The Chakana (or Inca Cross) is a stepped cross with four corners, ridged with three steps on each side and a circle at the center. Chaka means 'bridge' in Quechua and Chakana can be translated as 'acting as a bridge'. It symbolizes the bridge between the universe and the life, or between heaven and earth.
S (small) 1/2"
M (medium) 1"
All the steps of Inca Cross are believed to have meaning. They are divided in 4 quarters.
1) Energetic tiers or Worlds.
Upper World (Hanan Pacha): sun, moon, thunder, stars, celestial beings and gods
Middle World (Kay Pacha): the world of human life
Lower World (Uqhu Pacha): the underworld and death
2) The revered animals, corresponding to the Worlds.
Condor: represents the upper world in the sky
Puma: a powerful land animal represents the middle world
Snake: living underground, represents the lower world
3) The 3 commandments of Incas.
Don’t be lazy
4) The human principles.
Love and well being
The four arms of the chakana designate the four provinces of Incan Empire (Tawantinsuyu): Chinchaysuyo, Kollasuyo, Antisuyo and Contisuyo.
The ends of the Incan chakana also represent the four main stars of the Southern Cross, an important constellation for the Inca, who believed that was the centre of the Universe.
Besides, the four “arms” of any chakana represent the four 'classical elements' of earth, air, water and fire; the four directions of the compass and four seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn.
The light and dark shades of upper and lower halves of the Incan chakana represents duality of the world (yananti), and the hole in its centre denotes Cusco, termed "the navel of the Inca Empire" and also represents the circle of life or the centre of the Universe.
This symbol was widely used. It was used in decoration of buildings, in embroidery, jewellery, etc. There is a half-chakana in Machu-Picchu – 2 quarters of the chakana, which during the solstice cast the shadow forming the whole chakana.