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.
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.