Pachamama plays a pivotal role in the religious beliefs of the indigenous people of the Andes including Peru, Argentina and Bolivia. Pachamama is often portrayed as a benevolent wise woman (sometimes pregnant) in her gentle and conciliatory aspect, other times she is depicted as a huge dragon, representing the Andean mountains.
Pachamama is regarded as Mother who begets life, nourishes and protects all life on earth. As an ancient Earth Mother and fertility goddess, she oversees planting and harvesting and is responsible for the well-being of plants and animals. When she feels disrespected - abuse of lands, neglect of plants and suffering of animals as a direct result of humanity’s disregard for the planet – she punishes. The Andean People believe that earthquakes, landslides and lightning are Pachamama’s show of displeasure at the disrespectful attitude of human beings.
Animal totems associated with Pachamana are the Snake (or Serpent in the form of a Dragon), Puma and Condor. Condor is symbolic of Pachamama as Crone or as Janai Pacha (the Sky). In Andean myth, Condor oversees the flow of the life, birth and death of galaxies. Condor is the voice of the Great Mystery, our messenger from the Cosmos. The symbolism of Condor is purification, death, rebirth and new vision. What new vision may emerge from this ‘Great Pause’?
Andean people believe we are entering the age of the Puma people who will bring balance and purpose to everything they do as they don’t distinguish between the spiritual and everyday life. The teachings of the Puma concern developing personal power- without ego, walking with faith, courage and clear, firm personal beliefs. The message is to stop procrastinating and to take important tasks in hand.
Image credit: Verena Wild
A social media post I wrote for @jungsouthernafrica
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