Machu Picchu and Moray, Peru

Colour: white

Mnemonic: KARASH

Original Clue and Location: Machu Picchu, Peru.

Since Hiram Bingham’s discovery of Machu Picchu in 1911, so much has been written about this enigmatic city it is easy to become seduced by the wealth of information, sometimes contradictory, that is available. There is no question the site is an important tourist attraction for Peru and one of the world’s most impressive archaeological locations. Bingham believed Machu Picchu was the home of the last Incas, as well as the home of the very first Incas, possibly even the ‘cradle of Andean civilization.’  The building style has since been defined as ‘late imperial Inca’; and archeologists currently believe it was a sanctuary or temple inhabited by high priests and the ‘Virgins of the Sun’. However, astronomical studies of both Machu Picchu and Tiahuanaco on the shores of Lake Titicaca, show perfect astronomical alignments with fixed star positions of the 5th and middle 3rd millenniums BC, which suggest the city is much older than this. This includes alignments of the sacred space of ‘Intihuatana’, the ‘hitching post of the Sun’; believed to be a type of sundial, perfectly shaped out of the highest peak of a natural granite outcrop, which is said to represent the head of a ‘frozen crystal serpent’ rising from the base of the rock (Pinkham, 1997).  

The vast complex of buildings was well constructed and, even after five hundred years hidden high in the Peruvian jungle, the buildings are basically intact, despite the presence of geological faults across the site. These fault lines were present long before the city was built and Inca stonemasons used one of them as the main quarry for the granite used in its stone buildings. Local shamans have also been known to call Machu Picchu the ‘crystal city’, because of the high concentration of resonating quartz crystal within its granite blocks.

Whilst Hiram Bingham found many objects of stone, bronze, ceramic and obsidian, there was no gold or silver. If Machu Picchu was an Inca temple complex, there should have been fabulous riches comparable to those found at Q’orikancha, the ‘Temple of the Sun’ in Cuzco; where, it is said, even the garden contained life-size gold replicas of maize and other plants. The Spaniards always took great pains to visit every inhabited settlement, recording finds in detail before removing them. Given there is no single reference to the city in Spanish Chronicles, it has always been assumed they never found Machu Picchu. If there were fabulous riches there, they must have been removed earlier. Peruvian scholars believe the city became depopulated towards the end of the 15th century, before the Spanish arrived. There have been several hypotheses about what happened to its inhabitants, including: wars between rival Inca tribes; that the place was dammed and excommunicated and all inhabitants killed after a novice priest defiled one of the sacred Virgins of the Sun; or the city was ravaged by plague and permanently quarantined by Inca authorities. What actually happened remains unexplained and is part of the mystery and fascination of the place. 

Later research and insights:

Legend tells of how the Americas were colonized by Spiritual Masters, or ‘Serpents’ from the ancient civilizations of Lemuria (Mu) and Atlantis, fleeing from their sinking cities (Pinkham, 1997). They called the American landmass ‘Amaraka’, or ‘land of the wise serpents’. It is worth noting here, that in the Andean Quecha language, Amaru ≡ serpent. As the story goes, Amaru Muru (the Spiritual Master of Mu) and his consort Amaru Mara headed to South America with a cargo of sacred relics and a huge golden sun disk. They chose the Andes as their new home, because the mountains had the same yin vibration as Mu and held the energy of Volcan, the underground fire serpent. They built a secluded monastery near Lake Titicaca, for the preservation and dissemination of their spiritual teachings; reputedly with many secret vaults and caverns beneath it. After finishing the monastery, Amaru Muru and the Kapac Cuna, his ‘serpent’ entourage, built the city of Tiahuanaco, the ‘City of Serpent Wisdom’, on the banks of the sacred lake; before heading north-west to found the first Inca Empire. Amaru Muru was the first priest king of the Incas, taking the serpent name of Manco Kapac. He built his capital at Cusco, but the city was later decimated by a catastrophic earthquake and abandoned, causing the Incas to flee to a mountain retreat, which some believe was Machu Picchu. A second Manco Kapac, later led them back to Cusco and rebuilt the city (Sitchin, 1990). The idea of more than one Inca Empire is not new; ancient records gathered by the Spanish Chronicler, Fernando Montesinos, also referred to two Incan empires, an ancient one and the Pre-Colombian one seen today (Pinkham, 1997).   

Andean Cosmology:

The Andes forms a spine of mountains and volcanoes that stretch the length of the South American landmass and the tribes of Andean Indians who live there share a common, spiritual vision of the cosmology of the world, believing it to consist of three levels or dimensions:

The ALAPACHA (in Quecha) also called HANAN PACHA: is the world above, including the heavens and the sky, where elevated beings reside – represented by the CONDOR

The AKAPACHA also called KAY PACHA: is the world of the Earth’s surface where men and other elemental spirits reside – represented by the PUMA or JAGUAR

The MANKAPACHA also called UKU PACHA: is the underworld populated by spirits responsible for the fertility of the Earth, including its life-giving waters – represented by the SERPENT

The Andean Indians have a profound reverence for nature and Pachamama, the Earth Mother; particularly the mountains, which are considered to be gods and APU, or sacred spirits. Despite being converted to Catholicism, these ancient beliefs and the worship of Pachamama still continue today. 

All natural rock formations around Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu are considered sacred, or Huaca (Quecha word). A Huaca can be a sacred place, a temple, or a consecrated place. Somewhere where things seem to exist out of their natural order, or are considered remarkable because of their exceptional beauty or excellence. Huacas were used as places of worship long before Inca times; are still in use today; and are considered sacred to Pachamama. The Inca peoples both recognized and enhanced these sacred landscapes by incorporating birds and animals, from Andean cosmology, into their building and city layouts. See Dragons in the Landscape and its example of the city of Cusco built in the shape of a giant puma. 

Mysticism and Symbolism – unravelling the meaning of these sacred landscapes: 

Fernando and Edgar Elorrieta Salazar worked for years, linking the many myths and symbols left by Inca culture, to explain the position of the many fantastic cities and temples in the Sacred Valley; the valley of the Urubamba between Cusco and Machu Picchu. The abundance of sacred elements found in Machu Picchu confirmed their conviction that the Incas built the Sacred City as a place of pilgrimage, a sanctuary. They believed the Inca Trail, was probably a chronological sequence of places followed by the Incas, before finding the place where they built Machu Picchu; which they describe as resting like ‘a jewel in the middle of surrounding summits, encircled by the River Vilcanota twisting its way, around the sanctuary, to the tropical rainforest, like an enormous snake’. They also suggested there might be a hidden meaning in the old Quecha name of Machu Pichiu, or ‘Old Bird’; and the name given to the Sacred City. The intention behind the naming possibly being to invoke the Apu or Spiritual Bird of the highest summits in the neighbourhood of the Sacred Valley of Urubamba; which is still called upon today, by local people, for advice and healing. The Salazars left an excellent, illustrated book ‘The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Myths and Symbols’, published in Cusco in 1996 (Salazar F. E., 1996). Whilst foraging around a street market on my first visit to Cusco, I came across a book by the same authors, but with a slightly different title ‘Cusco and the Sacred Valley of the Incas’, also published in Cusco, but with no date (Salazar F. E.).  A comparison of the book I purchased, with a summary of their findings published online, shows little difference (http://www.infoperu.com/en/view.php?lang=en&p=83, n.d.). These are all excellent sources of information about Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley and I would advise any visitor to Peru, who is curious about these sacred landscapes, to read this material. The images below are taken from this book and highlight the outline of a condor superimposed on the buildings and terraces of the city. In the second image, the face of a puma on the side of the mountain is also highlighted.

Machu Picchu 
Condor over Machu Picchu

Following the clues on the ground: October 2005 and November 2013

Every visit to Machu Picchu begins in Cusco, the ancient capital of the Inca Empire. Both my trips, in 2005 and 2013, were no exception. A few days exploring the city is, it seems, a good way to acclimatize to the altitude, before heading off into the Sacred Valley and the road to Machu Picchu. An idea was growing in my mind about where the location of the ‘energy pumping station’ might be. Whilst Machu Picchu was a very interesting archaeological site and definitely worth a visit; it was a clue to get me into the right geographical area, from where my explorations could start. The more I thought about it, the clearer it became; the most likely location would be somewhere in the Sacred Valley.

In and around Cusco

It is said that when the Spanish arrived in Cusco in late 1533, they were astonished by the beauty of the city. Eyewitnesses described the place as a city of gold and light. Streets were quiet, because the Inca had no horses and the biggest domestic animal was the llama, which was used to carry all manner of goods up steep hillsides and through narrow doorways. Street life was also quiet because the inhabitants walked in sandals. Every street was clean and had two canals: one side for sewerage and the other a canal with fresh, clean river water.

In 2005, I arrived in Cusco by rail from Puno; having first spent time in Bolivia exploring Tiahuanaco and Sun Island on Lake Titicaca. The journey from Puno to Cusco was quite spectacular, until the final stretch alongside the Rio Huatanay, where the river banks were piled high with rubbish. Not the most welcoming of sights, but a portent of the underlying energy of the modern city’s inhabitants and businesses that depend on tourism for a living, with all its advantages and drawbacks. No longer is it the clean, quiet city discovered by the Spanish back in 1533. 

Sacred Valley Map

My map and trusty Lonely Planet guide showed there were several places on the outskirts of Cusco that could be a good starting point for my explorations. There were sites dedicated to the four elements: Sacsayhuaman, the ‘Temple of the EARTH’, sometimes referred to as the ‘Serpent/Lightning Temple’; Tambomachay, the ‘resting place of the Serpent’ and the ‘Temple of WATER’; Puka Pukara, the ‘Temple of AIR’; and Q’enko, the ‘Temple of FIRE’. A fifth location called ‘Temple of the Moon’, also caught my eye and intrigued me. In addition, there were a number of sacred mountains or Apus around Cusco, looking over the city and protecting it. ‘Apu Pical’ has a distinctive, triangular-shaped peak and is one of the closer mountains, which can be seen from many parts of the city; whilst the snow-covered, glaciated ‘Apu Ausangate’ can be seen in the distance.

In 2005, I began my explorations visiting Saqsayhuaman, a temple of the Earth, where the three levels of Andean cosmology are reputedly represented in the three levels of stones used. The base stones are on an igneous (volcanic) outcrop, whilst the dressed stones laid on top are limestone from a quarry a short distance away in the valley.

My guide and I walked slowly around the site, observing the tightly jointed, giant stones in close up, as we wound our way through a maze of narrow doorways and up steps until we reached the hill’s complex summit, ‘the eye of the puma’. This once powerful vortex was delineated by a circle of stones, a huge stone-spoked wheel called ‘Muyuqmarka’, which is also said to represent the sky or condor. 

giant stones and narrow doorways
the stone-spoked wheel of ‘Muyuqmarka’

Chronicles mention that when the Spanish arrived there had been a tower here, but it was dismantled, along with much of Sacsayhuaman, with the stones being reused for new principal buildings, i.e. churches and cathedrals in Cusco. In 2005 it was possible to walk up and on to this part of the complex, to explore it directly; but in 2013 the area was cordoned off ‘for restoration’. The purpose of this feature has been interpreted in numerous ways, which may not necessarily be mutually exclusive. One is that it was a medicine wheel with alignments to solstices and equinoxes; another that the original tower included a natural water spring or fountain, which radiated water out along various channels, on different levels, into the rest of the temple complex, making it a natural conductor that significantly amplified the energy and power of the megalith; thirdly that it was an entranceway into the underground tunnels which linked many sites in the area, with the principle access point at Q’orikancha; and fourthly, the stone tower was a meditation location for higher spiritual awareness. The distinctive, zig-zag shape of the stone walls at Saqsayhuaman are said to represent both the teeth of the puma, a lightning bolt; and the path taken by the ‘dragon’ energy as it travels across the Saqsayhuaman vortex. It is worth noting that to be touched by lightning was considered a great gift of awakening by the Inca.

After a morning spent exploring Saqsayhuaman, the Temple of the Moon and Qenqo the Temple of Fire; the afternoon was my own to explore the delights of Cusco. From the Plaza de Armas my steps took me to the Inka Museum and, after wandering around for a while, I was drawn downstairs to an almost empty lower level. In one corner, was a model which intrigued me. It was of a site at Moray, just south of Urubamba in the western part of the Sacred Valley at a height of 3400m. An information board described how the natural topographical features of the site had been altered to form a complex of concentric terraces, the largest of which was called ‘Quchuyoqmuyo’. Three things grabbed my attention; the way in which the concentric terraces went down into the ground; the information that there were immense funnels up to 50m below the surface; and that there was a sophisticated hydraulic system bringing water to the surface from various sources. There was no doubt in my mind this complex formed some kind of energy vortex with underground associations, but was it the place I was looking for? The information board contained further interesting details, including observed temperature variances of up to 5° between each terrace. Whilst there was no universally accepted theory to explain the function of these features, suggestions included: the terraces were an agricultural laboratory to test microclimates, which allowed the adaptation of cultivated plant species (i.e. the Inca were testing various plant species to see which would flourish at different altitudes); or the area is a strongly spiritual one and may have been a centre where Pachamama was worshipped. Today it is a meeting place for rural people, for celebrating both Pachamama and the cycles of traditional agrarian activities.

The next day I was up bright and early, ready to explore Cusco further. Once more, my feet took me to the Plaza de Armas and then down Loretta Alley next to La Compañia, a church built on the foundations of the Inca Palace ‘Huayna Capac’, the ‘Palace of the Serpents’. There were old granite Inca walls on both sides of the alley and I was looking for the ‘Courtyard of the Serpents’, or Amaru-Cancha as it is known in Quecha. I had read it was an ancient centre of learning, marked by a pair of snakes carved on the lintel of a doorway. The door lintel with the carved snakes eluded me and, concluding I wasn’t meant to find it, I continued on my way to the Santa Domingo Church, which is built on the site of the old Inca ‘Temple of the Sun’ at Q’orikancha. Readers who wish to know more about energy flows around this sacred space, should see the pages on Dragons in the Landscape and the Inca Seqe system, which had Q’orikancha at its centre. Once inside, the church was very dark and had little energy that I could sense; so, I paid an additional fee to enter the museum and remaining Inca temples on the site. An information board reminded me Q’orikancha is Quechua for ‘golden courtyard’; so named, by the Spanish, for the 700 solid gold sheets, each weighing 2kg, which had adorned its walls. It is also said the Inca kept the mummified bodies of several previous Incas here, bringing them out into the sunlight each day to be offered food and drink, which was then ritually burnt. Q’orikancha was also used as an astronomical observatory for various celestial movements and astronomical events; and was, if legend is to be believed, the entrance to a hidden underground tunnel system. When the Spanish invaded Cusco in the 16th century, it is rumoured the Incas followed these tunnels to safe havens in Peru and Bolivia, hiding treasures along the way in cavernous crypts, which have never been found. Legend also says the Andean tunnel system was part of a more extensive Pan-American tunnel system, which was documented on a map that used to decorate a wall in Q’orikancha.

Just before walking out of the Q’orikancha complex and into the street, I was attracted to a small room advertising a photographic exhibition. Inside, in prime position, was a stunning picture of the site at Moray; but most of all, my attention was immediately drawn to the ‘Serpent being’, in a small outcrop of rock overlooking the site. Standing there, looking at this picture, there was no longer any doubt in my mind; this was the location I was searching for. Moray was the location of the ‘energy pumping station’ in the Sacred Valley.

original photograph of Moray with its serpent rock guardian

Back at the hotel I looked up the location of Moray on my map of the Sacred Valley and debated about changing my itinerary for the following day. However, the message was very clear. It was not appropriate for me to visit Moray at this time. There were other locations at Pisac and Ollantaytambo, which were more important for me to see during this trip. There was a very distinct feel of much more to this energy pumping station; and I was being told to keep an open mind and to wait and see what happened. This of course means that I will be returning at some time in the future, to visit Moray and connect with the energies there.

Exploring the Sacred Valley:

There are many stories about the Sacred Valley: from it being the location of an Ancient Mystery School; to the precise celestial alignments of Ollantaytambo, the City of the WIND and a huge megalithic ‘Heart Temple’ of the Andean Serpents (Pinkham, 1997); to stories of the Sun Temple at Pisac cradling a meteor from Maldek, which is connected to the Sun; and Moray having a deep connection with other worlds and its concentric circles acting as a cosmic satellite dish to the stars. Through the valley, bringing life to all the small villages and towns along the way, flows the Urubamba River. From its beginnings in the east, high in the mountains above Pisac, it flows westwards, increasing in size as it reaches Ollantaytambo; then heads west and north until it becomes the Vilcanota River that snakes around Machu Picchu; before heading off towards the jungle to join the Amazon River in its flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Since 2005 I have seen maps which suggest this river of many names could start its flow even further south-east at Lake Titicaca.

‘Energy Pumping Station’ location and description:

Early in 2006 I discovered that Wright Water Engineers Inc. and the Wright Palaeohydrological Institute had undertaken an intensive study of Moray; together with Peruvian archaeologists, a Cusco plant biologist and local Quecha Indians (Wright, Spring 2006).  This study would have been ongoing at the time of my first visit to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, so perhaps this was the reason why it hadn’t been appropriate for me to visit Moray in 2005? The team performed several surveys, gathered pollen samples, examined water supplies and the terrace irrigation system; but found no evidence that the site was used for agricultural research purposes. Although pollen analysis did show evidence of Inca crops of quinoa, maize and guava growing there; all of which would have been incorporated into religious and ceremonial functions at the site.

In November 2013 I returned to Cusco and the Sacred Valley, with the intention of visiting the site at Moray; either to confirm it was the location of the ‘energy pumping station’ I was seeking, or, if it wasn’t, then to find where it was. During this stay in Cusco I was based in the Unaytambo Hotel, which in Inca times was part of the large complex of temples and palaces in and around Q’orikancha. An Inca street, now called Romeritos, ran from Q’orikancha, the male ‘Temple of the Sun’; along the side of my hotel, which used to be part of the original ‘Palace of Pleasure’; and on to Kusicancha the female ‘Temple of the Moon’. Today, the latter is a collection of ruins and foundations with none of the imposing qualities of Q’orikancha. Despite not being advertised in tourist brochures and not appearing on many city maps, Kusicancha is well worth a visit; if only to gauge the extent of the complex and understand the balance of energies it once held. 

My week in the Sacred Valley would be leisurely; the distances from east to west are not huge and, given the valley is lower than Cusco, there wouldn’t be any problems with altitude. My base in the Sacred Valley would be Willka T’ika (www.willkatika.com, n.d.), a beautiful, tranquil haven near the town of Urubamba. Two days later, after further explorations of other sites in the Sacred Valley, I found myself on the way to Moray, via Salinas, a major salt production site and, the old town of Maras.

On our arrival in Moray, there were ten or more large coaches in the car park and lots of people milling around. I had hoped to explore the location in relative peace, but clearly that was not to be. My guide Marco showed me where the circles were located and how to get to them; then left me to explore on my own for as long as I wanted. The picture of Moray I had seen in Q’orikancha in 2005 had shown the largest of the concentric, stone terraced circles, but there are in fact three of them, located between two ridges. I walked up the main ridge before heading off to the smallest circle on the right. In its prime, this had clearly had several levels of circular terraces; but many of the walls had collapsed long ago, leaving gaps and uneven piles of stones. The people milling around in the car park were passing this circle by without a single glance. It had an air of being a little unloved, so I sat for a while on a warm stone inside the circle, just observing the rocks and listening. 

The smallest of the concentric, terraced circles

Sometime later I left this first circle and walked along a footpath, which lead over a short ridge to a medium-sized, second circle. This one was deeper, with more complete terraces and sat in a hollow within a horse-shoe of eroded sandstone ‘cliffs’. As always, I asked permission to enter and was told ‘yes’; but on the way down to the bottom of the circle, I found myself wondering whether it would be appropriate to link in with this area. I immediately slipped on an unseen rock and fell flat on my bottom. Clearly the answer was ‘no’ to that idea.

The second, medium-sized terraced circle

It was very sunny and warm inside this second circle, so again I sat a while, just observing and listening to what was going on around me. One side of the top terrace led to an open flat area, which curled around a sandstone ridge to the left where people were walking above. Following the wide terrace around the bottom of the ridge, I came to the third and main area of concentric terraces; the area I had seen on the photograph in Q’orikancha with its serpent rock guardian. Off to the right, a further group of well-kept terraces was laid out up the hillside; almost as if they were viewing platforms from which ceremonies and celebrations in both terraced circles could be observed at the same time.

The terraces in the main circle were much higher, with stone steps to facilitate climbing up and down the terrace walls. These were located at strategic points, often in a pattern, which could be clearly seen from the ridge above. The stone steps had to be climbed with care as many were made for people with much longer legs than I; and on this occasion, most were blocked with thorns to prevent them from being used. There were also signs saying ‘entrance prohibited’ at all the potential access points to the main circle. Clearly neither I, nor any other visitors, were to be allowed down into the circle. It seems the volume of tourists visiting this site, together with wind and weather, are causing major erosion problems to the sandstone sides and ridges. The pathways were friable underfoot and on one side of the main circle, eroded terraces were propped up to prevent them from collapsing; the result of several, recent years of torrential rain.  

Panoramic view of the main circle with ceremonial area and hillside terraces – the ridge separating the main and medium-sized circle comes in from the right.

With permission, I was allowed to sit on one of the higher terraces immediately facing the main circle and its serpent rock guardian. I was allowed to sit there eating my lunch, but not to connect in in any way. On the flat area in front of the main concentric terraces were an oblong and a square laid out in stones. Possibly the foundations of an altar area, or stone buildings of ceremonial importance? There was no way of knowing.                                                                                                                     

Serpent rock guardian

By this time the place had emptied and, apart from a couple of figures on the far side, I was on my own; happy to just sit there, simply be and observe. Even though it wasn’t appropriate for me to connect in, I was aware of many ‘beings’ around the cliff top. I drew a picture of the area in a notebook, to try and get a more complete perspective of the circles and how they were related, if at all. They appeared to form a triangle of energy points that were linked. The base of all three circles is limestone and water quickly flows away; even after heavy storms there’s rarely a puddle; whilst the sides of the cliffs that surround them contain more sandstone. The stones of the terraces are a mixture of local rocks, predominantly limestone, but are not closely fitted like those found in other major Inca buildings and walls. After an hour or so of just simply enjoying this beautiful space, the crowds started to appear again along the top of the ridge, above the serpent rock guardian. Clearly lunch-time was over and it was time for me to go; so I said ‘goodbye and thank you’ and climbed back up to the car park; knowing I would be back another day.

I returned to Moray two days later. The skies were overcast and there had been rain in the mountains. On this occasion my trip was timed to coincide with lunchtime, hoping the site would be quiet and relatively people-free. After asking permission to enter, the immediate response was ‘please come in’ and I made my way down the main ridge to the right of the car park. This time there was no call to visit the first two circles and so I walked around the top terrace area of the main circle until I arrived directly in front of the serpent rock guardian, in the place where I had eaten lunch on my previous visit. I sat for a while, just simply contemplating the space and was finally given permission to link in. There was no need for any clearing of energy, more a request to bring in light and allow it to suffuse into the central area. I sat for a while longer, experiencing a very subtle flow of energy in my body, until I became aware of many beings both around me and along the top and sides of the ridges on two sides of the terraced circle. There was an impression of music and some kind of celebration going on, but they were fleeting images and soon started to fade. After a while I said ‘thank you’ and wished the serpent rock guardian goodbye, before making my way up the steep path along the right-hand edge of the circle. The rock guardian seemed to watch me as I climbed, even though the angle and direction of my ascent changed with every step. 

Later that afternoon, after a long meditation, it became clear that the energy pumping station is definitely a combination of the three circles; they make a triangle between them and, underground they are all interlinked. In addition, there were other insights: there are now so many visitors to Moray that, like many sacred places around the world, the site shuts itself down during the day for protection. It is full moon in a few days’ time and I have been asked to connect back on the night, when the site will be more open. So that’s the plan.

Three days later, my journey had taken me high in the Andes to Cuenca, the old Spanish capital city of Ecuador. This city has a beautiful plaza at its centre, with the original cathedral on one side and a later, much larger cathedral on the other. Between the two is a haven of trees, flowers, footpaths and strategically spaced seats. Like all Spanish, South American cities, the plaza comes alive at night; a hub of activity with people, cars, restaurants and trinket sellers. The next day, after a long drive to Inca Pirca and the ruins of the most northerly outreach of the Inca Empire, I returned to the plaza. It was overcast, but there was no mistaking the night of the Full Moon. Standing amongst the trees and shrubs on the side facing the old cathedral, I was first asked to link in to Moray, then to project a rainbow of light into the centre of the main circle. This time there was no surge of energy, rather more a pleasant warm sensation filling my body. As I watched, the rainbow was sucked in by a vortex, before hovering just below the surface. Then gold and opalescent white rings of light zoomed around the terraces and even the serpent rock guardian was glowing. A constant check for appropriateness; and each time the answer was ‘Yes, please keep focused on the vortex.’ The moonlight shone straight down into the circle and intensified the spreading light, until the whole area was infused with glowing rainbow colours. After some minutes it was clear my task was complete and everything was OK. Whilst it was appropriate for me to now return my attention to the plaza in Cuenca; it was also clear I was invited to connect back in at any time. I said ‘goodnight and thank you’, but despite focusing on the noisy, honking cars that drove past the old cathedral, it took a while for the energetic connection to subside. At last I turned away and strolled out of the Plaza in the direction of my hotel and a good night’s sleep. I had done what I came here to do. I had exchanged energy signatures with Moray and my energetic connection to this ‘energy pumping station’ was complete. I could link in, from anywhere in the world, whenever I was called to do so.

Local geology:

The city of Machu Picchu is located on a granite outcrop which is part of the Vilcapampa Batholith that outcrops over an area of about 400km² (154 miles²). The grey-white granite of the batholith is an intrusive igneous rock, which cooled slowly deep in the earth and is comprised of 60% feldspar, 30% quartz, and 10% mica. The batholith was formed during the Paleozoic period and is believed to be approximately 250Ma old. Other rocks in the region include metamorphic schists, quartzite and metamorphic conglomerates from 350-450Ma (Goyzueta, n.d.).

One detailed source of information about the geology of Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu is an American Journal of Science written as long ago as 1916 (Gregory, January 1916). Key summary points include:

  • The geology of the area is very complex and the surface rocks seen today have been worked and reworked over many hundreds of millions of years by uplift, tilting and erosion
  • A surface profile of southern Peru, drawn through Cusco, shows an extensive area of upland sharply bounded in the SW by the Peruvian coastal plain and in the NE by slopes leading to the Amazon. This ‘Peruvian plateau’, or ‘Inca Peneplain’ as it is sometimes called, is part of the much larger Andean Plateau and is an uplifted erosion surface dating from the late Mesozoic (142-65Ma). The great earth movements that initially elevated the Andes are believed to have occurred during the Tertiary (65-1.64Ma), but the mountain ranges and individual peaks of the Cusco region have experienced several cycles of uplift and erosion and are much older (Jurassic-Triassic (248.2-142.0Ma)). The present mountain summits have been eroded from truncated folds in sedimentary strata, called ‘cuestas’ and are clearly seen as steeply tilted layers of resistant red and brown sandstone, intersperced with less durable and highly eroded thin beds of brown shaly calcareous sandstone, giving jagged skylines that look like ‘rows of teeth, or sharp fins’. 
  • The relatively flat-lying area immediately north of Cusco, which forms the Sacred Valley, is a limestone plateau, of continental and marine sediments, whose surface slopes east and south. Sink holes are common. The valley floor is 19 miles long and divided into three oval areas of flat-lying land (like links in a chain). There are two types of limestone: (1) blue-black to grey massive variety, which is firm and compact and forms knobs and ridges tilted at various angles and directions when broken, producing outcrops that are not unlike the broken surface of a lava flow; and (2) a drab-grey, thin-bedded slightly arenaceous (sandy) rock. The blue/black/grey ‘Yucan’ limestone, as it is called, is extensively used in construction for walls, foundations, pavements and chiseled blocks for buildings. For example, the famous Inca fortress of Saqsayhuaman is built of enormous blocks of blue-grey Yucan limestone brought from a quarry about 1 mile away. These limestone sediments are believed to have been laid down during the Upper Cretaceous (145.6-98.9Ma), when the area that is now the Sacred Valley was covered by a warm shallow sea that underwent repeated periods of evaporation. Hence the deposition of limestones and the presence of the salt mines at Salinas. Flat lying rock is rare and in many areas the resulting soil is unstable; but the Incas overcame this in favoured localities by terracing the slopes and building retaining walls.
  • These limestone sediments are penetrated by both igneous intrusions (caused when hot magma intrudes into existing rocks, but starts to cool without reaching the surface); and extrusive volcanic rocks (caused when hot magma forces its way to the surface before cooling), which modified their composition and structure. Geologists believe these volcanic rocks, which are mainly andesite and basalt, formed during the Tertiary (65-1.64Ma), when the Andes was being uplifted. All the igneous masses lie in a NW trending belt on the north side of the Cusco Valley between the Huatanay and Urubamba rivers. When the zone containing volcanic rocks is extended, it embraces the isolated volcano of Tinta, the hot springs of Aguas Calientes and the great faults bounding Lake Titicaca. 
  • Igneous stone from the Saqsayhuaman mass, taken from quarries near the city, was highly prized by Inca builders; and the best preserved walls of ancient Cusco, in which the stones are fitted and polished with incredible skill, are formed of this material (geological name: augite diorite porphyry). In addition, the hardness and durability of these igneous and volcanic rocks made them ideal for the main steps and ‘cobbles’ of ceremonial areas.

Local legends:

The Andean Indians have many legends for how man came into being; how the Inca Nation was born; and why the Inca Nation was defeated. Some of the main ones are outlined here:

The Myth of the First Men: (Salazar F. E.)

‘At the beginning of time the one who gave the world its vital breath was called Wiracocha, and there, where all was darkness, he placed a race of giants whom he instructed to live in peace so that they might serve him and know him for all time. But his word was not heeded by those who could not contain the emotions of pride and greed. He descended on them with rapid wings causing confusion and his rage fell unchecked like a torment. The earth and the sea swallowed some of them and others were changed to stone as witness of this awful occasion, once the flood (called ‘unu pachacuti’, or ‘water that changed the world’) ceased and the waters returned to their proper level. When the rains had passed and the land was dry, Wiracocha determined to populate the earth once more. From an island on Lake Titicaca (Sun Island), he raised up the firmament, the sun, the moon and the stars, and thus, even as the sky was populated with luminous bodies, so there also appeared on earth another, known by the name of Wirocochan or Tunupa, who showed light to men. Tall, stern and poorly dressed, he had only a bonnet like a crown on his head and a prodigious staff as a sign of his authority; and he wandered, like a pilgrim, throughout the Andes saying: ‘Let the nations obey! I order you all to come forth and multiply!’ And so, some people came out of lakes, while others came from springs, cliffs, caves and trees to receive from him the seeds, arts and different tongues that each nation and people would have to cultivate. He also gave to them the rules of life, speaking to them gently, teaching them not to hurt or damage one another. Those who chose to rebel were changed to stone in Tiahuanaco, Pucara and Juaja; others like those of the town of Cacha (Now called San Pedro de Racchi, 125km from Cusco and quite close to the extinct volcano of Quinsachata) built him a sanctuary after being burned by a rain of fire. Continuing along his way, Tunupa arrived at a place, which he called Cusco and there he prophesized the arrival of the Inca. He then travelled to the Sacred Valley, where he was lovingly received by the Lord of Tambo (at modern day Ollantaytambo). He left his knowledge engraved on his staff and the people there carved his likeness on the mountains, where it can still be seen to this day. In time, the staff left by Wiracochan was transmuted to gold at the birth of one of Lord Tambo’s descendants. He took the name of Manco Capac and, taking up the staff of gold, he directed his steps to the highest part of a mountainous land where he founded the city of Cusco.’ 

Gateways to the Underworld: (Doore, 1998-2004)

The highlands of the Andes have been known through myth and legend as one of the access points for vast underground subterranean cities; the domain of inner-earth beings who, from time to time, emerge from their lower worlds into the upper atmosphere of our third-dimensional density. These ancient legends speak of vast networks of tunnels crisscrossing the entire length and breadth of the planet. Traditions of vaults, labyrinths and buried treasures of remote antiquity are found in Crete, Egypt, Tibet, Mexico, Ecuador, Bolivia and Peru. Inca prophecy tells of the upper, middle, and lower worlds; other realities existing in both physical and astral or etheric form. Several places in the Andes are considered gateways to these realms and doorways where emergence and entrance are possible. Included among these are the famous sacred sites of Sacsayhuaman in the Peruvian Andes and the ancient pre-Incan city of Tiahuanaco near the shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. 

The Downfall of the Inca Empire: (www.shastahome.com/machu-pichu, n.d.) 

As already mentioned, the Inca felt a strong kinship with nature and believed in omens, dreams, and visions. During the last days before the Spanish invasion, Huayna Capac, the last great Inca, had many visions. One was of lightning flashes coming from his feet, which he took as an evil omen. In Peruvian mythology, both the snake and lightning symbolize forces that can bring disease and decay; when he then received news of an outbreak of bubonic plague in Cuzco, this only reinforced the message of the omen. The plague spread rapidly and is believed to have been a contributing factor to the fall of the Inca Empire. More sinister visions are said to have occurred. While celebrating, “…the people in Cuzco saw an eagle flying in the air pursued by a flock of smaller birds of prey, which repeatedly attacked it with their beaks. Since he could no longer defend himself, the eagle dropped down to the center of the square in front of the Sun Temple.” Its whole body was covered with scabs, had lost most of its feathers and soon died. Other evil omens occurred; such as earthquakes, floods along the coast, comets appearing in the sky, and a moon with “…three great haloes, one blood-red, another shading from black to green, and another ashen.” An ancient oracle of the Inca referred to the coming of “…strange peoples, of a kind that has never been seen before; these would rob the Inca of his empire and destroy its state and religion.” These prophecies, visions and dreams foretold the fall of the Inca Empire and played a large role in the religious and spiritual world of the Incas. So, when the Spanish arrived in late 1533, the Inca believed the prophesies had come true.

Works Cited

Coon, R. (1968). The Planetary Gates of the New Jerusalem. Glastonbury, England.
Coon, R. (1993). Spheres of Destiny. Glastonbury, England.
Doore, K. (1998-2004). Andean Legends of the Inner Earth. Retrieved October 15, 2013, from www.labyrintina.com/legend.htm.
Goyzueta, V. (n.d.). www.machpicchu.com/history. Retrieved November 04, 2013
Gregory, H. E. (January 1916). A Geologic Reconnaissance of the Cuzco Valley, Peru. The American Journal of Science – Fourth Series, Vol. XLI, No. 241.
Hitching, F. (1978). The World Atlas of Mysteries. London: Pan Books.
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Pinkham, M. (1997). The Return of the Serpents of Wisdom. Illinois, USA: Adventures Unlimited Press.
Salazar, F. E. (1996). The Sacred Valley of the Incas, Myths and Symbols. Cusco – Peru.
Salazar, F. E. (n.d.). Cusco and The Sacred Valley of the Incas. Lima: Ausonia S.A.
Sitchin, Z. (1990). The Lost Realms. New York City, USA: Avon Books.
Wright, K. (Spring 2006). Moray: An Inca Engineering Enigma. South American Explorer Vol 81, 8-11.
www.infoperu.com/peru/eng. (n.d.). Retrieved October 18, 2013, from www.infoperu.com/peru/eng.
www.qosqo.com. (n.d.). Retrieved October 04, 2013, from www.qosqo.com.
www.shastahome.com/machu-pichu. (n.d.). Retrieved October 04, 2013
www.willkatika.com. (n.d.). Retrieved November 08, 2015, from www.willkatika.com.

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