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Ofrenda Rituals

In Andean cosmology, three foundational principles shape spirituality, rituals, and ideology: reciprocity (ayni), proportionality (tinkuy), and complementarity (yanantin).

The path of wisdom emerges from the interconnection (tawa-chacana) between beings, fostering existence through dialogue and consensus, grounded in proportionality for life's balance. This balance extends across all natural life forms, with humans participating as integral threads within the cosmic fabric.

Proportionality ensures equilibrium and mutual benefit, while reciprocity fosters interconnected redistribution. Complementarity emphasizes the necessity of paired elements for comprehensive understanding, exemplified by the collective insight of man and woman.

Wisdom thus results from balanced relationships across diverse entities, spanning various dualities.

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The ritual of ofrendas (meaning offerings, payments or clearings) consists of creating a symbolic mesa (altar) where offerings for the earth, nature, and spirits are placed. This is assembled in detail, including elements such as chicha drink, coca leaves, alpaca or llama meat, seeds, incense, flowers, sweets, cookies, and other elements representing duality and reciprocity.

The ritual includes prayers to Pachamama, the Apus, and other spirits of nature and the cosmos, as well as to ancestors and other beings who protect us in life.

In Inca society, many gods were revered, so many types of ofrendas were made. The main gods were: the sun (Inti), Mother Earth (Pachamama), the Apus (spirits of the snowy mountains), the sea (Mama Cocha), water, the moon, and the stars.

For both the Incas and today's Andean people, offerings have a sense of reconciliation with spiritual forces to avoid misfortunes and ask for favors from nature. These types of ceremonies must be performed by Andean masters (Paqos) and by people initiated in Andean cosmology.

The ofrendas create balance between the feminine and the masculine; this is a way in which people give back what they have taken and received from the earth. Here appears the principle of reciprocity between the being and nature - Ayni cosmic reciprocity.

The rituals have a mission: reconciliation and reconnection, through "Ayni," with the spiritual forces and the sacred.

During an ofrenda, we value the cycles of life, family, Mother Earth, balance, and the sacred spirit technologies of the Andean culture. The ancestral Andean ofrenda is a moment to sow dreams.

The ofrenda is also to recognize the journey, life, the cycles. Offering consciousness, gratitude, and acknowledgment of what life gives us. All vibrations are invited to the mesa (altar), all the food that will be given to Mother Earth, in order to return to balance from consciousness, from knowledge, and emotions.

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