Exploring Inca Spirituality
Juan Carlos Machicado Figueroa
While the Spanish Inquisition of the 17th and 18th centuries did everything it could to eliminate the Inca religion, it has nonetheless survived, still to be practiced in certain indigenous Andean communities, and even in some Peruvian cities, where revival of it is taking place. In this plenary, we will examine spiritual symbols from the past which can be found in museums, archaeological sites and carved into Incan stone walls. These will explain clearly the Inca philosophy of life which continues today and provides much needed inspiration to live in harmony with our planet.
The Incas: Children of the Sun
Jorge Luis Delgado
We will discuss many of the key spiritual features of Incan culture that have been preserved by their descendants. These include an emphasis upon clarity, honesty, luminosity, warmth, enthusiasm for life, brightness of soul, and illuminated awareness. The Incan traditions are alive and well in Peru today and are making an important contribution to the return of earth-based spirituality and wisdom.
The Esoteric Quest, North and South
Leonard George, Ph.D.
The ancient lines and figures carved into Peru’s Nazca Plain needed a god’s-eye view to appreciate, in the least in imagination. Such places remind us that the esoteric quest for a transcendent perspective is world-wide. As we survey pre-Columbian Andean cultures, we find echoes of the esoteric ways of the northern hemisphere. From the trance-inducing waterworks at Chavín de Huántar to the oracle of Pachacamac, from the mediums of Cusco to the sacred astronomers of Machu Picchu, southern questers have trodden similar paths to those of their northern kin.
The Traditional Wisdom of Andean Cultures
Theo Paredes, Ph.D.
More than 6000 years ago in South America, in what now is Peru, diverse human groups settled and developed high-level regional cultures. At different stages of their evolution, all of them shared and exchanged their knowledge, forging what is now known as Andean culture, which reached its apogee towards 1530 CE, before the arrival of the European invaders. Recent studies are clarifying the scope of what these ancient peoples achieved: an integral balance between the human being and the environment, where concepts such as ecology, sustainability, the environment, harmony, and ethics seem to have been at the heart of their worldview.
The Meaning of Machu Picchu
Ruben Orellana Neira
Machu Picchu is much older than Tawantinsuyo, the Inca Empire, which expanded into territories occupied by prior civilizations and ethnic groups. Ethno-historical and archaeological evidence, and research into oral traditions, shows that its real name may be Picchu. This name perhaps allows us to better understand its history. Although this spiritually powerful site embodies the Inca cosmo-vision, it also has a past that dates from the pre-ceramic age and is full of mysteries. It is the magic of the light there that ultimately imparts transcendence to this justifiably world-famous citadel. Ruben Orellana Neira draws on his 22 years as the chief archaeologist at Machu Picchu to take us deeper into its secrets.
Who are the Paqos, the Andean Healers?
Wilbert Salas Atasi
During our Quest, a significant role will be played by Q’ero Paqos, healers or shamans who have maintained the spiritual traditions of their culture. Wilbert, who grew up in a family of Paqos in a mountain village seventy kilometers from Cusco, will speak about the path of the Paqo, the various levels and dimensions of this work, and the multiple forms of ritual and ceremony that Paqos perform, including those honoring Mother Earth. Their training involves the acquisition of profound knowledge, the role of unconditional love, and the development of an understanding of healing energies.
Pachamama: The Sacred Feminine
One of the most comprehensive embodiments of the Earth Mother archetype in any civilization is the Incan goddess, Pachamama. As relevant today as she was to the ancients, Pachamama can guide us into right relationship with a planet on the brink of disaster. In this gathering, we explore the environmental and mystical aspects of the great mother goddess in an effort to embody her essential qualities in our own quest to awaken feminine wisdom and participate in the healing of the earth.
Cusco, City of the Puma, and Machu Picchu
Erwin Salazar Garcés
The city of Cusco was designed in accordance with the religious beliefs of the Incas and takes the form of a Puma, the sacred animal which served as the familiar deity of the community. Each part of the figure of the Puma is recognizable: the head was Saqsaywaman, two rivers outlined the body, and various streets were aligned with the placement of the Sun at the solstices and equinoxes. The heart of the Puma was in the Plaza de Armas and the reproductive organs in the place of origin of Cusco, the Corikancha, the most important temple in the Incan empire. From this temple, lines proceed that signal the directions to minor shrines. We will also examine the archeoastronomy of Machu Picchu, and the Incan cosmovision of the sky, earth and underworld (Hanan Pacha, Kay Pacha, and Ukhu Pacha) which linked observation of the heavens with human activities in daily life.
Uncovering Nature’s Greatest of Mysteries:
Wedding Ancient Wisdom with the Shamanic Path
Scott Olsen, Ph.D.
This story is the result of a decision to marry together more traditional western esoteric subjects such as Plato, Pythagoras and sacred geometry, with the more shamanic states of consciousness experienced by some indigenous healers of Peru. Seekers have struggled for spiritual experience, especially those in the West since the closing of such mystery centers as Eleusis (with its mysterious kykeon drink.) For seven years, Scott underwent multiple shamanic adventures with master plant teachers in the rainforest as well as the sacred valley of Peru. These transformative experiences were crowned by a climactic vision of how The Golden Section works throughout nature and the cosmos.