July/August 2008 Cosmic
Q'ero Shamans Envision a New World
by Terry Andrews
Q'ero shamans from high in the Peruvian Andes have kept hidden wisdom alive for thousands of years. The powerful, sacred ceremony called the despacho uses a very lively ancient wisdom to weave a global tapestry from our deepest personal and collective wishes. It is a chance to envision with others in an empowered way the world that we want to create.
It is also a chance to experience what the Q'ero call kausay pacha, the land of living energy. The Q'ero, who predate the Inca, are masters of energy.
For centuries, the Q'ero lived undiscovered in the Andes. Their villages are on Ausangate Mountain at 16,000 feet, and for generations they have raised llamas, and woven blankets and clothing. Part of their mission has been to preserve the shamanic wisdom of their people, for all people. Through the practices of divination came a great prophecy: There would be a pachakuti, a great turning over, a time of great change and potential peace.
Around 1949, the Q'ero came down from the mountain to present themselves at a gathering of approximately 70,000 seekers and medicine people from all over South America. They were immediately recognized because of the patterns on their colorful ponchos, and the crowds parted to let them through. This was a fulfillment of their destiny, and the same prophecies have also guided them to share their knowledge with us in the West at this time in history.
"They are trying to prepare people in their country and in the world," explains Kinlen Wheeler. Wheeler and her husband, Wake, who has been working with the Q'ero since 1998, are bringing to Oregon two Q'ero shamans, don Francisco and dona Juanita. Wake has recently been helping to launch a powerful wave of consciousness in the world through sharing the nine great rites of the Munay-Ki, which he received from the Q'ero. These are the rites of enlightenment to become a person of wisdom and power.
In recent years, seekers have made the long trek up the mountain to work with the Q'ero and learn the secrets of living in harmony with both the natural world and the world of energy. The Q'ero flag is a representation of the rainbow. The rainbow colors are also the colors of the chakras. The Q'ero know how to work with the luminous energy field that surrounds the body for personal transformation.
Their ceremonies honor Pachamama, or Mother Earth, Kinlen says. "They bring the sense of community and connection to all things. Even when they ask 'How are you?' they are asking, how you are within the spiritual community. They remind us that we can work together to accomplish more at a time when we have a lot of problems."
The despacho is the gift bundle that gathers together individual and community prayers to create a new, more harmonious collective vision.
"The Q'ero believe there is a world of living energy," Kinlen adds, "and that we create the world we see. They use the despacho to engage the energy to bring forth our desires aligned with heart and spirit."
The despacho is the primary way they work with energy. In Peru the Q'ero use coca leaves in the ceremony. Three leaves held together in a kintu represent the alignment of heart and mind in action. They create a prayer bundle to Pachamama, which often includes herbs, flowers, llama wool and wine.
"They believe in thanking while they're asking. Their assumption is, to ask is to receive," Kinlen says. "That is the power of it. The despacho ceremony receives our heart's desire and invites the universe to bring it about in a harmonious way."
The public "Weaving a New Global Tapestry" event takes place on September 12 at the Eugene Waldorf School. Private despacho ceremonies are available in Eugene on September 12-14 and in Portland on September 23-24. For tickets and information, call 541-915-9237 or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Terry Andrews' novel Dance of the Jaguar won a 2008 Nautilus Award, given to books that are helping to change our consciousness and the world.