Munay-Ki

Rites of passage and initiation have been practiced for millennia by all peoples in the Earth. The rites of the Munay-Ki are based on initiatory practices of the shamans of the Andes and the Amazon. They are stripped of all trace of the indigenous cultures they come from. I did this to respect the native traditions, and to avoid the idea that persons from the West can become traditional shamans or Indians. I offer these rites with full permission from my teacher, don Manuel Quispe, who was the last great medicine man of the Q’ero Inka nation. Any fault or flaw in their presentation is exclusively my own.

The Seers rite is practiced among the North Coast peoples of Peru, (the descendants of the Chimu and Moche cultures), and by the seers and trackers of the Amazon.

The Harmony Rite comes from the lowland Q’ero, the Huachipayre people from the edge of the Amazon. I learned it from don Alejandro Cahuanchi, a renowned healer.

The Bands of Power were transmitted by Juan Victor Nuñez del Prado, a friend and colleague, whose father was one of the discoverers of the Q’ero nation.

The Healers Rite is known as the Hampe blessing and comes from the highland Q’ero people.

The Daykeepers Rite is known among the Andean Paqos as the Pampamesayok, referring to the lowlands and valleys of the ‘pampa’, and to the mesa or altar.

The Wisdomkeepers Rite is known among the ndean Paqos as the Altomesayok rite, referring to the high mountains of the Andes. Don Manuel Quispe was the great Altomesayok of Q’ero.

The Earthkeepers Rite is known among the Andean Paqos as the Kurak Akuyek rite, referring to the elder who ‘masticates’ the wisdom to nurture the young ones who follow.

The Starkeepers Rite is known as the Mosoq Karpay, which means the ‘new rite’ in the Qechua language. This rite announces and prepares one for the ‘time to come.’

The Creator Rites are known as the Taitanchis rite. The word Taitanchis literally translates as ‘God.’

These rites are not only stages of initiation, but perhaps steps for the evolution of humanity. As nations fight for bits of territory and battle over land, we must find the wisdom to create peace among all peoples. As our space telescopes show us images of a vast and immeasurable Universe, we must find a human story that is inclusive of the stars. And as our ability to destroy the world increases, we are called to step up to the task of assuming stewardship for all creation.

In essence, the rites are about stewardship. They are not ego-awards or recognition of any kind of achievement, nor do they make anyone special. On the contrary, they make one uniquely unimportant. Only then, from a position of no-ego, can we truly be of service.

Find Munay-Ki near you