Flying Pans & Flowing Knives!
What happened to me in Peru is difficult to write down in words, because it was a journey deep into the soul, and back in time.
I spent a week in Lima starting off at my brothers wedding, and spending time with my family. Then I headed off to the Sacred Valley of the Incas in the Cusco region for the rest of my month adventure in Peru. I knew people said the healing energy centre of the world has returned to this area, but this was insane.
The whole time I was there I could feel a pulsating weight squeezing my chest making me unable to breathe. It filled my heart with fear that was mentally and spiritually crushing, and it brought back the loneliness of the dark ages of my childhood.
Getting to know some of the locals to take my mind off things, I helped around where I could, and ended up meeting a few healers. One of them was nice enough to take me to the jungle to see his mountainside plantation that resides within the cocaine zone.
To my surprise once again, the red zone, the danger zone, the place that needs to be eradicated, is full of the most hospitable, humble, and warmhearted people. They are the descendants of the Incas from Machu Picchu that went to hide in the jungles when the Spanish had seized Cusco city.
With their simple rules they live simple lives even today, and they are absolutely wonderful people. They value their corn like gold, and walk up and down steep mountainsides all day carrying heavy loads chewing their coca leaves. None that I met or saw used cocaine, or even valued it at all. In this area plants have spiritual and medicinal value in their natural form, just as it was given by the gods.
I spent three days running up and down the mountain side with a coca wad in my mouth to give me strength and focus, so that I wouldn’t fall off the cliff face while I hacked my way through the jungle trails. I hacked so much that my thumb blistered, but it was worth it.
I swam in an artesian stream, which is a stream that gets pushed up the inside of the mountain from deep inside the earth and comes out near the top in waterfalls. We collected all our food from the mountainside, and we even had to go to the other property to stop a body being buried there, since it shares a border with the cemetery.
During the 5 days I spent with the man he told me about his plans to grow all kinds of rare healing plants. He apparently has 250-300 different rare seeds that he has collected from around the world, nearly all with known healing capabilities. Some he just had for it’s taste and rarity, like rainbow coloured carrots for example. His dream is to grow a living library, a noah’s ark of medicinal plants.
On the last night, after telling me that some shamans shouldn’t be trusted because they abduct people with black magic for months, the man placed a bottle on the table that was apparently a mixture of many different medicinal plants in powder form. Next to it he placed an L-shaped device that looked like a bent pen. The medicine was apparently all natural and designed to remove harmful filters that deny the ability to see clearly what is happening in life. Judging from what I had been talking to him about how I was feeling, he said I should try it. Nothing in it being illegal.
He took some first, and with a little trepidation, I took some myself. The straw thing was used to direct the powder into my sinuses as he gave a quick sharp blow to the other end. The feeling of having something fly up your sinuses is weirder than anything I’ve ever felt before. After both sides were done he said, ‘Don’t worry. With that dosage you won’t see visions’. Then he gave me a bottle to take home.
I returned to the Sacred Valley and I noticed that the mental or spiritual crushing effect became stronger once again. I felt lonelier than ever. I met up with the other healer that lived next door, who nicely enough gave me a one off special Huachuma ceremony for free. This was a beautiful gesture, because even though everyone needs to make money to survive, I believe healing done from the pure intention of the heart makes the positive effect go way further.
Normally the ceremony is done in a group, but I was to head off into the mountainside forest alone. The ceremony started in the morning with my energies being cleansed by mapacho tobacco, the highest valued of all shamanic plants, and after that intentions were given to the medicine. Then I had half a dose.
The other half was given to me as a spare incase I wanted more after a few hours. One mapacho cigarette was placed in my hand with matches, and I headed up towards the mountain alone.
Spending the day in a dreamlike state, I lay on the ground being relaxed by the medicine that rooted me into the ground. Every few hours the shaman came to talk for a few minutes, mentioning important things I needed to hear.
Even though physically I felt wonderful, I wanted to cry but couldn’t. All I could do was feel myself opening up, listen to the stream, and fall asleep again. I would always wake up, just before I’d see the shaman walk towards me in the forest.
As the sun started to set behind the mountains, the medicine slowly started to wear off. I offered the mapacho cigarette and the rest of the huachuma to the stream, as a thank you to mother earth and the plant spirits. Then I headed home.
Two days later I found myself crying in the hotel room at Aguas Calientes, the town built for Machu Picchu tourism. It was a release of deeply blocked energy, and afterwards I felt reborn. I cried a little every day until I flew out of the Americas and headed back towards Europe feeling like a new man.
I realised in retrospect, that as the New Year turned I was engulfed by something that brought up the loneliness I so hated in my childhood. I don’t know if it was me, or some strange force, but it made me come head to head with what I hoped had gone from my life.
I also realised, that during the dark ages of my life my name changed from Pyry to Peru, because of pronunciation difficulties abroad. I could never have imagined how profoundly being called Peru as a child would effect me now.
I know that to learn about the self, alone time is needed, and this just happened to be the first proper alone time I have had since those dark times of my life ended. I didn’t come here to see Peru, I came to see Pyry.
The sacred valley did its thing.