It was supposed to usher in an era of peace for the entire planet — humankind just needed to gather at “energy centres” around the globe and meditate together to welcome the new age.
The date was August 16, 1987, and the so-called Harmonic Convergence brought peaceniks, witches, hippies and pagans to Vancouver’s Jericho Beach to welcome the dawn.
Pat Hogan was in her late 30s and had just organized B.C.’s first annual Witchcamp when she joined the synchronized meditation at the beach.
“What was amazing about it was … this is going on worldwide, all over the place. It was supposed to be a time when the planets were in exceptional alignment,” Hogan recalled in an interview this week.
“The idea of it was to raise the consciousness of the planet to bring about an age of peace and … that we were moving into the Age of Aquarius, which was an age of brotherhood.”
More than 200 people showed up to mark the supposed end of the nine “hell cycles” outlined in ancient Aztec and Mayan calendars, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun.
Some, including Hogan, met at the beach the evening before for dancing, chanting and drumming. Sunrise was greeted with hugs and smiles, and one man told CBC News that he was “just full of extreme happiness.”
Later in the afternoon, 10,000 people were expected to join hands around Stanley Park, but fewer than 50 appeared. Still, they held hands and walked the seawall in a line.
“Man’s one commonality is loneliness, and loneliness is what leads to war and confrontation,” a participant told CBC at the time.
“By coming together and touching, only for a moment, (we) may chase away some of that loneliness and realize that we’re not alone in this world.”
A ‘totally crackpot’ idea
The Harmonic Convergence was the brainchild of New Age author José Argüelles. It was meant to mark the beginning of the last 25 years of the Mayan “great cycle” of history — a cycle that was supposed to end, famously, in 2012.
Celebrities like Shirley MacLaine, John Denver and Timothy Leary all participated in the synchronized meditation at events around the world.
The concept of the convergence was heavily mocked in some corners. Argüelles’s ideas were dismissed as “totally crackpot” in the New York Times. An anthropology…