I had company last week and haven’t blogged for awhile. Now, I’m back to typing up my travel journals covering my four month backpacking/hosteling journey down the Andean Cordillera, the spine of South America…nay, the spine of the whole planet….and just now, I’m working on my notes for Peru, written last March, 2009. I spent a week in Pisac, Peru, in the Sacred Valley, just an hour north of Cusco, as a guest at Paz y Luz Healing Center where I took part in several wonderful ancient shamanic ceremonies. This entry describes a Despacho Blessing Ceremony:
“About a dozen of us gathered in the circular glass house often used for meals at Paz y Luz, but designed also for classes and ceremonies. We sat on blankets on the floor and from within our glass house we could see the low afternoon sun, golden on the green encircling Andes heights. This was a special time of the year because recent rains had given a lush green covering to otherwise brown mountains and fields.
The Despacho is a ceremony in which wishes and intentions of everyone present are placed artistically into a bundle and burned so that the smoke carries our prayers up to Heaven. I understand that the bundle is sometimes buried as an offering to Pachamama or Mother Earth, but a large fire was being built to receive our offerings this day. The shaman and his wife came down from their village very, very high in the Andes to perform this ceremony. Their tribe still speaks an old version of the Quechua language and customs have not changed for many centuries, as their people had taken refuge on the heights when the Spanish Conquistadors ravaged the Incan civilization in the sixteenth century.
This couple was colorfully dressed in jackets and hats of lime green, pinks, reds, and yellows, over black felt knee-length pants for him and a black full skirt for her. They were short of stature, with strong sturdy bare legs and feet, well-muscled from climbing these mountain heights. What sort of shoes must they wear to do that, I wondered? Surely not barefoot, as they were now. They appeared to be naturally joyful and perfectly tuned to each other as she assisted him throughout the hour-long ceremony. It was a quiet, worshipful tribute to the Earth and all of her gifts, offering thanksgiving for prayers not yet answered. I was thinking to myself that there was no way to do justice to this event in words. “Indescribable” was all that I could think of when faced with the question of how I could capture this in a blog.
Each of us were given a small pile of fresh coca leaves and were told to select fifteen and then place them in sets of three. Each set was to represent our prayers and wishes for a certain outcome. I made sets for my family members’ health and happiness and then some for the success of my current plan: the healing of this planet using the spinal column analogy comparing the backbone of the human body to the Andean mountain cordillera throughout South America. Our blown breath carried our conscious intention into the leaves.
Upon a square of clean white paper before him, the shaman arranged a beautiful design of seeds, sugar, llama fat and coca leaves, as well as small candies, flower petals and chunks of animal crackers representing all of the kingdoms of creation. Our own human hearts were placed there within our little sets of coca leaves holding our prayers for the well-being of those we loved.
This beautiful despacho design reminded me of Native American sand paintings, or Buddhist sand mandalas offered to a watchful Deity, both of which are always destroyed after the ceremony. In fact, all ancient cultures living close to the earth … whether in these sacred mountains; deep in the Amazon jungle; throughout the vast plains of the world, or the unexploited regions of North America before the conquering, smothering influx of European culture… all must worship in a similar fashion. This quiet native thanksgiving to God and their humble way of offering prayers is in such contrast to the religions which replaced their tribal way.
There’s a strong matriarchal acknowledgment to Mother Earth, Pachamama, here. She is the source of all life and the people hold a deep appreciation of women as a whole, considering them the basis and foundation of life. Therefore, their whole approach might represent the feminine, in contrast to the masculine emphasis so strongly found in Western religions. It’s true that men are the shamans here, but they have a wide-awake awareness of each participant in the ceremony and a gentle concern to include every one. They seem to see themselves as facilitators for the inclusion of every individual present, and yet the women in attendance are singled out for special praise.
Gee, this is sounding like some psychological seminar or anthropological analysis which is nowhere within my small range of skills. Rather, it represents some of the small thoughts drifting through my mind as I was realizing that I couldn’t describe what I was seeing. Throughout the three ceremonies of this day, I was aware that I was taking part in something very, very ancient, which might have looked just this way many hundreds of years ago. Those ceremonies, however, wouldn’t have required translation to Spanish and English, but would have been understood in the Incan Quechua which the shaman and his wife were speaking.
There was no formality except in the quiet reverence with which the objects were handled and the uttering of soft prayers throughout the ceremoney. We were comfortable, quiet witnesses who took complete part at the same time. When the paper bundle was filled, it was folded within a square of reddish woven cloth. Each one of us stood, in turn, while the shaman moved this packet up and down our bodies, drawing off all negative energies to go into the fire with the offering. Then the shaman’s mesa, a cloth bundle containing objects of spiritual significance to him, was passed over those same parts of our bodies to infuse us with fresh strength and energy.
We were then invited to bring our own mesa, if we had one, for prayers and blessings. Most of the participants had already been to other such ceremonies and had accumulated their own objects, wrapped with cloth into a bound bundle. I did not have one, though I did have several Peruvian things bought in the Pisac market, including a necklace and a ceramic bull given to me by merchants who were grateful that I didn’t haggle. The shaman held our precious objects, prayed over them, blew his breath upon them and gave them back to us.
Soon, we all moved outside to the fire pit where the special packet was placed upon the flames, creating a moment when The Goddess would enjoy the gifts; during which we all respectfully turned our backs to the fire. A few minutes later, we were laughing and talking and warming our hands over the ceremonial fire, preparing to walk to our next event a mile or two across the village. It was to be my second Ayahuasca Ceremony of the week. I’ll cover that in the next blog.
While typing up my October 2008, daily journal recently, I came across this news item which I had copied because it seemed to be a very good analogy for the economic meltdown which was everyone’s main concern last Fall. Luckily, the news these days, eight months later, is only partially-filled with financial-calamity stories, so maybe things are tapering off. But while we get back to normal, families of folks like these mentioned below, or developers whose big downtown Tampa condominium dreams are never going to happen now, like the ones I read about in today’s newspaper…know that they’ll never really recover from a fast-track that got suddenly stopped dead in the water.
Here’s my journal entry of October 10, 2008:
“A dreadful, but entirely preventable, accident was described on the computer last night and it seems to be a perfect illustraton of this massive economic tragedy unfolding so rapidly here at the end of 2008. A man and his girlfriend set out from Los Angeles at midnight in his big motor launch, headed for Catalina Island. At some point, their speeding boat smashed directly into the side of a well-lighted supply barge being towed back to the mainland from the island.
The boat sank in 120 feet of water and the next morning, divers located and raised it. Both bodies were down below. They were, supposedly, experienced boaters. What happened? Did the one on duty confidently lash the wheel and disappear down below for some reason, thinking: “Oh, it’s a big sea. There’s nothing between me and my goal. I can get away with this!” So, he cut corners.
For me, that accident illustrates what has just happened in the money affairs of the world. Bloated, criminal, and over-confident, many were playing fast and loose with economic principles and raking in a killing without caring who they ran over to do it.
Turns out that no one was steering the ship and suddenly, nature has taken over. Consequences have finally snapped into play and everyone aboard finds themselves financially dead and mangled at the bottom of the sea.”
These days, I’m spending a lot of time at the computer typing up six months’ worth of accumulated journals. These cover the four months that I was traveling in South America, but also the months leading up to that trip. Much of what I discover in those journals turns out to be quite a surprise to me now, because after so much time has passed, I’ve completely forgotten most of what I wrote on sleepy mornings while drinking my cup of coffee and coming slowly into the day.
That was the case with this surprising “prophecy” that I had dreamed of back in October, 2008, when economic crashing and gnashing of teeth was dominating the news. Here is my journal entry. One reason that it feels surprising to me is that I have not been directly affected by this economic crisis, having very little in the way of wealth or possessions; so there was no deep well of fear, or angst, within me to have caused this dream to occur.
(October 12, 2008) ” Well, this was an interesting night, in that it held a very distinct prophecy. I have never thought this thought, nor have I read it, nor heard it expressed before. It is not a Pronouncement coming From Above, but a prophecy, a foretelling, of something that will evolve from seeds already set here on earth. This concerns something that we humans will do as a natural consequence of things that have already happened. This feels like seeing a tsunami before it hits shore.
A Voice roused me out of a sound sleep and announced that, after this economic crash has run its course sweeping away so much that is familiar all over the globe in the way of government and corporate pillars of our present economies, that there will come a backlash from the populations against the individuals responsible for this. It will amount to a personal vendetta against every one of those individuals who had profited so hugely and who had driven their institutions into the ground. Lists would be drawn up from vast stores of data now available on the internet and the results would be circulated throughout the web, as well. Targeted individuals would, essentially, have nowhere to hide because the entire global population would be after them. This will not include their families – only the guilty individuals – and will be somewhat similar to the ongoing hunts still conducted for remaining Nazi officials, though it will have a better information system to follow.
This thing that was described wasn’t an official, and certainly not a legal, hit squad. It was a Revenge Squad, completely comprised of angry citizens, although some of them might work somewhere in an official capacity. This would be the “throat slit in the night” sort of justice squad and it will not rest or disappear until the guilty ones are dispatched.
This has nothing to do with any Divine Plan to punish the greedy ones. It was simply a seeing to the inevitable conclusion of a thread that is now in its infancy. It’s an idea that hasn’t yet even occurred to its perpetrators.
There is only one embryonic trace of such a state of mind in the news today and it is not at all aimed in the same direction. There are stories of very angry crowds at McCain’s election rallies, who are now terrified that Obama might win. These are the evangelical, right-wing Republicans who not only feel their party’s power slipping away, but are also experiencing the shock of the stock market collapse and the bursting of the housing bubble at the heart of this economic calamity.
They are scared and mad and are venting in a socially-approved manner, so far. But, they’re flirting with the edge already and are mixing racism, religion, poverty and politics into a volatile stew. This is the populous mood, which somewhere down the road, could harden into a very concerted vendetta against the ones who caused this to happen, the ones who “destroyed their rosy little world,” which really wasn’t as rosy as they now remember.
This peek into the future, at least didn’t include visions of the countries of the world turning upon America to punish us for doing this to the world’s money supply. It, very specifically, showed what was going to happen to the executives, and players at all levels, who cashed-in on the soaring profits, which they, themselves, had caused to spin out of control. It was a cool and calculated meting out of vigilante justice, engineered and executed by the people of the global society.
And, they were going to get away with it. It was very clear that this justice was not being meted out From Above, but was a natural human group reaction, an inevitable consequence of reprehensible actions by the few, which deeply affected the many.”
I must apologize for the number of days between my posts. Much of my time is now being taken up in typing a six-month supply of journals for later massaging into possible publication. These include all notes on the South American travels and will determine whether anything interesting enough ocurred to warrant another book. So, curiosity about my recent past is trumping my desire to share an uninteresting present. Long typing hours mixed with errands to Walmart are not exactly the stuff of blogging, though I have unearthed a few nuggets which you will see in future posts.
That’s why the last four or five entries have been spent in working up to today’s revelation – the name of the book which has taught me about psychic vampirism. Okay, here’s the skinny: as we used to say:
While I was still South America, my neighbor Walt, found a book discarded at the side of the trail where he was walking his dogs. Probably alarmed by the occult-looking cover, He put this volume in the trashcan but later, mentioned it to my son who expressed an interest in reading it. Upon my return, I spotted the book and decided to have a look at it. Then, I passed it on to a neighbor who was sure that he knew several psychic vampires taking advantage of his energy supply and he wanted to learn how to protect himself from becoming drained down.
The name of this serendipitous book is The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work, by Michelle A. Belanger and it is available on Amazon.com. I think it’s a good book and I recommend it, even though you might not be an energy vampire, for whom it is primarily written. This book could broaden your understanding of the subject, as it did mine. Prior to this reading, I had only these few impressions in my vampire bag:
1. Just a few days before, I had decided against a free copy of a new Stephanie Meyer book of the popular Twilight series about what? vampire teenagers, or something. I found it on the exchange rack at the Buenos Aires hostel and had a book to trade, but in the end, I just contributed my own book and decided against this very thick, heavy one to add to my backpack. I use this example as an accurate picture of my vampire cult leanings.
2. A few years ago, I traveled through Romania’s Transylvania and visited Bran Castle. Why did Bram Stoker choose it to be Dracula’s Castle in his famous stories, I wondered? It’s such a sunny, lacy, beautiful little castle that no self-respecting vampire could survive there, and I loved it for being the summer home of Queen Marie of Romania. The only Dracula reference found in the small village of Bran was a souvenir coffee mug with his name on the side. I didn’t buy it, but laughed to learn how ignored he is there at ground zero.
So, that’s how “into vampires” I am! Not at all!
However, in leafing through the above book, after having gotten past the cultish-looking cover, I quickly saw that it had some real information for me. The author’s definition of the term, psychic vampire, did ring some bells and caused some former mysteries to fall into place. And, if that’s true for me, it could easily be true for you, as well.
I checked out the author’s website and was glad that I’d waited to do that until after I had finished the book. She’s primarily writing for those who know that they are psychic vampires, as she is, and so that site is illustrated for the occult reader and will probably turn some people away. She’s not pretending to be mainstream but she writes like a researcher and professional. She is contributing to a little-known field and has become a nationally-recognized authority. I notice two of her other books, about energy work and dreams are also available on Amazon.com.
We live in a time when it is possible to exchange information about the mysteries in a much freer way than ever before. If someone has information to share, and especially, if it takes courage to do so, then I am very grateful to them for making it widely available. Thank you, Michelle A. Belanger for your contributions to our understanding!