Reflections of Q’ero Elder, Don Francisco

“You look like a strong guy, Bill. Would you mind taking Don Francisco’s despacho* materials over to his room? It’s just across the parking lot.” Before answering, I said to myself, ‘how hard could it be?’ “Sure!”

The nice lady parted a set of draperies and there were three large Rubbermaid storage containers with contents I would guess weighing about 100 lb. I set about my task, staging the containers through the parking lot individually and finally I stacked them in front of Room 104 somewhere in Park City, UT. Before knocking on the door of the Q’ero elder, whom many revere as the penultimate example of the spirituality of the lost world of the Inca, I thought that I heard some small sound from within. I knocked … quiet. I knocked again … silence.

Don Francisco

Don Francisco of the Q'ero

Not to be deterred, and positive that my instincts were correct, I knocked loudly a fourth time. That did the trick! There was the soft rustling of clothing and I thought that I heard a water spigot close. Then, a faint brush at the door. “¿Quién es…? [Who is it?]” I thought to myself, ‘how should address this elder? With deference? Perhaps some sort of greeting in his native language of Quechua?’ Then I remembered the words of advice given to students and supplicants throughout time and space: “Be yourself!” So I answered, “¡Es la Policia! [It’s the Police!]”

The door knob turned slowly, and the door cracked ever so slightly. There was one brown eyeball staring intently … seriously through the crack in the door up at me. A moment of recognition on his part and the door flew open with a force that surprised me. And there he was, standing in most of his formal regalia including the multicolored ceremonial poncho coming toward me with outstretch arms. An embrace. “¡Ah, Policia! ¡Policia International! ¡Gracias, muchas gracias!

Seven years later, Don Francisco still calls me “Policia.”

A couple of years later, Don Francisco gave a group of us The Creator Rites. It was immediately after the rites that I went home and found a place to begin recording the Native American-style flute. The musical journey continues to this day and is a constant source of healing and awe.

I saw Don Francisco this weekend last, and made the above image of him at a fire ceremony. I can’t help smiling when I see him.

* the despacho is a major ceremony of the Q’ero, during which the prayers and intentions of a person are placed symbolically in a mandala of materials that are subsequently burned or buried for the purpose of achieving ‘right-relationships’ in one’s life.


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  1. #1 by Theodosia H. Ferguson on January 26, 2014 - 6:34 pm

    Bill Leyden–

    Greetings! My name is Theo Ferguson and I participated in an Expedition to Mt. Salkantay with the Four Winds Society in June of 2011 led by Linda Fitch.. I was following through on a request from the Spirits of Life, who are concerned that the Human Family is focusing attention on ensuring Climate Stability. Thus, they want me to create six very specific Systems to Heal the Climate and qualify six shamans–three in the Southern Hemisphere and three in the Northern Hemisphere–to call the Spirits of Life every day and when they are connected to each other, to call collectively.

    Don Francisco, together with his fellow Shamans–Don Pablo and Don Pasquel–accepted the responsibility to be the first Holder of Systems to Heal the Climate. At that time he gave me his business card, but I find that although I stapled it onto a Roster page, when I went to type up the Roster for the first three Holders–Don Francisco of the Q’ero (1st Holder of a System to Heal the Climate); Zagdaa, a Darkhad Buryat Shaman (2nd Holder); and Oktyabar, a shaman from Western Russia (3rd Holder)–for my mid-Project Status Report before going to Australia to find the fourth holder, I had misplaced his card. Que lastima!

    I’m requesting assistance from you share his physical address so I can send his report as well as his email and telephone number. The Spirits of Life are guiding me and step by step I have been able to do what they want. The mid-project report communicates: 1) a personalized letter (for Holder #1–in Spanish) #2 and #3 Holders’ reports are being translated into Mongolian; 2) a story I look to publish in the Foundation for Shamanic Studies’s Journal, Shamanism, with 4) supportive pictures; 5) a Roster of critical contact people (among whom would be you, would you wish, who would also receive mid-term reports; program descriptions in English, Spanish, Mongolian (after it is translated);and 6) a talisman from each of the other shaman. I am being as thorough as I can as a) I want to enable each of the 6 Holders to connect with each other electronically, telephonically, energetically, and any other way possible when it is time for them to link up. Simultaneously, I need to grow the “observer effect” a term crafted by Dr. William Lyons, noted in his Spirit Talkers book, in which with sufficient focus and intention, between the holders and those interested in creating climate stability through supporting the six shamans and sustaining that full-hearted energy to ensure that the 400 ppm of CO2 in earth’s atmosphere is indeed dropping back to 350o ppm.

    Could you please share physical address so I can send his report as well as his email and telephone number so that I can include him in the Roster and send him his packet?

    My best regards to you and many thanks for your support in my fulfilling the request given to me by the Spirits of Life,

    Theodosia H. Ferguson
    1642 Milvia St. #4
    Berkeley, CA 94709 USA

    • #2 by Bill on July 21, 2014 - 4:07 pm

      Hi Theodosia. Thanks for writing. I can’t help you with your specific requests, but I believe you can find Don Francisco on FaceBook. I last saw him in Joshua Tree, CA, where I record his opening prayer:

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