written by Tracy Tague
I am a forty-four year old single female with a passion for travel and a LOVE for adventure.
I currently live in Atlanta, although I am considering downsizing into a tiny house and traveling the country. I have a bucket list, and its quite long. Peru has been at the top for years.
I knew this was something I wanted to do with “experts”. I didn’t want to take any chances of missing out on all it has to offer.
The trip was more than I anticipated, beyond my expectations. Four key points stood out for me.
I don’t know if there is anything that really prepares you for the majesty and wonder of Peru. On one hand you can physically train your body to hike in the Andes but it will not prepare you for the heart opening splendor of this area which will totally take your breath away no matter how fit you are. Coming from Atlanta, I knew the altitude would be a challenge. The terrain and the overwhelming beauty all had me gasping for air at least 100 times a day. I trained hard to get ready for this trip. I chose to prepare with days of intermittent fasting, bone broths, green juices and daily yoga classes during the week, long hikes on the weekends. I felt strong, powerful connection with my body, heart and mind. The mountains, or Apu’s are the most important energy of Peru. The high altitude landscape invited us push ourselves to greater heights both physically and spiritually, and with the added assistance of some very special guides we found ourselves relaxing into a more naturally state of connection, with each other, the land and ourselves.
The way of life, the connection to the rhythms in nature, the culture where weaving is a way of life were all eye-opening. We were invited into one of our guides homes in Chinchero, where his mom, and the women of his family shared their sacred art with us. I was surprised by just how simple and inspiring their day-to-day lives are in the Sacred Valley. The food, the preparation, and the natural process of dying yarn that was hand spun, and woven into the most beautiful tapestries and textiles. I felt so grateful to witness the connection these women shared while working side by side. I experienced the same connection woven through the group of Questers that I was traveling with.
Magic, whether you believe in it or not, you can’t help but feel it when you are in the Sacred Valley. The connection to the rhythms and cycles in nature, the architecture dependent on the rising and setting of the sun, pointing and aligning to offer pictures, stories and a deeper understanding of how the Inca people lived. I felt a connection to the spirit of the land, a vibration that I can only describe as magic. The Peruvian people are full of sacred knowledge that they were so willing to share – they seemed to just magically show up as if they had been waiting for us. But being in Peru is like being under a magic spell and what you need at any given moment just shows up for you.
We had the opportunity to participate in a ceremony called a Despacho. An Andean Priest, also called a Paco, named Benito, from Q´ero community led us through an honoring of the sacred energies of the masculine and feminine. He walked for days with his brother ad nephew to be with us, carrying tradition and coca leaves with him. This ceremony was a way to give thanks to the High Realms, to Pachamama, Mother Earth, the Spirit of all the water Bodies, the Nature, the Sun called Inti, Moon, Stars, and the Great Spirit and to ask them for protection, light on our path in life, and blessings. Made with paper, seeds, herbs, and glitter all symbolizing aspects of the sacred masculine and feminine. Finished with cotton to line our path so that we have a soft place to fall if we lose our way.
“I’ll march with you my sister
To your place of fearing
We’ll dive into those waters
Swim into the clearing”
Traveling and circling with women…there is a palpable connection that happens when we all come together with a common vision and open our hearts.
Peru is said to be the “morning of the new sun” – the portal through which rays of the new light will begin to awaken humanity to a new consciousness.
Where Inti, the sun god unites with Pachamama, the Andean Mother Earth
This union of the divine masculine and feminine whether magic, or reality, seeps into your soul, it weaves itself into your way of being.
I am still integrating the transformation that experienced. The friendship I developed with my roommate… whom I affectionately call Rumi; the vibration of the land, which I still feel in my body 5 weeks later. I have a new perspective on life, and how I want to show up in this world. Peru, and my Women’s Quest experience was nothing short of heart opening and life changing.
written by Tracy Tague