from Hillary S. Webb, "Yanantin and Masintin in the Andean World"

 Chapter 6 The Lanzón
 I returned to Peru the following September for my next phase of research. Amado and Juan Luis had suggested that this time we meet in Lima, and from there drive up into the coastal desert of northern Peru, to the ruins at Chavín1 de Huántar, a small rural village located in a fertile valley on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Blanca, the highest section of the Peruvian Andes. 

Chavín de Huántar is also referred to as “San Pedro de Chavín” (Rowe, 1967), and, according to Amado and Juan Luis, it is here that the San Pedro cactus had its beginnings as a ritual tool.

 For Juan Luis, Chavín has special significance, for it is the sacred center of the Medicine teachings in which he was trained. Juan Luis said, “Chavín is the home of San Pedro, which is the Medicine with which I work. It is the place of my cosmic and spiritual origins on this Mother Earth. I have an absolute connection with Chavín. I am part of Chavín and Chavín is part of me. All the knowledge that I can achieve in this life, consciously and unconsciously, comes from Chavín. As a place of birth, I am born there every time I go.  In all of the Americas, this is probably the most ancient culture, the Chavín people. All our great-grandchildren will always know that that was the center, that that was the place where these lineages could meet again. 

Chavín is the meeting point. Our planet was basically created with the wisdom and the life that was brought from the cosmos in Chavín. That’s the center. It is the strongest place of yanantin-masintin, for it is capable of creating new humanity if we are talking about humanity, or new life, or new levels of life in the planet, in the cosmos.” 

Later, Amado spoke further about Chavín, saying, “Chavín is the place where a cosmic seed was planted—where the Medicine was brought from the cosmos to this earth. You see, we have legends that say that the Medicine was brought from the stars, and, in fact, when the San Pedro plant is cut into [horizontal] slices, it has the shape of starflowers. The Medicine arrived first to Chavín. Thousands of years later, there was supposed to be another energetic center created, another Chavín for these new times, for this new era. That center was Qosqo [Cuzco]. But the original center of spiritual centers was Chavín. 

This is where the Medicine began. All the work with ayahuasca, huachuma, vilca —all these sacred medicines that allow you to enter into higher-level dimensions of light began here. “In all of history we will always learn that Chavín is the mother culture . Why? Because all our life as an Andean people is rooted in our spirituality —in our connection to Mother Earth and to the cosmos. Chavín held all that spiritual connection. The most inaccessible people were those who came from Chavín lineage. Sechin, Chan Chan, north of Sipán—all these places were not easily influenced by the Inca civilization. They knew very well that the Inca did not hold all the spiritual roots, and because of that they kept their own culture. Because for life to continue, to survive, they knew that more important than food, more important than water, was this spiritual connection. Only through that could they work with the elements, with Mother Earth, in perfect harmony. It was to that that their life was promised.” Most Chavín scholars (Bischof, 2008; Burger, 1995; Cordy-Collins, 1977; Cummins, 2008; Rick, 2008; Rowe, 1967) agree that, in its heyday, the Chavín site was a place of important ritual activity. Although the dates are debated, it is believed to have been in active use as early as 1500 BCE to around 200 BCE (Conklin & Quilter, 2008). Some (Burger, 1995; Rowe, 1967) believe that Chavín de Huántar was the origin and sacred  center of a religious cult that spread across central and northern Peru from about 1300 BCE to 800 BCE. These scholars speculate that the force of Chavín’s religious momentum was such that it was able to unite the various cultures of the area—once composed of various disparate groups...