Many people have heard the call to learn from the Andean people and pilgrimages to the Andes have been growing for many years. As the Andean spiritual power flows out into our world, the Divine Feminine returns. This spiritual wisdom is of supreme importance as we stand at the threshold of 2012. And Peru, a place steeped in ancient prophecies and wisdom, is of vital importance in helping us to navigate this profound time.
In modern times, Eastern mysticism has dominated the spiritual scene. The wisdom of the Andes and the children of Pachamama (Mother Earth), though, is deeply ingrained in the mountains, valleys, plains and deserts of this area. But according to Andean priest, author and shaman, Mallku, it was resting for a whole cosmic cycle called Pachakuti (the dividing time period within a thousand years). "This cycle was completed just a few years ago and gave place to the beginning of a great revolution in the collective consciousness which will modify the very life structures of our generation," he explains.
Peru entered a new Pachakuti cycle in 1992, when the Andean sages or amautas knew it was time to journey down from their high mountain places of exile where they had preserved the ancient wisdom, to share their prophecy and rites with the children of Pachamama. The invasion of the land in 1492 by the Spanish conquistadors marked a decline into obscurity for Peru that lasted 500 years and brought to an end an amazing cycle called the Eighth Pachakuti, a time of splendour and glory for the Andean people.
With the rise once more of the Goddess, the sacred Mother, we enter into a time where harmony and balance is needed between men and women, both internally and externally.
"The new cycle or Pachakuti is characterised by the presence of the Mother or the manifestation of the planet's feminine aspect after 500 years of rest. This doesn't mean that women will dominate the world, but rather that men will become progressively more conscious of the necessity to recognise and develop the feminine capacities of their personalities and hearts. It is only through this feeling of love and balance that peace on our earth will be able to reign," says Mallku.
"Man has to open up to this new planetary vibration of the Mother and feel that our Earth's pole or centre of feminine magnetic radiation is already active and manifesting itself though the doors of the sacred Lake Titikaka."
The feminine way is the way of surrender, of being, inner power, primal wisdom and shakti, intuition and receptivity. So, the way of this cycle and the new spiritual energy will be a learning, not so much through effort and the mind, as can be seen with Tibetan Buddhism, but through imbibing the spiritual presence and energies. Simply visiting the Andes and being with the sacred energy of the land will unlock new states of consciousness and awareness within us. Just being with these powerful and mystical energies will transform us.
Peru and the Andean way is the way of the heart, just as the way of the Himalayans was more the journey of the mind, as witnessed by the incredible attainments by yogis and Buddhists of mental clarity. But now we need to journey to the heart. Some say Peru is the heart of the planet, and what is unarguably true is that we all need to open our hearts to this new energy and allow ourselves to learn from it. The way of mastery is the connection between the heart and the mind.
The Andeans live with an awareness that life is present everywhere; they have a deep experience of the earth as their mother, a living being, and experience rocks and trees as living beings with spirits. Simply looking at photos of Peru you can see how alive the land is - the rocks look like people and you can feel and see the spirits of the different elements.
The shamanic tradition is a feminine tradition. A shaman is one who mediates between worlds, between the visible and the invisible. Dr Alberto Villoldo, a psychologist and medical anthropologist and author of Courageous Dreaming: how shamans dream the world into being, has studied the shamanic healing practices of the Amazon and the Incas and spent much time with the shamans of Peru. The Andeans, he says, had a body of prophecy and calendar making that showed their deep understanding of the cycles of nature and time.
"In the West we're possessed by time, but the Indigenous people are possessed by the earth. It's early in the day or late in the day, but we are never early or late. The shaman owns time, while we in the West own land. We work in space, Indigenous people believe the land owns you, so they never leave the land and stay close to where they were born. They own time, they have free time and they can travel through time in the same way that we can travel through space."
The Andean rise to power and influence at this crucial time is, of course, documented by these amazing wisdom keepers who were masters of time, astronomy and sacred geometry. The Mayan prophecies are incredibly accurate. The Incas had radio communication in the Stone Age and knowledge of electricity. Andean shamans predicted that 2009 would be a time of tremendous earth upheaval. They say there is a need to connect with the Earth Mother or there will be windstorms, fires, hurricanes, storms and terrible imbalance.
Shaman Don Alejandro, president of the National Council of Mayan Elders of Guatemala, tells us not to be afraid of 2012 and gives us an inkling of the supreme knowledge and accuracy of the Andeans when he refers to 2012 as a blink in time, just another New Year. Who knows how many times this end time changeover of the Mayan calendar has occurred, he asks? "When our ancestors were preparing these calendars, they waited first until they had proved that every 5200 years this was occurring. And that's when they started counting the first cycle of the sun up to the fourth cycle of the sun which is the one that we are finalising now."
It's as if this amazing land is sending out a clarion call to humanity to come and visit and commune with the ancient wisdom so deeply embedded in its spectacular natural forms. It's as if it is urging us to imbibe this learning at a cellular level, so that we can return to our own lands to share it with others and speed the process of transformation that's now open to us.
"Everyone who touches the Andes will never be the same again," says Mallku. "The Andes is a great opportunity to realise great changes. It's being in touch with the Mother. We have to remember that we come from the womb of our mother, but in the Andes the expression of the mother is at a much higher level because it is Pachamama. The land itself talks about rebirth, possibilities and opportunities."
The Inca prophecies spoke of a new age called the Taripay Pacha, meaning the age of meeting ourselves again. This Taripay Pacha will be a time of prosperity and abundance where there will be peace, love and global unity. But to bring it about shamans say we must learn to let go of our fear and trust in the power of unconditional love. We must learn to connect with the elements and give thanks often to Pachamama, Tahita Inti (father sun) and Wiracocha (creator/spirit). We must work (llankay) learn wisdom (yachay) and love (munay) (1). Perhaps it is the greatest challenge of all and one we can no longer deny.
1. Excerpt from Cusco the gateway to inner wisdom, Diane Dunn