It shall fall from the sky.

Who will be the priest and the prophet to declare truly the word of the Lord, the book of his prophecies? But will you listen? You shall not listen because you do not understand. The entire world shall not understand. Only a few. But God shall give everyone an opportunity to come to decision.

These phrases are strongly reminiscent of phrases from the Hebrew prophecies. That is the book of the Lord. See Isa 29:6, Jer 51:58 (RSV), Ezek 7:7, 7:10, Rev 18:10, and so on. Of prophets we were told, Jer 1:5, Mal 4:5, and so on.

The theme of a great screening of mankind, of those who believe, and those who do not, the separation of the sheep from the goats, runs throughout the Bible.

But then, afterwards, after all the misery, men shall once again enjoy the bounty of the earth, Jer 31:12.

Prophecy of Chilam Balam, (pg 168): ItzamnŠ Kauil shall rise. Our Lord comes, ItzŠ. Our elder brother comes, <oh> men of Tantun. Receive your guests, the bearded men, the men of the east, the bearers of the sign of God, Lord. Good indeed is the word of God that comes to us. The day of our regeneration comes. You do not fear the world, Lord, you are the only God who created us. It is sufficient, then, that the word of God is good, Lord. <He is> the guardian of our souls. He who receives him, who has truly believed, he will go to heaven with him. Nevertheless <at> the beginning were the two-day men.

In the Bible we are told that Michael shall rise at the time of the end, Dan 12:1. But Michael is Jesus. (This fact is unknown to virtually all Christians, and only recently has it been revealed to us. See the Urantia Papers, the Urantia Foundation, Chicago, 1955.) Hence we may refer to him as Michael Jesus. He is the Creator. Our Creator lived on earth as a man. Because he lived among us many Christians regard Jesus, the Creator, as their elder brother.

Itzamna Kauil is the Maya Creator. He shall rise just as Michael Jesus shall rise. He lived as a man, as Kauil, just as Jesus lived as a man. He now comes, not as man, Kauil or Jesus, but as God, Itzamna or Michael. Itzamna Kauil is the Lord; Michael Jesus is the Lord. Itzamna Kauil is the Maya elder brother.

When he comes (rises or returns to this earth) the bearded men, two prophets, will also come, bearing the sign of God. While we may say that later Maya writers mixed Christian and Mayan images in this passage, they could not have mixed concepts that are unknown among Jews and Christians to this day. The Maya understood that when these bearded men would come this would be the word of God coming to the whole world. Then would come the regeneration of men. This would not be the regeneration of the gross populations of the world who refuse to believe, but those few who then would dedicate themselves to their Creator. These bearded men would bring that regeneration. Those people who sincerely believe in Itzamna-Kauil, Michael-Jesus, those who receive him in their hearts and in their minds, will go to heaven to be with him there.

The two-day men are all those political leaders who come and go so quickly.

Expansion of these prophecies requires extensive discussion, not permissible here.

Please understand that I do not know the Mayan dialects, nor do I know Spanish, and must rely on English translations. Everything that I offer here is conditioned by this limitation.

As I work on and complete this series of papers I shall send you the URLs.