All photos by John Feiertag, unless otherwise noted.

Ollantaytambo, Peru

Here is a shameless "Proof I was there at Ollantaytambo" photo
Here is a panorama of the temple complex at Ollantaytambo. The entire hill represents a reclining female llama. Reclining in the sense she is belly to the ground with her legs tucked beneath her. Her tail is at the right end. Her forlegs and hindlegs are separated by the terracing. Her neck stretches to the left. Her head is missing because the main temple was in progress atop the neck when the Spanish arrived. They pulled down the stones that were in place. The reclining llama is an important symbol of Pachamama, the Andean Earth Mother Goddess.
A monumental condor hovers above many rock alters. It is located iat the right end of the temple complex. The condor's head points to the left. The wing points to the bottom right. See how the rock under the condor's head has been smoothed vertically, then small level spots were cut in to create altars. Locals still place offering in the altars. I bellieve these offerings are similar to the flowers my friends and relatives take to cemeteries on Memorial Day.
Gabe has climbed to the lowest, and largest, altars under the condor. He is over six feet tall, but he is bent over for balance.

Machu Picchu, Peru

The Temple of the Condor is located in Machu Picchu, Peru. The two slightly carved wings are bedrock. The direction of the flight is down into the earth, into the underworld. The bird's left wing is easiiy seen and points up and out to the right side of the photo The head and beak are represented as altars level to the earth.
Temple of the Condor photo credit © by Henry J. Amen III. used with permission

For other great photos of Peru see:

Here is a close up of the ground level altar. The idea of a bird flying down to the underworld seems silly. After all, Andean cultures have always considered the condor the Lord of the Skies. But in the role of psychopomp, the condor flies less advanced sousl to the underworld, while advanced souls go to heaven, actually becoming a star in the sky.

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Copyright 2010 John Feiertag