The Inca also believed in the existence of evil spirits and supernatural beings. Evil spirits were feared but not worshiped. Some of these spirits, it was thought, had been witches in life, and in death they went abroad at night and did harm. Everyone avoided them. The supernatural beings, however, were friends of man and full of kindness. They punished transgressors with bad luck but never inflicted severe physical suffering.
The Inca nobles, the generals, and the emperor consulted the supernaturals before setting out on a journey. There were several famous supernaturals, or oracles, which the Inca consulted. The most powerful oracle lived at Pachacamac on the Pacific coast, south of what is now the town of Lima.
Another, Apo-rimac, lived on the Apurimac River near Cuzco and gave the river its name. This oracle was a tree trunk. The Inca built a house around it and dressed the trunk in women's clothing, decorated with gold pendants and fine sashes. The oracle did not speak directly to the person who came for advice. It made a special noise, a nodding or a shaking of the leaves, and its reply was interpreted by a priest.