All of my life has been a spiritual journey.
I’ve been all around the world on this journey and when it finally led me to Machu Picchu, Peru, I knew I had found my spiritual home. And now it seems natural that I personally guide others who also want to explore the mystical powers and gifts of this ancient sacred site.
I have always had psychic abilities and been drawn to nature. Yet the practical side of me pursued two degrees in Education and Educational Management. In 1983, I left Canada for a two year job in Nigeria. This turned into 20 years of wandering around the globe working in international schools in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
During these years exploring different cultures and places I developed more compassion and understanding for all the people on Earth, a greater trust in my intuition and the many synchronicities that flowed in my life, as well as a deep respect and love for Mother Earth. So it was a natural step for me to become interested in shamanism which holds that we are connected to all people, plants, animals, rocks and earth on this planet as well as all things in the universe.
Over the years my interest in shamanism led me to work with shamans in Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil and Peru. But it was in March, 2003 that this interest changed my life very drastically. While working with a shaman in Brazil I had a powerful vision that showed me very specifically that it was time to go to Peru and more specifically to Machu Picchu. I was shown that if I followed this path it would be necessary to step outside my comfortable world of international education with all of its perks and devote myself to the path of spiritual understanding. It was an enormous decision but I knew within that this was what I had to do. So in June, 2004 I found myself in Cusco with only my vision and trust in a higher force to guide me.
A short while after arriving in Peru I made my way to Machu Picchu. The moment I had my first view of the sanctuary of Machu Picchu I knew that after 20 years of wandering I had come home. With tears running freely down my cheeks the site spoke to my heart in a way that no other place on Earth had.
It was during this first visit that I met the Guardian shaman of Machu Picchu. From that first meeting we both felt like we had known each other all our lives and a strong connection was made. Since then, with the help of this man as well as a few others, I have learned to walk the path of the shaman and share my knowledge with those who come on my guided journeys.
Although I am considered a shaman, it is only a label, for everyone is a shaman waiting to be awakened and once the spirit is awake then the learning, growing and expanding continues as long as we walk on this Earth. The label is not important, rather it is the integrity with which one walks the path that is most important.
Andean shamanism is like shamanism the world-over in that it is nature based. The essence of Andean shamanism is a strong connection to Pachamama or Mother Earth, all the elements of nature and a respect for the divine creation. By connecting with all the elements of nature and the divine flow of the universe we also learn to flow and create. We literally become part of the oneness of all things.
Andean shamanism teaches us that all things have energy and properties beyond the material and physical and when we learn to work with them we discover their hidden powers as well as the great powers hidden within ourselves. When one uses the techniques of the Andean shamanism, one is able to connect and transcend the physical and enter the realm of the spirit world.
Since the Andeans believe that all the Earth is sacred the whole planet is considered a sacred place. But there are places that are considered special or sacred based on location, the combination of various elements of nature such as the relationship between earth, air, and water or those considered to have special powers or spirits.
Machu Picchu is considered one of those sacred places because of its location within concentric circles of mountains, the river circling the base of the mountain it stands upon, the great quantities of quartz crystal found there (which is why it is also called the Crystal City) and the fact that it was constructed in complete harmony with the physical and cyclical aspects of nature.
The most important spirit in the Andes is the Apus or the mountains. The Apus represent the Hanac Pacha or the upper sphere and act as antennae to other dimensions. There is an inner and outer ring of mountains which act as guardians and create a power circle with Machu Picchu at the centre. Each of these mountains has special properties and energies. To those who come with a clear and pure intent these ancient mountains will open up and share their energetic powers with you.
Machu Picchu sits at 2,450 metres above sea level and around its base flows the waters of the Wilkamayu River that eventually flows into the Amazon River. In the Andean shamanic tradition, water is a great purifying force.
We begin our journey in Lake Titicaca because by working with the water to wash and balance us we begin to clear away any heavy energy we are carrying around with us. It also helps to open us to the work we do with the other elements in the different locations.
Lake Titicaca is also considered sacred because it is from Lake Titicaca that Wiracocha, the creator, brought the sun, moon, stars and planets out of the lake to take their place in the sky thus providing light for a dark world. With time the sun and the moon had children who also arose from the lake and went on to populate the four corners of the world.
Another sacred place is the ‘Gate of the Gods’ or Amara Muru Doorway. This inter-dimensional portal, which faces Lake Titicaca, lies in a wonderland of strange natural rock formations that are in stark contrast to the surrounding area. Legend says that Amara Muru stepped through the portal leaving this three-dimensional world forever. There are many legends in the area telling of people who have gone through the portal never to return (although I do know one person who entered the portal and did return). The area within the triangle of Lake Titicaca, Machu Picchu and the Amazon is considered a power vortex. The jungle of the Amazon basin is also considered sacred because of the great life force that lies within it. Within these three areas are strong energy lines that connect the various sites and the regions. In addition to these energy lines, each of the areas we visit on my guided tour connects us to the four main elements. Lake Titicaca represents the element of water that washes and balances us. Machu Picchu represents the element of air that purifies and enlightens us. The Amazon represents earth that cleans and transforms us. Above us, Tayta Inti (or Father Sun), shines on us representing the element of fire that transmutes and sanctifies us.
I had a very powerful experience working with the earth element. We do a ceremony where we ask Pachamama to take or absorb something in our life that we no longer want to carry around. In this instance, I wanted to be rid of a fear I was carrying. In this ceremony each person runs around a circle stating the thing that that they wish the earth to rid of them of. Then after some time we lay on the ground in the exact middle of the circle with our belly buttons pressed into the earth and feel what ever it is we are getting rid of the flow into the earth. As I lay there feeling the earth take my fear I began to feel my self enter the ground and Mother Earth wrap her arms around me like a mother would do for a child. As my fears left I felt the intense love that Mother Earth has for each us. This experience made me realize the earth is a living breathing soul.
I had one client who was carrying around great amounts of anger and frustration. After leaving the lake and proceeding along to Machu Picchu and then the Amazon, the source of the anger and frustration began to reveal itself and she was able to acknowledge and clear them. Upon returning to her home and work, her friends and family thought that a new person had arrived home. Since then she has made changes in her life to incorporate what she learned on this trip.
I had another client who, after the tour, left a job that he disliked and found the courage to pursue a career more in line with what he really wanted to do.
The tour is designed specifically so that awareness opens gradually so that there is some time for reflection and integration. Each place and each step leads to the next level. This is more than a tour it is an experience!
As published in Mosaic Mind, Body and Spirit Magazine. May 2007 edition.
Author: Carolynne Melnyk, Andean Shaman and Healing Guide, www.AndeanTriangle.com