From Chapter 4: The Three Worlds of the Andean Cosmology
In shamanic traditions all around the world, we see shamans viewing the Universe separated into three different levels of existence--an Upper World, a Middle World, and a Lower World. In each shamanic culture and society, the role of the Shaman is to walk between these different worlds, connect with the spirits and energies that reside within each of these realms, and bring the multidimensional wisdom and medicine that they find in these other worlds back to their tribes and communities.
In the shamanic tradition of the Andes, the shamans believe that the Universe is comprised of three different pachas. “Pacha” is the Quechua word for “earth” or “world.”
The three pachas of the Andean cosmology are:
• The Ukhu Pacha--the Lower World; its guardian is the Snake.
• The Kay Pacha--the Middle World; its guardian is the Puma.
• The Hanna Pacha--the Upper World; its guardian is the Condor.
The Hanna Pacha and the Upper World
High above the mountain peaks, hidden behind the mists, resides the unseen world of the Hanna Pacha--the Upper World of the Andean Cosmology. To the Andean people, the Hanna Pacha is the realm, or “earth” of the heavens. Within the realm of Hanna Pacha resides the Sun, the Moon, the Stars, and all things that live above and outside of the Earth. This is the place of the Great Above, and it is the home of Great Mystery, God/ddess, and the I AM presence. The Hanna Pacha is the home of the Gods.
Because this dimension is believed to be the world the realm of the Gods, Hanna Pacha holds a deep source of wisdom and knowledge. When we journey to the Hanna Pacha, we can access this great spiritual wisdom and use it to enrich our lives, the lives of our families, and the lives of all those within our tribes and communities. The Hanna Pacha is the place we journey to pray and to commune with the Gods, and receive the wisdom from the Unseen World. When we journey to the Hanna Pacha, we can see all of Life through the eyes of the Gods.
The Guardian of the Hanna Pacha is the Condor.
Similar to the Eagle in the North American Shamanic Traditions, the Condor embodies a majesty and regality to the Andes people. Because the Andes people witnessed the Condor flying to great heights within the skies, and swiftly disappearing in the mists of the tallest mountains, they believed that the Condor was the only creature that could journey between this world and the world of the Gods, the Hanna Pacha.
They believed that each sight or visit from the Condor was a direct message from the Gods of the Great Above, and with each sighting, they believed they received a blessing from the Hanna Pacha.
Medicine Journey to the Hanna Pacha
Take a deep breath and exhale fully. Close your eyes and breathe deeply into your lungs, filling your body with oxygen and chi. Take a deep breath in and exhale completely. Lay down and allow yourself to get comfortable.
In your Mind’s Eye, envision yourself high up within the Andes mountains, sitting upon a rock ledge that has been there for millennia. Looking out in front of you, you can see an ocean of mountains extending out as far as your eyes can see them. Carefully looking down below, you can make out the Urubamba River moving throughout the base of these mountains. From high up this ancient powerful river snakes through the mountains, looking like a silver snake winding its way through the Andes Jungle. Above you the mists and clouds gently descend down from the skies above.
As you breathe and take in the surroundings upon this high mountain ledge, you notice a condor flying off in the distance. You watch this majestic bird fly through the clouds and mountain tops, gliding through the currents of the wind. Moving with such grace and ease, you notice the condor is getting closer and closer to your ledge. You stand up and the condor flies in closer and lands upon your ledge. You and the condor exchange glances. Looking deep into the eyes of the Condor, you feel and know that you are in the presence of a divine being. This condor is large. Spreading out its wings, you realize that this condor is large enough to hold and carry you--a mythical creature from the other world.
The Condor turns back to look at you, welcoming you too jump upon its back. You approach and climb upon the giant condor and once you are settled and comfortable the condor leaps off the ledge and flies into the mists and into the ocean of mountains.
Flying high above the mountains and soaring through the mists, the condor shows you the portals and doorways to the hidden realms of the Great Above--the Hanna Pacha. The Condor takes you to the first door way, the door way of your Past. You and the Condor both fly through the portal and enter a scene from your past--perhaps this is a memory or experience from your childhood, or a series of events from a past life. Take note of where you are, what you are experiencing, what are you witnessing? Are there any feelings associated with this past memory? Take some time to drop into this past experience.
After you’ve allowed yourself to revisit this past experience, see if there is any medicine that wishes to come back with you from this past experience. Perhaps there is a symbol, a color, a message--whatever wants to come back with you, do not judge it just allow it to come back with you for further integration. Thank this portal to the past and climb upon the Condor once again.