Others see the summit as a sort of model for the coming age.
Participants from Asian, North American, South American and European shamanistic traditions amiably mingled with the Mexican hosts.
“This is the beginning of a change in priorities and perceptions. We are all one,” said Esther Romo, a Mexico City businesswoman who works in art promotion and galleries. “No limits, no boundaries, no nationalities, just fusion.”
Still, organizers of Yucatan’s broader Mayan Culture Festival saw the need to answer some of the now-debunked idea that the Mayas, who invented an amazingly accurate calendar almost 2,000 years ago, had somehow predicted the end of the world. The Mayas measured time in 394-year periods known as Baktuns. The 13th Baktun ends around Dec. 21, and 13 is considered a sacred number for the Maya. But archaeologists have uncovered Mayan glyphs that refer to dates far, far in the future, long beyond Dec. 21.
The Yucatan state government invited in a scientist to talk about the work of Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, to debunk the idea it could produce world-ending rogue particles, a concept popularized by author Steve Alten in his recent book Phobos, Mayan Fear.
Alten suggests the rogue particles – “tiny black holes” – could unleash earthquakes that might cause a huge tsunami, but acknowledges that linking such events to Dec. 21 “is author’s license.”
“It’s science fiction theory, I’m a science fiction writer,” he said.
Even as the clock ticks down on the latest doomsday rumor, the European Organization for Nuclear Research has listed a number of odd subatomic phenomena – “magnetic monopoles,” “Vacuum bubbles” and “strangelets” – that could play a role in the next apocalypse scare.
All of it had Mexico City tourist Deyanira de Alvarez amused as she snapped a photo of the countdown clock mounted in the Merida international airport showing just over two days left to “the galactic alignment.”
“My grandmother says that people have been talking about this (the world ending) ever since she was a little girl,” De Alvarez said, “and look, Grandma is still here.”