There is no denying that the mysterious allure of Peru, Macchu Pikchu, the Inkas and the “shamanism” of the Q’ero Indians of Peru—modern lineal descendants of the Inka—has been magnetizing people from around the globe for the last twenty years. As westerners, we know innately that there is something here that we want…something we desperately need.
I contend that it is the sacred healing power of Mother Nature that we are after, a.k.a., the Ñust`as.
The Inka Nature Wisdom tradition (also known as Andean Mysticism or Q’ero Shamanism) is a profound and sophisticated-yet-simple indigenous knowledge system providing a map to the interface between humans and Nature to a degree that is mind-boggling. Unfortunately, there is very little accurate information written about the spiritual and philosophical worldview of the Inkas, perhaps because writing is not their way of knowledge. True knowledge is personal, intimate and direct, and it is passed on through oral traditions kept alive through 500 years of resistance of the Q’ero, high in their mist-shrouded Andean homes.
It has been my honor and privilege to study and participate in this wisdom tradition since 1988 and to humbly attempt to serve as a translator of its magnificent worldview. Alas, I confess my 28 years of experience has only permitted me to realize I do little more than touch the tip of an ancient and enigmatic iceberg of knowledge whose real girth, breadth and depth remain a mystery. I write to honor my teachers of the great Q’ero Nation, named “Last Inka Ayllu of Peru” by the Peruvian Institute of Culture.
This article is dedicated to Doña Bernardina Apaza Flores an inspiring Q’ero healer known for saving the lives of countless babies and small children. Doña Bernardina was a tiny power package with a magnificent belly laugh and has left us stricken in her departure due to trouble of the female organs. We have asked ourselves “what are we going to do about this” as her death raises a larger and extremely vital question. What is, and what should be the relationship of our society to Mother Nature and our own feminine power?
This is very much at the heart of the upcoming European trainings in April 2017 and the Paqo Farms Apprentice Program offered at my farm in Hawaii. and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Q’ero Kids Education Fund and the Q'ero Women and Children Fund, created by the Wiraqocha Foundation (a nonprofit educational and charitable organization established in 1996 for the preservation of indigenous wisdom, and to promote human collaboration with Nature worldwide).
The Inka tradition is based on human participation in the laws of what we know as the most modern and advanced theoretical physics—the laws that govern Nature. Kawsay Pacha, means the ‘world of living energies’ in Quechua, and perceiving and moving through this world is the fundamental ground of the Paqo, or ‘initiate’ of the Andean Path. We inhabit a superabundant cosmos in which everything is made of living energy, that functions through sacred exchanges (known as the principal of ‘ayni’) even down to the most fundamental particles, wherein a quantum field is generated via particles exchanging energy.
A Paqo is bound to maintain sacred exchanges with nature, and these exchanges are based on mutual advantage and respect. Consider for a moment the act of breathing that springs from a fundamental collaboration between humans and plants (and other photosynthetic organisms like algae) exchanging carbon dioxide and oxygen molecules. In this living energy world there is no “positive” or “negative” energy—only heavier and more refined energies. Sami—the Quechua word for finest living energy—literally means nectar, and is supplied in abundance by Mother Nature. Mother Nature is alive, has consciousness, and all her myriad forms can and must be communicated with.
This in fact is the job description of the Paqo, to maintain the harmony and communication between humans and the forces of Nature. The Paqo recognizes and works within the hierarchies of Nature. The Ayllu (meaning village) level Paqo is the Pampamesayoq and her/his job is to communicate and maintain harmony between the human and nature beings of the village. The Llaqta (city) level Paqo works with a larger human group and bigger mountains and rivers. The Suyu (region or nation) level Paqo works with the tallest Apus, the mountain spirits that oversee entire nations, and the Teqse (global) Paqo can speak with Teqse Apus & Ñust’as: the living spirits of the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, the Wind, the Oceans…all are living beings that must be respected.