Bungle in the jungle

A vaunted New Age event creates ugly recriminations



Talk about karma.

The Synthesis 2012 Festival, which marked the end of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, was supposed to be an opportunity to bring spiritually minded people together around the Kukulkan Pyramid in Chichen Itza, Mexico to help usher in a new age of cooperation and goodwill. That was the vision espoused by Executive Producer Michael DiMartino, a Californian who said he had been leading tours in the area for decades and setting up this event for years.Read more »

Reports from the end of the world

In the Yucatan, a New Age fest turns into chaos


TULUM, MEXICO — Sometimes you need to just listen to the universe and the many ways she conspires to set your path. That seems particularly true while visiting the Yucatan to cover the end of the Mayan calendar, the galactic alignment, and the winter solstice. Things at the grand festival that was supposed to be happening did not go according to plan — to say the least.Read more »

Synthesis 2012 Festival marks Mayan date with a creative contribution


The Synthesis 2012 Festival near Chichen Itza, Mexico got off to a rocky start, but by the time the Mayan Long Count calendar ended on Dec. 21, it had transformed into an inspiring example of working through adversity to build community and connect with another culture. Read more »

Waiting for the end of the world (2)


TULUM -- So rather than taking the 2:45pm bus today from Tulum to Chichen Itza for the Synthesis 2012 Festival and tomorrow's end of the Mayan Long Count calendar as planned, my sweetie's bout with some bad ceviche has delayed us by a day.
And frankly, I can't say that I'm disappointed as I hear the stories flowing back from the festival. The universe does indeed seem to give us what we need.Read more »

Was it a great year?


At noon Dec. 19, a group of about 50 housing activists led by the Housing Rights Committee gathered at 18th and Castro, next to the giant Shopping Season Tree, to discuss the wave of evictions tenants are facing at the end of 2012. Tommi Avicolli Mecca held up a list of 26 buildings that are currently being clear of tenants under the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to evict all their tenants and sell the property as a single-family home or tenancies in common. With him was a long line of tenants who are facing holiday homelessness thanks to landlord greed.Read more »

Waiting for the end of the world (1)


TULUM, MEXICO -- The Yucatan is filled with Americans and Europeans who have come for the Dec. 21 end of the Mayan Long Count calendar and/or the end of 2012 next week, and those looking to spend time in paradise before the end have come to Tulum.Read more »

The end of the world as we know it

Pondering the alarmist, the mystical, the way-out-there ... and the surprisingly hopeful sides of Dec. 21, 2012



It's easy to dismiss all the hype surrounding the auspicious date of December 21, 2012. There's the far-out talk of Mayan prophecy and the galactic alignment. There's the pop-culture lens that envisions the apocalypse. There are the extraterrestrials, about to return.

But even the true believers in Mayan folklore and its New Age interpretations say there's no end of the world in sight. Time doesn't end when the Mayan cycle concludes; it's actually a new beginning.Read more »

2012: Don't call it the Apocalypse


There's been growing media coverage of the widely anticipated 12/21/2012 date – which marks the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar, a rare Winter Solstice galactic alignment, and associated New Age predictions – with journalists and skeptics scoffing at doomsday predictions that it will trigger the apocalypse.Read more »

2012: Beginning of the End or a New Beginning


In recent months, I've been exploring the rabbit hole of 2012 prophecy and possibility, a beguiling mixture of myth, spirituality, and hope that humans will finally awaken to the global ecological and economic catastrophes we're creating and make a fundamental shift in our approach, whether that's sparked by cosmic energies or our own earthly intention.Read more »