Coca, the key of the Incas workforce and a gift to the gods.
The Incas view the coca as ‘the divine plant of the gods’ because of its property of imparting endurance, and strength, its use was very entwined with every aspect of life; the arts, mythology, culture and economy of the Incas, millions of Indians have chewed coca on a daily basis for hundreds of years, yet never has a plant been so misrepresented and satanized, its use so controlled by prejudice and ignorance across the years, up to this days. The Conquistadors considered it an idle and offensive habit and it was prohibited, but it was soon seen that the Indians could not work well without coca.
The coca leaf has been sacred to Andean people since the dawn of pre-Colombian civilization.
they give such a powerful awareness it is as though an energy comes into the body from just touching it. It has the power to evoke Mother Nature and the spirit of the coca, and read your destiny like a book and a healing and ancient method of diagnosing illness, still common in Peru, is to rub an egg over the body of the patient, this tradition includes medicinal herbs, much of the Andean wisdom is based on observation of nature, for instance, if the ducks go round in circles, there will be long rains, etc…
Involvement with nature prevents the mind from becoming mechanical, can see that it is constantly nurturing us and helping us to grow.
An “ofrenda” is the most important ceremony used by Andean Indians to relate with Mother Earth. This ofrenda is a symbol of reciprocity with nature and its purpose is to teach us to reproduce this attitude. Through it we speak back to nature saying we understand the message.
Cantuta, the sacred flower
The sacred flower of the Incas is called cantuta, in Cuzco, people know it more by its Quechua name, ”qantu”.
It’s native to the Andes of Peru and Bolivia. It is said that the Incas found in it sacred essences that made water stay pure for a longer period of time.
The plant is a kind of small branchy, bush that stands two to three meters high, its flower comes in the form of an elongated bell. You can find it a variety of colors witch includes white, yellow, pink, and intense red.
The flower and its colorful beauty left the Incas amazed, they promoted its cultivation throughout Tawantinsuyo, the Inca Empire, it was a gift to the Sun, their god, in this way it became known as the sacred flower of the Incas and the empire, also considered a ceremonial flower.
It is said that when ever the Inca participated in a ritual his path was adorned with these flowers like a carpet as a sign of respect. The cantuta flower was also used in the warachicuy, the ritual of coming of age. It adorned the foreheads of the youth who had to undergo tests of bravery and physical resistance and strength in order to pass into adulthood and become considered Inca warriors.The use of the cantuta continued after the end of the Inca Empire. In the beginning of the twentieth century the flower was commonly used for funeral ceremonies.
Peruvian lilies, a beautiful Inca gift.
As a symbol of devotion and respect, Peruvian lilies can say to a companion or loved one that you will always be there for them during all your life, and that you trust in your lasting bond. The depth of meanings for Peruvian lilies is a compliment to their beauty and mystery, and the message that these flowers send is profound and meaningful in its authentic simplicity. The brilliantly colored blooms of Peruvian lilies can light up a room, as well as the hearts of their recipients. Whether displayed on their own houses or used to accent a mixed bouquet in a wedding, these flowers will always attract attention because of their unique appeal and the meaningful messages that they can carry.
From their origins in the mountains of Peru, the Peruvian lilies have found a special place within the language of flowers and peoples hearts.
Peruvian lilies are also called alstroemeria after the Swedish botanist credited with introducing them to Europe. In the late 18th century, Baron Von Alstroemer returned from a trip to South America with seeds from the Peruvian lily. Not long after this discovery, the flower found great popularity with flower-enthusiasts around the world. Today, the meanings of Peruvian lilies are friendship and devotion. With so many gift-giving occasions that center on these themes, you may find Peruvian lilies to be a safe choice across the board. Whether you’re sending a bouquet just because, or for your friend’s birthday or graduation, the meaning of Peruvian lilies expresses your love and support in so many ways.