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Glossary of Terminology
of the Shamanic & Ceremonial Traditions
of the Inca Medicine Lineage

as Practiced in the United States

CAUTION: The inclusion of herbs, symptomatology and treatments for disease within this glossary
is not meant for diagnosis of, nor prescription for treatment of, any medical condition.
This information is included for anthropological and historical study only.


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Ch, Ch' & Chh
F & G
K' & Kh
N & ‹
P', Ph
Q', Qh
T' & Th


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    droppedImage.tiff                         GLOSSARY NEVER TO BE SOLD

    a!; aa!: (interj) oh!; yes! RS

    abaqiñu: (n) Purple skinned potato. RS

    abiyay: (v) To equip; to give someone the necessary for a voyage.  RS

    abortion (Eng): (n) In view of the sexual freedom which prevailed in the community, one is not surprised that many of the healers and sorcerers became specialists in provoking abortions. Catholic chroniclers wrote about midwives that “they even know how to kill the baby inside the mother's body,” and “how to kill the baby before it was born with artful ways, and they were paid for this…” DYE See, also, sexual activity and pregnancy.

    abrazo (Span):  (n) A hug or embrace when love potions are sometimes passed from one person to another without the knowledge of the latter. AAI

    abuelos (Span): (n) Literally, grandfathers. Spirits that work with vegetalistas. They present themselves during visions and dreams. They show how to diagnose the illness, what plants to use and how, the proper use of tobacco smoke, how to suck out the illness or restore the spirit to a patient, how the shamans defend themselves, what to eat, and, most important, they teach them icaros, magic songs or shamanic melodies which are the main tools of shamanic practices. MSIN  

    Acamani: (n) The name of the mountain on which the “magicians,” the Kollahuayas made their home.


    aca pacha vraque (AYM): (n) Earth or ground upon which walk the living. ASD

    accorasi: (n) A small gold plaque called, a symbol of prestige among the Inca, which is secured to the Ilautu by a round bead made of spondylus seashell (see, mullu). MAAM (See, image at llautu.)

    account (Eng): (n) See, cuenta. (v) To account is a transitive verb applied to mesa objects (see, artes below). Each must be accounted, i.e., their history (or account) is tracked by the curandero to determine compatibility with the mesa and its other objects, as well as determine the best way to use the object in ceremony. Everything about its history, geographic points and, more than anything, the power that it contains. If one accounts an artifact for a certain magical end. One's spirit has to impregnate itself little by little into the artifact. WOFW  To send the power back out of the mesa objects and close the ceremony, the healer “unaccounts” (see, descuenta). GOL  

    Aceropunta (Span): (n) Literally, sword tip. An esoteric steamship that can only be seen under a very strong mareación, when it is called by a well-sung icaro. It comes from a great distance, producing an electrifying sound. Its mission is to travel around the world, paying visits to all who call it for help. It has seven different forms of appearance: battleship, submarine that emerges from the depths, speedboat with four stories, big ship like those of the Vikings, aircraft carrier, trimaran, and airship. In each of these forms the bow tip of the ship is made of dazzling white steel. Its crew consists of, e.g., doctors, great murayas and bancos (shamans specializing in high alchemy.) AYV (See, alquimia palística.)

    acllu: (n) (1) A stutterer, or one who speaks the language badly. (2) One who is learning the language or the child who pronounces deficiently. DYE Compare, pacarik acllu.

    acllu simi: (n) Poorly pronounced words. DYE

    acufa aputiri cala (AYM): (n) Magnet stone. ASD

    acurun (Amaz): See, supay-lancha.

    achachi (AYM): (n) Grandfather, elder male. ASD

    achachilla (AYM): (n) A mountain spirit. WOFW  Mountains. JLH See, apu and awki below.

    achalaw!: (interj) How beautiful! RS

    achi mama: (n) Godmother.

    achiote : (n) (Bixa orellana L.) A plant whose seed that, when ground, forms a red powder. Often used in cooking, it is also a magical plant. Its color defends against dangerous animals, humans and malevolent spirits, making the user invulnerable to attack from enemies visible and invisible. THIM Used as a cosmetic by the jungle tribes, it also has a potent insect repellent. DYE The seeds are reputedly an excellent diuretic. They are used to color spiced foods and serve also as a dyestuff. REPC


    achiq: (adj) Light; clear; clean. (n) Light; glow RS

    achiqyachiy: (v) To clarify. RS

    achiqyay: (v) To shine; to dawn; to clear up; to get light RS

    achi tayta: (n) Godfather  RS

    achi wawa: (n) Godchild RS

    achuma: See, huachuma.

    achuni-casha: (n) (Rheedia macrophylla) A plant only males can use as a powerful aphrodisiac. It can also be used for sorcery and love magic. Its mama is the ch'ullan chaki. AYV


    achupalla: (n) A spiny terrestrial bromiliad (Puya parviflora) found mainly in high, unforested areas whose seeds are added to a wiska despacho to disintegrate and explode disruptive energies. JLH


    Adam Kadmon: (n) Divine symbolism of the human body and its relation to the cosmology of the Universe. (See, torus.)

    adivinación (Span): (n) Prophecy; divination. SEES

    adivinación del pensamiento (Span): (n) Mind reading. SEES

    adivino / adivina (Span): (n) One who reads fortunes using tarot cards. Often found in public markets sitting at a folding card table with some seguros. AAI Soothsayer, prophet; fortune-teller. SEES

    adultery: (n) Adultery was a serious crime except if incidentally indulged in during the fertility festivals. DYE See, sexual activity for more information and other links.

    Punishment of adulterers. FNCGG

    afiro (AYM): (n) Snake. ASD

    aflihiy, aflijiy: (v) To grieve; to worry (sp).  [From Span. afligir: to afflict, to sadden.] RS

    agradisiy:(v) To thank (sp). RS

    agua desatadora (Span): (n) From desatar, to untie. Untying water used to free a client from daño. GOL  

    agua de la contra (Span): (n) Water used to counter hexes. GOL  

    agua florida: (n) Used for harmonizing the subtle energy. It also moves energy and is one way to change hucha to sami. JLH Widely used in rituals of protection and spiritual cleaning, to scent bowls of water set out for the spirits of the dead, as a basis for making an ink-dyed scrying water, and for other ritual purposes. WLMC Aqua florida made in England has been imported into Latin America since the early 1800's. AAI

    agua de las siete espiritus (Span) (n)  Used to cleanse and flower [limpiar and florecer] patients. GOL  

    Agua de las siete espiritus. WIP

    aguardiente (Span): (n) Distilled cane alcohol often used to combine with medicinal plants for treatments. GOL

    ahijada / ahijado: (n) Goddaughter, godson (sp). ROR

    ahuilu: (n) (1) An apu (see below). (2) Ancient spirit that protects fauna and flora. (3) An apu shogay consisting of placing coca leaves in caves or rocks in exchange for food. The peasant who chews coca generally offers his quid, whereas the non-chewer gives the leaves along with cigarettes or sugar. WGRT  

    Aia Paec, Ai Apaec: (n) Fanged deity (creator) of the Moche and later Chimú. Earlier fanged being images on Chavin pottery may have been his prototype.  MAN Moche people regarded him as their principal divinity. DRB The Decapitator God, also known as Wrinkle Face, a central figure in Moche burial scenes. He's often depicted lowering a coffin into a tomb alongside another human-like character named Iguana. NGEO6 Often depicted as an individual with a wrinkled face, possessing prominent fangs in his mouth and wearing a snake belt that terminates in fox heads). He is often seen wearing a tunic with a step motif and an elaborate headdress made of a semicircular fan with long feathers and adorned with an animal effigy, usually a spotted feline or a fox. WUTE (See, Iguana for another graphic.]

    Aia-Paec, The Decapitator, pictured here as half man-half spider, at  El Brujo.

    Aia-Paec, the Decapitator God of the Moche. WRIC

    aitacupi: (n) Tafalla glauca. These bushes give off tears of resin, very similar in shape, colour and smell to mastic, for which reason the plant is frequently called almaciga. The resin is used to alleviate headaches, applied to the temples as a plaster. REPC

    ajallo: (prep phrase) To the soul or spirit of …… PSPM

    ajo macho (Span): (n) Green male garlic, stronger than regular garlic, used in wiska despachos; snakes don't like it. JLH

    ajo macho.tiff

    ajosacha, sacha ajo: (n) Wild garlic (sp). An important plant teacher in the initiation of Amazonian shamans. Mental strength, acuity of mind, saladera, for ridding spells, self healing. Originally used to enhance hunting skills by covering up human smell, it enhances the senses. The plant part that is harvested is the leaf. SCU (Mansoa alliacea). Used in ritual baths for good luck in love or business (sp). AYV Oftentimes, ajo sacha can be found as an adjunctive ingredient in ayahuasca (see below). It is added to the brew to drive away evil spirits, or to purify the blood and body to make the ayahuasca more readily accepted. Most consider the plant to be magical or spiritual and capable of driving away evil spirits or used for good luck. The leaves, tied in bunches, can often be found in local huts and houses for this purpose, or, the leaves are burned as smudge over people or in houses to "cleanse the spirit" or to bring good luck. RFD  


    ajosquiro, ajos chiro (Span): (n) (Gallizia corazema.) Few people ingest this tree because the diet it requires is very rigid and severe. It is used as a defense against enemies. Those who ingest it become very hot and always want to bathe. The kapukiri produced by this tree makes the person become very nervous and feeling as if a worm was biting him/her. AYV


    The ajosquiro tree, from a painting by vegetalista
    Pablo Amaringo.

    aka k'ichki: (n) Constipation. RS

    Akapana Temple: A temple at the core of Tiwanako believed to have been used for Sun ceremonies. MAN


    akap chayascan: (n) Alcoholic dementia. DYE

    akashic record: (n) From Sanskrit akasha meaning "sky", "space" or "aether" – are described as containing all knowledge of human experience and all experiences as well as the history of the cosmos encoded or written in the very aether or fabric of all existence. The records are metaphorically on a non-physical plane described as the "Mind of God.” People who describe the records assert that they are constantly updated automatically, and that they can be accessed through [shamanic journey]. The concept was popularized by the theosophical movement. According to the doctrine, there is no end to all things -- merely a convergence or return to a light body of consciousness. It is derived from Hindu as well as ancient Tibetan scrolls and buddhist writings. The Akashic records are automatically recorded in the elements of akasha -- one of the five types of elements visualized as existing an elemental theory of ancient India called Mahabhuta, a collection of colorfully historical stories spanning millions of years, from a period of prehistory and pregenesis (an esoteric biblical dogma) period of a long dead advanced civilization, wiped out by war and other calamity. WIKI

    aka siki: (n) Literally, a shitter. A bastard. RS

    akayta mikuy supiyta pitay: (expr) Eat my shit and smoke my fart! RS

    akha, aqha: (n) Chicha; a thick, fermented corn drink used extensively in Andean and Inka rituals as a supreme offering to Pachamama, the Apukuna, Inti, or other major spirit allies and cosmic forces; the beverage often contains an herb to give it specific, desired properties (most popular among these are floripoño—a type of datura — and sayri, a specific type of tobacco). ANON1

    aklla, aclla, aqlla: (n) Chosen woman trained to serve Inti and be the consort of the Inca ruler. Chosen at age eight, they were housed in the akllawasi (Temple of the Virgins of the Sun) in Cusco and watched over by elderly women known as Mama Kuna (the Guayrur Aklla). MAN Specially chosen to be sacrificed so as to keep the sacred fires burning. DRB In times of dire emergencies they willingly sacrificed their lives to appease the gods. WPO (See, qhapaq hucha and yanakuna.)

    Guayrur Aklla , the Mama Kuna

    Served the Sun, the moon, the Thunder and the Stars

    Sumac Aklla

    Belonged to the Inca

    Uayror Aklla

    Servants of the principle idols

    Sumac Aklla Catiquin

    Servants of the secondary idols

    Aklla Chawpi Cataquin

    Servants to the nobles and the priests -- these women returned home at age 20 to marry

    Pampa Aklla Kuna

    Used as commodities                                       WHH


    Actresses portraying akllas.                                Akllas, from a drawing by Felipe

                                                                                      Guaman Poma de Ayala

    aklla chawpi cataquin: See, aklla.

    akllawasi: (n) House of the Selected Women. So named by the Incas for the abode of the maidens who conducted rituals to worship Inti. THIM (See, akllas and wasi.)

    akllay: (v) To choose. QP

    akshu, axo, axso: (n) Solanum tuberosum of the Nightshade family. The potato. The word may refer to the plant itself as well as the edible tuber. In the region of the Andes there are some other cultivated tuber species. [See, ulluco, oca, mashua.] Potatoes were introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine. It is the world's fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat and maize. Wild potato species occur throughout the Americas from the United States to southern Chile. The potato was originally believed to have been domesticated independently in multiple locations, but later genetic testing of the wide variety of cultivars and wild species proved a single origin for potatoes in the area of present-day southern Peru and extreme northwestern Bolivia where they were domesticated 7,000–10,000 years ago. A variety that at one point grew in the potato's south-central Chilean sub-center of origin left its germplasm on over 99% of the cultivated potatoes worldwide. It has since spread around the world and become a staple crop in many countries. WIKI Potato is the third most important food crop in the world after rice and wheat in terms of human consumption. More than a billion people worldwide eat potato, and global total crop production exceeds 300 million metric tons. CIPC

    Andeans cultivating potatoes. CIPC

    akulli: (n) Portion of coca to chew. RS

    There is a bump on the right

    cheek of this ceremonial doll

    (also pictured at llautu) that

    is the akulli, the bolus of

    coca. MAAM

    akulliq: (n) One who chews coca. RS The daily dose of the average akulliq is around 200 mg, or several large handsful chewed over the course of the day. ACAI

    akulliy: (v) To chew coca. RS (n) The act of choosing and chewing coca leaves in a ceremonial way, the act of the kurak.  KOAK It was a practice related to religious rituals and was thus reserved exclusively for the Incan elite. MAAM

    akulliy hura: (n) The break from the morning's work to chew coca, about 10:00 a.m. (sp). LPB

    akupana: (n) Sunset. QP See, Akapana Temple.

    akurma: (n) (bot) Horsetail (medical plant with thin, green, hard stalks used for healing internal and external inflammations). RS


    akuy: (intr.v) To grow coca.  RS

    alabado: (n) Prayer (sp). RS

    alakhpacha (AYM): (n) Sky place of the saints. ASD

    alakhpacha thaqui (AYM): (n) Path of the sky. ASD

    alawaru: (n) A musical phrase used to indicate stages of a ritual sequence, derived from alabado (sp). ROR

    alcanzo (Span): (n) From alcanzar, to succeed, to suffice, to reach. SEES  Another word for despacho. WOFW
    Alcavicca: (n) Pre-Incan lord of the Valley of Cusco who links Lake Titicaca, the place of origin mythically of Wiracocha, and Cusco. Wiracocha wandered from Lake Titicaca through the Cusco Valley to Cusco, where he summoned Alcavicca from the earth and made him the ruler of the Alcavicca people.  When Wiracocha left the valley, he ordered the Inca to rise out of the earth upon his departure.  This act gave the Inca divine precedent for their conquest of other cultures. MAN

    alchemy (Greek): (n) A medieval form of science that aimed to discover ways of finding a universal solvent, the elixer of life, and turning base metals into gold. This is seen by many philosophers as metaphoric for attaining higher states of consciousness. PGO

    alferados, alferes (unk): (n) In Ecuador, there are a lot of festivals and it is a custom that someone is organizing and paying for the party (food and drinks for all), caring for the religious image, sponsoring musicians and serving the food and chicha. The organizing couple is called los alferados or alferes. ABMP

    Los Alferados of a festival in a

    village called Juncal.

    aliados (Span): (n) Literally, allies. SEES Spirit allies who animate healing plants. AAI

    alittiri chuymani (AYM): (adj) Humble. ASD

    alma (Span.): (n) Spirit; soul RS

    alpaca, alpaka: (n) The alpaca is a domesticated guanaco bred specifically for its wool, and it is thus much hairier than its llama kin. WAZ The sacred alpaca, along with the llama, is a supreme symbol of loving service and the tutelary animal ally of the path of shamanic service. ANON1


    alquimia palística (Span): (n) Plant alchemy. AYV (See, ciencia vegetalista.)

    Altarani: See, Gateway of Amaru Muru.

    Altiplano (Span): Literally, high plane. The Andean regions of Bolivia, Peru, and Argentina. FOD The High Plateau is the biggest natural altar on the planet. It is the fulcrum of the coast, jungle, and mountains. IGMP

    altomesayoc, altumisayuq: (n) Shamanic level, has the power to summon the spirit of the mountain; high shaman; high priest; an Andean priest of the third level; diviner of the highest level (sp). KOAK RS The altomesayoc meets her wayqi. JLH A superior shaman of the Andes who has been struck by lightning three times. The altomesayoq can practice both black magic and divination as well as cure and combat black magic. The altomesayoc can converse with the awkis (see below) , his principal means of divination and are invoked by the shaman to help him cure. WOFW

    Alto Piru: (n) Old name for Bolivia. PSPM The modern Bolivia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Chile. BNY See, Piru.

    alumbre (Span): (n) Alum. Used as a snakebite remedy. AAI  

    alunsillu (Span): (n) Medical plant used against internal irritations.  RS

    alzador (Span): (n) An assistant to the curandero. WOFW  

    allchi, allchhi (AYM): (n) Grandson or granddaughter. ASD PSL

    allin: (adj) Good; fine; ok; nice; healthy; right; sensible; useful. RS

    allinaqni hutama (AYM): (phrase) Literally, in good time come. Please come back when things are better. ASD

    allinchay: (v) To fix, make good. PSL

    allin mama: (n) Godmother. RS

    allin tayta: (n) Godfather.  RS

    allin tukuy: (v) To recover; to convalesce; to cure; to become healthy; to reconcile; to become better. RS

    allinyachiy: (v) To heal; to make good. RS

    allinyanakapuy: (v) To make peace; to reconcile. RS

    allinyay: (n) Relief.  RS (v) To recover; to convalesce; to cure; to become healthy; to reconcile; to improve. RS

    allin yuyay: (n) Conscience. RS (See, yuya.)

    alliq: (adv) Right; right (side). RS

    allpa: (n) (1) Earth; dust; ground; soil; terrain; dirt; spirit of earth. RS (2) Stone-like foundation. PSPM (3) The power/energy of the Earth. ANON1 (adj) Stable; grounded. PSPM

    allpa-huichcan: (n) Literally, dirt cell. A mythical round tomb or pyramid. The people who dwell in these tombs are expert in psychic perception and assist the vegetalista. AYV (See, allpa)

    allpa kamasqa: (n) (1) The animating, life-giving essence of earth energy. (2) The original Qhapaq Simi word for alpaca (see above). ANON1

    allpa mama: (See, mama allpa.)


    allpa pacha: (n) (ast) Planet earth. RS

    allpa-pishco (Amaz): (n) Literally, bird of the earth. Vegetalistas use this bird to make astral and planetary trips. AYV

    Allpa-pishco, seen in the background enduring
    great temperatures. In the foreground is the
    yura-aya, with four antennae. AYV

    allqo, allco, alico: (n) (1) A dog. (2) Regarded as a priest who consulted one of the lesser gods, a particular deity, often the personal god or conopa of the patient. He called the god or spirit making noise with a net full of bells. Once the god came to the scene, it was questioned in cryptic language and responded on the patient's health. MHP Although the term means dog, it may have a totemic origin. They were considered priests. In the presence of a patient, they would consult a particular divinity, perhaps the personal god of the ailing man. They first called the entity with special tambourines heavily stained with the blood of quwis; or with pursed nets full of jingle bells, or with large copper bells; and on sounding any of these instruments they said that the divinity arrived and the healer asked whatever was wanted to be known on the health of the patient. DYE

    allqoruna: (n) Literally, dog man. A pejorative often used to refer to the White man; inhuman, thief, liar.  THIM

    allquchakuy: (v) To lose control over oneself. RS

    allyuni: (n) A relative. RMFA  (See, ayllu.)

    Allyuni Inti: (n) Relative of Inti. RMFA

    amahuaña, amahuani (AYM): (n) Love (probably sp.). ASD

    amahuata (AYM): (adj/n) Dear(est). ASD (See, amahuaña.)

    Ama llulla, ama qilla, ama suwa: (expression) Don't lie, don't be lazy, don't steal. The common expression of the Three Inca Laws. RS One variation adds “Don't be dirty.” PBS2

    amapanki: (n) (bot) A plant used to contain any damage by bathing ten Tuesdays and Fridays in water boiled with it. RS

    amaru: (n) Snake; viper. RS Halluciations of snakes are very common in ayahuasca sessions. Three large snakes -- Wayramama, Sach'amama and Yakumama -- preside over the sky, jungle and water realms of the Amazon shamans. They provide knowledge and understanding to those who know how to properly contact them. The mamas of the ayahuasca and chacruna vines are snakes. Certain higher order beings appear as fire snakes to the vegetalista. When the neophyte receives his yachay (def. 2), it comes in the form of a snake [among other possible forms] which enters the mouth, travels to the chest and grows. The snake in an ayahuasca vision transmits its cunning and sensitive hearing. The repetitive pattern on the snake is symbolic of the link between the individual and his ancestors and descendants. AYV The term is important in Quechua meteorology because it is used for rainbows, which are believed to be giant serpents. (See, k'uychi.) ACES

    Amaru: (n) symbol of knowledge and learning in Inca times; the organizing principle of the Ukhupacha. The regeneration of life, birthing process. The creative force of everything. Also a symbol for water, wisdom, revolution and revolt. RS JLH ROR The wamanis are associated with the mountains, the highland pastures, the sky, livestock and man. Pachamama is associated with the earth, agriculture and woman. Thus there is an opposition between these two divinities. But they are related to each other through the mediation of the Amaru, who inhabits the springs and lagoons of the high pastures. From there he circulates to the valleys through streams and irrigation canals, for his principal element is water. Ritual offerings [despachos] are deposited in the springs found at the foot of the mountains in the high country. Then the Amaru emerges from the ukhupacha to sweep the gifts of man down to the valleys below. In this fashion the Wamanis (sky) communicate with Pachamama through the mediation of the Amaru (water). WOFW Working with amaru teaches us how to shed our historical past. It teaches us to cast off self-imposed paradigms that limit us. The serpent represents the power of life in the field of time; it is the symbol of life to shed the past in a constant process of self-renewal. The shedding of the serpent's skin is also a symbol of mastery over the inner self, or ukhupacha. PSPM The sacred serpent, sometimes containing dragon-like characteristics, wings,feathers, and/or feline features; representative of Pachamama; deliverer of kawsay (vital life force) energy; yachay (wisdom) master; supreme master of the Ukhu Pacha. ANON1

    Amaru Mach'ay: (n) Literally, cave of the serpent. A natural cave near Cusco that has been intricately carved with various symbols.


    Amaru Muru: The legendary master teacher who brought the Golden Disc from the ancient continent of Lemuria to the Andes in order to connect the people to Hatun Inti. IGMP (See, Gateway of Amaru Muru.)

    Amaru Topa Inca: See, Tupac Amaru.

    amarun: (n) A term used in the Amazon for the anaconda. AYV (See, amaru.) The ultimate source of power, the hydrosphere, as embodied by the anaconda (amarun), which may break all bonds of hegemony but contains within itself the genesis of destruction and reemergence of chaos. WCE

    amaruq qosqon: (n) The navel of the serpent. ANON1

    amauta, amawta: (n) Great teacher. JLH Sage; learned person. RS Inca court poet-philosophers responsible for keeping history alive through oral remembrance. As the Inca empire expanded, the amautas were tasked with incorporating the myths, lengends and religious tenets of the conquered people.  After the Spanish conquest, the amautas were a rich source for the Spanish chroniclers. MAN A trustee of science and art. Amautas had schools in Cusco where the nobles were taught mathematics, astronomy, statistics, political history, poetry, music and probably medicine and surgery. DYE (adj) Wise. RS

    amaychura: (n) Cachexia, a medical condition of general ill health with emaciation due to chronic disease, such as cancer. RS  

    amparo (Span.): (n) Protection for magicians against powerful demons and spells, and malevolent spirits, especially when the magicians are engaged in curing people of sicknesses caused by spells.

    Ampato: A mountain in the southern Peruvian Andes near Arequipa. Archaeological artifacts such as mummified human remains, bags of coca leaves, and clothing found at various sites on the mountain, suggest that its environs were regularly used for human sacrifice to Inti or Wiracocha. MAN (See, qhapaq hucha.)

    The woman of Ampato, a qhapaq hucha sacrifice.

    amputations (Eng): (n) Ceramic representations and human remains indicate the existence of amputations. Again, the absence of a limb -- provided it is not congenital -- may be due to [1] surgery, [2] to a punitive act, or [3] to a spontaneous traumatic amputation produced by injury and gangrene of the part. Native healers were rather reluctant to perform such radical measures. Ceramics and paleopathology only show the final result which could have been due to any of the three procedures which are so dissimilar as cultural elements. The study of many primitive cultures leads us to accept that the distance between punitive and surgical amputation is a very difficult one to span. Another type of amputation seen in many cultures is that produced through ritual or religious acts. This is a variant of the punitive type [2], since it is usually a self-inflicted chastisement or a ritual act imposed on the individual for moral, social or religious reasons (see, picture at hermaphrodites). The descriptions of such acts of punishment in criminals and prisoners of war is also found in the old writings in a manner which closely corresponds to what we find in the ceramics. DYE

    amu: (adj) Significantly mute. (May contained aspects of motor aphasia.) DYE

    amu-amu: (adj) Silent, reserved, discreet. DYE

    amuqlli unquy: (n) Tonsilitis. RS  

    amuta: (n) Thought; reason. RS

    amutay: (n) Science; reasoning; reflection. RS  

    anaconda: (n) A large aquatic constrictor snake, the embodiment of the Yakumama. There is a myth of the Canelo Quichua of Ecuador in which yaku puma cut into pieces the penis of a young man which had become too long after copulating with a green frog. Yaku puma threw the segments into every stream, big river, lagoon, and lake, where they remain as anacondas. AYV


    ana: (n) A mole [on the skin]. DYE

    anan: See, hanan.

    ancaschampascera: See, pita.

    Ancestors (Eng.): (n) As conceived by the Australian Aborigines, in the Dreamtime, aboriginal Ancestors rose from below the earth to form various parts of nature including animal species, bodies of water, and the sky. Aborigines believe some of the Ancestors metamorphosed into nature (as in rock formations or rivers), where they remain spiritually alive. WIPC The Aborigines believe that sometime in the distant past the Ancestors woke up and that was the beginning of the existence of the Earth. The Ancestors were superhuman beings sleeping under the surface of Earth. Once they appeared on the Earth, the sun began to shine. They freed humans and breathed life into them. Life started. The Ancestors performed many marvelous deeds; composed stories and set a code of behavior. After these acts they returned to the rocks. Some of them took the shape of trees, rocks or animals. WGMX See, gentiles, def. 2.

    anchanchu: (n) Goblin. RS

    Ancochinchay: (n) A star that protects many kinds of animals not protected by other stars. AEAA (See, Chocachinchay, Urcuchillay.)

    ancu: (n) A nerve. DYE

    ancuyquentirin: (n) Torpidity or numbness of a limb. DYE

    ancunquenticuy: (n) The illness based on torpidity or numbness of a limb. DYE

    ancha umanuan hopik: (n) Good memory. DYE See, mana umayoc.

    anchayay: (v) To get worse (health). RS

    andango: See, uta.

    anesthetic (Eng): (n) It is reported that datura could be added to chicha to make an anaesthetic. “It puts all limbs to sleep,” according to chronicler Father Calancha. It is possible that the surgeons of that time may have known the anesthetic properties of coca and may have put this knowledge to practical use (see, also, Appendix G). DYE

    anga: (n) Bird spirit.

    angash-machohuallpa: (n) Literally, brave blue cock (sp), which appears when an initiate breaks the rigorous diet necessary to become an efficient vegetalista, since the meat of a hen is very bad when on a diet. If a sick person, who has been treated with icaros and blows by a curandero, eats hen's meat, the sickness returns with a greater force and he may even die if not treated in time (sp). AYV

    angico: See, vilca.

    anguila (Span): Electric eel.

    anima, animu, animus (Latin), ánima (Span): (n) Universal energy, subtle energy of man. RS Spirit plus fire. JLH Soul. SEES In curanderismo, it is the tortured soul of a human who has died but who still wanders the earth. It is also a Christian ancestor in contrast to a pagan ancestor. GOL See, nuna.

    animism (Eng): (n) The belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and the universe itself possess souls or consciousness; that souls may exist apart from bodies; that the soul is the principle of life and health. RHCD

    animu huahana: (v) To call back the anima of someone to heal him.

    anka, ank'a: (n) (zoo) Sparrow-hawk; eagle; falcon. RS The sacred Andean harpy eagle. ANON1 The harpy eagle (Harpia harpyja), sometimes known as the American harpy eagle, is a neotropical species of eagle. It is the largest and most powerful raptor found in the Americas, and among the largest extant species of eagles in the world. It usually inhabits tropical lowland rainforests in the upper (emergent) canopy layer. Female harpy eagles typically weigh 6 to 9 kg (13 to 20 lb). The male, in comparison , is much smaller and weighs only about 4 to 4.8 kg (8.8 to 11 lb).The wings are relatively short and stubby, the female wing length measuring 58.3–62.6 cm, and the male wing length 54.3–58 cm. Harpy eagles are 89–105 cm (2.92–3.44 ft) long and have a wingspan of 176 to 201 cm (5 ft 9 in to 6 ft 7 in). The harpy eagle is an actively hunting carnivore and is an apex predator, meaning that adults are at the top of a food chain and have no natural predators. Its main prey are tree-dwelling mammals such as sloths, monkeys, coatis, porcupines, kinkajous, anteaters and opossums. WCF

    The Andean harpy eagle, or anka. WCF

    And they have a stylish coiffure.

    anka kay: (n) Peace. RS

    Anky Inti: (adj) Comes from Inti. RMFA

    anqil: (n)  Angel (sp). RS

    anqil simi: (n) Literally, angel mouth (sp). A matrimonial mediator (sp). RS

    antara: (n) Pan flute. RS  [See picture at zampoñas.]

    anta: (n) Copper, a metal often used in ritual and military items. ANON1

    antenna (Eng): See, staff.

    anthropomorphism (Eng): (n) Any attribution of human characteristics (or characteristics assumed to belong only to humans) to other animals, non-living things, phenomena, material states, objects or abstract concepts, such as organizations, governments, spirits or deities. Examples include animals and plants and forces of nature such as winds, rain or the sun depicted as creatures with human motivations, and/or the abilities to reason and converse. The term derives from the combination of the Greek ἄνθρωπος (ánthrōpos), "human," and μορφή (morphē), "shape" or "form". WIKI See, imago mundi.

    anti: (n) (topographic) The Andes. RS Scholars believe may have been a general term used to refer to warm lowland landscapes that lie towards the Pacific coast. IAWS The sun at dawn; the rising-horizon aspect of Inti. ANON1 See, Antisuyu, below.

    Antis: See, Antis in Appendix N.

    Antisuyu: (n) Northeast corner of the Inca Empire, the Tawantinsuyu, comprising Andes mountain regions north, east and southeast of Cusco as far as the foothills overlooking the Amazon forests. MAN Mythically, it has to do with learning realities through conventional means and the shaman learning through revelation, awakening directly through tukuy munayniyoc. Corresponds to North direction of a medicine wheel. JLH The eastern (E-NE) region of the Inca Empire, including the region of Apu Ausongate and the jungles beyond; home to the Antis ayllukuna (tribes). See, ayllu, below. ANON1


    anti-onccoy, anti unquy: (n) A tropical disease. RS See, onqoy. See, uta.

    añanchayki!: (expr) Thank you!; Thanks! RS

    añaychay: (n) Gratitude. (v) To thank. RS

    añu: See, mashua.

    apacheq: (n) One who brings together. ANON1

    apacheta, apachita: (n) (1) An offloading, a refusal; (2) A pile of stones to honor Pachamama. A sacred cairn of stones deposited by worshipers for the spirit guardians of a place, most often found at crossroads and mountain passes. RS ROR MAN A modern transliteration of apachiqta, apachita now refers to the large stone houses often erected at the peaks of mountains to mark one's passing and honor the spirits. NND (3) The sacred places of a dead deity. These are marked with piles of stones. WGC (4) An energetic opening or doorway. (See, nierika, torus.) MBEA pile of stones always marked the top of a mountain pass or other critical points on a road where travelers stopped to pray for strength and to make offerings. WOFW  A stone mound used to designate, or link to, a place of power that is infused with refined energy. It is an intensifier and an accumulator of energy that can be used to distribute energy through the ceke system, similar to a dam accumulating hydroelectric energy and distributing it to a larger geographical area. The top of an apacheta is built flat in order to accommodate offerings made by passing journeyers. It is often referred to as an usnu. As travelers add stones from other pilgrimage sites to an apacheta, an energetic connection between these two spots is established. (See, quantum entanglement.) Apachetas were traditionally built at tambos, which marked the spots where a ch'aski would stop to rest. PSPM Literally, the act of bringing together; a multi-purpose sacred stone cairn used originally as mountain shrines and energetic nodes on the ceke system; sacred space created at the point where inner shamanic landscape and the outer world meet; a shamanic vision marker which allows spiritual adepts ceremonial aspect to Hanaqpacha (and Ukhu Pacha) realms. ANON1

    An apacheta in Argentina's Andes.

    Shaman and apacheta at Humantay Lake.

    apachi (AYM):(n) Grandmother, elder female. ASD

    apachiqta, apachekta: (n) An ancient prayer of thanks spoken upon arrival at the top of a mountain, meaning roughly, lord, surely you must have carried me. RS

    Apocatequil, Apotequil, Catiquilla: (n) He was also the chief priest of the Inca moon god. WMO He was a god of the lightning, and statues were erected upon the mountaintops. WPO He produces thunder and lightning by battering the clouds with his club. He is also responsible for twins being born when he turns into a lightning bolt and participates in mortal lovemaking. WGC When the oracle issued an unfavorable ruling to Atahualpa, the king beheaded the chief priest, broke apart the idol, and burned the shrine to the ground. JAR See, also, Illapa

    apsu: (n) Daughter-in-law; sister in law; any female familiar adjunct. RS  

    apu, Apu: (n) Literally, lord.  (1) A god, supreme being. The spirit of the sacred mountain; the most powerful of all nature spirits. Sacred mountain, home of the ancestors. ACES Apus are generally considered male nature energies, except for a few aberrant females like Mama Simona in Cuzco, Veronica in the Sacred Valley, and Putukusi in Machu Pijchu. NND Salkantay is a female apu. JLH The chacra of the Apu includes the minerals, the crops, the animals, and the people under the protection of the Apu on their particular mountain. However, an Apu can assist and work with any person, near or far, who makes contact with that particular Apu and asks for the Apu's assistance or intervention in the Hanaqpacha. Don Mariano could read people and know who was in harmony with the Apus. This ability was considered a sign that these people could develop healing powers or the knowledge of how to communicate in the different Pachas [Hanaq, Kay and Ukhu]. The Apus are like wise and loving ancestors. They want to teach about the Cosmos. It is possible that special agreements can be made with a particular Apu and the Apu would grant special powers. IGMP Mountain deity, supreme spirit, god; the tutelary spirit of a mountain, understood to live within the physical mountain. ANON1 (2) Chief; boss; authority. One of four officials in charge of one of the four suyus of the empire. The four apukuna formed an imperial council for the Inca and resided at court much of the time. ACES (adj) Mighty; powerful; rich; wealthy; supreme. QP KOAK, RS ROR (3) The twelve sacred apukuna of Cusco are Ausangate, Salkantay, Mama Simona, Pikol, Manuel Pinta, Wanakauri, Pachatusan, Pijchu, Saqsaywaman, Wiraqochan, Pukin, and Senq'a. NND Other Apus are Akamari, Illampu, Lady of Illimani, Machu Picchu, Pitusiray, Putu Cusi, Tunupa, Wakac Willka, Wayna Picchu, and Yanantin. IGMP (4) A light being that exists within special mountains. These spirits live in both the middle and upper worlds and can intercede for humanity. IGMP

    Apuchin: (n) (1) Organizing principle of the Hanaqpacha, the becoming, destiny. Oversees the flow of life, birth and death of galaxies JLH Represented by the condor. (2) Mythologically, the condor's energies are extremely positive, providing different perspective into a situation or organization. These energies help in ridding you of aspects or things in life that are dead or no longer serve you, as well as experiencing the freedom and magic of spiritual flight. SAI The Condor is our messenger from the Cosmos and connects the reality of the Light Beings [of the Hanaqpacha] to this reality. The symbol of seeing very near and very far the perfection of creation without judgment. Apuchin flies in different dimensions, but soars in this reality. IGMP (See, chin.)

    apu despacho: (n) See, Appendix J.

    apu guia: (n) Literally, apu guide(sp) . Repository of well-being; the manifestation of an Apu (see above) containing star medicine or influence. An estrella. PSPM (sp)

    Apu Illapu: (n) A god of thunder.  EFD Also spelled Illapa.

    Apu Kon Tiki Wiracocha: (n) The highest, hermaphroditic creator god.

    apunchik: (n) God. RS

    Apu Punchao: See, Punchao, Apu.

    apurema: (n) Talking river.

    apu shogay: See, ahuilu, def. 3, above.

    apu simi: (n) Mandate. Literally, word of a god. RS (See, simi.)

    apuski: (n) Ancestor; former generation. RS

    apu wayra, apu huayra: (n) Angel. WWKN

    apuyaya: (n) an invocation of the sacred [masculine]. See, Yaya-Mama. JLH

    aqi: (n) A woman's mother in law. RS (See, aqu.)

    aqllawasi: See, akllawasi.

    aqu: (n) Mother-in-law of the man. RS (See, aqi.)

    aqha: (n) Drink (made of fermented corn); chicha; corn beer; corn liquor. RS

    aqha raphi: (n) Drunkard. RS

    aqha wasi: (n) Chicha bar. RS

    ara: (n) Altar or other flat surface. ROR A large stone on which to build an offering fire. SAI

    ara madrina / ara padrino: (n) Horizontal sponsors at a wedding (sp). ROR

    araphoqtoy: (n) Twelve silver coins carried on a silver platter by the ara padrino as a symbolic gift for the bride. ROR

    arambasa: (n) An aggressive black bee whose slightly acidic honey is prized as a tonic. THIM

    arbol de campanilla: See, borrachera.

    archetype (Greek): (n) There are two kinds: (1) Unconscious archetypes are elementary, or ground, ideas.  Carl Jung formulated these as archetypes of the unconscious.  Jung's archetypes were collective and biological in origin, manifestations of the body organs and their powers. These archetypes come out of cultural experience; i.e., hunting cultures will not develop agricultural archetypes. (2) The personal Freudian unconscious is biographical and its archetypes come out of repressed personal traumatic experiences. POM In Jungian psychology, an inherited pattern of thought or symbolic imagery derived from the past collective experience and present in the individual unconscious. DRC

    arco rojo de doce cuernos (Span): (n) Literally, red rainbow of twelve horns, one of the most powerful mamas in all of vegetalismo. AYV

    arkana: See, hark'ana and hark'ay.

    arkay: See, hark'ay.

    arkayuyu: (n) (bot) An aromatic herb promoting digestion. RS

    armakuy: (v) To bathe, wash (oneself). QP (See, maqchhiy and t'aqsay.)

    aro checachatha (AYM): (v) To speak the truth. ASD

    aroma (AYM): (n) Night. ASD

    arona pha khrachaaña (AYM): (adj) Energy in the speaking (emphatic). ASD

    arpa, arpay: (n) An offering; sacrifice of a llama or alpaca. ROR  (See, napa.)

    aro pucuacatha (AYM):  Thinking over what should be said in good or in bad. ASD

    arpha ñawi: (adj) Blind. RS  

    arphayaykapuy: (v) To go blind. RS  

    arqhiy: (v) To bleat (llama); to breathe heavily. RS

    arqhuy: (v) To agonize; to breathe with difficulty. RS

    arranque (Span): (n) A potion given at the end of a mesa (def.2) to cut the influence of the huachuma. From arrancar: to pull out by the roots. (See, refresco.)  GOL  

    arrepentikuy, arripintikuy: (v) To repent (sp.) PSL RS

    arriba seeds: (n) Red and black seeds used in despachos. JLH

    artes (Span): Literally, art, artifice. The power objects of a curandero mesa. GOL Compare, sepka and sepja.    

    arwiy: (v) To bind; to confuse; to get into disorder; to entwine  RS

    Asarpay: See, Sayhuite.

    asi: (ejac) Literally, that way or right on. Used in curanderismo to signify that hampi has been ceremonially felt, received, and acknowledged. PSPM

    asiku: (adj) Laughing; smiling; cheerful; merry; in good spirits. RS  

    asikuy: (v) To smile; to laugh. RS  

    asina:  (n) Joke. Laughter. RS

    asinayay: (adj) Funny. (n) Laughter. RS  

    asiri:  (n) A smile. RS

    asirikuy: (v) To smile. RS QP  

    asiy: (v) To laugh. QP

    asnapa: (n) Herb (general). RS

    assemblage point (Eng.): (n) The point within our energy field where we assemble our reality. In most people, it is located slightly above and behind the left shoulder. This is the location for consensual reality.  Entering different realities requires shifting the assemblage point. JLH AVO Perception is ruled by the position of the assemblage point. PS

    asukar: (n) Sugar (sp). QP

    aswan: (adj) More. QP

    aswan allin: (adj) Better. QP

    aswan hatun: (adj) Bigger. QP

    Atacaymita: (n) A celebration carried out at the time of gathering the fruit of the avocado trees. It is said that this fruit, because of its pear-shaped seed, symbolized the human uterus. This celebration was preceded by unbridled indulgence in sexual acts. DYE See, fertility festival.

    Ataguchu: (n) A god who assisted creation. EFD The God who found the way out of the Cave of Refuge at Pacaritambo. The Gods had been holed up here for some time since a colossal worldly disaster. WGC (See, Tambo Toco, Capac Toco, Uñu Pachacuti.)

    Atahualpa: The 14th and final pre-conquest Inca ruler (ruled 1532-33). At the time Francisco Pizarro landed in Peru in 1532, a civil war had been raging for six years between Atahualpa and his half-brother, Wascar, had just concluded with the defeat and capture of Waskar. The brothers' father, Huayna Capac, had died along with his chosen heir, Ninán Cuyúnchic, throwing the succession up in the air. Atahualpa was beheaded by Pizarro in 1533 after his defeat and capture at Cajamarca, giving rise to the legend of the return of the king, the Inkarrí, in which Atahualpa, his severed head slowly growing a new body, will eventually return and overthrow the Spanish, bringing the Inca empire back. MAN Other accounts give the history as Wayna Capac survived and divided the empire between Wascar and Atahualpa. FAE Twelfth ruler of the Inca Empire. Son of Wayna Qapaq and his Equadorian queen. He waged war against his brother half brother, Waskar, and lost his empire. Because he and Waskar inherited an empire and did not return one to their children, they broke the law of ayni, therefore becoming full of heavy energy and sinking to the underworld. Myth states that he and Waskar are in the underworld now teaching ayni to the beings there until they can return to this world. QNO When Pizarro was holding Atahualpa, he received a visit from the priests of Pachacamac. The Spanish were surprised to see Atahualpa treat the priests with contempt, even suggesting his jailers put the priests in chains to see if their god would free them. He explained his animosity when he replied that the oracle was false, for on three crucial questions it had given bad advice. It had predicted that Wayna Capac would recover from his illness if taken out into sunlight [when in fact, he died]; the oracle told Wascar that he would succeed in the civil war that divided the brothers [Wascar actually lost]; and the oracle advised Atahualpa to attack the Spanish, assuring him he would prevail. IAWS Quito, capital of Ecuador, was the second-most important city in the Tawantinsuyu after the capital Cusco. Atahualpa's mother was Paccha Duchicela, an Equadorian princess, and his father Huayna Capac, was said to have also been born in Ecuador. WIKI Thus, Atahualpa had his base of support in Quito, as opposed to Cusco, which had supported Atahualpa's brother Wascar in the civil war that preceded the arrival of the Spanish. The Spanish had taken Cusco without a fight, as they had been seen as “deliverers” from the rule of Atahualpa. LAH See, also, Rumiñahui, and Quilliscacha.

                                            The imprisonment of Atahualpa, drawn by Felipe

                                                                   Guaman Poma de Ayala.

    atada (Span): (n) From atado, tied, timid, irresolute; and atar, to bind, fasten, deprive of motion. SEES A type of sorcery. GOL  

    Ati II Pillahuaso: See, Rumiñahui.

    atillcha: (n) A friend. RS

    atimuscoy: (n) A sinful dream. DYE

    athema: (n) A ceremonial knife, specifically a sharpened condor or llama bone. SAI

    atipaq: (adj) Powerful. QP

    atipay: (n) Power; ability. RS

    atiy: (n) Power; ability; abilities. RS (v) To be able. QP

    Atoq: (n) The Fox, one of the Yana Phuyu, seen as the dark spot between the tail of Scorpio and Sagittarius. As the sun travels along the path of the ecliptic throughout the year, it enters the constellation of the Fox at the time of the December solstice. Therefore, as the sun rises in the southeast with the constellation of the Fox around the time of the solstice, terrestrial foxes are born in the direction of the June solstice sunset. At the June solstice, the breeding season of the fox begins, the babies are born in December. The fox is directly associated not only with the sun in its two solstice positions, but also with the times and places of the intersection of the sun with Mayu, the Milky Way. ACES

    atoqay: (n) Slyness. DYE  

    atoqllaña: (adj) Cunning, shrewd. RS

    atoqruna: (n) Literally, fox person. Sly one. DYE

    Atun Wiracocha: See, Hatun Wiracocha.

    atuqpa ullukun: (n) (bot) Wild olluco. Literally, fox olluco, Andean plant with edible leaves and tuber -- the leaves are used in soups, the tubers heal inflammations. RS Also known as papa [Sp. potato] lisa. See, also, ulluco

    auca: See, awka.

    Aucayacu: Literally, warrior water. A power area of the Amazon in Peru. (See, awka, ayahuascero, Cocha Supay.)

    Aucaypata: Literally, warrior square, located in the center of Cusco, reputedly laid out by Inca Manco Capac. Also called is the Plaza de Armas in Spanish. AEAA (See, awka.)


    auqui (AYM): (n) Father. ASD

    auquini yocani (AYM): (n) Father and son (or daughter). ASD

    aurando (Span): (n) Paq'o. WCH

    Ausangate: (n) The name of one of one of the sacred mountains of the Inca empire. Its mystical meaning is the awakening to knowing, revelation. Mystery teachings; largest body of information.  Ausangate is the most important of the mountains. Call the apu into every ceremony and prayer. JLH


    authentic self (Eng.): (n) To get to know your authentic self you must pay attention to the energies inside of you. You can stay locked in your personality and habits, or you can take the time to be aware that there is a self, a higher spirit, or a soul that lies deep within you. This is your authentic self that is your spiritual self that lives beyond the physical body and beyond the conscious mind. It can only be experienced, not studied or understood by the mind. It experiences many levels of reality, yet it is always with you and accessible right here and right now. In the spiritual body we can find the essence of the authentic self, for each of us is a unique ray from the same Sun. It is when we do not connect with this part of ourselves that we feel empty. IGMP (See, pana, wayqi.)

    Awakening the Puma: (n) A ceremony that occurred on the winter solstice conducted by pumarunas. At the beginning of the solar year (June 21) the Inca gathered the court, priests, astronomers, warriors, and the people of Cusco in the great central square at the site of the current Plaza de Armas to begin the celebration of Inti Raymi. ACAI

    In the cold and darkness of the Andean early morning, thousands of people were waiting in silence for the sun to rise. Then, as the first rays appeared, a priest blew a conch shell signaling that the sun had touched the puma's head [at Sacsahuaman]. The appearance of the sun above Apu Pikol, east of Cusco, signified the beginning of the creative cycle of spring. As sunlight fell progressively upon huacas within the city, each was awakened in turn. It was believed that when it reached the puma's tail, the energy of the city and of the empire was enlightened. At the moment of full sunrise over the city, the walls of the Qoricancha were bathed in sunlight and, within, the golden disc of the sun dazzled. This awakening of power occurred not only in Cusco, but also to a lesser extent simultaneously all over the Andes as the rising sun illuminated huacas and temples. ACAI

    awareness (Eng): (n) The act of being deliberately conscious of all the perceptual possibilities of man, not merely the perceptual possibilities dictated by any given culture whose role seems to be that of restricting the perceptual capacity of its members. TDJ  See, seeing, impeccability, and function.

    Awka: (n) The name of an entity who told the people of Lake Titicaca that if they went into certain places forbidden by the Apus, they would find the flower of fire and they would then have the same power as the Apus. As the people climbed to these forbidden places, the pumas tried to stop them and fought with them. Many died. Inti Tayta was so unhappy to see many of his children dead that he cried, and his tears became the lake. IGMP

    awka, auca, awqa: (n) Fiend; rebel, enemy; rival. RS


    awkapuriq, awqapurej: (n) Wandering warrior. RS

    Awka Runa, Auca Runa: (n) Literally, warrior people, the people of the Inca Fourth Sun. There was increased warfare and people were forced to live in stone houses and fortified towns. People were divided in this age into ayllu lineages. MAN (See, Pachacuti, awka, pukara.)

    awka sirena: (n) These mermaids (sp) live within rocks and when anyone tries to capture them, they simply approach a rock and disappear into it. The small pools of water atop their rocks are like solar mirrors that can be transformed into strong lasers with which they are able to capture even the most powerful of enemies. AYV (See, picture at wiracocha mermaids.)

    awki: (n) Minor spirit or deity; grandparent; prince; old man.  Protective ancestral spirit and mythical personage living in highest mountain peak. RS ROR Secondary mountain god. QP (See, apu.) One of the three classes of spirits associated with the Andean shaman's practice. (See, koa and gentiles.) Mountain spirits invoked by the shaman to help him cure, These are the tutelary spirits of the altomesayoq (see above) and are associated with the apus. In a curing by invocation of the awki, the shaman first enters the sickroom containing a table holding cane alcohol, coca, sugar, a whip, and some money. After placing a white piece of paper on the ground, the shaman darkens the room and calls forth his tutelary awki. The door is closed, the curer whistles three times, and the awki enters through the roof and settles on the paper. Then the shaman and his spirit guide converse until the awki reveals the cause of the illness and advises a remedy. Sometimes the awki strikes the healer and the patient with the whip. At the end of the session, the awki leaves through the roof. The curer lights a candle, takes his money, and departs. WOFW Nature spirits believed to be mischievous beings who love to reside in marshes and moist, fertile fields rich in plant life. If a person experiences restlessness, depression, or loss of love, it is recommended that plant offerings be provided to the awkis to bring love and joy. PSPM Nature spirit, diva, minor deity; a respected person. ANON1

    awkicha: (n) Grandfather. (See, awki.) ROR

    awqa: See, awka.

    awuha: (n) Sewing needle. QP

    axial individual: (Eng): (n) One engaged in the quest for human meaning. A pivotal thinker. WIKI

    axis mundi (Latin): Literally, axis of the world. In shamanism throughout the world, ecstatic flights (journeying) are achieved along the axis mundi joining three planes, ukhupacha, kaypacha and hanaqpacha. WOFW  See, torus.

    axo, axso: See, akshu, above.

    Axomama, Axsomama: (n) Her name means Potato Mother. Potatoes have been the staple food of the peoples of the Andes since ancient days; they come in a wide variety, which are only now being discovered by distributors in industrialized nations. WPO (See, mama and akshu, above.)


    aya: (n) Corpse,  dead body, cadaver; soul; spirit. RS

    aya despacho: (n) See, Appendix J.

    aya hacha, ayajacha, aya sacha, aya sach'a: (n) (bot) Plant of death.  RS

    ayahuasca, ayawaska: (n) (1) (bot) A kind of liana of the Amazon region; Banisteriopsis caapi. The ayahuasca vine has a grasshopper, a chicua and a snake as its visible mamas. AYV “The vine of the soul” also referred to as “the vine of the death” and “the vine that connects the world of the living to the world of the dead,” this vine being Banisterious Caapi; a plant spirit medicine containing said vine, the chacruna tree leaf, and sometimes several other plants; traditionally used among jungle tribes of what were the Antisuyu (see, above) and Qollasuyu and supposedly among the Nasca and later among the final Incas. ANON1 Expands the consciousness and integrates mind and body while harmonizing the individual with nature, so it is respectfully addressed as Madre Ayahuasca. ACAI (2) A psychedelic brew made in part from this vine, whose active ingredient is harmine, that allows one to be guided beyond the realms of death.  Also called yagé.

    RS Known as nucnu huasca and shimbaya huasca (Quechua). There are at least 42 indigenous names for the preparation. BOA Literally, vine of the soul. It is prepared by pounding or cooking together the stem of Banisteriopsis caapi and the leaves of either Diplopterys cabrerana, chacruna (Psychotria viridis), or Psychotria cartaghinensis, and occasionally other additives according to region.  AYV There are several different kinds of ayahuasca, e.g., cielo ayahuasca, ayahuasca trueno, ayahuasca india, ayahuasca blanca, ayahuasca colorada, and ayahuasca cascabel. The use of colors to describe types of ayahuasca is as often based on the nature and character of the visionary experiences as the physical color of the plant. BOA The purpose of taking this beverage is the diagnosing and/or curing of illness, and the performing of other shamanic tasks such as communicating with the spirits of plants, animals and human beings (dead or alive), or of traveling to distant places, and also divination, prophecy, etc. MSIN

    A vegetalista making the mixture (left); ayahuasca cooking in the Amazon (center);

                                     Banisteriopsis caapi (right).


    ayahuasca amarilla: See, cielo ayahuasca.

    ayahuasca blanca: (n) White ayahuasca (sp). This type is used primarily in magic, both white (benevolent) and red (black or harmful). BOA

    ayahuasca cascabel: (n) Literally, rattle ayahuasca (sp). This is an incredibly powerful strain which takes one completely out of body with extraordinary visions of a wild and untamed character. Cascabel is pure unadulturated jungle magic and perhaps the strongest of all ayahuasca.BOA

    ayahuasca colorada: (n) Red ayahuasca (sp). This is a very strong medicine taken almost exclusively by shamans themselves to facilitate healing of others. BOA

    ayahuasca india: (n) Also called black ayahuasca. This type is harvested exclusively from the 'monte'(old-growth unflooded white sand rainforest.  It is not cultivated. It is a powerful variety widely used by pre-columbian indigenous people. BOA

    ayahuasca trueno: (n) Literally, thunder ayahuasca (sp). This type of ayahuasca provokes especially strong purge and physical shaking which can be overwhelming and should be taken only by those experienced with the medicine. Also called ayahuasca negra (black ayahuasca). BOA

    ayahuascero: (n) A shaman experienced in the ceremonial uses of ayahuasca. (See, vegetalista.)

    ayahuma, ayahúman, : (n) Literally, dead head (aya + uma). (1) The spirit of the plant is a man without a head. MSIN   (2) Couroupita guianensis Abl.  A type of evergreen tree that grows up to 100 feet high. This tree is considered a maestro plant, as its spirit enjoys teaching and the plant itself has incredible medicinal properties. The spirit is typically male and works well with other power plants like ayahuasca (see, above). Ayahuma possesses antibiotic, antifungal, antiseptic and analgesic qualities. The bark is used to cure colds and stomach aches. The juice made from the leaves is used to cure skin diseases and for treating malaria. The inside of the fruit can disinfect wounds and young leaves ease toothache.  It is common for curanderos to diet with this powerful tree in order to strengthen their spirits and protect them from dark or negative entities. AAO See, palero.


    Ayahuma is a type of evergreen tree that grows up to 100 feet high.  Its flowers are orange, scarlet and pink in color, and form large bunches measuring up to 10 feet in length. They produce large spherical and woody fruits ranging from 15 to 24 cm in diameter, which is why the english name for this plant is the cannonball tree.  Each of these fruits, or cannonballs, contains up to 200 or 300 seeds apiece. AAO

    ayak chichira: See, maca.
    ayak willku: See, maca.
    Ayamanchare: (n) The spirit of fright that arises from the steam of the earth. (Aya = spirit, mancha = fear.) It has extraordinary qualities that help the vegetalistas make medicines using aerotherapy, a respiratory discipline practiced in a state of relaxation. It has, in front and at the back, a necklace with nine round plates, representing the eighteen most fundamental elements of the earth. In the spirit's womb are beings of perpetual fire that contain the volcanoes. When this being rises from the earthly depths, the vegetalistas and their companions feel their bodies stretch, resembling large waves. This trance can drive weak or nervous people insane. The blue horns of the being represent the aerotherapy; the red ones represent medicine by means of the earth, or geotherapy, practiced through various types of clay. The yellow horns represent physiotherapy, done by massage, posture, walks, etc. AYV


    aya marka: (n) Cemetery. RS

    ayañawi: (n) Literally, eye of the soul or eye of the dead. The Quechua name for the firefly. THIM It is believed that when a bad person dies, his/her soul becomes a firefly. AYV


    aya pampa, aya p'ampana: (n) Cemetery. RS QP

    aya p'achallina: (n) Shroud; pall. RS

    aya p'achalliq: (n) Person who wraps the corpse. RS

    ayar: (n) Corpse.

    Ayar: (n) The name given to each of the male brothers/husbands of the Inca ancestors to signify the connection to the ancestors and their mallquis. MAN This is the family of Sun God Inti. They were some of the survivors from the Cave of Refuge at Pacaritambo. There were four brothers and four sisters. Ayar Cachi got himself walled up again when he became a troublesome pest, Ayar Colo turned himself into a sacred stone, and Ayar Acar became landed gentry with vast estates. Of the brothers this left Ayar-Manco, who became Manco Capac, and went off with the last remaining sister Mama Ocllo (we can only assume the others chose other brothers), and they went on to found the civilisation at Cusco.  (See, Tambo Toco.)

    Ayar Auca, Ayar Awka: (n) Also called Cusco Huanca, the brother/husband of Mama Huaco, one of the original eight Inca ancestors. The Inca capital, Cusco, is named for him. Legend has it that he was turned into a stone pillar at Huanaypata, the final stopping place of the Inca ancestors in the center of Cusco. MAN

    ayarayani, huañukayani: (n) A profound coma condition. DYE

    Ayar Cachi: (n) A god with a very hot temper. He was so difficult that his brother Manco Capac and sister Mama Occlo locked him up in a cave. He still sits in that cave about 30 kilometres from Cusco and tries to get out every now and then. Local people believe this causes earthquakes in the area. MJO

    Ayar Manco: (n) The original name of Manco Capac. MAN (See, Tambo Toco.)

    Ayar Ukhu: (n) Overseer of the Ukhupacha who must be invoked for permission and assistance in delving into a client's subconscious as in soul retrieval. After the Ayar brothers emerged from their cave at Tambo Toco, Ayar Ukhu returned to retrieve a goblet and never re-emerged. JLH

    ayaruna: (n) Dead people, those who have gone before.

    aya sacha, aya sach'a: See, aya hacha.

    aya sankha: (n) Tomb, grave. QP

    aya taki: (n) Person who sings to the dead. RS

    ayatupuc: (n) A shaman who spoke directly to the dead. MHP DYE

    aya uma: (n) Death's head; skull. RS

    aya wasi: (n) Mausoleum. RS

    ayayay: (v) To die; to become a corpse. RS

    aycha kurku: (n) Human body. RS

    ayka: (n) A kind of diarrhea children suffer from during dentition. RS    

    ayllu: (n) Relative; family; community. RS A self-governing and land-owning peasant community in the Andean highlands. May refer to either a village, a kinship group, or a class-like organization, usually based on collective agriculture. Although a pre-Columbian term, ayllu has been used as a synonym for contemporary highland peasant communities. 2B In pre-Inca times, ayllus were blood lineages, but during Inca times, they could be blood or economic groupings unrelated to actual kinship. There were tens of thousands of ayllus throughout the empire. The ayllus ensured the distribution of agriculltural produce and goods. Each ayllu was obligated to internal cooperation and tribute to the empire. MAN A kinship group holding land in common. ICHB A territory-based, extended family that forms the basis of productive relations even today [and] was conceived in terms of common descent from oppositional but complementary mythological ancestors (see, yanantin.). GOL A clan or group of families. The original ayllu was the union of a great family of maternal affiliation, and composed of three or more generations. They constituted a large, indeterminate number of individuals which recognized the grandmother or great-grandmother as the essential origin of the group which was, however, governed by her husband who ruled over the men, the husbands of the daughters and grand-daughters. DYE Relations, kindred, clan. An indigenous community composed of group members sharing a common focus and usually brought together as a social, political, and religious unit by their common connection with the sacred places where they live and commune through their relationship with surrounding Apus (see, above). This space not only exists for the living ayllu members, it also includes deceased people, spiritual ancestors, and the machula aulanchis regarded as protectors and repositories of vitality and well-being for the human community. PSPM In a historical and spiritually-minded context, the ayllu is the basic building block of communal or societal life in Andean culture and can refer also to any sacred circle, community, or gathering of “family” — blood or otherwise. ANON1 (See, mit'a and cargo.)

    ayllu apu: (n) (1) A local tutelary mountain spirit who oversees a small village or community, related with the first level of the Andean path. RS NNDThe sacred mountain of a small village. Just as ayllu is the smallest civic unit in the Andes, so an ayllu apu is a sacred mountain that influences the smallest geographical area. PSPM The tutelary Apu of a community, associated with the first level of the shaman-priest initiatory path [pampamesayoq]; a “family” Apu that is worshipped and held in reverence by a specific tribe or community; often refers to a small Apu. ANON1 See, llaqta apu and suyu apu. (2) Tribe, lineage, party. HOI

    aylluchay: (v) To marry into a family. RS  

    ayllu kawsay: (n) Communal life; collective energy. RS Collective energy. QNO

    ayllukuna: (n) The relatives. RS Extended families. PSPM

    ayllukuy: (v) To assemble; to gather. RS

    ayllumasi: (adj) Familiar. RS

    ayllunakuy: (v) To recognize kinship. RS

    ayllupura: (adj) Individuals from the same community. RS

    aylluy: (v) To assemble; to gather. RS

    Ayma: (n) In the place of the Itu ceremony, the Ayma was performed in the provinces. This was done in almost the same way as Itu except that the clothing was different and so were some of the ceremonies. There were storehouses everywhere for the clothing and adornments with which it was done. IRC

    Aymara: (n) Once a major Andean language, it now is spoken mainly in northern Bolivia. MAN The name comes from Haya Mara, meaning from the old times. The language of those old times is Haque Aru, which means language of the people. IGMP  

    Aymara mesa: (n) At least four types of Aymara mesa ceremonies have been documented: (1) summoning the spirits (image below); (2) house dedication (including llama sacrifice); (3) offering mesa (the most common, used in curing and in countering sorcery), and (4) animal increase rites. Like the Quechua, the Aymara wrap the ritual equipment in bundles consisting of an inkuña, amulets seashells, crucifixes, a rosary, religious medals, libation bowls, incense burner, brass bells, brass spheres (symbolizing lightning), red beans, stuffed wildcats, and a piece of glass with a silver coin on it (symbolizing Lake Titicaca). WOFW  

    An Aymara mesa for summoning the spirits (#1 above). (1) Small brass bell; (2 and 4) Scallop shell with a small bottle of red wine placed inside it; (3) two small bone crucifixes; (5) old rosary with two crucifixes and three religious medals; (6) small square stone mesa with iron pyrites, representing gold, on top of it; (7) small stone mesa to serve as a spirit seat; (8) small square stone mesa with galena ore, representing silver, on top of it; (9) piece of mirror glass covered by an old silver coin, representing Lake Titicaca; (10 and 11) perforated round brass balls, representing lightning; (12)  three large scallop shells, each with a smaller one placed inside; these also serve as spirit seats; (13) bivalve shell with the halves closed containing a seed and a snail shell. WOFW  

    ayni: (n) Reciprocity, balance, harmony. Right relationship; sacred interchange. Communal work; mutual aid and work loaned; debt. KOAK, RS Sacred reciprocity. If you give you will receive and if you receive you must give back. This is the one law of the Andean mystical tradition still often witnessed in small mountain villages today. A way of life founded by the Incas upon which, in the high Andes, one's very survival depends. QNO To practice ayni with all people and all of nature is to open the heart. IGMP Balance through selfless service. The core guiding principle of the Andean peoples which promotes a lifestyle of sacred reciprocity. Neighborly aid to be reciprocated in kind. “Today for you, tomorrow for me.” Interchange. PSPM Sacred reciprocity, the principle of energetic exchange, of give and take among all things, upon which life in the Andes depends; interchange, equilibrium. ANON1

    You are most visible when you are trying to keep a secret or protect yourself. Only in ayni are you invisible because there is nothing left to defend. Ayni is oneness, non-duality. We have to have an awareness of paradox. This is ayni, being attuned. AVO

    ayni despacho: (n) See, Appendix J.

    ayni karpay: (n) A ritual in which two shamans exchange the totality of their knowledge and energy with each other through their poq'pos. AVO (See, ayni, karpay.)

    ayninakuy: (v) To lend help for help, mutual aid. RSL

    ayniy: (v) To help, assist. QP

    ayrampo, ayranpu, ayrampo: (n) A cactus-like plant used for medicinal purposes and whose seeds are used to make dye. ROR Opuntia ficus-indica. The prickly pear cactus. The term ayrampo probably refers more to the fruit of the cactus. PGO  A distinctive, bright pink herb whose seeds create a brilliant magenta stain and a potent herbal remedy used for revitalizing the liver, kidneys, and immune system. ANON1The fresh, many-seeded fruit is called "cactus apple" or "tuna," and it is eaten raw or made into drinks. One must be very careful when preparing the fruits because of minute, hair-like spines called glochids. The painful glochids can be removed from the fruits by scraping or singeing them with a flame, or by washing them thoroughly in a tub with a high pressure nozzle. Generally the ends of the fruits are severed transversely, and then the fruits are cut open lengthwise and the contents removed from the skin. WWP

    Ayrampo ripening on a prickly pear cactus. WWP

    aysiri: (n) Sorcerer. PSL, RS

    ayúmpari: (n) An Ashanínka who is part of an exchange of gifts. This is a sacred institution because the participants acknowledge that to give to another is to give to oneself, giving strength to their whole nation. THIM

    ayusca: (adj) (1) Malnourished children were the exception in normal times, but the word ayusca described the child whose mother could not provide him enough milk. A child was weaned at two years of age. Until then, he was strictly breast-fed, unless the mother could not offer him enough nourishment. In this case, he was given porridges of corn or potato, and perhaps the milk of another woman, but never the milk of animals. (2) The term could also be used to describe an adult man, in which case it was considered a grave offense. It was used to indicate the man whose wife or lover would devote her affections to another man. DYE

    ayuscay: (n) On the baby's fourth day of life a very important ceremony took place. It consisted essentially of naming the baby and placing him in his cradle or quirao (see). DYE  See, also, other important childhood rites: rutuchicuy, quicuchicuy, huarachicuy.

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