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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 & Ñ
P', Ph
Q', Qh
T' & Th


    Use the Firefox browser with the CoolPreview add on. CoolPreview will give a magnifying glass icon at every link when you put your cursor on the link. Click on the icon and it will open a separate, smaller window with the definition of the term in it. You can either lock the window by clicking the padlock icon in the top bar of the little window, or move your cursor off the window and it will automatically close. This is almost as good as mouseovers.

    paint46.tiff                         GLOSSARY NEVER TO BE SOLD

    sacaca: (n) A comet. AEAA

    saccropa, salvagina, millmahina, cotataura, Spanish moss: (n) Tillandsia usneoides. In warm baths, this plant is valued as an antinervine to rebuild physical strength and to aid in inducing sleep. The Indians fill mattresses with it to repel flies. It is likewise appreciably valued by those with backache and kidney trouble. Crushed and mixed with fat, it is applied to treat hemorrhoids. REPC Spanish moss is a natural insulating material. It is not a real moss: it's what is known as an epiphyte. Epiphytes don't rely on their host plants for nutrients. It has the ability to act as a natural form of insulation. After being processed (dried), Spanish moss was quite often used to stuff mattresses because the natural insulating properties of Spanish moss made the mattresses cooler and more comfortable to use. It was even used as packing material and its primary use today is as a mulching agent for plants. SSB

    Saccropa, also called salvagina. SSB

    sacramachaco: (n) Literally, bad snake. This animal has the head of a deer, with horns and large ears. It is called upon to strengthen the mareación with its magnetic arc, which surrounds the ceremonial house, and to see the different mariris as well. AYV


    Sacsahuaman, Sacsayhuaman: (n) Literally, satisfied falcon. If the city of Cusco is considered to be in the shape of a puma, then the mighty fortress of Sacsahuaman would be located at the head, and its sharply zig-zagged outer walls could represent the fierce teeth of the animal. This was the real House of the Sun during Inca times. Sacsahuaman figured prominently during the Spanish Conquest, with a fierce battle taking place there between conquistadors and natives during the Great Rebellion of 1536. (See, Cahuide and Muyuq Marca for more information about this battle.) WIA Sacsahuaman is also noted for an extensive system of chincanas which connect the fortress to other Inca ruins within Cusco. Several people have died after becoming lost while seeking a supposed treasure buried along the passages. This has led the city of Cusco to block off the main entrance to the chincanas in Sacsahuaman. WIKI In the final days of the battle for Cusco, Sacsahuaman served as a fortification against the Spaniards. At the time of the Incas, Sacsahuaman was an immense ceremonial complex and observatory. It lies less than two miles from the Plaza de Armas, which formed the ceremonial center of Cusco. At one place, Incan stoneworkers carved seats in the rocks. The site contains seven windows that the Incan priest used for ceremonies to see the future. The seven stone shrines are carved directly from solid rock or made from slabs evenly spaced around a circle. The construction is arranged in a circle and set well below ground level.  ACAI (See, Appendix D.)


    sacha: (adj) Wild. RS

    sacha ajo: See, ajosacha.

    sach'a, sach'a sach'a: (n) Forest, jungle. PSL RS

    Sach'amama: (n) In mythology, the mother of the forests, is a two headed serpent. When she surfaces she becomes the tree of life: one head eats its tail and the other points to the sky. Mistaken for the Yakumama, the two are similar in strength, length and thickness. Sach'amama lives exclusively on the ground. THIM Sach'amama means Mother Tree [or Mother Jungle]. She was a goddess in the shape of a snake with two heads. When she passed on to the heavenly world she transformed into K'uychi. MJO Literally, spirit mother of the jungle, the Sach'amama is a huge eared boa believed to dwell in the same place for a very long time. Vegetation grows on her body and makes the snake easily mistaken as a fallen tree. She may devour the unaware hunter who has accidentally stepped on her body. EMM This big snake rarely moves, remaining perhaps hundreds of years in the same place. One can even climb on top of her without realizing one is on this dangerous animal. If prey passes by, the Sach'amama hypnotizes it, draws it in with its powerful magnet and swallows it. When a person recognizes it, he must leave right away to avoid being crushed by a tree or struck by lightning, because she produces great storms. When the Sach'amama moves to another place, she throws down the trees growing on her back and makes a path by knocking down other trees. She can make people sleep in order to devour them. She is used as a mariri by marupa sorcerers. AYV Had two heads, walked upright, and was like an aged tree. Upon reaching the Hanaqpacha, Sach'amama turned into the rainbow god K'uychi. The three worlds were united by these serpent gods of water and fertility. WOFW The giant trees of the Amazon forest. ACAI (See, Yakumama, Wayramama [for definition and another picture], mama, boa.)

    Sach'amama. AYV

    sacharuna: (n) Another name for the ch'ullan chaki. [The term sacharuna literally could mean wild man or forest man, depending on the original spelling/pronunciation (sach'a or sacha).]

    sach'a supay: (n) Jungle demon. AYV  (See, supay.)

    sach'a warmi: (n) Literally, woman of the forest. In the Amazon these plants are generally found near large rocks. They are very difficult to locate and recognize. AYV She is used as a mariri by marupa sorcerers.

    sagra: See, saqra.

    saiwa, saywa: (n) (1) A column of energy that unites the three worlds (hanaqpacha, kaypacha, ukhupacha), the three energy centers. JLH AVO RS Pillar; shaft of light; a column of energy mediated by siwar q'enti that descends from the hanaqpacha to create a bridge between the spiritual and physical realms. PSPM A column of living energy or shaft of light from the heavens connecting the sublime, purely spiritual realm (the hanaqpacha) to the physical realm (the kaypacha). ANON1 (2) A tall column of stones built by an Andean priest to represent his/her power, or a column of living energy. RS QNO A specific type of apacheta or altar that consists of a tall, thin, vertical stack of stones representing and embodying a healer or priest's divinely ordained power. ANON1 (3) One of the organizing principles. JLH AVO (See, munay, nuna, chekak, yuya, ch'ulla, kallari, kawsay.) (4) Boundary; limit.  RS (4) Can refer to the etheric template of a shrine or altar which is embedded into that shrine from the heavens. ANON1 (See, itu.)

    saiwa state: (n) Energy column created by priests by intention and that extends from the middle world to the upper world. WMG Just being, not doing. The three energy centers are in a synchronistic state. AVO (See, saiwa.)

    saladera: (n) A run of bad luck, inertia, sense of not living to the full (sp). SCU

    salka, salqa, sallqa: (adj.) Wild, undomesticated. JLH Uncivilized. CSCR (n) (1) Wild animal. RS  (2) A synonym for the puna areas. RS

    Salkantay: (n) The name of one of the sacred mountains. The gateway to enter Machu Picchu and Vilcabamba. Salkantay's mystical significance is to enter a place, a sacred plane where you are in tune with all realities, when you can see the multiplicity of realities.  Salkantay is chaos, domain of the unmanifested, inspiration, formless.  Shamans simply must chart this domain of (salka medicine). JLH


    salvagina: See, saccropa, above.

    samai: (n) Spirits.

    Samaipata: The ruins of Samaipata are located in the remote mountains of central Bolivia and are one of the most enigmatic ancient sites in all of South America. Archaeologists no longer believe in the military use of the site but consider that it had religious significance. The ruins consist of two parts: 1) the stone hill with many fascinating carvings of jaguars, snakes, other zoomorphic and geometrical figures, a water tank with conduits, and a curious seating arrangement, and 2) an area to the south of the stone hill that seems to have been the administrative and residential district. The seating arrangement at the top of the stone hill was designed with 12 seats carved into the hilltop facing toward each other in a circle. Within this circle of 12 seats is another set of three seats facing outward toward the 12 seats. These three seats are back-to-back, so that each seat faces four of the seats of the 12. WSS In 2002, an archaeological expedition worked cleaning and excavating the chincana beneath Samaipata, which is approximately 30 meters deep, to investigate the existence of a communication link between the site and other major Inca settlements such as Cusco. This link has been described in legends and oral traditions. The labyrinth has not been properly investigated before. Several attempts have been made to examine it and depths of 20 meters have been reached without touching the bottom of the shaft. WKC (See, samay.)

    The ruins at Samaipata. WSS

    samana (AYM): (n) Breath. ASD

    samariy: (v) To breathe. QP

    samay: (n) (1) A strong breath into a k'intu giving an energizing influence to the object of the ceremony. (See, phukuy and sopla, below..) KOAK (2) Spirit, repose, breathing. RS Breath, rest. TLD (v) (1) Rest. (2) Exhale deeply. TLD


    samcatha (AYM): (n) Dream. ASD

    sami: (n) (1) High frequency energy that comes from being in harmony with the universe. In order to receive sami, you must give it to other people, places, objects. If your relationships are in balance, then you will be infused with sami. JAR Animating essence. GOL Sami energy is generated whenever any change, physical or chemical, occurs in the universe. For example, the moment a supernova explodes in the cosmos, or the instant water boils and becomes a gas, sami is being generated. It is experienced as a subtle effervescence. In physics, the expressions of sami are comparable to “weak” and “strong” nuclear energy. (Click here for a quick course in nuclear forces.) In curanderismo, it is used to heal clients with mental and emotional conditions.  PSPM (2) Luck. QP Good fortune; bliss; destiny. PSPM (See, hucha, kawsay.)

    sami and hucha: (descr. phrase) Contradictory energy.

    saminchaska, samiy: (n) (1) The breath through a k'intu that brings about an interchange of sami with the natural world or with spirits. (2) The performer of such a breath. KOAK (See, samay.)

    samiyuq: (adj) Lucky.  QP

    sanango, sikta, yacu zanango: (n) (Tabernaemontana sananho) Used as a component of ayahuasca by some vegetalistas. The very name of this plant in Peru signifies an all-purpose kind of medicinal plant; it is a panacea in the Upper Amazon, used as a febrifuge, emetic, diuretic, calmative and for other minor ailments. It is strongly alkaloid [and seems to be related to ibogaine, an African plant famed for its ability to cure drug addiction]. AYV RTR In Amazonia, the sanango tree, which can grow as tall as 5 meters, is regarded as a cure-all; the leaves, the root, and the latex-rich bark are all used in folk medicine. The leaves of the tree are used psychoactively as an additive to ayahuasca and also are combined with Virola spp. to produce an orally efficacious hallucinogen. The plant is also called uch pa huasca sanango and is known as a "memory plant," a reference to the fact that its inclusion in a psychoactive preparation causes a person to better remember the experiences he or she has had while under the influuence of that preparation. It is added to ayahuasca so that a person can, afterward, more clearly recall the visions he or she saw. In Ecuador, the plant is known as sikta and is available in raw form (short branch pieces) at local markets. The Jíbaro drip the freshly pressed juice into the nostrils of their dogs so that they may be better able to locate prey; the plant is also known as yacu zanango. It is rich in alkaloids. EPP


    San Cipriano: (n) (1) San Cipriano is recognized as the patron saint of magicians. He is particularly venerated in Mexico, where he is part of curanderismo. He is invoked in order to protect people from evil spells and also to cure them from these. Cipriano was martyred in the year 272 by order of the Roman emperor, and his bones were preserved by his followers and later interred in Constantinople [now Istanbul]. Cipriano is said by his descendents in Italy to have come originally from Egypt. Before converting to Christianity he was one of the most famous magicians ever known. He was born in Antioch to very rich and powerful parents and by 30 years of age he knew all of the magical arts, at which time he then converted to Christianity. WWOC His intimate knowledge of sorcery, combined with his alignment to the One God was believed to make Saint Ciprian a powerful shaman. Curanderos of Peru see Saint Ciprian as embodying the mesa, in that his life path expressed the dualistic principle of the universe, representing both the light and dark. PSPM (2) A school of sorcery based on a book written by San Cipriano, who was a magician before he converted to Christianity. San Cipriano is now reclaiming his place in the pantheon of true curandero saints. He was, in fact, one of the most powerful magicians who ever lived, and he had in his possession occult wisdom that was passed down from certain other powerful magicians who had preceded him in that part of the world. WHAC


    sanco, sanguito: (n) A special type of dough made of ground, half-cooked corn, used especially in the Situa ceremonies (see, situa, below). In some areas in the south of Chile, the sanco survives as a local gastronomical delicacy. In the north of Peru, the name sanguito (little sanco) is used for a type of dessert. DYE  See, maize for a little more about the use of corn ceremonially.

    sandialaguén: (n) Verbena multifida. A decoction is taken in Chile to stimulate menstruation and to alleviate a condition which causes a burning sensation during urination. REPC


    sangre de drago (Span): (n) Croton lechleri. Literally, dragon's blood. Sangre de drago is a tree that grows in the Amazon. The tree bark and sap are used to make medicine. One of the chemicals it contains, is used for diarrhea associated with cholera, AIDS, traveling, or treatment with antibiotics. Sangre de drago is also used for treating cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), viral respiratory infections, fever, hemorrhage, bleeding gums, wounds, broken bones, vaginal infections, hemorrhoids, a skin condition called eczema, and insect bites and stings. Other uses include treating ulcers of the mouth, throat, stomach, or intestine; supporting the body's tissue repair mechanisms; and as a general tonic. Some people apply sangre de drago directly to the skin for treating herpes simplex virus (types 1 and 2). Some women use it for flushing the vagina before childbirth. Sangre de drago appears to help diarrhea by slowing down the intestines. It might also prevent the movement of some viruses into cells. WEBMD

    The sap of sangre de drago, often erroneously
    transliterated to sangre de grado.

    Sanguijuela Mama (Span): (n) A giant leech with four antennae on its head and no mouth. She can make people sleep in order to devour them. AYV (See, mama.)

    Sanguijuela Mama. AYV

    sanguito: See, sanco, above.

    sanitario (Span): (n) One who heals others of evil (devil things) with offerings to Pachamama.

    San Martín: Saint Martin of Porres (1579-1639). Born in Lima to a Spanish nobleman and a freed daughter of Panamanian slaves, this patron saint of Peru is revered throughout the Americas for his commitment to racial and social justice during his lifetime. GOL

    San Martín. AYV

    San Pedro cactus: See, huachuma.

    sanuyapuy: (v) To recover, to convalesce; to sure; to become healthy. RS

    sapa / Sapa : (adj) Alone, each. QP Unique, the one and only. QNO (n) Capitalized, the Inka ruler (what we call Inka today); means the one and only. The Sapa was chosen from among candidates of the twelve Inka noble families (see, panaca, Sapa Inca) based largely on spiritual prowess, including one's ability to emit light from the body. ANON1

    Sapa Inca: (n) (1) Supreme male ruler of the Inca. In his capacity as the representation of the Sun on earth, his presence brought warmth and light to make the world habitable. MAN (2) The male manifestation of the sixth level of human consciousness in the Inca prophecies. KOAK (See, Qoya.)


    Actor at Inti Raymi
    portraying the Sapa Inca.

    sapanka: (adj) Each, every. QP

    sapaq: (adj) Different, other. QP

    sappa hihuañana (AYM): (n) Good death. ASD

    saqra: (n) (1) Devil. QP (2) Negative and destructive energies under the control of the Incas that had limited power; they were well-controlled from pre-Inca times to the arrival of the Spaniards because the people lived in harmony with the laws of the universe. With the Spanish invasion, saqras were liberated and joined forces with the Spaniards, thus enabling the latter to destroy the Tawantinsuyu. WMG (adj) Filthy; nauseating; ugly; bad; rough; mean; evil. RS

    Saramama : See, Mama Sara, mama.

    sarara: (n) Anhinga anhinga. A bird considered to be one of the darkest beings of hell that Amazon sorcerers work with, all of them black animals. AYV


    sasa: (adj) Hard, difficult. QP

    sasi: (n) Ritual fasting which consisted in the abstinence from salt, chili pepper and sexual pleasure. It was observed for any length of time, and in some cases for more than one year. Hatun sasi consisted of eating for weeks and months only raw white corn and water. DYE

    sat'iy: (v) To puncture, to inject. QP

    sawa: (n) Marriage; matrimony. RS

    Sawasiras: See, Appendix N.

    Sawa Siray: See, Pitu Siray.

    Sayhuite, Saywite: (n) An archaeological site 47 kilometres (29 mi) east of the city Abancay in the province Abancay in the region Apurímac in Peru. The site is regarded as a centre of religious worship focusing on water. An important feature on the site is the Sayhuite monolith, a rock with more than 200 geometric and zoomorphic figures. In Monuments of the Incas, by John Hemming, Hemming points to a colonial narrative that describes the interior of the Sayhuite temple. The temple featured larger columns draped in fabrics with gold bands the "thickness of one's hand." The temple was also under the care of the priestess Asarpay who jumped to her death in the nearby 400 metre gorge to avoid capture by Spanish forces. WIKI Compare, Cahuide. Click here for a video of the monolith.

    Drawing of the Sayhuite monolith.

    sayk'usqa: (adj) Tired. QP Fatigued. PSL

    sayk'uy: (n) Fatigue. QP

    sayri (AYM): (n) Tobacco. ASD Tobacco reduced to a powder and snuffed up the nose in order to clear the nasal passages. ACA

    sayu: (n) (1) The four quarters of the celestial sphere. (See, mayu.) (2) Andean  principles of dual organization often entails quadrapartition and the subdivision of paired moiety into four sayu subgroups of kindred. RFRC

    saywachakuy: See, saiwa. JNP

    scarification (Eng): (n) Scarifying (also scarification modification) involves scratching, etching, burning / branding, or superficially cutting designs, pictures, or words into the skin as a permanent body modification. In the process of body scarification, scars are formed by cutting or branding the skin by varying methods (sometimes using further sequential aggravating wound healing methods at timed intervals, like irritation) to purposely influence wound healing to scar more, not less. Scarification is sometimes called cicatrization (from the French equivalent). WIKI Scarification  of the face for ritualistic purposes or as a means of embellishment is also mentioned by the chroniclers. Cieza tells us that on the northern coast “the men have their faces scarified from the ears to the chin in different widths. Some include the greater part of the face and others less.” Garcilaso states that this scarification was carefully performed with points of flint. These [see, orejones and tembetá] are the only ritual surgical acts of which we have a clear notion. DYE

    scars (Eng): (n) Many highland people believe that physical scarring comes from an internal fear that manifests as a scar as an outward sign of that fear. IGMP

    schacapa, chacapa, shacapa (Amaz): (n) (1) A tree of the rupha-rupha (selva alta) region whose dried fruits (nuts) are used as small bells. RS (2) The rattle of a vegetalista used to take away illness by means of the wind produced by the rattle, to “seal” a patient so that he/she will not be subject to subsequent attacks, and to stimulate visions in ayahuasca sessions. PSPM In an ayahuasca ceremony, for example, a curandero [def. 3] may shake the chakapa around the patient while singing an icaro (healing song). The sound of the chakapa is said to comfort patients in an ayahuasca ceremony and "cleans" the energy surrounding the patient. Shamans have a large variety of chakapa movements that create different sounds and energy waves, these movements match the coinciding icaro and healing that is being done at the time. Some people report seeing green, blue, and gold ribbons of light form around the chakapa, and then move in tendrils about the room. The chakapa is also an important cleansing tool used during venteadas and arcanas. In the Amazon, once the shaman catches the bad spirit in a chakapa, it is then blown out of the leaves into the forest. The spirits are distributed and taken in by all nature such as trees and plants. A chakapa is made by tying together the leaves from the bush in a fashion that forms a fan shaped instrument. WIKI

    A schacapa nut bracelet.


    Don Julio Gerena Pinedo, master palero, in ceremony. His
    medicine items are ayahuasca, perfume, mapacho, agua de
    florida, book of magic and schacapa leaf fan,
    essential tools of the ritual.

    Another schacapa, this one tied into a bundle. WIKI

    scrying (Eng): (n) A magic practice that involves seeing things supernaturally in a medium, usually for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The media used are most commonly reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke. Scrying has been used in many cultures as a means of divining the past, present, or future. Depending on the culture and practice, the visions that come when one stares into the media are thought to come from God, spirits, the psychic mind, the devil, or the subconscious. Scrying is actively used by many cultures and belief systems and is not limited to one tradition or ideology. WIKI

    séance (French): (n) From the French word for seat, session or sitting. A curandero healing session. PGO

    Don Jorge Merino Brazo and his patients in a séance,
    Lambayeque, Peru, 1988.

    second attention: (n) A term from nagualismo meaning our ability to perceive the Dreamtime. That which is knowable but not accessible by the first attention. AVO (2) The second attention, a larger portion of our consciousness than the first attention, is the awareness we need in order to perceive our luminous bodies and to act as luminous beings. The second attention is brought forth through deliberate training or by an accidental trauma, and it encompasses the awareness of the luminous body. The battlefield of warriors is the second attention, which is something like a training ground for reaching the third attention. TEG (See, luminous warrior.)

    second level of abstraction (Eng): See, level of abstraction.

    Second Sun: (n) More advanced than the world of the First Sun, its people practised rudimentary agriculture. They were called the Wari Runa. This age ended in cataclysmic deluge [Uñu Pachacuti]. MAN

    seeing (Eng): (n) The act of perceiving energy directly as it flows in the universe. The capacity to perceive energy in this manner is one of the culminating points of shamanism. TDJ  (More at vision.)

    seguro (Span): Literally, insurance, assurance, certainty. (1) A place of safety or protection and balance of power. PSPM (2) The herb-filled bottles that are said to contain the curandero's shadow-spirit. A bottle of ritually prepared herbs containing living plants, each of which has a spirit, that protects against daños and pulls luck and good fortune to its owner. It consists of a clear glass bottle (often a discarded rum or perfume bottle) which has not been in contact with garlic, onion, or other strong seasonings. It is filled with magical herbs that have been collected from enchanted locations, especially the sacred lagoons of Las Huaringas. The bottle is also filled with water from one or more of the sacred lagoons, perfumes and flowered waters, honey, sugar, fragrant seeds, and it may contain liquid mercury, small figurines, crystals and other miniature mesa objects, as well as hair and/or a picture of the curandero's patient. The spirit powers of all the objects that it contains are called upon by the maestro. The patient is instructed to breathe into the bottle three times so that his shadow is symbolically entrusted to the spirit powers of the herbs, water of the lagoons, and other ingredients bottled up in the seguro herbs. By thus activating the seguro, one will have a permanent connection to the enchanted lagoons from which the plants have been taken, securing that person's spirit to the power of certain encantos. GOL A seguro is considered by the curandero to be his second person, or alter ego (see, nagual). When he concentrates on the seguro, some plants indicate to the curer symbols of his art that are appropriate to the case, as well as the causes of the patient's ailment. WOFW Glass bottles containing consecrated herbs and sacred remedies often used for protection. PSPM


    seke (AYM): (n) Line. ASD (See, ceke.)

    senqa, senq'a, sinqa, singa: (n) (1) Nose. (2) A nasally ingested remedy from the northern coastal region of Peru. ANON1

    señal kancha: (n) From Quechua cancha, a corral, and Spanish señal , a sign, token. A special corral in which fertility rituals are performed (sp). WOFW  

    Señor de Huanca, Señor de Wanka: (n) Lord of the sacred song is an important healing sanctuary in the Cusco area. (See, huanca.)


    sepja (AYM): (n) Stone power object with geometric incisions. WOFW Compare, illa (def. 5)

    sepka: (n)  (1) A power object. (2) A container. PSPM Compare, arte.

    seqe:See, ceke.

    sexual activity (Eng): In the excellent social organization of the Inca Empire, sexual activities were apparently well balanced within the cultural context. Complete sexual freedom for boys and girls was the rule after puberty for the mass of the people. This sexual freedom ended with marriage. But chastity and virginity was socially enforced on the nobility. In the lower classes, a woman who was a virgin at the time of marriage was considered a poor choice by the young men. Trial marriage was a highly accepted custom and only had a permanent binding effect if it led to pregnancy.  On the other hand, the girls of the Inca elite were put in seclusion in large monasteries from early youth in order to protect their virginity. They were called accllas, which means chosen, and were kept in these houses until they were married to the nobility or chosen for permanent virginity as spouses of the sun god. Severe punishment penalized the loss of their chastity. DYE See, also, other terminology of sexuality: bestiality, hermaphrodite, adultery, wausay (homosexuality), necrophilia, fertility festival, and birth control.

    shacapa: See, schacapa.

    shadow (Eng): (n)  (1) The shadow, said Swiss psychiatrist C.G. Jung,  is the unknown dark side of our personality – dark both because it tends to consist predominantly of the primitive, negative, socially or religiously depreciated human emotions and impulses like sexual lust, power strivings, selfishness, greed, envy, anger or rage, and due to its unenlightened nature, completely obscured from consciousness. PTO (2) The soul of the person a sorcerer wants to kill. (See, soul capture.) In curanderismo the term shadow is often used interchangeably with spirit to refer to the victim's vital essence because, like the appurtenance used to summon it, it is also a kind of image or reflection of the victim [of daño]. GOL

    shadow-soul (Eng): (n) An evil spirit. “As a young girl, she had been pursued by a shadow-soul. She supposed it belonged to a male sorcerer (see, below) who had come to her in her dreams to try and rape her.”  GOL  

    shaman (Tungus): (n) From saman, one who knows. One defining characteristic of a shaman is the capacity for, and ability to induce, profound transcendent experiences. These ecstatic trances create a bridge between the physical and spiritual realms. Shamans are linked to indigenous healing practices that involve some form of ecstatic trance, which acts as a catalyst for mediation between the physical and spiritual realms. The shaman has an uncommon capacity for the mystical. Shamanism is essentially mysticism in action. It is the role of the shaman to hold the community in ritual and to be consulted for the spiritual and healing needs of individuals in that community. PSPM A man or woman who travels to the parallel worlds where time and space have no meaning and who uses the powers of those worlds, the subconscious, and the realities of this world to cause change. Shamans can alter a person's health, the weather, or the relationship between a community and its surroundings. GNO A man or woman, initiated into a lineage, who enters an altered state of consciousness at will. The shaman does this to contact and utilize a hidden reality (see, nagual) to acquire knowledge and to help others. The shaman usually works with one or more spirits. APC The practice of medicine and other shamanic activities implies tremendous dangers for the person of the shaman. A common topic of conversation among them is the account of struggles they have been forced to have with rival shamans who are jealous of their powers, or who are trying to prevent the healing of some person they have harmed. A shaman must protect himself when preparing his remedies, because even the plants themselves might harm him. That is why seeking protections against such dangers is an extremely important part of the process of learning. A shaman must be a strong person physically and spiritually. MSIN Placing oneself above worldly oppositions (e.g., life/death, good/evil, social obligations/individual desires) so as to master or transcend them is key to becoming a shaman. GOL Shamans are amoral. AVO

    The shaman is important, primordial, and without substitution
    in the field of curing.

    shamanic reality: See, nagual, tonal.

    shamanism: (n) The body of knowledge and practices of the shaman. An ancient, worldwide practice of engaging with spirit helpers and the forces of the natural world to develop relationships, solve problems, and perform healing. MBE

    Societies with flourishing shamanism have suffered far fewer cases of neurosis and psychosis when faced with the pressures of modern technological civilization than those which had weak shamanism or none at all. WOFW

    shaman sickness (Eng): (n) Schizophrenia. The path is always lonely and demanding for those called to shamanism, and doubly so for those who must contend with Western culture's refusal to accept the overwhelming reality of the disturbing realms of vision and torment in which shamans dwell. Along with having to endure the loss of ego stability, hence the frightening blurring of outer and inner realities, sufferers of schizophrenia are often forced to contend with psychiatric notions, subdued with medication and incarceration in mental institutions. The schizophrenic's reason and senses, like those of the shaman during initiation, are assaulted by concrete revelations of the heights and depths of the vast Otherworlds of the collective unconscious. Simultaneously, the schizophrenic is forced to slot into the routine of daily existence. The invasion of the ego by archetypal forces transforms the individual profoundly and irreversibly; no one who has endured such a crisis can confine the expanded horizons of their consciousness to the tame boundaries of cultural norms. SEB

    The difference between a mystical experience and a psychological crack-up is: the one who cracks-up is drowning in the water in which the mystic swims. PSPM

    shapeshift (Eng): (v) To magically assume the physical manifestation of a different entity. (See, runauturuncu, double, nagual.)

    shapeshifting: (n) There are two different forms of shapeshifting: (1) changing your luminous body to a power animal, and (2) changing your physical form on the earth plane into an animal. Based in the premise that everything is energy, and even though we shift into the energy pattern of a tree, we are in essence still the same. JP (See, saiwa, nagual, double, and therianthropy.)

    shapingo, shapinku (possibly Moche): (n) A counterspirit that would oppose the healing or divination ceremony. WOFW The devil. GOL See, Supay, below.

    shimbaya huasca:See, ayahuasca.

    shirimpiáre (Amaz): (n) A type of katziboréri, a smoking witch doctor who specializes in sucking (see, below) tobacco cure, sending the smoke energies against disease with spells. THIM

    shuco, shuca: See, jaco.

    siempre viva: (Span): (n) Triptilion spinosum. Literally, always alive. With a reputation of excellent diuretic properties, this species is extensively used in treating urinary ailments. REPC

    Siempre viva.WIKI

    siete mortales (Span): Literally, seven somersaults. In curanderismo, a strategy of battling a sorcerer (see, below) within a healing session by the curandero who executes the seven somersaults holding a sword horizontally with both hands, blade outward-facing, the somersaults making the sign of the cross. This sword battle and somersaults are designed to break a sorcerer's spell and to shock him. Somersaulting is a practice utilized especially for purposes of transformation. In Bolivia, shamans of the Tacana perform somersaults in one direction to turn themselves into jaguars and in the opposite direction to reassume human form (see, nagual, therianthropy, and shapeshifting). WOFW  

    siki: (n) (1) Base, bottom. (2) Rear end, rump, buttocks. TLD

    siki ñawi: See, chunpi.

    simi: (n) Language, words.

    Sinak'ara: (n) Tutelary mountain spirit [apu] of the Q'oyllor Rit'i festival. RS

    The glacier of Apu Sinak'ara.

    sinchi : (n) (1) Very strong person. QP (2) Chief or strongman. ACA A war-chief, strongman, warlord. EOTI Referred to the Sapa Inca in very early Inca history, i.e., Sinchi Roca.

    sinchi amarun: (n) Literally, strong anaconda. This is the jungle Quechua term for the rainbow. AYV

    Sinchi Roca: (n) The name of the legendary second Inca king. He is credited with having commanded the residents of the Cusco valley to grow potatoes, a staple crop. MAN


    Sinchi Roca, drawn by Felipe
    Guaman Poma de Ayala.

    sinchi runa: (n) Strong, powerful men who have acquired not only spirit helpers, but also the souls of powerful ancestors in their yachay (def. 2). (See, banco.) AYV

    singa: (n) From senqa, meaning nose. A nasally ingested remedy from the northern coastal region of Peru. ANON1

    sipas: (n) (1) Forces of nature ready to mate, reproduce. JLH (2) Young girl; adolescent. RS

    sipascha: (n) Young woman. QP

    siqsiy: (n) Itch (sensation). QP

    sirena (Span): A mermaid of the Amazon. MSIN  

    siriy, sirikuy: (v) To lie down. QP

    Situa, Citua: (n) An annual purification rite done to safeguard the health of the [Sapa] Inca, which was seen to indicate the health of the whole body politic. It was held in Cusco just before the start of the rainy season, when Andeans were particularly susceptible to disease. All foreigners and people with physical defects had to leave the city as a prelude to the rite. The illnesses the Inca sought to be rid of included by physical and social disorders. The ritual was seen to return Cusco to its original pristine state. ICHB A four day festival which took place at the beginning of the spring (during September on the new moon before the equinox) which had a marked relationship to medicine and health. The celebration was held to pray for the avoidance of epidemics, and all its rites had as a common goal to drive all diseases and maladies away from the  Earth. Cobo says that it was held at this time of the year “because the rainy season was about to start, and with the first rains there came illnesses…” The night before festivities began, the town had been carefully searched for foreigners and for chronically sick persons, invalids, congenitally deformed and mentally defective individuals. All were temporarily banished from the town to avoid their adverse influence on those praying. Dogs were also evicted. In the morning, in the Temple of the Sun, all the gods and important mummies were gathered for a procession. Four squadrons of heavily armed soldiers – one for each of the four suyus – converged towards the main square shouting in unison: “All disease, disasters, and dangers we will banish from this land!” Whereupon in the center of the square, a high priest performed a ceremony with chicha, after which the four groups of soldiers departed toward their respective regions, running as fast as they could shouting, “Out with disease! Out with illness!” and, upon reaching the first river in their path, they would take a ceremonial bath. Meanwhile, all people chanted in the same vein, waving their mantles, bedcovers and other clothing so as to shake off all evil. During that night, everyone -- even the [Sapa] Inca himself -- danced and rejoiced until dawn. With the first light of dawn, everyone would take a ceremonial bath in nearby bodies of water and would then throw into the water all their used clothing and don new garments. This bath was followed by a ritual game called pancunco. On the second day of feasting, each family prepared sanco (see, sanco). With it they smeared their own faces, the doors and walls of their houses and the deposits of clothing and food. They then collected the sanco and threw it into a nearby body of water. Once done, they indulged in eating and drinking, claiming that this was essential for a good state of health during the rest of the year. During this time, contention was carefully avoided. During this second night of the festival, the clergy would perform the ceremony of cleansing with sanco on the idols and all holy objects and persons, including the Inca and his wife. A sumptuous banquet for the priesthood and officials followed, and great amounts of food and drink were burned in honor of the idols and the cherished mummies present at the feast. On the third morning, the gods, surrounded by their priests, paraded with their paraphernalia and then occupied their place in the large square, receiving the salutation of all the notable persons or groups who, attired in full regalia, filed off to pay respects to the deities. Another banquet followed where the guests were entertained with music and dancing composed for this ceremony. The drinking did not start that day until the Inca himself would approach the golden image of the Sun god and make a special offer of the chicha to be consumed. On the morning of the fourth day all met again in the square. There, camelids were sacrificed in large quantities to the different deities, specially to the Sun. The blood of the animals was collected and mixed in large containers with sanco, and the High Priest addressed the people in the following terms. “Beware of how you partake of this holy sanco and blood. Because he who would take it in sin, and with two wills and two hearts, the Sun, our Father, will see and punish. And he who will consume it in good and honest will, Wiracocha, the Sun and the Thunderbolt will reward.” Each partaker made a pledge to live a good life. Then the priest took a small amount of sanco with three fingers and placed it in the mouth of everyone of the participants who had sworn. DYE See, maize.

    siwar q'enti, siwarkinte: (n) The royal hummingbird. Typically associated with shamanic journeying, siwar q'enti is a central mythological figure. He is the supreme psychopomp, having the ability to travel through all three worlds and cross-pollinate them. He is the mediator of the shamanic awakening process. PSPM A particular mythic hummingbird who is said to be the only creature to have looked Creator in the eyes; the psychopomp between the hanaqpacha and the kaypacha. ANON1 [There does not appear to be an actual taxonomically identified species called “royal hummingbird.” In Ecuador, there is a hummingbird species the locals call quinde real [translates as royal hummingbird (sp)] which is classified Colibri lolatus. The appellation royal could come from the mythology surrounding the hummingbird archetype.-- Patt]

    Siwar q'enti

    sixth level: (n) A level of consciousness characterized by the emergence of the new Sapa Inca, an extraordinary leader and social engineer of great political skill who will bring about the taripay pacha. IEBJ

    siyti sabiyus: See, qanchis laya. [Siyti sabiyus may be a Quechua rendition of Spanish siete sabio.]

    smoke signals: (n) A single reference in the chronicle of Garcilaso de la Vega describes a visual signaling system he says the Incas employed to broadcast warnings of insurrection or revolt by means of smoke by day and fire at night. The stations were staffed by the same class of young men assigned as chasqi runners along the road corridors. By perpetual vigilance, they were able to very rapidly relay an alarm over great distances. The assertion of the existence of such a system on the ground is supported by the documentation of a chain of inter-visible stations linking the royal estates at Choquequirao and Machu Picchu. It is suggested that this is just a small thread in an empire-wide web, as implied by Garcilaso. CMPSL  

    Snow Star: (n) The English name of one of the sacred festivals, Qoyllor Rit'i.

    sobar con quwi: (n) Massage with a guinea pig. From Spanish sobar = to massage, and Quechua quwi = guinea pig (sp). See, kacuni for more definition and description.

    socconche, suyumpay, chinchi: (n) Satureja [conferta]. An infusion of this highly fragrant plant is frequently used to relieve melancholies, for pains in the side and for nervous breakdowns. It is taken mixed with wine or with water or spirits. REPC

    Solimana: The name of one of the most important apus. It towers 19,990 feet above sea level, towering over the Cotahuasi Valley. It is one of the most important ritual and burial sites. It was of enough significance to the Inca that they supplied extra camelids and people to serve this and other apus in the Arequipa range. JAR


    sombra (Span): (n) Shadow. GOL

    sonccoqui: See, sonqoqui.

    sonqo, sunqu, sonq'o, soncco: (n) Heart. QP It is interesting to note that in a medical terminology more based on functional than anatomical concepts, sonqo could not escape being included among the words referring to sensations of actions related to the precordial and epigastric area which actually depend on the gastric viscera. And, for pre-Columbian Peruvians, the seat of mental functions was the heart region. Repeatedly and unmistakably, the words for the cardiac viscera are used to designate the source of intelligence, reason, memory and the instincts. DYE Heart, center. ANON1 (See, q'aymak sonqo. Also, see, sonqo huanmi, sonqoy raurahuan, sonqoy mayuihuan, sonqo queuricum, and sonqomillanayoc, below.)

    Andean ethnophysiology. MPA

    It is quite evident that for the old pre-Columbian philosopher, sonqo was the same sensorium comune which Aristotle independently visualized. In its texture or inside its cavities, it held or produced the various functions now studied by psychology and neurophysiology. The heart of the beasts had its own name, puyhuan, and the word sonqo was utilized not only to name the cardiac viscera of man, but to integrate a large series of terms related to emotional and intellectual functions. It thus became part of the denomination of different states of mind, of various emotions, spiritual attitudes and tendencies, characteristics of the personality, modes of thought, memory, imagination, understanding, etc., as well as many of the subjective sensations of the cardiac and gastric area. The terminology which refers to spiritual and intellectual activities had, in the Inca culture, the imprint of a cardiocentric conception of the mind, perhaps with a secondary aspect relating to gastric physiology. This was the site of the superior spiritual functions of man. DYE

    sonqochayay: (phrase) You small treasure of my heart, I surrender to you. JLH

    sonqo chiririyay: (n) Epilepsy. Etymologically, it means a tremor or shaking of the soul. DYE

    sonqo chunpi: See, chunpi.

    sonqo hapik: (n) Memory. DYE

    sonqo huanmi, sonqoy raurahuan: (n) Indigestion with acidity and burning. DYE

    sonqohuarmac: (adj) Ignorant. DYE

    sonqollay: (n) My own heart; my beloved. THLH

    sonqoman hapini: (v) to learn by memory. DYE

    sonqomillanayoc: (n) A patient with frequent vomiting. DYE

    sonqoy mayuihuan: (n) Nausea and vomiting. DYE [Note the use of mayu (river). - Patt]

    sonqo nanay: (n) Literally, heart pain. Translated by Gonzales Holguin in 1608 as gastric pain, ire and anger. Compare, sonqoy raurahuan, below. DYE

    sonqoqui, sonccoqui: (n) The ever-flowing joy and abundance that manifests in our lives when we reach the higher levels of the Third Inca Law of Yachay (see, tukuy yachayniyoc). The joy and abundance of the Cosmos. IGMP (See, sonqo.)

    sonqo queuricum: (n) Epigastric pain accompanied by nausea. DYE

    sonqo raurahuan: (n) The sensation of burning and acidity in the epigastric area. Compare, sonqo nanay, above, and raurak sonqo. DYE

    sonqosapa: (adj) Prudent, able. DYE

    sonqosua: (n) A heartbreaker. RMFA

    sonqo ticticnin: (n) The heartbeat. DYE

    sonqoyoa, sonccocoyoc, soncoyok: (n) An Andean shaman specializing in the heart. WOFW They inspired and healed the heart, acquiring their knowledge through supernatural secrets and methods taught by members of the same family, practicing their healing arts with the common people. They were men and women who never tried to cure without making offerings and sacrifices to the gods. MHP Inspired ones; healers by heart. DYE They acquired their knowledge by secret supernatural methods from other members of the same family. These were men or women who never attempted cures without offerings and tricks and sacrifices. Many of them claimed they had been invested with the power to cure by visions or dreams of patients who had had the same illness, and therefore considered themselves specialists in a particular kind of ailment. It is only natural, therefore, that most of the offerings they made before carrying out a medical act were dedicated to the aforementioned vision. Others of this kind became initiated in the art of healing through their own private experience with a given illness. Anyone who had a broken arm or leg or disease in any part of the body and healed in a shorter period than was apparently needed became a master to cure similar illnesses. DYE [See, re. sacrifices, qhapaq hucha and yahuar raymi.]

    sonqoyok: (adj) Intelligent, capable. DYE

    sopla (Span): (n) From soplar, to blow, to puff. SEES A sharp expulsion of air or gas. WPH  

    Soq'a: (n) Twisted female nature spirit. More accurately, a third level initiate's vision of a powerful female nature spirit.  When fear is conquered, the frightening Soq'a transforms into a beautiful Ñust'a. QNO

    sorcerer (Eng): (n) A practitioner of sorcery.

    sorcery (Eng): (n) Occult and magical practices considered associated with hostility, evil and darkness, tending to induce illness and death in a subject, rather than healing. This is a very general definition. More detailed definitions would be culture-specific or even teacher-specific. There are exceptions, such as the teachings of Carlos Castaneda which he calls sorcery, yet the practice of which does not fit this definition; in Ecuador, shamans are commonly called brujos [sorcerers]. Sorcerers and shamans study the same occult realm, yet approach practice with very different intentions. PGO In the Amazon, a vegetalista is able to distinguish the type of sorcery his patient is suffering from by ingesting ayahuasca and observing the type of lights surrounding the patient. If he sees zig-zagging lights, it means his patient has been hit by a chontero. If he sees small waves crossed by dark lines, then the patient has been hit by a huaní. If the waves are larger, then hechicería marupa is involved. AYV Among the ranks of the shamans were many sorcerers who practiced black magic in secret and whose malign influence was widely feared. They were associated with spiders, lizards, snakes, toads and moths, and it was bad luck to see any of these creatures near someone's home. Even the Inca ruler feared enchantment; women attendants instantly swallowed any hairs that fell from his head lest they should fall into the hands of hostile shamans. IAWS Compare, caveat about witchcraft here.

    soroqch'i: (n) Mountain sickness. ROR

    soul capture (Eng): (n) A dominant form of daño in which the brujo calls the victim's shadow to a doll and and sticks it with spines, wraps it in wool and puts it in a jar, then buries it in a big hole. When the person sickens and seeks help, this is undone by a curandero who makes another doll and does magic to it. GOL

    soul contract (Eng): (n) Your spiritual purpose, agreed upon before you incarnated into this life. The guided plan for your life. The source of your soul contracts is in the Divine; you co-created the contract with divine guidance and it includes many individual agreements (subcontracts) to meet and work with certain people, in certain places, at certain times. Your earthly commitments, the tasks you have been assigned, and the lessons you agreed to learn in this incarnation in order to fulfill your divine potential. SCCM

    soul loss (Eng): (n) A feeling of incompleteness due to trauma. Your connection to yourself can never be lost; however, you can feel like you are not connected. The remedy is soul retrieval. TWR See, susto.  

    soul remembering: (n) After a soul retrieval is performed, the remembering work done by the recipient is essential: to keep and root the soul parts, to learn what qualities have been returned with the essence, to discover how to use the new energy, and to release any attitudes that continue to block wholeness. During soul remembering, we gain knowledge of our soul's purpose in the world. It returns to us gifts, talents, and strengths. MBE

    soul retrieval (Eng): (n) A traditional remedy based on the shamanic belief that part of our essential life energy can split off and become lost in nonordinary reality (soul loss) due to trauma and needs to be retrieved in order for the person to be whole again. SR If you are never disturbed by anything, you will never need soul retrieval. TWR

    south, the (Eng): (n) One of the four cardinal directions representing the four winds. (See , level of abstraction, def. 2.) The south contrasts with the power of the north because prevailing winds and winter come from the south. Mesa objects represent output. WOFW (See, also, west, east and north.)

    Southern Cross: (1) The Southern Cross is a constellation found in the southern region of the night sky. It is the most commonly known, and easily identifiable of all the southern constellations. LTO (Image 1 below) (2) These stars form a bridge (chacana) over Mayu. IGMP The Southern Cross (def. 1) is at the center of Mayu, not because of its revolution around the pole, but because it is the point at which two celestial rivers collide (called Calvario). (See, graphic at Mayu and image 2 below.) (3) The corresponding terrestrial cross, Crucero, formed by the rising and setting of the sun on the two solstices (image 3 below). ACES (See, Mayu for an explanation of how this mirrors the water cycle.)

    (1) The astronomical constellation known as the Southern Cross (Alpha, Beta,
    Delta and Gamma Crucis). Alpha and Beta Centauri on the left are the eyes of
    the Llama dark matter formation (yana phuyu).

    (2) The solstices and the seasonal axes of the Milky Way form a celestial cross
    called “Calvario.”

    (3) The four quarters of terrestrial space, known as “Crucero,” show a correlation

    with the four quarters of the sky cross, “Calvario.”  ACES

    sowing one's shadow in the lagoon: (Phrase) (Shadow here meaning soul.)  The ritual bath at Las Huaringas. Here the soul is nurtured just like the many magical herbs that are only found at the lagoons and at the famous hills of Chaparrí and Yanahuanga. WOFW  

    spaceships (Eng): These are common hallucinationatory motifs during ayahuasca experiences. Often the transportation of guardian spirits and other beings, the vehicles and the beings are of material more subtle than that of our continuum. Many of these beings belong to extraterrestrial civilizations that live in harmony. The ships themselves come in many different shapes and sizes. AYV


    A spaceship in a detail from a painting by vegetalista
    Pablo Amaringo. This craft is from one of the moons of Saturn.

    Spanish moss: See, saccropa, above..

    spiral: See, remolino.

    spirit seat (Eng): (n) Stones or shells of various sizes on which the spirits are supposed to rest during an Aymara shamanic session. WOFW See, Aymara mesa for diagram, esp. #7 & #12.

    staff (Eng): (n) An integral part of a curandero's mesa. The staffs are like antennae that pull and emit and transmit radiations. They are the foci of the forces at work in the manipulation of the mesa. The staffs perform input (the north) and output (the south) functions involving both negative (the west) and positive (the east) energies. WOFW

    Staffs at the head of a curandero's mesa.

    staff deities (Eng): Pan-Andean deities of either gender portrayed with arms outstretched holdling decorated, ritual staffs. MAN (See, another image of staff deity Wiracocha at sunkasapa.)


    string theory: (n) Shorthand for superstrings. WIKI String theory postulates that space and time are illusions – primitive notions that will be replaced by something more sophisticated. According to string theory, the most basic ingredients in the universe are no longer point-like particles, the familiar electron and quarks. Instead, they are unimaginably small vibrating strings of some unknown fundamental stuff. String theory suggests that different configurations of strings produce different harmonic chords. The vibrating string gives rise to the particles, and the way the string vibrates determines each particle's properties. This all takes place in a convoluted landscape of 11 dimensions. It appears that space and time aren't essential ingredients of a universe ruled by strings. Einstein's well-proven theories showed that the fabric of space-time, with its three dimensions of space and one of time, is not a passive backdrop for the events and objects in the universe. Space-time also creates objects and events. Imagine the universe as a performance on a stage. The stage of space-time does not act like a static floor; it also pulls and pushes the actors around. In the subatomic realm, the entire concept of fixed particles in time and space fuzzes out into an ever-shifting haze of probabilities [Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle]. Space and time as fundamental concepts may be about to disappear altogether. String theory views everything in the universe as the combined harmonies of strings vibrating in 11 dimensions. The everyday, three-dimensional universe we live in is trapped on a thin membrane [called brane] -- something like the world inhabited by characters playing out their lives within the confines of a movie screen. Unknown to these shallow, two-dimensional players, a larger universe spreads into numerous extra dimensions. It's as if humans are like water bugs skipping over the surface of a deep ocean. Everything we know is so much foam and flotsam stuck to the surface. But there may be a whole undiscovered world waiting underneath. PGO notes from a series in LAT2 (See, ceke, and Appendix I.)

    Strombo: A fierce Moche demon who attacked Aia Paec with its sharp claws. A battle ensued between god and demon, and Aia Paec won.  

    paint64.tiff             paint63.tiff

    Strombus conch shells (Eng): (n) These shells have been used as musical instruments in Peru for several thousand years. VWC (See, pututu.)  

    Top: Strombus shell trumpets. Wear has effaced the engravings on the first two.
    Bottom: Engraved cornice from Chavin de Huantar showing a procession
    with priests blowing conch shells.

    subtle energy (Eng): (n) Subtle energy is difficult to define within the current scientific paradigm. Ancient and modern wisdom traditions describe human bioenergies referred to by many names (chi, ki, prana, etheric energy, fohat, orgone, odic force, mana, homeopathic resonance, e.g. ) that is believed to move throughout the light energy body and thus is difficult to measure using conventional instrumentation. In addition, many of the complementary and alternative therapies that are becoming increasingly popular appear to involve the flow of these subtle energies through the dense physical body. In addition, it is traditionally accepted that expansions of consciousness often are related to changes in subtle energies that cannot be quantified. These latter "energies", which are said to be associated with interactions and with transcendence, may not actually be involved with known physical fields. ISEM (See, luminous body.)

    sucanca: (n) Literally, that which is about to be furrowed. They were shadow-clocks. ACA Solar pillars were called both sucancas and saiwas. The word sucanca is no longer in use in Cusco Quechua, nor is its meaning recorded in the early Quechua-Spanish dictionaries. The word saiwa was, and continues to be, commonly used for marker. AEAA Fourteen universally worshiped shrines came about as a consequence of their Sun worship. These were the markers or pillars called sucanca that indicated months of the year. These pillars were considered very important, and sacrifices were offered to them at the same time as they were made for the other huacas and in places designated for this purpose. These sacrifices were made in the following way. After the sacrifices were taken to the other huacas in the order in which they were located along the cekes, ... what was left over was offered to these markers. This was because the markers were not located in the same order as the other shrines but were distributed according to the course of the sun, and each [person] came with a sacrifice to the marker-shrine nearest to his ceke. IRC

    sucking (Eng): (n) Massage and suction, two essential elements of surgical technique, were used freely in ancient Peru. Through these procedures they removed foreign bodies, thorns, arrow points, necrotic tissue, abscesses, and relieved local pain. Suction of a toxic wound is a logical step to take for any healer. The ancient Peruvian medicine man resorted to suction of apparently normal regions of the body in order to extract “the disease” and spit it out to the ground or into the nearest body of water to be carried away. The magic element of suction is found also in the description of ancient Peruvian medicine. Guaman Poma says, “Sorcerers speak with the demons and suck and they claim that they extract the disease from the body and they extract silver or stones or sticks or worms or frogs or straws, or corn from the body of men and women.”  DYE See, also, extraction.

    sucyay unccoy: See, chhaque unccoy,

    suerte: (n) Luck. SEES In curanderismo, bad luck. WPH

    suisui (Amaz): Thraupis episcopus, the blue-grey tanager. A tibe negro used by marupasorcerers as a mariri. AYV


    sukuacra-warmi: (n) Nymphs who live in a city below the surface of the river, a beautiful city of perfumed air. There one can find the most rapid ships, such as the supay-lancha. AYV (See, warmi.)

    sullca huahua (AYM): (n) Youngest son. ASD (Note: wawa or huahua is Quechua for baby.)

    sullu: (n) (1) Abortion. (2) Animal fetus used by curanderos. RS

    sulp'ay niy: (v) To thank. QP

    sumaq: (adj) Handsome, beautiful, tasty, nice. QP

    sumaq aklla: See, aklla.

    sumaq aklla cataquin: See, aklla.

    sumaq kawsay, sumak kawsay: (n) Literally, beautiful energy. A way of life of indigenous tribes that use their resources in a way that promotes regeneration, and regrowth. They embody community and well-being, and a co-existence with nature. Through living the concept of sumak kawsay, communities are able to preserve their unique culture and identity, and care for an environment that they know will provide for generations to come. Sumak kawsay is embedded in the ethical values of indigenous cultures. The sumak kawsay way of living has permeated indigenous cultures for thousands of years. Sumak kawsay has been incorporated into Ecuadorian and Bolivian governments as a way of granting rights to nature ­ and ultimately, to ourselves. The concept of sumak kawsay was incorporated  into Ecuador's 2008 Constitution, which was the first country to legally acknowledge rights of nature. It can be a powerful global influence for governments and policy makers to initiate changes that will preserve the precious harmony we need to sustain ourselves, our children, and our grandchildren. Sumak kawsay values people over profit. It is also a new way of viewing "developing nations" because it expresses a relationship with nature and surroundings that epitomizes the opposite of profit and commodification. A key piece is how development is defined calls for a decreased emphasis on economic and product development, as well as an increased focus on human development ­ not in population, but in an enrichment of core values, spirituality, ethics, and a deepening of our own connection with Pachamama. PMO (See, kawsay.)

    sumaq kawsayniyuq: (v) Honest. QP (See, kawsay.)

    sumaq sunqu: (adj) Literally, beautiful heart. Humble. RS (See, sonqo.)

    sume: (n) From Span. sumergir, to submerge. A shaman who is able to travel under the water. MSIN  

    sumi: (adj) Extensive. RS (n) A sumiruna.

    sumiruna: (n) Also called sumi. The highest level of vegetalista, this shaman is able to master all three realms: jungle, water and air. AYV

    sumpuña: (n) Musical instrument like panpipes. PSL (See, zampoñas.)

    Sun: See, pachacuti.

    suni: (n) Land that is between 3,600 and 3,900 meters above sea level. RDP (See, quechua, puna.)

    Sunkasapa: (n) Bearded ones, from sunka, beard, and sapa, unique. The mythic soldiers of Wiracocha, a.k.a. the angelic warriors of Wiracocha. On the Gateway of the Sun, the famous carved figure on the decorated archway in the ancient pre-Incan city of Tiwanako most likely represents Wiracocha, flanked by 48 winged effigies -- 32 with human faces and 16 with condor heads. WMO (See, Weeping God, staff deities.)


    Sunkasapa surround Wiracocha atop the Gateway of the Sun.


    Line drawings of sunkasapa that surround the staff deity in image above. TAI

    sunqu phatatatay: (n) A pounding heart. QP (See, sonqo.)

    sunqu tupachiy: (v) To be in love. QP (See, sonqo.)

    Sunttiyri (AYM): (n) God creator of all things. ASD

    suntur: (adj) Round, circular. (n) Cabinet (advisors); congress; convention; council; court. RS

    suntur paucar, sundorpauca: (n) A staff covered from top to bottom with small feathers of different colors, three of the feathers rose from the top. This staff was one of the royal symbols of the Inca (see, Sapa Inca). IRC

    Statue of Pachacuti Inca holding a suntur paucar in his right hand.

    Sunturwasi: (n) Literally, circular house. A building that had a cylindrical shape and was used as the emblems' house: the Hatun Kancha, which belonged to Inca Yupanqui. CPO It was considered the house of the weapons and trophies and had several floors. When the Spanish arrived, Pizarro ordered that this temple was meant to be the first Spanish Catholic Church in Cusco. CPC

    supay, supai: (n) (1) A class of demons which threatened humankind with suffering and disgrace. DYE Devil, demon. PSL Evil spirits. WPO The original meaning was not negative and could be translated as shadow, ghost, and associated with death. It can be translated as spirit, soul, ghost or demon. The vegetalista can learn to work with these beings in a beneficial way. AYV (2) A type of sorcery characterized by stagnation, absence of flow.  JLH

    Supay, Shapinku: (n) The name of the Inca god of death and lord of the underworld. Today the Catholic Indians of Peru and Bolivia apply the word to the Devil. WPO See, Urcaguary, Muki.)

    supay-cato: (n) Literally, ghost bath. This is the weather phenomenon known in the USA as a dry thunderstorm, when there is wind and thunder and lightning, but no rain. AYV PGO (See, Wayramama.)

    supay chacra: (n) Literally, devil's garden. Without human intervention, this is believed by local people to be a power-spot, and ayahuasca rituals held in this place are believed to deliver powerful and vivid visions to the participants. EMM  Also called a ch'ullanchaki garden. AYV (See, chacra, supay.)

    supay-lancha, yaku-lancha: (n) Literally, devil launch. One of the manifestations of Yakumama called upon by vegetalistas and from whom benefits can be acquired. Also known as acurun and purahua, it is a kind of yakumama that can become a spirit steamboat in order to walk on the water of rivers and lakes. AYV

    supayniyoj: (adj) Possessed. PSL (See, supay.)

    supay-tibe (Amaz): A bird that flies around the river to attack any sumiruna sorcerer that approaches the shaman. AYV (See, supay.)

    superstrings: See, string theory.

    supullu uncuy: (n) Chicken pox. DYE

    suq'a: (n) Evil spirit. QP

    surgical tools (Eng): (n) In one of the caverns at Paracas, a package was found containing obsidian knives provided with their respective handles spotted with blood, together with a small spoon or curette made of a sperm whale's tooth. The obsidian knives were of various sizes; some were pointed instruments which might have been used for bloodletting, others were true surgical knives which could easily cut the soft parts, and other larger ones for working on bone. Undoubtedly, the curette was used to denude the periosteum; the threads are the same as those which appear in the edges of the wounds. At the Huaca Malena ruin were found a great variety of tumis of distinct size and shape which were only for cutting the soft parts. There were also needles of different sizes and thickness, all metallic, which were probably used in surgical suturing. The progress of the primitive Peruvian in the development of copper, which permitted instruments to be made in a variety of forms, apparently for different steps of the operations, did not completely displace the obsidian knives, whose hardness and sharpness were never surpassed. DYE See, Appendix L for photos of some antique surgical tools.

    suruchi: (n) Altitude sickness. QP

    surumpi: (n) A sort of snow-blindness which could make the most powerful army lose an easy battle. DYE

    susto (Span), jani (Quechua): (n) (1) A state of terror. ROR  (2) A folk illness with strong psychological overtones defined as fright sickness and characterized by soul loss. WAN Spiritual shock. Magical fright that results in soul loss; perpetrated by spirit entities, not sorcerers. GOLJani is the Quechua word for a malady produced by the estrangement of the soul. The body, abandoned by the spirit, loses its balance and illness ensues. The soul may be stolen by a hill, a ravine, a solitary place, a lake, the night, a grave, or any other terrestrial feature. And the estrangement is usually brought about by a scare or may be produced insidiously. This illness may afflict individuals of all ages, although it is rare among older people. Usually, the patient starts to lose weight, looks pale and withered, pays little or no attention to his own grooming and hygiene, lacks appetite but has a great thirst. He is seldom confined to bed, except in advanced cases. Sometimes, all this is accompanied by a low grade fever, with or without vomiting and/or diarrhea. These somatic symptoms always come together with marked general nervousness, anxiety, depression, terrifying nightmares, nocturnal terror and unexplained fear. This is cured by methods which return the soul to the body and most of these methods correspond in every single detail to those described four hundred years ago by the chroniclers and priests who tried to make them disappear in a cruel and relentless persecution of sorcery and idolatry. DYE A feeling of incompleteness due to trauma. Your connection to yourself can never be lost. However, you can feel like you are not connected. The remedy is soul retrieval. TWR The inability to integrate the conscious and unconscious parts of the self. This results from severe energetic imbalances in the physical and luminous body that have intensified as a result of psychic isolation or spiritual denial, taking the form of depression, despondency, or dissociation -- sometimes lasting many years. Aspects of the self can appear fragmented because the conscious mind is not ready to embrace them. PSPM (See, manchari.)

    Susurpuquio: (n) The name of a spring outside Cusco where Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui found a crystal tablet bearing the image of Wiracocha.  MAN The crystal that Pachacuti found had inside it a tiny figure of a bearded man with three bright rays like those of the sun radiating from his head. The apparition told Pachacuti that he would conquer many, but must honor his divine protector, Wiracocha. The vision then vanished, but Pachacuti kept the crystal and was said to be able to look into it and see the regions he would later subdue. He had a gold statue made to capture the appearance of the apparition, which was the size of a ten year old boy. UNK (See, Punchau.)


    susuwa: (n) The steep rubble slope where the kukuchi must struggle their way uphill every night until only their bones are left.  ROR

    suti: (n) Name. QP

    sut'i: (adj) Clear, visible. PSL

    sutichay: (v) So call, to name. QP

    Sutic Toco: The damp cave at Tambo Toco. NFL  The cave, represented as a chamber in the Ukhupacha, where one goes to view all of the different life pachas of the client and to find a vision. JLH (See, Maras Toco and Capac Toco.)

    sut'imanta: (adv) Clearly. PSL

    sut'inchaj: (n) Prophet. PSL Also, profeta (Span). PSL

    sut'inchay: (v) (1) To explain, to make clear. (2) To prophesy. Also, profetizay (sp). PSL

    sut'i sonqo: (adj) Frank, honest; literally, clear hearted. PSL See, sonqo.

    sut'iyay: (v) To dawn, to become clear. PSL

    suwirti: (n) Luck (sp). QP

    suyay: (v) To wait. (n) Hope, expectation. PSL

    suyu: (n) Region. QP

    Suyu Apu : A tutelary mountain spirit (Apu) overseeing an entire region (suyu). Related to the third level of the Andean Path. NND The sacred mountain of an entire region. Examples are Ausangate and Salcantay. PSPMSee, ayllu apu and llaqta apu.

    Suyus: (n) Regions of Cusco and the Inca Empire. (See, Appendix D.)

    synchronicity (Eng): (n) The idea of synchronicity is that the conceptual relationship of minds, defined by the relationship between ideas, is intricately structured in its own logical way and gives rise to relationships which have nothing to do with causal relationships in which a cause precedes an effect. Instead, causal relationships are understood as simultaneous ‹ that is, the cause and effect occur at the same time. Synchronous events reveal an underlying pattern, a conceptual framework which encompasses, but is larger than, any of the systems which display the synchronicity. The suggestion of a larger framework is essential in order to satisfy the definition of synchronicity as originally developed by Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. Jung coined the word to describe what he called "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events." Jung variously described synchronicity as an "'acausal connecting principle'" (i.e., a pattern of connection that cannot be explained by conventional, efficient causality), "meaningful coincidence" and "acausal parallelism". WIKI Synchronicity takes place at the junction between Earth-time and timelessness. ACAI

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First Edition (c) 2007 Patt O'Neill. All rights reserved. This site was originally published 6-13-07
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