Posted by: Stephen Paul | October 8, 2008

A Blessing for the North: The Incan Shaman of Machu Picchu Visits

Kucho at Great Salt Lake

Events have taken a rather unexpected, but delightful turn. Before I left for Peru in June, my friend, Nick, wrote an email introducing me to his shaman brother there. Nick asked me to invite the shaman to come north to visit the US–a follow-up to several earlier failed attempts on his part. So, when I arrived at the base of Machu Picchu and finally met Kucho (see the description of my time with Kucho in my July 16th blog) I reissued the invitation. Rather than refuse as I had imagined he would, he simply looked at me and responded, “September would be good.” I was surprised by that answer…but still had my doubts.

Back in the states, Nick and I began making preparations for Kucho’s visit. We finished roofing, cleaning, and painting a small guest house by the river in the canyon where Kucho would stay–the man loves Pachamama (Mother Earth). Nick reserved the flights, and emailed Kucho the itinerary for his approval. Then we waited…and waited. We didn’t hear back. The flight reservations expired, and we finally gave up. Eventually Kucho did get back to us, and and that time he expressed a strong desire to come north. Nick rebooked the flights.

I had gotten a lot from my work with Kucho in Peru. The trip changed me in ways that have lasted. I saw his visit here primarily as an opportunity repay Nick for introducing me, and as a chance for others to meet this inspiring, loving man. When Kucho–the larger-than-life Incan shaman of Machu Picchu–arrived here, it was like being in a dream: I could hardly believe it. While I was with him in Peru it was all so magical, accentuated by the fact we only spoke Spanish together. Now he’s here in my land–my house…and I discover the man can actually speak very passable English–hmm.

While Kucho was here, he delivered a talk at a local bookstore, did dozens of individual healing sessions, and led several group ceremonies. The amazing thing (apart from his fluency in English) was how extraordinarily well he performed in every situation, even the ones he’d never done before. He greeted everyone he met as a brother or sister. He connected with Spirit…and the spirit of every person…on each occassion. He acknowledged and honored the earth and earth spirits here just as passionately as he had in Machu Picchu. He did everything with exactly the same sincerity of intention. He lived his life just as seemlessly here as I had seen him live it there.

Kucho, Nick, and I drove to Capital Reef National Park in the southeastern part of the state. The place has always been like a temple to me–it’s my own Machu Picchu. I was very excited to share it with the shaman who had shared so much with me in his sacred land. As I hoped, he was as amazed with the beauty and with the “cleaness” of the desert as I have always been. He called it sacred and treated it as sacred. He touched and prayed over many of the rocks we came across, and talked of, and to, the ancient spirits that live in that land. While we were there we did a despacho (offering) for the desert. Kucho told us the earth there was hungery and thirsty because it hasn’t received our offerings. I got it, and I’ll never go there again without giving my thanks and adding my blessing to the place. Kucho showed me how to better worship in my own temple.

We held a final sunset ceremony overlooking the Salt Lake valley. Again, Kucho conducted a very simple, tender ceremony. He invoked the local spirits and honored the earth, particularly the mountains that surrounded and embraced us. He showed us (we the people who live here every day) the beauty, the protection, and the blessings that surround us here. He showed us our home in a way we had never seen it before. He involved all of the 50+ people in creating a despatcho to bless the earth here, inviting each of us to add our intentions to the gift. For most of us this was the first time we had ever given anything back to the place that has given us so much. People were so touched that they were in tears.

In an email before I went to Peru, Kucho mentioned that he wanted me to bring the energy of the North to Peru so that we could harmonize the energies of the North and South. I did my best, but what an incredible and generous gift he gave in return. He has blessed our land. More than that, he has taught us to love and bless it ourselves.



  1. That is exactly what I needed to read this morning. What a wake up; last weekend I was enjoying the southern Utah widerness without stopping to give offerings for the many times of enjoyment. Some friends make it so easy to learn, especially when I open my heart.


  2. Coincidentally, I am studying Peruvian shamanism and have just received three rites and am working with my mesa. I had spent my fiftieth birthday between Machu Picchu and Lake Titicaca years ago, and now I am studying the Q’ero traditions. I am so great-full that shamans like Kucho are spreading their knowledge, blessings, and caring. Thanks for sharing.


  3. It’s truly an amazing time to be alive. 2010 will deliver so many upgrades and shifts in consciousness. It’s up to us to keep pointed in the right direction and ride that wave!

  4. […] A Blessing for the North: The Incan Shaman of Machu Picchu Visits October 2008 3 comments 4 […]

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