Yesterday I wrote about shaman in Peru changing the weather. This evening I was a guest on a drive-time radio show on All FM here in rainy Manchester, talking about the Andean Mystical Tradition I was initiated into a few years back. We talked about the significance of the rainbow in Inka cosmology, how it links the three shamanic worlds (lower, middle and upper) in the form of the Rainbow Serpent. As we walked out of the radio station at the end of the show a magnificent rainbow greated us in the heavens above the city.
Now, you might say “well, in the Rainy City these things happen all the time” and you wouldn’t be wrong. But what my experience of the shamanic path is that these kind of things happen a little too often to be mere chance. A few years ago when some friends and I were teaching a Medicine Wheel worshop in Malta, focussed specifically on the rainbow body, a stunning rainbow greeted us the exact moment we went outside to close sacred space. I could go on….
So what might be happening? In the Andean Mystical Tradition, which can be considered a particular form of shamanism, the essence of the teaching is learning to “walk in the living Cosmos”, or “kawsay puriy” in Quetchua, the language of the Peruvian Andes. The practices and initiations associated with the Tradition, as taught by Andean Mystic Juan Nuñez del Prado and his son Ivan (two of my teachers) are aimed at enabling one to enter into a union with living energy. My sense is that when, on those magical occasions, we are indeed in such a union, the Cosmos responds. I believe because we were working in Sacred Space and with intention, both tonight in Manchester and a few years back in Malta, we were in dialogue with the mystical forces that create, amongst other things, cosmic light shows of great beauty.
The photo which heads this blogsite is of a powerful and very high mountain in the Peruvian Cordillera Blanca called Taulliraju. When we stopped for a break at a place very near where the photo was taken, called Punta Union, I stood on a rocky outcrop and made a classical Andean blessing to the Spirit of Taulliraju (consisting of three coca leaves placed together to form a “kintu”). Within 15 seconds there was a minor avalanche of snow from the highest peak of the mountain as if to say “I hear you, thank you”.
At the heart of all of this is something the Andeans call “Ayni”, which means something like “reciprocity” or “that which we give, will be returned (by the Cosmos, with interest!)”. This is the essence of the Andean way of life. Because the peoples there do not differentiate between human beings and mountains, or even rainbows (all are manifestations of kawsay), ayni can happen between any two or more aspects of the world of Living Energy, such as you and me, or you and the latest manifestation of the Weather.
So next time you see a rainbow, take a moment to wonder if someone in your neighbourhood, or maybe you yourself, is having an intimate moment with the Upper World!