Our featured topic: Travel

Traveling, whether around the corner or around the world, is one of the best ways to enhance psychic ability and open us to spirituality in all its forms. New views and experiences open our minds to look beneath and beyond our typical world view. Travel challenges us to see beyond normal vision, to hear between the words and to intuitively know things outside of our five senses.

I have been blessed to travel in over 90 countries, often leading a group of spiritual adventurers. While all countries and locations have places that are mystical and wonderful, I think my favorite place to travel is the Sacred Valley of Peru.

Home of Machu Picchu, the sacred valley is brimming with many ancient and amazing Incan ruins. The views are breathtaking, the air fresh, the food incredible, and the people are kind and friendly. But, what sets the sacred valley apart from almost anywhere else in the world is that spirituality and mysticism are a way of life, not just a way of thinking. It seems as if magic and ritual and joy are waiting for you around every corner.

I just returned from a trip there in May 2011. This was my third visit and I was a bit concerned that time might have modernized the sacred valley and dimmed its magic. I should not have worried. Shamans in Peru live in the high Andes and are said to come down to the valley when they (psychically) know they are needed. On this trip, a Quero (an elder healer) and his daughter and helper arrived on the second day of our journey and traveled with us for several days. We were blessed to participate in a Despacho ceremony.

In a Despacho ceremony, the Shaman first arranges flowers, candy, coca leaves, grains, beer and many other things on white paper. These offerings are made to the apus (mountain deities) and Pachamama (mother earth) and, after being painstakingly and lovingly created, the despacho bundle is burned. Participants are invited to set their own intentions for the ceremony and to be part of the process. Doing this ceremony so early on our trip allowed us to release things that might have held us back from fully embracing the lessons and joys of the journey.

As luck would have it, we were in Peru this year for the festivals honoring the Chakana. The Chakana is the Andean Cross, which is inspired by the star constellation of the Southern Cross. At midnight on the 2nd of May the Southern Cross reaches its highest position. So, there were parades and fiestas and just plain fun all over the town of Agua Callientes (which sits at the base of Machu Picchu). Since my birthday was May 4, of course I declared all the parades to be in honor of my birthday.

A necklace of the Chakana (which we were all given) promotes safety, blessing, assistance and fertility. Almost every house in the sacred valley has a cross, along with two pottery bulls and some grains, placed on the roofs of their houses, pointed toward the top of the mountains, (where the Apus reside) to increase the occupant’s magical power.

This is the way of traveling in the sacred valley. Magic is almost expected, festivals break out spontaneously, you turn a corner and end up in a shrine or at an altar. All of this happens while you stand in a place so breathtakingly beautiful that the scenery screams for your attention at every stop.

The world is truly an amazingly beautiful, magical and mystical place. I believe we came into this world to experience this, to stand in awe of earth’s beauty and to learn joy. Perhaps our purpose in life really IS just that simple. Travel is one way to remember why we left the spirit realm and came to earth. The lessons learned on a physical trip are the same lessons we need to remember for all of life’s journey.

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