Alturas (Heights)
Hatun Karpay
Initiation in Peru

An account of an initiation into
ancient Andean spiritual traditions
during which we learn to tap into
and work with the natural energies
of the earth and the universe.

Hatun Karpay Initiation in Peru



By Joan Parisi Wilcox

Shared via email correspondence, May 13, 2003, and used with permission.

The Andean perspective of the energy body, call it what you will, is a bit different from all the concepts of the Merkaba that I've read about, although I admit my reading in the literature about the Merkaba is limited. Here's what the Andeans say about our light body, in the quick and easy version.

First, it is called the kawsay poq'po in some communities, which translates to energy bubble. We live in the kawsay pacha, the "world of living energy" or the "world of animating energy." Our light body is part of that kawsay pacha, not anything separate from or distinct from it, except that we each coalesce a personal protective bubble around our physical body of this animating energy. The "bubble" is a metaphor only, so I would not assume a shape for it. I really can't cast any light on that. However, the bubble does have a sort of energetic layering to it, with an outermost protective layer we could equate with our physical skin. The "condition" of our bubble reflects the condition of our minds, health, thoughts, perceptions, spiritual practices etc. But mostly it expresses our facility for being in fluid, conscious, and unrestricted interchange with the free flow of the energy in our environment, in ever larger "circles" of energy until we reach the universal energies.

The kawsay poq'po is in and of itself perfect in its original state, but as a result of our interactions in the physical and our interchanges with others and with nature, which are less than perfect, this bubble can become "contaminated" to use a fairly judgmental term. The Andeans would say this light body has become denser and heavier. We can cleanse our bubble, although it also has self-correcting characteristics itself. Related to this is our ability, through our bubble, to always be in energetic interchange with those around us and with nature and all other energies. We are in interchange at all times whether we are conscious of these interchanges or not. It is to our benefit to become conscious of these interchanges, to always be in ayni, or perfect reciprocity, in our exchanges.

We don't have to activate this bubble or spin its centers or do anything of the kind, for the bubble is perfect in and of itself, but as we act and think and so on in life with less than perfect ayni then we tend to accumulate heaviness in this light body. So, the most useful practice we can undertake in regard to this light body is to cleanse it, which is an intentional and meditative practice, although it can become a more active process, but that's another story. Simultaneous with cleansing our bubble, we must enhance our ability to be conscious of our interchanges so that we don't continue to draw heaviness, or incompatible energy, to us or give it out to others.

We can also "travel" via our poq'po because our "filaments" (again, a metaphor) can be extended outward through space to energetically connect us with others and to other places. Since there really is no time and space, we shouldn't think of this really as "traveling" but more as making a connection through which we are able to access the information and so on, so that it is as if we are at this other place physically. In some cases, others may actually see us there physically, although we are not in actuality (but only energetically). As an aside, this is one way that shamans can shapeshift.

Another aspect to this bubble is that during the day we tend to merge easily, or make contact with, others, so that you could say we are more naturally in a "group bubble" during the day. At night, we tend to be more in our personal energetic space and so that is the time when we find it easier, usually, to "work" with our bubble. During sleep it is easier still for us to slip the confines of the physical and be more attuned to our bubble. We tend to "travel" more easily in this sleep state than in other states, but it is also easier for others to travel to us. So, if we want to maintain the integrity of our bubble during our sleep we should be conscious of intending to do so before we go to sleep, and we should work to be more lucid during our sleep state.

I haven't even talked about sami (ordered or refined energy) and hucha (disordered or heavy energy) but these would equate with what Dr. Joshua Davidstone talks about as refining his merkaba (as in color, configuration, and so on) during "initiations." One can have all the initiations one wants, but if one isn't actually energetically living the initiation (which is a perceptual shift) than it is little more than an experience one undergoes. That's why Andeans aren't so hung up on levels of initiations but on the quality of one's conscious control of one's light body. There are "levels" in the Andean, but they are more about what one is capable of doing with one's energy than they are one's accumulation of knowledge, secrets, initiations, or whatever. The energy "work" of the Andes is decidedly democratic! It really very simple (but not simplistic!) and there isn't any secret or hidden information that has to be uncovered. One has only to practice ayni, which is to be in energetic harmony with the free flow of energy in the cosmos. One's learning to "breathe one's light body" to coin a term, to take in and give out the finest energy consciously and fluidly. If one can learn to do that, then the rest is all conceptual window dressing!

I hope this short and not very detailed overview of the Andean concept of the energy body, as I understand it from my work in the Andes, has shown some of the similarities and the differences of interpretation about what our light body/merkaba/poq'po is in these two different conceptual systems.

Wishing you many blessings,

Joan Parisi Wilcox

To review the first explanation of the Andean energetic perspective of the universe, click here.

Update: February 14, 2008 - Apparently Joan has taken down her website. So to buy her books, please visit one of the following websites: All Book Stores, or Inner Traditions.

Later on, Joan added the following information:

I do talk just a little about the "skin" as Juan called it of our poq'po in my book (Keepers of the Ancient Knowledge - see Bibliography). You might want to look back in the book at the interview portion (Chapter 8) where I talk with the Q'ero about sami versus k'ara, where k'ara is more the visible part of the light body and sami is its essence. In the Andean tradition, k'ara is more like the aura, which is what some people can actually see and which may have different colors person to person or thing to thing (as in a mountain).

I'm working on putting together a Web site, where I will have some substantial articles offered for a small fee that contain information from interviews with other Andean shamans, mostly Fredy "Puma" Quispe Singona. He offers incredibly beautiful and detailed information about the energy body and other aspects of the Andean understanding of energy work. I hope to have the site up in a few months, by fall at the latest. Joan

Joan did set up her website, but later took it down.


Page Eighteen

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Index ~ 1 ~ 2 ~ 3 ~ 4 ~ 5 ~ 6 ~ Rainbow Rock
7 ~ 8 ~ 9 ~ 10 ~ 11 ~ 12 ~ Travel Tips
13 ~ 14 ~ 15 ~ Links 2 ~ 16 ~ 17 ~ 18
19 - Musings


Florence W. Deems
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