Under the influence of San Pedro sacred plant medicine at the beginning of the week a storm whipped up around us. My limited view from my hunkered down position under a couple of blankets in the open sided, thatched roof temple, was of the bamboo plant dancing vigorously to the tune of the howling wind. Nausea had sent my conscious thoughts fleeing somewhere out of reach and I had the sensation of hiding from an attack by the Viet Cong. But what the fuck was that about? I’m in Peru, it’s 2015, and this place is a space of sacred energy surrounded by love. Regardless, whenever I drifted off in to the realm with little in the way of thought, I was hiding out from war. I felt weak in body and in mind. Unpleasant. Disorientating.
One day later I knew some healing had occurred but it was intangible.
Two days later and my answer came through a dream. I had asked San Pedro to let me explore my relationship with the masculine. I’d anticipated going over old relationships, unearthing any sadness I was still holding on to, and releasing it through copious quantities of tears. But no. I was on the edge of war zones instead. No real emotion at all. When the epiphany came it was so obvious I could hardly believe I hadn’t understood it before. My relationship with the masculine is about how I consider the masculine weak – and as we all carry both genders within us, then my own masculine is weak. The masculine is what drives the will and therefore my will has been weak. In my dream not only did I recognise this but I reclaimed power over my will. I’ll be interested to see how that unfolds.
With the recognition something of value had come out of my San Pedro experience I felt more inclined to leap in to the Ayahuasca retreat, even though I am anxious about letting go of control to such a degree. However reading Javier Regueiro’s book on Ayahuasca is helping me get it in to perspective. The day after tomorrow will be the first of our four ceremonies.
But between San Pedro last Monday and Ayahuasca next Monday our Peru Odyssey group has had an amazing time…
We left our beautiful home from home near Pisac in the Sacred Valley and took our bus on a winding route along the path of the Urubamba river through to the fascinating site of Moray – landscape I could wake up to. Wonderful open land at over 3000m and high snow tipped peaks on the horizon. We walked past the ‘No Passing’ sign at the upper lip to the Temple of the Sun and edged down the steep incline to the base of the temple. A circular stage surrounded by five terraces sloping upwards created a beautifully placed amphi-theatre for ancient agricultural research. We create a seventeen petalled sunflower as we lay on the ground, our feet pointing in towards the central point. Closing our eyes we connected to the nature around us, each other and the sun. I could see in my minds eye a golden light connect each of our hearts and spiral up towards the cosmos. As Amaru, our guide, drummed and chanted his way around us I heard other voices weave with his. Was he calling in the ancestors perhaps? I also heard the voices of tourists wondering what we were doing and if we had special dispensation to be lying on the ground inside the sacred site which gave no entry to visitors. The only thing to mar the day was the death of a puppy which ran in front of the bus giving no time at all for the driver to miss him.
Our next port of call, and our stop for the night was Ollantaytambo – where the train station for Machu Picchu is situated. I fell in love instantly with this town. Not only was the ancient ruin right in the town itself, but it had the appearance and energy of a frontier town in the Wild West during the pioneer days. I kept expecting a gun-slinger to gallop in to the square, a cheroot clamped between his teeth, his poncho giving him that Clint Eastwood look. Instead I found lots of wonderful things to buy and lots of very tasty food to eat. Hard to say but it may just edge in to the lead as my favourite town so far!
After breakfast the following morning we hit the trail for Machu Picchu and suddenly discovered how many people want to visit this relatively new addition to the Seven Wonders of the World. The station heaved with people and every single seat was booked on the train. We travelled by Inca Rail, had very comfy seats, snack and drinks delivered airline style were included in the ticket price. I wondered how any of the group could play cards or read as we shushed and clacked alongside the Urubamba river cascading over huge rocks, while sheer mountains rose up the other side and sometimes gave us glimpses of a snowy peak, like a beautiful woman revealing her shoulder. The scenery was breath-taking and it’s presence intensely powerful as the mountains got up so close and personal. As we neared our destination I caught sight of Banana Plants and Fushcia, and until that moment hadn’t realised how tree-starved I’d been. It was energising when the train wrapped itself in trees for a few moments, turning the bright sunlight a golden green.
Alighting at Machu Picchu Pueblo, after a long blast of the trains horn, we found ourselves in heat, humidity and surrounded by vegetation of the ‘high jungle’. This town has a totally different feel to it than everywhere else we’ve been. On a tangible level its built in a ravine on a steep slope, most of the walkways are pedestrianised and all I’ve seen move on wheels are buses which ferry people to and from the citadel of Machu Picchu itself and the occasional cart pushed by workmen carrying thick sheets of glass and other building material. Another river cascades over its huge smoothly sculpted rocks to join the Urubamba and make its long way to the low jungle, where we’ll no doubt meet it early next week. Every retail outlet is either a restaurant, a tourist shop or a massage centre – they cater for thousands. It’s all a little too touristy. Some people get ripped off, much of the food quality is less than great, equally so the therapy treatments, and it’s prices are substantially higher than anywhere else we’ve stayed. But still I love being here – just maybe not for longer than our two designated nights.
It’s a 4.45am breakfast if we’re going to make Machu Picchu, also known as the Crystal City, for sun rise. Alarm went off at 4am and by the time we’d queued with all the other innumerable tourists and held our breath through the tight switchbacks on the unadopted road up the mountain it was about 6.30am. The sky was completely light but as the mountains are so tall and so densely packed the sun has to be high before it can lay its rays on this hidden gem. It’s hard going up steep irregular steps from the entrance, which feels more like going through customs, to the viewpoint over Machu Picchu and I needed every bit of help I received from Amaru. However the reward is huge. There is nothing that can quite prepare you for being at Machu Picchu. Yes, we’ve all seen the photographs so we know what to expect, but wow, this was overwhelming in its size and intensity.
Sitting on the ground, my back to the diorite wall, I slipped in to a space out of time to tune in to this vast place and it’s energy. I saw a city underground (confirmed by Amaru later) as well as the one visible above the earth and this strange idea that it was still alive. I sensed the ghosts not as long dead but as alive simply in another dimension. In fact to take it one step further I saw them knowingly attract us to this place to help heal the damaged heart of humanity. I’m not surprised that James Redfield wrote in The Celestine Prophecy that a group of the characters raised their vibration so high at Machu Picchu they disappeared from sight. In this dimension it’s stunning, intricate, vibrant and awe-inspiring. I can’t help but agree this is no way an Incan ruin – it’s way older than that. It’s a magnificent, entrancing enigma.
Our next two days take us from the clear, cool and dry air of the Andes to the dense intense dampness of the jungle and our Ayahuasca retreat. I’d like to leave all my expectations behind and go in with an open mind.
I shall see you on the other side….
Click here to find out more about this Peru Odyssey run by Outer Travels Inner Journeys