Inca Emperors were viewed as divine beings. Direct descendants from the Gods. Their empire spread from the Lake Titicaca area quickly. They conquered the lands spanning from modern-day Chile to southern Columbia. This included modern-day Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. This royal lineage resulted in many Emperors marrying their own sisters. Concubines were common though and Inca emperors usually had many sons. In the event of the death of an emperor or succession, every son was seen as a viable replacement. Seniority or “pure” blood was not an issue to the Inca as all sons of an emperor were believed to be of divine heritage. This allowed for only the strongest and most ruthless of Inca to rule but would eventually be the downfall of the entire empire.
The most tumultuous civil war for the Inca was fought between two brothers. The sons of Inca Huayna, Huáscar and Atahualpa. Initially, Inca Huayna had allowed both brothers to rule their own parts of the empire but when he died in 1527 both brothers went to war. The civil war lasted from 1527 to 1532. What neither brother was aware of though was that Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro were approaching and far more dangerous.
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!
When Sergio Marchionne (RIP) was CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, he actively and quite publically pursued a partnership or merger with another mainstream automaker. GM was one of them. He knocked but the other side didn’t open the door, and that was that. But Marchionne understood the big picture that automakers would be stronger if they created alliances. Their futures would depend on doing so. Heck, he orchestrated Fiat’s successful purchase of Chrysler.
His successor, Mike Manley, also sees what Marchionne saw, so it wasn’t a big surprise last week when it was reported PSA, consisting of Peugeot, Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall, and FCA had discussed the possibility of merging. An agreement wasn’t made for a number of reasons, but now The Financial Times, via Automotive News, has learned that Renault and Nissan intend to make a joint bid for FCA.27
The Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance has been front and center in the headlines since November when its now former chairman, Carlos Ghosn, was arrested in Tokyo for financial wrongdoing. Since then, the automakers have been renegotiating their alliance, which both hope to complete within the next year. Once that’s done, the plan is to make a deal for FCA.
The ultimate goal is to create an even bigger alliance that could better compete against the Volkswagen Group and Toyota. Now that the dust has settled somewhat since the Ghosn scandal broke out, Renault-Nissan has named Jean-Dominique Senard as its new chairman. Aside from Renault-Nissan and PSA, this isn’t the first time in recent years an automaker was interested in purchasing FCA, or at least part of it.
A couple of years ago, China’s Great Wall Motor Co. wanted to buy Jeep, but FCA was rightly unwilling to part with its most profitable brand. But a Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi-FCA tie up, however it’s decided, could be a good fit. Aside from major cost savings involving suppliers, R&D, and manufacturing, each brand would likely gain a foothold into markets where it’s currently weak.
But for now, no decisions have been made and spokespeople for all companies involved refuse to comment. Make no mistake though, it looks like FCA will soon be cutting a deal with someone.
By now you’ve likely picked up the new kitchen appliance that everyone can’t seem to get enough of these days. The Instant Pot seems to have been an instant success. We will occasionally visit recipes for the Instant Pot on Tuesday’s Home Cooked blog posts. We thought we’d start with one of the most basic and commonly made dishes, Chicken & Rice. We sourced this recipe from delish.com. It’s pretty spot on in our opinion though we did parenthetically note one adjustment that we found beneficial. Enjoy and bon appétit!
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1 c. white rice
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth or water (we recommend 1 3/4 – 2 c.)
2 medium carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
chopped parsley, for garnish
Preheat Instant Pot by setting to “Sauté”. Add olive oil and cook onion until slightly softened for 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, oregano, and paprika and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
Stir in rice and broth and season with salt and pepper. Add carrots, bell pepper, and chicken, and season generously again with salt and pepper.
Close lid, change setting to manual or “Pressure Cook” and set for 8 minutes on high. When 8 minutes is up, let pot decompress naturally for 10 minutes, then release pressure, remove lid, and shred chicken. Top with parsley before serving.
Today’s Motivation Monday comes from an article we love from Success.com by Kim Orlesky. We hope you appreciate it as much as we did!
As she sat across from me in the boardroom, having just finished telling me her goals for the next year, I could see a mix of excitement and insecurity in her eyes. Her goals were lofty—her financial goals, where she wanted to see her business flourish and the customers she wanted to reach. She told me she dreamed of retiring on a beach in Costa Rica within the next five years. Nothing she said was unreasonable, but I knew she had a difficult path in front of her.
There are a lot of actions that we need to take to get where we are going. Those who are committed to do anything and everything to make their dreams a reality need to create momentum.
1. How determined are you?
Asking “are you willing to do whatever it takes?” creates a movement inside you and has you consider the actions you really need to take. If the answer is anything but yes, then the goal isn’t right. You need to go back and choose something you are willing to do anything to achieve. For many people, the answer is an immediate and resounding yes—the goal is so big, so lofty and so inspiring, they would do whatever it takes to get there.
2. Think outside the box.
If you are willing to do whatever it takes to get to your goal, the follow-up question is: “What do you need to get there?” This is where people start to struggle. In many cases, the actions people take are the correct ones—consistent actions that propel you toward your goal. But if that was enough, why aren’t you closer to your goal by now? Consider what else you could do to get there. Who could you contact that has succeeded in the past? What groups, classes or events could you join?
3. Step outside of your comfort zone.
If you are willing to do anything to achieve your goal, that also means taking actions you’ve never taken before. This might mean contacting people above you, making financial investments you might not feel entirely ready for, or seeking out opportunities for increased brand exposure. Whatever it is, you need to move past the fear and be willing to take the first step forward. If you stay where you are, you will never get closer to your goal.
4. Take massive action.
Beyond doing the actions that will bring you closer to your goals, you must also be willing to dream and act bigger. You cannot win big contracts if you’re not willing to reach out to decision makers at large organizations. You cannot be given opportunities to speak on large stages if you don’t contact the organizers. Those who are willing to do whatever it takes will look toward their ultimate dream and take the necessary massive action to bring immediate results, instead of hoping they will eventually work their way up to that point. There’s a saying that if you never ask, the answer will always be no, but if you just ask, you might get a yes.
5. Follow up and follow through.
It is not enough to take massive action once, you must do it over and over. You might put in your requests and never hear back. This could happen several times. People get busy; they forget about emails; they never check their voicemail—no different than you or me. You might have to follow up several times before receiving a response. You might have to make several presentations before you finally nail it. Once that moment hits, express it with gratitude and ensure the person and opportunity is not forgotten. Use that moment as momentum for your next big step, because you were willing to do whatever it takes to get to your goal—and you will be able to do it all over again.
There’s a good chance you fall into one of these five categories.
It’s not quite a summer party without the smell of a grill out back. But which is best for you? That depends on what kind of backyard boss you want to be. One of these five should fit the bill.
For the Technophile
Your grilling style: Constantly monitoring
If you want the ease of gas but the flavor of wood, a pellet grill is still an underappreciated option. The Traeger Timberline 1300 will automatically feed fuel to maintain your desired temperature, so you don’t have to do it yourself. You can even monitor the action on your phone over a WiFire app. (Downside: Now the Russians can get you through your grill, too.) $2,000
For the Social Butterfly
Your grilling style: More style than grill
Good looks and great-tasting food shouldn’t be an either-or proposition. The Everdure Cube, released under the aegis of British chef Heston Blumenthal, comes in fun colorways that are enhanced with practical touches, such as bottom venting to keep it from overheating whatever it’s standing on. $200
For the Classicist
Your grilling style: Easy, low, and slow
The latest 24-inch Weber Summit updates the famed kettle design with a black porcelain-enameled finish and air-insulated, double-walled construction, so it can hold its temperature for as long as 10 hours. A liquid propane self-ignition system upgrades it further, but people will still think you’re chill. $1,700
For the Showoff
Your grilling style: Fickle
The Kalamazoo K1000HT Hybrid Fire can burn charcoal and wood, or you can leave the drawer empty to turn it into a turbocharged gas grill. Customize one of the four laser-cut surfaces with your initials, so every steak and burger comes off the fire monogrammed. It’s sure to impress your son’s friends from boarding school. $28,880
For the Cultist
Your grilling style: Patient
We all know at least one insufferable Big Green Egg evangelist. The heavyweight, thick-walled grills have incredible heat retention with relatively little fuel, which means your food can grill deeply over a long period. This MiniMax is nominally portable, at just 19.5 inches tall. Still, it weighs a stout 76 pounds and can roast a 12-pound turkey (or cook four burgers at a time) on its 13-inch grill. $598
You are missing out if you haven’t visited discover-the-world.com or their blog. Here is a great post by Lauren Shorney that takes us to the beautiful city of Vancouver. Enjoy and make plans to travel!
Vancouver is a city I had never visited but had always heard such great things about from colleagues and friends. It has been voted as the “world’s most liveable city” many times and it is very easy to see why.
Whether you stay by the waterfront or in the heart of the shopping district, the city is ideal for exploring on foot, and many of the districts – Coal Harbour, the waterfront, Gastown, Yaletown and Chinatown – are compact and within easy reach of each other. Another popular way to get around is by bike or water taxi. These are also regularly used by locals to navigate the city in a more scenic way.
To really enjoy Vancouver and its surroundings, I would recommend a minimum of three days.
Day 1: Stanley Park and the waterfront
Stanley Park starts at the edge of Downtown Vancouver and can be reached by walking, cycling or by car. It has recently been voted the best park in the world by TripAdvisor and I was amazed to learn that it is over 10% larger than New York’s Central Park. It is home to many beaches, walking trails, an aquarium, and beautiful gardens. The park’s most famous feature is the 8.8km seawall that loops around the park, fantastic for walkers and cyclists. Along the seawall there are some great viewpoints out to the city and also nine replica Totem Poles. The poles all represent real or mythical stories from First Nations peoples or symbolise a crest telling their family or tribe’s history.
If you have time this afternoon, make your way back to the waterfront and experience the ‘Flyover Canada’ simulator. I must admit I was very dubious about this as I prefer to spend my time outdoors, however, I couldn’t have been more wrong. The ‘ride’ is about 20 minutes long and you are taken from East to Western Canada, through the Arctic, the Prairies, Rocky Mountains, vineyards and over the ocean. You even ‘swoop’ down into the mountain ranges and feel the air on your face. The sights are mesmerizing and my fellow travellers and I left with real enthusiasm about the experience.
Day 2: Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge
A 10 minute drive from downtown Vancouver took me to Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you do not have a car, there is a free shuttle service from the city that runs every 15 minutes. This is a very popular tourist attraction so I would recommend arriving before 11am to avoid the majority of crowds.
The surroundings here are very lush and green, with the Capilano River running underneath the bridge. I am not a fan of heights so I was very nervous about crossing the bridge, however, was pleasantly surprised. The bridge is very sturdy and does not swing, which makes the nerves much steadier, although I was still holding on tight!
The bridge itself was originally built in 1889 by George Grant Mackay, a Scottish civil engineer and park commissioner for Vancouver who purchased the land and needed a bridge to cross to the other side of his property. The bridge was completely rebuilt in 1956.
In the First Nations language, Capilano means ‘Beautiful River’ and there is a strong focus on the First Nations’ history, with a story centre, totem poles and daily performances on offer.
From Capilano, if you don’t have a car, it is a short ride on a local bus to Grouse Mountain.The cable car to the top of the mountain is very spacious and takes eight minutes so gives you time to enjoy the views over the city, or hide in the middle like me!
Grouse Mountain offers many walking trails and is also home to two refuge grizzly bears called Grinder and Coola. The bears were taken in as cubs as unfortunately their mothers were killed, and they have been here ever since. The enclosure is covered with trees so I found it difficult to see the bears, however, I did see one walking through the forested area and then going to sleep where he stayed for a long time.
The views from the mountain are of course weather dependent, but absolutely sublime and made for some wonderful photo opportunities.
Day 3: Granville Island and Gastown
Granville Island was my favourite experience in Vancouver as it involved my favourite thing: food! The atmosphere was fantastic, with music being played outside by buskers, and tourists and locals mingling and experiencing the edible delights.
Granville is not actually an island but can be accessed by water taxi, car or bus. It is a permanent undercover market, selling food from all over the world. In the food hall the stalls include Chinese, tapas, pizza, fish and chips, Vietnamese, Italian, you name it! The ice cream and cakes were to die for! It is also extremely popular with the locals as fresh fish, fruit, and vegetables are all on sale.
There are many arts and crafts shops inside and outside the markets, and the outdoor areas are great for enjoying the waterside setting. Just beware of the seagulls who can come after your food, so you may wish to eat inside.
In the evening, Gastown is a fantastic place to eat and enjoy some cocktails, if you left any space after Granville Island earlier. Gastown is well known for its steam clock which is located on the corner of Cambie and Water Street, and was actually built to cover a steam grate. The clock displays the time on four faces and announces the quarter hours with a whistle chime that plays the Westminster Quarters.
My time in Vancouver was short but wonderful. It is a fantastic gateway to the Rocky Mountains and Alaska and is a great city with so much to see and do within it, not to mention the nature that surrounds it.
Fancy stopping in Vancouver for a few days? We have a wide range of holiday options and excursions throughout British Columbia.