The Chakana An Ancient Symbol

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The chakana or chaka hanan means the “bridge to the top”. It is the name of the constellation of the Southern Cross, and constitutes the synthesis of the Andean worldview.

From Andean thought, the chakana is the representation of a concept that has multiple levels of complexity according to its use. The chakana or chaka hanan means the “bridge to the top”. It is the name of the constellation of the Southern Cross, and constitutes the synthesis of the Andean worldview, likewise, it is an astronomical concept linked to the seasons of the year.

This cross looms over Turi in February, it is a cross of stars that remains overnight, turns south a bit, but disappears at five in the morning and rises again at nightfall, says Taita Yaku Samay, who has followed closely the movements of the cross of stars, and for this reason he knows that there are times when that cross also rises at ten o’clock at night.

That is the southern cross that the taitas venerated and loved. The wise men of the indigenous communities say that, in the past, when she came out (the cross made of stars), many people would gather on the mountain to worship her.

Andean cultures celebrate Chakana Day every May 3, when the constellation of the “Southern Cross” acquires the astronomical shape of a perfect cross, in a vertical position with respect to the South Pole.

The Circle of the Chakana. Andean calendar. The Great Cycle of the Andean Cross.

Four extremes and four intermediate points of the Chakana represent eight ceremonies of the Andean culture, 4 coinciding with the solstices and equinoxes and 4 intermediate.

DATECEREMONYDESCRIPTION
June 21stGreat festival of the sun godIt is the festival of the Sun. The solar new year. Inti Raymi Quechua, Machaq Mara Aymara. furthest distance from the sun to the earth. It symbolizes the eternal union of the Sun with the Human Being.
August 1stPachamama cultIt is done to request permission from Pachamama to break the land and start planting. According to Andean tradition, the Pachamama awakens at that time.
September 22ndPrayers for the harvestCeremony of omens of good harvest.
November 2ndVeneration of the deceasedCeremony of respect to the shakhatas and hiwatas, souls and spirits.
December 22ndReturn of the sunHalf-year. Changing the direction of the sun.
February 2ndCrop blessingToday, linked to the carnivals, it is an agricultural festival, the cultivated fields that are in full growth are blessed. New animals are also marked.
March 23rdFestival of maturityIt is the time when plants reach maturity. The time to begin to taste the fruit of the harvest. It is the festival of maturity. The introduction of girls and boys to adolescence begins.
May 3rdDay of the ChakanaChakana Day. The constellation of the Southern Cross acquires the astronomical shape of a perfect cross, in a vertical position with respect to the South Pole. Authorization is requested from Pachamama to collect the fruits.

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