Understanding the Hucha-Sami Continuum


By Sheila Guarnagia


Sami and Hucha are concepts familiar to those involved with Andean Healing Traditions, and exist on a continuum as Yanatins, sacred twins or duality of opposites. The light, effervescent energy of Sami is the complementary, balancing opposite of the heavy, dense energy of Hucha. Because of this inherent dynamism, it's best to understand Sami and Hucha in terms of how they are created and interact as opposed to thinking of them in a separate or static sense, and from the perspective of how they FUNCTION - how they are generated, consumed, and how they can transform each other. Also critical to understanding this subject is the acceptance that the Mind/Body/Spirit is contiguous, and that anything that creates an effect on one aspect will affect all aspects.


Conditions for the creation of Sami in humans are Ayni (sacred reciprocity - energetic and material exchange creating balance among all things), as well as fun, joy, love, service, dance, nature, healing, ceremony, connection, and relationship. Sami simultaneously is generated by and generates movement, transformation, and progression toward higher vibration. Sami can most easily be created by cultivating joyous interaction with others, right relations and harmony. We sense Sami through our Mind/Body/Spirit as a feeling of lightness, ease, peace, and especially contentment, the manifestation of the coherence between our intention and the present moment.


The primary condition for creating Hucha in humans is fear, an important feeling that ideally triggers and facilitates actions toward the enhancement of survival. In the face of a life threatening situation, fear prompts the hard wired Fight/Flight Response that ensures continuity of a species. However, humans appear to have adapted to experience fear even in response to non-life threatening situations (e.g. the “stressors” of damage to the Ego, unhappiness with the present moment or “discontent”, or physiological discomforts). The Fight/Flight Response activates the Sympathetic Nervous System to seek conditions which will allay the feeling of stress. Since the Mind/Body/Spirit is unified, all aspects will feel this heavy imbalanced state in non-life threatening situations. Therefore, mental, physiological, and spiritual symptoms will manifest and continue to worsen until the body has fully released the stress, relaxing into a more balanced state with the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Any unresolved sensations of unease or discontent will propel us forward, create Hucha, and eventually create actual disease of Mind/Body/Spirit.

For our purposes on the Paqo path, fear in the face of non-life threatening situations is a transgression of Ayni, which causes Hucha to build in our energy systems. It is most important to understand that Hucha is not the wound or injury itself, but rather, is created by the response to the wounding or perceived threat. The wound or injury is a legitimate engagement of the Fight/Flight Response, and problems occur when the wound or injury has healed but the response to it persists.

In Traditional Asian Medicine we have the concept of “xie qi”, usually translated as “evil qi”, but which is better described as simply “uncooperative qi” - that is, the right stuff in the wrong time/place. Drawing on this wisdom we can recognize that energy is not the illness, but the nonfunctional/function-disrupting aspect is what is at issue. This is a great way to think of Hucha.

Much is made in Western contemporary culture of tools such as psychoanalysis, behavioral and medical interventions, and other therapeutics to identify and explore trauma, personal, familial or ancestral histories, congenital issues, physical ailments, etc., and attempt to control its manifestation. 

However, the good news is there is another way. Approaching density of energy as Hucha permits us to deal with it cleanly, simply, nonjudgmentally, and we can more easily relate to its redirecting/release/etc. In our training in the Eagle Condor Healing Intensive we learn diverse, effective techniques and skills for recognizing and releasing Hucha while generating and consuming Sami including but not limited to Mikhuy and Chakhuy. These practices enhance self-acceptance, they teach us how to be ever more deeply compassionate with ourselves. Without compassion for ourselves, it is impossible for our compassion for others and for the world to be fully realized. 

The Paqo must attend to her/himself as a whole and integrated being, taking time to listen with both cunning and compassion to the communications of the unified Mind/Body/Spirit. Many customs and conditions considered “normal” in our contemporary society can be quite problematic, especially when they take us away from ourselves and our true nature, which can aggravate Hucha generating discontent.

When we identify our Hucha as simply the uncooperative energy of discontent, energy that is not coherent with our intention, we can easily release it as compost for Pachamama, to be recycled into new and fresh possibility, returned to the energetic cycle of the Cosmos-Earth loop, thus allowing us to effortlessly achieve AYNI. This is the profound and simple beauty of the Paqo Way.

Alex Villegas