Dreaming The World Into Being
Q'ero Shamans Don Francisco (l) and Don Humberto (r)
A Q'ero shaman from high in the Peruvian Andes will visit my home in early October to share the wisdom that the Inka Elders have kept alive for thousands of years. I'm really excited again to welcome to my home my Q'ero spiritual brother, Don Francisco, and Shaman friends from across the US.
Until 1949 the Q'ero remained largely isolated in villages high up on Ausangate Mountain above 16,000 feet. Since that time they have come down from the mountain to share their knowledge with the West. Their mission is to prepare people in their country and in the world for this time that they consider a time of great change and potential peace, which they call a pachacuti (a turning over).
I just returned from 8 days with two Q'ero Shamans, Don Francisco and Don Humberto in Oregon, where with my spouse and about 30 of our Shaman friends we spent the time just before the Autumn Solstice making prayers and offerings, and immersing ourselves in the path of the heart. How did this look?
The Sand Painting
We made a giant sand painting on the beach in Yachats, much like a mandala, putting into it our dreams, prayers and symbolism. We made the sand painting at low tide. The prayers and objects and offerings were taken into the world by the Pacific Ocean (the Mamaqocha) and spread out when the tide returned. The center of the sand painting was a circle of flowers and items from nature. Around it were sand drawings, constructions of items from nature, and other symbolic representations of the universe, the stars, the sun, and animals.
The Vigil Fire
And, of course, we held a 3-day vigil fire. A group of more than 30 people joined together to tend the fire, to feed it and make offerings to it, to dream a New Global Tapestry of cooperation and sufficiency and self sustainability, to dream into being a new world of peace and justice. We brought together all our hearts' desires and visions of what the world can be. We joined each other at the fire and we made our offerings to Universe to invite it to inspire us and to create with us a new world.
It is a prophecy of the Hopi that when there are vigil fires across the entire world, when there are millions of vigil fires, there will be peace. In 2007 at the Autumn Equinox we were aware of about 50 fires; this year, 100. And next year, we hope for many, many more.
And of course we made despachos. A despacho is a traditional prayer bundle that gathers together individual and community prayers as an offering to bring us into AYNI - right relation - with Mother Earth, the Mountains, the Stars, the Animals, the Oceans, all living things. The prayer bundle often includes herbs, flowers, llama wool, foods, each with prayers blown in. In addition, people can blow their dreams and prayers and wishes into the leaves of a kintu (three leaves representing the alignment of heart and mind in action) and place it into the despacho. The despacho is a Q'ero ceremony to honor community and the interconnection of all things. The prayers in the despacho are sent to spirit, are released by burning it, or by burying it.
In early October, at my home, we will repeat some of these rituals. The main public event, “Weaving a New Global Tapestry,” will be a despacho done on behalf of the world, especially powerful at this moment of transition on our planet. The despacho ceremony will take place on October 1st at the Hawthorne Valley School on Route 21C in Ghent, Columbia County, New York from 7-10 pm.
Everyone is welcome at this despacho ceremony. This is an opportunity for everyone to put in their heartfelt prayers and to receive a blessing from the Q'ero.
Special thanks and h/t to Bob Aldrich for the photos, to Wake and Kinlen Wheeler for their hospitality and planning for both events, to the Yachats