SAT Workshop 25-28 April 2024
SAT Workshop 25-28 April 2024

The Sacred Andean Tradition is an experiential tradition. As you practice with the elements, you will find a creative flow that allows you to find your relationship and form of practice intuitively.

Pachamama, Mother Earth

Pachamama, mother earth, is all powerful and very beautiful, with her lush forests, deep valleys, and colourful smile that we receive daily through the flowers she provides. Through the mountains and rocks, with all their stature and strength, she reminds us how much we are loved and supported. Pachamama cleanses us from all our heavy and dense energy and can transmute it for us. We work with this element when we want our physical and material needs manifested. As you work with this element, giving her all your heaviness, Pachamama will restore you, giving back light and strength. This helps you shift all those blockages in your physical reality – getting that job, financial success, health, relationships, etc. There are several ways to do this as the Earth presents various tools for us to work with; crystals would be a prime example. Take the time to sit on the grass or, better yet, lie face down on the grass and direct your awareness to the Pachamama. Talk to her, tell her all your worries, concerns, and hopes, and give her everything inside you. She will respond immediately. Another practice is connecting to the trees; you will never receive a more loving embrace than a tree’s. Rocks contain the wisdom of the ages, and through conscious connection to them, we can tap into this. Through these practices, you will feel lighter; they are simple, powerful and highly effective.

The Amuru Doorway, Lake Titicaca, Peru
The Amuru Doorway, Lake Titicaca, Peru

Wayra, the Air Element

The Q’ero people of the Andes revered the air, which they call Wayra [Wind], as a purifying element that balances the intellect. To them, the winds and breezes are more than just the movement of air – they are the breath of the Apus, the mountain spirits, who bestow blessings and Kausay [energy] to all living beings. 

When one inhales deeply of the crisp mountain air, it is believed that the Apus fill your lungs with prana, the vital life force. Breathing connects you to all other breathing creatures in a web of shared life. As you exhale, you release what no longer serves so that new breath and inspiration can enter.

The Q’ero often offer blessings by blowing through coca leaves or waving their mesas [ceremonial bundles] over a person’s body to cleanse their energy field with the purifying qualities of the air. The mesas may contain feathers and other objects from birds, representing the ability of air creatures to traverse between worlds and connect humans to the Hanaq Pacha [higher world].

In ritual, the Paq’os [shamans] will also whistle and make sounds with their rattles that emulate the wind, calling in the air spirits to encircle the participants with their restorative energies of clarity and higher vision. When one feels the wind’s caress during a ceremony, it is said that the Apus are present, guiding and lifting the people’s consciousness to new heights of awareness and evolution.

Clouds over Lake Titicaca, Peru
Clouds over Lake Titicaca, Peru

Nina, the Fire Element

As humans, we can survive without food for approximately four to six weeks; we can even survive without water for between two and seven days and without air for about three minutes, but if we don’t have our inner fire, our spirit, we cannot survive at all. Nina [fire] is the last element we connect and work on within our workshops but the most essential. Nina is our passion, our daring, our ability to move forward and strive, push our limitations, try the new and forge the unknown; it is our courage. Nina helps us see our true beauty, essence, and soul and reminds us why we love being alive! Like everything, there is always the duality, and Nina also represents heavier emotions, like anger, hatred, rage, and jealousy. As we start to release these emotions, we connect to our true essence; we can access love for ourselves much more easily. Connecting and activating our internal fire is, as with all the other elements, accomplished with the help of the external element. The sun (Inti) is the most dominant form of fire in our world, but the use of flame in any capacity can be as effective, from a bonfire to a candle flame. By opening our hearts or energy fields to this element, we can access limitless energy, or by simply meditating with it, we can burn away our fears and limitations. It is a powerful masculine element which should be handled with respect and consciousness.

Fire Element Despacho Ceremony
Fire Element Despacho Ceremony

Una Mama, the Water Element

Una Mama has the power to teach us to flow; she demonstrates this by moving through and around everything, not allowing obstacles to hinder her. As fluid and gentle as she is, she has great strength and dominates 70% of our Earth. Una Mama teaches us to be silent, still, and to go within. She helps us wash away our sadness and stresses; in return, we access stillness and silence and connect to our inner peace. There are many ways to connect to this element; for example, if you have fought with someone or are completely stressed about a situation, place your wrists under the running tap water and let it wash away those emotions. Another way to connect to the water element would be through bathing or showering, connecting to rivers or the sea. Her touching and caressing us again reminds us how loved we are and that all our density can be washed away with her cleansing powers.

The water fountain at the top of Tipon's terraces is a ritual fountain and is considered a place of worship.
The water fountain at the top of Tipon’s terraces is a ritual fountain and is considered a place of worship.