Thunder, Lightening, Rainbows & The Puma
With an 11 hour lay over in Cancun, and not much else to do, I found myself in a Starbucks scrolling through my photo’s from Peru 🇵🇪. As I fervently organized my trip into the tiny little folders on my desktop screen, it hit me. 🤓 The lion spirit I’d encountered was not the furry maned king of the savannah that I had been so quick to associate him with over my month long sojourn in the sacred land of the sun.
I could hardly believe it, goosebumps ran all up my arms. How had I not noticed this before? The spirit who had come to visit me was that of the Puma; otherwise known as the American Lion—a sacred animal totem of mountains here in the valley. 🐆 I wished I had caught on sooner, what with reading the Royal Commentary of the Inca’s by Garcilaso de la Vega and being given a map of Cusco overlayed with the large cats outline, to being escorted down the Saqsaywaman trail by a shaman who spoke of the Puma spirit as his power animal.
I sat there amongst familiar branding and the smell of roasting coffee beans, stunned. ☕️ Already having left the land of the Incan reign, it was only now that the puzzle pieces of my adventure were falling into place. I really can be thick sometimes!
My time in Peru had had it’s ups and downs. The beginning, as they usually are for me, was an adventure full of color, splendour, new faces and decadent food. I loved how there were flowers on everything. After three months working at a retreat centre in Costa Rica, it was my time to test out and experience all the changes that hand taken place to my inner world. And boy was it fun! I was fresh faced and bright eyed, experiencing the utter pleasure of being able to live out a raw level of inner freedom that naturally brought me to new heights. 🦋
Then, as I trekked over to Pisac from the Incan imperial city, the tables abruptly turned and a contraction to the tune of a very real, and present day inquiry into blood sacrifice appeared in my thoughts, hovering like a cloud over my head. I got a cold, and as I sniffled and coughed up a storm, I tuned in and took rest.
It was as soon as I arrived in Pisac that I began to feel it. The lands history mixed with memories in my own DNA, and my body felt unsafe. Old fears to my root chakra began to activate, brewing a sticky stew of financial insecurity mixed with the experience of being hunted. The content was dark but it didn’t phase me. I was used to this variation on a theme, and my on site location brought with it a sense of adventure. Instead of collapsing into the weight of it all, something I’d done many times past, I chose to make the most of my truth.
My detective came to the forefront. I asked the questions and found answers with some of the more seasoned spiritual adepts who held space in the land here.
“As a matter of fact, two people I know of have gone missing here during covid . . . travellers. One of their fathers even came over to do some inquiry into his missing child, concluding that it was either an Ayahuasca journey gone wrong, or a black magician here in the valley who took her for a sacrifice, ” a local shop owner commented. 🏔
“I feel it to,” said another teacher as I settled in for a healing session, “ There are some mountain here who love blood, and I can feel them ask for sacrifices, although I’ve never done anything of course!”
We made small talk about offering a small bird together and I laughed as I proclaimed with sincerity that I’d never do such a thing. Our conversations were revealing, and I noticed that being acknowledged in my inquiry (as many more chose to dismiss my curiosities without a second thought), and finding humour amongst content so dark, were the best healing pathways I could have asked for. I only needed a couple of noble souls, to create resolve, and create a sense of a job well done.
In the midst of my searching, I addended a San Pedro ceremony, low season made it small with four attendees and two space holders. As is typically done, we went around sharing our intentions and reasons for seeking out a plant medicine journey. I never know exactly what I’m going to say until I say it in times like these, and in that moment it was all about my desire to connect with the Apus, or the mountains here in the sacred Valley.
After an hour or two if singing and sitting inside around a fire, we ventured into the sunlight and made our way to a small trickling brook that faced into a rock cliff.💦 That’s when I knew the medicine was working. There they were plain as day, faces everywhere, protruding out into the daylight, and far into the distance, faces of Incan kings shone brightly, gazing down at the world below. I smiled, placed my feet into the trickling brook, and as the sun beat down into my shoulders I let my eyes connect with the beings there in the mountain side, still unsure of what it was that there messages were. They seemed both stoically on purpose, and trapped there immortalized in the stone. The day turned into night, and the moon shone a purple hue, the stars in every color of the rainbow.
A week later, and nearing to the end of my trip, I visited Saqsaywaman. Built as a citadel, and is apparently (since I couldn’t find any solid documentation to the fact) dedicated to the gods of thunder and lightening. Imagine my joy, when, after an hour of touring the grounds, the skies grew dark, and lightening lit up the sky. A rainbow appeared, and many of us went on to find shelter under a little welcome hut from the storm. A man selling ponchos approached, and as my glee spilled over for the thunder gods paying us a visit, he soon revealed his identity as an initiated shaman, a keeper of the space. There at the head of the Puma's city plan, we moved into esoteric territory, and he disclosed that his power animal was also this sacred and powerful being.
I was set to meet with the Qero’s the very next day. It was to be the pinnacle of my trip, and as I revealed my plans, the shaman probed into my history with intrigue. Both of us uncertain of the other at first, and him especially around my my planned rendezvous with the Qero’s; he didn’t know them personally, and wondered aloud if they were consumerist sell outs or a noble lineage offering insights into the Shamanic way.
Together we walked the trail back to the city, and he prophesied on my future adventures in Peru. How I’d take a trip to be cleansed by the snow from the mountains, and in his minds eye two white leopards jumped across my path forming a rainbow arch as they did. Then it was my turn for intrigue and skepticism as I wondered the truth of it all, if the tides were in fact my favour, could it be that one day we’d meet again?
I slept well that night 💤 knowing that the next day would be my initiation with Mama Qoto of the Pleiades.🌌
The Puma, in Peruvian culture, represents the middle ground and is a symbol of life on earth. It symbolizes the power of the world, offering the qualities of strength, wisdom and intelligence to the world of the living. No coincidences here, my spirit hasn’t felt this alive since my initial spiritual awakening 11 years ago.