We had a beautiful despacho ceremony for the Vernal Equinox on March 20. I frequently feel called to offer a despacho on the equinoxes or solstices and open the ceremony up to friends and community. To explain what they are, I can’t say it any better than shamanic teacher Alberto Villodo, so I am including what he says about them:
“A despacho is a prayer bundle or offering. For hundreds of years, the Laika (high shamans or wisdomkeepers of the Q’ero lineage of Peru) have used the despacho ceremony for a wide variety of occasions – births, deaths, as an expression of gratitude, to heal physical and emotional ailments, to restore balance and harmony, or when there is a specific request of the spirit world.” (http://thefourwinds.com/blog/shamanism/what-is-a-despacho/)
I’ve had friends who have visited in Peru and they have told me that they are even used for what we would call mundane things, like before a shopping trip. I think this shows their concept of themselves as having a dynamic relationship with Spirit all the time, and their mindfulness of keeping in right relationship with all that is. I use the term Spirit here to include all beings of an etheric form; Nature Spirits, elementals, ancestors, spirit guides, the Creator, just to name a few.
This reciprocity can be a gift for all the blessings in life; past, present and future. In a way they are like love letters of gratitude, streaming out energetically into the web of life.
The traditional despacho is done with offerings that are wrapped in paper and then burned in a fire to release the prayers. My mentor, Cheri, was gifted the vision of a water despacho. It works with the elemental force of water. After the prayers and gifts are added to the bowl of water, the MariEL Medicine Power Symbol is used to energize the offering with the blessing and power of the Divine Feminine. Then it is offered to a body of water or to the earth. I make sure to use all organic, compostable items in the despacho, so I am feeding nature with nature.
When I journeyed about where to offer this one, I got that the forest park behind our apartments would be happy to accept the gift of the despacho. So after it cooked for 2 days on my altar, I scouted a good spot for it under some fallen logs that felt right, near the trailhead. My friend Yvonne and I offered it there on the World waters day on March 22nd.
Ceremony is a lovely way to deepen your connection with your own spiritual practice. Including friends or community amplifies and expands the energy, raising the consciousness vibration of all. It’s a beautiful gift all the way around. Thank you to everyone who shared their prayers and their energy.
My spiritual life has always been of the utmost importance to me, but it is something that I have kept mostly to myself for most of my life. I have enjoyed sharing it with fellow students and close friends, but it was not something I talked about to family or co-workers. Part of it was that I didn’t want to explain it, because I felt like I was still trying to understand it all myself. As time went on, I found that I didn’t have to explain it, and if someone really wanted to know they would ask, and I could tell them.
As I started working with teachers and training in different modalities, my mom would babysit my daughter when I had workshops. I would tell her that I was going to a weekend immersion in New Mexico with my shamanic teacher, and she would be happy for me that I was doing something that I was excited about, even though she didn’t understand it. Now as the years have gone by, I have done Reiki and shamanic work with my mom and she gets that it’s a part of who I am, and she embraces the work I’ve done with her as well as who I have become on this journey.
When I got to Corvallis in 2015, the first thing I did was to start looking for other Shamanic Practitioners and energy workers. I found some, and was happy to learn of a journey circle that met monthly and weekly kirtan chanting at the Universalist church. I found many lovely people who are interested in their own spiritual growth and practice, but it seemed like any practitioners were under the radar. Spirit and my guides kept giving me little nudges about starting a practice here. I’m still getting the lay of the land, I would say to them.
Then I met Lawrence Birch, a Shamanic Practitioner who is also a Clinical Herbalist and an LMT in Corvallis. I apprenticed with him during the Spring of 2015 for herbal wild-crafting and we talked a lot about the practice and the community on our wild-crafting expeditions. Last summer he took me to a Shamanic healing circle in Eugene at the home of his teacher and mentor, Alida Birch. It is a monthly circle where people in the general community who might not normally have access to a shamanic session come to be matched up with a practitioner for healing soul work. I offered to be one of the practitioners at the circle and the beauty and effectiveness of it made a deep impression on me. On the way back to Corvallis, Lawrence told me he wanted to offer a circle like that in Corvallis. I was all for it, and we teamed up to make it happen.
About the same time we started that circle, a writer for the local alternative weekly paper, contacted the Shamanic Science Meet Up group that I was a part of to look for a shamanic practitioner. She wanted to do an article on modern shamanic practice. After talking to my guides about it, in which the gentle nudging they had been giving me became a strong kick, I agreed to meet with the writer. We had a great talk and she did a beautiful article. I had started my shamanic practice a few months earlier and the timing was perfect. I felt like I was coming out of the shamanic closet.
In effect Spirit told me that’s just what I was doing, and it’s what I came here to do. I am here to bring light to soul work, to inform, to teach, to empower. The time has never been more ripe, and the stakes never higher as our world swirls amidst varying streams of chaos and enlightenment. So it is time for me to create this webpage and this blog. I know it will go through many transformations, just like I have, just like all of us have experienced. I appreciate you holding the space with me as I start off on this digital journey.
You can read the article in Corvallis Advocate here:www.corvallisadvocate.com/2016/sky-yeager-corvallis-shamanic-practitioner/
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 kindred spirits 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 -