In September I took off to explore Peru with a wonderful group of friends, new and old. We travelled through arid regions, the jungle and of course the basic sites.
I enjoyed the journey, and the food… but not the effects of the water ;)! It was not until I returned that I actually studied the cosmology that we were quickly introduced to. Peruvians have a long and wonderful spiritual history. There are still aspects of their worship in some of the older archealogical sites.
This is some of what I learnt:
Three Andean Worlds
Chacana – When you draw a horizon in the center, the upper half is the spirit world of the Condor (also of the sun and planets), the centerline is feline; the surface of earth and the present world, and the lower half of the cross is the serpent world of the dead.
Spirit – Condor
Place of the future
Sun, Moon, Starts, Thunder and Rainbows
The condor is known for having wingspans of up to 10 feet wide and is native to the mountains of South America. Every civilization that has inhabited the territory has referred to the condor in their design. In the Peruvian tradition, the bird is considered the messenger between our physical world and the realm of the gods or spirits, and represents all heavenly life forces. The condor represents the ability to “see” as a bird would from the air. In other words foresight and spiritual wisdom are all associated with this image. Many people relate the image of god’s eye with that of the condor. Furthermore, the ability to fly also alludes to transcending. The condor is associated with the top of our head, the place of sight and perception, and, according to Q’ero shamanism, the place where the soul can enter and exit or commune with gods.
Fire and Water (M & F L & D)
The world of the present moment, or reality as we humans are accustomed to it, is embodied in the image of the jaguar or feline. The cat, with its incredible sensitivity to sounds and motion, poise and power, embodies the physical world we know. The jaguar roams the earth with incredible agility, and can move almost instantaneously. Jaguar is confined to the middle world, just as in reality the feline primarily only on the ground plane, and for that reason represents not only the earth we know but a place in time neither in the future or past. The jaguar is associated with our hearts, our instincts, and our intuition. In other words, the way our body can feel, perceive, and react independently of rational.
Supay – God of Death
Land of the Dead
The serpent is the keeper of the underworld or world of the dead. Much different than the western world’s conception of hell, the underworld is the place where souls go after death to prepare their next rebirth. Under the ground’s surface is both the place where dead leaves decompose and new seeds rise to life. The world of the dead is in this way also the world of birth. This continuous death and rebirth process thus not surprisingly links the serpent to the Pacha Mama or Mother Earth. The human belly or center is associated with the realm of the serpent.
1. Illanqay = power of the body.
2. Munay = power of the heart.
3. Yachay = power of the mind.
There is quite a bit more, lots more actually. I will put up a post discussing my experiences with San Pedro and Aya. Both were quite amazing medicines to take and become acquainted with.
Be well and may Spirit bless with a smile big enough to hurt your cheeks!