Commentary, Customs

The Mountain Takes Your Soul

Montañas (Brayan Coraza)

In the Andes of Peru the mountains, also called “Apus”, have much power and mysticism. The Inca and pre-Inca cultures knew of them and had respect for nature. At the same time, they venerated it.

It is said that in the Inca time, after the death of some ruler, his essence was kept in the heart of one of the “Apus” and It would take care of the population always,watching from the above.

But if we challenge nature by changing its course, we can cause some kind of disaster like is happening all over the world.

When one walks through the different archaeological centers of the city of Cusco, one can appreciate impressive Inca constructions that do not alter the course of nature, but adapt to it.

A mountain can make a fatal decision. It could well cause some seismic movement and you can fall into the abyss or to stay with your soul if you want it.

A story tells that a young woman visited one of these archaeological centers that is located at the top of a mountain in the month of August, month where the Pachamama is thirsty for offerings.

Wanting to take water from a stream near this place she slips and it causes her a big scare. All her friends rushed to help her thinking that an accident had happened. She seemed ok and they calmed down.

But after a few hours, when descending the mountain, the girl writhed not wanting to leave the place saying, “That gentleman is calling me and I have to go”. At first they just thought she was being stubborn, but as they went further, the girl got worse until she was unconscious.

Something was not right so they looked for someone who could help them. They saw in the coca leaves that the girl’s soul had been trapped by the Mountain and that the girl was dying because of that.

It was something they could not understand, but with the help of the oldest people of the place made an offering to the Pachamama asking that the girl’s soul be returned. Finally after a few hours, the young woman had returned to herself, not remembering anything of what had happened.

The mountains and all nature have a lot of power. We can alter its course and misfortune can happen. We should respect nature just as the Incas and the ancient civilizations did.

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