It was during the First Gulf War when we began thinking about the ancient
sites of Ur in present day Iraq. Ziggurats, Babylonian walls, statues—all
in danger of being blown up, just as surely as the Taliban blew the
statues of Buddha in Afghanistan into dusty fragments. We thought: why
have some ancient artifacts and sites survived our best efforts to destroy
them? And what are they telling us?
That’s how our thirteen year journey of creating Hunab
Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit began. The book
was published by Crossing Press in 2005.
We started collecting images of ancient earthworks, petroglyphs, pottery
from all around the globe. Joel drew line art, Karen scanned and photoshopped.
Together we created a collection of 77 images yearning to be organized
into system of interrelated concepts that eventually grew into a collection
of essays and mediations all relating to our bodies—our energy
chakra system. Over the years, people have performed earthly acupuncture
on our planet by marking certain places with stones and structures and
honoring them through ritual and meditation Later groups of people co-opted
them for their own sacred spaces. Holy wells, stones, mounds became
platforms, and platforms in turn became cathedrals, temples and mosques.
People continue to journey to these places from Egypt to the Yucatan
and all over our planet to become reinvigorated. By our intentional
presence at these sacred spots, we honor the earth and who knows how
far the consequences are felt.
The images in Hunab Ku offer a virtual pilgrimage to our ancient “homescapes.”
Each image can be viewed as a milestone marking our individual and collective
human journey. Some images call us back as far as thirty thousand years.
We have selected fifteen images
for you to play with: two from each of the seven colors forming the
color chakra palettes, plus the Hunab
Ku image—a Mayan yin-yang symbol. By clicking on the individual
images, you will find some ideas for working with the symbolism and
the archetypes each embodies. As you and your colleagues ponder these
images from the past, allow their multiple interpretations to deepen
your understanding of what you already know and desperately need to
Symbols and Archetypes
Carl Jung’s theory of archetypes helps us better understand
the interconnections of our minds, emotions, and spiritual constructs
with the world around us. He wrote, “…certain ideas exist
almost everywhere and at all times and can even spontaneously create
themselves quite independently of migration and tradition.”
Archetypes are those big ideas capable of exploding us into
different dimensions of understanding. They can heal us, restore our
balance, energize our creativity, and if we allow them entrance, they
can move us deeply. Particularly when we pose meaningful questions,
individually or as a group. Archetypal symbols prompt us to access our
own forgotten wisdom in thought-provoking ways. Archetypes tell stories
and invite us to journey inward.
Symbols act as code language. We unlock the symbol and then the symbol
unlocks us. Think of the archetypal symbols in the Harry Potter series,
for instance. Griffin. Lion, Eagle, Phoenix, Serpent,
Dragon. Even children can
understand this code language. Flannery O’Connor said, “The
truer the symbol, the deeper it leads you, the more meaning it opens
up.” The cross is another
powerful archetype. C. S.. Lewis claimed “a crucifix exists in
order to direct the worshiper’s thoughts and affections to the
Passion—hence, devout people may prefer the crudest and emptiest
icon. The emptier, the more permeable.” We wanted our Hunab Ku
images to be permeable, so we chose line art. Simple. Yet layered with
A Matrix of Ideas Leading to Wisdom
matrix of ideas, ancient art and archetypes [see
Table of Contents] forms
an interactive system for individual learning, healing and meditation.
But because of the way certain people have used this book and these
images, we realize that they can also be tools for group processes.
For group learnings. And for group conflict resolution and healing.
The book offers various ways to combine and “read” the
images. You can try it yourself by reading the two 17’s included
in the gallery. One is a
“body” image: “Child”
in the Orange chakra-palette; the other is a “spirit” image:
“Wise Old One” from
the Indigo chakra- palette. This is just one of the many correspondences
you could play with, if you had all 77 images before you. Pose to your
group that you think together of what these two images placed side by
side might mean. If you need prompts, ask them to remember how the group
started—relive the “child” phase of your being together.
Did you feel, at times, like this little Olmec child, fearful, wary,
even unhappy about what was unfolding? What were the first things you
learned? How did you learn to trust? How have you grown? Now move your
attention to the Indigo image of the bone. Think about your group’s
skeletal structure. What holds you up? How strong are your bones? Access
your “elder” wisdom. The more you work/play with the images,
the more ideas will present themselves to you. That is the way of archetypes.
When you choose images at random, you will be very surprised at how
they bunch together sometimes—like events—“not because
one is causing the other,” Jung said, “but because their
meanings are linked.” Our rational minds simply cannot explain
profound coincidences. One of Carl Jung’s classic synchronicity
stories revolved around a patient’s dream about a scarab, an ancient
Egyptian symbol for resurrection and rebirth. Just as she was describing
her dream, in which someone had given her a golden scarab pin, they
both heard a sound at the window. Jung opened the window and in flew
a real golden-green scarab, a beetle that had waited to join them at
just the right moment.
How do you explain needing some bit of information and turning around,
only to find it in an unexpected place? How do you explain thinking
of someone and then having them call you at that very instant? How do
you explain the right book falling off the library or bookstore shelf
into your outstretched hand? Certainly not with logic…but your
soul knows the world is all ordered, perfectly, so why should you be
surprised? Tell synchronicity stories in your group. Honor them. They
are the universe winking at you, inviting you to play.
Hunab Ku at the Center
In the early 1500’s when Spanish galleons slipped into Central
American bays, vines covered the abandoned pyramids and jaguars prowled
abandoned temple courtyards. The Ancient Ones who had built magnificent
cities and terraced gardens had gone, but they left some of their books
(codices) behind. It didn’t take long for the Spaniards to ferret
out and translate these clever riddle-and pun-filled books. When they
had learned enough of the language to declare the books heretical, the
Spanish priests ordered them burned. Only three or four remain, today,
but from them we are able to “remember” some of what the
Old Mayans intended us to know.
The Maya believed in harmonic resonance. All of life’s cycles
and passages are woven on what they called “Loom of Maya,”or
this yin-yang shaped galactic core, the [Hunab Ku.] It is the “Lord”
that ushers us all through passages between worlds. To Andean people
the Mayu or Milky Way acted as an axis and a map telling them
not only where they are, but also who they are.
Amazingly enough, Dr. Scott Hyman of Sweet Briar College has been recording
energetic radio emissions from the center of our Milky Way. He and other
astronomers have verified some “whirling disk” there—a
Black Hole swallowing and giving birth to new stars.
John Major Jenkins writes about this massive black hole in his Maya
Cosmogenesis 2012: “Something very profound and mysterious
is going on here. Is it just a coincidence that lurking deep within
the dark-rift ‘black hole’ is the very real Black Hole at
the center of our Galaxy? If not a coincidence, the dark-rift itself
might indeed by the surface signifier of deeper cosmic mysteries, ones
that the Maya were well aware of.”
Most people view time today as being linear, not cyclical. However
the early Mayans believed there was a beginning and an end to all things,
but they also believed time originates out of Hunab
Ku the god that creates new beginnings. We live on a spiral,
not on a line. On December 21, 2012 around 11:11 Universal Time, our
Sun will align, precisely, with the Hunab Ku and the spiral may pulse
a new energy into our fields. These energetic outbursts may cause severe
weather, earth changes, cultural upheavals. Look around. It is already
happening. Yet the message of this Galactic Archetype seems to be telling
us that life will go on.
No doubt about it. We’re on a collective journey Boat.
One based on a choice to cooperate rather than destroy. One based on
trust and telepathy and technology that can be used to enhance our lives
rather than to demean them. In his book 2012: The Return of Quetzaloatl,
Daniel Pinchbeck says of the internet: “Billions of dollars funneled
into the military-industrial complex, for the creation of advanced killing
machines, accidentally funds a powerful tool for advancing human knowledge
and creating new social networks. Evolution and destruction enjoy dancing
the tango together on the same razor’s edge.” (p. 29, 2006,
Jeremy Tarcher/Penguin. ) Groups dance this tango all the time.
Pinchbeck’s book had not been published yet when Hunab Ku’s
bibliography was put together
or it would have appeared there. Like Pinchbeck, we drew from many disciplines
and sources We decided to organize our bibliography this way: Angels/Archetypes/Astrology;
Color Symbolism/Chakras; Earth Sites/Earth Wisdom/Labyrinths;
Goddess Culture; Health and Wholeness; Mythology
and Sacred Wisdom; Number Symbolism and Sacred Geometry.
Daniel Pinchbeck’s book is a marvelous collection of ideas pointing
to a cyclical change in the nature of consciousness. We are about to
move into what Mayans called the Age of Itza, the Age of Consciousness.
We need not succumb to apocalyptic fever, but we can take advantage
of using archetypes and images for staying calm and balanced while we
enjoy our front row seats for the coming Hunab
Ku. We can choose to pass through this great moment together, not
mired in confusion and fear, but filled with grace and love.
[ NOTE: See Hunab
Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit for information
about the book this paper describes. ]