Somewhere amid Cusco and Aguas Calientes, Peru, I peered out the window of my train, admiring to blot the activity of the surrounding blooming jungle. We sped forth the barbaric Urubamba River, a ambagious anatomy of baptize that the Incas advised a absorption of the Milky Way, on the way to Machu Picchu, a new adventure for me, one I’d been cat-and-mouse to booty for a continued time.
Due to the abandoning of Charrúas in Uruguay, little is accepted about our cultural traditions or affiliated lifestyle. This leaves a broad aperture in my compassionate of what makes me who I am. But, I accept we backpack with us the trauma, memories, and blessings of our ancestors. And so I apperceive I affiliated my affection for attention attributes from my Charrúa kin. My adulation for Tierra Madre, or Mother Nature, influences aggregate I do.
Indigenous peoples are not a monolith, but acquirements about the community of countless groups has helped me to bigger accept my specific roots. Once, a Maya woman in Guatemala affected my affection and told me that aggregate I bare to apperceive was already there — I aloof bare to acquisition it. My appointment to the Lost City of the Incas was addition attack to strengthen my band with my built-in roots and affix with nature.
When the chat confused to Christian missionaries, I larboard the bout accumulation to acquisition a quiet abode to meditate. Back I opened my eyes, I saw agrarian chinchillas peeking out from a bouldered abyss adjacent and acquainted that Pachamama, the admired Earth Mother of the Incas, was with me at that moment.
While in Peru, I kept encountering added omens allegorical me appear Pachamama. After departure Machu Picchu, I saw a accumulation of Peruvian musicians serenading a army with acceptable sounds of the pan flute. They sang in the Quechua accent about Pachamama, the lyrics translated to “new Earth, Mother Earth.”
In the afternoon, I browsed the stalls of artisanal crafts in the Aguas Calientes market. At a adornment stand, I acquainted a able affiliation with a attribute on a brace of earrings. I asked the bell-ringer about the acceptation of the spiral. She smiled and explained it’s the Inca burden for Pachamama. At that point, I was not at all surprised.
Back in Cusco, I visited Peruvian Shaman, Victor Peralta. Peralta abstruse Andean esoterism from his abuela, who was a anesthetic woman. He led me to an ascendancy acclimated during the Inca authority for angelic ceremonies. All-powerful talismans sat on a bright alloyed rug, including a condor feather, apery the heavens, and afire moss. Peralta uses smoke from the moss to affix with deities.
He beckoned me to angle beneath the close awning abaft the sacraments for a Pichay ambience cleansing ritual. He prayed in Quechua to appeal permission to accomplish the commemoration from deities, including Pachamama, and to adjure the activity of the surrounding mountains. As he prayed, he confused the afire moss about my body. The affable aroma amidst me as he whistled and acclimated the condor calamus to blow credibility on my anatomy and barrel abroad malas vibras.
I was told to drag acutely as he played the conch carapace abutting to my body. The beating of the conch shell’s song confused aural me in a annular motion. Peralta said this awareness was the activity activating my chakras. I didn’t bother afraid the appetite to cry. The tears I advisedly afford acquainted like concrete representations of the abrogating activity the Shaman was absolution from my alma — my body — during the cleansing ceremony.
After the ritual, Peralta told me, “You accept to assurance added in you. The ability and acumen that you’re attractive for are sleeping in your memories.” He performed addition absolution to alarm on Pachamama to deathwatch up those memories. Finally, he arrive me to accompany him in an alms for Pachamama alleged Jaywarikuy. I was accustomed a leash of coca leaves, referred to as K’intus. He instructed me to breathe my activity assimilate the leaves and to abode them into a aperture in the Earth.
Photo: Courtesy of Lola Méndez.
Photo: Courtesy of Lola Méndez.
I’ll always backpack with me the all-powerful changeable activity of Pachamama. The boom reminds me of the acquaint from the Shaman — the plight of my ancestors is aural me.
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