Before I left the Sacred Valley, I went on an epic hike. My destination was Intiwatana, an Incan temple of the Sun up above Pisac. It was a few days before the solstice, and I wanted to visit and honor the Sun before I left. The climb up to it is nearly straight up from town. Literally stairs to heaven.
A local man saw me climbing and started playing his flute. Eventually I reached him, and he proceeded to tell me he could accompany me with his flute music. I said, no thank you and that I was here to meditate and pray. As I ventured on, he continued to follow me, trying to engage me in touristy conversation, but likely saw how determined I was to get out of his reach.
As his last try, he loudly announced that a woman from my country got lost and they never found her or her body. I let it bounce off me and I continued.
I continued straight up through some ruins, still aiming to arrive at the temple. I came across immaculately carved stones, all delicately and expertly placed together to form curved walls, and windows. It was incredible. There was a family and a tour guide nearby, and I avoided being within earshot.
I heard a voice, “Keep going.” And so I went, navigating up through these little tunnels, walking edges that I know would make some uneasy. My legs started to turn to jello. I gratefully had the strength and support of coca, who was a sacred plant of the Incas, used in many ways - one of which was physical strength at high elevations.
Just coming out of an intense plant dieta, and then arriving at 10,000 ft above sea level, hiking especially in this pace, straight uphill was a lot for my system. But I couldn’t not do it. Something pulled at me.
I kept going up up up. I arrived at where I thought the Intiwatana would be. It took me longer than I thought. A few people went past me the other way, and I glanced back. I saw a sign pointing to where I’d come from say “Intiwatana” this way. Oh no. How in the world did I miss it?
I had considered getting a taxi down the mountain, as my energy had been spent. And yet, I heard a call to “Go back.” So I turned around and walked down the way I came - back along the high ledges and through the tunnels. My legs becoming more and more jello. But as an avid hiker and with all my training with the plants, I have a pretty good gauge on what I can actually handle.
When I arrived back at the immaculately carved stones, I saw it - Intiwatana - the astrologically aligned rock inside one of the incredible curved walls. There was no way to actually approach it, but only see it from afar - this is why I missed it the first time.
I sat nearby at a place where I could see it. And pulled out my coca to make an offering at this ancient interdimensional place between the Earth and the cosmos.
As I sat there, I felt the timelessness and deep wisdom that emanated from the mountain - all alive, palpable and still pulsing as a living energy.
I’d been on a strenuous hike for nearly 3 hours to arrive here, and when I finally sat down, I knew why.
Spirit wanted me in full pilgrimage mode. To be on a journey, stretching me into the unknown. If I’d arrived here with ease, as I anticipated, I would have not had the same experience.
“You’ve been in prayer the entire time,” is what I heard when I finally stopped to make the offering.
True. On my hike, I could feel myself receiving the power and transmission of the place, and the deeper digestion and integration of the plant teachers that I’d just dietted in the jungle. I was already in prayer - the entire hike was a prayer, a pilgrimage to call forth & connect with something from beyond.
As I made my offering, words poured through my heart and out my mouth, but I knew none of it was necessary, as Spirit was already receiving and knowing everything that I held in my heart.
My heart was broken open, pouring gratitude out just from the magic of being alive, and being connected in this place to energies beyond at play in ways my mind can not name.
I’d not seen my time in the jungle with the plants, as a pilgrimage. But a deep acknowledgement settled in, that was what was happening.
With intention & prayer, I embark on a journey into the unknown, into the depths, into the life-changing portals that exist in these ancient indigenous wisdom traditions, to bring something back.
These are the moments, the experiences, the callings that can change everything. All I can do is listen, follow and open to receive.
Gratitude for the call there at Intiwatana, for Peru, for the plant teachers. Thank you for stretching me, for teaching me, for taking me into the unknown. My prayer is that what I carry out into the world serves in some way for the better, for the remembrance, and for the reconnection and healing of our lives and of this Earth.
Protectress of Mother Earth, Intuitive, Shamanic Energy Medicine, Sacred Plant Medicine Integration, Soul Adventurer