Happy Birthday Maria Apaza! In Gratitude to Indigenous People and their Wisdom

A Birthday tribute honoring shaman Dona Maria Azara of the Q’ero in Peru. It elegantly explains divine reciprocity, or ‘ayni’.

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This beautiful photo (thanks to Pachamama Ayni) celebrates the 80th birthday of a Q’ero medicine woman named Maria Apaza. She is an altomisayoq, a carrier of the mountain misa or medicine bundle, and she speaks to the powerful mountain spirits of the Andes. She is a beloved elder and teacher for the Q’ero nation, an Andean Peruvian indigenous community.

She has also shared her wisdom with the world. In the book Light of the Andes, J.E. Williams conveys a powerful spiritual and environmental message that he receives from the mountain spirits; the secret of the Andean path is Ayni or divine reciprocity. We are all connected and our actions weave community or damage it. He then meets with Dona Maria. Speaking as an oracle of the mountain spirits, she confirms important details about his dreams and affirms the truth of his vision. She encourages his teacher, Sebastian…

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