Prophecies of the Q'ero Incan Shamans
The light of idealism gleamed in his eyes as Dr. Alberto Villoldo
described how an earthquake in 1949 underneath a monastery
near Cuzco, Peru, had rent the ground asunder, exposing an ancient
Incan temple of gold. This fulfilled a sign that the prophecies of
Mosoq, the "time to come," were now to be shared with the modern
Dr. Villoldo, a psychologist and medicinal anthropologist,
has lived among and trained with the Q'ero shamans and has
played a key role in bringing their ritual and prophecy to the
awareness of the modern world.
The Q'ero are the last of the Incas --
a tribe of 600 who sought refuge at altitudes above 14,000 feet
in order to escape the conquering conquistadors.
For 500 years the Q'ero elders have preserved a sacred prophecy
of a great change, or "pachacuti,"
in which the world would be turned right-side-up,
harmony and order would be restored,
and chaos and disorder ended.
The Q'ero had lived in their villages high in the Andes in virtual
solitude from the world until their "discovery" in 1949.
In that year, Oscar Nunez del Prado, an anthropologist,
was at a festival in Paucartambo, in southern Peru,
when he met two Indians speaking fluent Quecha,
the language of the Incas.
The first Western expedition to the Q'ero villages
then occurred in 1955.
Four years later, at the annual Feast of The Return of the Pleiades
taking place in the Andes, the gathering of 70,000 pilgrims
from South America were awed,
and the crowd parted to let the Q'ero,
unannounced and wearing the Incan emblem of the sun,
make their way forward to the mountain top to make known
that the time of the prophecies was at hand.
They were welcomed by theassembly and were told,
"We've been waiting for you for 500 years."
Recently, Q'ero elders journeyed to North America
in fulfillment of their prophecies.
In November 1996, a small group of Q'ero, including the tribal
leader and the head shaman, visited several cities in the US,
including New York, where they performed a private ceremony
at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
The shamanic ritual had not been performed for 500 years.
But in thevery home of those who symbolized the former
conquerors of their Incan ancestors they shared their ritual
and knowledge, not only with interested Westerners who
were learning their ways, but also with the Dean of the great
cathedral, thereby symbolically and spiritually linking the
two continents of North and South America.
According to ancient prophecy, this is the time of the great
gathering called the "mastay" and reintegration of the
peoples of the four directions.
The Q'ero are releasing their teachings to the West,
in preparation for the day the Eagle of the
North and the Condor of the South (the Americas) fly together again.
They believe that "munay,"
love and compassion,
will be the guiding force of this great
gathering of the peoples.
The new caretakers of the Earth will come from the West,
and those that have made the greatest impact on Mother Earth
now have the moral responsibility to remake their relationship
with Her, after remaking themselves," said Don Antonio Morales,
a master Q'ero shaman.
The prophecy holds that North America will supply the
physical strength, or body; Europe will supply the mental aspect,
or head; and the heart will be supplied by South America.
When the Spanish conquered the Incas 500 years ago,
the last pachacuti, or great change, occurred.
The Q'ero have been waiting ever since for the next
pachacuti, when order would emerge out of chaos.
For the past five centuries they preserved their s
acred knowledge, and finally, in recent years, the signs
were fulfilled that the great time of change was at hand:
the high mountain lagoons have dried, the condor is nearly
extinct and the discovery of the Golden Temple
has occurred, following the earthquake in 1949
which represented the wrath of the sun.
The prophecies are optimistic.
They refer to the end of time as we know it --
the death of a way of thinking and a way of being,
the end of a way of relating to nature and to the earth.
In the coming years, the Incas expect us to emerge into a
golden age, a golden millennium of peace.
The prophecies also speak of
tumultuous changes happening in the earth,
and in our psyche, redefining our
relationships and spirituality.
The next pachacuti, or great change, has already begun,
and it promises the emergence of a new human after
this period of turmoil.
The chaos and upheaval characteristic of this period will
last another four years, according to the Q'ero.
The paradigm of European civilization will continue to collapse,
and the way of the Earth people will return. Even more importantly,
the shamanic elders speak about a tear in the fabric of time itself.
This presents an opportunity for us to describe ourselves not
as who we have been in the past but as who we are becoming.
Pachacuti also refers to a great Incan leader
who lived in the late 1300s.
He is said to have built Machu Picchu
and was the architect of an empire the size of the US.
For the Incas, Pachacuti is a spiritual prototype --
a Master, a luminous one who stepped outside of time.
He was a messiah, but not in the Christian sense
of the only son of God,
beyond the reach of humanity.
Rather he is viewed as a symbol and promise of
who we all might become.
He embodies the essence of the prophecies of the pachacuti, as
Pacha means "earth" or "time," and cuti means "to set things right."
His name also means "transformer of the earth."
The prophecies of the pachacuti are known throughout the Andes.
There are those who believe the prophecies refer to the return
of the leader Pachacuti to defeat those who took the Incas' land.
But according to Dr. Villoldo, the return of Pachacuti is
taking place on the collective level.
"It's not the return of a single individual who embodies
what we're becoming, but a process of emergence
available to all peoples."
The Q'ero have served as the caretakers of the rites
and prophecies of their Inca ancestors.
The prophecies are of no use unless one has the keys,
the rites of passage.
The Star Rites, or "Mosoq Karpay"
(The Rites of the Time to Come), are
crucial to the practical growth described in the prophecies.
Following the "despachos"
(ritualistic offerings of mesa, or medicine bundles)
at the ceremony in New York City,
the shamans administered the Mosoq Karpay to the individuals present,
transmitting the energies originating with the ancestors of their lineage.
The transmission of the Mosoq Karpay
is the ceremony representing the end of
one's relationship to time.