I teared up when my friend, Q'orianka and her husband, greeted me at the airport. We were waving our arms in the air like children and hugging like I was coming home. I do feel at home here, though it's not a home like any home I have ever experienced before.
Peru had never been on my bucket list, but when I visited here in 2012, my experiences on this land, changed the course of my life forever. I began to understand myself and life purpose in such a way that I couldn't have known before my experiences here.
Being here in this magical place again, I lay in bed and listen to the children outside my bedroom window playing in the school yard and I feel so much joy in my heart.
Today the streets were overflowing with colorful dancers and traditional music filled the Plaza De Armas for the parade of the Festival of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
I felt it was auspicious to run into the parade celebrating the day of birth of the Virgin Mary, The Divine Feminine, on the day I was making plans for the people joining me on the spiritual pilgrimage to Machu Picchu.
Many times on this journey, I have been asked what's so special about this place? And the short answer is: Cusco is a sacred land like no other.
The Incas understood that Cusco holds a unique vibrational resonance and its location is a huge energy portal to connect with the Spirit World and Source, the connectedness of all things.
Simply, there is no way to come here, without being transformed.
The Festival of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is widely celebrated in Peru, with festivities beginning on September 1 and lasting for more than a week.
Although it is not known where the September 8 date of Mary's birth originated, it seems to have been established by the end of the seventh century. In the Coptic and Abyssinian churches, the first day of every month is celebrated as the birthday of the Virgin Mary.
Only three births are celebrated in the Christian calendar: the Virgin Mary's, September 8th, St. John's on June 24, (St. John's Day), and Jesus Christ's on December 25 (Christmas).
There are a number of legends describing the Virgin Mary's birth. Most early works of art show Mary and her mother, Anne, surrounded by elaborate furnishings and ancient Hebrew decorations, with a choir of angels hovering overhead. There are more festivals in honor of Mary than of any other saint—among them the Feasts of the Immaculate Conception the Annunciation, the Purification or Candlemas, and the Visitation.
In northern Europe, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady functioned as a traditional harvest festival—a time to give thanks to Mary for the bounty of the fields and to ask her to protect the crops until they were harvested.
Native Americans in the United States often observe September 8 with traditional harvest dances.