Skip to main content


I'd love to hear your thoughts and reflections on any of these posts.
Font size: +

The Sacred Valley of Peru

The Sacred Valley of Peru

As the plane dipped down above the Andes, my heart beat faster and breath grew shorter as I took in the beauty of the sloping hillsides leading down to the city of Cusco. It was a coming home of sorts, though it was my first time in Peru. I felt a tingling sensation throughout my body, a bubbling-up of great excitement and anticipation. My body, mind and soul were telling me, “Yes. This is a good thing. You are meant to be here. Welcome home. Amazing experiences await you.”

This was a somewhat impulsive trip to the Sacred Valley with Alberto Villoldo and the Four Winds Society. A friend and colleague who worked at Kripalu started talking about the journey, and then a few other co-workers and friends started talking about going as well. Once I saw a picture of the land and heard a description of the itinerary, I barely gave it another thought. I was going!

We would spend 10 days in the Sacred Valley visiting ancient sites each day, accompanied by local shamans who would lead us in ceremony and teach us a new way of praying, as well as the daily, living, art form of reverence and gratitude. At night we’d listen to stories of the Andean shamans and receive rites of protection and wisdom. We were encouraged to respond to the call of our souls and to act as stewards of the land. We were invited to live each day honoring Mother Earth, Pacha Mama, and to offer healing and protection to her mountains, land, waters, and creatures. We were reminded of the opportunity to dream our world, our desires, into being.

Our hotel was located in Yucay, cradled by mountains all around us. The hillsides were soft and round, comforting in their own way, and it felt as if we were held by these mountains, protected and nestled in a comforting, maternal way. The sense of being embraced by the land was palpable and the setting was beyond beautiful. At night the Southern Cross looked down on us in all its majesty. Up one mountainside sat a small, simple white church. It was the only color on the mountainside amidst lush green grass and trees. We would use the hotel as home base, traveling by bus each day to Pisaq, Quillarumiyoc, Ollantaytambo, Moray and Sacsayhuaman and then to the sites of all sites in Peru: Machu Picchu.

A different world unfolded in the Sacred Valley: a strong farming culture; the area not densely developed by housing and commerce; people connected to the land and wearing traditional colors, hats and skirts. The Q’ero Indians were present much of our time there: gentle, humble, spirit-filled shamans from the mountains of Peru who followed guidance offered by Spirit to share their practices with Americans. The wisdom they offered had only recently reached beyond their mountains and communities. It was shared as a means of keeping the practices alive and meeting a need for healing and balance in the 21st century.

I felt alive and joyful in the Sacred Valley and my heart was open and full. It was the first true dipping- my-toe-in-the-water experience of shamanic wisdom and practices and, actually, it was more of a dive then a dipping.

More to come....

Can you relate to the feeling of “coming home” when you arrive at a place you’ve never visited before?

Have you responded to a call, a pull towards a place or experience and not known why? If so, did you notice a shift in your approach to life or make changes in your career, relationships, and/or spiritual beliefs?

Do you want to live a life of balance, filled with joy and the knowledge that you’re falling your soul’s call? Could we meet to discuss the ways that I might support you in that intention?

Stay Informed

When you subscribe to the blog, we will send you an e-mail when there are new updates on the site so you wouldn't miss them.

Yet Another Reason Why I Love Elizabeth Gilbert...

Related Posts