music by Peter Sterling
Chapter 1 An Incan Prophecy
An ancient prophecy, shared by indigenous people throughout the Americas, says when the Eagle of North America and the Condor of South America unite, the spirit of peace will awaken on Earth. After waiting for millennia, many native peoples believe the time is now.
It’s the morning of December 21, 2004, and I sit in the front car of the tourist train passing through Peru’s Sacred Valley to Machu Picchu. The train’s horn sounds a warning to a dozen hard-hatted men laboring to clear fallen boulders from the right-of-way.
Gashes from too much rain punctuate steep hills of cactus, bougainvillea, and a place where someone has planted calla lilies. From the window, I gaze across the Urubamba River.
The Inca Trail, which I had hiked just four months earlier, cuts into the hills that are beginning to turn green from seasonal rains. Stone terraces built long ago, still in use by native farmers, ascend from remnants of an Incan bridge. As we approach the jungle near Machu Picchu, the eucalyptus forests—leaves dripping muted green—give way to rich, native cascades of vegetation.
I just left Mallku and now travel alone, one of many day-packed tourists on the train to Aguas Calientes, the town at the foot of Machu Picchu. Is it only four months ago since I was here? This time is different. I am not leading a group, and today is the summer solstice in the southern hemisphere—the second most important day of the Incan calendar.
What does the prophecy of the Eagle and the Condor really mean? Is it only a myth? If the time is now, how will we know? What about the legend of the golden Sun Disc of the Incas—did it originally come from the lost continent of Lemuria? Is it hidden in Peru’s Lake Titicaca as some believe? What does this all mean for us today? Moreover, what can these ancient legends possibly have to do with me?
Now I know that we are deeply woven into ancient myths—an intrinsic part of prophecies and their fulfillment. Yet we hurtle through life, oblivious to the greater vision we are creating, until the pieces finally come together. The journey that ended at Machu Picchu took me more than twenty years of traveling across Australia, Africa, Nepal, and finally South America. In hindsight, I can see the pieces, like shards of stained glass form into an incredible picture, the Eagle and the Condor prophecy only a part of it.
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