Happy Birthday Maria Apaza! In Gratitude to Indigenous People and their Wisdom


This beautiful photo (thanks to Pachamama Ayni) celebrates the 80th birthday of a Q’ero medicine woman named Maria Apaza. She is an altomisayoq, a carrier of the mountain misa or medicine bundle, and she speaks to the powerful mountain spirits of the Andes. She is a beloved elder and teacher for the Q’ero nation, an Andean Peruvian indigenous community.

She has also shared her wisdom with the world. In the book Light of the Andes, J.E. Williams conveys a powerful spiritual and environmental message that he receives from the mountain spirits; the secret of the Andean path is Ayni or divine reciprocity. We are all connected and our actions weave community or damage it. He then meets with Dona Maria. Speaking as an oracle of the mountain spirits, she confirms important details about his dreams and affirms the truth of his vision. She encourages his teacher, Sebastian, to explain this mission of global service or “Ayni”:

“Then there is a third type, aynimita. This is global Ayni. One’s reason for being is to exist for Ayni, to live for Ayni, to express munay in the world.” –J.E. Williams

This is the lovingkindness or munay that was described in a blog (NowMomentJourney) review of this book. It is a profoundly different way of living and one of the many gifts indigenous people share freely with the world.  It’s an exciting coincidence that today is World Indigenous People’s Day and the beginning of a week of activities that support their rights and culture. Thanks to Kirsten at NowMomentJourney, I have a great list of activities from Planeta.com to check out!

And another beautiful synchronicity comes from the K’iche Maya through Ken Johnson’s work with their sacred calendar, the Tzolk’in.  This indigenous tradition helps people live in harmony with the cycles of time in order to benefit themselves and their community. His interpretation for today ‘s daysign (10 Manik) is:

“Channel the authority and respect that you command within your circles, not for the fulfillment of the ego but for the betterment of those around you… it does not matter if your family or circle of friends is small, or has no significant influence on society. Remember the power of one only needs a few iterations to expand to a massive volume of energy. If you can open the eyes of one, you free a generation.” 

This entry was posted in andean mysticism, mayan calendar and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Happy Birthday Maria Apaza! In Gratitude to Indigenous People and their Wisdom

  1. Beautiful and elegantly written, but more importantly–inspiring!
    Thanks for the kudos!

  2. Reblogged this on Now Moment Journey and commented:
    A Birthday tribute honoring shaman Dona Maria Azara of the Q’ero in Peru. It elegantly explains divine reciprocity, or ‘ayni’.

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