When we perform a Despacho ceremony, we are trying to give back to Life by creating a space in time that allows us to show our gratitude.
Among the Quechua Indians in the Andes, the despacho ceremony is the centrepiece of their spiritual and ritualistic heritage. When the locals go to see a Shaman, whether they go in search of better health, a more loving relationship, or healing from grief, the first thing often done is a despacho.
In this ceremony we create an offering of gratitude to Mother Earth and the mountain spirits (The apus) the angels and light beings. A despacho is a colourful offering, a three-dimensional mandala of elements from nature, such as rose petals, flowers, cotton, rice, sugar, sweets, etc. All those present place prayers of gratitude, requests or intentions in this sacred bundle, depending on the purpose of the ceremony. These prayers are sent to the Spirits at the moment the sacrifice is burned in a sacred fire, buried on a mountain or hill, or given to a lake, river or sea.
A despacho ceremony is a great opportunity to express gratitude for all the abundance we receive from Mother Earth every day. The moment the despacho is sacrificed to the earth, to the water or to the fire, the energy can begin to transform. The despacho is a simple but very powerful form of healing and transformation. It is a form of Ayni, sacred energy exchange between you and all (visible and invisible) relationships around you. There are different types of despachos that can be made for different purposes. The most common offering is the Ayni despacho. Ayni means "reciprocity". It is a sacred exchange of love.
Ayni is the starting point of every ceremony or ritual because you are engaged in exchanging energy in the domain of the Spirit. The purpose of an Ayni despacho ceremony is to let the participants come into the right relationship with Mother Earth and all her relationships, with Father Sun, Grandmother Moon and our Star Brothers and Sisters. We open our hearts to Ayni, to our enlightened Spirit and allow this process to unfold in the coming days. As mentioned before, a despacho can be made for different occasions; at birth, at dying and parting, at marriage, at the start of a new cycle, such as puberty and first menstruation, at maturity, at menopause, at the conclusion of an important period, such as when you retire, when moving or closing a phase or period in your life, but also as a wedding ceremony, etc.
When our despacho is ready we’ll give it to mother earth by means of a Fire ceremony. The spirit of fire is: change, renewal and improvement of our personal energy, of our relationships with others, of our home and our work.
Together we build up the fire and work on releasing old habits and adding strength to new intentions. We sacrifice these intentions to the fire. The fire digests them and brings them up through the smoke, where the spirits set your wishes in motion. The laws of the universe are there to work with, to understand and to learn from.
We connect with the power of fire. Around a fire many stories arise, each taking his / her role and place around the fire.
It is also very powerful to spend the night at the fire. Together we go into the night talking and singing, and the fire is stopped with a roll.
The ceremony will help us to increase our spiritual wealth, so that we experience a new thirst for seeing and feeling nature and its flame ... a new passion for life.