Conference, Cutimbo, and the Miracle of the Pantyhose

Earth, air, fire, and water. These are the “elements” around which the ceremonies leading up to the Solar Disc activation will be based. This is ancient practice. Shamans from around the world understand ceremony based on earth, air, fire, and water. These elements give us life and we cannot live without them. Our lungs fill with air when we enter this life, and when we die, it is said that air leaves first, then fire, then water, and finally, earth.

We are to do air ceremony the day following the fire ceremony. But first, we have conference in the morning. As the elders and shamans arrive, I am struck by the miracle of our all being here, in this place, at this time. So many have been called to join together for these events and while I had a sense of it the previous night, it is not until we gather for the morning conference that I feel the full impact of it. I am humbled to be a participant and, as I look around me, I feel the collective power of those gathered. I have no doubt that we will activate the Solar Disc. I have no doubt, in fact, that we could, collectively, shift the tectonic plates if we chose to. But shifting collective consciousness is more what we are about.

Jorge Luis opens the conference and then turns it over to others to share seeds of wisdom, as he puts it. The Amazon shaman, don Jesus (who blessed me the previous night), seems thrilled that we have all come to take part in this important event. He says that he thought the Amazon River was big—and then he came to Lake Titicaca. We laugh, appreciating his innocence. He carries that mingling of wisdom and innocence I’ve seen in those who have seriously gotten over themselves—like His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Arikara/Hidatsa elder, Marilyn Youngbird.  Don Jesus’ wife, Juliana (also known as The Bird of the Amazon), sings for us. HeatherAsh Amara, a longtime student of don Miguel Ruiz, speaks of the elements and learning to lean into them as we give up our identification with self and our resistance to acknowledging that we are, indeed, magnificent beings. Nestor Caceres Escalante talks about sacred geometry. Don Isidro urges us to take that which is within us and express it in the world. Meg Blackburn paints mental pictures of light organizing into geometric shapes that remember all they have experienced. Local shamans—don Raul and don Jose Ramos—tell us how pleased and honored they are that we are there.

The Conference

And so it goes. All morning. As HeatherAsh would have us lean into the elements, I lean into the teachings, as a tree leans towards the sun. It is the extraordinary ordinary people of the world who impress me—not rock stars or athletes or heads of state—and these are extraordinary ordinary people. It is clear to me that each of them is contributing to the evolution of consciousness in their own way and I’m glad to be sharing this experience with them.

We travel to Cutimbo for the afternoon air ceremony. Not far from Puno, in the altiplano—the high plateau—Cutimbo rests on a large, flat plain more than two miles above sea level. Dominating the site are both a square and a round chullpa. 

Cutimbo Chullpas

We are asked to remove our shoes and socks, then form a large circle. Most of those present do so, though a small group seems to separate from the larger group and conduct their own small ceremony nearby. The circle is huge. There are more than a hundred present for the ceremony. Peruvian shamans gather in the middle to orchestrate the ceremony. Those of us comprising the circle are asked to move as the wind moves. One of the shamans talks and gives offering as we dance our wind dance over moss and rocks, delicate flowers and weedy growth. Overhead, the wind conspires with the cloud people. It looks, for a time, as if it might rain, but it does not. The air is crisp and we are all washed clean by the wind.

I had dressed for the day in hiking pants and shirt, hiking boots and thick socks. But beneath it all, I am wearing pantyhose, as I do most days. Having removed my shoes and socks—but unable to remove the hose—I have been dancing over the rough terrain in stocking feet. This is a sacrificial pair of hose and I am happy for them to be so. They will be shredded by the time we are done. I am, admittedly, a throwback to another time, a laughable anachronism of a woman. And I expect my due for being one. I would have been better served barefoot, but I am not. And I couldn’t care less about the hose.

But when we have completed the ceremony and I sit down to put my socks and boots on, my mouth drops open as I see my feet. Not only are my hose not shredded, there are no runs, no snags—nothing. The hose are in perfect shape. It is completely ridiculous. It is impossible. It is wildly amusing. I am on the receiving end of a minor miracle. I have been shown that when one throws herself completely and joyously into work on behalf of something larger than herself, the ordinary rules of life, physics, and pantyhose are suspended. That Spirit would use something as mundane as pantyhose for this lesson amuses me to no end. At the same time, I am a little in awe. And I keep what has happened to myself, at least for the time being.

Feeling the Energy

After the ceremony, we spend time at the chullpas, praying, some of us crawling on hands and knees through an opening to sit in the womb of pachamama within one of them, feeling their energy. I do all of this. But I do it as the silent witness to the miracle of the pantyhose.

Cutimbo, Post-Ceremony

Copyright 2010 by Melanie Mulhall

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15 Responses to “Conference, Cutimbo, and the Miracle of the Pantyhose”

  1. Gail Storey Says:

    I’m filled with hope reading your account of this conference, with its intent to shift collective consciousness. It’s really happening, and I’m among many who are grateful you participated wholeheartedly in this particular instance and shared it with us. I especially love your description of the “wisdom and innocence” of those who’ve seriously “gotten over themselves.” (No one would accuse me of that, but I’m trying!) And the miracle of the pantyhose counter to the laws of tears and snags–fabulous!


    • Melanie Mulhall Says:


      So many people are working on behalf of shifting collective consciousness and it is my belief that the primary way for most of us to do that is to work on our own consciousness. As we work on ourselves, the collective shifts. I know that you–and many others–are doing that.

      Yes, there is a beautiful wisdom and innocence in those who have seriously gotten over themselves–and not the least of that is the kind of humor that delights in the simplest of things in life.

      Thank you for your comment, Gail.



  2. Laurel Kallenbach Says:

    The Miracle of the Pantyhose! I think it’s as good a sign of shifting earth energy as anything.

    I’m thrilled to hear of Marilyn Youngbird. I interviewed her for an article 15 years ago. At the time she was living in Colorado. I hope she is well.


    • Melanie Mulhall Says:


      I’m so glad to hear that you know Marilyn! She is one of my favorite people in the world. Marilyn still lives in Colorado, though she moved down from the mountains a few years ago. And while she lives here, she mostly moves at twice the speed of life and can often be found doing her wonderful work in Japan or North Dakota.

      Thanks for visiting the site and commenting, Lauel.



  3. Ann Cornell Says:

    Good article, Melanie! I enjoyed reading it. I thing some pantyhose have a life of their own.


  4. Anne Doyle Says:

    Oh, Melanie, what a story…and what a happening! It adds humor to a very meaningful time. I was afraid you would be taken to task for having your feet “covered”, but no, your heart was open and that was what mattered most.

    Thank you!!

    All good wishes–


    • Melanie Mulhall Says:


      Yes, having an open heart is key. The day we activated the solar disc (February 14–and that story will be coming within a couple of blog posts), I sat with Jorge Luis on the bus at the end of it. It had been a long day and the bus was quiet. Jorge asked me if I felt tired or even exhausted. My reply was that while I was sure that I must be tired on some level, most of what I was feeling was good. Just plain good. He shook his head in acknowledgment and said that when we work with an open heart, we don’t wear ourselves out so much.

      I had never really thought about it before that moment, but I knew that he was right. As I thought about the years of shamanic work, I recognized that consistent feeling of upliftedness I always feel after doing journey work with someone . . . or soul retrieval . . . or a house clearing. I may be a little tired from the effort, but there is a rousing of the spirit that uplifts the entire being–including the body.

      Thanks for reminding me of that with your comment. When I get to that point in the telling of this journey, I will be sure to note it.



  5. Priscilla Says:

    I love pantyhose miracles! Your journey is fascinating.


  6. Kathy Kaiser Says:

    I particularly like your comment about “the extraordinary ordinary people.” It is so inspiring and humbling to meet these people. And I like that the ordinary panty hose are what served up the perfect lesson.


    • Melanie Mulhall Says:


      I think it was my mentor in graduate school who first brought that concept home to me–and she embodied it. (Still did, when last I saw her, a few years ago.) And my appreciation for extraordinary ordinary people colors every interaction I have in my everyday life–even fleeting ones. When people shine (grocery store cashiers, clients, colleagues, people crossing the street at an intersection right in front of me . . . all ages . . . all walks of life) it is a kind of validation for us all.

      Thanks for your comment.


  7. Cindy Morris Says:

    What I’m sure your readers don’t know about you is that you are NEVER without pantyhose ( I would rather have my legs cut off than ever wear a pair of pantyhose again…who ARE YOU?!) but I digress… those pantyhose are one with your body so I am not at all surprised that they had neither a tear or snag. But I am delightfully amused.
    I love what you say about the ordinary people who are extraordinary, just like each one of us. I honor you completely in your commitment to doing the planetary shift work. You are a true inspiration to me, pantyhose and all.


    • Melanie Mulhall Says:


      So true. I don’t just prefer them to the alternatives, I can’t imagine myself with the alternatives. You’re right. My pantyhose and I are one.

      Pantyhose aside, thanks for your comment . . . and your own work on behalf of the planet.



  8. Herbert Says:

    As always many thanks for sharing and reminding us how vital it is to uplift as the way of life and let the rest happen. I appreciate your reply to Anne Doyle and am really looking forward to that next installment. It is exciting to be able to “join” you and the others on this adventure, while you remind us that it is available to all anytime for this is what life is supposed to be. In reality if we were in tune the ‘pantyhose event’ would be the norm.

    Are all your responses from the femine gender, with current exception?? LOL.

    Hope to see you in person before the next chapter.


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