Monday, May 21, 2018

Carpe Diem #1437 Nazca Culture

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

This journey into the high mountains of the Andes is almost done. We have only one week to go, so what can I tell you more on this journey? Well ... the Andes has a very rich history and there were several cultures e.g. the Inca, as we have seen already. But as I was preparing this episode I ran into an article on National Geographic about the so called Nazca lines, once created by the Nazca culture (300 B.C - 600 A.D.).

Nazca lines (monkey)
It's a spectacular sight all these geometric forms. There are still a lot of questions about these figures, but it's said that the Nazca people carved them. There are a lot of these figures, not only figures like the above Monkey, but also geometric figures like the one hereafter.

Hindu Mandala in Nazca lines
There are really a lot of ideas about these lines, but the Nazca culture itself isn't really known. So I just have to tell you a little bit about the Nazca culture.

The Nazca culture was developed on the coast of Ica department, with the main center of the city of Cahuachi in the Rio Grande Valley. Nazca was an ancient civilization that emerged in the province of Nazca, around the first century and into decline in the sixth century. It was located along the Rio Grande between the years 300 BC to 600 A.D. Had an area of influence that extended to the north Pisco to Arequipa in the south and east to Ayacucho. Until the sixth century increased their contacts with the Andes, reaching even into the highlands of Ayacucho. This contact was especially important in the formation of the Huari culture.

An outstanding feature is its polychrome pottery with figures of men, animals, plants, etc. In many of these ceramics, mutilated men are represented. The textile art flourished as much as in the time of the Paracas. They had an own style of metalworking, although of lesser quality at the time of Chavin.

According to many researchers Nazca culture would be a continuity of Paracas culture (Necropolis period), as both peoples had developed customs and advanced farming techniques. It was a society based on agriculture, although located in one of the most deserted areas of the Peruvian coast. To produce their foods use fully the river flows in summer, using reservoirs and canals. They were also militarist States. The military of the Nazca culture were very courageous and so gained a special place in the social pyramid with the priests. The peasants were at the service of a warrior aristocracy and theocracy residing in beautiful pyramid-shaped ceremonial centers. Examples of adobe architecture are the ruins of Kahuachi, the Tinguiña, Tambo Viejo, Huaca Dos Palmos and Chaviña. Also they built with thick trunks of Huarango as shown in the Estaquería.

Nazca architecture at Cahuachi (Peru)

The most impressive of this civilization are the lines made in the Pampas of Nazca and other sites on the southern coast of Peru. The Nazca lines are located in a geographical area with little rainfall, demonstrating knowledge of geography and meteorology. Twenty miles from the city of Nazca is located Chauchilla Cemetery, an open air cemetery where despite the looting you can still see mummies in good condition and pottery.

Must have been an awesome culture ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 28th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.

For now ... have fun! Be inspired and share your wonderful poetry with us all.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Carpe Diem Crossroads #10 Jane Reichhold's "rainbows of high tide"

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I look back into the not so long ago past of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai than I see how much joy you all have in creating haiku, tanka and other Japanese poetry forms, but I was really surprised to see all your responses on Carpe Diem's Crossroads, our special feature in which you have to create a so called "fusion"-haiku from two given haiku.

This episode of Crossroads I love to challenge you to create a "fusion"-haiku from two haiku by our beloved Jane Reichhold (1937-2016). She was one of our co-hosts and she is still missed dearly. So let's say this Crossroads episode is a small tribute to Jane Reichhold.

Spiritual Rainbow (Sacred Geometry) (image found on Pinterest)

I have chosen two beautiful haiku from her online dictionary of haiku:

coming to sea cliffs
the off-shore breeze raises
a flower fragrance

out of a wave
rainbows of high tide
arching wind

© Jane Reichhold

Two beauties I think to work with ... it is up to you now ...

This Crossroads episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CEST) ... have fun!

Carpe Diem #1436 Machu Picchu ... imagination-episode

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. It was a weekend with a tough challenge I think, but I have seen already several responses on our weekend-meditation. It also was a time to rest before going further on our journey into the high mountains of the Andes (South America, Peru).

The last two regular episodes we stepped into a time-machine back to the time of the Inca. We visited a few wonderful sights of this ancient culture, but ... the most beautiful sight in my opinion is renown Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Inca citadel situated on a mountain ridge 2,430 metres above sea level. It is located in the Cusco Region, Urubamba Province, Machupicchu District in Peru, above the Sacred Valley, which is 80 kilometres northwest of Cuzco and through which the Urubamba River flows.

Machu Picchu
high in the mountains
a city built for the beauty of the Sun -
Machu Picchu

© Chèvrefeuille (2013)

Most archaeologists believe that Machu Picchu was constructed as an estate for the Inca emperor Pachacuti (1438–1472). Often mistakenly referred to as the "Lost City of the Incas", it is the most familiar icon of Inca civilization. The Incas built the estate around 1450 but abandoned it a century later at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Although known locally, it was not known to the Spanish during the colonial period and remained unknown to the outside world until American historian Hiram Bingham brought it to international attention in 1911.

Machu Picchu was built in the classical Inca style, with polished dry-stone walls. Its three primary structures are the Intihuatana, the Temple of the Sun, and the Room of the Three Windows. Most of the outlying buildings have been reconstructed in order to give tourists a better idea of how they originally appeared. (Source: Wikipedia)

A wonderful sight I think. For today's episode I have a photo for your inspiration, say this episode is an Imagination episode. You can use both photos, the one above or the one hereafter.

Machu Picchu (2) overview
spiritual place
feeling in touch with the Inca -
Machu Picchu

Well ... enjoy this episode. Become inspired through the images of this wonderful Inca sight Machu Picchu.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!

Friday, May 18, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #33 Troiku ... Two White Butterflies

!!! Open for submissions next Sunday May 20th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It's almost weekend and that means time for another Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation. This weekend I love to challenge you in a special way. As you all know I am the inventor of the Troiku (more on Troiku above in the menu) and I know that you all like to create Troiku. This weekend meditation you have to create a Troiku, but in another way than usually. A while ago I started Carpe Diem Crossroads, the "fusion"-haiku challenge, also a great new feature and I know you all like that feature too.


So for this weekend I will give you two haiku, as in Crossroads. You have to create a "fusion"-haiku from those two haiku and than create a Troiku with your "fusion"-haiku. A nice challenge I think fortunally you have the whole weekend to create it.

Here are the two haiku to make your "fusion"-haiku from, both haiku are by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694):

temple bells die out
the fragrant blossoms remain
a perfect evening

will we meet again
here at your flowering grave -
two white butterflies

© Basho

This weekend I challenge you to create a "fusion"-haiku with these two haiku and than create a Troiku from your "fusion"-haiku. A nice challenge for this weekend meditation I think and I am looking forward to all of your beautiful submissions.

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday May 20th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until May 27th at noon (CEST). Have fun ... and I hope you all will have a wonderful weekend ... enjoy it to the max!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Carpe Diem #1435 Coricancha - The Temple of the Sun

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Yesterday we had our first encounter with the ancient Inca Empire. In this Empire the Sun was worshipped and in a lot of buildings like e.g. temples we can see that. All the Inca buildings were created with help of Astronomers, they could tell how the building, a city or a temple had to be built according to the mathematics of the Universe.

The Inca, like the religion of Aton in ancient Egypt, was a one god religion, but there were always smaller deities. Every Inca Emperor was seen as God, and so they were the Sun ...

One of the most beautiful temples of the Inca Empire was situated in Cusco, where we were yesterday, and was called "The Temple of The Sun" or "Coricancha". It was the most important temple of the Empire.

remains of Coricancha in Cusco
Let me tell you a little bit more about this important temple:

Coricancha, the Incas' temple of the sun built in the shadows of the Andes. The thin air and harsh, rocky slopes of the Peruvian Andes wouldn’t seem to be a likely locale for the capital of an extensive pre-Columbus empire. Any community seeking to thrive under these conditions would need to be equipped with tremendous ambition – and no small amount of political and mechanical ingenuity.

Luckily for the Incas, they had these in abundance, and were able to tame the harsh landscapes to create the largest empire in South America before the arrival of the Europeans, using a blend of religious belief, political will and clever design. Nowhere is this more evident than at Coricancha – the temple of the sun – which they built as the crown jewel of their capital city of Cusco, and the centrepiece of an empire that revolutionised city planning in South America.


When Pachacútec assumed the Incan throne in 1438, he began to reform the city of Cusco by restructuring the street grid, which remains to this day. The city is said to be designed in the shape of a puma, with Coricancha located in the animal’s tail, and considered the holiest site in Incan mythology.

The location of Coricancha within the city was very important. Placed at the convergence of the four main highways and connected to the four districts of the empire, the temple cemented the symbolic importance of religion, uniting the divergent cultural practices that were observed in the vast territory controlled by the Incas.

Inca priest

As well as housing more than 4,000 priests, the positioning of the temple in relation to the nearby Andes mountains meant that Coricancha functioned as an enormous calendar. Shadows cast by stones placed on the foothills could be seen from the temple, marking out the solstice and equinoxes observed by the Incan empire.

The temple complex consisted of four main chambers, each dedicated to a different deity of the moon, stars, thunder and rainbows. Much of Coricancha was filled with gold, with one chamber containing a giant sun disc, reflecting sunlight that illuminated the rest of the temple. The disc was aligned so that during the summer solstice it illuminated a sacred space where only the emperor himself was allowed to sit.

The Sun disc was aligned so that during the summer solstice it illuminated a sacred space where only the emperor himself was allowed to sit. In this we can see how the Emperor of the Inca  was worshipped as a god.
high in the mountains
the sun shines bright and always
eyes of the Inca

© Chèvrefeuille (senryu)

What a richness ... a temple plated with gold to honor the sun and his human form ... the Emperor of the Inca Empire. 

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 24th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend-meditation later on.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Carpe Diem #1434 Cusco ... first "contact" with the Inca Empire

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We are on a journey into the high mountains of the Andes. We are traveling by train and have seen already the beauty of Peru and the rich history of this region. We discovered a few ancient races like the Huanco people and today we will make our first "contact" with the renown race of the Inca people.

Today we are visiting Cusco, the former capital and center of the Inca Empire.

Cusco, often spelled Cuzco, is a city in southeastern Peru, near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes mountain range. It is the capital of the Cusco Region as well as the Cusco Province. In 2013, the city had a population of 435,114. Located on the eastern end of the Knot of Cuzco, its elevation is around 3,400 m (11,200 ft).

The indigenous name of this city is Qusqu. Although the name was used in Quechua, its origin is found in the Aymara language. The word is derived from the phrase qusqu wanka ('Rock of the owl'), related to the city's foundation myth of the Ayar Siblings. According to this legend, Ayar Awqa (Ayar Auca) acquired wings and flew to the site of the future city; there he was transformed into a rock to mark the possession of the land by his ayllu ("lineage"):

The Legend of Ayar Auca

“Then Ayar Oche stood up, displayed a pair of large wings, and said he should be the one to stay at Guanacaure as an idol in order to speak with their father the Sun. Then they went up on top of the hill. Now at the site where he was to remain as an idol, Ayar Oche raised up in flight toward the heavens so high that they could not see him. He returned and told Ayar Manco that from then on he was to be named Manco Capac. Ayar Oche came from where the Sun was and the Sun had ordered that Ayar Manco take that name and go to the town that they had seen. After this had been stated by the idol, Ayar Oche turned into a stone, just as he was, with his wings. Later Manco Capac went down with Ayar Auca to their settlement...he liked the place now occupied in this city Cuzco. Manco Capac and his companion, with the help of the four women, made a house. Having done this, Manco Capac and his companion, with the four women, planted some land with maize. It is said that they took the maize from the cave, which this lord Manco Capac named Pacaritambo, which means those of origin because...they came out of that cave.”

What a wonderful story. This is just the beginning of our next stage in this journey ... visiting the ancient grounds of the Inca Empire.

a miracle
without wings attached
mankind grew

© Chèvrefeuille

Cusco ... image found on Pinterest

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 23rd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our next episode later on.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Carpe Diem #1433 Cerro de Pasco

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A wonderful place we visited yesterday one of the National Parks of Peru somewhere along the Peruvian Railway we are traveling this month. Today we will make a stop in Cerro de Pasco, the capital of Pasco Region Peru.

I ran through the Internet and found a nice article about this city at Wikipedia. I will share part of it here.

Sunset at Cerro de Pasco
Cerro de Pasco became one of the world's richest silver producing areas after silver was discovered there in 1630. It is still an active mining center. The Spanish mined the rich Cerro de Pasco silver-bearing oxide ore deposits since colonial times. Sulfide minerals are more common in the Atacocha district however.
Francisco Uville arranged for steam engines made by Richard Trevithick of Cornwall, England, to be installed in Cerro de Pasco in 1816 to pump water from the mines and allow lower levels to be reached. However, fighting in the Peruvian War of Independence brought production to a halt from 1820 to 1825.

Cerro de Pasco (population 70,000) is a city in central Peru, located at the top of the Andean mountains. It is the capital of the Pasco region, and an important mining center. At 4,330 metres (14,210 ft) elevation, it is one of the highest cities in the world. (Source: wikipedia)

on top of the world
black smiths create beauty
the silvery moon

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until May 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.