Hunab Ku - 77 Sacred Symbols for Balancing Body and Spirit by Karen & Joel Speerstra
“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 the book

Hunab 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.

To help prepare humanity for this cosmic awakening, authors 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 imbedded 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.

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.

Here are a few symbols from the book:


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


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


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


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


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


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


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.

For me, one of the most fascinating elements of this 330-page book is the symbol readings in the back of the book. 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. I was experiencing physical discomfort that left me feeling nauseous, discouraged and weak. Tarot didn’t appeal to me at the time nor did any of my oracle decks. I remembered this book and randomly turn to a page. The symbol I was given, The Phoenix, directly spoke to my situation. Its keyword was “Hope” and offered insight into the renewing of youthfulness and the promise of future lives. (And, as synchronicity would have it, the book mentioned how the Phoenix was featured in the Harry Potter books—and I had just been reading the latest installment of the series!) I felt as through a burden was lifted from my spirit. I kept meditating on it as I went to bed. Whenever I woke up through the night, I kept seeing the Phoenix.

Amazingly, I woke up the next day with the troubling symptom entirely gone. It’s been almost 24 hours and I still haven’t seen a recurrence of this symptom. I feel more energy and clarity and I believe it has something to do with the symbol of the Phoenix featured in the powerful book Hunab Ku.

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. In the center of these worlds lies the Hunab Ku, the threshold between our present age and the coming age of enlightenment—the heart of Oneness and All That Is.

Related Articles
Signs & Symbols – An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings
The Maya Deck - Dr. Ronald L. Bonewitz
Archetype Cards -  Caroline Myss
Introduction to Archetypes
The Mother Archetype
Animal Speak - Ted Andrews
Power Animals: How to Connect With Your Animal Spirit Guide - Steven Farmer
Urgent Messages from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World - Jean Shinoda Bolen
The Wisdom Well (Jungian Archetype Deck)
Fundamentals of Spiritual Alchemy - Caroline Myss
Finding Your Sacred Contract - Caroline Myss
Sacred Contracts: The Journey - Caroline Myss
The Three Archetypal Wheels in the Myss Model
Intuitive Power: Your Natural Resource -  Caroline Myss
Invisible Acts of Power - Caroline Myss
Why People Don't Heal and Three Levels of Power (DVD)  - Myss
The 7 Chakras
Chakra 1- The Root Chakra
Totems - First Chakra Social Symbols
Chakra 2 - The Sacral Chakra
Chakra 3 - The Solar Plexus Chakra
Chakra 4 - The Heart Chakra
Chakra 5 - The Throat Chakra
Chakra 6 - The Third Eye Chakra
6th Chakra Over-activity - Grounding Yourself
Chakra Symbols and Sanskrit Names
Unblocking the 6th (Third Eye) Chakra
Chakra 7 - The Crown Chakra
Chakra Balancing With Crystals
Opening the Chakras Through Mantras

Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.