Inca Shamanic Healing

The Inca Shaman’s approaches to the healing of land and buildings

The importance of balance or harmonious relationships

At the heart of the Inca Shaman’s approach to healing land and buildings is the concept of Ayni, which roughly translated from Q’uechua (the ancient language of the Inca) means something like “balance” or “harmonious relationship”. The shaman understands that the energies which exist everywhere can only flow properly when there is Ayni. When a place (or a person) is out of balance with itself and its surroundings, there is likely to be a problem. For example, households may encounter much conflict or a property may not sell. In such situations, a shaman trained in the Inca Peruvian traditions would help bring the place back into balance in one of three ways – a Despacho, a Waka or through Spirit Release.

Working with Archetypal Energies within Sacred Space

The Shaman always works in “Sacred Space”. This not only protects the shaman and any people working with him or her from negative energies, more importantly it allows the shaman to call on certain organising principles to help him or her restore a place into balance. Sacred Space is established through calling on certain archetypal forces which, in Peruvian shamanism, are associated with the four cardinal drections. Thus in South, the shaman calls up the organising principle of Serpent to help the place shed any unwanted energies or associations from the past and to call forth beauty. In West he calls on Jaguar to help mulch any lingering heaviness in the place and to allow it to be touched by grace. In North the shaman calls up Humming Bird to rekindle in the land or building a sense of its highest potential and possibilities and to enable it to become a place of sustenance and joy. In East he calls up Eagle and Condor so that the place may once more be touched by the Great Spirit. The shaman also gives thanks and prayers to the Earth itself, as in the Inca tradition it is understood to be a living being, just like the rest of us, which needs to be nurtured and is the source of all life above and below its surface. Finally he thanks the heavens, where the Great Spirit abides, and through whose mystery all things are made possible.

Coming back into balance through making a Despacho

Knowledge of the Despacho has been passed on by the Shamans of the Andes Mountains, the descendents of the Incas and those who came before them, from one generation to the next via oral tradition for over 5,000 years. The Despacho can be used for healings, blessings, abundance and ‘Ayni’ – to balance one's self, the land and indeed one's environment.

What exactly is a ‘Despacho’? It is an offering made of dried fruits, grains, beans, sweets, flowers, and objects that represent the wishes of the person offering it. One arranges these materials on a piece of paper in a ceremonial way. The most imortant element of the offering are the prayers and wishes for healing and blessings which are blown gently into bundles of three sacred leaves called Kintu and placed in a central position within the Despacho. In Peru, the shaman uses coca leaves, but here in the UK we make Kintus from other sacred leaves such as bay or olive. Once the Despacho is complete, a paper is wrapped around the contents so that it becomes a beautiful gift or offering. Then it is burned, buried or placed in water (such as a river or ocean), according to what is most appropriate to the ceremony and to the space. Burning the Despacho brings rapid and dynamic release of prayers and delivers them swiftly to the universe, allowing it to respond by creating new opportunities for the place or the land and those associated with it, in the form of healing and blessings. So a Despacho is a way to accelerate prayers and wishes.

Reports of the effectiveness of Despachos are the stuff of legends. One woman made a despacho with prayers for selling her house. Within 48 hours of burning it, three buyers showed up wanting to buy her property!

There are many types of Despacho for different purposes. The most popular of all however, is the ‘Ayni Despacho’. ‘Ayni’, which as we saw above, means ‘reciprocity’ or ‘balance’ and the Ayni Despacho works on this principle – you give to receive. So for an Anyi despacho you blow your prayers and wishes for what ever you want to receive into the sacred leaves.

Most important for making a successful Despacho is one's intention – the simple act of making a Despacho, with leaves into which you have blown your prayers and wishes, satisfies this requirement. You don't even have to believe a Despacho will work for it to be effective because Despachos are experiential: You make one. You burn it. You get results.

Building a Waka

What is a ‘Waka’? Shamans have the ability to tap into a Universal Energy Field made up of ‘Kausay’ (living energy that animates the cosmos) and take a quantum piece of this Energy Field and place it into an environment through their Mesa¹. Doing this changes the energy of the environment. The main point of the Waka is that there can be no attachment to the outcome or indeed no intention of the client to manipulate the outcome.

For example, a client whose business was failing and wanted the company to turn around, after having had the Waka established on site, had a very unexpected outcome. The place was visited every day for one month and topped up as it were with this quantum of energy. Only instead of having a thriving business, the business went bankrupt. The outcome was that she was finally unfettered from the business and, although she had to make many life-changing decisions, actually found what her heart's desire really was and set up another company doing what she really wanted in her life. So this notion of Ayni shows up but not neccessarliy with the expected outcome.

There are many Sites of Power Temples and indeed Power Spots that shamans can tap into. These are connected by lines of energy called, seques and support the natural flow of ‘Kausay’. These Energy Lines of Power are connected around the land and in turn are connected to the Shaman though his Mesa. It is through this connection that the Shaman is able to bring about change and balance Ayni to the land or property.

Lincoln Ascott

1. A mesa is a traditional Peruvian cloth which holds a number of sacred stones and other power objects that repesent the Inca cosmology and power of the shaman.