There is a very sacred and intentional space that is created when one participates in the making of a despacho. The smell of incense, the whisperings of gratitude to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the acknowledgement of individual Apus (Mountains), among many. A despacho has layers of gratitude and symbolic items such as sugar for unconditional love, confetti for celebration and a shell that represents the cosmic womb, just to name a few of the many possible ingredients.

In a despacho ceremony, one cultivates a state of dialogue with the process, engaging with the living energy as we give back using our breath. One moves energy into the various natural items with the power of the conscious breath. Each item is released on to the paper creating layer upon layer in a determinate way, co-creating with the non-ordinary realm. Each item is offered with heartfelt acknowledgement of the interconnected relationship we have with our environment and the creatures and people within it. We may choose to acknowledge the ancestors, both our own and the ones on the land we are sitting upon, and we may gently place raisins while thinking and speaking of these ancestors into the growing art piece that sits upon the folded paper. Thus, this envelope of dreams and prayerful meditation is a gift to both the seen and unseen realm, and bridges the two.

There are many types of despacho, the most common one is an Ayni despacho, where we offer it to enter reciprocity, and invite in a harmonizing of the three levels of consciousness: yanchay (will-physical), yachay (wisdom -spirit) and munay (love – heart centre). When complete a despacho is offered up to the forces of nature: burned in a ceremonial fire, buried in the earth or offered to the waters.

It is very common to feel a shift in one’s energy or see shifts within our life after participating in despacho, especially despachos with Q’ero Paqos who have spent years practicing this core shamanic art from their ancestors. A despacho moves energy, it can heal, harmonize and release.

It is a gift to learn and to bring this ancient practice into our lives. My youngest son, loves to create his own and to participate at any opportunity. Who wouldn’t? it is creative, fun, and realigns ourselves with divine creation.

Photos by Marnie Recker Photography

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