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 The Mesa: Altar Of Native American Shamanism
CosmicInferno
post Jul 24 2007, 03:51 AM
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i'm new round these parts so thought it only right to contribute something to the community. when i came here the other day i was sure there was a subforum on shamanism however i cant seem to find it now (it was rather empty so maybe retired?), so if there is a more appropriate place for this post please feel free to move it.

the correlations between seemingly disconnected ancient traditions have always fascinated me and reinforce my belief in the universal force underlying every spiritual practice. since most of you are more than likely familiar with the power of ritual within your own practices i figured there might be some interest in where this overlaps with shamanic tradition.

the rituals developed in Peru for the use with the San Pedro cactus often involve what they call the 'mesa'. this seems to be very similar to what is called the Altar in magickal traditions and acts as somewhat of a portal in order in communicate with the spirits.

here are some excerpts from sites which have more info on the mesa, follow the links for further info if you are interested.

QUOTE
The Mesa (which means table in Spanish, but it also means a high plateau where the shaman comes to encounter the divine) of the maestro is also a representation of the forces of nature and the cosmos. Through the Mesa the shaman is able to work with and influence the forces of nature to diagnose and heal disease.

The traditional Mesa Norteña has three areas, on the left is the ‘campo ganadero’ or ‘field of the dark’, on the right is the ‘campo justiciero’ or the ‘field of the light’ (justiciero means justice), and in the centre is the ‘campo medio’ or ‘neutral field’, which is the place of balance between the forces of light and dark. It is important for us not to look at these forces as ‘positive’ or negative’ it is what we human beings do with these forces which is Important.

Although the contents and form of the artes varies from tradition to tradition, the Mesa rituals serve to remind us that the use and power of symbols extends throughout all cultures on our planet.


QUOTE
What is the power of the artes – the objects on the mesa?

They come from Las Huaringas, a group of lakes very high up where a special energy is bestowed on everything there, including the healing herbs which grow there and nowhere else. If you bathe in the lakes it takes away all your ills. You bathe with the intention of leaving everything negative behind. People go there to leave their enemies behind so they can’t do them any harm. After bathing, the maestro cleanses you with these artes – swords, bars, chontas, saints, and even huacos from archaeological sites. They ‘flourish’ you – spraying you with agua florida and herb macerations, a giving you sweet things like limas and honey, so your life flourishes.

We maestros also need to go to Las Huaringas regularly because we make enemies from healing people, so we need to protect ourselves.

The reason for this is that two forces exist: the good and the bad. The bad forces are from the pacts which the brujos make with the devil. The brujo is the rival of the curandero. So when the curandero heals, he makes an enemy of the brujo. Its not so much because he sends the bad magic back, as because he does the opposite thing to him, and they want supremacy in the battle.

Not far from Las Huaringas is a place called Sondor which has its own lakes. This is where evil magic is practiced and where they do harm in a variety of ways. I know because as a curandero I must know how sorcery is practiced, in order to defend myself and my patients.

http://tribes.tribe.net/vegetalismo/thread...03-094a28bf9ddc

QUOTE
The mesa is the instrument by which the mythic power of prophetic time and the profundity of the three cosmological worlds is harnessed in practice. It is the medium of translation for the spiritual wisdom and understanding of the Andean cosmovision, allowing them to transform into practical applications and effects within a community.

A mesa is the consecrated arrangement of ceremonial power objects that make up a curandero’s “tool set,” and is also the point of focus for the spiritual forces engaged through ritualized action. It is simultaneously the seat for spiritual vision and the multi-fold powers of creation, and by being the locus of intention is directed by the healer. Two elements in particular come together within the mesa, blending into its unique form: the transmission of traditional wisdom given by the teacher and the idiosyncratic initiation that characteruzes the individual path. From the integration of these two sources of inspiration a healer’s mesa is born.

http://www.mesaworks.com/pachakuti_mesa.php

any comments, thoughts, experiences, info very welcome!

and thanks to you all for contributing to this great forum.
CosmicInferno

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Acid09
post Aug 2 2007, 05:41 PM
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Facinating topic but please make sure to place your posts in the appropritate forum.


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CosmicInferno
post Aug 5 2007, 06:08 PM
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no worries Acid09, as i mentioned at the top of my post i couldn't find the Shamanism forum when i posted.

turns out this forum was only visible to me when i was logged out, but Kinjo fixed it up for me. wont happen again (IMG:style_emoticons/default/wink.gif)

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