News / USA

Traditional Shaman Ceremony Attracts New Yorkers

Traditional Shaman Ceremony Attracts New Yorkersi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
October 26, 2012 11:32 PM
Most New Yorkers identify with one of the three main monotheistic religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Nevertheless, there's a growing interest in the traditional spiritual practices of indigenous peoples. VOA’s Adam Phillips takes us to a 'despacho' ceremony in the heart of Manhattan, which spotlights an ancient gratitude and prayer ritual rooted in the Andean mountains of Peru.
Traditional Shaman Ceremony Attracts New Yorkers
Adam Phillips
Most New Yorkers identify with one of the three main monotheistic religions - Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Nevertheless, there's a growing interest in the traditional spiritual practices of indigenous peoples. A “despacho” ceremony in the heart of Manhattan spotlights an ancient gratitude and prayer ritual rooted in the Andean mountains of Peru.

Spiritual seekers and the merely curious participate in the ancient Incan ceremony, conducted by Jesus Aguilar, a Peruvian healer-priest called a shaman.

Aguilar moved from Cusco, Peru, to New York with his American wife. For him, those two worlds - one ancient, one modern and nearly 6,000 kilometers apart - are bound together.    

"The Mother Earth is still here with us. You could be in any part of the world, but always the sacred things will be in your heart, in the flowers and the trees and the water. Because everything is sacred, the concrete, the mobile phones. The wheels, all sacred coming from the Mother Earth," said Aguilar.
 
The despacho ceremony is thousands of years old. It aims to bring balance between the human world, the natural world and the spiritual realm.
   
Aguilar builds a “bundle of blessings” as a gift to Mother Earth - Pachamama in his native Quechua language. Participants also ask her for gifts in return.

Despacho elements symbolize this give and take. Corn for nourishment. Money for wealth. Cotton for clouds and rain. And sugar.   

"Because the earth is very sweet with us. Because it is sweet with us, we need to be sweet with her, too," he said.
 
Aguilar gives out sacred leaves called “kintus” symbolizing love and beauty and he tells the group to pray into them.
 
"Okay brothers and sisters, we will put in front of our third eye, we will put our intentions. What do we want? What do we need? What do we want to say thank you [for]? What do we want to let go [of]? Every people will have different types of intention. You can ask whatever you want because the universe is infinite," he said.
 
Hillary Webb, an expert on Shamanism, educates Westerners about Incan traditions.
 
"In the case of the kintus, you bring the leaves to your mouth and that breath is life force, it’s the energy, it’s part of the prayer you are transmitting out of your own body and into the leaves so that it can then be sacred with the spirits and shared with the community," she said.

That formula makes sense to the participants at this ceremony.

"Every day we have intentions. Today we just got together and made them official!" said one woman.

"I felt we were all making this little bundle of joy and good things and happiness and pureness and it felt great to be a part of that," said a man at the ceremony.

"I really love this way of just pausing for a minute in his crazy city and being grateful for what we have," said another woman.

At the end of the ceremony, the shaman wraps the despacho with its prayers for later burning. He said the sacred smoke will feed Pachamama.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Koreas on Edge Amid Live-fire Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Monique MacDonald from: Canada
October 28, 2012 2:25 PM
I was so thrilled to read that Jesus is doing this kind of ceremony in New York. I had the wonderful experience of participating in a despacho ceremony in the Sacred Valley of Peru under his guidance. Jesus is a gem of Mother Earth and knowing he is in New York doing his healing work is very comforting to know.


by: Jackie from: Philippines
October 26, 2012 10:16 PM
I respect how we differ in our beliefs... Yes, nature... and everything in this world is sacred because they are created not by human hands but by an Almighty Hand. Therefore, Our prayers should be directed to the CREATOR not to the CREATION. Let us take a look at the Bible and be guided. God bless.

In Response

by: J from: Lima
October 28, 2012 4:36 PM
The Bible has nothing to do with it, in fact if you can remember Atahualpa himself threw the Bible to the ground when he was presented one by Pizarro's priest. Although the Incan religion sounds pagan one should keep in mind that it was the most straightforward of religions if you want to call it one, The Sun was the creator and god and gave life to everything, which as we know today is true. The cosmos in Incan religion was a map of their own civilization on earth and they tried to emulate it. There was no human god other then the Inca Emperor himself which was said be be a son of the sun. The Spaniards took advantage of this by adapting their own religions to Andean folklore where Jesus is the son of God. But as any rational human should know we are all the sons of the Sun and the sons of God as we emulate our creator the Universe and try to create beautiful things ourselves.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid