I brush my fingers across the pile of Coca leaves before me, looking for the best three that want to be part of this prayer. Three, one for each of the Apus, or sacred mountains. The Apus are the gods of this place. I select them and stack them one on top of the other and turn inward. I find the place in me that connects to God, to my Ancestors, in my heart. I am thanking the Divine for this moment, these people, this life, this husband and asking for a closer relationship to my guides, God and Ancestors. I ask to clearly know what they tell me, to know deeply how I am loved and where I am guided. I want to trust more.
When my heart has finished the prayer, I hand my three stack of Coca leaves to the Shaman, Nelida, and when she takes them she whispers to the Apus over them before tucking the leaves under the shell, at the center of the emerging mandala, on the paper.