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Andean Pranic Healing

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Introduction

The greatness of a civilisation can be measured by the descriptive wealth of it’s words.

MOST OF THE vocabulary describing the anatomy of the soul and the way it interacts with its surroundings comes from Sanskrit. For example, words such as chakras (vortexes or energetic centers), prana (vital energy), mahaprana (Cosmic energy), pranayama kosha (energetic body), kundalini shakti (latent energy located in the root chakra), akasha (space-time) and karma (law of cause and effect), all come from this tradition. Nevertheless, Andean spirituality not only has similar concepts for all these words; it also, in certain instances, describes them even more fully.

On the subject of chakras, Andean spirituality distinguishes between the «chumpi» (energetic belt) and the «ñawi» (eye of the chakra). Chumpis are energy belts departing from each eye of the chakra (ñawi) that envelope our body like a band to protect it, while the word «ñawi» literally means eye. So, in the Himalayas they saw the chakras as wheels (chakra means wheel in Sanskrit), while in the Andes they saw them as the eyes used by our soul to perceive subtle realities.

The nadis or energy channels of the tantric philosophy are called «ceques» in the Andes. Ceques is also the word used by the Andean people to refer to the ley lines (Earth energy lines). These are lines or earth meridians that interconnect the «wakas» (sacred sites) together. Wakas are the equivalent to the energy points or chakras of the Earth. By using the same concepts, the Andean people are intimately relating the anatomy of the human soul to that of Pachamama’s, known to us by the name of Gaia or Mother Earth.

Prana (life energy) is known as «kawsay», which literally means life. Kawsay is therefore life but also the energy of life. As such, it is composed of «hucha» (dense energy, a product of negative emotions that accumulates in our energy body) and «sami» (subtle energy made of higher vibratory energy), among other expressions of energy.

The Bhuvarloka, plane of the subtle life force that is present in the atmosphere enveloping the world, has as its Andean equivalent in the word Kawsay Pacha (life energy plane). The pranayama kosha (energetic body) is known as the poq’po (energy bubble). Awakening the kundalini shakti is equivalent to the Andean concept of raising the Amaru (the energy of the sacred anaconda). The Sanskrit concept of akasha merges  space and time into one word, as the two sides of the same coin, which also occurs with the word «Pacha». This stands in contrast to the fact that it was only recently that scientific thought accepted that space and time were the same but seen from two different points of view.

Lastly, the law of karma is known as «ayni», and defines reciprocity as a relationship which aligns humans with all of Creation. Science has not named this relationship even though it is trying to discover “the fifth fundamental force of nature” which it expects will be a common element in the other four forces1.

Description of the chakras

THE KNOWLEDGE OF the chakras that we have today comes mostly from Tantric philosophy. Then Yoga took it and brought it to the World. Andean spirituality is similar to Tantra and Yoga in the number of chakras considered as the most important ones (seven), in the location of five of these, and in the qualities attributed to them. In the instances it differs to Tantric philosophy, it agrees with the Theosopher C.W. Leadbeater, father of the modern day view of chakras held in the West. This second list of commonalities are listed below:

  • In most of the colours assigned to the chakras. It should be noted that the few instances where the colours are not the same are due to the fact that assigning a color to a chakra is like assigning one to the images projected by a kaleidoscope;
  • In the interpretation of the chakras as organs of the subtle body which channel cosmic energy and vary it’s vibratory frequency.
  • In not considering the energetic centre of the sacrum (swadisthana) as a chakra. In concrete C.W. Leadbeater says “From our point of view, the arousing of such a center [Swadisthana] will be regarded as a great misfortune would occur, as there are serious dangers connected to it. In Egyptian scheme of development, elaborated precautions were taken to prevent any such awakening2.”

On the other hand, the main differences between the different traditions are:

First, the assignation of elements is different. For example, Tantric tradition assigns the element of earth to the base chakra (Mooladhara), while the Andean tradition assigns to this chakra the element of water. Why? because for the Andean people the base chakra of the continental mass called South America is located in the Lake Titicaca. So obviously its equivalent in the human body mirrors its Earth expression.

Second, the fact that the Chumpi Inca (Andean pranic healing) neither considers the sacral chakra (Swadistana) nor the crown chakra (Sahasrara) as main ñawis.

The sacral chakra (2on) is mostly found in the Tantric texts, but not in the Taoist, Egyptian or Andean traditions. It seems that it was considered as one of the main chakras by the tantrics because they always included sexuality as one of the main means to attain the Divine. Let’s not forget that this chakra is intimately related to sexual pleasure and the satisfaction of our own desires.

The crown chakra (Sahasrara) is also not considered by the Andean tradition as one of the main chakras, even though they know that sami (refined life energy) is absorbed through the crown.

However, it considers as ñawis the two physical eyes. It calls the left eye Lloque Ñawi it is associated with the feminine principle. The right eye is known as the Phanya Ñawi and it is linked with the masculine principle. The two together  represent complementarity. Similarly, in tantra this complementarity is represented by ida and pingala, the two energy channels (nadis) which originate in the root chakra (Mooladhara), and spiral up both sides of the spine until they merge together again in the eyebrow chakra (Agna). Ida represents the lunar, feminine and mental principle and joins the third eye from the left side (Lloque Nyawi). Pingala  solar, vital and masculine principle it joins the third eye from the right side (Phanya Nyawi). When both are in perfect equilibrium, the energy of the kundalini shakti ascends through sushumna (central energetic cannel), and when it reaches the third eye (Agna), it opens it so the person can transcend duality. In the Chumpi Inca tradition, one who opens the third eye becomes a qawaq or a clairvoyant of life energy.

This is why the Third Eye (Agna Chakra) has two petals, one coming from each energy chanel (nadi). C.W. Leadbeater represents it, in his book “The Chakras”, as the above image. The blue colour is related to the solar (pingala) energy, while the pink colour is related to the lunar (ida) energy. And this is why during the first communion in Catholicism, boys are dressed in blue and girls in pink.

The following comparative table showsthese similarities (and differences)3:

The chakras compared according to Andean Spirituality and the Tantric Tradition.

 

The similarities demonstrate that in all these traditions the anatomical description of the energetic body does exist, even though modern science has not corroborated it’s existence. It won’t be long before it will.

The Three paths of Andean Tradition4.

There are three initiation paths in Andean shamanism:

  • PHAÑA (Right path): This path originates from the teachings of Don Benito Qoriwaman. It concerns the relationship between the energetic body (poqpo) and the energetic dimension surrounding the body (Kawsay Pacha). This path has techniques to care for the poqpo, based on the interaction and exchange of energy with the etheric, vital and astral planes of the Kawsay Pacha. The three main techniques are:

1. Saminchakuy: Produces a descending flow of subtle energy (sami) from the cosmos, which penetrates the energy body (poqpo) and removes the dense energy (hucha) from it. The dense energy is then offered to Mother Earth (Pachamama) so she can digest it.

2. Saywachakuy: Produces an ascending flow of energy from Mother Earth (Pachamama), which penetrates the energetic body  (poqpo) in order to strengthen it.

3. Hucha mijuy: With this technique one learns to digest dense energy (hucha) using one’s spiritual stomach (qosqo). Two energetic flows are created, one that ascends consisting of subtle energy and a descending one composed of dense energy.

  • CHAUPI (Centre path): This path is rooted in the teachings of Don Andrés Espinosa. The apprentice learns how to ‘open the chakras’ (ñawi kichay), then remove heavy emotional energy (hucha), and infuse them with spiritual energy (sami). Afterwards the practice consists on ‘knitting the energy bells (chumpi away) and thus create a cocoon or energetic covering (walthay) that protects the apprentice from external interferences.
  • LLOQE (Left path): Originates from the teachings of Don Melchor Deza. It features techniques that work on the inner physical body of the person to promote internal development.

The practice of Andean Pranic Healing (Chumpi Inca) is part of the chaupi or centre path. It’s practitioners are known as  chumpi p’aqos (for men) and chumpi ñustas (for women).

Senor Huancar Pisac 010

5

The tools of the  chumpi p’aqo/ñusta

The misha or mesa is the shaman’s main instrument and he/she uses it for healing and energetic activation purposes.  It consists of:

  • A set of  chumpi khuyas (power stones) to work with the ñawis (eye of the chakras) and chumpis (energy belts). Each chakra has a corresponding power stone (khuya), each with a different shape (for example, the number of sides) or a different drawing carved on it. The total number of chumpi khuyas is usually five or seven. They are made of hiuaya (red or black hematite), also known as meteorite, a very hard mineral with both magnetic properties and those of a crystal. They can also be made of soapstone, which is easier to carve. The chumpi khuyas are used to open the ñawis (ñawi kichay), suck out the dense energy (hucha), and then close them. They are also used to knit the energy belts (chumpi away), or strengthen the fissures of the energy body (poqpo) to form the energy cocoon (walthay) that protects us.

  • The second component of the mesa are other types of khuyas (e.g. khuyas of the mastay) or talismans to which we confer special meaning. What makes them important is their energetic link or associated vibration. They can be linked to the master and his/her lineage, to an avatar (Jesus), a saint (Lord of Huanca), deity (Taiti Inti or Father Sun) , a sacred place also called waka, an element and so on. They are usually used to heal specific or generic problems and are not necessarily linked to a ñawi.
  • In third place the mesa is made out of other relics or objects such as statues of idols, perfumed water, coca leaves, a pendulum which locates the ñawis problems, etc.
  • Lastly there is the cloth, called  mastana, that wraps up all the objects and a pretty ribbon, called huacana, to tie up the mesa.

When put all together, they make the medicine bundle of the Andean healer. But they are not just a medicine bundle. The mesa is the altar of the Andean paq’o or ñusta. When they take out their mesa, lay it out, and set out the objects that were in a pile, what they are doing is arranging the physical and energetic dimensions at the same time.

This act is explained in the Quechuan verb mastay. The physical arrangement is obvious in the arrangement of some objects that were all piled on top of each other. But since all objects have both mobdro not working a physical and energetic dimension, this arrangement also takes place in the energetic realm. It is the energy that the shaman transferred to the relic by making it an object of devotion.The correct placement of each object depends on the lineage of the shaman or his/her intuition or perception at the time. Notwithstanding all this, the placement has an immediate energetic repercussion for the mesa.

The mesa is supposed to be a representation of the kawsay pacha, the energetic dimensión. As such, the khuyas (stones) acquire the power of the wacas (sacred places); of the Apus and Ñustas (respectively, masculine and feminine spirits of the mountains); of the master that gave them to us; of Pachamama (Mother Earth) that carried them in her womb; of the elements with their seven sacred directions and lastly; of the indivisible Divinity, known as Wiracocha by the Inca people.

The talismans that form the medicine bundle not only possess the innate power which stems from how where they were found or obtained. They also accumulate the power given to them by the healer. One way to infuse them with power is to use these objects to externalise any aspects of ourselves that we would like to change. They are known as samskaras in yoga, mental impressions from our past actions that induce us to repeat those same acts until they become habits. The object is thereby transformed into an expression of our alter-ego, so that the underlying force exerted by this aspect becomes visible.

Thanks to this one simple act, all the energy from this subconscious force (which governed our lives) is now used to transfer energy to the object. As the various objects and artifacts accumulate energy, the medicine bundle is transmuted, which enables the healer to use it to heal others.

The science of spirituality suggests four techniques to neutralise samskaras: 

  • prayer,
  • meditation,
  • selfless service and
  • work on one’s energy body.

Healers mainly practise the latter two. As such, the Andean priest transmutes and channels the energy built up by his medicine bundle to heal others, while his/her selfless service heals him. So heal oneself in order to―with the energy built up in the process―heal others (energetic work). Or, alternatively, heal others in the spirit of selfless service, and as a result of healing them and through the law of reciprocity (ayni), heal oneself. These are the two paths of the shaman which occur simultaneously and thereby, complement each other.

 2009 Marc Torra (Urus) for mastay.info

Endnotes

  1. Strong nuclear force, weak force, electromagnetic force y force of gravity.
  2. C.W. Leadbeater. 1927 “The Chakras”, The Theosophical Publishing House. Madras. Note at foot of pg 8.
  3. The Andean part of the table was written with the help of the concepts outlined by Juan Núñez del Prado, from the teachings of Don Andrés Espinoza, Q’ero teacher.
  4. This section has mostly been written having as its main source the concepts registered by the anthropologist  Juan Núñez del Prado
  5. Chumpi paq’o Alejandro Apasa and chumpi ñusta Santosa Quispe from Q’ero during the initiation of the author of this article.

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Marc Torra
Marc comes from Urus, a community in the Pyrenees, the land of the Cathars. The name Urus is of Indo-European origin and it means ‘a place where the water springs’. He went abroad in 1995 after graduating in Economics from the university of Barcelona, and since then has lived and worked a little in every continent. Through living in other countries, Marc has associated with many different cultures and ways of thinking; especially with those he calls ‘earth people’. From them he has learned a different way of reasoning, and discovered that the future of the planet depends on our ability to learn what such cultures have to offer. As an author he writes about spirituality and new tendencies, developing and intermingling genres, making use of both narrative and essay writing. Marc tries to understand and experience things for himself in order to build bridges, both to unify different cultures and spiritual traditions across the globe, and help visualise a better future.