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Kimberly BurnhamA Shaman's Journey To Inner Peace and Outer Expression

A trio of Andrean ibises, high above me in the rocks, squawk and scold, as if to say,

"Why are you here?"
"Why do you disturb our peace?"

For a moment I wonder,
"Why am I here?"
Then, "I am here!"

This is the final pilgrimage stop. I commune at the Amarumuru star gate. I want to whisper to the ibises, "I am here to fulfill a dream. I have always wanted to come home to this place." But, I did not even know of the star gate until yesterday, this Peruvian rock face near Puno on Lake Titicaca. Here, I am because I must feel in this place. The universe has conspired, bringing me gentleness, vitality and a glimpse of my destiny. I must strengthen myself to create this feeling—this peaceful, loved and supported feeling—in every place I go and with every person I meet.

Once I grasp, the next level of my life, the three crown white and throat chakra blue ibises wing away to teach another, as if satisfied that I belong here in this sacred place, where hundreds of years ago an Inca priest gathered sacred treasures. Protecting them from the marauding conquistadores. He walks into the rock face. No, not in amongst the rocks but into the rock face and up to the Pleiades, sacred stars to the Incas.

I put my hands on the rock face, feel the vibration and will myself heavenward. I touch my forehead on the cool rough surface connecting my third eye, my intuitive sense with this sacred place and see images of my flight to the stars.

A Peruvian pilgrimage, balancing on the ridges of smooth serpent-shaped rocks, along the edges of multicolored white and purple potato and warm yellow quinoa fields. In the Hayu Marca mountains, birds and butterflies draw our attention.

After an hour of hiking, we see, for the first time, the star gate Amarumuru, an ancient carved stone called "Gate of the Gods". In a tube-like opening cut in the stone, stretching up to the sky, I stand quietly one hand over my heart, the other over my solar plexus feeling my rhythm, my breathe, the energy of the place, remembering the third eye stone at Machu Pichu, the climb to the temple of the moon on the back side of Huayna Picchu. I don't hear a voice, or see a vision but in this moment I know, I am okay. Not, I am going to be okay. I am okay! I will continue to enjoy life with a passion because that is just the way I am.