The Classic Mayan Culture, and Why They Were Different

By Sandra Weaver

mayan culture kukulcan pyramid

The Classic Mayan culture is responsible for the controversial calendar end-date of December 21, 2012.

Many today took this as a doomsday prophecy heralding in the end of the world. The Maya's message was quite the opposite.

The sophisticated members of the Classic Mayan culture were spiritual avatars...They came to earth to educate the native people of Central America on their advanced mathematics and cosmic knowledge. Their purpose was to prepare the earth for a historic alignment slated to occur on December 21, 2012. On this day the earth and it's inhabitants will have the opportunity to rise in spiritual consciousness. Hmmmm....... Now that I’m put my feeling right up front, I’ll reveal compelling reasons why I feel this is true through the research of Mayan archaeologist and scholars.

"By the time the tenth cycle, Baktun 9 drew to a close, A.D. 830, the galactic masters had already gone...The time of darkness was swiftly approaching. The cities were quickly abandoned...What the harmonic patterns indicated was a period of increasing "density". From the perspective of harmonic resonance, density is the inability to perceive with the whole body the harmonic frequencies and their overtones. What this amounts to is the advent of materialism, a belief system supported by a powerful fear of death." The Mayan Factor, Jose Arguelles

I'm going to tell you something Cortez was not aware of when he conquered the Maya...There were two different eras of Maya. The Classic Mayan culture is not the Maya known for sacrifices and wars...those were the Post-Classic Maya. There’s a distinct break and differences between them.

Let’s start by exploring the history of the Classic Mayan culture?

“Archaeologists place the emergence of the Maya no earlier than the first few centuries before Christ and the birth of Mesoamerican civilization itself at about 1200 BC.” Jaguar Wisdom, Kenneth Johnson

There is some dispute over the beginning of the Classic period, but this is the widely held belief. The Classic Maya culture era was from at least A.D 200-830. The Post-Classic Maya period was from A.D. 1000 till the Spanish conquest began in the 1500’s. There’s over a hundred years break between them. I will tell you why later.

The Classic Mayan culture period in Mesoamerica shows the development of the arts, science, urbanization, architecture, writing skills, and social organization. Other achievements were the refining of the calendars, hieroglyphic script, mathematics and cosmology. The original Council Book called the Popul Vuh was most likely written at this time as well. I believe it was hidden before the Spanish descended upon the Post-Classic Maya. The Classic Mayan culture also refined and revered the Mesoamerican representative of the vital energy force within us all called Quetzalcoatl or Kukulcan, the Feathered Serpent deity.

"With surprising suddenness, a true civilization appeared, seemingly out of nowhere. Around 1200 B.C., large ceremonial centers began to be erected along the Gulf Coast in what is now the southern part of the state of Veracruz." Jaguar Wisdom, Kenneth Johnson

Archaeologists believe the Mayan culture developed exclusively within the Americas. It appears no cultural influences came from outside of this area. They were every much a self-contained group. Goods were traded freely amongst other Mesoamerican societies.

Of all ancient peoples, the Mayan culture had the most advanced and sophisticated writing style. They even used "zero" in their numerical system, which is unique compared to other ancient cultures. It took a few centuries, but the Mayan writing style has for the most part been deciphered. What's been revealed is an extremely sophisticated ancient culture.

These earlier Maya were in many ways more advanced in mathematics and cosmology than we are today.

As fortunate would have it, the ancient Maya told us their own amazing story. They documented their history and future for us. I feel this was all intentional so we would find and seek to understand their purpose for being here.

They had a highly developed hieroglyphic writing and mathematical system. And, their messages are carved in stone pillars called stelae, pottery, murals, as well as on their buildings complete with dates. Later on during the Post-Classic period the Maya also wrote on folded bark paper, called codices. The Spaniards destroyed all but four of these manuscripts.

What surprised Sylvanus Morley, a renowned Maya scholar, was how the Classic Maya lived in apparent harmony.

"A near absence of warfare and evidence of wide trade in religious and luxury items, probably used in ceremonies, also argue against repressive tendencies in government. This remarkably smooth-running yet informal style of government must have depended upon a placid and well-adjusted citizenry, who held a remarkably unanimous opinion as to proper behavior...There is evidence of at least one probably several rather sharply drawn cultural frontiers in the Yucatan Peninsula during the second half of the Classic stage, and there seems every reason to believe that political boundaries coincided with them. These suggestions of Maya turmoil do not, however, negate the picture of surprising homogeneity and comparative tranquility in the central Maya during Classic times." The Ancient Maya, Sylvanus Morley

By our standards, the Classic Mayan culture was a congenial group. They had a common purpose, which was to study, calculate, calibrate and analyze information they gleaned from the cosmos. When cultures have a common goal they work together. It’s that simple. Unlike Morley, this is where I feel the relative calm lifestyles came from...cooperation to achieve a mutual goal.

They also were governed by king/shamans who had the best interests of their citizenry and the world at heart. They were not an oppressive ruling class, but an "informal style of government." Morley’s statement shows, the sophisticated and spiritually evolved mentality of the Classic Mayan culture. One of the reasons they were so cohesive is the Maya considered the earth metaphorically, to be a body, and everything else including themselves, were cells within her. Their common goal was planetary spiritual ascension, which included a rise in consciousness for all people. After all they are a part of the earth.

Their entire focus in life was on the cosmos and how the night sky was a mirror of what happened on earth.

The Classic Mayan culture were not warriors. Nor did they perform much in the way of sacrifices to the gods. Which is not to say it didn’t happen. The murals of Bonampak dated in the Late Classic stage around A.D. 790, shows a scene of a single battle and prison taking. Nowhere on Bonampak murals or writing does it indicate any human sacrifice from this battle.

"Though there are depictions of what appear to be captives in the late Classic stage, in all of their sculpture there are virtually no scenes of warfare. And, when the Maya began building their astronomical-ceremonial centers in stone late in the eighth baktun (A.D. 200-400), the system of hieroglyphs and mathematics is fully formed, perfect in every detail. There is little evidence of formative states, or trials and errors; it is a complete system of notations, mathematics, and astronomical calculations with an accompanying highly developed hieroglyphic code." Mayan Factor, Jose Arguelles

It was like the evolved members of the Classic Mayan culture dropped out of nowhere onto Mesoamerica complete with their advanced mathematics and cosmology.

This is exactly what I feel happened. The ancient natives of Mesoamerica were primitive and unorganized. These spiritual avatars or evolved beings would have been an amazing sight. They brought their advanced knowledge and educated the people improving their lives. It was done in the name of spiritual ascension of the planet.

The Pre-Classic and Classic Mayan cultures were obsessed with the cosmos and realized that the sky changed slowly. This is called precession. It’s caused by a slight wobble in the earth’s axis. The Maya were able to predict these changes and see how the background sky changed in conjunction with the foreground. These changes told a story of what would happen on earth. As below.

Their ceremonial centers were built in relation to the cosmos, and were most likely abandoned after a period of time, because precession caused the desired cosmic picture to become obsolete and unacceptable.

Their lives purpose was to observe the cosmic changes that affected the earth. They had to have a location that accurately, gave them the readings they needed. On some ceremonial sites it’s obvious the Maya moved the earthly focal point of observation within the site many times to continue to gain the cosmic perspective they desired. These sites were eventually abandoned. Their usefulness was obsolete.

During the second half of their heyday the building of religious sites accelerated till about A.D 790 when activity started to decline. The Classic Mayan centers at Copan, Piedras Negra, Yaxchilan, and Palenque were built at this time. Then a rapid decline occurred until A.D. 889 when building ended. The Long Count calendar inscriptions ceased, as well as other ceremonial activities. The end of the Classic Mayan culture heyday is much more obvious than the beginning.

The Classic Mayan culture perfected the Long Count calendar created by the ceremonial center Izapa. Everything they recorded was backed up with the full version date from this calendar as well as from the Tzolkin and the Haab calendars. After the collapse of the Classic Mayan culture era an over a hundred year period of silence occurred. Around the year A.D. 1000 the Post-Classic Maya found their voice again, but now they sang out of a different song book.

"Then, with the transition from Baktun 9 to Baktun 10, A.D. 830, came the abrupt decline or disappearance of the Classic Maya. At the end of the tenth century A.D. when the curtain goes up again on the Maya, or rather on the descendants of the Maya, it is an altogether different scene..." Mayan Factor, Jose Arguelles

Building activity virtually stopped for about a hundred years and when it resumed again around A.D. 1000 there were many changes.

So what happened starting 830 A.D. to cause the, eventual transition to the Post-Classic Maya?

Classic Mayan culture scholars say it could be one or a combination of: warfare, environmental destruction, internal uprising, drought or disease that caused the collapse. There’s no evidence to show any of these was the cause.

Forward thinking scholars do not believe there was a collapse. They believe the Classic Mayan culture were actually spiritual avatars whose time on earth was over. Their work was done. The story of the great spiritual rising opportunity on December 21, 2012 was recorded in stone. They had educated the people on advanced mathematics and cosmology as best they could. Their departure date was written in the stars. It was time to go to another place in the cosmos.


These spiritually evolved avatars, a sophisticated few of the Classic Mayan culture, have baffled the scientific community. Their advanced knowledge of mathematics, the cosmos, and the cycles of the universe appeared out of place with their "economic development." Getting ahead in the world was NOT the focus of the ancient Maya. Their goals were far grander and universal.

"Indeed, taken as a whole, the Baktun 9 Classic Maya centers appear as a veritable cosmic calling card. "Oh, you of the Earth," the monuments seem to sing out to us, "those who built us have been here, appearing as humans, like you, oh Earthlings. Can you not see, can you not understand what it is that we have left for you? Could you but open your eyes without attachment, you would see and know the gift that awaits you." The Mayan Factor, Jose Arguelles

As Arguelles also says, "The Classic Maya were possessed with a distinct mission. Anyone with a mission also has a message...This mission it seems was to place the Earth and its solar system in synchronization with a larger galactic community. That is the meaning of the dates and their accompanying hieroglyphs. Once the purpose had been achieved, for this is the cause and meaning of the intense activity of Baktun 9, the Maya departed – But not all of them."

It appears that some remained behind to act as caretakers, and overseers. They continued to speak of the significance of the different cycles of time. They pointed out the hidden codes or meanings embedded in the Tzolkin calendar that are far more sophisticated and could not be interpreted through the intellect. One of them could have been

Quetzalcoatl the man.

The Classic Mayan culture saw evolution of consciousness not only on an individual level but also on a world level. Each individual must undergo a review of their lives and make adjustments in their values so they coincide with the values of the coming Great Age around 2012. They knew if the earth rose in consciousness, then the entire universe would benefit.

Spiritual ascension of the world was their reason for coming to earth.

World of the Maya, Victor W. Von Hagen
The Ancient Maya, Sylvanus Morley
The Mayan Factor, Jose Arguelles
The Magnificent Maya, Lost Civilizations Series, Time-Life Books
Popul Vuh, Dennis Tedlock
Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, John Major Jenkins
Jaguar Wisdom, Kenneth Johnson
The Maya (Sixth edition ed.). Coe, Michael D.(1999)New York: Thames & Hudson. Baldwin, Niel (1998).
Legends of a Plumed Serpent: Biography of a Mexican God. New York: Public Affairs/BBS.
The Myth of Quetzalcoatl. Baltimore: Florescano, Enrique (1999). Johns Hopkins University Press.

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