Interpreting the 2012 Prophecy

Today there is a lot of renewed interest in Maya, largely due to the 2012 prophecy. Personally I believe that this date has been misinterpreted by those in the new-age spiritual movement, informed by Christian mythology, projecting their own beliefs of the end times onto Mayan culture. The Mayan's recorded time in cycles, and on 2012 one 5,000 cycle is said to finish and another will begin. There is only one damaged Mayan inscription referencing this date, with some of the glyphs no longer readable. It is located at the Tortuguero monument, and speaks of the descent of an unknown god or gods:

Tzuhtz-(a)j-oom u(y)-uxlajuun pik
(ta) Chan Ajaw ux(-te') Uniiw.
Uht-oom ?
Y-em(al)?? Bolon Yookte' K'uh ta ?.

"The Thirteenth 'Bak'tun" will be finished
(on) Four Ajaw, the Third of Uniiw (K'ank'in).
? will occur.
(It will be) the descent(??) of the Nine Support? God(s) to the ?."

Deciphered by David Stuart

While the meaning of is nebulous enough to be open to a lot of different interpretations, I think it's wrong for people to conflate it with christian notions of the Apocalypse. One could just as easily conjecture that it represented a time of awakening rather than a time of retribution. However, as remarkably accurate as Mayan astronomy was, it may also be a mistake to assume this date has no significance. Time will tell.

All that being said, we don't necessarily need to look to ancient prophecies to gain wisdom from the ancient Maya. Modern civilization has more to learn from examining the decline of the Maya, particularly the notion that we maybe be extending beyond the carrying capacity of what the earth can sustain. As the saying goes, those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it.