When Spirit nudged me to do a Despacho ceremony for the Solstice, I felt it resonate so strongly - like a compass needle pointing to YES. I didn’t know how or what that would look like, just that it would create a foundation for the new era and the webwork of thriving that will replace the old crumbling paradigm. I thought back to the last Despacho I attended with my friends Gayle Mair and Roger Wheelock this summer. We had the ceremony in their backyard and burned it in their firepit. It was such a beautiful collaboration, as prayers and blessings wove together to create an energetic work of art. I remember the flames transforming it were so active, and we felt a strong energy of initiation. We remarked that it felt like a calling. The message was calling us to think bigger than ever before.
So it was natural to ask Gayle what she thought about us doing this ceremony together. It was a big YES for her too. Bringing together and anchoring energy on the east coast and west coast, fire and water, and several communities was our dawn of thinking bigger than ever before. And we feel like this is just the beginning.
As facilitators, our jobs were to open and hold the container of the ceremony for blessings and prayers. The real power of the ceremony was in the participants who created their intentions for blessings for the personal, community, collective and Pachamama Mother Earth. We felt so humbled by the sweetness of energy that came in from the participants.
I received a couple emails from folks who could not attend the ceremony who asked if there was something they could do on their own now.
Energy transcends time and space, as we are only participating in linear time while we are in this earth plane in our bodies. So I believe that we can connect with the energy of the ceremony and the Despachos even after the ceremonial circle is completed.
Here Gayle shares about the Despacho:
"In the Peruvian tradition, Despacho is a group ceremony to create a resonant space with the Spirit and unseen world. Everything that sustains us is given bu the earth - Pachamama! The Despacho is a prayer bundle, filled with items that symbolize all the gifts we are given. Equally important is giving thanks in advance for more blessings we know are coming. In fact, when we make intentions with a Despacho, we set up the energetic exchange that says, "I thank you today for the gifts that come tomorrow". With our Despachos we always bring our intentions with advance gratitude for receiving their impact in our lives and in our world. For this ceremony, our modified virtual version of Despacho is creating and celebrating this time of Transformation and Renewal. We will simultaneously create two Despachos - one with transformation by fire, and one with renewal by water."
If you would like to add your prayers and intentions to our Solstice Despacho for Transformation and Renewal, you may do so at any time, in a way that you are called to by your Spirit teachers or spiritual practice. Or you can follow along with this abbreviated guide from what Gayle and I wrote for the ceremony. All you need is a candle and a glass or water. You may want to set up a small altar with objects that have sacred meaning for you. If you have a rattle or drum, you may want them nearby as well.
Create sacred space by smudging with sacred herbs and plants like sage, mugwort, sweetgrass, cedar, palo santo or your favorite smudge or essential oil spray.
Ask the four directions to be here with you in love, protection and support, addressing them from a place of gratitude as you face each. Ask the Mother Earth below to hold you in her loving energy. Ask the Father Sky and cosmos above to connect you to the Source of All That Is – or whoever you address as your Creator being. Touching your heart, the center of the circle, ask to connect to your Higher Self and Spirit guides and teachers. Acknowledge the Spirit of the land where you are, the nature spirits in the area, the ancient ones. Acknowledge the Original Nations of indigenous peoples whose native tribal lands you stand upon.
Light your candle and imagine all our flames coming together in one fire. You may word a blessing of your own or you may use Gayle’s:
Power of Fire
We honor your gifts of transformation!
Purify us, clear us of obstacles that prevent us from bringing our gifts to the world
Illuminate our responsibility to protect and honor the earth - Pachamama!
Warm us to our task ahead - to awaken human dignity
and indeed respect for the Spirit in all things
We thank you for fueling the intentions of this Despacho,
For fueling momentum for change, for transforming the pain of patriarchy.
We thank you for lighting our path with clear vision for new beginnings.
Next hold your glass of water and imagine all our waters joining together in one bowl. You may word a blessing of your own, or use mine:
Mother in the waters
Please align us with your creative presence
Help us to nurture ourselves and others in the most compassionate ways
Wash away all blockages from our hearts
Help us to imagine the best possible outcome
For our world and all residents of it
May we see all beings as equally important
May we realize and acknowledge the Spirit in all things
Thank you for your help, your blessings, and your love in these precarious times
We offer these prayers and symbols of our love and honor
With utmost gratitude.
Have in your heart the following 8 prayers or blessings. You may write them down if you wish. As you speak each prayer see your blessing already received and manifest, and imagine in detail what that would look like.
The first fire prayer is for something you want to transform or release in your personal life. After speaking it, blow lightly towards your candle, imagine it reaching the fire in the picture.
The first water prayer is for something you want to renew or birth in your personal life. After speaking it, blow across the glass of water and imagine it joining the bowl in the picture.
The second fire prayer is for something you want to transform or release for your family and community. Speak it, imagine it, and blow it towards the candle and the fire.
The second water prayer is for something you want to renew or birth for your family and community. Speak it, imagine it, and blow it across the water to the bowl.
The third fire prayer is for something you want to transform or release for all beings of the world. Speak it, imagine it, and blow it towards the candle and the fire.
The third water prayer is for something you want to renew or birth for all beings of the world. Speak it, imagine it, and blow it across the water to the bowl.
The fourth fire prayer is for transforming the health of our planet. Speak it, imagine it, and blow it towards the candle and the fire.
The fourth water prayer is for renewing the health of our planet. Speak it, imagine it, and blow it across the water to the bowl.
You can add a final blessing for any prayers we may have forgotten by blowing towards the candle and water. Then hold your hands out - palms towards the candle and water - and send loving heart energy blessings for the highest good and joy of all. Rattle over the candle and water and your altar space, empowering the energy and sealing the ceremony. Blow out your candle, releasing the energy. Take your water outside and offer it to the earth with gratitude.
Thank and release the directions of the East, South, West and North. Thank the Mother Earth below, and the Father Sky, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon and our star families above. Thank your Spirit guides and teachers, ancestors, nature spirits, devas and ancient ones. As you release from this circle, know that you carry the gifts of their blessings within you.
May your ceremonies be sweet and powerful, and may they set a strong foundation for the new era.
To help you tend to soul issues that may manifest in physical, emotional, mental or spiritual aspects of your life, and to give you tools to empower your path to harmony and well-being.
-There are so many kindredspirits doing the work out there. I include these links to help our community connect with one another.
SACRED HOOP Magazine Guide to Shamanism Compilation- http://www.sacredhoop.org/Pages/FreeGuide.html
Kitzie's podcasts include interviews with artists and kirtan music. I love attending her weekly Satsang group and the New World Kirtan Band concerts -
My friend and herbalist mentor, Lawrence Birch is a Certified Clinical Herbalist, plant whisperer and shamanic practitioner. If you need custom tincture blends or are interested in a wildcrafting apprenticeship, he is the teacher extraordinaire:
Roger Wheelock and Gayle Ruth are shamanic practitioners and teachers in the Pachakuti Mesa Tradition. https://www.rainmother.com/ I am grateful to be able to take part in ceremony with them, and to support their love for the Peruvian people through the World Ayni Association.