Each stone was imprinted with a prayer to leave our tiredness behind, continue to strengthen our cekes to the memberships we hold in preparation for the work we were about to do on the mountain, and to be more fully in a continual state of creativity. After the ceremony, my energy is stronger and lighter! Thank you Salkantay and Umantay.
After lunch, we hiked around an escarpment to the other side of the moraine where we were to camp for the night. While waiting for our ground crew to arrive and set up tents, Jose Luis shared with us the hierarchal order of apus that altomesayoqs call in, which has to do with levels of power held in their mesa.
Lord of Huaca
Pitu Siray/Sawa Siray
Yanacaca (Waykay Wilkey)
Maria Huaman Tika
While our ground crew set up the tents, I headed off to photograph our surroundings.
“It is important,” Jose Luis told us, “to stay in a state of communion. Paqarinas, such as this, are places to anchor our cekes. It is important to be in dialogue with faith and intent.” The living embodiment of our our mesa is faith. We ask for an apu benefactor through faith and prayer. And, it is through faith that the medicine that is held in our mesa becomes activated.
Jose Luis asked us what kind of mesa would we like to embody. He then told us to invite an apu benefactor into our mesa. “Mountain spirits are here to speak and work with us,” he said. Last, we were told to create an individual despacho to the apus in preparation for calling in our apu benefactor later that evening. Beautiful!
After dinner, while we sat around the fire calling in and making ourselves available to an apu benefactor, Jose Luis and the medicine people hiked up to a cave above our campsite with our mesas and despachos. There, they burned our despachos.
When they returned, we learned that Adolpho had gifted a kuyu to each of our mesas. After several hours, I headed to bed with the hope my apu benefactor would reveal itself during dreamtime. I had a restless sleep as calving avalanches roared around us.
Two apus are having a heated discussion over my sleeping body. One, I sense, is Sawa Siray and the other Sacsayhuaman. They were arguing about which apu would be my benefactor. I’m not sure if either were being discussed as a possibility. I do remember hearing myself finally ask that they have the discussion elsewhere because I really needed to get some sleep and deep rest.