As Above So Below: Andean Totems


As Above So Below: Andean Totems

© Kathy Doore for Labyrinthina

The celestial realm above and the earthly plane below formed the basis of the Andean pantheon. The great empires of South America reveal a shamanic tradition of arcane knowledge expressed through symbology. Here one sees shadow and light, force and resistance, the creative and receptive interwoven.

As example, the Andean Cross Chacana (a stepped pyramid symbol) is at once ascending heavenward and conversely, descending earthward. The division of the One into the primeval Duo not only mirrors nature, it is the primordial Tao.



We are presented with fantastic creatures emerging from the natural world, benign or menacing, angelic and demonic, these supernatural beings evoke a response. We behold the primordial world in such a way that these fantastic images shock and awe us, compel us to wonder at their timeless order.

There is little doubt the ancients left a symbolic language as an expression of their conflicted worlds – the internal struggle of the soul mirrored by the external challenges of humankind. When we seek to understand their message we find it repeated in all of nature, expressed throughout all of time.

Continue to Part II

The Solar Disc Lake Titicaca
Sojourn with us to Peru!
The Fisher Kings
Ancient MU