August is regarded as Pachamama’s birthday.
Every year at Willka T’ika, the staff and I gather with our Qero Pakko, ritual specialist, to offer our gratitude to Her.
As the name Pachamama suggests, the Quechua respect and honor their Mother Earth. It is from Her, the female Goddess, that they receive life. It is with Her that they share life. In the spirit of ayni (reciprocity in Quechua), giving and taking is a basis of existence, and the Quechua believe they must give as well as take from Pachamama. Because of their interdependence and intricately involved relationship, they regard Pachamama as an extension of themselves —- a being that needs care —- a force that must be nourished and protected lest it die.
On Pachamama’s birthday, traditional Quechua share the food and drink they love with Pachamama. Before drinking akkha, chicha or any alcohol, a few drops are spilled on the earth as an offering to Mother Earth. She is also offered small portions of food before it is eaten. Pachamama loves to receive offerings of flowers, food and coca leaves from Her children.
Pachamama is summoned on all special occasions and permission is asked of Her before any activities take place in the community. Before building a house, for example, a special ritual requests that Pachamama will not be angry with the new residents. They request protection from danger, sickness and even death.
She thrives on special offerings known as haywarikuy to protect specific occasions. For example, the time for sowing in August, September and October is significant for the goddess Pachamama. On these occasions a ritual specialist becomes the intermediary between man and Pachamama so that She may effectively receive Her offering, assuring that seeds will germinate and grow with abundance. On August 30, the Willka T’ika family celebrated tarpuy, the planting of corn, a most important food staple for humans and animals in the Sacred Valley.
A simple prayer accompanies every communal action, ritual and request:
Pachamama, receive this offering I send to you with all my love.
As good provider of my family and my people,
Receive this manifestation of my love.
Receive your children’s offering that honors all humanity.
Don’t forget to recommend me to the Sun
That he give me His light and healing.
May you all enjoy the blessings of Pachamama!
Founder, Willka T’ika Children’s Fund