Cusco is one of the most spiritual places on Earth. People travel from all over the world to absorb the energy of this magical city. From purchasing crystals to drinking ayahuasca, locals and tourists alike believe these practices will aid in your spiritual journey. I decided to embark on my own journey by visiting a Peruvian shaman and it changed my life.
But before my trip to Peru, it all started with a trip to a local psychic.
When I started my #wellnessWednesdays series, I decided to kick it off by interviewing Colleen of Style Rituals. As a frequent traveler, I wanted to know some alternative ways to stay healthy through energy, crystals and aura cleansing. What I didn’t know when I walked in, was that I would be getting a reading myself.
That day, I learned a lot about myself and my future. From how many kids I would have to my health to my spirituality. But the spiritual part really caught my attention.
You see, it was my absence of spirituality that lead me to find Colleen in the first place. During the reading, Colleen told me that this was the time to follow my spiritual intuition. And once she informed me that my spiritual journey would grow that year, I became hungry. Hungry to learn more.
Shortly thereafter, I decided to look into shamanism in Peru.
My search led me to Peru Shamans, a local business that connects travelers with well-trained shamans. Their services include all kinds of spiritual journeys like coca tea leaf oracle readings, shipibo shamanic diets, Machu Picchu healings and ayahuasca experiences. This is one of the more professional shaman businesses in Cusco with clients including some celebrities that I am not allowed to disclose here.
Our schedule was incredibly tight between Rainbow Mountain, the Inti Raymi Festival and Machu Picchu. So we decided to stick to a short coca leaf oracle reading early in the afternoon.
Coca leaves are an indigenous plant to Peru with many purposes, most notably as the main ingredient in cocaine. Local Peruvians however, look at coca leaves with much more respect and purpose. Coca leaves not only fight altitude sickness, but Incas view coca as a divine plant as it’s intertwined with every aspect of life, art, mythology, and the economy of the Inca Empire.
We met up with Janet, an office administrator and our translator, in the office right next to San Blas Temple. We chatted about what we could expect from our session and waited for our shaman to arrive. When he walked in, the entire room’s energy changed.
He was a short, Andean man in casual apparel with his ritual clothing in the backpack he carried. Janet introduced him as “Maestro.” His appearance was similar to that of other Peruvian men we had encountered in Cusco, but his presence was incredibly warm. He hugged us immediately and while he only spoke Quechua, a language derived from the Inca Empire, we immediately felt happy to be near him.
Our taxi drove us up the windy, dirt road to reach Saqsaywaman (pronounced “sexy woman”), a citadel outside of the city and one of the holiest hills near Cusco. Greeted by a warm winter sun, we quickly shed our hiking jackets.
Maestro led us to a secluded area through tall trees and shady, grassy knolls. We sat amongst a cluster of boulders that have been used for spiritual practices long before us. We sat down, set up our sacred space and began.
It started with all of us (including my photo-taking husband) to pray to Pachamama or “Mother Earth” and thank her for what she will share with us. Janet explained that visions of my future were coming from Pachamama and Maestro was simply doing the divine work of sharing this information with us. We took coca leaves and focused all of our energy on them.
After we have transferred our thank you’s and energy, we offered the leaves to Pachamama in a shallow hole between the large stones. Maestro took a handful of coca leaves and blew on them fiercely. Using shamanic tools and these same leaves, he spoke Quechua in a lyrical tone and touched my head.
Maestro told me everything about my future including my health, business, family and marriage. And while I couldn’t help but think his interpretations were a tad vague (though this could have been due to the language barrier), he reminded me that he was not seeing the future; Pachamama held my future and was simply using him as a messenger.
Like many, I was skeptical about my “reading.” But what was incredibly interesting were the similarities between both my readings with Colleen and with Maestro.
They both said I was a healer of some kind. Colleen referencing my empath abilities I didn’t know I had, while Maestro’s was a bit more vague. Perhaps my blog or my words would help others in some way. Either way, this explains my strange fascination with wanting to be a masseuse when I was 8.
Both of them also mentioned that stress was a big part of my life. Colleen referenced this stress like a hamster wheel of thoughts that never seem to end (agreed!). Maestro implied the sedentary lifestyle that comes with working on the computer. His message was that my health is fine, for now. If I don’t incorporate nature and health immediately, it will only get worse.
They also said I would have two children: a boy and a girl. This was a great relief to me. Like most women in their late twenties (and someone with PCOS), I’ve secretly been afraid I could not have children.
However, Maestro sent me a warning from Pachamama. Janet asked me if I believed in God. My answer was a long way of saying, “Maybe.” According to Maestro, our first born (a girl) would have issues of some kind. If I were to pray and relieve myself of the stress he mentioned earlier, she would be okay. After trying to decipher what they meant, I came to the conclusion that I needed add peace into my life.
When it was all said and done, we closed our ceremony with an additional prayer to Pachamama. We enjoyed each other’s company by putting our feet in the grass and talking about Peru, shamanism and the Inti Raymi festival that was approaching.
So How and Why Did This Change My Life?
As I said earlier, this reading was a tad vague. There were some moments that felt as though this reading could have been for anyone. But there were some details (like my children and my “healing” qualities) that I could not deny were similar to my alternative reading.
Most importantly, I felt more connected with Mother Earth than I ever have in my life. I came on this trip to Cusco reaching for a connection to something or someone out there in the Universe. And what I found was that she was calling out to me, right below my feet, right through the wind whistling at me every day.
I have a purpose in this world and my purpose will only get stronger by connecting with nature. This is a lesson I will never forget.