The Amarus (plural) are ancient Andean snake spirits, guardian deities of the Incas. Amaru is a Quechua word literally translated as “snake,” but they may be dragons. Spirits of wisdom, the Amarus served as advisors to the Incas and their predecessors.

Legend has it that Amarus continue to protect the Incas. Following the Spanish conquest, a party of Incas fled from Cuzco, their capital city, and traveled east through the mountains, carrying sacred artifacts, building bridges as they went. Enchantments were placed upon these bridges so that no one could follow in their footsteps. (Attempts to follow them produce enchanted eternal sleep, à la Sleeping Beauty.) These Incas ventured deep into the rain forest, building a secret hidden fortress-city called Paititi (“Home of the Jaguar Father”), guarded by Amarus in conjunction with giant felines. (Conspiracy theorists claim that the Vatican knows the location of the city.)

Someday, it is prophesied, the Incas will return, retracing their route back to Cuzco. Their return will be accompanied by devastating natural phenomena, such as earthquakes and hailstorms. The Amarus will roar, frightening away those who have usurped the Incas’ power, and once again the Incas will rule.


Encyclopedia of Spirits: The Ultimate Guide to the Magic of Fairies, Genies, Demons, Ghosts, Gods & Goddesses– Written by :Judika Illes Copyright © 2009 by Judika Illes.