From Kathleen Fimmel in Cusco - November 11, 2005 - 11/11
I recently met Ellie through Crystalinks, and had a reading with her, at which time she suggested I write the article below as an inspiration for her clients going through great shifts and changes at this time.
I was a very busy psychotherapist in the Washington, D.C. area, and had felt a deep dissatisfaction with my "successful" life for some time. When my little cat Halley (named after the comet) died in June of 2004, which now I know was the time of a powerful Venus transit, I experienced a grief as I had never before, and I have never been one to shy away from going through such times.
It was as if a door blew open, thanks to my sweet cat's death, which I now see as a gift from God through her. That door stayed "open" for weeks, as I experienced a sort of death and the life review that goes with it. When I heard a voice say, "You are going to be moving," I wanted to know when and where, and all the details, right away. But I had to wait and keep my heart and mind open.
I soon began to realize that the grief was about my life itself, and all the unlived dreams, one of which was to write a book that could help to awaken as many people as possible. I knew it had to do with Courage and Compassion, and I had to have both to pull myself away from the trance of affluence and success I had been living in. I knew I needed to wake myself up first.
It is not that my life was miserable, and I certainly was helping many people in my work. I had raised 3 incredible children, now in their 20's, and was healthy and had many wonderful friends. Yet deep inside I knew there was a better way for me to fulfill my purpose on Earth at this tiime, and began to surrender to that process.
I soon began to know it was not just a move across town, but that it would require giving up my practice, house, and all the rest. I kept surrendering, using the power of Compassion and my good friends to help me through it all. I began listening to my inner voice as never before. Compassion is the code of the language between our Human and Higher Selves. It is an interdimensional language of co-creation that catalyzes true power. I was living what I knew I needed to write about.
The long and short of it, is that when my friend mentioned the name Cusco to me, I knew that was where I needed to go, even though I was not sure what country it was in! And so, I have been here since February 2005, in the "Navel of the World," high up in the Andes. It is a third world country, and I am fortunate to have internet so that I can share these things with you now.
This is a picture of me not long after I arrived in Cusco. I was walking back from my first ceremony to the Apus (dieties of the mountains), and passing through one of the most sacred sites in Peru, called Sacsaywaman. I met these Quechua people who are always eager to have a photo taken for a couple of soles.
At this time, I was still reeling from the culture shift, and going through my own personal cleasing on every level. I had responded to a voice that I heard one night after coming home from seeing many clients, my usual day.
Here is my cat Tipi on the roof off the balcony next to my office. Yes, those are the Andes in the background. I am on the third floor of a great place now, after having lived in some real rough places at first. As I sit now and write this, I have a view of the city and mountains that makes my heart open every day. It is Spring her now, often quite beautiful and sunny during the day, but cold at night. There is no heat in the houses here, and I only get water part of the day. I cannot remember the last time I saw a movie. I have no TV, but keep up on the news through my computer. Very few distractions really, unless I want to mingle with the many tourists who come here looking for some mystical expience.
What I have found is that much of the mystical lure here is hype, and set up for tourism. But on a deeper level, if you look past all the commercialism, which creates income the people need to survive, there is a beauty and mystery here which can connect you to your deeper soul self. It certainly has been the "right" place for me to come to write about Compassion and Courage.
Here I am with the two friends I had hiked with for 4 days to reach Ausangate, the majestic mountain in the background.
We are standing next to Nazario's father's altar, which is a very sacred place he wanted to share with us. He made an offering there to the Apus. These people combine their indigenous ways with Catholicism, which makes for an expression of spirituality that has taken some time for me to understand. They have never abandoned the idea that God is in the mountains, in the lakes, in the animals, the sun, and everywhere. This is what I mean about the deeper layers of spirituality, vs. the more overt displays of mystical tourism.
We were up about 17,000 feet, surrounded by glaciers and herds of alpacas and llamas, which is still the main source of living for the simple people up there. Ausangate is longer, tougher and more remote than the much more famous Inca Trail. It is a sacred mountain to these herders who believe this is where llamas and alpacas originated.
We are standing in front of my first painting in 30 years. Yes, I have rediscovered that part of myself at last. It is of a photo I took at my friend's hacienda, and is of hummingbirds in the Sacred Valley. There is a story about the hummingbird and the condor. The hummingbird said he could get through the wind tunnel faster than the condor, and the condor laughed, saying he was far stronger.
When the time came for the race, hummingbird was nowhere to be found. The condor laughed and declared himself the sure winner to all the other animals. The puma sounded the gun and off went the condor. Just as he was about to enter the wind tunnel, hummingbird came out from beneath condor's feathers to easily win the race.
So you see, there is more to sheer strength in life to get where you are going -- and yet, hummingbird could not have done it without condor. I am very attracted to an easier way of being than the stress of the fast train I had been on!
The poverty here is indescribable. I think every American should give themselves the gift of living in a third world country for a little while. It "cures" a lot of what ails people.
My journey to Cusco ends when I return to the United States, for Christmas, next month.
For any who would like to get in touch, please feel free to send me an Email.
The city's architects created Cusco in the image of a crouching feline, a puma.
The astronomers planned a complex system of sanctuaries carefully aligned with the stars, to correspond to a gigantic calendar, that would also have functions of social and festive organization. The hill was transformed and molded. The higher part corresponded to the great head of the puma, became Saqsaywaman, a multifunctional fortification that was at the same time, a temple, refuge, observatory, and center for great and massive reunions. The spine of puma was delineated by the street of Pumakurko. In that way, as the spine, flowed the Life of the Empire conducting the orders from the head to the different parts of the body.
The plaza, a palpitating heart of the city was where feelings and the beating of civil life resided. The two rivers that bordered the city unite in Pumaqchupan (the tail of the puma).
There Qorikancha, which shined in splendor, its temples of stone and gold contained a garden of gold where the plants, animals and other offerings were made of gold, silver and precious stones. It was thus a city of fable. But more than its wealth or its architectural wonder in the city of Cusco, its overflowing sacred value, and its political importance, because from here, was governed a great territory as big as the Roman Empire, and from her palaces and streets a society was developed with balance and justice.
The ruins of Saqsaywaman or 'sexy woman'
The enormous walls are comprised of massive granite monoliths that measure up to 16 feet high and wide and weight up to 130 tons. It is a testimony to the engineering genius of the Incas that they were able to cut, move, and place these stones with the kind of precision that remains. There are a number of theories regarding the purpose of the site -- was it a castle? a fortress? a fortified temple and city? or a complex suburb of Cusco?
As with other stone structures built by ancient architects, it allows one to wonder about its construction, purposes, and along with enigmatic Nazca Lines of Peru, perhaps hidden messages.
There are those who believe that aliens - ancient astronauts - visited the land called Peru, and still return to this day, their ships seen by local residents. About 5 years ago, I read a man who came from Cusco, and was staying in NYC for one year. He told me about a cave which contains pink crystals that glow in the dark and pulsate light. He said he was guided to the cave, which is in a remote area. He, too, has seen UFO's going in and out of the water near the cave. Did I doubt him? Anything goes in the illusion of our reality!! Stories like this inspire the imagination about aliens and their return here one day. We want more. We seek higher connection. We seek knowledge embedded in our soul memory - DNA - that stirs us to be reactived and remembered.
There are reminders of the Incas throughout the city of Cusco. When the Spanish arrived in 1533 it was a city as modern as most any in the world. Within a few brief years, churches were built from (and on) Inca walls and temples in a concentrated effort to destroy the old gods and create a Spanish colonial town on the ruins of the Inca capital. The Cathedral of Cusco faces the Plaza de Armas in the center of the city. In 1983 it was, along with Machu Picchu, the first of ten locations in Peru to be declared a World Heritage Site.
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