Saving Pachamama: A Beginning

( – promoted by buhdydharma )


Don Mariano Quispe Flores

Pachamama, mother earth, Santa Madre Tierra, the earth, the planet is obviously in trouble.  This should by now be obvious.

The Q’ero of Peru, the descendants of the Incas, live in remote villages that are above 14,000 feet above sea level.  They have lived in these areas for hundreds of years. They live above the tree line.  They raise llamas, alpacas, vicunas, and other similar animals, and they grow big kernal maiz (“choclo”) and hundreds of species of potatoes.  And until recently they kept to themselves.  They stayed away from the cities.  And the Government.  And, of course, they kept their understandings of Shamanism and energy medicine to themselves.  They certainly didn’t tell North Americans about it. But then, relatively recently, they noticed the oddest thing, that the glaciers surrounding them were slowly melting.  Slowly becoming smaller.  Slowly disappearing.  And the spiritual teachers in the lineage decided that Q’ero who were healers, who were powerful Shamans, who knew that it was necessary to heal mother earth and her children, would have to go down the mountain and bring out their teachings and carry them across the world.

I spent this past weekend with Q’ero Shaman Don Mariano Quispe Flores at The Abode in New Lebanon, New York, along with some three dozen other shamans.  Don Mariano is 72 years old.  He does not know how to write.  Or to read.  He speaks only Quechua (though he does say a very few words in English and Spanish).  His village in Peru is about an 8 hour bus ride and then a 4 hour walk uphill from Cuzco.  This trip to the United States (he stopped in California and Washington State and Colorado before journeying to the East) was his first trip to the US, though he has been to Europe.  He is a very sweet, gentle, and humble man.  And a powerful, traditional healer.

Because Don Mariano speaks Quechua, his translator sometimes translated first into Spanish, and then someone else translated into English.  This was an incredible gift: I could hear what Don Mariano was saying three times.  No, I didn’t understand the first statements in Quechua, but I could feel and hear his tone of voice, and then it was repeated in both Spanish and English, so the content was repeated.  I’m not going to try to bring you all of Don Mariano’s teachings.

Instead, I bring you this very short essay to tell you something important that you probably already know only too well, just to remind you.

Pachamama, your Mother Earth, Santa Madre Tierra is in trouble and she needs our help and our caring for her.  She needs us to honor her.  And protect her.

This might involve traditional practices, like making offerings (“despachos“) and prayers for the healing of the earth.  It also might involve ceremonies, calling in the power of the Twelve Sacred Mountains (the Apus), the six directions, prayers, and healing thoughts.  These are all important.  But also important, perhaps even more important is our continuing awareness of Pachamama and our actions to take care of her as she takes care of us by feeding us, by giving us water, by providing shelter.

So I have a very simple request.  Please pause now, look up from your screen, go outdoors if you can, and see, if you can, the unbelievable, abundant world surrounding us, the world on which we walk.  Look at Pachamama.  And feel, if you can, in your heart gratitude for all Pachamama provides us.  This gratitude is incredibly important.  It is the beginning point to help the planet.


cross-posted from The Dream Antilles


Skip to comment form

  1. Thanks for reading.

  2. this place is downright spooky sometimes.

    Thank you, David, for this conversation.

    I was snooping around youtubes this morning and I came across this (below) but I have been sitting on it all day… waiting for the right moment, and place, to plop it down.

    I think this is it. 🙂

  3. they say I am foolish to walk far away without a gun.  There are bear, moose with huge horns and packs of coyote or maybe even wild cats.

    These creatures are not my enemy so I do not fear them.

    • Edger on August 11, 2009 at 03:50

    Outside my window Vancouver lies at the feet of Pachamama.

  4. For every two bags of recyclable bottles and cans I pick up, I pick up three bags of stuff I can’t get any cash for.

    The city recycles it for cash, and the land gets cleaned up.

    The bottles n’ cans I can turn into cash this month will be going to pay the vet bill for this little darlin’. I named her Lakshmi.

    She was abandoned a few months ago and went feral. My introduction to her was when she whacked a baby possum in my backyard while I was sitting on my deck. Then I started finding dead birds and did the math. I’ve been feeding her, and it would appear that nobody else has because she was still skin and bones and eating four cans of food a day a month later. I asked the neighbors, but no one seemed to know who she belonged to.

    This past weekend I managed to get her into a carrier and take her to the vet, so now she has had her shots for rabies, distemper, FeLV, respiratory illness, and a treatment of Revolution for fleas, ticks and worms. Her appetite is slowing down a lot now that she knows she’ll be getting regular meals. My other two cats keep their distance and seem to have accepted her presence.

    This isn’t the only shamanic practice I do, but it’s representative of what I do in this world.

  5. Really all of us are supposed to have the same ability.

    Clear your mind.  Breath in and our slowly.  Focus on the fabulously good moments of your life.  Times you experienced love and joy.  Ask for and trust your first impressions.

    Look into the eyes.

    Flores first.




    Do you, did you feel it?  I do think a picture is worth a thousand words.

  6. Thank you, davidseth!

  7. Fabulous essay.

    I like the three language intake.

    • Joy B. on August 11, 2009 at 20:40

    Once had a half Irish Setter, half Irish Wolfhound named Mama Hooker. Baddest groundhog dog on the planet, even on three legs. When the neighborhood pack would get together mornings to go hunting in the cornfields, our nubian goat Rebecca (who thought she was a dog) always went right along with, just ate the field corn instead of the groundhog innards… None of the neighborhood pack thought she didn’t belong.

    Dogs and bears don’t get along at all. But if there’s a dog present, bears will give the property a wide berth. These only moved in since our last Most Loyal Dog In The World, Miss Lucy, died last spring. More bears than I’ve seen in the neighborhood in 17 long years! Got to babysit my sister’s Border Collie McDuff last weekend (good trainer for Starfish, who will eventually be bigger than him), who carefully followed the scents, marked the periphery, and allowed us the first two nights without bear rampages in months.

    A bear will only fight a dog if they have to. Or if the get between Mama and her cubs. No cubs this year, so we’re cool. Watching a dozen turkeys in the path between the pears and the bottomland drop-off right now, they don’t mind bears either. A deer doe has appeared last couple of days, good because they’ve been scarce since the bears showed up. Figure Starfish will figure it out eventually, make some noise and keep them on the other side of the ridge. Surrounded by NF bear sanctuary, have been advised not to use the shotgun – that’ll just make ’em mad – but the pellet gun instead. It’s a pain in the ass to carry with me into the garden, so I made a sling. So far they’ve left me alone. It will just sting them, though we have found that just shooting off the shotgun into the air makes enough noise to impress.

Comments have been disabled.