Before dropping down into the Sacred Valley, Jose Luis draws me a schematic of the various holy mountains that encircle Cuzco. One of my most favorite photographs taken during my 2003 trip to Peru was of the glacier covered mountain Illya Waman.
Sitting on the huaca, we are instructed to use our breath to build our kausay (energy). Jose Luis demonstrated how the quality (vibrational frequency) of water can be changed using this technique. Then we broke up into pairs — Eva and I partnered — to individually raise the vibration of spring water using our breath.
Next, we all walked to a nearby cylindrical stone structure where we sat in silent meditation. I prayed to stay open to this experience and all to follow on this journey, and to “see” through the eyes of my heart.
Returning to our hotel in the Sacred Valley, Eva and I headed to our room and change into warmer clothes as the evening was turning cold since the sun had set. After dinner, our allyu or group met in the bar to formally begin our journey.
The medicine people accompanying us on this trip introduced themselves:
- don Martin Q’espe Machera is a contemporary of don Manuel Q’espe and also from Q’ero.
- Adolpho is the youngest altomesayoq ever, and from the Vilcabamba region.
- Adrille, whom I met in 2003, had been appointed by the apus (mountain spirits) to become an altomesayoq, but has not stepped up to claim that distinction and the accompanying responsibility. He is one of the most accurate coca leaf readers.
- Francesco and Juan Apasa, whom I also met in 2003, are pampamesayoq shamans and don Manuel’s last students. They currently apprentice under don Martin Q’espe Machera. Francesco and Juan are sons of don Mariano Apasa, whom I traveled with and photographed on Ausangate in 2002.
- dõna Paula (Lake Titicaca) will be joining us at the end of our expedition in Cuzco.
- dõna Berna (Cuzco), whom previously met dõna Berna in 2002, will also be joining us at the end of our expedition in Cuzco.
- When working with an altomesayoq, it is important to have a pampamesayoq in attendance to anchor one’s luminous body . . . I have no idea what that means, but sit quietly as no doubt the meaning will become clear during our time together.
- The cosmology of Catholicism comes through when altomesayoqs call the apus to address us because that is part of the modern-day Andean cosmology.
- Our mesas will hold the structure for our medicine body while we undertake this journey and experience various ceremonies. Therefore, it is important that we know what defines our personal cosmology. We must map our personal cosmology.
- The apus will direct our preparation for this research expedition, which will include ceremonies to clear and cleanse our medicine body, as well as to strengthen the cekes that connect us to our mesa.
- Adolpho’s apus are very physical — they materialize on the altar and speak on their own. His mesa creates a portal through which these mountain spirits come. My mind is near exploding at the thought of witnessing such an other-worldly phenomenon … Can this be real? My skeptical mind begins casting doubts that I work hard to non-engage.
- don Martin’s apus are also physical, but they do not materialize. Instead, the apus use him as a medium through which they communicate. The voices that come through him are not his, they sound different and are at a higher level of consciousness. He tells us that his power has been reduced because he is not in ayni (right-relationship) with the Universe — he got caught up in his own human hubris — he became greedy. Be that as it may, he is still able to call forth the presences of higher-level apus. [Level relates to the amount of consciousness the apu possesses and is able to share.]
- Selection of an altomesayoq is by lightening or some other life-defining means.
- The apu appointed to give altomesayoqs their mesa and apu benefactor for the past nine years or so is Waykaywilkey. It is through the apu benefactor that other apus come. Waykaywilkey is also referred to as Lord Toreychayoq or the Lord of Porto Moldonato.
- Previously, apus were appointed by Ausangate, and before that it was Collya R’iti (Snow Star).
- Collya R’iti is the chief of all mountain angels and the place for resetting and advancing one’s mesa. Newly appointed altomesayoqs must pilgrimage there.
- A Celestial Mesa — a mesa of light — is given to those who walk in perfect ayni.
But, to go back a bit … before we entered the room, we were told to remove all watches and electronic devises, as they would be adversely affected by the high frequency energies of the various forces of nature that would be present. Once inside, we placed our mesa on an altar in the front of the room, which also held bottles of soda pop and beer. After taking seats lined up in several rows, we were told to pray and to keep our eyes closed.
An unexpected joy entered my heart as I listened to Adolpho continuously pray while Jose Luis interpreted as huge-sounding winged Apu-beings burst one at a time through the walls — both exterior stucco and interior drywall ones — and announced themselves speaking rapidly in Spanish, Quechua and the old Amara language. I heard (and sometimes felt) bottle caps popped off bottles of beer and soda on the altar. I felt Santa Tierras rise up through the slab foundation speaking in high-pitched voices. Some of the Apus paced back and forth across the altar as they spoke and made “clicking” sounds.
I must admit that I did sneak a peek or two ... in the pitch black darkness, the only thing I saw were sparks coming from the direction of the altar. In that instant, I knew without doubt, what I’d suspected since childhood is indeed “real” — just not in ordinary reality.
Staying in prayer and gratitude was easy — I was so thankful for Jose Luis in my life and the perfection of the Universe for conspiring to bring me to this moment. At some point during this extraordinary ceremony, my ego-mind questioned silently if this was indeed “real” — no sooner did that thought pop into my mind when something like a very large wing brushed against my foot and pushed it a few inches. With a smile upon my lips, I silently gave thanks. After that I was totally immersed in the experience. No more thoughts. My heart opened further to the mystery and immense love I felt.
Once all of the Apus and Santa Tierras left, some of the lights were turned on very low so not to jolt us out of our expanded state of consciousness. Then, Jose Luis began to help us build personal frameworks for what we had just experienced. In responding to our questions, we learned that depending upon the age of the Apu, it speaks in either Spanish (young Apus), Quechua or Amara (old Apus). Depending upon the size of the Apu and the room where ceremony is held, sometimes only one Apu can fit at a time, so they take turns. The first Apu, is usually the altomesayoq’s benefactor Apu. Similarly for the Santa Tierras (earth spirits). We also learned that Apus love carbonation in beer and soda. So when we looked at all of the bottles on the altar, their caps had all been popped off, the liquid remained, but there was no carbonation present. The “clicking” sound we heard as some Apus paced across the altar, was their working on our mesas with crystals to accelerate our healing and availability to expanded and higher frequencies of energy (consciousness).
Energized, but needing silence and sleep to process all that had taken place today, I went to my room where I dissolved into tears of gratitude.