3 Lessons We Can Learn From Inti Raymi
In Cusco city, located in the Southern Hemisphere, on June 24th we celebrated Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Rebirth of the Sun.
Nowadays Inti Raymi is a theatrical representation of the original event based on chronicles of Garcilaso de la Vega; however, it remains a heartfelt celebration. It begins with a ceremony in Qoricancha (the Temple of the Sun), a procession on the main streets of Cusco and ends with rituals in the fortress of Sacsaywaman.
Inti Raymi originated in the Inca Empire, established by Pachacuti, the ninth Inca ruler. The celebration is meant to teach three valuable lessons to the people and encourage them to make these lessons central part of their lives.
These three lessons are as relevant today for all of us as they were back then for the Inca people.
Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca, says on the first part of “The Royal Commentaries of the Incas": “They celebrated this festival of the Sun in acknowledgment that […] by his light and power, [the Divine] creates and sustains all things on earth […]”.
Showing gratefulness to the divine represented by the Sun for giving life to all things, the year’s bountiful harvest and a thriving life made Inti Raymi the most important event of the year. Gratefulness was also a daily practice infused in all their activities for the Inca people.
Counting our blessings and showing our gratefulness is part of co-creating with the Divine and renewing our lives. Doing so brings more awareness of all the good in our lives and makes us available for receiving more blessings to be grateful for. Both consciousness and openness to receiving are a must to thoroughly enjoying the benefits given to us.
Here are some suggestions as to how you can practice more gratefulness in your daily life:
- Talk to the Divine and Spirit Guides when you wake up in the morning. Take the opportunity to thank them for the good things happening in all aspects of your life.
- Before you eat anything, say a prayer to the Divine and Spirit guides to thank them for the food you are about to enjoy.
- Go to the countryside. Put your hands on the ground and say out loud “thank you” to Mother Earth with all your heart for supporting you and providing you with so much beauty.
Those are some of the things I do to connect with the Divine in Nature and my ancestors in gratefulness. If you find any that you would like to add to your daily spiritual practices, please do so. They are easy practices, and you can dedicate to them as little or as much time as you would like to.
Gratefulness was such an essential practice for a good, joyful, abundant life for the Inca people that they also dedicated time periodically to special ceremonies and elaborate rituals to show their gratitude to the Divine in Nature and ancestors in recognition for all they received from them. Inti Raymi was the most important celebrations of gratefulness of them all. People traveled from far away, from the 4 Suyos (directions) of the Inca Empire which back then would have included some of Peru’s neighboring countries, to attend the celebration in Cusco, city.
By putting the effort and time to make offerings from the heart to the Divine and our ancient Spirit Guides, we too can attune with the creative energy of the Universe and open ourselves up to receive more abundance and more life.
Another aspect of Inti Raymi is to honor the ancestors. To regard them with great respect is a valuable practice that we can learn from Inti Raymi. Remembering and connecting in our heart more deeply with our ancient lineages of the Earth goes beyond an expression of nostalgia.
“He [the Divine] was the natural father of the first Inca […] and of his wife […], and of all their descendants, who were sent to this earth for the benefit of all people. For these reasons, as they themselves say, this was their most solemn feast.” - From the first part of “The Royal Commentaries of the Incas" by Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca.
Our Inca ancestors were well aware of our divine origin as people of the Earth and our spiritual calling to be of service. They had a wealth of knowledge and wisdom they harvested over the years. While on the earth, they passed them on to their descendants so that they could better serve the community. At present, whenever we call on them, the souls of our Inca grandparents are there for us. They transmit to us the knowledge and wisdom they have and offer their protection and strength to support the ones who call on them with love and humbleness not only for their benefit but to contribute to this Earth in a more significant way.
Just like we would not ask for help or support from a friend without having established and built a relationship and would not receive help without thanking them for their contribution to our lives, we would not ask our Inca grandparents for support without creating and nourishing a relationship with them. As well as honoring them and thanking them for all we receive from them. Only then, we are in right balance with our grandparents to receive their support and wisdom.
Last but not least, I love the third meaning of Inti Raymi: Rejoicing, expressed in the celebration, colorful dances and the procession on the streets of Cusco.
“The celebration of the feast of Raymi lasted for nine days, during which time there was an abundance of eating and drinking, and such rejoicing as each person could show.” - From the first Part of “The Royal Commentaries of the Incas" by Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca.
Inti Raymi encourages us to generate joy within and to allow our lives to reflect our inner happiness. We can make celebration a way of life no matter what.
I remember as a child that I once hear my best friend’s mother say to my mom, “life is so beautiful” with so much joy and passion for life. She was in love with life. You would never have guessed that this woman had lost only a few years earlier, a 21-year-old son.
This memory reminds me that we can always choose how we want to interface with life and the meaning we make of our life experience. The Inti Raymi celebration epitomizes finding joy in our hearts and making it an essential part of our lives deliberately.
I woke up early on the 24th to join thousands of people on the streets of downtown Cusco to celebrate Inti Raymi. I am delighted to share with you photos of Inti Raymi, the Festival of the Rebirth of the Sun. I’d love for them to brighten up your day with their high vibration of celebration and inspire you to live in gratefulness while celebrating life.
Would you like to know how you can commune with the Divine in Nature and our Inca ancestors in a meaningful way, receive their support and wisdom and go in depth to renew your life to reemerge in all your joy and greatness? While you genuinely honor the Divine, our ancestors and rejoice in gratitude?
If you feel in your heart that the answer is Yes!, I invite you to learn about the sacred Immersion.
*Quotes from the first part of “The Royal Commentaries of the Incas" by Garcilaso de la Vega, El Inca, Translated by Sir Clements Markham. London: The Hakluyt Society, First Series #45, 1871. Volume II, pp. 155-167