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Balancing Power: A Core Practice in a Complex World

Life is complicated, an ironically simple fact. When I want to describe a situation that feels beyond a simple explanation or resolution it is easy to say “Life is complicated.” For me, it can be a form of escape from the truth or an excuse not to delve deeper, work harder, or acknowledge honestly because it feels easier to just bypass what actually needs to happen by chalking something up to “it’s complicated.”

Doing so is, for me, an expression of my longing for a simpler life, a less complex existence. I seek a life that allows me to focus more readily and engage more intentionally so that I walk in alignment with my better nature.

Nevertheless, words like messy, complex, and unbalanced can easily describe what, at times, it means to be alive here and now. I could say that I am regularly caught up in a Pachakuti of life, both large and small. I can sometimes lose my balance in the upturning, overturning, and world-reversals of the day to day life. In my effort to pass through these challenges, I sometimes lose sight of what practical Shamanic Self-Care looks like. In addition to releasing the wounds of the past, walking this shamanic path is also about transforming the present.

Even as I invest myself in the pursuit of seven-dimensional consciousness, the very nature of this extraordinary journey is a challenge amid life’s complexities. As fulfilling and beautiful as this unfolding may be, the resulting tension between surrendering to the evolution of Self and maintaining the practical necessities of life leaves me, at times, disconnected and unbalanced: “Yes, I am one with all that is…but I forgot to feed the cat.”

As I seek healthy energetic balance in the phenomenological realm of the Kaypacha, my physical manifestation as flesh and blood, though innately energetic in nature, struggles to stay connected to the upper and inner realms of reality. While it is true that some are far more sensitive than I to the more subtle experience of the unseen world, I often feel bound to the diachronic confines of my material existence and disconnected from my Shamanic SELF. It is if I have forgotten what has been re-membered.

However, it is within the Kaypacha that the three worlds are inextricably connected through ayni, that energy flows readily between them, and the life force energy I need from the Ukupacha and celestial guidance I need from the Hanaqpacha are made available to me in this place. Sitting in the South, then, becomes a way of re-connecting and re-balancing the kypa that is always available.

What I seek is to live in this middle world while drawing the needed power from my shamanic practice. I seek a way that is more fully participative in The Great Work as a co-creator of a new and better world. I seek a path that is balanced, responsive, and aligned. The search feels unending, and perhaps that is how it should be.

Nevertheless, I do have hope. It lies in the mirror of my Banco Maestra.

I see reflected there a multi-dimensional embodiment of life itself, indeed, my life. I am, and have been, viscerally aware of this energetic correspondence, yet, my life still lacks, in many respects, the constancy of alignment with directions, axioms, principles, and allies so perfectly held in the mesonic field. The balance I seek, can be found there, though in the midst of a Pachakuti, it can feel tenuous and in need of re-membering. This is my soul’s greatest struggle.

So, I look to my mesa.

What do I see when I look upon this altar ground, into this living and interactive bank of power? Symmetry, pairings, duality, and balance: These are the visual qualities I immediately take in. But, as I soften my gaze and allow the field of Encanto to wash over me and envelope me into its embrace, I see the five primary and the four secondary artes of a PMT mesa, which together reflect the architecture of life itself, of Self. I sense the flow of energy along the spiral path to the center…my center…my soul, and the four-level path of creation itself, from principle, to purpose, to form, and finally to manifestation. I make an offering of Florida water and tobacco while submitting myself to creative process.

In the North I see several raptor feathers, including the spirit drenched condor feather used for decades and later gifted to me by my beloved mentor and personal healer, Phil Foster. Energetically, the power of Wiracocha, Source, Great Originating Mystery is held here, and the spiritual indwelling that flows from the celestial realm. Here is my access to the Hanaqpacha and the unformed cosmic intention that brings all things into existence. It is my source of Yuyay, spiritual enlightenment. I also see my Arte Maestra clear crystal orb, wherein dwells my master teacher who guides me toward my highest potential. I must re-member this.

In the East I see a candle holder made of colored glass gifted to me by the leaders of a social service agency for which I once worked. Energetically, this piece holds the power of Inti, grandfather sun, and great organizer of life. Here that which is intended by the upper realm takes on form and purpose. It represents my mind, the inner light that shines within me as knowledge and wisdom and where I can find my spark of purpose. I also see my Intirumi citrine crystal orb, wherein dwells the animating essence of thought form and the bringing of light into the world. I must re-member this.

In the West I see a conch shell gathered from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico by a relative who then gifted it to my parents who kept it on the mantle of the family home where I grew up. Energetically, this piece holds the power of Mama Killa, grandmother moon, and the reflection of sun with an ordering of growth in my heart. It is my source of Munay, unconditional love and compassion. I also see my Killarumi rose quartz orb, which holds the animating essence of Sami, which brings my emotional life to order and balance. I must re-member this.

And finally, in the South I see a carved piece of granite from Apu Stone Mountain, gifted to me by my father who was born and raised in the shadow of that ancient sacred site. Energetically, this piece holds the power of Pachamama, Mother Earth, and the essential life force that gives me sentience and physical manifestation. It is my source of Llankay, right actions wrought of body and sweat. I also see my Purunilla jiwaya stone, which holds the embodiment of my primary animal ally, and the energy of Kawsay for the healing of my body. I must re-member this.

And in the center, I see a carved alabaster stone upon which a scallop shell rests, holding a set of prayer beads I made thirty years ago while in seminary, and a stone llama that was gifted to me by my first shamanic teacher, Cynthia Greer. Energetically, the power of Q’uichi is held here, and the core of Self that I seek. It represents my soul, whole, bursting with life and the capacity to serve from an alignment with body, heart, spirit, and mind, while connected to the flow of Kanchay from above and Kawsay from below. I must re-member this.

Each of these pieces is connected energetically to me and to my story. Together, their stories contribute to my story and to the aspects of me that need balance: my body, my heart, my spirit, my mind, and my soul. If they are fed and in balance on my mesa, then I can trust that this balance and stability will be reflected in my life.

Surely, to walk through life in alignment with my medicine-giving mesa is a powerful way to find balance amid the pachakutis within me and around me. I must re-member this…I must be this.

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