Breathing slowly, eyes closed, I sit and listen. Ancient words from a foreign tongue flow over me; the gentle resonance of bells soaks my ears, moving above and around me, and then stops. Cradling my head, a strong breath blows into the crown of my head, sending a flash of energy through me. I gasp quietly.
I listen intently as the elder grandmother speaks in her gentle foreign tongue, calling in the Apus, ‘mountains’, and calling upon Pachamama, which roughly translates as ‘Mother Earth.’ Though I do not logically understand her words, my heart seems to know. Perhaps beyond words is the universal language of the heart. The experience is new and foreign, yet somehow strangely familiar, as if I have been here before. I feel more ‘at home’ in this moment than I have for a very long time, and the realization surprises me, bringing tears to my eyes.
We are in ceremony with the Q’ero tribe of Peru. The language spoken is Quechua, an ancient tongue. A small group of us are gathered in circle on high ground above Tambo Machay, an ancient Incan water temple. Surrounding us, the mountain landscape is vast, breath taking, wild. One by one we receive the Hatun Karpay, one of the grandest ceremonies for the Q’ero people. Hatun means ‘major, complete, whole’ and Karpay translates as ‘luminous seed.’ Grandfather and leader of the Q’ero sits before me. His eyes are dark and piercing, his hair raven black, in spite of his eighty something years. He exudes a gentleness that immediately puts me at ease, yet reminds me that I am in the presence of someone special. My feet rest on a bed of flower petals, and as the ceremony unfolds, time stands still. His wife and two sons hold different parts of the ceremony. The men wear vivid red and orange woven ponchos with coloured hats encrusted in white beads. Wrapped around her shoulders, Grandmother to the Q’ero wears a bright woven manta (blanket), her long black hair parted into two braids. They smile and joke amongst themselves in a gentle manner that makes us all smile.
Arguably one of the peoples least touched by modern world development, the Q’ero are an indigenous tribe from the high Andes of Peru. Direct descendents of the Inca, they were the equivalent of the high priests. Incan shaman would come to the Q’ero to receive information and direct transmissions from Alcyone, the sun behind the sun. With the arrival of the Spanish, the Q’ero disappeared high into the mountains where they lived in secret, undisturbed. They observed signs that they had been waiting for that indicated this was the time of the great shift, the awakening of human consciousness. In 1959, they re-emerged, making their first appearance at a gathering of local tribes. They began to share the Karpays – a set of codes of Ascension.
Known as ‘weavers of light’, the Q’ero work with energy or prana. Their ceremonies cleanse our energetic or luminous fields to help us make the transition needed through this time of change. The time around 2012 has long been recognized as a time of great shift, where we can choose spiritual enlightenment over Armageddon, connection over disconnection. The world will no longer exist as we now experience it. Referring to us as their ‘little brothers and sisters’, they share with us so that we may wake up to whom we really are, that we may remember why we are here on Earth and make the shift from density into light. This is the age of remembering ourselves again and waking up to our true purpose. The Q’ero say that they are not gurus, they are here to deliver information from the sun. They ask that we accept nothing as fact, but listen with our hearts. If the information resonates, breathe it in. If it doesn’t, let it go.
Now is the time to release old stories and fears that have held us back and courageously shine our light into this changing world. The Q’ero remind us that we need to share our light with our families and community, which is why I share this story with you – to connect, to love, to celebrate, to be the bright lights we were born on this Earth to be.
Helen Pattinson is a yoga teacher living in the Comox Valley. She plans to co-create a Ecological Centre for Inspired Living– a beautiful community space where we gather, connect, share skills and celebrate our connection with each other and the Earth.