Listening To Nature In Traffic

Kirsten at Ollantaytambo, Peru

You may sense that something is out of balance and it isn’t just climate change. We are poisoning the Earth to such an extent that we are poisoning ourselves. Instead of feeling helpless about this situation, we as people must renew our relationship with the Earth in a healthy positive way. Like any healthy relationship, it starts with listening.

Learning how to listen to Nature can be challenging in a society that doesn’t teach us how to do so. Even if we do listen to Nature, sometimes it can be a challenge applying the knowledge. I serve as a catalyst helping my clients with shamanic guidance from Nature. Here’s an inside look at one client’s experience.  (Her name is Ellie.)

Client Background:
Ellie has a growing tarot and shamanism business. She has tarot clients but wants to start to integrate more shamanism into her business. She is extremely skilled and talented in both areas. She has been initiated into the Q’ero (Peru) Pampamisayoq tradition and is a misa carrier, so she has received the blessing of this indigenous tradition to be a shamanic healer. While Ellie has confronted some obstacles about using her shamanic gifts, she regularly performs shamanic journeying and taught a workshop in this area. She also has an interest in sacred sites and held a ceremony and workshop about relating to sacred sites.

I asked Ellie what were some of things she was looking for in regards to our session. I also asked if there were any obstacles and what kinds of things would she want to talk about for an effective session?
Ellie: I have been working with the San Pedro Cactus [plant spirit] and dreams and would love to share these with you for feedback. Also, I am working on connecting with the Bayou (a local power spot) and connecting with Spanish Needles as plant spirit healing. I feel that I am trying to integrate something new into my tarot offerings but can’t tell what it is. I feel blocked or like I am waiting. I also am not sure how to move forward with my tarot work with others. Others have asked for some shamanic work and I would love to offer some things. But it is hard to center. My other issue is that I have felt called to learn or do some ancestral healing, but am confused about this as well. If I could understand the messages I receive from nature and from dreams/journeys as well as my joy in doing the workshop, I would feel better about taking my next step.

First Question:
Ellie started to talk about how she felt about the Journeying workshop, what she liked and didn’t like as much. As she spoke, I received a message from the guides:

The guides said, “Zero in on the Shamanic Journeying workshop, especially what it was about the workshop that was the most joyful for you.” This relates to what client will do with bringing in shamanism to what she offers in her business.

Ellie liked that she had a system for journeying. She doesn’t want to do that as a service for clients, but there are aspects of it that were interesting. I let her know that she can be confident in the knowledge she taught a journeying class and this will also help with healing her wound.

Second Question:
At this point in the reading, I contacted the stones and Misa spirits to give her guidance. Ellie told me about a dream where she was walking the streets of Cusco. She saw Incan walls and touched them as she did when she was in Peru. Ellie asked Huachuma (San Pedro Plant Spirit) what she needed to do to center and pull down the imaginary into the practical. The answer was shamanic healing. As she was telling me this I said, “Verdad” –that is the truth.

I received a message:
Most important aspect of this dream is walking the streets of Cusco & touching the stones of Cusco. This is a circuit, like someone taking a plug, and plugging it into the wall. She plugs into the Misa, contacts the stones & Huachuma (Plant Spirit). The Misa plugs her into the ancestral wisdom hidden within the walls of Cusco. I mentioned the ceques are like the spokes of a wheel to get to the center. This relates to her future healing of clients.

One possibility is that when she journeys with a client, doing shamanic healing for them, contacting her Misa & Huachuma, she will plug in directly to the Apus and Cusco ceques (i.e. Plaza de las Armas). I had a vision of Ellie looking at her Misa, praying to Huachuma, using her dream as a template of energy so that she knows she’s there when she journeys. I think she can use her connection to the portal energies of Cusco for shamanic healing.

Her message is: Go ahead and do this, you are ready to start shamanic healing. Here is a suggestion and she has blessings and encouragement from Huachuma and the Misa to go ahead and start. She is ready to heal by journeying.

She can also do ancestral work, but work on herself first. But she will be able to do ancestral work on others very soon. She can do shamanic healing right now. She can do the nuts and bolts of it right now. (My hands motioned as if making adjustments). Go ahead and start, you have their blessing. Start the baby step process. I heard a message that I should tell her to draw or write that she is a shamanic healer and place on her wall.

Ellie asked: Can she do the same protocol for her own healing?
Start with lower world journey and middle world journeys. Soon after, she will be dealing in the upper world. Build lower and middle world first and then upper world. She can start to practice shamanic journeying, like practicing using a muscle, building strength using incremental steps. Journey for yourself first, consider that practice. Then you can start. You can still work on yourself while you are working with other people.

Third Question:
When Ellie is out walking and interacting with nature spirits, she leaves an offering, dialogues with them and asks them to bring energy into her third chakra. At Place A, her telepathy feels jammed up a little.

Message from Pine and Oak trees: There is lots of chaotic energy at Place A because of traffic. There is a small amount of personal energy interference from her, but in comparison to the chaotic energy at this place, she is experiencing empathic distortion from traffic.

I asked her to compare the energies at three different locations where she interacts with nature spirits: Place A, B & C. No distortion chatter at Place C, some distortion chatter at Place B, a lot of distortion chatter at Place A. Ellie told me that between the three places, that Place C was the most peaceful in terms of energy.

She is empathically receiving communication from the land both about the unhappy energy and happy energy. It’s harder to tap into the peace of a place when the place has its own chaotic unhappiness. This doesn’t change the fact that she still has a positive and powerful connection with the land and water!

I’m offering free fifteen minute consultations to people who want improve their relationship with nature.  You can contact me at nowmomentjourney@gmail.com.

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It All Starts With Pachamama

(Q’ero Paqo Shaman Don Sebastian Pauccar Flores, video courtesy of http://www.takiruna.com)

In our western society, having a relationship with the Earth is a rare topic of discussion or thought. Perhaps, due to technology, we have distanced ourselves so that now we are being challenged to renew our relationship with the Earth. It is a challenge well worth pursuing as I have discovered in my learning about the indigenous Andean teachings of the Q’ero people.

For the indigenous Q’ero of the Andes, I have noticed that it all starts with Pachamama.  In J.E. Williams’ book Light of the Andes: In Search of Shamanic Wisdom in Peru, he describes Pachamama as “the earth mother in space-time, the all creative cosmic mother”.  Pachamama is very important to the Q’ero and they frequently make offerings to her. When they say, ‘Gracias Pachamama’, you can hear their heartfelt gratitude echoing through each syllable. I have tried to emulate this concept when I offer thanks to Pachamama, whether through a tobacco ceremony or when I am praying to the Mesa (the Andean Medicine Bundle). I have noticed that the more I feel in my heart the love for Pachamama (as one would feel for a loved one), the deeper my connection. This has most certainly led me to a deeper relationship with the Earth.

Stay tuned for the next blogpost about sacred sites or huacas, in Cusco, Peru.

 

A Native Wisdom Sampler: World #IndigenousDay

Indigenous Worldviews-August 2015

In honor of World Indigenous Peoples Day, here is a sampler of indigenous wisdom teachings from the Q’ero (Peru) and Onandaga (NY).  Click above to enjoy more videos and quotes in magazine format.

Ayni is a Quechua word meaning reciprocity. Ayni permeates daily life among the indigenous people of the Andes Mountains as it is not just a sustainability principle but is also practiced in despacho (offering) ceremonies to the Apus (mountain spirits), Awkikuna (nature spirits) and Pachamama. To learn more about Ayni, watch this video from Dr. J.E. Williams at Ayniglobal.

Seven Generations Principle  Native North Americans honor the sacredness of all life through the seven generations principle.  “Seven generations ago somebody was looking out for me and that’s why I am here. Seven generations from now, I hope, there is somebody there.”-Oren Lyons of the Onondaga Nation

 

Step Into Their World With Respect: Promoting Indigenous Travel

It is difficult finding indigenous travel experiences that communicate the importance of indigenous wisdom within the tourism framework.  Ayniglobal.org is a great example.  They are “dedicated to preserving authentic traditions and passing on indigenous wisdom.”  Unfortunately, most indigenous travel day trip itineraries are too superficial.  They usually include a dance/artisan display, authentic food, meeting local people and exploring nature; but, many trips usually do not include information about the indigenous group’s spiritual beliefs and practices, their cultural philosophies or even their views about everyday life.

There can be a conscious effort to talk about the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of indigenous peoples’ beliefs even on a day trip.  For example, instead of travelers learning just about food, also talk about the cultural and/or spiritual symbolism of certain types of food.  When out walking through nature, instead of just showing travelers a mountainside important to indigenous people, explain why it is important!  Many indigenous people revere all nature as sacred and certain areas of nature are equivalent to a church or temple.  There is a direct personal relationship to nature and everything in it.  Some indigenous people, like the Q’ero people in the Andes Mountains, “have individual names and uses for all plants, grass, birds and animals” (Williams,100).

When planning indigenous travel, it is important for tourism businesses to learn how to communicate with indigenous communities in a respectful way.  Dr. Susan Guyette, in a webinar about Sustainable Cultural Tourism, suggests asking these questions:

“Are sacred sites being protected?  Are welcoming songs being practiced and documented?  Are indigenous entrepreneurs being assisted, being trained and given promotion?  Is ecological restoration taking place?” Have respect by listening.  Listening is a central aspect of communicating with indigenous community.  Make sure that decisions come from within a community.”

Indigenous travel has the potential to empower indigenous communities economically as well as culturally and spiritually.  If done in a respectful manner, indigenous communities have the opportunity to preserve culture as well as alleviate poverty.  Dr. J.E. Williams from Ayniglobal, shares his thoughts on how social businesses can empower indigenous people:

“A social business for indigenous people gives everyone in the community the opportunity to participate, just like they would in growing crops, in creating the kind of lifestyle they deserve. They have the opportunity to mobilize their innate talents and to employ their creativity and skills for solving their own problems, for determining their own destiny, for banishing poverty from their lives by their own efforts, and freeing their children from the damaging effects of generations in poverty.”

References:

Guyette, S. (2012, November 12). Sustainable Cultural Tourism [Webinar]. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/53652132

Williams, J.E. (2005). The Andean Codex: Adventures and Initiations among the Peruvian Shamans. Charlottesville, VA: Hampton Roads Publishing.

Williams, J.E. (2013, May 19). Social Business: Not Just a Dream, a Reality – Founding of a Q’ero Run Tour Company [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://ayniglobal.org/social-business-not-just-a-dream-a-reality-founding-of-a-qero-run-tour-company/

Book Review: Light of the Andes by Dr. J.E. Williams

Mountain at Machu Picchu

Ever since I came back from my trip to Peru, I’ve been looking forward to the release of Light of the Andes by Dr. J.E. Williams.  While visiting the Andes Mountains, I felt a deeply spiritual connection to the land of Peru.  Reading Light of the Andes helped me understand and place my experiences in Peru within a broader context.   It was a feeling of being in a land that I had never visited before, yet it felt like home.

While every person experiences things differently, there may have been similarities between what I experienced and what Dr. Williams experienced upon his first trips to Peru years ago.  Perhaps it was this feeling of being home, that led him to the very special Q’ero people, and his his soul brother, Don Sebastian Pauccar Flores.  Dr. Williams has chronicled his initial encounters with Don Sebastian in his 2005 book, The Andean Codex.  Light of the Andes continues this journey with Don Sebastian to the great Andes mountain, Apu Ausangate.

While storytelling is a very effective form of communication, it is the principles interwoven within the stories that create a deeper understanding.  This is the very difficult technique that Dr. Williams employs in his writing style in both The Andean Codex and Light of the Andes.  While there are many principles within the Q’ero tradition, I was most interested in the concept of ayni (reciprocity).  In the preface to Light of the Andes, Dr. Williams writes:  “Ayni is the touchstone of the Q’ero worldview who hold it as the code of life, an innate imprint discoverable in nature and ever present in the universe where it forms the content of every thing—the matrix of all being.”

In The Andean Codex, Dr. Williams ventured into the land of the Q’ero to experience life from their perspective.  Most importantly, the relationship between Dr. Williams and Don Sebastian forms a basis for their journey.  In Light of the Andes, Don Sebastian takes his first trip to Lima, the capital of Peru, and experiences urban city life.  When I returned from my first trip to Peru, I  experienced some of the same culture shock.  Once I felt the deep spiritual connection with the Andean world, it felt very disjunct and spiritually barren when I returned to the US.  While I had missed the familiarity of modern 21st century Florida,  I instantly felt a longing to have the spiritual energy of the Andes with me as well.

Most of all, I was impressed by Dr. Williams’ profound spiritual, physical, emotional and mental preparation. His initiation process at Apu Ausangate was the result of years of dedication.  He had to integrate the Q’ero principles into his life before venturing up the mountain.   It is because of his dedication over many years to this process that we as readers have been given a gift.

My Peru Trip, A Year Later

It’s taken a year to process the experiences and lessons learned from my initial trip to Peru, 10/2011.  The deeply personal experiences of my Peru trip to Cusco, Machu Picchu and Urubamba are thanks to the guidance of Dr. J.E. Williams.  It is through his guidance encompassing medical, cultural and spiritual backgrounds that allowed me to have experiences with the Q’ero people, their culture and traditions.

There were many times during the trip where I felt a deeply personal connection to Peru.  This connection was not just geographical, but also spiritual in the sense that I literally felt like I was home.  It was the same feeling one gets when they return after a long journey into the arms of their mother or father.  It is because of these experiences that I will return to Peru, not just as a traveler, but as a friend.

Stay tuned for my upcoming review of Dr. J.E. Williams’ new book, Light of the Andes, which chronicles his own journey to the great mountain, Apu Ausangate.