The last few days have been memorable to say the least- I have walked nearly 90 kilometres, pushed my body to its limits and visited the deepest depths of my soul. In this article I will be talking about some of the soul work I have done on top of Machu Picchu mountain, with a cactus named Wachuma (also known as San Pedro).
I had been informed of a Shaman who works in the mountains by multiple people over a short period so I decided to reach out and contact him.
He made me aware of a ceremony he had taking place one week from the time I contacted him, so instead of jumping on a train from Cusco Peru, I decided to walk the Salkantay trek, which would land me in Aguas Calientes (the town right next to Machu Picchu) the day before the ceremony.
The trek was a lot of fun, and was not as physically exhausting as I expected. There was a lot of walking that took place and the second day (22 Kilometres) was the hardest due to having to summit Salkantay Mountain which sits at 4600 metres (15090 feet) above sea level. The coca leaves (the active ingredient in cocaine) helped with the altitude and energy needed, and I am pretty sensitive to stimulants, so the coca had me up the mountain a lot faster than if I had gone without.
Included in the trek was a trip to Machu Picchu, so I was lucky enough to get to go up the mountain twice; on the first day I visited Machu Picchu I had 2 options for getting there (1) was a 4km walk, which is mainly stairs before you get to the entrance (2) you can get a coach which takes you right outside the gates. I opted to take the 4km stairs, which was incredibly intense and steep, but eventually after around 45 minutes we made it up.
We were met by a guide, who gave us a 2 hour tour, shared information and he showed us around. I am not one for guided tours and while informative, I prefer to adventure on my own. There were a lot of people rushing around,a lot of selfies and overpowering energy. After the tour I found a little secret chamber and went and sat in there alone to write part of my book. The metaphor here is there is always calm in the storm and no matter how crazy things get there is always a chance for a little rest bite!
After Machu Picchu day 1 I parted with my group and went back to Aguas Calientes to meet the Shaman, his name was Juan, but everyone who recommended him to me knew him as Kucho.
Kucho is the one on the right, he spoke good English and had a commanding, yet gentle demeanor. We briefly discussed what would happen the next day and I soon headed off to bed.
We woke at 4am and to my relief we would be getting the coach to the mountain. On arrival he provided a short tour and showed us some of the main energy points of the mountain. I said before I was not one for guided tours, but this was more than a guided tour, it was someone who had a relationship with the energies of the mountain and shared freely what he knew.
After around an hour we found a nice quiet(ish) spot and drank the medicine (wachuma). The medicine was fresh (as opposed to the dry stuff I have seen before) and made into a chunky thick green liquid, it tasted bad, but not as bad as ayahuasca or the last batch of watchuma I had tried.
It took around 20 minutes before I started to experience some light visuals. The medicine was potent, the hallucinations were light, but the messages and clarity were very strong.
My experience with wachuma is it is earthly, in comparison to other psychedelic substances, meaning it connects you to the physical reality and the relationship we can nurture with the physical world. In comparison with ayahuasca which in my experience enters you into a completely different dimension.
One of the things that stuck with me was that before we drank the medicine Kutcho mentioned the language of the mountains, this is something I have been seeing in my recent trip to the jungle, in people and in my landscape wherever it may be. There is a language that is spoken without words constantly surrounding us, most just miss it.
Examples of this language are synchronicities, intuition and/or metaphors in the environment around you. This would become the main narrative of my journey with the wachuma and you could not find a better landscape than Machu Picchu mountain for tuning into this this language.
There are many mountains scattered around which hold different types of energy- At first glance when you look at the mountain it look exactly as you would expect a mountain to look.
But when you flip it- you see the face of an Inkan man with closed eyes:
I was not in my best journalist mode (hence the lack of pictures) during the experience, but there was 2 other mountains (and many more according to Kutcho that held human characteristics). Firstly the face in Machu Picchu is visible from different angles, meaning not just the rock formation you see in the picture above shows a masculine face with Inkan characteristics.
The second mountain I noticed was one of a grandfather with a long mustache, funnily enough he looked quite similar to the shaman Kutcho who we were working with.
The third was that of a young girl with long hair, which was a mountain we sat in front of for an hour or so. What was interesting in this time was the transformation of the people passing by. There was one guy doing handstands, another childishly arguing with his girlfriend and everyone who passed seemed to instantaneously exude child like qualities.
There are many other spots on the mountain that represent the energetic language I speak of such as- The Temple Of Condor that represents the condor bird in stone form:
There is a stone that represents the southern cross, a constellation which lines up perfectly with the stone and is oriented exactly along the southern compass point.
Kutcho told me that there are 7 main energetic points in Machu Picchu all with 6 sub points surrounding them- meaning there are 49 total, 7×7 is a sum that is representative of absolute perfection.
It became clear after spending time in Machu Picchu that this structure was placed here due to the energetic properties held by the grounds. From certain energetic vantage points in Machu Picchu you can feel and see all elements with the jungle (earth) in the lowlands, the wind in the highlands (air), the water running through the ancient site and also the Urubamba river that flows in the surrounding areas. You also have The Temple Of The Sun (fire) a site that captures the sun perfectly through a window during the sun’s peak hours.
I have tried to sum up in words the experience, but words are such a limited form of language to express something that really needs to be felt. I was lucky enough to experience Machu Picchu both with and without the aid of plant medicine and both experiences were beautiful.
After reflecting upon the site, I believe it to be a message, that we can go and feel, but not fully comprehend. We can go to these sacred monuments and inhale the wisdom that they offer, but never fully embody every aspect of what they have to offer, as only the gods can handle the energies of these places in their entirety.
I will leave you with some words I wrote while the medicine was working through me: “Something just struck me- as a physical species we could never live up to the might of the mountains- this is god in the form of strength, durability and might. We can embody some of this energy as a metaphor, but never will we live up to the might of these mountains.”
This is a fraction of the experience of Machu Picchu and truth be told I could continue to write about my experience for days, but some things are best left to be experienced and I would advise anyone who is seeking to understand themselves and this planet a little better to visit this beautiful landscape. Much peace and love to you- please share this article with as many people as you can!
I am Luke Miller the author of this article, and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here