Mayan Twin Heros : Hunahpu and Xbalanque

Hunahpu and Xbalanque By Four Arrows (aka Don Jacobs)

All cultures have twin hero myths and most have one twin who is a “solar,” more aggressive and direct twin and the other is a “lunar” twin, more passive and reflective. In Western culture, the solar twin often kills the lunar twin or the lunar twin becomes unimportant in the culture. Cain and Able, Romulus and Remus, Jacob and Esau, Hercules and Iphecules, etc. In Indigenous twin hero stories, the two twins also represent these polar dualities, but they work as complementary pairs. Examples are many, such as the Navajo myth with Mexico origins about Child Born of the Water (Lunar) and Monster Slayer (Solar). The twins help one another to fight the monsters that symbolically keep us from being in balance, recognizes human relationship with complete natural world of which we are part.

Mayan CalendarThe Mayan Twin Hero Myth is a story to know and honor in preparation for the end of the particular calendar in which their twin heroes, Hunahpu and Xbalanque are depicted. Hunapu (Blowgun Hunter-Solar) and Xbalanque (Hidden Sun-Lunar) were trying to make a garden but every time they clearedaway the underbrush, the forest animals put it back again. Finally they caught a rat and held its tail over the fire (which is why rats have no hair there), until it started explaining. The rat started talking. “Look, you are not cut out to be gardeners anyway. There’s something you’d be better at. I’ll tell you if you let me go.”

The rat explained that their father and uncle had been great handball players and how they were cut out themselves to be great ballplayers. The rat said, “You just need the proper gear and I know where your father hid it before he was lost to the Underworld.”

The boys got the gear and started playing, but were noisy about their playing so that the Lords of Death were affronted by their lack of humility. They sent messengers to summon the boys to a ballgame in the Underworld.

This was OK with the Twins who wanted to defeat the Lords of Death because they learned it was they who took their father. They allowed themselves to go through many challenging tests and ordeals so as to get to a place where they could finally kill the Lords of Death, the same ordeals their father experienced but had failed and never came back from the Underworld.

Near the end of their successful completion of the tests, Hunahpu made their first mistake. From his hiding place in the blowgun, he wanted to see if it was daylight, so he stuck his head out and a night- flying bat sliced it off.

Hunahpu and Xbalanque

The Lords of Death started the game using this brother’s head for a ball. But his twin, Xbalanque, managed to fool the Lords and got his brother’s head back and put it back onto him, and then replaced the head with a squash. The boys resumed the game and one, defeating the Lords of Death, and setting up the opportunity to destroy them.

The boys then sought their father, found him, but he was not up to the trip home. So they left him in the ball court, saying they would play ball regularly to pray for and honor all those who sought hope, knowing this would at last ease their father’s heart forever. The boys, finished with their work, and no longer arrogant, accepted the light and shadow aspects of life and the complementary nature of their opposing personalities. The Gods then intervened in not only helping them climb back to Earth’s surface, but honored them and gifted the world by making Xbalanque the Moon and Hunahpu the Sun. Hunahpu and XbalanqueThey became the two complementary forces that must remain in balance for life to survive on Earth. They should remind us that every one of the millions of star molecules we are made of must be in balance with its complementary twin. This means we cannot over-identify with one force or the other because of ego fear or ego satisfaction or other needs of the ego. We must accept the dark and the light in ways that we know how to keep our solar and lunar aspects in harmony and not be split into one when we are better to be more with the other (like what happened when the bats cut of the one twin’s head for his wanting it to be daylight when it was still night.)

It is time for us all to find our twins and not be afraid of being one with them so that we can ultimately use the combined power of both to be in balance. Human civilizations have lost this balance. We must awaken to this before the cosmos itself rebalances as it is doing with climate change and other vibrational anomalies.

Txun blays :
ya huh, txoe kata key ya, ma wah nee.Translation :
I am walking toward the future making good and balanced decisions.

Being out of balance ultimately is an act of insanity and the prophesy of the fifth world is about regaining sanity. We have more knowledge now than ever before about both what is wrong and what the solutions are to correct, yet we continue moving forward with our over-identificationwith only one side or the other of the solar-lunar duality, continuing to do the very things we know will kill us all. It is time to wake up, and then celebrate returning to an era of harmony!

Then finished, the pair departed Xibalba and climbed back up to the surface of the Earth. They did not stop there, however, and continued climbing straight on up into the sky. One became the Sun, theother became the Moon

Death to one of the twins, losing life essence and power, and then a resurrection or rebirth taking place


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