Munay-Ki - the Rites of the Shaman's Path




Alberto Villoldo, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and psychologist who was initiated by Andean shaman masters. Founder of the Four Winds Society, he is the author of Shaman, Healer, Sage; Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval and Courageous Dreaming.

The Earthkeepers are ordinary men and women who live extraordinary lives. They are not born with special gifts from Spirit; they acquire uncommon grace and power through prayer, study of the wisdom teachings or Insights, and discipline. Some grew to be renowned leaders and healers, while others lived quiet lives, raising their children and growing corn. The Earthkeepers felt that people would come to the Munay-Ki when they were ready and felt a calling to do so.

Many of you have received such a calling from Spirit, and long to make a difference in the world and in your life. When you come to the path of the Earthkeepers with sincere intention and an open heart, you'll soon notice that you're not alone. You'll find yourself in the company of like-minded people who strive to live by ethics and vision. And you'll find yourself in the company of shamans who lived on this planet many thousands of years ago, luminous beings who are now part of the great matrix of life. These Earthkeepers will add their power and vision to yours. According to lore, the wisdom teachings of the Earthkeepers go back more than 100,000 years. During this time, the teachings have gone through many transformations, as mountain peoples migrated to lush farmland and then crossed the ice in Siberia into the thick forests of the American continent. Today, we're going through another evolution as we bring this ancient body of knowledge into the 21st century. And although the outer form of the teachings change, the inner form remains the same.

I believe that we are the new Earthkeepers who, it is said, will come from the West. I would love to hear about your experiences with the insights, and the success and challenges that you encounter in your practice. 

In Munay

Alberto Villoldo, Ph.D




Connects you to a lineage of luminous beings from the past, who come to assist you in your personal transformation. Awakens the healing power in your hands so that everyone you touch is blessed. There is tremendous spiritual assistance available, and these luminous ones work in our sleep to heal the wounds of the past and of our ancestors.


Five luminous belts that are woven into the luminous energy field (LEF) for protection. They act as filters, breaking down any negative energy that comes toward the person, into one of the five elements. These energies then feed your LEF instead of making you sick.


Transmission of the 7 Archetypes into the Chakras. First you receive serpent, jaguar, hummingbird and eagle; next you receive three archangels: the Keeper of the Lower World (our unconscious), the Keeper of the Middle World (our waking world), and the Protector of the Upper World (our super conscious).


Extra-cerebral pathways of light are installed that connect the visual cortex with the third eye and heart chakra. This awakens the “inner seer” and your ability to perceive the invisible world of energy and Spirit.





You connect to a lineage of master healers from the past. Daykeepers are able to call on the ancient altars to heal and bring balance to the earth, call on the sun to rise each day, and bring humans into harmony with mother Earth. They are the midwives, herbalists and curanderas. This rite helps you begin to heal your inner feminine, step beyond fear, and practice peace.  


You connect to a lineage of luminous beings from the past and the future. This rite is associated with the snow-capped mountains, perhaps a distant memory of our ancestors from the Himalayas. This rite helps you to begin to heal your inner masculine, step outside of time, become steeped in the medicine teachings and taste infinity.


This rite connects you to the archangels that are guardians of our galaxy, stewards of all life on Earth. This rite connects you to the stars, and to the sun, our local star. It helps you learn the ways of the seer and dream the world into being.




This rite anchors you safely to the time after the great change, said to occur around 2012. Your physical body begins to evolve into homo luminous, the aging process is slowed down, your DNA is re-informed, and you become more resistant to disease.  


Awakens the Creator-light within and brings forth a sense of stewardship for all creation, from the smallest grain of sand to the largest cluster of galaxies in the universe. Once attained only through direct transmission from Spirit, it is now possible to transmit from one person to another. As you work with the germination of these rites you'll be touched and blessed by angels. You simply need to open yourself to the wisdom of the Earthkeepers, and all will be bestowed upon you.




Bring no harm to yourself or others.


Be true to your word, and let your word be true.


Do not steal, not even a glance; walk your talk.


Use wisely the life force within you.


Give more than you take, for nothing in the world really belongs to you.


Shamans always begin healing ceremonies by opening sacred space. In this space we leave behind the affairs of ordinary life, the bustling world of meetings and schedules, and prepare to meet the divine. Sacred space allows us to enter our quiet inner world where healing takes place. Within sacred space our burdens become lighter, and we can be touched by the hand of Spirit. After we finish our healing work, sacred space must be closed by again acknowledging the four directions, Heaven, and Earth.

Sacred space is a healing sphere that is pure, holy and safe. Imagine it as a shimmering cupola above the area where you do your healing work. Everyone within this space is protected. Sacred space creates an environment where our defences can be lowered, where we can explore our soft, tender underbelly. Sacred space also gives us access to the luminous healer-the medicine men and women who assist us form the Spirit world.

You can create sacred space and summon the healing power of nature anywhere on Earth. You can use it while your own prayer reveals itself to you. The shaman's covenant with Spirit is that when she calls, Spirit answers. Powerful medicine people from the Spirit world appear in the form of luminous beings who assist us in our healing work. You can employ a smudge stick of sage or a little scented water if you like. Shamans throughout the Americas accompany their prayer by fanning smouldering sage or incense with a feather in the appropriate direction they are addressing, or holding their hand up to the sky and saluting each cardinal point.

You will need to determine the points; ideally this is done with a compass, but a close approximation based on your knowledge of the landscape is fine. Begin by facing South. Smudge or blow the scented water to the South, then hold up your hand, palm facing out. Recite the first verse, calling upon serpent. Face each direction in turn as you repeat the process. Touch the Earth and look to the Heavens when directing your prayers there. You close sacred space by thanking serpent, jaguar, hummingbird, and eagle. Release their energies and allow them to return to the four corners of the Earth. To connect with the energy of one of the directions, do not close that direction. Instead call on that archetype to enter you and accompany you on your path.



The Luminous Energy Field contains an archive of all of our personal and ancestral memories, of all early-life trauma, and even of painful wounds from former lifetimes.

These records or imprints are stored in full colour and intensity of emotion. Imprints are like dormant computer programs that when activated compel us toward behaviours, relationships, accidents, and illnesses that parody the initial wounding. Our personal history indeed repeats itself. Imprints of physical trauma are stored in the outermost layer of the Luminous Energy Field. Emotional imprints are stored in the second layer, soul imprints in the third, and spiritual imprints in the fourth and deepest layer. Imprints in the Luminous Energy Field predispose us to follow certain pathways in life. They orchestrate the incidents, experiences, and people we attract to ourselves. Imprints propel us to re-create painful dramas and heartbreaking encounters, yet ultimately guide us toward situations wherein we can heal our ancient soul wounds.

The Luminous Energy Field contains a template of how we live, how we age, how we heal, and how we might die. When there is no imprint for disease in the Luminous Energy Field, recovery from an illness happens at tremendous speed. By the same token, imprints for diseases can depress the immune system, and it can take an extremely long time for us to regain our health during an illness. None of us wants to spend months convalescing when we could have recovered in a matter of days or weeks. When we erase the negative imprint that caused the onset of illness, the immune system can rapidly eradicate the disease.

In the outermost layer of the Luminous Energy Field is the membrane or "skin" of the luminous body. This membrane serves as a defensive cocoon in the same way the skin is the protective membrane of the body. The imprints of physical trauma and disease are etched onto this membrane like designs cut into glass.


Chakras - Anatomy of the Soul


Regardless of where they were born, everyone has a skeleton with the exact same number of bones. In the same way, we all share the same luminous anatomy, which includes the chakras and the acupuncture meridians. The chakras are swirling disks of energy. The word chakra means "wheel" in Sanskrit. They spin three to four inches outside the body and link to our spine and central nervous system. The chakras are a direct pipeline to the human neural network. They rotate clockwise, in the same direction that the spiral arms of the galaxy revolve. Each chakra has a unique frequency that we perceive is one of the seven colours of the rainbow. The chakras in a newborn child display their pure colour, from red in the first chakra to violet in the seventh. As we grow older the colour in our chakras becomes dull. The trauma and loss in our lives leave their toxic residues behind. The sludge that adheres to a chakra does not permit it to vibrate at its pure frequency, and physical aging is accelerated. When a shaman completes her healing process her chakras become clear. They spin freely and vibrate with their original purity again.

The Amazon shamans believe that when you clear all your chakras you acquire a "rainbow body." Each center vibrates at its natural frequency, and you radiate the seven colors of the rainbow. According to legend, when you acquire the rainbow body you can make the journey beyond death to the Spirit world. You are able to assist others in their healing, and you can die consciously since you already know the way back home. The jungle shamans believe death is a great predator that stalks each and every one of us. They say that many illnesses are caused by the death that festers within us. These medicine people believe that death or lifelessness, claims us little by little, until one day we realize that we are more dead than alive. When your chakras are clear you are no longer stalked by death. You are claimed by life, and therefore you can never by claimed again by death. The flag of the Inka nation is the rainbow, which holds a very special place in their mythology. You can see it flying over the rooftops of Cusco even today.


The five lower chakras, from the root to the throat, are nourished primarily by the Earth. Imagine a tree whose roots go deep into the ground. The nutrients it draws from the Earth are carried up the trunk to the highest branches. The sunlight it absorbs through the leaves is turned into energy that in turn is transferred all the way to the roots. The four upper chakras are fed primarily by the energies of the Sun, our star. The sky-god religions emphasize the development of the upper chakras to the neglect of the lower. The sky-god civilizations perfected technology, reason, and logic. The Earth-goddess religions emphasize the lower chakras to the neglect of the upper ones. These civilizations remained agrarian cultures with little interest in Western-style progress while achieving advancement in astronomy, philosophy, and architecture (the Chinese discovered gunpowder but used it only for fireworks; it took the Europeans to use it for warfare). I believe that today we must develop the gifts of both the Earth chakras and the sky chakras.

Like the organs in the body, each chakra performs a unique function. The first and second chakras digest emotional energies, churning them over to draw out nutrients. When the first chakra is disconnected from the Earth, the lower centers are unable to expel emotional wastes. There is no exit channel. These wastes turn into toxic sludge that adheres to the walls of a chakra and slows its spinning. When sludge builds in our second chakra (where the fight-or-flight response resides) we interpret the world as hostile and aggressive. The solar plexus, heart, and throat chakras (third, fourth, and fifth) are nurtured by the finer energies of love, compassion, and empathy. They are not equipped to digest emotions of any kind. (We get in trouble when we try to digest heavy emotions and feelings with our heart chakra -we get emotional heartburn.) The sky chakras are fed by the subtlest spiritual energy.


In the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth chakras development becomes transpersonal. We explore increasingly subtle domains.

Stepping beyond death was the attribute of the sixth chakra; mastery of time was the attribute of the seventh; invisibility the attribute of the eighth; and the ability to keep a secret was the attribute of the ninth.


The sixth chakra, or third eye, is located in the middle of the forehead. In the Hindu traditions it is thought to be the third eye of Shiva, who grants knowledge of perfect truth and non-duality. We express the divine within ourselves, and we see the divine in others. You realize that you are an eternal being inhabiting a temporal body.

When the sixth chakra is malfunctioning, the individual confuses information with knowledge. He feels he has attained great spiritual truths, when all he has is a collection of facts. Shamans know how to make it rain without being able to explain that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen atoms. Spiritual materialism is an endemic dysfunction of the third-eye chakra.

An awakened third eye allows the shaman to know who he is. It gives him knowledge of the past and future and allows him to envision alternative destinies.


The crown chakra at the very top of the head is our portal to the Heavens, in the same way that the first chakra is the portal to the Earth. Luminous threads from this center reach up to the stars and to our destinies. The Earth protects us and nurtures us with her life force, and the Heavens propel us toward our becoming.

The lesson of the seventh chakra is mastery of time. When we break free of linear, causal time, we are no longer in the tyrannical grip of the past. Today is no longer the result of an earlier incident, and we experience freedom from cause and effect. Whereas in the sixth chakra, the healer acquires knowledge of past and future events, when she awakens the gifts of the seventh chakra she is able to influence those events.

The negative expression of the seventh chakra is spiritual regression masquerading as enlightenment. In our culture of instant gratification, spiritual seekers often want to leapfrog over the work of the lower chakras.

Those who have mastered the seventh chakra attain unusual powers including remembering ancient memories belonging to the collective consciousness of humanity.


The eighth chakra is the Wiracocha, or "source of the sacred." This chakra resides a few inches above the head, and when awakened shines like a radiant sun inside the Luminous Energy Field.

The information fields in the eighth chakra act as the template to create the physical body. This chakra is like a carpenter who builds a chair (the physical body) and later burns it in his fireplace. The carpenter feels no loss, as he knows that he can simply build another out of new wood. The eighth chakra is unaffected by the death of the body. If an imprint of disease exists in this chakra, it is like a design flaw that is replicated with each new chair.

The negative expression of this chakra is cosmic horror, such as is experienced by those caught between the worlds of spirit and matter.

The attribute of the eighth chakra is invisibility. In this center we become aware of the Beholder (known in Buddhism as the Witness)-a self that has been present from the beginning of our spiritual journey. Now disengaged from the mind, it is able to behold the mind with all of its dramas without subscribing to them. The Beholder witnesses our life unfolding, and understands that all of the stories we use to describe ourselves are only stories. Beholder perceives everything but cannot itself be perceived, because it cannot be turned into an object of perception. The Beholder is invisible because it cannot be beheld.

Eventually, the Beholder will begin to reveal its own source, which is Spirit, or the ninth chakra.

The eighth chakra resides within the Luminous Energy Field. It hovers above the head like a spinning sun. It is our connection with the Great Spirit, the place where God dwells within us.

We see this chakra illustrated as the light surrounding Christ and as the fire that descended upon the apostles at Pentecost, when they received the gift of the Holy Spirit. When we die, the eighth chakra expands into a luminous globe and envelops the other seven chakras in a vessel of light. After a period of atonement and purification, the eighth chakra manufactures another body, as it has done again and again over so many lifetimes. It leads us to our biological parents, and to the best life (not the easiest!) to acquire the experience we need to grow spiritually. The charged traumatic memories of our previous incarnation are transfused into our next body as imprints in our Luminous Energy Field.

The eighth chakra's source is the ninth chakra, Spirit. The ninth chakra resides outside the Luminous Energy Field and extends throughout the cosmos. It is the heart of the universe, at one with the Great Spirit. The eighth chakra is where God dwells within us, and the ninth chakra, the part of us that dwells within the Creator.

The eighth chakra corresponds to the Christian concept of the soul, which is personal and finite. The ninth chakra corresponds to Spirit, which is impersonal and infinite.


The ninth chakra resides at the heart of the Universe, It is outside time and space; it extends through the vastness of space and connects to the eighth chakra by a luminous cord.

The ninth chakra is the Self that has never been born and will never die. This Self is prior to time, and it never enters the river through which time flows. It is prior to space and existed before the Universe manifested. This is the self that never left the Garden of Eden.


The great archetypes of our tradition are organizing principles of the Universe. They are the forces that we call to create sacred space and they are the Energy Beings that have been planted as seeds in each of your chakras. It is important to remember that you have received them as seeds, they are pure potential - it is your own engagement with them and your relationship with them that will grow them into the powerful forces that inform your chakras in new ways. That is why you do the fire ceremonies, to grow these seeds with fire. Take the two weeks after each fire ceremony to source yourself from the archetype in each chakra, see your world from that perspective, so that you get your own sense of connection to each archetype. Instead of being exclusively informed by our histories and by our cultural prescriptions, these organizing principles of the Universe begin to organize our energy centres.

Serpent: Mother of the Waters; archetype of the healer throughout many cultures; the one who teaches us to shed our personal past the way she sheds her skin -- primary life force, the one who dives deep, deep - who knows the way into the deepest places inside of ourselves - the One who walks with beauty on the belly of the Mother - the One who knows the way back to the Garden, the place of innocence.

Jaguar: Mother-Sister Jaguar who knows the way across the rainbow bridge to the world of mystery - the One who swallows the dying sun, teaching us to step beyond fear, violence and death. The archetypal connection to the life force of the jungle, everything that is green; steward of the life force - Luminous Warrior who has no enemies in this world or the next - represents the Life/Death principle and renewal.

Ancient Ones and Hummingbird: The place of the ancestors, Grandmothers and Grandfathers, ancient memories, ancient wisdom - the Ones who have stepped outside of Time but slip through the curtain to help us remember the ancient ways - the way of the Hummingbird, who drinks directly from the nectar of Life -- not built for flight yet undertakes and accomplishes the impossible journey.

Condor or Eagle: The great archetype of the East, the place of the rising Sun, the place of our Becoming -- principle of seeing from high perspective, vision of clarity and beauty, the great wings of the condor hold the heart, teaches us to see with the eyes of the heart - the One who pushes us out of the nest to spread our own wings so that we may always fly wing to wing with the Great Spirit.

Huascar: Lord of life; Lord of death. Historically, one of two sons of Pachakuti Inka (the Inka who read the prophecy of bearded men with sticks that spoke with fire who would turn the world upside down). Huascar was the keeper of the medicine teachings; he was killed by his brother who then negotiated with the Spanish. He became the harmonizing principle of the Lower World - the chaotic dark place of all creative potential. He/she is the renewer of the Earth and our own personal need of renewing our own earth, fields that are fallow, places that need aerating. The gift of Huascar is to harmonize our relationship with our Shadow.

Quetzelcoatl: Lord of the morning/the dawn; the Day Bringer, Morning Star; -- Quetzel is a beautiful jungle bird and coatl is serpent, reptile, a feathered, winged serpent that has acquired flight - the organizer of the middle world, brought irrigation, medicine plants and stonework, walked the Americas, brought stability, music, dance, flutes, drums - though it has been lost in our culture, we can call on it individually, an animistic knowledge of the ways of the Earth - organizes your relationship with the Middle World - when you come into relationship with Quetzlcoatl you don't have to micromanage your life.

Pachakuti: Historically, the Inka king who was given the prophecy that the world was turning over (coming of the Spanish) the keeper of the possibilities, organizing principle of the Upper World; - embodies the concept of circular time, stepping outside of linear time - makes time stand still - brings order, heavenly order - coming into relationship with Pachakuti allows us to recognize what can be changed and changing it before it is born

You must develop your own relationship with the Archetypes and your descriptions should come from your experience


Each of the archetypal animals exudes a different flavour of energy. In the South serpent symbolizes knowledge, sexuality and healing. Perhaps the most universal archetype, serpent has always represented the healing power of nature. The staff of medicine, or caduceus, is formed by two serpents intertwined around a rod. In the East it is the coiled snake of the Kundalini energy.


Serpent represents the primeval connection to the feminine and thus is a symbol of fertility and sexuality. It symbolizes the essential life force that seeks union and creation. We can summon the creative principle by calling on the archetype of serpent. When working with a client who has lost her passion for life, who has exhausted her energy and enthusiasm, connect her with the energies of the South and send her home accompanied by the spirit of serpent. This will rekindle her longing for life.


The animal of the West is jaguar. It renews and transforms the life of the rain forest. Where serpent represents the power of healing, which is gradual and incremental; jaguar stands for sudden transformation, fire and death. It might seem odd to us that the transforming force in the Universe is also associated with death. That which endured was always changing and renewing itself. That which remained unchanging perished. The Ancient Americans recognized that chaos and order, expansion and contraction, were the natural cycle of life.  

We can transform our bodies so that they heal more rapidly and age more elegantly by embodying the forces represented by jaguar. Consider the metaphor that we have nine lives, like cats. When we reach the end of one of these lifetimes (other people would call them stages or phases in one's life), it is important to give the old self a decent burial, and then leap like a jaguar into who we are becoming. Otherwise, we can spend years patching and fixing an old self that we have outgrown.

When a client is in crisis, who may feel his life is beyond repair, send him home with jaguar. The life-and-death principle represented by the jaguar will assist him to allow those parts of himself that need to die to do so, as well as to regain hope and bring new balance from chaos.  


In the North direction, hummingbird represents the courage required to embark on an epic journey. Hummingbirds migrate over the Atlantic, traveling every year from Brazil to Canada. When working with a client who is embarking upon an epic life's journey, help her to connect with the energy of hummingbird. Once touched by the energies of this archetype, we are propelled on our own epic journey that eventually leads us back to our source, where our spirit was spawned.  

The North energy helps us embark on great journey despite tremendous odds. When there is not enough time, money or know-how for what you are attempting, hummingbird can provide the courage and guidance necessary for success.  


The East direction is represented by eagle and condor, who bring vision, clarity, and foresight. Eagle perceives the entire panorama of life without becoming bogged down in its details. The energies of eagle assist us in finding the guiding vision of our lives. The eyes of the condor see into the past and the future, helping to know where we come from, and who we are becoming.  

Eagle allows us to rise above the mundane battles that occupy our lives and consume our energy and attention. Eagle gives us wings to soar above trivial day-to-day struggles into the high peaks close to Heaven. Eagle and condor represent the self-transcending principle in nature.  


The final two directions - above and below, represent the masculine and feminine. The shaman summons it to preserve and perpetuate, while understanding that life is a delicate balance between the changing and the unchanging. The Inka believe that the soul has three parts. When people die, one part of their soul (the changing) returns to the Earth, to be reabsorbed into nature and become one with all life. Another part (their power and wisdom) returns to the sacred mountains, and a third part (the unchanging) returns to the Sun.  

Earth is the receptive and nurturing principle. Its power is to mulch and renew. The summer leaves are turned back into rich soil. When saluting the Earth we acknowledge our relationship with all other life forms, from the trees to the fishes, the birds, and the stones. When saluting the Heavens we acknowledge our star brother and sisters, and we dedicate our healing effort to the Great Spirit the Creator of all.With your purchase you will receive the 87 page manual, the nine rites by distance, lightarian angel initiation and unlimited email support and guidance. 

The Munay-Ki has an energetic component, a series of initiations that help us to develop a new architecture in our luminous energy field. When the Munay-Ki is gifted to a student, it is the lineage of luminous beings, the Earthkeepers of past, that transmits itself, that leaps from the ead of the master to

 The Nine Rites:

The nine rites are broken up into three categories:

1. Foundation Rites

2. Lineage Rites

3. Rites to Come

The Foundation Rites consist of:

1. Healer’s Rite

2. Bands of Power Rite

3. Harmony Rite

4. Seer’s Rite

The Lineage Rites consist of:

1. Daykeeper’s Rite

2. Wisdomkeeper’s Rite

3. Earthkeeper’s Rite

Cost: $500