Affirmations Andean Style

It is almost a cliché in the metaphysical community that to focus your intention you speak an affirmation. After all, words have power and a spoken affirmation sends the vibration Explosion of imaginationof your intention out into the universe so it can be more easily manifested.

Andean mystics would agree—to a point. They certainly would agree that:

  • intention drives kawsay, the animating energy of the universe; energy must follow intention because ayni (reciprocity) is the organizing principle of the cosmos and the driving force of evolution
  • words have power; rimay is the capacity of the qolqe chunpi, the energy belt at the throat, and that capacity is all about speaking with power so that your words influence the material world
  • embodiment, in any form, from dancing to singing to acting out your desires and dreams, is a power that can influence the kawsay pacha and help manifest your intentions

However, the caveat is that in Andean mysticism affirmations alone are not enough. Personal power drives your ability to influence the world of living energy, so without adequate personal power, your affirmations are at best ineffective and at worst useless.

There are many ways to talk about personal power, and the one I like best is as coherence of your energy body. The more sami (refined, light living energy) you have, the less hucha (heavy, slow energy). Hucha causes disruption to the free flow of energy through us—we are always absorbing and radiating kawsay—and as a result we lose coherence. By “cleansing” our poq’po—our energy bubble—we divest it of hucha and infuse it with sami and so increase our coherence. With more coherence comes an increased capacity for interacting with the kawsay pacha.

air filterAnother helpful metaphor is that of a filter. When our filter is clogged, not as much energy flows through us. When our filter is unclogged, we can freely absorb and radiate kawsay/sami and so have more unrestricted personal power. As our personal power increases, so does our effectiveness at influencing the cosmos. Energy more effortlessly follows our intentions and we become better at manifesting our desires.

So what kinds of affirmations would an Andean paqo use? Good question, and not one I actually have a lot of examples to share. But I do have some, and they can provide clues to what an Andean affirmation is like.

More than 15 years ago, I had the good fortune to work with and interview many Q’ero paqos. Most have passed on now, but they were among the most highly regarded Q’ero paqos at that time. In a few instances, when they gifted me a sacred stone—a khuya—from their mesas, they would describe the use of that khuya and would provide what I call an “incantation” to use with it. The incantations all had the same structure: the wording was such that what I was asking to manifest or do was expressed as already having happened.

Here are two examples. I was given a khuya by don Julian Pauqar Flores for which he described a host of uses, one of which was for blessing someone about to set out on a trip. Part of the incantation during the blessing is that the person who is traveling say, “May the walk that I take be walked. May the wish that I make be wished. May the walk that I do Backpacking journey compressed AdobeStock_79141434be done.”

In another instance, one of the Q’ero paqos was relating a ceremony that paqos do yearly on August 1 (See my blog post “Independence Day Andean Style.”). It’s a ceremony to transform the past by stating your intentions for the coming year. During it you intone, “I am what I speak, not what I spoken.”

As you can see in the first of these two affirmations, the attitude and belief fueling the incantation is that whatever it is you are asking for has already been completed or accomplished successfully. In the second, the incantation cancels the past and refocuses energetically in the present, so that you make a fresh start. These affirmations are not concrete in the sense that they are describing all the details of the desire; they are open-ended in the sense that the quality of the desire (successful completion of a trip, launching of new intentions) is expressed and the details of manifestation are left to the universe.

I find this approach to be an excellent one to take when making affirmations that embody intentions. I know from years of experience that the universe is incredibly creative and much wiser than I am! So I express the general quality of what I desire and leave the fine print to the universe.

Following in the footsteps of the Q’ero approach to incantations and affirmations, my life affirmation is as follows: “I serve the universe and its highest vision for me. Keep me on the path of my highest soul growth.”

Eyes in universe compressed AdobeStock_83298346By keeping my affirmation general in content but crystal clear in quality, I allow the universe to direct me toward my goal of becoming the most consciously evolved human being I can and of living with the greatest amount of well-being. I know the kawsay pacha is overly abundant and that joy is the natural state of human nature, so I don’t sweat the details because I know that by affirming to the universe that I want to realize its highest vision for me it will no doubt infuse that journey with its own highest qualities: abundance in all forms, love and joy, and overall well-being.

The second sentence of my affirmation is one that includes my personal power and responsibility. I agree implicitly to live with courage to follow the course the universe directs, knowing as I do that no matter what that path looks like or what happens as I walk it, the universe has my back. I give up control for the certainty that as I follow this path, my destination is always clear. If energy follows intention, then I am being led to the highest expression of myself, which in the Andean tradition is the flowering of my Inka Seed (my human expression of my divine self).  My responsibility is to cleanse my poq’po to be in the most refined state of coherence possible so that I have the personal power to follow the universe’s lead.

There are all kinds of ways to think about intention, affirmations and incantations. While the form of your affirmation may not matter, what does matter is that you have clarity of intention and the personal power to push the kawsay in support of it. Techniques of the Andes—such as saminchakuy, or cleansing your energy body of hucha—can help ensure that you do.


Extraction: Is This an Andean Healing Technique?

At a few of the Andean workshops I have taught, participants asked about using khuyas—stones charged with sami—or other instruments of energy work such as their misha (mesa) or even a feather or crystal to extract energy during a healing session. I always answer by asking a question: What are you extracting?

Their answers vary from energy blocks to negative energy to dark entities.

My response then is take them back to the basics of  the Andean understanding of energy. The bottom line is that, according to the Andean tradition as I have been taught it, there is nothing to “extract.”

Andeans (at least the paqos of my lineage—don Benito Qoriwaman, don Andes Espinosa and don Melchor Desa) view the kawsay pacha as streams of free-flowing energy. Sami is the highest “frequency” of this free-flowing kawsay. Hucha is kawsay that human beings have slowed down. Hucha is not bad, negative, dark, contaminating, or harmful. It’s just slow energy. So what is there to extract?

The primary technique for healing I have witnessed or learned about from the Andes is to “sweep” the poq’po to get hucha moving again. You know when you see a paqo moving his or her misha over a person’s body, usually moving it in downward strokes over the body? That’s pichay, which literally means “to sweep.” The misha is a great eater of hucha. Sweeping it over the body gets the kawsay moving again, turning that hucha into sami—free-flowing energy. That’s all. It’s that simple. You either sweep or strengthen the poq’po so it can more effortlessly absorb and radiate kawsay without slowing the kawsay down. So, there is nothing to “extract.”

Healing in the Andes is like being a conductor of a symphony. You direct the energies. You get it moving coherently. You help the person playing the instrument of their poq’po to keep more perfect time with the rhythm of the kawsay pacha. Your conductor’s baton is your intention.

That said, way back when I was first starting on this path, I spent time with a few women friends and Américo Yábar on the Island of the Moon learning about khuyas. Américo imparted all kinds of information about the uses of khuyas, what their shapes and appearances might mean and how to use them, and I passed this information on in my Masters of the Living Energy. Although I used the word “extraction” there once, that is not a accurate word choice. We are not extracting anything, even though we use all kinds of linguistic metaphors to describe getting the kawsay to move freely again. We talk about cleansing hucha, eating it, digesting it, pulling it, pushing it, unblocking it, and so on. Really, all we are doing is helping people get what is slow within them to move more naturally, which means faster.  You are helping them unlock their own self-healing potential, which is subject only to their will, not to yours.

If extraction is found in Peru, it likely comes from the Northcoast or Amazonian healing traditions, not from the Andes area.

Very simply, from the Andean perspective, kawsay either moves freely or it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, the reason is something in the person (fear, worry, judgment, etc.). While it is true that the person is responsible for invoking their will and personal power to heal himself or herself, it is also true that a healer may need to meet the expectations of that client. Expectation has a huge impact on the propensity to heal or not. Sometimes a client has an expectation that you must use gemstones, crystals, feathers and so on in order to heal them. However, according to the Andean tradition those things are not doing anything—only you are through your intent and your own ability to push the kawsay on behalf of the client.

I always joke that I don’t want to be known as the killjoy of the Andean mystical tradition! Joking aside, I am profoundly serious when I insist that students learn to interact with the yes you cankawsay pacha using nothing but their intent. I ask them to view everything outside of their intent as a “fetish.” Using fetishes—whether a khuya, feather or even the misha—can be fun, but they are  not necessary. Using them is a choice, and as consciously evolving human beings we want to make conscious choices. Once you can move energy using your intent, then you are free to do anything and use anything because you know you don’t need it but simply choose it. In this way you always maintain and act from your own personal power and you assist your clients to access and use theirs as well.

Andean Mysticism and Christianity

I believe in God, but not as one thing, not as an old man in the sky. I believe that what people call God is something in all of us. I believe that what Jesus and Mohammed and Buddha and all the rest said was right. It’s just that the translations have gone wrong.
John Lennon

If you have read my book Masters of the Living Energy: The Mystical World of the Q’ero of Peru, you know that the paqos I interviewed declared themselves to be both mystics and New cross at qolloritiChristians, without any contradiction. Their devotion to Christianity is not a relic of the Spanish Conquest of so long ago, when the Christian faith was forced upon much of the indigenous population. With the passage of time it has clearly become a choice. These paqos are not anomalies. Most paqos were able to quickly assimilate the message of Christianity. Some people take offense at that fact. I wonder why? Notwithstanding the brutal oppression imposed on indigenous Andeans by both the Spanish conquerors and the Catholic Church, if you delve into the mysticism of the Andes, you can quickly discern correspondences that would make aspects of Christianity amenable to the local population, especially the paqos.

Andeans called the metaphysical God by many names, most notably Wiraqocha (also spelled Viraqocha, and in both the “q” is sometimes a “c”), which means foam or fat of the sea. According to varying accounts in the anthropological record of Andean mythology, Wiraqocha arose from the sacred lake, Titicaca, and banished the darkness by bringing forth light. He then created the material world: the sun, moon, stars, etc. Wiraqocha had a son Inti (the sun) and two daughters (Mama Killa, the moon) and Pachamama (the Wiracocha statue in Calca  the peruvian Andes on Cuzco Perumaterial universe, sometimes also the name of the planet Earth).

He created human beings from stone, breathing life into them. There were other beings before humans, but because they defied or displeased Wiraqocha, he destroyed them through a great flood. After the flood, he created two new humans: Manco Qapac (which means “splendid foundation”) and Mama Ocllu (“mother fertility”), who founded the Inka civilization (and, according to the Q’ero, founded Q’ero). Then Wiraqocha walked across the waters of the ocean and disappeared. The prophecy is that a great white man, a god, would one day return to the Inkas.

If you know anything about Christianity, you don’t have to struggle to see the correlations to the creation of the world in Genesis, a book of the Old Testament. The God of The Bible and Wiraqocha share many similarities of action and intent, so it wouldn’t have been a stretch for the paqos and indigenous population to remain open to Christianity.

It is mostly aspects of the New Testament that bear resemblance to the beliefs of much of the Andes. I won’t report on all of them, but will highlight several significant correspondences.

In the New Testament, Jesus says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This, in the Andes, is ayni—the most fundamental construct of social and even cosmic law. Jesus also delivers three commandments. The first is to love God with all your mind, strength and heart. You can easily see how the three aspects of love equate with the Andean concept of the three human powers: yachay (mind, reason, intellect), llank’ay (the body, action, the ability to do work), and munay, (love grounded in will). The second and third commandments are to love others as you love yourself and to love your enemies. This requires not a sentimental love, but a love that depends on conscious choice. That is exactly what munay is: love under the power of your will. It is the willingness to love, even those who are very different from you. It is no wonder that the paqos and indigenous Andeans could see Jesus’s messages as aligned with the most fundamental of Andean beliefs. Today, Jesus, and Holy Mother Mary, are placed at that the top of the Andean hierarchy of teqse paqos (universal paqos). Jesus is seen as an apu, the Apu Jesucristo; and as Juan Nuñez del Prado writes, he is seen as the Apuyaya or Taytacha, the guardian of the universe. He is also seen as a sixth-level being, one who glows. It is said that the candidate for Inka who glowed was the one who was elected. Glowing is a hallmark of the sixth level of consciousness in the schema of the Andes, where there are seven levels that humans can evolve through, the seventh level being God in humans.

When Jesus was resurrected, the Father sent a new energy to humanity as his intermediary—the Holy Spirit. This is variously depicted as a tongue of fire or a dove. In the Andean tradition, the messenger between the upper world—the hanaq pacha—and this world—the kay pacha—is also a bird: q’enti, the hummingbird. The hummingbird also is the symbol of the Taripaypacha, the dawning of the age of the new humanity,  when human beings will integrate their yachay, llank’ay and munay to birth a new human who lives in perfect ayni. Q’enti is also the carrier of the Mosoq Karpay, the karpay, as explained by Juan, that is given only “by God to those people he considers appropriate to be carriers of the new capacities.” (See “An Andean Transcendental Anthropology” at .)

Other Christian practices would have seemed familiar to the Inkas and paqos. These wind temple offering close up one qero croppedinclude the Catholic practice of honoring  the saints, which would find its correlation in the Inka practice of the worship of the ancestors, most specifically the mummy bundles. One of the most obvious correspondences is the way Christians rely on priests as intermediaries between God and humans. Paqos take on this role in the Andean culture. In Christianity, there are sacred places and shrines, and holy icons and relics. In the Andean tradition, there are hundreds of wakas (huacas): natural sites and man-made objects that are the repositories of the sacred.

I could continue to list correspondences, but I trust that this sampling has helped you to see that although Christianity was forced upon the Andeans, often quite brutally, there are deep points of similarity that have allowed Andeans, especially paqos, to choose to remain Christian or to maintain their affiliation with those aspects of Christianity that correlate so well with the ancient indigenous belief system and mystical practice. Paqos are beyond the dogma of the organized Christian church, but they are in alignment with the spirit of the Christian message.