Life’s Changing Seasons and the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition
It has been 10 years now since the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition became part of my life and spiritual practice. The Pachakuti Mesa was given form in the world by my mentor don Oscar Miro-Quesada. When Oscar was a young man he studied with two primary Shaman’s or Curanderos, as they are know in Peru. The first Curandero that Oscar apprenticed with was don Celso Rojas Palomino who practiced in the North Coastal region of Peru.
In the North Coastal practice of the Mesa all night healing ceremonies take place using a very large and intricate Mesa or altar, and the San Pedro cactus is called upon as a special guide to open up the Shamans vista or vision, as a spirit helper for both the practitioner and the client. After serving for 13 years as the maestros auxillio or assistant don Oscar was called upon by don Celso to share this tradition with the people of Turtle Island or North America before his beloved teacher made his transition.
After his journey with don Celso Oscar formed a relationship and apprenticeship with don Benito Qorihuaman Vargas. This Shaman was of Quechua origin and practiced in the traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Sacred Valley of Peru. These people are very connected to the natural world and work with the land and the elemental forces of the earth. In contrast to the large Mesa’s of the North Coast their Mesa’s are very small and are oftentimes carried as a bundle. This apprenticeship continued until don Benito’s passing four years later.
Out of these two traditions the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition was born. While honoring all the core aspects and maintaining its roots in both of these Andean practices. With this base to work from the Pachakuti Mesa is also cross cultural and openly allows the introduction of other traditions within the basic template of the Mesa.
In the creation of a Pachakuti Mesa the ground it sets on is first consecrated using cornmeal and honoring the sacred hoop of life. Tobacco is then used to connect with the gift of life from birth to death, and our physical connection to the spiritual realms. Coca leaves are placed for our body, mind, and spirit, as well as the unseen realms. Floral water is then placed in the center as a special and sacred offering. After the consecration a sacred cloth or manta is placed upon the consecration. Upon the manta special medicine pieces are placed with a focused intentionality, and prayer. In the south a stone is placed for Pachamama or Mother Earth, representing the physical realm. In the west a shell is placed for Mama Killa or Mother Moon, which is the element of water and the realm of emotion. It is also the place of the feminine. In the north a feather is placed for the spiritual realm, the place of creator/creatrix, and the element of wind. In the east a white candle is placed for the Init Tayta or Father Sun, the element of fire and the masculine principle. In the center is Kuychi, or the rainbow and the essence of the four primary directions, which is represented by the individual’s most sacred medicine piece. It is one’s own center, as well as the center of the Universe.
After the placing of the medicine pieces or Artes is complete the altar is opened and awakened by toning Pachamama, Mama Killa, Wirakocha, Inti and Kuychi three times each. Oftentimes this is followed by singing, rattling, drumming, and the offerings of other waters; all of this raises the template of the energetic field that has been established. The mesa is now ready to work with as a healing tool for the ones self, others, the community, and the planet. It is also a place of personal reflection, and meditation. Over time the Mesa grows, as the individual grows on their personal journey. More medicine pieces are called to be part of the mesa; some are passed on to others. The Mesa becomes a reflection of the carrier of the Mesa and their relationship with it shifts over the seasons, and over time as their life changes.
For me personally this tradition has connected me with the seasons of my own life and the variety of changes that as a two legged on this earth are oftentimes challenging and at others ecstatic. It has deepened my relationship with the natural world and the seasons by practicing earth-honoring ceremony during solstices, equinoxes, new moons and full moons. It has connected me to a larger community of souls who offer support and comfort during life storms, and celebration during the times of joy. It has created living ceremony within my life and provided me with a place of balance where I can walk in my own power down the middle road between the season’s of shadow and light. Walking through these seasons in the space of the heart and connected as one family.
As you complete this reading take in the words Pachamama, Mama Killa, Wiracocha, Inti, and Kuychi. Speak them out loud, tone them, feel them in your heart and connect with that space of love and balance within yourself.
It is my gift, honor, and my path to share this good medicine with the world. I am blessed that I could share some seeds as you have read this writing and would love to grow more in the garden together if you would like to share in the planting.