Category Archives: ofrenda

Andean Shamanism, Ayahuasca and Yoga Retreats (Amazon Rainforest) 2008



Andean Shamanism & Ayahuasca Retreats (Amazon Rainforest) 2008We are pleased to present a dedicated programmes in the Andes and the Amazon rainforest, which is focussed on an inner and deep self-exploration and encounter with the spiritual power of the land. This is an adventure into the magical world of the Andes, the Rainforest, and a transformative experience of the ancient mystical rituals of the plant spirit medicines.

Dates
In 2008 we will be holding two Retreat programmes, our dates are;

Retreat Programme 1.
March 8th – 14th incl. – San Pedro, Coca , and the Spiritual Traditions of the Andes.
March 15th – 29th incl. – Amazon Retreat, Ayahuasca, and Plant Spirit Medicines.

Retreat Programme 2.
July 19th – August 2nd incl. – Amazon Retreat, Ayahuasca, and Plant Spirit Medicines.
August 3rd – 9th incl. – Optional Extension week.

Retreat Programme 1. March 8th – 14th incl.
As a prologue to the Amazon retreat this optional week expands on our work with the shamanic tradition of the Andes. Working with San Pedro Maestro Shaman Juan Navarro, and Coca Leaf Diviner & traditional Healer Doris Rivera Lenz. This is an opportunity to experience the rich and powerful spiritual legacy of the Andean civilization which is only now being properly recognised after 500 years of obscurity

The Venue: Santa Eulalia

Santa Eulalia is a tranquil valley lying one hour inland from Lima at around 800 meters. Although surrounded by very dry hills, irrigation enables lush gardens to flourish all the year round and there is usually sun and pleasant temperatures. The valley is 50 Km North of Lima and is regarded as the gateway to the central Andes. The valley is home to many species of birds including endemic varieties, and the area is a highlight for bird-watching tours.

Our Lodge consists of about a dozen bungalows with cooking facilities (so we can make our own teas and coffees etc) set in attractive gardens where we can conduct our meetings and ceremonies. Food is good and largely vegetarian. There are also excursions to visit local caves, and ruins.

The Maestros we will be working with at our Andean Retreat

enz - Coca Leaf DivinationDORIS RIVERA LENZ

Doris has lived in Cusco for many years conducting ofrendas and reading coca leaves for dozens of people every week – both local as well as from far flung places. She has worked with many of our Eagles Wing groups on Peru journeys so far.

The coca leaf has been sacred to Andean people since the dawn of pre-Colombian civilization. When asked about the source of the information she divines from them, she says:

“They give me such a powerful awareness it is as though an energy comes into me from just touching them. I invoke Mother Nature and the spirit of the coca, and with just seven leaves, the answer comes, as though through an open doorway.”

Healing diagnosis
An ancient method of diagnosing illness, still common in Peru, is to rub an egg over the body of the patient. Doris is gifted in this tradition and will prescribe remedies which include medicinal herbs.

The ofrenda
After preparation we will take part in a dawn ‘ofrenda’ which is the most important ceremony used by Andean Indians to relate with Mother Earth. There will be talk and discussion about such ideas as Pachacuti (the Andean concept of time), Andean myths, and healing methods, also practical healing and divinatory sessions plus the opportunity of private sessions with Doris.

Shaman Juan NavarroJUAN NAVARRO

We will work again with maestro Juan Navarro to meet the spirit of San Pedro, a gentle and powerful healing medicine, which was of central importance to early pre-Colombian civilizations, such as the Chavin, 800BC, and the Mochica, 500AD. To these primordial people the cactus itself was considered the God Achuma.

Juan Navarro was born in the highland village of Somate, department of Piura. He is a descendant of a long lineage of healers and shamans working with the magical powers of Las Huaringas. These Sacred Lakes stand at 3,500 meters and have been revered since earliest Peruvian civilization.

During the all-night sessions Juan works untiringly with his two sons in an intricate sequence of processes, including invocation, diagnosis, divination, and healing with natural objects, or artes. The artes are initially placed on the maestro’s altar or mesa, and are an astonishing and beautiful array of shells, swords, magnets, quartzes, objects resembling sexual organs, rocks which spark when struck together, and stones from animals’ stomachs, which they have swallowed to aid digestion!

SUMMARY ITINERARY & COSTS

Andean & Amazon Retreat Programme – March 8th – 29th incl.

Day 1 Saturday, Arrive in Lima & Transfer to Hotel. Overnight at the comfortable 3 Star Hotel La Castillana in the Miraflores district of Lima.

Day 2 Sunday, Private bus to our lodge at Santa Eulalia. Welcome Andean Dinner. Introduction to Maestros, Juan Navarro & Doris Rivera Lenz

Day 3 Monday, Sessions with Maestros. All night San Pedro Cactus Ceremony with Juan Navarro

Day 4 Tuesday, Sessions with Maestros, Sight seeing tour of valley

Day 5 Wednesday, Sessions with Maestros. All night San Pedro Cactus Ceremony with Juan Navarro

Day 6 Thursday, Sessions with Maestros. All night San Pedro Cactus Ceremony with Juan Navarro

Day 7 Friday, Personal time, Sessions with Maestros.

Day 8 Saturday, Bus to Lima airport for flight to Iquitos. Overnight at Three star Hotel Victoria Regia.

Day 9 Sunday, in Iquitos. free time for going to the market to buy jungle plants and products, to sit on the Malecon and dream over a view of the river or write a journal. Alternatively, we can help you arrange optional excursions to visit the botanical gardens and sandy beach for swimming at Quistacocha, or to see the Bora Indians.

Day 10 Monday, Go to Mishana (pick up at Iquitos airport only Amazon Retreat participants), by power boat to the Mishana Private Retreat Centre, introduction, make decision of plant to be dieted. Welcome Jungle Dinner.

Day 11 – 18, Start plant diet with up to seven Ayahuasca sessions.

Day 19 ‘Cut’ the diet for, end to drinking plants but continue with ‘liberal’ diet. Final evening meeting and supper.

Day 20, mid morning departure by power boat to Iquitos for relaxation in luxury Three star Hotel Victoria Regia with swimming pool located near the Malecon overlooking the Amazon.

Day 21, Morning Flight returning to Lima. Time at own disposition. Overnight at Hotel La Castillana.

Day 22, International Return Flights.

COSTS March 8th – 29th 2008 £2,300, US$ & EURO at FXS RATES + International airfare.

AMAZON TWO WEEKS ONLY March 15th – 29th . Costs £1700 ; US$ & EURO at FX RATES.

We can accept Credit Card Payments etc. via PayPal method.

SUMMARY ITINERARY & COSTS – Amazon Retreat: July 19th – August 9th.

Day 1 Saturday, Arrive in Lima & Transfer to Hotel. Overnight at the comfortable 3 Star Hotel La Castillana in the Miraflores district of Lima.

Day 2 Sunday, Late morning fly Lima-Iquitos, transfer from the airport to port then by power boat to the Mishana Private Retreat Centre, introduction, make decision of plant to be dieted. Welcome Jungle Dinner. NOTE: Due to changes in flights to Iquitos, we may need to overnight in Iquitos and proceed to Mishana in the morning.

Days 3 , 4, 5, 6, 7 , 8, 9 , & 10 Start plant diet with up to seven Ayahuasca sessions.

Day 11 ‘Cut’ the diet for participants on two week programme, end to drinking plants but continue with ‘liberal’ diet. Final evening meeting and supper.

Day 12 Wednesday, mid morning departure for participants on two week programme leave Mishana by power boat to Iquitos for relaxation in luxury Three star Hotel Victoria Regia with swimming pool located near the Malecon overlooking the Amazon. Participants on three week programme enjoy a full week longer at Mishana. At Mishana we take a little break before continuing with the Plant Diet and Ayahuasca Sessions After the break we continue with the Plant Diet and Ayahuasca Sessions with Javier.

Days 13 Thursday, participants on two week programme, free time for going to the market to buy jungle plants and products, to sit on the Malecon and dream over a view of the river or write a journal. Alternatively, we can help you arrange optional excursions to visit the botanical gardens and sandy beach for swimming at Quistacocha, or to see the Bora Indians .
Day 14 Friday, participants on two week programme, morning Flight returning to Lima. Time at own disposition. Overnight at Hotel La Castillana. Mishana resume Plant Diet and Ayahuasca Sessions.

Day 15 Saturday, Plant Diet and Ayahuasca Sessions, International Saturday Return Flights for Participants on two week programme.

Day 16 Sunday, Continue Plant Diet and Ayahuasca Sessions.

Day 17 Monday, Continue Plant Diet and Ayahuasca Sessions.

Day 18 Tuesday, Close Plant Diet.

Day 19 Wednesday, Return to Iquitos. leave Mishana by power boat to Iquitos for relaxation in luxury Three star Hotel Victoria Regia with swimming pool located near the Malecon overlooking the Amazon

Day 20 Thursday, Free time in Iquitos, Farewell Dinner.

Day 21 Friday, Morning Flight returning to Lima. Time at own disposition. Overnight at Hotel La Castillana.

Day 22 International Return Flights.

COSTS July 19th – August 2nd 2008; £1,700, US$ & EURO at FXS RATES + International airfare.

Extension week: August 3rd – 9th . Costs £700 ; US$ & EURO at FX RATES.

We can accept Credit Card Payments etc. via PayPal method.

Howard G. Charing, is an international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest. He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism.

Visit the website for info about our Andean ,Amazon Ayahuasca, and Yoga Retreats

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The Cactus of Vision – San Pedro and the Shamanic Tradition of northern Peru – Part 2


PART 2

Shamans from different cultures and traditions have been using psychoactive plants since the dawn of human emergence. These plants have been used traditionally for guidance, divination, healing, maintaining a balance with the spirit or consciousness of the living world.

Howard G. Charing and Peter Cloudsley talk with Maestro Juan Navarro

The Cactus of Vision - San Pedro and the Shamanic Tradition of northern PeruJuan Navarro was born in the highland village of Somate, department of Piura. He is a descendant of a long lineage of healers and shamans working with the magical powers of Las Huaringas.

What is the relationship of the maestro
with San Pedro?
In the north of Peru the power of San Pedro works in combination with tobacco. Also the sacred lakes Las Huaringas are very important. This is where we go to find the most powerful healing herbs which we use to energize our people. For example we use dominio [linking one’s intent with the spirit power of the plants] to give strength and protection from supernatural forces such as sorcery and negative thoughts. It is also put into the seguros – amulet bottles filled with perfume, plants and seeds gathered from Las Huaringas. You keep them in your home for protection and to make your life go well. These plants do not have any secondary effects on the nervous system, nor do they provoke hallucinations. San Pedro has strength and is mildly hallucinatory, but you cannot become addicted. It doesn’t do any harm to your body, rather it helps the maestro to see what the problem is with his patient. Of course some people have this gift born in them – as our ancestors used to say, it is in the blood of a shaman.

Is San Pedro a ‘teacher plant’?
Of course, but it has a certain mystery.You have to be compatible with it because it doesn’t work for everybody.The shaman has a special relationship with it. It circulates in the body of the patient and where it finds abnormality it enables the shaman to detect it. It lets him know the pain they feel and whereabouts it is. So it is the link between patient and maestro. It also purifies the blood of the person who drinks it. It balances the nervous system so people lose their fears, frights and traumas, and it charges people with positive energy. Everyone must drink so that the maestro can connect with them. Only the dose may vary from person to person because not everyone is as strong.

What about the singado? (inhalation of tobacco juice through the nostrils) The tobacco leaf is left for two to three months in contact with honey, and when required for the singado it is macerated with aguardiente, or alcohol. How it functions depends on which nostril is used; when taken in by the left side it is for liberating us of negative energy, including psychosomatic ills, pains in the body, bad influences of other people – or ‘envy’ as we call it here. As you take it in you must concentrate on the situation which is going badly, or the person which is giving out a negative energy.

When taken through the right nostril it is for rehabilitating and energizing, so that your projects go well. It’s not for getting high on. Afterwards you can spit the tobacco out or swallow it, it doesn t matter. It has an interrelation with the san pedro in the body, and intensifies the visionary effects.

Tobacco is an important plant in the ceremonies – can you smoke in the session? No, no, no. It may be the same plant but here another element comes into play, which is fire. As the session is carried out in darkness, the fire in the darkness can perturb, create a negative reflection or vision. It can cause trauma.

You use a chungana (rattle) during the san pedro sessions and I ‘see’ the sound as a beam of a light penetrating the darkness. Yes, sound and light are interrelated. Chunganas are used to invoke the spirits of the dead, whether of family or of great healers, so that they may feel comfortable with us. the chunganas are to give us ‘enchantment’ (protection and positive energy) and it has a relaxing effect when taking san pedro.

What is the power of the artes – the objects on the mesa?
They come from Las Huaringas, where a special energy is bestowed on everything, including the healing herbs which grow there and nowhere else. If you bathe in the lakes it takes away all your ills. You bathe with the intention of leaving everything negative behind. People go there to leave their enemies behind, so they can’t do them any harm. After bathing, the maestro cleanses you with these artes, swords, bars, chontas (bamboo staffs), saints, and even huacos (the powers from ancient sacred sites). They ‘flourish’ you – spraying you with agua florida
(perfume) and herb macerations, and giving you sweet things like limes and honey, so your life flourishes. We maestros also need to go to Las Huaringas regularly because we make enemies from healing people, so we need to protect ourselves. The reason for this is that two forces exist: the good and the bad. The bad forces are from the pacts which the brujos (sorcerors with negative
intentions) make with the devil. The brujo is the rival of the curandero or healer. So when the curandero heals, he makes an enemy of the brujo. It’s not so much because he sends the bad magic back, as because he does the opposite thing to him, and they want supremacy in the battle. Not far from Las Huaringas is a place called Sondor, which has its own lakes. This is where evil magic is practiced and where they do harm in a variety of ways. I know because as a curandero I must know how sorcery is practiced, in order to defend myself and my patients.

Do people go there secretly?
Of course no one admits to going there, but they pass through Huancabamba just like the others who are going to Las Huaringas. I know various people who practice bad magic at a distance.They do it using physical means, concentrating, summoning up a person’s soul, knowing their characteristics etc. and can make them suffer an accident, or make an organ ill or whatever, or make their work go badly wrong.They have the power to get to their spirit. And people can even do harm to themselves. For example, if a person has bad intentions towards another and that person is well protected with an encanto, (amulet) then he will do himself harm.

How does the ‘rastreo’ (diagnosis through psychic means) work? Are you in an altered state? No, I’m completely normal and lucid. What allows the reading of a person’s past, present or future, is the strength of the san pedro and tobacco. It is an innate capability -not everybody has the gift, you can’t learn it from someone, it is inherited. The perceptions come through any one of the senses – sound, vision, smell, or a feeling inside of what the person is feeling, a weakness, a pain or whatever. Sometimes, for instance, a bad taste in the mouth may indicate a bad liver. All the things on the mesa are perfectly normal, natural things: chontas, swords, stones etc. They have just received a treatment – like a radio tuned to a certain frequency – so they can heal particular things, weaknesses or whatever. But always it is necessary to concentrate on the sacred lakes, Las Huaringas.

Is it necessary for the maestro to take San Pedro to have vision? Of course, he must take San Pedro and tobacco. But it is to protect himself from the person’s negativity and illness, not because he needs it to have the vision.

In conclusion, we must acknowledge that we, as humans, have realised from earliest times that knowledge goes beyond sensory awareness or the rational way of understanding the world. San pedro can take us directly to a telepathic communion and show us that there is no such thing as an inanimate object. Everything in the universe is alive and has a spirit. This is the gift of the plants which offer us a doorway into the infinite.

Juan Navarro was born in the highland village of Somate, department of Piura. He is a descendant of a long lineage of healers and shamans working with the magical powers of Las Huaringas.

Howard G. Charing, is an accomplished international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest at the dedicated centre located in the Mishana nature reserve. He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism (Destiny Books USA).

Visit our website for details on our Andean & Ayahuasca Retreats in Peru

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The Cactus of Vision – San Pedro and the Shamanic Tradition of northern Peru


Article Reprint from Sacred Hoop Magazine: Summer 2004 Issue.

This interview and photos also included in the book I co-authored ‘Plant Spirit Shamanism‘ published by Destiny Books.

Shamans from different cultures and traditions have been using psychoactive plants since the dawn of human emergence. These plants have been used traditionally for guidance, divination, healing, maintaining a balance with the spirit or consciousness of the living world.

Howard G. Charing and Peter Cloudsley talk with Maestro Juan Navarro

San Pedro Maestro Juan Navarro with his sons.

Mesa Nortena

Maestro Juan Navarro and son

Maestro Juan Navarro


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The Spiritual Traditions of the Andes


The ofrenda

The Spiritual Traditions of the AndesAn ‘ofrenda’ is the most important ceremony used by Andean Indians to relate with Mother Earth. The ofrenda is a symbol of reciprocity with nature and its purpose is to teach us to reproduce this attitude. Through it we speak back to nature saying we understand the message and concord.

The ofrenda which is also known in Spanish as a ‘pago’, is not
a ‘payment’ to nature as the Conquistadores saw it, implying a sinister pact with nature spirits. Additionally, they accused the Indians of being miserly because they preferred to pay symbolically rather than with real money!

An ofrenda is an expression of gratitude, not of debt or obligation. Neither is it selfish to want things for ourselves as some people see it even today. It is true that urban people in Peru have started to make ofrendas for reasons such as wanting their businesses to flourish, but good business can equally imply good health, and harmony to the community and for the natural world.

In an Andean community realities are closer to earth than they are in the city, it is more important that the cattle do not die than to have more private possessions. Hence in the country there is a better understanding of the shamanic meaning of the ceremony, the re-establishing of relationship to nature. This is why we need a little preparation so that an ofrenda can work for us too.

Pachacuti

We live in a time of the fulfilment of an ancient Inca prophecy. This is the time of the new Pachacuti, a great change bringing with it a new relating to the Earth (Pachamama). Each Pachacuti is a era of time about 500 years. The last Pachacuti occurred with the Conquest in the early 16th century, and the Q’ero (Inca) priests have been waiting ever since for the next era, when order would start to emerge from chaos. The current Pachacuti refers to the end of time as we understand it, the end or death of a way of thinking and a way of being. A new relationship with the living Earth, and an emergence into a golden age of peace. There are many indications that changes in human consciousness are taking place, yet there is still a long way to go. The traditional ways can inform us and show how we can re-engage with the sacredness of life and the Earth so we too can more fully participate in the new Pachacuti.

Retreat Programme – Andean and Amazonian Shamanism

March 8th – 14th incl. – San Pedro, Coca , and the Spiritual Traditions of the Andes.

March 15th – 29th incl. – Amazon Retreat, Ayahuasca, and Plant Spirit Medicines.

Retreat Programme 1. March 8th – 14th incl.

As a prologue to the Amazon retreat this optional week expands on our work with the shamanic tradition of the Andes. Working with San Pedro Maestro Shaman Juan Navarro, and Coca Leaf Diviner & traditional Healer Doris Rivera Lenz. This is an opportunity to experience the rich and powerful spiritual legacy of the Andean civilization which is only now being properly recognised after 500 years of obscurity

Howard G. Charing, is an international workshop leader on shamanism. He has worked some of the most respected and extraordinary shamans & healers in the Andes, the Amazon Rainforest, and the Philippines. He organises specialist retreats to the Amazon Rainforest. He is the author of the best selling book, Plant Spirit Shamanism.

Visit the website for info about our Andean and Amazon Ayahuasca Retreats

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