Pachamama

Pachamama

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Mama Pacha

Pachamama is the living Earth, sacred mother and matrix of all life. Mythology books tend to focus on state deities worshipped by rulers, thus attention is paid to Viracocha and Pachacamac. Pachamama was the most beloved goddess of the masses. She is the force that makes agriculture possible. She presides over human, animal, and Earth’s fertility. After conversion to Christianity, many of her functions were reassigned to the Virgin Mary.

Veneration of Pachamama was shared by various cultures of the Andes and environs. Depending on tradition and cosmology, she may be partnered with Pachacamac, Inti, or Supay. Pachamama still receives regular offerings, although these are typically considered payments, not offerings. The food on the table, medicinal herbs, the very ground on which we walk, all are gifts from Pachamama.

• Pachamama expresses anger via earthquakes or by withholding abundance.

• Pachamama responds to personal requests from devotees.

MANIFESTATION:

Pachamama is present in Earth but she also manifests herself in the guise of a beautiful woman typically wearing a long, red dress. She wears a llama wool shawl.

ICONOGRAPHY:

She is portrayed as an indigenous Peruvian woman. She may carry a child.

ATTRIBUTE:

Full bag of some kind of produce

Feast: 1 August

Month: August

Day: Friday

Creature: Llama

Plant: All botanicals but coca leaves are specifically described as her “host”.

Ritual: Offerings are placed on an altar, burned, or given directly to Pachamama by inserting into Earth. Offer libations by spilling liquid onto Earth—on the floor doesn’t count. Solid offerings are buried, usually near the giver’s residence. Burn incense as usual.

SACRED SITES:

Stone altars dedicated to her in the center of fields

OFFERINGS:

Incense, cooked food, water, beer and other alcoholic beverages, coca leaves, cigarettes, miniature women’s clothing (similar to Barbie doll clothes)

SEE ALSO:

Gaia; Pachacamac; Supay

SOURCE:

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.

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