As a mostly agriculture-based society, the Inca worshipped what was important to them. They worshipped Inti the Sun-God who provided sunlight and enlightenment. Mama Quilla the Moon-god who provided the seasons, protection from the dark, and was a protector of women. The third God would be the essential piece missing for an agricultural society to thrive and that God’s name was Illapa, Master of Clouds Rain and Hail.
The Inca believed that when it rained it was because a jug of water had been spilled from a broken water jug high in the sky. This water jug contained water from the Milk Way Galaxy.
Viracocha was considered to be the father of all other Inca gods. He created the earth, heavens, sun, moon, and all things living. After Viracocha finished his work he traveled the world teaching humanity and introducing civilized arts. It was believed that after Viracocha was finished creating the world that he traveled far and wide teaching and influencing his creations. His next step would be to move west across the Pacific. Never to be seen again but promising to return. In his absence, lesser gods were assigned to the duty of managing the human race.
Inca lore surrounding Viracocha states that humans were his second attempt at creating life. He originally created a race of giants , made of stone , in the age of darkness. The ogre race was found to be unruly and Viracocha found it suitable to punish them with a great flood. The giants that survived were eventually returned to their natural stone form. Some of these stone giants can still be seen today at sites such as Tiahuanaco and Pukara.
For his second attempt Viracocha tried using clay. He also gifted them clothes, language , agriculutre, and arts. It was during this time he created the Sun , moon , and stars. It’s believed that all of these creations were created from the islands in Lake Titicaca. Viracocha was satisfied and felt he could he continue this path around the world. It is believed he ended in Manta (near Ecuador), then Viracocha walked across the waters of the Pacific heading west. He promised to return one day to the Inca.
Inti was concerned for the Tiawanako people. Living along the shores of Lake Titicaca, the Tiawanako people were mostly fishermen. Inti felt his people deserved more.
The son and daughter of Inti and Mama Quilla; Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo were created to civilize the Inca people and guide them to enlightenment. Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo were told by their parents to search for fertile land upon which their empire would be built. Inti gifted Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo a golden stick. Inti instructed them that the stick would sink if the wielder was standing in the promised land. The promised land they found was a region near Lake Titicaca.
The shores of Lake Titicaca were inhabited by the Tiawanako people. Because of the gold stick, the fancy clothes, and jewelry Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo wore they were perceived as Gods by the Tiawanako people. Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo taught the men how to create a society and worship the Sun God. Mama Ocllo taught the women domestic tasks such as textile and provisioning.
Mama Quilla or Mother Moon governed the festival calendar of the Inca. She represented the seasonal cycles, health, prosperity, divination, and time. Mama Quilla was insightful to the Inca. She could warn of impending danger through the means of eclipses and provide guidance through divination. She was the sister and wife of Inti, daughter of Viracocha and mother of Manco Capac and Mama Ocllo ( the founders of the Inca empire and culture). She was widely viewed as a defender of women and was the Goddess of marriage and the menstrual cycle.
Divination was common in Inca society. While the Sun is shining, sit beneath the shade of a tree and watch closely as the Sun’s light shines through the branches and leaves. While observing the shadows cast and the patterns it would make one should keep a question in their mind. Mama Quilla’s response would be written in the patterns and changes of light in the shadows. Another common divination ritual was for unfavorable weather. In the event of unfavorable weather, place any yellow-colored herbs on a fire source and watch what unfolds. Popping or flying indicates lots of energy and positive response. Smouldering indicated anger and an iffy response. Finally, if the flames died out completely then this was understood as a definite negative and one should not proceed.
Lore suggests that Mama Quilla cried tears of pure silver and that Lunar eclipses were caused when Mama Quilla was under attack by an animal ( usually a supernatural jaguar, mountain lion, or serpent ). The Incas feared lunar eclipses as they believed that during the eclipse if Mama Quilla was not protected by the Inca and the attack was successful then the entire world would be left in total darkness. The method of defending Mama Quilla was to make as much noise as possible. This would frighten the attacker and ultimately save the entire world. This tradition continued even after the Inca were converted to Catholicism by the Conquistadors. Unfortunately for the Inca, the Spanish could predict when eclipses would take place; thus using it to their advantage against the Inca.
Inti God of The Sun and Patron of Empire and Conquest was all-powerful. Inti was married to the goddess of the moon Quilla ( or Mama Quilla ). The original leader and founder of the Inca civilization, Manco Capac and his wife Mama Ocllo were believed to be guided by Inti or may have even been the son and daughter of Inti and Mama Quilla. This connection to humans allowed Inca rulers to claim divinity and act as translators between the Gods and the Inca people.
It wasn’t until the Wiraqocha Inca (1425 CE) or the 9th Inca ruler Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui (1438-1471 CE) that the cult of Inti really became established and helped promote Inti to an all-powerful ruler. Inti was not the divine ruler though. This burden weighed on Viracocha. Viracocha was higher in status than all the other Gods and lived on a private island in Lake Titicaca. Viracocha usually remained in the background regarding worldly affairs and allowed the other gods to govern the Incas. With the expansion of the Inca empire and a fixation on Inti and sun worship; It was not long until every city in the Inca empire contained a shrine to Inti. Sun worship was quickly integrated into the religions of the conquered peoples and used as imperial propaganda that the Inca were the people with a divine right to rule.
The greatest of these temples dedicated to Inti was the Coricancha Temple or “House of The Sun”. The temple was located in the sacred district of the capital of Cusco. It was at the Coricancha that the most senior High Priest of The Sun (Villac Umu) presided over rites in honour of Inti. The High Priest of the Sun was exclusively assisted by young virgin priestesses. Both female and male priests were allowed to carry out sun ceremonies but only virgin priestesses were allowed to assist The High Priest of The Sun.
Inti was usually represented through art. A gold statue, a sun disk, or a golden mask. Gold ( or the sweat of the sun as sun worshipers believed ) was his gift and he should be honored through it. The Temple of The Sun interior was exactly that. It’s walls lined with a thick gold plate ( 700 half-meter panels of beaten gold whilst outside the temple was a life-size scene of a field of corn with llamas and shepherds all made from gold and silver. Inside the shrine held the most sacred statue of Inti. The statue was of Inti but as a small seated boy, called Punchao (Day or Midday Sun). From head to shoulders sun rays protruded from him. His head wrapped in a royal headband and also had snakes and lions coming out of his body. The stomach of the statue was hollow and used to contain the vital organs of previous Inca rulers. Every day this statue would be moved outside and into the golden field so that Inti could absorb the sun’s rays.
It’s important to understand that the Andreans (Aboriginal inhabitants of the area of the Central Andes in South America) didn’t have a written language, they hadn’t developed the wheel, money, buying and selling, or even the concept of an economy. Imagine a world with no economy and a strong religious presence but with an excess of gold.
The Inca civilization arose from the Peruvian highlands sometime in the early 13th century. The Inca created one of the largest and cohesive empires the world has ever known in under a century. Every aspect of Inca culture was encompassed by religion. The administrative, political and military center of the empire was located in the city of Cusco. Success or failure in any form was considered to be directly influenced by their gods. For the Inca, Gold was a gift from the Inti and it should be used to honor him along with the other Inca gods. If Inti was not honored there could be severe consequences.
Inti was the God of The Sun and The Patron of Empire and Conquest. Inti was revered and held in prestige by his devoted. He gave and he took away as he saw fit. Every city had temples devoted to Inti. The most significant temple of the Inca empire was Coricancha in Cusco city. Coricancha means “house of gold” in Quechua ( Inca official language). Its walls were covered in thick gold layers. Innumerable amounts of gold coins, jewelry, and religious artifacts dedicated to Inti were inside. Where’s all the gold now? What happened to it? What happened to the people who supposedly recovered it? We’ll explore these topics in more in the following weeks!
A Little Lane, the brook runs close beside And spangles in the sunshine while the fish glide swiftly by And hedges leafing with the green spring tide From out their greenery the old birds fly And chirp and whistle in the morning sun The pilewort glitters ‘neath the pale blue sky The little robin has its nest begun And grass green linnets round the bushes fly How Mild the Spring Comes in; the daisy buds Lift up their golden blossoms to the sky How lovely are the pingles and the woods Here a beetle runs; and there a fly Rests on the Arum leaf in bottle green And all the Spring in this Sweet lane is seen
You may write me down in history With your bitter, twisted lies, You may tread me in the very dirt But still, like dust, I’ll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns, With the certainty of tides, Just like hopes springing high, Still I’ll rise.
Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops. Weakened by my soulful cries.
Does my haughtiness offend you? Don’t you take it awful hard ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines Diggin’ in my own back yard.
You may shoot me with your words, You may cut me with your eyes, You may kill me with your hatefulness, But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise That I dance like I’ve got diamonds At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame I rise Up from a past that’s rooted in pain I rise I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide, Welling and swelling I bear in the tide. Leaving behind nights of terror and fear I rise Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear I rise Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave. I rise I rise I rise.
A humble thought. A pleasant calmness. Then snap it’s gone. Like it was never their. Preparation a waste. Such a sour taste. To know who those are that do not care. I shall not have pity or anger towards the indifferent. For it would do nothing to change it. It’s a matter of fact, with words you cant retract. Wasted apologies. Hated because of what I am. Played, like a fiddle but still I don’t care. Sometimes no matter how much one tries they cant break you down. They don’t understand and it’s not their fault. They got caught and they didn’t even know it. Lies to protect are still lies. At sunrise to sundown. Run me into the ground. Bury me cause your in constant agony. I will still rise, i will not compromise. I am who I am. So if you feel you must stop me if you can.