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A Man Who Changed the Spiritual World—Twice

This post was written by Donald Michael Kraig
on March 25, 2011 | Comments (0)

The year was 1987. For over 15 years, an unusual astrological alignment had been predicted to begin on August 16–17:

  • The Sun, Moon, Mars and Venus were in alignment, what astrologers call a conjunction, at the first degree of Virgo
  • Mercury was at the fourth degree of Virgo, within the “orb of influence” of the four-planet conjunction
  • Jupiter was in Aries, about 180 degrees from the massive conjunction.
  • Saturn and Uranus were in Sagittarius, about 90 degrees between both the massive conjunction and Jupiter.
  • This made what astrologers call a “Grand Trine,” one of the most amazing such formations in history, involving eight of astrology’s eleven planets (the famous nine plus the Sun and Moon)

Astounding as this formation was, one man focused on something else. Through his studies of the Mayan calendar, he determined that the end of a massive Mayan “hell cycle” would take place a week later (a mere second in astrological terms) on August 24, ushering in a new cycle of universal peace. He talked about this in his new book, The Mayan Factor. His name: José Argüelles.

Argüelles was everywhere, actively promoting this special period which became known as the “Harmonic Convergence.” He was frequently on T.V. and radio (this was before the internet became big). He was quoted in newspapers and magazines. In fact, if not for Argüelles’ constant publicity on the importance of the Harmonic Convergence, it’s quite likely that nobody would have heard of it.

José Argüelles
January 2010, Cancun, Mexico

The Harmonic Convergence became a spiritual phenomenon and a media frenzy. Groups gathered at “power centers” such as Mt. Shasta in California and Mt. Fuji in Japan. Some people thought it was the end of the world. Others believed it was merely the end of the old world’s consciousness and the beginning of a new era. Spiritually, the world changed, and Argüelles was more responsible for pointing out this change than any other individual.

Another Change

Argüelles was a rare individual. He had a Ph.D in art history and taught at many schools including Princeton. He was one of the originators of Earth Day and founded the first Earth Day festival in Davis, California, in 1970. He was known as an artist, author, and educator.

It is rare for a person to be able to usher in a spiritual change. It is even more rare when a person could be the harbinger of two major spiritual changes. Such a man was Argüelles.

You see, his book and ideas didn’t (obviously!) mark the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar. Rather, they marked the beginning of a different counting. Known as the “long count,” Argüelles believed that the true metaphoric end of the current world, along with such things as war, materialism, violence, injustice, oppression, etc., would be ushered in at this time.  A new cycle of spirituality lasting 5,125 years would begin. The date of this end of the current calendar: December 21, 2012.

This has resulted in an amazing phenomenon. The more believing see this date as the physical end of the world. The more mystically-minded see this as a time of enormous spiritual change. It is causing an enormous furor which, as we move toward that date, will only intensify.

A lot of people talk about change. Few people actually instigate it. Argüelles was such a man, a thinker and a doer, a true achiever. He instigated a spiritual change for the world in 1987 and another for this year. His legacy of creation includes Earth Day.

Born in 1939, José Argüelles died after a brief illness on March 23, 2011. Thank you for sharing your time with us, José. Rest in peace.

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