We Be Shaman

Spiritual ceremonies gain acceptance as more and more travellers seek out the "taboo".

As globalization increases, so does cultural tolerance and curiosity, which in turn lends itself to an even more rapid exchange of ideas and customs. It truly is a wonderful world that we live in, and never has it been easier to discover the marvellous treasures that hide throughout.

Of the more exotic aspects of native cultures around the world, medicine and the processes of healing are high on the list. Western cultures that place less emphasis on connectivity of mind, body and spirit are enchanted by the accuracy of seemingly far-fetched intuition. Although visitors are familiar with medicines that are based on natural ingredients foraged from the environment, barks and seeds, smokes and leaves seem like impossibly distant cousins to the treatments that stock the shelves of pharmacies back home.

For the traveller to Peru, exotic culture is a given; however meeting medicine men may not be what comes to mind. Archaeology and cuisine are the headliners for tourism, but it wasn’t just the structures and sustenance that helped the civilizations of ancient Peru become some of the most powerful in human history. Peruvians today continue to hand down simple healing knowledge, and hold deep reverence for the shaman who are able to fix more profound issues. Treatments take various forms, from simple rituals, cleanses and offerings to more elaborate ceremonies that can last up to several days.

Curious culture-seeking travellers can arrange shamanic consultations for a variety of ailments, as well as to simply pay respect to the culture and place they are visiting by making a ceremonial offering to the pachamama, or Mother Earth. Simple ceremonies transform from a nervously begun novelty act to something more profound, as an open mind lets in the positive healing energy and easy nature of the shaman. Ceremonies are conducted in places of spiritual significance, such as an Inca temple on the outskirts of Cusco or next to the Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley. A quick stop on an otherwise adventure-packed day is quite often one of the more memorable moments for families, as they walk away feeling connected to the place as well as one another.

Of course, when seeking Shamanic counselling, travellers must be sure to arrange this through a guiding service they trust. Unfortunately, the sharks advertising on the streets of tourist hotspots can be selling gimmicks – most travellers wouldn’t take medicine from a doctor who pulled them off the street, would they? Travelers must also be careful to discuss with their guide and translator what they are and are not comfortable with. When exploring healing rituals and authentic primal remedies, some treatments can be shocking or uncomfortable. These can be easily avoided, as each ceremony is unique and tailored to the guest, but setting expectations and preferences is crucial for a congenial experience.

It is a wild world that we live in, without a doubt. But who the wild ones are tends to be a matter of perspective. So suspend the norm for an hour or two, open the heart and mind, and experience a sacred spiritual craft that has been centuries, perhaps millennia, perfected.

To plan your unique, individually tailored Peru itinerary, contact the Peru Empire Company at or call +51-1-700-5100 or, if you are in the US, 1-347-713-7030/34.

#Nature #SacredValley

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