This past June 20 was an important date for all of us: the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Come December 21, these obviously will be switched. We are now less than 6 months until the start of the new Baktun, but it’s important to understand the significance of the summer and winter solstices. The solstices are the result of Earth’s north-south axis being tilted 23.4 degrees relative to the plane of our solar system. During the summer solstice, the sun reaches the highest possible point in the sky, and that day consequently is the longest of the year. Conversely, during the winter solstice, the sun is at its furthest point from the Earth, and that night consequently is the longest of the year. Without the use of telescopes and mirrors, ancient societies such as the Mayan charted the summer and winter solstices with remarkable accuracy. In other words, they understood how critical these astronomical events functioned thousands of years before computers and lunar observatories. Never underestimate the intellectual capacity of our ancestors. Otherwise the deities will have no mercy on you and you’ll be hurtled into oblivion when the apocalypse hits.