Over the last year, I have been working with my teacher Pampamesayoq Don Augustine to provide Karpay workshops and Despacho ceremonies online. During this time I have had time to ask Don Augustine about his sacred objects and the healing tools that he uses with his clients. In this article, I will be speaking about Don Augustine’s hat, poncho, and mesa or Misha.
How did Don Augustine become a Pampamesayoq?
Don Augustine told me that his father was also a Pampamesayoq and his Grandfather was an Altomesayoq. Even at 16 years old, he was curious to see how Despacho’s were made and asked a lot of questions. His Father noticed this curiosity and then his Grandfather had a dream about Don Augustine continuing the lineage of paqos in their family.
LINEAGE FOR DON AUGUSTINE MACHACCA FLOREZ
Don Augustine’s Great Grandfather: Manuel Machacca Zamata
Don Augustine’s Grandfather: Don Francisco Machacca Zamata
Don Augustine Pampamesayoq: Don Augustine Machacca Flores
Don Augustine’s Son: Santos Machacca Apaz
Don Augustine also received special dreams himself. His vision of becoming a Pampamesayoq was backed up by coca leaf readings, by his father and grandfather which confirmed the continuation of his path. He received karpay from his father and other masters in the Q’ero community and his training lasted for four years, after which he was put into service for Pachamama, Mother Earth. Don Augustine started healing at 20 years old, offering people in the mountains energy work and coca leaf readings. He now works between Cusco and Q’eros and travels to Europe each summer to teach and share these beautiful karpay with the West. He wants to pass on his knowledge to his son Santos, who is currently taking this slowly, step by step.
My experience of Don Augustine is that he channels the energy of the Nature beings around him and his Allies. He directs this powerful energy into whatever he is focussed on at the time, whether it’s a despacho, healing, a blessing, or an initiation. His work has definitely transformed my life.
What are the meanings of the symbols on Don Augustine’s hat?
Don Augustine doesn’t go anywhere without his colourfully woven Pampamesayoq hat and his ceremonial poncho. His hat connects him to Pachamama, his sacred mountain, the masculine and feminine aspect (yanantin), and the three worlds. Yanantin also means a relationship of two dissimilar persons, things, entities, or energies. All hats have the same function, which is to help connect a paqo to these nature beings.
What are the meanings of the symbols on Don Augustine’s poncho?
Instead of writing, the Q’ero ancestors wove silver and gold threads, wool from animals, and long hair to express their ideas. They also wove the sounds of the Andes: the wind, water, and every spoken word. They wove the brightness of their father the sun and the braids of mother earth. They wove the mystery of the creator wirracocha. They wove their love, they wove infinity, they wove everything. They believed that weavings are the world. They recorded what happened in their weavings and they asked the sacred coca leaf what lay ahead. They told stories, many stories, so that memory would never become unraveled.
Ceremonial ponchos take a year to make and are woven on a large frame loom. These ponchos are normally hand-spun, hand-dyed, and woven in alpaca or baby alpaca, in Don Augustine’s case by Benita Apaza Flores, Don Augustine’s wife. The ponchos are multi-purpose and can also be worn for celebrations of any kind.
This ceremonial ponchos main motif can be very different according to each person. Don Augustine loves Inti the sun and also the native ancestors from the Amazon called Chuncho. There is a special pallay or pattern for the pre-Incan wild ones, who lived with the moon in ancient times. It is believed by the Q’ero people that the sun was too bright for them, they were so sensitive that they gradually became trees in the jungle.
Don Augustine’s Healing Tools.
Paqos on this path use a Mesa, this bundle is a symbol of the paqo’s personal power. A Mesa is a Spanish term for what is traditionally called the Misha. This is a medicine or ritual bundle containing objects sacred to a paqo. A paqo assembles their mesa in the ceremony, whilst working along their sacred path. They can also use their mesa to release hucha ( heavy energy) in healings.
Don Augustine showed us his mesa and the main healing stones (Khuyas) he used. These were a splendid black khuya from the river, which used to be his Father’s, and a white khuya from Huaman Lipa, his holy mountain ( this was reflecting the concept of Yanantin, a perfect balance of complementary opposites ). The black khuya has a direct connection to the lower world, helping Don Augustine to release heavy energy for his clients. He also had an eagle stone that connected him to the upper world when necessary.
There were a couple of chunpi stones in there too, huge chunpi stones that connected Don Augustine to the moon, stars, and other nature beings. Chunpi is a Quechua word meaning “belt.” These energetic belts are woven in rituals and ceremonies around the body and form an integral part of the Andean energy system. Chunpi stones are used to weave these energy belts and there are different chunpi stones for different belts that connect to nature beings, such as Inti Tayta Father sun, Pachamama the earth, W’ilka energy or water, and the silver light of the Mama Killa the moon, Papa Wayra the wind and Hatun Ch’aska the star nation.
The other stones in his mesa held the energy for him to use for his healing sessions. So the other khuyas represented the mountains that he felt really connected to like Apu Ausengate and Salkantay.
We are very lucky to have the support and guidance of Don Augustine Machacca Florez and his son Santos Machacca Apaz for the duration of my longer training ‘The Mystical Path’. Don Augustine will be working via Zoom to bring you special karpay or energy transmissions, connecting you to a pure lineage of Q’ero paqos or healers.
I also hope to return to Peru in 2024 to visit Don Augustine again with a small group. Please contact me for more details.