I have just returned from Peru and there is so much to share about my two weeks in this incredibly beautiful country. However, what I really want to write about is a bit of what I learned about their cosmologies. Our first week was spent in a protected rainforest reserve, a large area intersected by the Tambopata River, part of the vast Amazon Basin that crosses 14 countries.
We stayed at a beautiful ecolodge called Refugio Amazonas, three hours upriver by boat, where there was no electricity or hot water in the rooms and one wall was completely open to the forest, allowing us to experience it with all our senses. There were over 60 of us working with two shamans, one who is based in the U.S. and another from the northern Peruvian Amazon. In the process of absorbing the feeling of the flora and fauna all around us, I truly understood the powerful healing qualities of this unique ecosystem. The people believe that the rainforest is a living entity that interacts with us and that the plants have a powerful consciousness with which we can connect in order to receive their wisdom.
The second week was just three of us exploring the Sacred Valley, while we stayed in Cusco. Mind you, the "valley" is high in the Andes with altitudes from 11,500 to 13,000 feet, and that takes some adjusting. We had a guide who specialized in spiritual tours, Carlos Gibaja, and he brought along an Andean shaman, Roberto. While we were in Cusco, the townspeople were preparing for the biggest celebration of the year, the winter solstice, which is nearly a month-long time of fireworks, church festivals and general high spirits that include everyone.
Roberto spent the whole week teaching us the real meaning of what we saw as we visited special places in the Sacred Valley. Together with our guide, he taught us to ask permission of the apu (guardians) to enter into the vortex areas at the various sites and to perform ceremony. These were known only to those who were initiated into the ancient wisdom and Roberto's lineage blended Quechua knowledge with other spiritual traditions. They believe that the Sacred Valley is a microcosm of the Milky Way and the major ancient temples (Machu Picchu being one) are seen as reflecting the constellations they revere, specifically, the Puma (Cusco), the Llama (Ollantaytambo), the Condor (Machu Picchu) and the Snake (I wasn't sure which town this was.). Everywhere you would see depictions of the puma, snake and condor intertwined. They represent the three bodies: physical, psychological and spiritual. The llama represents unconditional love.
Once Roberto discovered my interest in sacred sexuality the first day, he continued to talk to me about his understanding of sexual alchemy (also calling it sex magic) all week long. He taught me new breathing techniques as well. What was so amazing is that everything he told me made sense and coincided with so much of what I have written. He spoke of the eternal dance of the masculine and the feminine, the chakra system and the transcendent possibilities of sexual life force energy. All of this knowledge is universal wherever there are indigenous beliefs and I was thrilled to add Quechua to my research. Earth-based spiritual systems have always taught that sexuality is our sacred connection to Source; the wisdom is simply re-emerging in our times. Roberto called this period we are entering "the New Age," and everywhere I hear a similar understanding: that we are in transition and a cosmic shift is happening right now.
For those of you who have heard various versions of what this great year 2012 (in the Mayan calendar) means, my take is that we are being called to adjust to a new relationship with our natural resources and our connection with humanity. The more we learn to stay aware in the present moment and to tune out fear, the better we will do with this adjustment. Most importantly, relationships of all kinds are our greatest gift and this especially includes sacred partnership. The more we love, the more we align with the best possible outcomes, for ourselves, our beloved partners, our families, our communities and all living beings. The need for a sense of community, whatever that means to each of us, has never been greater.
What a glorious time to be aware of the larger benevolent forces at play. The planet Venus just completed a transit of the Sun which happens only once every 113 years and she is coming out of retrograde motion, just as the great Pluto square Uranus goes exact. Relationships and money are the most powerful associations with Venus, and I'm sure you are experiencing transformation in both of these areas as I write. In Roberto's words, we should express "gratitude, love, and forgiveness" every day.
In your daily meditations, affirm that all Is well as we move through this transformational energy and keep your compass pointed towards your own true north.
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