Initiation: A Woman's Spiritual Adventure in the Heart of the Andes

Initiation: A Woman's Spiritual Adventure in the Heart of the Andes

by Elizabeth B. Jenkins
     
 

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In 1989, Elizabeth Jenkins was living in San Francisco, working on a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her life seemed full...but she felt empty. Then she traveled to Peru, intending to research Andean healing practices--and found herself taking an unexpected journey, with the guidance of an initiated priest of the Andean Path. This is her story, filled with

Overview

In 1989, Elizabeth Jenkins was living in San Francisco, working on a doctorate in clinical psychology. Her life seemed full...but she felt empty. Then she traveled to Peru, intending to research Andean healing practices--and found herself taking an unexpected journey, with the guidance of an initiated priest of the Andean Path. This is her story, filled with compelling details of her own initiation in the beautiful but harsh setting of the high Andes--and how the voyage has changed her life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a mud-brick room in a poor Indian neighborhood of Cuzco, Peru, mountain spirits called apus manifest themselves as condors with human heads and offer spiritual guidance to followers of Q'ero mysticism. Or so reports family counselor Jenkins, who says she encountered these spirits in the late 1980s during a break from a strenuous doctoral program in psychology, and who recounts in this first book her conversion to the highland tradition. The Q'eros, who today number fewer than 400, are the keepers of Incan mysticism. Theirs is an animist religion based on principles of nature's fundamental unity. Their prophecies claim that in 1993 humanity entered a period (due to end in 2012) with auspicious possibilities for collective spiritual evolution. In a unique guide to the region of Cuzco and Machu Picchu, Jenkins describes her arduous 12-day pilgrimage to Incan temple sites where, under the tutelage of a Q'ero priest, she perceived powerful transformative energies and encountered the spirits that bring to mind nature-based deities of the pre-Christian era. Although she concedes that silencing the critical mind and allowing intuition to guide her were prerequisites for entry into the spirit word, in this well-written account of her adventure, filled with recreations of her dialogues with her guides and the spirit world, she employs her rationalist, academic background to evaluate her paranormal experiences. Circumspect readers may doubt the validity of her perceptions ("Then I realized it wasn't me, rather I was relating to very tall, silver, female beings that said they came from the stars"), but likely neither the courage of her convictions nor the value of the teachings she transmits. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Jenkins writes about her visit to the Andean village of Cuzco, Peru, while studying for her Ph.D. in psychology. Her spiritual experiences there were so compelling and profound that she returned home to San Francisco, sold everything, and went back there to live. Over the course of eight years, she traveled back and forth, studying and participating in the shamanic practices of the ancient Inca traditions. Her experiences are exciting, portrayed here with a great deal of honor and respect, and her writing is compelling. The result is a fine addition to the growing genre exploring indigenous spirituality. Nealson was a practicing psychotherapist and teacher for 15 years when, on turning 40, she decided to live for one year alone in a mountain cabin surrounded by nothing and no one. Her book, a poetic diary of that year, was written four years later. Nealson has structured her work around the eight holidays of the pagan calendar. She reflects on thoughts and ideas concerning those holidays as well as revelations about the details of living remotely. Her work is not a linear portrayal of the facts but rather a poetic and reflective glimpse of a heart and soul. It is gentle, gracious, and profound. Both works are highly recommended.Gail Wood, SUNY College at Cortland, N.Y.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425164761
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
08/01/1998
Pages:
273
Product dimensions:
5.08(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.78(d)

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