Chavín de Huántar
Type of Spiritual Experience
Chavín de Huántar is an archaeological site containing ruins and artifacts originally constructed by the Chavín, a pre-Inca culture, around 900 BC. It became a pan-regional place of considerable importance, a place where the Chavin went to witness ritual, consult an oracle, or enter a cult.
The site is located 250 kilometers (160 mi) north of Lima, Peru at an elevation of 3,150 meters (10,300 ft), east of the Cordillera Blanca at the start of the Conchucos Valley. Chavín de Huántar has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Chavín de Huántar is particularly interesting for four main reasons:
- It is a man made pyramid - the temples on the site are located on a massive man made flat-topped pyramid surrounded by lower platforms
- It is near a mountain - the site itself is overlooked by an equally impressive mountain of similar shape – the awe-inspiring Huantsan peak.
- It is near rivers - it also has a number of the other features found in symbolic mountain sacred sites – as it is at the headwaters of the Marañón River and at the merging of two rivers: the Mosna river and the Huanchecsa river.
- It is suited to shamanic experience - The area is also known to have natural hot springs, which indicates a fault line running through the area. Areas of fault line often provide the right conditions for shamanic experiences – the fumes or magnetic effects and changes in electromagnetic forces are conducive to hallucinatory states. Thus the site is also one chosen for its ability to enable shamans to ‘visit’ heaven/the spiritual world as well.
A description of the experience
The source of the experienceShaman unspecified
Concepts, symbols and science items
Science ItemsSacred geography
Sacred geography - mountain
Sacred geography - pyramid
Sacred geography - rivers and streams