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Sometimes it happens that an otherwise ordinary event sparks off a passion that changes your life forever. This was certainly the case for Kathy Doore.

Kathy received a postcard depicting the ancient Andean sanctuary of Machu Picchu in Peru, but it took her 12 years to get there as she was struggling to grow her business at that time. Eventually, she was rewarded with a trip in 1990 – after which things would never be the same again.

“A series of odd synchronicities surrounding my receipt of a photo postcard originally beckoned me to Machu Picchu, ‘the lost city of the Incas.’ Little did I know that my life as I knew it would be forever changed by this seemingly inconsequential event. When I first traveled to Peru, life in that part of the world was not peaceful and quiet, like it is now. As I was deciding whether or not to go, I picked up the magazine section of my local Sunday newspaper with its unusual black cover on which was written four words in red: ‘To Die in Peru.’ The cover story detailed the events of two recent tourist attacks that had taken place near the Inca Trail.”

Everyone was concerned about me and tried to persuade me not to visit, but I just knew that I had to honor an inner commitment that had found its time of fulfillment. I thought about my options and weighed them carefully, and then determined that even if I must face a physical death in order to find my spiritual life, I was willing to make that commitment. I did not want to continue living my life as I had. My inner knowing told me that this was my moment of transformation, that I had better not miss it.

While I didn’t suffer a physical death in Peru, I did experience a spiritual one. That night, in the ancient sanctuary of the Incas as I sat on an altar stone praying in one of the temples of Machu Picchu, a bolt of electricity shot up through my spine and out the top of my head. Stunned, I was later to learn that I had experienced the rising of the Kundalini – a rare, but natural phenomena that would turn my world upside down. When the kundalini rises one is catapulted into a terrain of deep manifestation, and psychic gifts.

The Kundalini is the mythical serpent goddess said to rise through the chakras piercing each in turn, as the human soul journeys towards enlightenment. Less then 48 hours later I found myself in the Amazon rain forest where I contracted dengue fever and by this time, feverish and weak, had to be air lifted out of Peru. I was very ill for weeks but as I emerged from this initial metamorphosis, much of my old life began to fall away, making way for the new. I rediscovered latent abilities, including the sensing of energy fields, and, this I learned had a name, dowsing.

In 1994 I attended my first dowsers convention hosted by the American Society of Dowsers in Vermont. It was here that I was first introduced to the labyrinth. This was a temporary construction of oddly arrayed survey stakes and colorful plastic tape placed on the lawn of the college campus housing the event. I didn’t know what to make of this strange contraption but once everyone had gone to bed, I ventured outside and sheepishly entered it.

As I began to make my way through the winding pathways I became suddenly aware of shifting energy fields throughout my body. When I exited the labyrinth, I knew I had found an important key to my path and went about learning as much as possible about this ancient tool known for transformation. The first thing I did was to build one on a friend’s property, subsequently receiving several commissions to install labyrinths in other locations including South America.

On one occasion I had just completed a labyrinth for a couple who had purchased land in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, near Cusco, Peru, on which they planned to build a healing sanctuary. The day we were to return home, I had a dream urging me to backtrack to a nearby resort to ask the owners if they were interested in having a labyrinth built for them. I acted on my intuition and ended up building two Cretan-style turf labyrinths for the Incaland Hotel in Urubamba. I am told the labyrinths have become very popular and are being walked by thousands of spiritual pilgrims on their way to Machu Picchu.

The labyrinth has served as a metaphor for my own life’s path. I was an ordinary woman who was destined to take a different path – the soul’s path – during which I was charged with facing my own worst fears. After a period of withdrawal I knew that what was important was to take my gifts back to the outside world where I now teach, write and assist other people in their own spiritual quest.

Life is all about being open to change and willingly going where the path leads you. As the years have gone by, I’ve become more involved in organizing an annual pilgrimage to the ancient Andean goddess sites of Peru, including Machu Picchu, as well as introducing people to the Incan temples, one of which is called Q’enqo, a Quechua word meaning ‘labyrinth.’

My spiritual awakening was neither easy nor gentle but the rewards have been many. Had I to do it over again knowing what I do now, I would not change a thing, including my decision to travel to Peru.

For nearly a decade Peru endured civil unrest but in the 1990’s with a change in administration, the country has recovered its harmony and fortitude. Tourism has risen to an all time high and Machu Picchu its ‘jewel in the crown,’ remains in the Top 10 Most Favored archaeological travel destinations worldwide, and was recently rated one of the new “7 Wonders of the World”. Over these past many years I have found the Peruvian people to be hospitable and generous, they seem to genuinely enjoy sharing the beauty and heritage of their ancient homeland with tourists and travelers.

I’ll be returning again soon, and if it’s your hearts’ desire you are invited to join me.