We are about to enter into the ominous year of 2012. December 21, 2012, the Winter Solstice, is the day that is expected, if you believe the spin, to bring dramatic or devastating changes. Or it is expected to bring the transformation of human consciousness. Or it is expected to be, well, just another day. According to NASA, the story of 2012 “started with claims that Nibiru, a supposed planet discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. This catastrophe was initially predicted for May 2003, but when nothing happened the doomsday date was moved forward to December 2012. Then these two fables were linked to the end of one of the cycles in the ancient Mayan calendar at the winter solstice in 2012 -- hence the predicted doomsday date of December 21, 2012.”  NASA expects no planetary alignments in the near future nor is Earth expected to cross the galactic plane in 2012, believed by some to be the cause of a catastrophic event. NASA astronomers, able to assess asteroid threats, predict no potentially Earth-killing impacts in 2012, noting that the last significant impact took place 65 million years ago. Keep in mind, too, that many believe that the calculation of December 21, 2012, as the auspicious date is erroneous, no matter what outcome we might imagine. Okay, then, no looming disaster. So what is all the chatter about 2012?
Just as the calendar you have on your kitchen wall does not cease to exist after December 31, the Mayan calendar does not cease to exist on December 21, 2012. This date is the end of the Mayan long-count period but then -- just as your calendar begins again on January 1 -- another long-count period begins for the Mayan calendar.”  The Mayan people have not tracked this Long Count Cycle for at least 500 years and it has been over a thousand years since 909 AD, the last inscription was recorded in the stone. The current Mayan population is at least 7 million strong and “depending on who you talk to, one can find evidence that some living Maya endorse the 2012 date as being of critical importance, while some may not be aware of it, or do not necessarily agree with its projected significance. Some think it is a matter for the shamans and priests, and do not relate to the westernized apocalyptic themes we've married the 2012 date to.”  Mayan calendar researcher, Carl Johan Calleman, believes that the end of the calendar system is about the fulfillment of the evolutionary processes that have been in progress since the beginning of time. “My own view,” asserts Calleman, “is that this is the last chance that human beings will have to truly align themselves with the cosmic plan. It is now or never and if you do not think that the Conscious Convergence has something to do with you, you probably have not studied the Mayan calendar seriously enough. Hence, there can be no proxies for your participation in the transformation of the world as the calendar comes to an end." 
Calleman believes that, intuitively, many people sense that the Mayan calendar is signaling a shift in consciousness, however, “it is rarely clearly stated or explained exactly what is the source of such a shift, how it will happen or what would be its nature.  He believes that any shifts in consciousness are not as mysterious as we may imagine.
“Essentially, the idea is that we have been in a long era dominated by the linear,
rational mind split off from the body and the heart, entranced by linear time,
reductionist scientific paradigms, blind materialsm, egoic competition, the dualistic
mentality of right and wrong, and a fear-based sense of separation and greed resulting
from a deep, societally entrenched disconnection from the sacred oneness of life.” 
“This living prophecy is not about one day a light all of the sudden being turned on,
rather this is about the process we are in NOW, that will keep steadily unfolding.
The essence of this time of prophecy is that we are living in a time of crossroads; a
time of shifting world age cycles where the old world and its separation-based mentality
is in the process of dying and transforming into a new world that lives and creates
through our hearts.” 
Calleman believes that “massive participation” in preparatory efforts is required for the success of a consciousness shift, “shared by the millions that intend for a shift in consciousness to take place. To bring it about, a collective effort will thus be needed and already making a choice to participate is part of creating the intention.”  He suggests that a key is approaching organizations in an effort to involve them and gain support, as well as individually, making “unique contributions” through networking, websites and social media. As we gradually shift gears out of the old paradigm described above, we can eventually move into an era that will be increasingly guided by the heart and intuition integrated with the mind and body, attuned to the eternal dimension of being, supportive of new quantum sciences, living in harmony with nature and in touch with the spiritual, invisible dimensions, dedicated to authentic cooperation, tolerant of diversity and holding space for multiple viewpoints, guided by conscious awareness of our precious interdependence, desiring to serve the whole.  So, no matter what the next Winter Solstice has in store for Earth and humanity, what do we really have to lose by taking individual or collective steps toward shifting human consciousness?
8. See 4
9. See 6