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Culture Blogs

Popular subjects in contemporary Pagan culture and practice.

Category contains 1 blog entry contributed to teamblogs
Hunab Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit

"In Hunab Ku, you'll find seventy-seven images of home-multiple ways to view or earth and ourselves. These images, like the Hunab Ku itself, measure and move us and encourage us to embark upon our own sacred journey. The Hunab Ku lies at the very center of these images, reminding us to balance our intentions, to center our understandings, and to become more conscious of what ancient wisdom continues to teach all of us today." -- From Hunab Ku: 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-2-300.pngHunab Ku is an ancient Mayan symbol that represents the joining of opposites. Hunab means "one state of being" and Ku means "God". Masculine and feminine, analytical and intuitive, objective and subjective, yang and yin, conscious and unconscious, external and internal-the Hunab Ku speaks to the abyss between opposing forces and, in fact, serves as a bridge between them. The archetype of the Hunab Ku is the "space between" that reflects oneness with God and the unity of all things.

The Mayans constructed several detailed calendars and these calendars reflected cycles of the Earth and humanity itself. After each cycle of 5,125 years, the "universe takes a deep breath and begins again", and according to the Maya Long Count Calendar, humanity is posed on the edge of a great unfolding of balance and understanding. Many have called this the Age of Aquarius, but the Mayans called it the Age of Itza-Age of Consciousness. Some interpretations have set the winter solstice of 2012 as the time marking a gateway to the galaxies where Hunab Ku-the great mover-will pulse and fill us all with intelligent energy.

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-1-300.pngAuthors Karen Speerstra and Joel Speerstra have presented 77 sacred symbols that create an interactive system for learning, healing, and meditation. These 77 symbols are archetypes that are universal, arising from the collective unconscious. As visual metaphors, the symbols reflect, like mirrors, the patterns that are deeply embedded in each one of us. These archetypes bypass the rational mind, arrive on the wings of synchronicity, and invite us to journey inward. Archetypal symbols like those presented in Hunab Ku can explode us into different dimensions of understanding, restoring balance, energizing creativity, and promoting healing if we but allow them entrance.

In the book, the 77 archetypal images are organized into groups of seven color palettes, each reflecting the seven chakras. Eleven archetypal symbols are associated with each chakra, depicting the energetic pattern of the image as it relates to the seven energy vortices and their corresponding issues, gifts, and challenges. The lower chakras--represented by red, orange, and yellow-connect to the physical side of life. The upper chakras-represented by blue, indigo, and violet-connect us to the spiritual side of life. In the center likes a field of green which connects to both the heart chakra and the Hunab Ku. This area marks our central union with one another and joins the images of the body and the spirit.

There are several ways Hunab Ku can be read:

* Conventionally, from beginning to end, as a mini ancient art history tour
* One color group of eleven images at a time
* As an oracle where you ask a powerful open-ended question and then turn to a random page
* Roll dice and generate random numbers for different types of intuitive readings
* Use a pendulum to dowse the Hunab Ku symbol for numbers/images that speak to your questions

Hunab Ku is an unconventional book that serves as a spiraling labyrinth of archetypal consciousness. The physical images span from Red 1 Great Bear (Solitude) to Green 39 Hunab Ku (Lover). The spiritual images span from Green 39 Hunab Ku (Relationships) to Violet 1 Unicorn (Unity). So one could move down a path towards the center (39) and then move back out towards the world again by passing through numbers 38 through 1.

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-3-300.pngHere are a few symbols from the book:

RED

Scorpion (Conflict)
Womb (Gestation)
Ouroboros (Unconsciousness)

ORANGE

Mother (Intuition)
Water (Movement)
Giant (Control)

YELLOW

Star (Inspiration)
Twins (Androgyny)
Wheel (Change)

GREEN

Dolphin (Addiction)
Healer (Wholeness)
Phoenix (Hope)

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-4-300.pngBLUE

Teacher (Knowledge)
Sound (Vibration)
Magician (Journey)

INDIGO

Moon (Dreams)
Wise Old One (Rest)
Chalice (Quest)

VIOLET

Scarab (Manifestation)
Double Spiral (Infinity)
Crown (Reward)

For each symbol there is a re-drawn color plate of a petroglyph, artifact, figurine, carving, wall mural, etc. These archetypes are from diverse areas such as the Americas, Africa, British Isles, Babylon, India and beyond. For example, Under Mystic (Violet 8), there is a picture of a stone labyrinth (1200 CE) from Chartres, France. For the Serpent (Red 7), there is a picture of the Great Serpent Mound (c. 1000 BCE) from Ohio, U.S.A.

b2ap3_thumbnail_hunab-5-300.pngFor me, one of the most fascinating elements of this 330-page book is the symbol readings in the back. Each of these readings is comprehensive, combining a series of archetypes for an incredibly accurate and insightful reading. There's an Insight Reading, Work Reading, Rainbow Reading, Courage Reading, and The Bard: Telling Your Story. The authors provide easy to read charts if you want to generate numbers by throwing dice or by assigning number values to the letters of your name, for example.

Frankly, I am amazed at the depth of this book. It "speaks" profoundly on so many levels. 

If you're fascinated by the world of symbols and archetypes-as well as chakras, energy, mythology, art, sacred geometry, oracles, anthropology, and spiritual evolution-this beautifully illustrated and exhaustively researched book will take you on an amazing journey through both outer and inner worlds. 

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

What's the best way to leave food offerings?

Libations are simple: one pours directly onto the ground.

Food offerings, though, are a little more difficult. If there's a sacred fire present, one can burn them, but what if there isn't? It seems rude to lay them directly on the ground. (If I offered you a sandwich and set it on the floor in front of you, how would you feel?) To set out food offerings in non-bio-degradable containers pollutes both physically and spiritually. What to do?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Grant
    Grant says #
    This has been something which has been on my mind for some time as well, still now and in the past, I have always layed my food of
  • Linette
    Linette says #
    I live in the wilderness, and I have some stones I lay my offerings on. They are always well received by the local wildlife who le
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Writer Paul Tuiteann (reborn to the people) once told me, "Circles and house wards are all fine and good, but if you really want t

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

For the witch, the seat of magic is the mind.

Animals know. Human beings know that we know. The wise know that we know that we know: we can observe our own thought processes. And the witch is the one who can consciously and with intent aforethought manipulate her own thought processes. (Terry Pratchett, that not un-astute observer of witchdom, calls this “having third thoughts.”) The witch knows that it's not good enough to think: Oh well, that's how I think, so that's that. The witch thinks: Hmm, that's how I think; how do I think myself into thinking differently?

And that's the heart and pulse of all our magic.

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The Golden Calf: A Rite of Private Devotion

The Golden Calf:

A Rite of Private Devotion

 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Satire aside, in my opinion, sacred images as a spiritual technology are much underutilized in contemporary paganism. The genius o
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Re "sacred images as a spiritual technology are much underutilized in contemporary paganism." Exactly. As a poet, ritualist, and
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Thank you, am always glad to see idol worship. It is such a heartfelt practice. Yes, joke intended and, yes, I am sincere about th
Pagan savings challenge, week fourteen:  what women want

I heard an interesting story on NPR about women and investing the other day.  The points which jumped out at me were:

  • Women are more risk-averse when it comes to investing, and testosterone plays a part in the gender difference;
  • Fear of an impoverished old age -- women generally have more time as senior citizens -- adds a layer of paralysis which amplifies the hormonal factors;
  • In heteronormative relationships, women are more likely to let the man control the money, even women who are the primary wage earners; and
  • When they invest for themselves, women tend to be better at it than men.

More than a decade into the 21st century, we haven't reached gender parity in how we relate to money.  How much of that difference is cultural and how much is biological isn't clear to me, but differences there certainly are.

Whatever the reasons, each of us have different strengths.  Gender is one way to describe those differences, but what's important is to recognize that we can support one another in saving for the future (which can include investing).  Some of the ways I have touched upon in the past, such as Pagan investment clubs and community savings groups are more likely to be successful the old-fashioned way, face to face.  Groups of people working together can shore up weaknesses and amplify strengths.

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