Apacheta Built as Part of Shamanic Wisdom Series

ApaBlessedPlain-cr_miniChacaruna Healing’s Shamanic Wisdom Series, Part 2, kicked off in June with the class, “Apacheta Building and Journeying with the Land.” Participants who had completed Part 1 of the Series gathered at the Center for Human Development in Hollywood, Florida, to learn this ancient indigenous practice, expand their shamanic practices, and deepen their connection with Pachamama.

Practices and rituals offered in these classes are shared by Shaman Mona Rain with permission from the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition of Cross Cultural Shamanic Arts, and from traditional lineages of Peru highlands, and northern coastal regions.

2CairnsSquare_miniThe apacheta is similar to a cairn, a stone marker,  that one might find near rivers or along trails in nature. Cairns are human-made piles of stones, creations that have their origins in pre-history, are crafted for all sorts of reasons: Directional markers in woods, on mountains, and along shorelines; trail beacons; offerings made with the hopes of receiving protection from spirit; tributes and commemorations; ceremonies, art… (Do a search on them, you’ll be amazed.) These handmade stone formations are tangible meetings of humanity and nature for primal purposes that may be practical, whimsical, or spiritual.

Apacheta-Ruinas_Quilmes[4]Apachetas are much bigger than cairns, constructed of many large size stone relatives. They were particularly important to the Incan Empire. While they have been found throughout the Americas, the practice of building apachetas has taken place predominantly in South America. Created with intention using time-honored rituals, an apacheta serves as an altar or energy vortex, a portal through which we can profoundly connect with Pachamama, who upholds our vibrations of prayers and ceremonies within the vast blessings of nature. Mona received direct trainings for this tradition from the shamans, curanderos, curanderas, Q’ero, and regions of land in Peru and Ecuador, during her extensive travels.

Following is the story of how the apacheta at the Center of Human Development began. We hope visitors to the Center will take a sacred moment to connect, and to leave their own stone offerings and prayers as part of our growing community apacheta.

 ApachetaIndoorPrep2b-compressedApachetas are built outdoors on the land, but because this was part of a class we began inside the Center for Human Development. We assembled stone relatives and offerings for the apacheta on a ceremonial cloth, creating an altar.


 ApachetaThunderHeartOur class then did a shamanic journey, with a group intention for continued guidance in creating the apacheta. We moved “Thunderheart,” the community pow-wow drum, over the stone people and offerings to activate and bless them with our journey. In that moment, the entire class felt the shift of energy in the classroom, and all on our altar became “alive and ready to speak to us!”


ApaSacredGroundOfferings-compressedCeremoniously, we brought all apacheta items outside to the location in gardens of the Center where we would create the sacred portal.


ApaSacredBeatsWhiteThunderHeart’s sacred beat connected us to Pachamama, and we offered Her energy to assist in the ceremony.


ApaFoundation3Working with consecrated offerings in sacred ritual is vital for activating the land’s energetic connection; each time we follow traditions in prayer or ceremony,  we are calling upon the Ancestors who prayed in this way. ~ Now the beginnings of the “foundation” of the apacheta begins! We added our stone relatives in a ritualistic manner of reverence for the Ancestors, the ones of this world, and for the next 7 generations!


ApaFndnFeeding The community adds their stone relatives and “feedings” as the apacheta comes alive and builds itself…


ApaBlessedFinal-compressed2The apacheta is blessed by class participants and through “ritualistic feedings” of flowers, herbs, incense, sacred waters and sounds. As we close our ceremony, the apacheta is ready to grow in size, in stone relatives, prayers, and feedings into the future.


ApaCommunity2-ReduMany deep thanks to class participants for their prayers & walk with Pachamama! From right to left: Jon, Tupack, Marguerite, Stephania, Sophie, Michele and her husband. Not pictured: Cheryl, Karen, and Mona.


Do you have stone relatives YOU would like to add to this new apacheta in Hollywood, Florida? Join us Saturday, August 8, from 3-5 p.m. for our community apacheta celebration! Drumming Ceremony to follow at 7 p.m. We welcome Stone Relatives, offerings, and spiritual passersby!


For more information about apachetas, contact Mona Rain of Chacaruna Healing at mona@chacarunahealing.org.

For information and directions to the Center for Human Development in Hollywood, Florida, please click here.

Please click here on Heart of the Healer to learn more about the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition of Cross Cultural Shamanic Arts.

We recently discovered a very interesting “Glossary of Terminology of the Shamanic and Ceremonial Traditions of the Inca Medicine Lineage,” which includes the definition of an apacheta. Check it out!

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