Don Alejandro Cirillo
Don Alejandro Cirillo is the elected leader of the National Mayan Council of Elders of Guatemala and a thirteenth-generation Quiché priest. As such, he is a very important voice for the indigenous Maya. He has been practicing the fire ceremonies and day keeping of his peoples' traditions his entire life. Cirillo, or Wandering Wolf, has been acknowledged by gatherings of indigenous elders from many of the American nations as a healer and medicine elder of considerable prowess.
Not all the indigenous Mayan elders agree with the calendar end date of December 21, 2012. Cirillo does not have a strong opinion about what will happen on this specific date and does not agree that it is necessarily the correct end date of the Mayan calendar.
Cirillo has spoken of a time that will be coming very soon, for which we should be preparing ourselves. It will be characterized by major earth changes, probably earthquakes and floods, but most significantly by a darkening of the sun. This period will last for several days and nights and people will need to prepare both practically and spiritually for this by staying indoors, having enough supplies of food and water, and praying and purifying in readiness for the beginning of a new time. When the sun returns, this will signify the beginning of the new world age.
Don't Be Afraid
Cirillo has warned against unnecessary fear mongering and prophecies of doom. His advice on the coming changes is, “Don't be afraid.” Dramatic though the changes may be, they will not be an apocalyptic destruction of all life. By having a positive outlook and a willingness to confront our shadow selves, he believes we can directly influence the outcome of these changes.
What will happen during and after this time will depend upon what we do, but we should prepare for it now. It is not wise to wait until December 21, 2012, or any other date in the future for this to happen.
The Council of the Elders
Cirillo is now very actively involved in international conferences and gatherings where he speaks on behalf of the Quiché Maya about their perspective on the calendar and the current times. The National Mayan Council of Elders of Guatemala has appointed a group of twenty-five elders who have been given the responsibility of sharing knowledge about the calendar and interpreting its significance. This information is expected to be released to the world before 2012.
To bring the message of the Mayan elders and their ceremonies to a wider audience, Cirillo has been working with the Institute for Cultural Awareness (ICA). The ICA has held several vision councils in which indigenous elders of different nations from throughout the Americas have come together to work ceremonially and to share their knowledge. The ICA is a nonprofit organization honoring indigenous tradition and is dedicated to providing a safe and healthy environment for cultural exchange and healing. They can be contacted through their website for information about future events and ceremonies (
Cirillo has now been appointed as Guatemala's first ever minister for indigenous affairs, a cabinet-level position, by President Alvaro Colom. The president has been a longtime friend of Cirillo and has been consulting his opinion for more than fifteen years.