The Andean Codex is a true adventure story that takes the reader to mysterious isolated areas in the Peruvian Andes. We accompany the author on his visits with a handful of shaman-priests who preserve the ancient knowledge of how the natural world operates. A codex refers to a classical work of spiritual scripture, and in that spirit, author J. E. Williams has given us a book representing Andean spiritual life that gives the tradition the respect it deserves.
The Andean Codex recounts Williams' adventures with the Q'ero Indians, and guides readers to an understanding of Incan cosmology, Andean ethics, shamanic initiations using the mind-expanding ayahuasca and the sacred coca plant. The author's photographs enhance the book and the Earth-based, heart-centered teachings of the Q'ero foster inner discovery that makes for an authentic introduction to the Andean sacred way.
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I have been in search of the "secret" of the Andes since 1970. I believe that the ancient native American civilizations attained a high level of culture, knowledge about astronomy and the natural environment, and had a spiritual tradition equal to Egypt, India, or China. After 1492, a massive disruption of life and environment occurred from European diseases, guns, and steel swords. I went on a quest to find what remained of these teachings.
In the Peruvian Andes, I found that the Q'ero preserved much of this wisdom. Between 2000 and 2004, I journeyed to Peru six times and once stayed for two months. During this time, I was exclusively with the Q'ero shaman, Sebastian, whom I introduce in The Andean Codex, who shared with me the fundamental principles by which they lead their lives. These principles includes Ayni - the way of reciprocity, along with three principles of balanced living, and Kawsaypacha - the world of living energy. These five principles make up the Andean Codex. They are intimately linked within a world where humans and all life interact on equal terms. I discovered that what the Q'ero embrace is exactly what modern Westerners are missing. So, I set upon a mission to convey these teachings to every one.
For more than thirty years Dr. J. E. Williams has risked his health and personal safety to journey among shamans in Peru, the place he calls the mystical and spiritual center of our times. In its rain forests, mountains, and environmentally attuned indigenous population, Peru's mystical landscape fosters inner discovery.
The Andean Codex guides the reader step by step through journeys to Andean sacred places like Machu Picchu, Cuzco, and Moray, and in the process uncovers the esoteric meaning of these ruins. Williams recounts his initiation with Peruvian shamans, including shamanic ceremonies he performed at Machu Picchu and his experiences using the mind-expanding, heart-opening ayahuasca and the sacred coca plant.
Throughout these encounters, Williams weaves in practical advice that brings the wisdom of Andean shamans to life. His unforgettable account of their prayers, practices, and ceremonies offers a rare opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a shaman and experience the Andean sacred way.
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