This world is not a small world. It is a planned world. I have seen that this is real because of the series of events I experienced that led to a spiritual rejuvenation of my soul at the Mandor falls near Machu Picchu. If any events that led to this had been missed by minutes or passed by altogether, I would not have had one of the most incredibly powerful and memorable experiences of my life.
It all began when the group and I headed to lunch at the Cafe of Macchu Picchu after our tremendously successful hike to the top of Huayna Picchu. My friend and professor Doug and I sat separately, him at a picnic table where he joined two women just to sit and rest after the hike. Independently, I joined two young ladies about fifty feet away. We had no idea that these folks were part of a spiritual teaching program and Shaman practitioner experience. The group had yet to enter Machu Picchu because of some ticket dilemma. If they had been able to get in with no problem, we would have never met them.
Each of us had connecting conversations and I exchanged information with the two amigas and parted ways. Later that night I met up with my new found friends. I shared my knowledge of Peru and the Chesapeake with them and received some of their wisdom in return. Later that evening I was invited to join them on a hike to a very special place known as Mondor falls the very next day. Within 12 hours of meeting these wonderful people, I was invited to take part in a spiritually sacred and uniquely intimate once in a lifetime experience.
The trip was led by a Qero elder Shaman who is respectively named Don Francisco. The Qero were an Andean tribe that avoided the Spanish Inquisition by moving high up into the Andes mountains. By doing so, their culture and spiritual rituals were preserved. However, this culture is in jeopardy because of the fulfillment of the Incan prophecy. Part of the prophecy states that the new generation will be more interested in materialism and nuances of the 21st century and not invested in maintaining their cultural traditions. It was because of this that Don Francisco welcomed Doug and I with open arms to partake in a very special water ceremony. By doing so, he was planting the seed of spirituality through his connectivity with the earth and the cosmos, while also empowering the minds, hearts, and spirits of Doug, myself, and the rest of the group. Tis presented the intersections of Modern and Traditional, and Nature and Culture.
Don Francisco after collecting river stones for the Water Ceremony
The Water Ceremony focused on fertility. Just as water makes land fertile for growth and rejuvenation, it makes the soul fertile for the same reasons. Through this fertilization, the 7 Chakras are opened for the healing and cleansing that the water provides. The water brings peace to the soul and creates a new start, a clean slate.
The first ritual was a cleansing that involved harnessing the energy of the waterfall to cleanse the mind, heart, and will of the spirit. Individually we went down to the the river where Don Francisco was waiting. He used two handfuls of river rocks to remove all heavy energy from the body and then asked me to yell out all the hucha (negative energy) into the the stones in his hands and then he cast the stones into the river. The cold river water was poured over my head and both sides of my hands. After several more blessings in Quechua I was sent up the path to send for the next person who happened to be Doug. After this ritual we were blessed overlooking the waterfall to connect our cleansed spirits with Pacha Mama (mother earth) through the power of the water. This ceremony changed my life.
We then walked down to a special place of meditation and healing where a ceremony called Mosoq Karpay was to take place. The focus of this ritual was to connect the heart with the stars by finding the fire within the heart and the fire of the stars and uniting the two energies within the vessel of the body. This was done through sacred Quechuan blessings and the use of special stones wrapped in a tapestry to empower the will of the spirit and bring positive energy to the future.
After the ceremony and rituals, the group and I made an offering to Pacha Mama (coca leaves and water) and meditated in a circle of large granite stones for half an hour to close the ceremony. On our way out of the jungle, a puma crossed our path. I was unable to see the animal, but I did see the sheep it had just killed some 20 feet away from the crossing. The fact that it crossed our path was of immense spiritual significance, especially since we were in the kill site and the puma energy was very high. For the Inca, the serpentine is the symbol for the underworld, the condor for the heavens, and the puma for the earth. After having such a powerful spiritual experience, the puma intersecting the path we were taking to get back solidified our connection with Mother Earth, and the energy of the puma received and drawn in by Don Francisco was passed on to each of us through his blessings.
The distance we hiked to get to the falls and back was around 10 miles on railroad tracks and through the jungle but was definitely worth the walk. Doug and I had an amazing experience that happened because of the impeccable timing of the universe and our ability to make new friends along the way. The intersection of the traditions of the shaman contrasted the modern influences that are dessimating the culture. Nature intersects with Culture because of how connected to the earth the Incans are, and how deeply rooted and important this earth is to their culture. I feel blessed to have been a part of such a unique ceremony and to have gone through a spiritual cleansing and empowerment for the future. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget.