©1999 Jay Weidner and Vincent Bridges
Republished with permission of Jay Weidner.
Lima, Peru is one of the driest places on Earth. It sits on the west coast of South America, at the north end of the Peru/Chile coastal desert. Ten to twenty years will sometimes pass without a single drop of rainfall. Although the ocean is just a stone’s throw away there is no moisture and very little life in this desert. Outside of the sprawling, poverty-ridden city there is nothing but miles and miles of dried yellow sand with not a weed, plant or any other living thing in sight.
When the Inca were asked by the Spanish where the best place to put a city was, they were told to come to where Lima stands today. The Inca considered Lima to be the worst place on Earth to live. It was their way of saying “up yours” to the Spanish. Lima today is a huge colossus that stretches for mile upon dusty mile in all directions. Only the Pacific Ocean mercifully stops it from going any further. But the coast line doesn’t stop everything; the beaches are filled with mountains of trash washed out by the tidal flow, every day, into the blue waters of the world’s biggest ocean.
Lima is the only major city in Peru. Outside its borders lies a country that is wild, unpopulated and forbidding. There are no shortage of mysteries in this land. There are lost cities, hidden tunnel systems, gigantic edifices, and remnants of ancient societies. Peru also has four ecological zones that stretch all the way from the hottest desert to the wettest rainforest on Earth. Needless to say there are a million places to get lost and remain hidden forever.
The one hour flight from the sweltering hotbed of Lima to the cool mountains of Cusco is a welcome relief. Cusco is an Inca word for “naval of the world,” possibly even an analog for the center of the galaxy. If we think of the curving snake-like shape of the Andes mountains as the Milky Way, then Cusco is indeed at the center. Everything here is as different from Lima as it can possibly get.
The high Andes mountains rise out of the Earth to climb in places to over 20,000 feet in altitude. Their ragged cliffs, proof of their young age, attract the clouds and moisture out of the Amazon jungle far below and to the east. These clouds bring the necessary rain-fall to keep the high Andes fertile and verdant. In Cusco, as opposed to Lima, there is always a cool wind which flows through the green trees and fertile valleys. The people seem happier too.
The local remnants of the Inca empire still laugh and sing, although the words are now Spanish. The locals are a tribe of Indians called the Quechua. Their tribe was once the foundation of the great Inca empire, though now they are reduced to the status of a conquered race. The Quechua are a proud and handsome people with high cheekbones and honest eyes. It is important to remember that a DNA study of the Basque people in southwest France came to the conclusion that their closest relatives, on the entire planet, were the Quechua of Peru.
The Inca ruled their empire for less than 150 years before the Spanish conquistadors appeared. Around 1400 CE, a group of Quechua nobles from Cusco managed to unite the warring factions left from the dissolution of the ancient empire of the Wari-Tiawanku, which had ruled the Andean highlands for a thousand years. They accomplished this by returning to the way of Viracoca, producing a brilliant synthesis of Andean civilization going all the way back to culture of Tiahuanaco, the pre-historic Atlanteans. The physical remains of the Inca empire, its roads and bridges, temples, towns, fortresses and irrigation canals, can today be seen everywhere in Peru and Boliva. The modern visitor is left with the impression that something very important happened in the Andean highlands long ago, and that nothing much has happened since.
It’s hard to account for the sudden brilliance. The empire itself was an idea whose time had come. Several centuries of constant warfare had prepared the highlands to accept a political solution, but it is the cultural effervescence that catches our attention. The way of Viracoca taught that civilization must be in the image of the origin of all things. The word Inca in Quechua means “archetype” or original pattern. The world was “inca” or correctly aligned with the original model when it was formed as a cross with a unifying center point. As with most American cultures, this was visualized as the essential order of space.
The Inca called their empire Tawantinsuyu, the United Four Quarters, for this reason. The center of the cross was Cusco, the navel of the world. Through Cusco, heaven nourished the earth in the person of The Inca, the archetypal man, or the King. He was the center of the hub around which the crossed circle of time and space revolved. In western terms, he is most like the Pharaoh of Egypt as son of the Sun, and beyond to a composite of Adam, Christ and the Grail King.
All of this becomes even more intriguing when we think of the Andes as a naturally suggestive pattern for the Milky Way, with Cusco on the galactic core. The cross of the four quarters then echoes the four projected Trees of Life on the celestial sphere. The Sapa Inca, the unique man in the form of the King, begins to look a lot like the Adam Kadmon, or cosmic man of the Kabbalists, formed from the intersection of these Trees. The way of Viracoca could be the secret of astro-alchemy itself in an Utopian form lost to the west after Egypt’s decline. (Appendix G in book has more information on The Raimondi Stela and the Viracoca cult).