Bellydancing Into 2012 and Beyond

2012 is one of the most talked about dates of our time.  Numerous books, movies, and documentaries have been made about this date; specifically 2012 as the date that the world will end.  There are many different prophesies about the end of the world and the time we are currently living in, but one of the most well known is the Mayan prophecy.  According to the Mayans, December 21, 2012 marks the end of their long-count calendar, a calendar of 5,125 years in length. The Mayans believe that four such calendars (or worlds) of 5,125 years have already come and gone and that December 21, 2012 marks the end of the 5th world.

Other prophetic traditions (the Hopi Native Americans for example) also predict the end of our world at around this time.  In their cosmogony, this is the end of the 4th world, which is accompanied by great cataclysms and catastrophes before a new world begins.  When one pays attention to what is happening around our planet these days, prophesies of the end of the world do seem possible!

Even without taking ancient prophesies into account, there’s no denying that our world is changing in very dramatic and fundamental ways.  People living just 100 years ago couldn’t have imagined our modern technologies and the changes that have occurred in the last century.  Now, with computers, the Internet, and sciences like genetic engineering, the changes are accelerating faster and faster.

As far as the world and humanity coming to a complete end in 2012, that is not what the Mayans predict.  They, and other traditions, are saying that an era of old social structures and belief systems is coming to an end and that a new era will begin.  Even in recent history we have seen certain periods of time when human society goes through rapid and permanent changes.  The Victorian age came to an end with the roaring 1920’s and what a sea change in attitudes and social mores that brought about.  The conservative years of the 1950’s also changed dramatically with the ‘hippy’ inspired 1960’s.  However, I personally believe that the social and technological transitions that we are now witnessing will greatly dwarf anything else we’ve seen in recorded human history.  The day after Dec. 21, 2012 probably won’t look any different than the day before, but 10 years from now, when people look back on the years surrounding 2012, they will see this time as a huge turning point.

So what does this have to do with bellydancing?  Practicing bellydancing makes us strong and healthy and is a great stress reducer.  It teaches us to be fluid, responsive, and in the moment.  To master the improvisational art of bellydance, we learn to be creative, aware if our environment, and to respond on the spot.  These are skills that can be applied to our life in general and can help us to adapt to a rapidly changing world.

The more I observe global events, the more I’m convinced that the Hopi, Mayans, and others were on to something.  I hope we’re seeing an end to the belief systems and practices that have brought our world the environmental and economic catastrophes we see today.  I pray (and intend) that people will find new ways of respecting the planet and each other so that we can begin a new era of peace and prosperity.  In the meantime, bellydancing helps me flow with the tides of change and keeps me strong and healthy to thrive in 2012 and beyond.

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