Wednesday, June 12, 2013

sacred geography

Excerpt from the book The Wayfinders by Wade Davis

When men and women meet on a trail, they pause and exchange k'intus of coca, three perfect leaves aligned to form a cross. Turning to face the nearest apu they bring the leaves to their mouths and blow softly, a ritual invocation that sends the essence of the plant back to the earth, the community, the sacred places, and the souls of the ancestors. The exchange of leaves is a social gesture, a way of acknowledging a human connection. But the blowing of the phukuy, as it is called, is an act of spiritual reciprocity, for in giving selflessly to the earth, the individual ensures that in time the energy of the coca will return full circle, as surely as rain falling on a field will inevitably be reborn as a cloud. This subtlety of gesture, in its own way a prayer, is celebrated on a grand scale in annual community-based rituals of commitment and engagement.


It is very interesting to read about these ancient cultures and their beliefs. Every community in the southern Andes is still dominated by a specific mountain deity, an Apu that directs the destiny of those people born in its shadow. 

And everything around them, the mountains, landscapes, the trees, every step of their walk ~ they believe to be sacred.


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