Masters of the Living Energy: The Mystical World of the Q'ero of Peru

Masters of the Living Energy: The Mystical World of the Q'ero of Peru

by Joan Parisi Wilcox

Paperback(3rd Edition, Revised)

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An intimate glimpse into the world of ancient Peruvian spiritual practice and cosmology

• Reveals the mysteries of the world of living energy (kawsay pacha) through intensive in-depth interviews with six Q’ero mystics

• Explores the energetics, spirits, tools, and practices of Andean mysticism—the real story behind the fictionalized accounts in The Celestine Prophecy

Known as the “keepers of the ancient knowledge,” the Q’ero Indians of Peru are the most respected mystics of the south-central Andes. In 1996 Joan Parisi Wilcox traveled to the Andes and was able to record the mysteries of kawsay pacha, the multidimensional world of living energy, through more than 40 hours of intensive interviews with six Q’ero paqos, masters of the ancient spiritual traditions of Peru.
The Q’ero are known for having preserved the Inca spiritual tradition more purely than any other indigenous population in the Andes. The in-depth interviews presented in this book recount the direct words of these masters so readers can discover for themselves the mind and heart space of these people. Four new chapters of this revised edition focus on the work of the mesa, the Andean form of a spiritual medicine bundle, and its use as a conduit for the healing energies of nature. The mesa is called the “heart’s fire” because it represents the finest energy—the energy of compassion—that a paqo cultivates while walking the sacred path. Wilcox provides instructions on how to make, activate, and work with a mesa, as well as other practical exercises showing how we can use the power of the Andean spiritual tradition in our own lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781594770128
Publisher: Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
Publication date: 09/30/2004
Edition description: 3rd Edition, Revised
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,174,261
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Joan Parisi Wilcox has been studying the spiritual arts of Peru since 1993 and has received the rites of the Q’ero and other Andean masters. She is the author of Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul and has published articles in Shaman’s Drum and Magical Blend. She lives in North Carolina.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 5
The Grandsons of

Explicit in the Q'ero version of the myth recounted below is the Q'ero's claim that they are descendants of this first Inka—they are lnkarí's grandsons. What is not explicit is their belief that Inkarí bestowed upon the Q'ero a unique and precious gift. According to our guides, Juan and Américo, the Q'ero claim that Inkarí bequeathed them mystical knowledge, designating them keepers of the ancient knowledge, a reputation they retain to this day among Andean paqos. In contrast to the Q'ero, the people of Cuzco, the imperial capital, were bequeathed the administrative and political knowledge that allowed them to build one of the greatest empires of the southern hemisphere.

Don Julian Pauqar Flores was the bearer of the Inkarí myth for the Q'ero assembled in Urubamba. He told me the tale of Q'ero's founding with reverence and solemnity. After the telling of the tale, other Q'ero added variations they had heard from their relatives and ancestors, or added details that don Julian had missed. For the sake of narrative flow, I have merged these details into the tale proper. What follows is the story, passed down generation to generation, of the Q'ero's royal lineage and of the origin of their identity as master paqos and as the bearers of the spirit of the Inka.

"My grandfather told me that Inkarí had a golden staff," began don Julian, "and he threw the golden staff from Raya Qasa [a border town between the high plains and the mountainous regions of south-central Peru]. As Inkarí was trying to throw the golden staff, Qollari, the wife of Inkarí, tickled him in his right armpit. Because she tickled him, the throw missed Q'ero. If the staff had hit the land of Q'ero, Q'ero would have been the qosqo [literally the "navel"—the center or capital city] of the Tawantinsuyu. But the staff missed Q'ero and landed in Cuzco, which became the capital of the Tawantinsuyu. And so Cuzco was founded. If this golden staff had landed in Q'ero, Q'ero would have been in a valley, rather than in such high mountains.

"In Cuzco, Inkarí built a huge temple. He also built many houses, grand houses such as Saqsawaman. He built a solar clock in order to measure the towns. He went to Machu Picchu, and there he built more grand houses. Returning from Machu Picchu, he built Ollantaytambo [a town near Pisac at which is located a magnificent temple of the same name]. Then he remembered Q'ero. He said, "I will return to Q'ero to see my children." The proof of Inkarí's visit to Q'ero is two footprints in stone, which are still there in Upispata [a hot spring near Q'erol].

"Inkarí did not live very long in Q'ero. He stayed only about a week. If he had stayed longer, he would have had to build a town. He was awaiting the arrieros, and when they did not arrive, he left. He went on to Ollantaytambo, and as he was building his house there, our God arrived. God appeared as a man to Inkarí and told him, 'Inkarí, I will give you more munay [capacity to love].' But Inkarí said, 'What munay? I have my own munay.'

"God saw out of the corner of his eye that Inkarí was herding rocks with a crop, like we would herd llamas. Inkarí built houses this way, not by doing useful work but by saying to the stones, 'You must become a wall!' and the stones became a wall. But over time, the stones began to disobey Inkarí. Seeing this and wanting to restore the stones' previous abilities, Inkarí remembered the person who had offered him more munay. Inkarí now looked for this person, but the person had disappeared. And because of that, now men must carry stones only by the power of their own arms. We can no longer make the stones obey our will. If Inkarí had received that additional munay, we could today build houses by commanding the stones to move.

"Inkarí left Ollantaytambo and went to Paytiti. That is where Inkarí now lives. Because of the will of Inkarí, now the Vilcanota River carries the excrement of the llamas. When Inkarí sees the excrement of the llamas, he is reminded of his grandsons, the Q'ero, who herd llamas, and he weeps with longing for us. Because of all these things, we in Q'ero are known to this day as Inkas.

"We are the grandsons of Inkarí."

When don Julian's story was translated from Quechua to English, I was mesmerized. The story's simplicity, beauty, and austere reverence moved me deeply. . . . Don Julian's words brought home to me the import of our project, of recording at least part of the Q'ero spiritual tradition before it was lost. I was grateful for the opportunity to hear this primordial myth of the Q'ero's mystical history from the paqos themselves, especially after having heard their version of their recent historical and political past. Both perspectives helped me more deeply appreciate the initiation stories I had already recorded during the previous two days of interviews. I now better understood how the Q'ero could so easily and seamlessly synthesize the best from both lineages—the Western, Christianized tradition of their conquerors and the animistic and magical tradition of their mythic forebears. The Spaniards may have founded Lima and birthed a nation, but Inkarí had founded Q'ero and birthed a lineage of paqos. Each of the Q'ero who sat before me now had struggled to find his rightful place in both of these worlds, and their personal initiation stories, which follow in the next two chapters, reveal their individual journeys along the sacred path and into the heart of the mystery.

Table of Contents

Author’s Note to the Revised Edition
Contributors: The Paqos and Others
Introduction: Crossing the Hummingbird Bridge 

Part 1 The Kawsay Pacha: The World of Living Energy
1—In the Land of the Inkas: An Overview of Andean Mysticism
2—Children of the Sun: Engaging Your Energy Body
3—The Age of Meeting Ourselves Again

Part 2 Walking the Sacred Path: Interviews with the Q’ero
4—Ancient Tradition, Modern Practice
5—The Grandsons of Inkarí
6Pampa Mesayoq: Master of the Earth Rituals
7Alto Mesayoq: Master of the Hanaq Pacha
8Kawsay and K’ara
9—The Three Worlds

Part 3 Our Heart’s Fire: The Mesa and Healing
10—The Gifts of the Mesa
11—The Mesa Carrier and the Kawsay Pacha
12Mesa Carriers and Healing
13—Finding Your Direction as a Paqo

Part 4 The Flight of the Condor: Putting Andean Practices to Work in Your Life
14Hucha Mikhuy: Cleansing and Digesting Heavy Energy
15—Language of the Stones: Working with Khuyas
16—Manifesting Intentions Through a Despacho

Appendix 1—The Q’ero as Shamans and Mystics
Appendix 2—Lost Knowledge: The Q’ero and Andean Prophecy
Appendix 3—In the Hand of the Hacendado

Glossary of Andean Mystical Terms

What People are Saying About This

Deepak Chopra

"Joan Parisi Wilcox has given us a mature and sensitive portrait of a mystical system as seen through the eyes of its practitioners, the Q'ero.  Written with heart and respect, this book is a gateway for serious seekers to discover the world of living energy and to learn how to live in harmony with nature and each other."

Kenneth Meadows

"A treasury of shamanic knowledge and practices whose insights into an ancient wisdom can help those of us living in a modern society find attunement with nature and harmony within ourselves."

William Sullivan

"The Q’ero have preserved a path for which many in the modern world hunger and thirst—how to participate in a world of living energies."

Jorge A. Flores Ochoa

"Treats the beliefs and religion of the Quechua people with profound feeling and a deep identification seldom seen."

Don Mariano Apasa Marchaqa

"You will bring the word of the Q'ero to the world."

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