Inca Religion


The belief system of the Incas was polytheistic, this meant that the Incas worshipped many gods and believed that there was a god for every aspect of the Earth such as the sun, the moon, wind, lightning, rain and all the other elements of the Earth. Although the Incas believed in many gods they believed that their creator was Viracocha who was worshipped before Inca times by people in Peru. At the time it was believed that Vircocha created the earth and all living creatures and because of this many of the Inca beliefs and faith system is based on what was created by Viracocha.

Although Viracocha was regarded as the creator and the most important god the Inca religion provided many other layers of worship and beliefs. This is the case with what was known as the secondary tier of their religion known as the astral level. This section of the Inca religion involved worshipping gods within the dimension of Earth such as the sun, the moon and the stars. Although the Incas believed that the dimension of earth was meant for man it was no less magical or grand as many places resembled shrines such as rocks, mountain peaks, caves and natural springs offering places of worship for the Incas.


One of the main gods for the astral level was Inti the sun god. The royal people of the Incas claimed to be directly related to Viracocha through Inti, as he was the supposed father of the first Inca king. Inti was a male god, represented through icons such as the golden disk or seated boy (Punchao) with rays projected from his head. Inti was the support of the empire and conquest, and the Inca held many ceremonies and rituals for him. All major settlements throughout the Inca Empire had a Sun Temple. Crops and resources were actually set aside for the temples and activities. Another astral level god was Chiqui Illapa the Thunder God, he was seen as a man in the sky holding a great war club in one hand and a sling in the other. The lightning is said to be the sling stones that he casts, and the Milky Way (called the Celestial River by the Incas) was the source he drew from to create rain. Since he was the god of rain, Chiqui Illapa was worship the god the Incas worshiped for rain.

The Incans also used Divination involving a soothsayers talking with spirits often through the influence of hallucinogenic snuff to provide a trance like state and gain the ability to communicate with the other world.

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