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A Shaman's Legacy

A Shaman's LegacybyRose De Dan

Practice absolute simplicity.

Take responsibility.

Stay out of your head; perceive with your heart.

Be outrageous.

Play harder.

Rid yourself of violence.

These are a few of the words of guidance passed on by Don Manuel Quispe to approximately sixty shamanic initiates at a shamanic workshop. What made these words so important that I felt the need to write an article about my experiences?

Firstly, the source. Don Manuel is in his 90\'s, and was born in the village of Q’ero high in the Andes mountains of Peru. He cannot read or write, and speaks a very old version of Quechua, so all his teachings are in translation. He is the embodiment of a centuries-old unbroken tradition of shamanic training, and the last of the altomesayoqs of Peru (a medicine person who speaks with the mountains, especially Ausangate) and one of the most revered.

Secondly, the purpose of Don Manuel’s visit. In 1995, Don Manuel foresaw that the new shamans would come from the West--that the sacred condor of the Inkas would fly wing to wing with the eagle of the North, namely the United States. For the first time, Don Manuel opened the teachings to Westerners, and the people present at the workshop are some of the fruits of harvest from that initial sowing.

After the events of September 11, Don Manuel received guidance that he needed to return to the United States one last time (an unexpected event, since his health is very frail). Here, he was guided to do public ceremonies on the East and West Coasts for healing around those tragic events and for paving the way for future peace. In addition, he was guided to teach us one last time. I was determined not to miss this opportunity to sit with him, and to honor this path that I have grown to love so well.

I have always honored Don Manuel, but I had no concept of the truly momentous experience I was about to be part of: a chance to sit in the presence of a master shaman as he and the energies and lineage that he represents combined in an awesome display of beauty, power, and vision designed to sow the seeds of the future and support us in our becoming.

Don Manuel’s arrival in Washington state was miraculous in itself: after his visit to New York he became so ill that he had to be rushed to the hospital.

When I saw him at the public ceremony I could see how worn, frail, and tired he was; the apus (mountain spirits) were literally keeping him alive for these final tasks. However, as soon as the ceremony began, the energy shifted and his skin became almost translucent, like a paper lantern. The energy lit him from within and spilled out onto and into the ceremony that he conducted to heal the pain and sorrow felt by the families connected to the events of September 11 and all who grieved for the violence that had torn the fabric of our existence.

That was only the beginning. The following day the training began; once again, Don Manuel looked older than I had ever seen him before, and we worried about his ability to make it through three days of training. We knew that the doctors had decreed that every four hours he had to receive oxygen therapy and to rest; how could he possibly have any reserves left with which to complete his daunting task?

What we all saw that weekend was what it truly means to be connected to All That Is in the universe, without ego, and how coming only from a place of love with impeccability, grace, courage, and, most especially, laughter, one can literally shift not only one’s own energy, but that of sixty other people.

I went into the weekend in great personal pain from the demise the night before of a relationship. Knowing that the timing was not coincidental, I tried to remain receptive to what I needed to learn and change in myself that weekend. Once I stepped into the energy of the training, things began to change and shift in ways I could never have anticipated.

Don Manuel led us through a series of shamanic processes designed to assist us in rebuilding our personal cosmologies and releasing our old stories. Part of the way this is done is through complete disclosure; only by being completely open to others can we become invisible to negative energies. Don Manuel stated that \"Personal power has to be of service to your people and yourself. Share, otherwise it will isolate you.\"

Don Manuel decided that we should do a mesa mastai, which meant that he would personally visit each of our mesas (a mesa is a collection of healing stones that have been personally worked by the shaman around his or her own personal issues; thereby the healing of those issues becomes a source of power as well as healing for others). With trepidation, we all opened our mesas, realizing that Don Manuel was about to look deeply into each of our souls. As he visited each mesa, he would read the energy and then accurately pinpoint areas that needed work within the person, or offer praise and support for hard work well done. Using his mesa, don Manuel shifted energy in the mesa itself, thereby facilitating change.

It was a very humbling and ultimately empowering experience, and it took him many hours to complete. It was the most expressive demonstration of dedication and ability I have ever witnessed, and it had very powerful results. We are all still discovering what aspects of ourselves shifted gently without our awareness. I was able to take total responsibility for my actions in past relationships that had made it difficult for me to enjoy a permanent partnership, and after I got my ego out of the way, I was able to embrace those changes joyfully! Another woman lost her lifelong fear of dogs so completely that it was only after holding the leashes of two strange dogs for five minutes did it dawn on her that she had volunteered without even thinking about her fear!

At one point during the weekend, Don Manuel did a coca leaf reading. A shaman’s true work is to be able to see what is beginning to manifest on the energetic level and to shift it there, where it is easiest to change, before it manifests on the physical plane. He stunned us all when he announced that there was another war coming, but not here, far away. It saddened him, and he said that centuries of such ways of dealing with differences had not worked and that we needed to do a ceremony to shift the energy to peace and harmony so that the energy could shift worldwide. We all participated in the ceremony, adding our kintus (a trio of leaves into which our prayers are blown) to his. When we finished, we became aware that outside our building, a herd of deer had gathered during the ceremony and were peacefully grazing and watching us through the windows. I could not stop my tears for the beauty present in that moment and that ceremony.

I cried again and again that weekend, mostly out of an overwhelming sense of love and awe at what I could perceive happening around and within me, for the love that Don Manuel had for his life’s work, and for the effort he was expending to pass this along to us. His words went straight into my heart when he said, \"I have tears in my eyes and in my heart. I wish I could be a better man to plant these seeds in you.\" He encouraged us to embrace our personal power by letting go of all that was holding us back, to make sense with heart, and, most of all, to play.

In a very energetic ceremony, Don Manuel passed his personal karpays (his own medicine) directly to each of us, something I understand is only done when the shaman knows that it is time for him to leave this plane of existence. He spoke humbly, openly, and honestly about his life and how much he had enjoyed it, even the hardships, how he wished he had more time to explore the wonders of this world, and how he planned to make one last pilgrimage to his birth mountain and there end his days with it at his back. He charged us with going forth and growing corn with all that we had learned, to take the seeds of the teachings back to our homes, families, and communities and to sow our own seeds, each in our own way, so that the world might reap a positive future harvest.

And so I write this article in the hopes that those who are reading these words may also connect with the energies of that weekend, glean their own seeds from it, and go forth and spread the harvest.

Some closing thoughts from Don Manuel, who safely returned to his beloved Peruvian mountains and who crossed the Rainbow Bridge into spirit in December of 2004. May his blessings be many.

Do not collude with reality; create it.

Make yourself available.

Simplicity comes out of the embodiment of responsibility; choose your responsibilities carefully.

Exercise the passion of unconditional love.

Postscript: As a result of that special weekend, the author was inspired to carry on the tradition by passing the seeds that were planted by Don Manuel Quispe through teaching shamanic classes.

Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, is a longtime Reiki Master Teacher, animal healer/communicator, shamanic practitioner and author of Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki and Shamanism. In addition to her Reiki and shamanic classes, which she teaches in partnership with her animal companions in Seattle, WA, Rose also offers private consultations for both humans and animals. For information about individual sessions and classes visit her website.

Rose De Dan©2005

This article, along with 44 others, is collected in \"Tails of a Healer: Animals, Reiki & Shamanism.\"

About the author:
An early pioneer in the field of alternative healing for animals since 1996, Rose De Dan, Wild Reiki and Shamanic Healing LLC, offers a unique perspective on animals and the natural world through her writing, art, sessions and classes.

As a mesa carrier in the Q\'ero shamanic tradition, animal shaman, and voice of the animals, she views her role as a healer as one of building bridges between people and animals, and of empowering them to reconnect with Pachamama, Mother Earth.

Her gifts for animal lovers and Reiki practitioners, designed from Rose\'s personal art and photos, are created in collaboration with the animal or nature subject. Each piece evokes the primordial soul; supporting healing and reconnection, and fostering a sense of awe, joy and playfulness.


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Phyllys - August 15th 2009 06:06:21 AM
A remarkable and most moving article.

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