The Inka Cross a strong Symbol of the old Cultures of the Andes
The Inka Cross or Chakana is a strong symbol of the old cultures of the Andes and is considered the most complete, holy, geometric design of the Inkas. This symbol is often found in old places and holy centers in the Andes in Peru and in Bolivia. The Chakana has had, and still has, a considerable meaning to the Inkas and it also represents many meanings in its design.
Traditionally, the Chakana (Cruz cuadrada means a four-sided cross in Spanish) represents the constellation of the Southern Cross which is to be seen on the southern hemisphere. According to the opinion of the old Andes population, this was the centre of the Universe and was easy to find when they looked up in sky at night.
The Inka Cross at Machu Picchu
Chakana is an icon either worn as a talisman, as jewellery, or used in architectural design on many buildings, temples, and artifacts such as on the Condor Temple in Machu Picchu.
Even though many productions of the Chakana have been found for example in the ruins of Machu Picchu, Pisac, and Ollantayambo, the oldest Chakana representation was found in Bolivia. This old Chakana was found within the archaeological area of Tiwanaku in Bolivia.
The symbol is often constructed in such a way that only half of it protrudes from the structure; in this way the cross is completed by the shadow, created by the sun. The shadow part represents the non-material world.
The Meaning of Chakana
The word Chakana is based on the word “chakay,” which means “to cross” or “to bridge”. It derives from the ancient Inkan language, quechua, still used today. Quechua is only a spoken language and therefore often spelled in various ways.
When the Chakana is used for meditation or for training/teaching, it is said to bring mental balance and a deeper insight at many levels of consciousness.
The Meaning of the Inka Cross, sides, levels, top, bottom, middle
A: At the top to the left
B: At the top to the right
Hana Pacha – Heaven
The upper world, light sophisticated energy. The stars, divine creatures, and gods.
Kay Pacha –The earth
This world, light and heavy energy, here and now, Mother Earth. People’s lives.
Uqha Pacha –The Underworld
Heavier energy, but not Hell, may be lucky, beautiful things. Death.
C: At the bottom to the left
D: At the bottom to the right
The holy animals:
Condor/eagle: represents the upper world in the sky
Cougar: represents powerful land animals
Snake: represents the lower world
Center / “hole”
Represents the Inkan capital Cusco, the center for the Inka Empire or the people who lived in the middle of the 3 lives, in the 4 elements and the middle of the universe.
The four sides
The four most important corners are supposed to symbolize
- North, South, East and West,
- the 4 elements, Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and
- the 4 big stars in the South Cross.
The 12 festivals / The Inkan calendar.
The Inkas had a calendar, composed by twelve months, each of 30 days. Each month in the Inka calendar had its own festival (meaning month). The twelve outer corners mark the twelve corners of the year and an achievement of awareness.
Wiracocha / God
Pachamama / Mother Earth
This is only a simple interpretation – I am sure there are others.
The geometric Structure of the Inka Cross