The Pachakuti Mesa altar ground is many things. Among them, it is map and mirror, clock and compass. My mesa has become my constant travel guide as I journey through this life.

Growing up submerged in a society that pathologically prizes constant production and forward movement, it’s been infinitely difficult to discover a pace or a place that made any sense for me to keep or be. Having always felt I was made for spaces between – a phenomenon to which many on the shaman’s path can relate – I’d never managed to fully honor or fall into step with my own heartbeat and deep sense of soul while trying to live up to a social and professional status quo. By common prescript, to “succeed” would mean to constantly be climbing toward a tangible goal, ever generative, constantly growing. I sought to walk tall in the cannonade of expectation, to be all the “should be” of family and society. Yet for all this conditioned striving and fighting, I had seldom felt I belonged anywhere, doing anything, with anyone. The more I strove and the longer I fought, the more and more I came out of alignment, barely reaching anything I’d meant to, and in so doing losing my health, my voice, my mind, and finally all sense of direction. Making the most basic decisions felt hollow and frightening, every day a shot in the dark, for I’d broken my compass fighting the flow for so long I no longer recognized my own “yes” and my “no”.

My mesa practice has gifted me a massive re-Membering of place and purpose, an honoring and affirmation of rhythms much older than our construct of time, and an entirely new context for my life. It is with me every step, blessing and protecting, healing and empowering, guiding and reminding. By the wisdom of the mesa tradition, I lean into life with new grace and courage born of a bone-deep sense of the shifting shape of the time and space into which I’m incarnate, and a limitless remembering of that which surrounds it.

In profound honor of my mesa – which has returned me to my instinctive rhythm and true voice – and in deepest gratitude and reverence for all teachers and fellow practitioners of the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition of Cross Cultural Shamanism, I offer this:

Pachakuti Mesa Prayer for the Journey

Mesa, mirror on the floor
Give me the keys and show me the doors
Light the paths and guide the way
Through labyrinth spiral of time and space

From darkest cavern and mountain peak
Through moon-pulled rivers, lakes, and seas
To winged views and Thunder Beings
By candlelight and sunbright beams
Through sacred rainbow prism dreams
Across and around, call the lightning down

Creativity Creating Creation
Keep the rhythm and teach the cadence
That I may walk in spaces between
The Middle World and Worlds Unseen
A whirling dance of alchemy
Making bridge of body and circle of stone
Ally of mind and lover of soul, every breath an offering
With Spirit singing through hollow bones.

Bell and rattle, crystal and flower
Keep the time and call the hour
(eleven to the eleventh power)
Gods, protect and Goddess, rise
Joined in heart, one love Divine

Snake and Whale, Condor and Cat
Hummingbird and Alpaca, mark the path
The ancient way of Sun and Moon
Of mud and star, blackness to bloom
Guide me through the shine and shadow
Where the past comes present and presence renews
Illuminating gates in the mundane
Granting mystic’s vision, magician’s gaze
And wisdom of the medicine ways
A recognition of platonic shapes born of starfire and overlaid
With enchanted dust of the Everyday
That we might see and know and relate
To the Dream that weaves the blood-red tapestries
The web of life and the impulse to create

By the ways of llankay, munay, and yachay

Willka WIllka Willka, Wiracochan, Nunay…

About the Author

Carolyn Chlebowski

Carolyn Chlebowski

Featured Contributor

Carolyn is an artist, soul alchemist, dream walker, Earth lover, seer, shapeshifter, space holder, teacher and healer. She works creatively and eclectically to reveal wholeness through exemplifying beauty and connection in all things.

You can find her artwork and jewelry for honoring your animal totems and spirit guides at www.etsy.com/shop/TheWildPsyche and www.facebook.com/TheWildPsyche. Witness her journey at www.instagram.com/wi_psi/