Secrets of Mayan Glyphs
The ancient Mayas had a complex system of writing using intricate hieroglyphs carved in stone or drawn with quill pens on bark-paper books called “codices.” They also painted beautiful scenes on ceramic pottery with glyphs identifying the owner and who appeared in the drawings. Symbols used in glyphs include geometric shapes, vegetal and animal motifs, human figures and fantastic composite creatures. Each symbol held deep spiritual meaning for the Mayas; most of these concepts are beyond understanding using rational western thinking. Many exquisite panels full of glyphs and carved figures were placed on interior walls of temples built on top of tall pyramids. Only initiated priests and elite nobles could enter and view these panels. Reading the glyphs was done using rituals that created altered states of consciousness. It was essential to enter sacred space and enhanced consciousness to understand the mysteries written in the glyphs.
Mayan tradition maintained by elders such as Hunbatz Men, Itza Maya Daykeeper-Shaman, tells that the Mayan language was
brought to the people by the god Itzamna. Itzamna was an important deity who taught sacred writing, a sky god who opened a portal to bring itz into the world. His name means “one who does itz” and he brings the people this sacred substance, liquids or sticky things permeated with the essence of the divine. He is the original shaman and ultimate teacher of humanity. The language he taught the Mayas came from the sounds of the cosmos and the natural world, and reflected the laws of the universe. These words could be read from left to right and from right to left; a process called Zuyua. Only those initiated into high levels of Maya religion knew how to read using Zuyua.
Mayan words are mantras and saying the word activates the energy possessed by the sound. The vibratory sounds of Mayan words have the power to set energies into motion and bring things into manifestation. They are bija sounds like ancient Indian Sanskrit. To activate the energy enclosed in the sounds, one must be spiritually
advanced and master disciplines to control functions of the language. Along with these mantra sounds, the Mayas used hand gestures (similar to Hindu mudras) and postures (similar to Hindu asanas) to add further power.
This example of Zuyua taught by Hunbatz Men shows further similarities to Sanskrit. The Mayas knew about energy pathways
through the body, such as kundalini that travels up the spine. One word they used for this was k’ultanlilni. This word spoken from left to right means:
k’u – god, pyramid; l – vibration; tan – place; lil – vibration; ni – nose. K’ul also means coccyx. The composite meaning reads: “The coccyx as the place of vibration is directly related to the nose because it is where the breath of the Sun God enters.”
Reading the word reversed, in lil nat luk’ the meaning is amplified:
luk’ – to take swallows in small doses; nat – mount or secure into place; lil – vibration; in – personal pronoun “I.” The composite meaning reads: “Take in (swallow) divine energy/god in small doses and secure it by absorbing it into consciousness, these vibrations are retained and become me (I).”
Hunbatz Men. Secrets of Mayan Science/Religion. Bear & Company, Santa Fe, NM 1990.