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(Echo, January 2012, Charlottesville VA)

It was an entirely surreal moment. Here I was having a crisis high in the mountains of Peru in the beautiful the group with his quiet voice reassuring me my husband would be fine.  Jim was light headed and found it hard to walk. Pepe, strong and solidly built, had practically carried him up the last ancient Incan stairway (at least 15 steps) with the mountain falling thousands of feet away to the left. He and Don Theo, our primary shaman teacher and guide, had just attended to Jim’s needs and now they were attending to mine. I was recently married and fears of losing my husband, some years older than me, in the Peruvian Andes had turned me into an anxious, quivering amoeba!

I was not prepared for what followed as Pepe maneuvered me away from the group. An eagle wheeled overhead and the haunting strains of a Peruvian flute player followed us in the ancient ruins. Pepe bent his became hot and Pepe spat on the ground. I found my consciousness loosening in a pleasant way. The anxiety began to recede and a heightened lucid peace settled over me. I hardly noticed as Pepe disappeared behind a boulder and retched. He had performed what I would later come to know as a “sucking extraction,” pulling out my toxic fear and taking it into his own body to be released.

Later I would ask Pepe how he had become a shaman, otherwise known in Peru as a paqo. I had expected a recital of the mentoring he had received since childhood among various local medicine men and woman, but he skipped to the part that he thought would interest me. He explained about his friend and mentor Dr. Alberto Villoldo, a medical anthropologist who had been coming to Peru from the States for over 30 years to study and work with Peruvian shaman. Pepe had spent time working with Dr Villoldo and suggested I attend his school in the US.

I returned to the States and followed his advice enrolling in a 2 year program. My adventures in shamanic healing and training were like stepping off a cliff. I was in energetic free fall. I wasn’t new to energetic healing, but the depth of these ancient healing technologies rattled all the bits and pieces I could identify as ME and reassembled the package gradually over time into something more user friendly to my spirit. I felt myself becoming stronger, happier, sillier, freer, powerful and more spontaneous! I was profoundly in love with the earth and optimistic for the first time ever that there was a greater plan unfolding for our beloved planet than was evident. It wasn’t just that I unplugged from the depressing diet of nightly news headlines; I had been taught a new ability to “track” or tune into the possibilities for the planet, rather than the dire probabilities we feast on daily in our news media. I learned there were shaman or “medicine people” everywhere who seriously spent their time tracking and energizing possible destiny lines for the planet that held clean water, unpolluted skies and a land where people lived in greater harmony.

And if this wasn’t enough of a “new age” cliché, the Qero shaman of the Peruvian Andes for thousands of years have been passing down the shamanic rites of passage to become people that grow and heal differently. These rites were seeded energetically into a person’s luminous energy field to heal and activate potentials within the DNA. The 9th and final rite most recently received from Spirit to the Qero Elders is said to activate mankind’s evolutionary potential. Was this truly possible?

Eight years after my first encounter with Peruvian shamanism it has become my experience that many strange and wondrous realities can be accessed by those who know how. I am convinced that mankind is capable of achieving and becoming anything that can be imagined. Just look back at our evolution and accomplishments throughout history. As a working shaman I know it is possible to journey outside of time to different worlds for the sake of a client’s health and well being, bring back lost quanta of energy commonly known as soul parts, retrieve energetic gifts and recover power animals. Negative or toxic energies can be extracted from the physical and energy body and crystallized forms can be removed to promote balance and better health. But what interests me even more than recovering emotional, spiritual and physical homeostasis is our power to grow and evolve beyond anything we’ve yet to dream up; To crack open the gateway to our individual and collective potentials as a species! Could the monkeys have dreamed of the cavemen they would become? Could Neanderthal men and women glimpse a time when mankind would be painting or sculpting great masterpieces, discovering the atom, driving cars, flying in airplanes, landing on the moon or contemplating dark matter?

It has been prophesied that with the approach of 2012 we live in times of great challenge and spiritual potential. The Indian Vedas point to human kind’s evolutionary potential in what Sri Aurobindo called the emergence of the supramental body. The Qero Shaman of Peru have passed on the 9 rites of initiation, energetic codes for becoming a new human, a “homoluminous” being. The prophesies of the Americas speak of a new species of man who lives free of fear and resides in a transcendental nature. For many of us our healing journey not only means recovering lost aspects of the self to become whole, but to become more than whole, to continue the process of our evolutionary Becoming. We are entering the gateway of a new era where the greatest potential lies in opening to the mystery of the unimaginable, of turning our dreaming up stream to  source from the wellspring of our future, individually and collectively.