Songs of Love and Gratitude
Every traditional society communes with God through mantras and music. The sacred songs of the Peruvian shamans were traditionally songs of love to God. These are very different from the songs brought to the Americas by the Conquistadors, which generally asked for favors, such as to heal a sick child.
The shamans practice gratitude, singing to give thanks and to take care of God, not just asking God to take care of them. They understand that the Divine and the divine forces need our songs, they need our prayers, because they are part of this great chain of existence that is dependent on the level above and the level below.
There is one that says:
Thank you for gifting me the rain
and may I be like the flowers when there is no rain,
and I thank you even for those dry times
because I know this is part of a greater plan
that I don’t understand.
There are some songs—collective prayers—that are trance-like. There are also songs that everyone knows the melody to, but they can contribute a new verse if they wish. Then there are songs that can never be voiced more than once, because they must be authentic—from the heart—so if you are repeating it, then its someone else’s song.
So, even though every song is received equally by God, singers must dig inside their gut and heart to come up with a poem that they will approve of, because they know it is the finest offering they can come up with. Sometimes this prayer is just a hum, or a growl like the jaguar might make in the rainforest, and that becomes the song they offer during a ceremony.
Ceremonies always start by asking for forgiveness, by saying “I’m sorry for whatever I may have done that might have inadvertently hurt someone.” The next step is gratitude—deep, deep gratitude. The third step is to dedicate the ceremony to whomever you wish—it’s always helpful to offer it to someone other than yourself. And the final step is to ask for whatever help you might need.
I believe it’s a great practice to start the day with “I’m sorry.” And whenever I go to the holy mountain in the Andes, I always begin by getting down on my knees, bowing, and saying, “I’m sorry for how I may be distorting this ancient body of wisdom. Please forgive me.” And the mountain usually replies, “You are doing all right.”
In Munay,
Adapted from a video chat between Alberto Villoldo and musicians Deva Premal and Miten, who will join The Four Winds for our 2020 Via Illuminata: Shamanic Wisdom & Sacred Mantra.
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A feast of music and shamanic wisdom in the magical Sacred Valley of Peru with Deva Premal, Miten, Manose, Marcela Lobos, and Dr. Alberto Villoldo.
June 7-14, 2020
Sacred Valley, Peru
Come into harmony with the original sound of the Universe and the soothing chants and harmonies of Deva, Miten & Manose. Explore the wisdom of the ancients in temples in the clouds and take part in ceremonies led by esteemed medicine men and women of the Andes.
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Optional Sacred Valley Extension for Via Illuminata Participants
Revered by the shamans as the protector of the medicine men and women charged with the stewardship of all living beings, Apu Pachatusan offers a rugged hiking opportunity and two nights camping at an altitude of almost 12,000 feet.
During ceremonies at glacier lagoons we will participate in ancient rites with prophecy-keepers from the High Andes and receive blessings to facilitate our healing from the stories of our past.
Lead by Alberto Villoldo, PhD
June 14-19, 2020
Group limited to 30 participants
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Join a select group of women to visit the Island of the Moon on Lake Titicaca. In sacred ceremony, explore your innermost depths to discover the gifts you want to bring to the light of the world.
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