Insights for Earth Activists: A Conversation with Arkan Lushwala

January 25, 2024 | By The Pachamama Alliance

theo-topolevsky-4q-6ggfsvm4-unsplash-1 Image courtesy of Theo Topolevsky.

The following conversation was part of the Resilience and Possibility series. To access the recording, please scroll to the bottom of this post.


On December 13, the global Pachamama Alliance community came together for a conversation with Andean ceremonial leader, healer, and author Arkan Lushwala. 

For many years, Arkan has worked to bring forth the healing of people and Mother Earth through the wisdom of Indigenous cultures. As a longtime ally and teacher to Pachamama Alliance, he has shared these teachings with the global Pachamama Alliance community, including the importance of being in a deep relationship of care with the Earth and how to remember the wisdom of the Earth in order to heal and restore the planet. 

Given these tumultuous times, the wisdom Arkan shares is a timely offering shedding light on how humanity can receive guidance from the universe to heal ourselves and our Mother Earth. 

How Remembering Ourselves Can Bring Healing

At the beginning of the call, Arkan reflected on what he sees happening in the world and what is needed during this time of widespread conflict, political division, and ecological destruction. 

He shared that it’s important for humanity to “remember” ourselves because we have “forgotten so much of the original wisdom of humanity that was cultivated in relationship with the earth and the universe, with all of our relatives in nature and sacred allies that we have in the spirit world.” 

Arkan went on to explain that as a result of this forgetfulness, many people today see the state of the world and feel as if humanity is a “mistake of nature,” often doubting themselves and humanity as a whole. He made it clear that it’s crucial to end the forgetfulness so that humanity is once again guided by our hearts and by our relationship with nature because, as Arkan puts it, this is how we come to know who we are and how we can “participate in the wellbeing of all life just by being ourselves.” 

Arkan pointed out that humanity has not completely forgotten who we are and how to be in relationship with the earth, and that what is happening now is those who have forgotten are starting to remember. He added that remembering and recognizing the wisdom within humanity needs to be a collective effort because no one person alone can end the crises facing humanity, nor can they receive and understand all of the instructions humanity is receiving from the universe. 

Arkan underscored just how essential it is to have humility and know how to listen deeply to each other, and to let go of this idea that someone will be a savior or hero. As he explained, we are all capable of receiving wisdom from the universe and it is through being in community with each other and working together that humanity finds opportunities to change and contribute to the continuation of life. 

Delving Deeper into Arkan’s Teachings

Many of the insights Arkan shared throughout the call are also included in his third and latest book, The Spirit of the Glacier Speaks: Ancestral Teachings of the Andean World for the Time of Natural Disorder. 

In The Spirit of the Glacier Speaks, Arkan shares the teachings of Indigenous peoples that can guide the transformation humanity needs to create a more sustainable, balanced future. Instead of focusing on technological solutions to the social and ecological crises facing humanity, Arkan explores how shifting our culture from one based in human supremacy to one based in material fulfillment, spiritual connection, community, and relationship with nature provides a powerful way forward for the wellbeing of all life on Earth.

 Purchase a copy of The Spirit of the Glacier Speaks and use code PA30 to get  30% off through February 29, 2024.

While his other two books, The Time of the Black Jaguar and Deer and Thunder, draw from many different Indigenous cultures and traditions, The Spirit of the Glacier Speaks is Arkan’s only book that focuses solely on the wisdom of Andean culture. 

In a time of ecological collapse and widespread conflict, Arkan’s powerful insights offer clarity and guidance for forging a more responsible path for humanity.