By Danielle Leigh
As we begin to take the steps to understanding deeply the people we come from, and the stories of our ancestors, we can begin the deeper journey into shifting our perception of who we are now.
One thing that really drew me initially to the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition is its immediate connection to Pachamama and the elements that sustain all life upon her. Commercialism reigns supreme in an era of environmental destruction and corporate greed. Many of us are drawn to travelling to other countries and immersing ourselves in other cultures because we feel that they are more rooted to sacred Earth spirituality. Some of us are drawn to the incenses, rituals, chants, and yogic philosophy and practices of India. Some of us are drawn to the mists, greenery, mysticism, and Celtic lineages of Ireland and the British Isles.
In this day and age it is not uncommon to feel disconnected from our earthly and ancestral roots. We are likely to feel hundreds of years, maybe thousands (or even more), removed from our deeper earthly connections. Yet every single one of us is descended from somewhere that was once inhabited by people who truly honored the Earth on which they lived. In essence, we are not really so far from the ritual practices and Earth honoring wisdom that we are all birthed from. I have personally experienced some beautiful ancestral connections and remembering through my PMT mesa practice. Although it is primarily a Peruvian lineage, it has brought me closer to both my Native American and Celtic roots. Ultimately, we can all claim this Earth honoring wisdom as an integral and essential part of who we are.
It is good medicine to begin to uncover the early earth-based spiritual practices stemming from the regions that birthed our ancestors. Those who honor Pachamama share an essential ideology that we can all connect to – because we are of the Earth. Many people feel so detached from the Earth and any honoring practices that they may feel uncomfortable or awkward to commune with her or perform ritual. If we peel back some layers, we may discover a deeper desire to feel more grounded, connected, and at peace with the world. It is this very longing that may take us on the journey back to any ancestral roots we may have disowned – and this journey begins to open our hearts and leads us further into reclaiming our roots.
Through my PMT practice, I find that I am able to find support within my ancestral origins, and honor the natural earthly rhythms and cycles. I get to celebrate every single day – no matter what I am experiencing in my personal life – through sacred ritual, moments of solitude and a deep tapping into cosmic and earthly sources of nourishment.
Connecting with Natural Rhythms
We cannot have harmony and balance in our lives if we forget to include the earth and natural rhythms in our lives.
I’m sure we can all agree that nature is a force – the most powerful force held by Pachamama. Humanity has certainly tried, and in many ways is still trying, to simulate the natural potency and power held by the Earth. I believe it is much more efficient, forward thinking, and sustaining to try to work with this potency rather than simulate or control it. The first step in learning to find this balance with the rhythms of nature and its flows is to hold reverence for it. This in itself may take some deep work individually, and most definitely, collectively. These are skills that are required in order to truly connect with the Earth rhythms, and the Pachakuti Mesa is a beautiful way to begin the process. This, by the very nature of the practice, will have an outward ripple effect as the work grows stronger within an individual.
Our winters are quite cold and snowy, and I really miss being outside as often as I am in the summer. I have learned to harmonize this by bringing the outdoors, indoors. My space is filled with plants and incenses, my curtains are cast open so I can observe the skies, and my mesa is filled with stones and feathers. It has taken a good while to come to terms with how much I am truly affected by the growing cold and darkness – and perhaps this has increased as I’ve gotten older – but I am learning to take the necessary steps to achieve and maintain harmony with the tone of this time of year. And with each passing year, I feel I am connecting more strongly with the rhythms and practices of my ancestors. This is a beautiful thing.
Paying attention to our sleep cycles and dreaming patterns is another great way to harness an understanding of nature’s rhythms, both inwardly and outwardly. We can enhance, purify and begin to shape our lives simply by paying fine attention to our natural rhythms, and doing the work to harmonize these internal rhythms with our surrounding ones. When do you naturally wake, and when do naturally feel the need to go to sleep? Do you listen to your body, and take heed of its messages and niggles, despite what your mind may be telling you to do? In the deepest dark of the winter months, it may be time to slow down and harmonize with inner rhythms. Connect with ancestral Earth honoring practices by working with dreams, paying attention to subtleties and synchronicities, and creating a physical place for your honorings.
“The further we distance ourselves from the spell of the present, explored by our senses, the harder it will be to understand and protect nature’s precarious balance, let alone the balance of our human nature.”
~ Diane Ackerman