William Sullivan decodes the myths of the Incas.
Secrets of the Incas chronicles how Dr Sullivan first learned to decode ancient Andean myths. These myths - which were recorded by the Spanish at the time of their conquest of the Incas - are, according to Dr Sullivan, a 'message in a bottle' from the Incas to future generations. Dr Sullivan describes how he decoded the myths and how this led him to certain important dates in Andean prehistory and history. A glossary defines and explains various Andean mythological and historical terms, and a timeline shows what Dr Sullivan believes to be the correspondence between mythological, astronomical and archaeological events in the high Andes - how, in effect, what was happening in the heavens was mirrored by what was happening on Earth
On the evening of 15 November 1532, a band of 175 hardened Spanish adventurers crossed a pass in the high Andes. Looking down upon a broad, fertile valley in northern Peru, they became the first Europeans to make contact with the Incas, whose highly developed empire stretched 3,000 miles from Chile to Colombia and had a population of six million. On the following day, in what ranks as one of the strangest events in all recorded history, the Spaniards managed to seize the Inca king Atahuallpa and, in the ensuing panic, used the advantage of their 120 warhorses to kill and wound 10,000 Inca warriors. From that day onward, through luck and guile, and with reinforcements soon pouring in from Panama, the Spaniards - who came in search of gold and glory, in the name of the Roman Catholic Church - never relinquished the edge they seized in that first fateful encounter.
What the Spaniards never knew, and what history does not record, was the reason for the apparently inexplicable collapse of the greatest land empire on the face of the Earth.
Secrets of the Incas explores the baffling and tragic vulnerability of the Inca empire and comes to a startling conclusion: the Spanish had appeared at precisely the right place and at just the right time to fulfil an ancient, astronomically based prophecy of doom.
This conclusion is the result of two decades of research by American scholar Dr William Sullivan into the sophisticated astronomical knowledge of the Incas and how they encrypted this in their myths. Secrets of the Incas presents completely new evidence taken from an Inca myth. In this, Dr William Sullivan believes, lies the key to the basis of the old man's prophecy and, indeed, to the formation of the Inca empire itself. This myth is nothing less than a dire warning of an impending precessional event that, to the Incas, predicted future ruin.
The 'gate' or 'bridge' to the land of the ancestors - that is, the rising of the December solstice Sun with the Milky Way - was about to be washed away. Drawing on their ancient mythological database, the Incas reasoned - from the principle 'as above, so below' - that loss of contact with the ancestors, upon which their religious beliefs were founded, would mean their way of life would be destroyed on Earth.
It was this prophecy that stirred the first Inca emperor to action: if time was merciless, it had to be stopped. So the entire Inca empire, which was less than a century old when the Spanish arrived, became involved in an attempt at cosmic regulation - to change the course of the stars by changing the course of human history on Earth: 'as below, so above.'
William Sullivan decodes the myths of the Incas to reveal an astoundingly precise record of astronomical events. The Incas accepted their fate as written in the stars.