Posts made in July, 2014

Convening at El Convento

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Convening at El Convento

Circle on the Square’s Solstice trip to Cochasqui pyramids was concluded with an end of the day gathering at El Convento in Cotacachi.  El Convento, once the home of nuns, El Convento now houses a cafeteria, a restaurant, meeting rooms, a bakery a lounge with fireplace and a tour information company. After our tour we went to enjoy coffee, and fresh fruit salads with yogurt.  We were also treated to live music by an excellent flautist who played traditional music accompanied by chimes which added a lovely and ethereal  element to the music.  We also enjoyed a short dance performance. One dancer wore her traditional dress and the other dancer was dressed in clothing you might typically see around town these days.  The traditional dress is the dress that many if not most indigenous women in the Otavalo and Cotacachi areas still wear. Even tiny little girls are usually dressed in this traditional style, but some do opt to follow ‘modern’ styles.  Both men and women still let their hair grow long and keep it fastened back in a long...

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Inti Raymi 2014 at Cochasqui

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Inti Raymi 2014 at Cochasqui

Inti Raymi is a celebration observed at the time of the June solstice.  For indigenous people throughout the Americas the solstices and equinoxes  were observed and celebrated as important moments of the year in which the Earth and Sun were in special alignments with each other. Such alignments in time were important due to the relationship of Earth with the angle of the Sun and its influence on all life on Earth.  Science collects and analyzes data about the Sun, but how many people recognize or think of the Sun as a living entity providing a constant flow of life sustaining energy to our planet? In addition to honoring the Sun and the Earth, the solstice is a time of transformation, it marks change from one cycle into another.  The Earth is affected as are all living beings.  We can choose to make use of the very powerful energy of the sun for personal development through consciously opening ourselves to prayer and meditation in whatever form we prefer. Along with giving thanks for the bounty we receive, the solstice is also a time for purification rituals or renewal of our spirits.  At Cochasqui, some of our group joined with others to celebrate and to take time to take part in the purification and prayers. Some prayers were for right thinking, right feeling, and right action. It seemed to many of us a great privilege to live among people who still keep these very old traditions which honor the luminaries, the planet, and the human spirit as well.  ...

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Solstice 2014 at Cochasqui Archaeological Site

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Solstice 2014 at Cochasqui Archaeological Site

The largest archaeological site in Ecuador, Cochasqui, is located in the highlands north of Quito. Circle on the Square organized a tour to celebrate the June 21 solstice there with a group of 30 people. Celebrating the solstice is a yearly tradition of the indigenous tribes or communities throughout Ecuador and indeed throughout South America. At this time of year people give thanks to the Sun and to the Earth for sustaining us.  People celebrate the power of the Sun which is the giver of life and the bounty of the earth as well as the feminine aspect of nature which brings forth life and nurtures it.  The site was built around 900-950 AC by the Caranqui or Cara people. While the archaeologists views are not all in agreement as to the purpose of this site, it is evident that the pyramids and the astronomical markers were and still are accurate instruments to determine the solstices and equinoxes. Present day scientists are not able to explain the ancients’ ability to construct such or to know how they determined the angles of the trenches at pyramid 13 to be the same angle as the tilt of the earth’s axis. Whatever is debated, there is no doubt that the people observed and used a special connection with the great luminaries and stars. In the image below you can see a model of the truncated pyramids (in red).  Several of them have long ramps leading to the top.  Seen from above they resemble scorpions with the wide main section representing the head and arms and the long section representing the the tail.  At the time of the June solstice, the constellation of the scorpion is visible in the night...

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