Life is Ritual
Indigenous peoples around our entire planet hold powerful knowledge and ancient wisdom. We are living in a time of great transformation where we recognize that in order to survive, and thrive as a species, we must keep this wisdom alive. Much of this wisdom comes from our oldest relatives, the plants.
Peru is one powerful place on our planet, helping to transform and awaken many different people around the globe. The Andes Mountains, and the Amazon Rainforest, hold keys to unlock different truths of our existence. The people, the plants, the mountains, the creatures and the energy of these places can reconnect us.
Spirit is alive in the Andes
We have the gift of being invited to learn, connect and grow through ceremony and ritual in these sacred places.
On our retreats we are offered to participate in different ceremonies and rituals. Below are some brief descriptions of different ceremonies practiced in Peru that can teach us many lessons and help us grow.
From the Greek word, entheos, meaning "the god within" and the root, gen, denotes the act of becoming. An entheogen is a natural substance that is used in a spiritual context to generate the divine within. All rituals and ceremonies that involve the consumption of a natural plant described below are entheogens. Acknowledged for enhancing one’s comprehension of the world, and facilitating healing; this is why they are considered sacred, and are still in use after thousands of years.
Ayahuasca, also known as Yage, is an entheogenic brew from the Amazon Rainforest. It is made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine, often in combination with the Chacruna leaf. The brew is used as a traditional spiritual medicine capable of inducing altered states of consciousness. Ayahuasca- the vine with a soul.
san pedro cactus
San Pedro Cactus, also known as Huachuma, is a cactus that is native to the Andes Mountains and has been used in traditional Andean medicine for over 3000 years. Huachuma is an entheogen that can reconnect you to nature, spirit and rekindle love and enthusiasm for life.
temazcal- sweat lodge
Temazcal is a sweat lodge ceremony to help cleanse the mind, body and spirit. When you enter a Temazcal you are returning to the womb of mother nature. You can release fears, connect with ancestors and experience incredible healing if willing to let go.
A Despacho ceremony is an offering to PachaMama (Mother Earth) and the Apus (spirit of the mountains), a blessing for all the participants. The shamans place a square piece of paper on the floor and carefully put in many elements on the paper in a ritual manner, including flowers, seeds, grains and candies, all with special significance.
Coca leaves, a sacred plant to the Andean people throughout the ages, are placed carefully in the Despacho, each representing a special prayer. You may create a "Quintu" with the coca to set your request or intention. These too are placed into the Despacho. The shaman may have insights into your life through the elements offered as well as the coca. This is a sacred ceremony to give gratitude, connect with ancestors and give back to our Mother.
At the end of the ceremony, the bundle is folded and tied shut. Each person then comes forward to be “cleansed” by the bundle. The Despacho is wrapped in a manta of Andean woven cloth as the shaman passes it from your head, down each arm, leg, front and back. When the session is over, the group goes outside to burn it in a ritual fire concluding the ceremony.
Rapé is a preparation of powdered medicinal herbs – often with a tobacco base – that the people of the Amazon basin blow through the nose. Rapé is considered to be a sacred, shamanic medicine. Sharing rapé was traditionally done in a ritualistic way, the medicine can have stimulating or psychoactive effects (depending on what plants were used to make it). Receiving rapé can bring about a profound experience of the forest, the medicine is sacred. Rapé is a prayer calling upon the forces of nature, the blessing of the animals of the forest, and power of medicinal plants to heal us and give us strength.
The Tobacco is helping to detach entities, parasites, energy pollution and interference in the internal dialogue. Upon receiving a blowing, the medicine goes up cleaning, decluttering and aligning our energy field, especially he third eye and crown, and from there up and down the spine, the tree of life.
Also it's medicine for the body, helping to expel mucus and parasites of the sinus cavity. There are many benefits from this ritual as it unpacks the pressure of the skull.
coca leaf reading
Communicate with the gods through the Andean oracle, the coca leaf. The coca leaf is a sacred plant to the Andean people and has been used for its healing properties for thousands of years. Coca is well known for helping with altitude sickness and providing energy, but it is also a messenger between you and the gods. Within a reading a local healer will connect to you, the Apu's (mountains) and spirits and interpret the coca giving you insight into your life. The answers you receive enable a better understanding of your destiny. A coca leaf reading will give you knowledge and insight into the Quechua peoples ancient healing rituals.