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Masters of the Living Energy: The Mystical World of the Q'ero of Peru Paperback – 12 Jul 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company; Revised edition (12 July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594770123
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594770128
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,435 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Treats the beliefs and religion of the Quechua people with profound feeling and a deep identification seldom seen."

About the Author

Joan Parisi Wilcox has been studying the spiritual arts of Peru since 1993 and has received the rites of the Q'ero and other Andean masters. She is the author of "Ayahuasca: The Visionary and Healing Powers of the Vine of the Soul "and has published articles in "Shaman's Drum" and "Magical Blend. "She lives in North Carolina.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By refugeewurzel on 1 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read this I am keen to learn the knowledge further, I am informed that the people of Peru featured in this book have a unique and simple knowledge that is a substantial aid to the journey of anyone interested in the ancient, Peru and Shamanic practice.

This is an exquisite view of the ancient knowledge that these peoples have preserved. Don Juan is an interesting character and his reputation is not dimmed by the accounts.

Having furthered my interests to some degree, I am able to reccommend this book as a perfect introduction and background to the lives and spiritual expressions of this region.

The book is an easy read and raises the intrigue all the more.

A great asset to any spiritual education and the peoples of Peru and how they view the world and its many components, a difference of celebration.

The section on despacho, does a great justice to the realities of the practices that are unfolded in this book.
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By Amazon Customer on 19 July 2015
Format: Paperback
Goid factual writing
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 39 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
Revised edition features a wealth of new material 11 Sept. 2004
By Krazyshaman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Yes, this IS the same book as Keepers of the Ancient Knowledge, BUT it contains a sizable new section about the mesa and the path of the paqo, written by Freddy "Puma" Quispe Singona. This is a valuable book despite it's flaws, and in my opinion the new material merited buying this new edition. If you are interested in the spiritual traditions of the Andes, this book is a great starting point.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A Book of Integrity - Reviewed by John M. Weiskopf 18 Dec. 2006
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Over the last half of the 20th Century, alternative religions and spiritual practices have found increasing numbers of followers in Europe and North America. The practices of Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, Meditation and Yoga have spread rapidly giving millions of people, who were once socialized in a more traditional Christian or Judaic philosophy, a new way to "connect" to the spiritual, find answers within themselves, and ultimately find meaning in today's world. Some people, whose religious philosophy and practice were rooted in European based religions, even found a preferred spiritual expression in the Native American traditions of the medicine wheel, spirit guides, ceremonial rituals, and dream prophecy.

However, this religious force has moved predominately from the East to the West. It has been only in the last few years that there has been a growing interest in spiritual healing and shamanic practices from below the equator, namely from the Amazon and the villages of the Andes in South America.

In her exceptional book Masters of the Living Energy, Joan Parisi Wilcox captures the ancient and sacred traditions of the Andes, namely the mystical world of the Q'ero of Peru. Of all of the Andean communities, the Q'ero Inca seemed to have been singled out to be, what Wilcox calls "the keepers of the ancient knowledge." What is extraordinary about her book is, by writing this book in a purist and painstaking way, that she too has become a keeper of this ancient knowledge. Through dozens of persistent and careful interviews with the most powerful Q'ero shaman, she has preserved not just the core of the Q'ero healing practices, but every detail of their rituals, the hierarchy of Q'ero paqos (shaman), the comprehensive energy body, the levels of Apus, the meaning and gift of the mesa, the despacho, and a comprehensive semantic which explains the intricate architecture of the Q'ero's spiritual cosmological system.

Masters of the Living Energy is a work of enormous integrity. You feel it on every page. The glossary in the back of the book emphasizes the meticulous detail and discipline of the Q'ero mystic ideology. The traditions of the Q'ero have been passed down by word-of-mouth for centuries from generation to generation. No book, no written record, has recorded this ancient oral tradition so well. The pure ancient Q'ero traditions have been unspoiled in the modern world's search for quick spiritual meaning in the name of healing, unlike offshoots of pure Buddhism, Yoga, and other spiritual practices, which have become popularized to appeal to a more universal following. Joan Parisi Wilcox has recorded the authenticity and complex sacred traditions of the Q'ero Inca. To her enormous credit, she has captured the Q'ero as they were centuries ago and as they struggle to remain.

John M. Weiskopf

Author of "The Ascendancy"
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
A Reader 25 July 2006
By Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
Whatever you think of the content of this book, you can't fault the author for poor scholarship. One reviewer who does is so wrong on so many fronts that I feel compelled to correct several false and unfair charges. That reviewer obviously hasn't read the book, or he or she would know that Wilcox makes it a point in her text to discuss her choices for transcribing the Quechua. She tells the reader outright that she is using an English convention for plurals instead of the Quechua "-kuna" ending. Quechua is not a "sacred language" as the reviewer suggests. It is among the most widely spoken languages in South America, the language of the indigenous Andean peoples, and was adopted by the Inca during their rule as their administrative language. To claim it is some kind of "sacred language" is not only naive, but is wrong. However, Quechua wasn't a written language until after the Spanish conquest, and so there are various schools of spelling. The author even tells us which academic dictionary she is relying on for her spelling choices, so she covers that aspect of her scholarship, too! Wilcox also mentions why she calls "outsiders" to the indigenous culture "Westerners," which is a catchall term used by some in the Andes to refer to mestizos and to lump together others from the developed, non-rural world who come to work with the indigenous paqos. What is more, Wilcox hired a world expert on gathering Andean oral histories, Ricardo Valderrama, as her Quechua translator, so you can't fault her for the translations. And just to educate the reviewer about his or her own errors, the Spanish word "don" (which means something like "Mr." in English and is a sign of respect) is always lowercased except at the beginning of a sentence, as is the word "indigenous." Again, you may not like Wilcox's views on things, but if you are going to trash her scholarship you should at least be accurate and informed! In my view, if you want a carefully researched and respectful approach to the Andean spiritual tradition, and not some New Age sentimental interpretation, this is a book you can trust in both its scholarship and its respect for the tradition and the paqos she interviewed.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Stories, research, but not fantasy island 13 Jan. 2005
By MysticJaguar - Published on
Format: Paperback
This work is a serious research into the Q'ero mystical tradition of Peru. There are a few folks out there who claim that everything we read in English on the Q'ero is just wrong. They decry even mixed bloods (mestizo) who are the current leaders of getting the Q'ero ways out into the world. Problem is, most of the complainers are not explicit in what is 'wrong' with the material presented and do nothing themselves to promote understanding. It's easy to complain, not so easy to communicate mystical or spiritual truth. And in today's world pure-bloods are disappearing and so too would all their spiritual traditions if not for works like this.

What the author has done is to document her experiences in talking directly with the Q'ero who represented a genuine lineage behind an ancient tradition which probably reaches back to the Inka. This book is a combination of interviews and reliable information on Q'ero worldviews. The challenge here is that to really step into a living tradition such as that of the paqo/shaman, you need something more than a book, you need some face time, not necessarily in Peru, and not necessarily speaking Quecha, but time with someone who knows their stuff. The author presents information in this book that she knows hers.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Very enlightning info about the most beautiful people on the planet. 27 Mar. 2006
By John - Published on
Format: Paperback
Having been to Peru and studied with shamans (coastal highlands, Q'eros and Amazonian), I found this book to be very accurate in its portrayal of the Q'ero. The rituals apparently haven't changed much since she did her research. Contrary to other reviewers, I noticed that the Q'ero are very adamant in trying to not change and adapt to the influx of westerners. Please keep researching and writing Joan.

Thanks. Munay.
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