Updated: Dec 25, 2022
During a spiritual jaunt to Peru in November 2021, I had the great fortune to meet and converse at length with Andean Wisdom Keeper and shaman Willko Apaza who accompanied our group to a number of ancient sites of spiritual significance to the Andean people and the world. Willko hails from a long line of wisdom keepers in his culture and is a genuine person who deeply embodies what it means to always “be in ceremony". He didn't just talk about it. He lives and breathes it and exudes the sort of quiet calm that can only be found in one who is deeply grounded and connected to the earth and spirit. Visiting the many sacred and beautiful places in and around Cusco, while conversing with him about the beliefs and wisdom of the Andean people, was a deeply transformative experience...and pleasantly addictive.
I recently reached out to Willko to ask his perspective of the significance of the times we are in. This is the beautiful wisdom that he shared:
The Andean people and the ancient civilizations, have a name for the time in which we are in, "Pachakuti". Pacha means Time, Mother Earth, Space. Kuti refers to what transforms the earth and the universe. It refers to a cycle. According to the Andean wisdom, every 800 years there is a new Pachakuti change/cycle. The 800 year cycle can further be broken down into 200 year cycles represented by the four elements. For Andeans to understand the current age we are in, we look to the cycles or era to inform us. The era that has just ended is that of wind, a time of great turmoil and challenge.
The Message is to Listen to your Spirit. What does your Spirit say about You?
The masters, the elders speak of the significance of the times we are in as a sign for us to wake up and recognize who we are. Who are you? Exactly what is your mission to stay on this planet? What do you need to do to remain here (in this new era)? Because life as it was in this last cycle that we just emerged from, people don't remember the mother....Mother Earth. They don't remember exactly who they are. Even our governments are disconnected from spirit, the heart, the mind...
We are not just our physical bodies. Reality is not only what we see around us. We must remember that we are also at our core spirit. Our spirit resides inside our physical body. But humanity in the last cycles have become disconnected from their spirit and from each other. They do not remember who they are at their core.
Yet there are many people around the world working at pivotal sites who embody spirit to assist humanity through this transition (from one cycle to the next). I worked in ceremony with others in the rainforest just a few weeks ago.
A Paradigm Shift
Imagine in the last 30-50 years, people did not have to deal with such a worldwide phenomena like this COVID pandemic. And then imagine us in just 1-2 years we were suddenly faced with this situation. People stayed for months indoors, watching tv and news coverage only about the virus. Not listening to Mother Earth....to spirit. Family love was missing because everyone was forced to isolate. In many, many countries, they experienced big economic and political problems impacting the people. Imagine with this pandemic how difficult it was for people especially living in the big cities where alot of focus is on consumerism. This is of course to satisfy the ego. Nothing is for the spirit. Everything is for the ego. But people everywhere even a little bit must go back to our connection with the earth...to the farms, to nature. We must go back to our origins. To the land. To the Mother.
Que es la vida? What is the significance of one's life?
We have a saying here: Que es la vida? It speaks to the idea that if you do not give the best quality service (to be in service to others), you don't give the best quality service of yourself. This is the key to understanding what exactly is Life. Your physical body needs breakfast, lunch, dinner and some other nutrients to keep operating. You are not only your physical body. What do you do to nurture your spirit? Being in service to others, to the earth nurtures one's spirit. Practices like meditation, yoga, tai chi, and other disciplines are also good to balance your spirit, your soul, your body and your mind.
Start the Day with Gratitude
It is a good practice to spend a few minutes after waking to say thank you and express gratitude to the cosmos, to the sun, the moon, the stars, the Light, for our life...for remembering who we are....our purpose here, our cosmic work....how we will help heal Mother Earth and change the situation, even just a little bit no matter what your current problems or worries may be. What is important is to reflect on what you do for your spirit, for your soul. What actions can you take? How are you in service to your brothers, sisters, family and friends? This new cycle represents the time for humanity to listen even just a little bit to their spirit. This is the significance of the time we are in to the Andean people.
-Thank you Willko!
To reach Willko for your next tour to Peru,