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Sacred Portal: Unveiling the Power of Altars in Intentional Journeys

As part of my initiation in the Munay Ki, the Andean tradition, you become a mesa carrier. A sacred initiation process of indigenous alchemy that sets you on an ancient pathway of accelerated growth and healing through the four directions of the Andean Medicine Wheel.


The Mesa, in the Andean tradition is a portable altar holding personal power objects that afford a microcosm of the universe for healing and ritual. The altar may include representations from the 7 directions and the 4 elements. All objects in the altar represent our ways to commune with the spirit world. Each mesa carrier has unique objects that correspond to that person’s spiritual path.

An altar symbolizes our spiritual consciousness with elements of beauty, love, and the sacred. It serves as a focal point where we can connect with the divine, express our devotion, and honor the forces that shape our existence. Whether it be the creator, the life force, Mother Earth, or Father Sky, an altar provides a tangible space for us to establish a connection to the spiritual realm and our higher selves.

Setting up an altar can be a profound and meaningful practice, especially when embarking on a journey with psychedelic plant medicine. These powerful substances have been used for centuries in various cultures as tools for spiritual exploration, self- discovery, and healing. When combined with the intentional creation of an altar, the potential for transformation and growth is amplified.

The act of preparing an altar before engaging in a psychedelic experience is a way of setting the stage for a profound inner journey. By carefully selecting and arranging meaningful objects, such as crystals, flowers, sacred symbols, and personal artifacts, we create a sacred space that resonates with our intentions and desires. This intentional act of arranging the altar items can be a meditation in itself, allowing us to focus our thoughts, clarify our intentions, and invite higher guidance. The altar acts as a bridge between the physical and spiritual realms, serving as a portal through which we can access deeper levels of consciousness. It becomes a visual representation of our spiritual path and a reminder of the sacredness that exists within and around us. By offering tokens of gratitude and reverence on the altar, we express our humility and invite blessings and guidance from the divine forces we honor. During a psychedelic journey, the altar becomes a focal point for reflection, contemplation, and connection. It provides a grounding anchor in moments of intensity and serves as a reminder of our intentions and the presence of the sacred. The beauty and symbolism of the altar items can inspire awe and wonder, inviting us to explore the depths of our being and connect with the expansive nature of the universe.

The presence of an altar during a psychedelic experience can enhance the clarity of our insights, the depth of our experiences, and the integration of our learnings. It provides a sense of comfort and support, creating a safe space for exploration and healing. The altar becomes a conduit for spiritual energy, guiding us towards a greater understanding of ourselves, our purpose, and our interconnectedness with all of existence.

In conclusion, setting up an altar as part of your work and intention for a psychedelic plant medicine journey can bring profound benefits. It allows us to create a sacred space that invites spiritual connection and guidance. The altar serves as a visual representation of our devotion and reverence to the divine, and it acts as a grounding anchor throughout the journey. By engaging in this intentional practice, we open ourselves to deeper clarity, inspiration, and spirituality, enriching our psychedelic experiences and facilitating personal growth.

Ideas on what to include in your altar: crystals, objects of significance to you, images of loved ones and of yourself, images of places that you love, images with powerful symbols, candles, flowers and/or plants, incense or sage, representations of deities or teachers and guides.

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