Easy Guide to Despacho Ceremony
A Despacho is a prayer bundle or offering…an expression of gratitude to heal physical and emotional ailments of any kind, to restore balance or harmony where it is off, or when there’s a specific request of the spirit world. A despacho brings the shaman into a harmonious relationship with Heaven and Earth – it is a ritual offering. Relationships are two way, thus we are called to reciprocate the love and nourishment offered so freely by nature.
When we are in right relationship with nature, she is good to us. When we fail to bless and express our gratitude to Mother Earth for all we take from her, we fall out of balance and she withholds her blessings. Coming back into the right relationship restores the flow of blessing and synchronicity.
These offerings are not payments or bribes to nature for favours granted or requested; they are a nurturing of a relationship, as a lover gives flowers to a beloved. This has, in turn, evoked within me a greater desire to support the health and well-being of all of nature, not as a moral obligation but as a natural act of caring for a loved one. For we are one with nature and all of creation.
Begin ceremony always with opening sacred space. Call in whatever invisible support you resonate with- God, Goddess, Jesus, Buddha, spirit guides, angels, animal totems. I don’t think Mother Earth discriminates when she is being blessed.
You will be guided to make your own despacho with me during my Nusta Karpay course
BENEFITS OF CONNECTING WITH NATURE
In addition to the benefits of calling upon specific aspects of places like the sacred
altars, high mountains, rivers etc for specific therapeutic effects, another level of
benefit arises from the general relationship with nature that is engendered by these
processes. Ritual offerings/meditations see us entering a divine relationship that honours and knows nature can and will support and nourish us;
1. The earth will absorb our problems
2. The river will take away our anxieties
3. The wind will expand our consciousnesses
4. A tree will help us become enlightened.
This can evoke a strong sense of validation and support for our existence, as part of nature, seeding purpose, meaning, belonging, and connection to life.
The steps to create your own despacho are simple:
Begin with a large piece of paper or any material that can readily decompose. This will be the “wrapping” for your offering – think of it as a present.
Fold the paper into thirds one way and then thirds the other way so you have nine squares.
Working within the centre square, you begin to layer the burnable objects that have been informed with your breath, so the energetic essence of your prayers is within each one.
A suggested list of contents, order and their meaning is below; however, there really are no rules. Create your prayer bundle in a way that is meaningful to you. Once you have filled the despacho with your prayers and vision for yourself and the Earth, fold the bundle into the shape of a gift; left to right, right to left; then bottom up and top down. Tie it with a piece of kitchen string or wool and add a “Qintu” (three leaves from an indigenous tree – breathe a prayer for anything you have missed or forgotten into the leaves).
Ingredient suggestions and their representations – the basics:
- Begin with a large piece of paper or any material that can readily decompose. This will be the “wrapping” for your offering – think of it as a present.
- Sugar: Represents sweetness and love.
- Qintu: In Peru, they typically use three coca leaves, but you can use three small leaves from any local native tree, or even bay leaves from the kitchen.
- Red and White Flowers: Red for the Earth and white for the mountains. Place a red and a white petals on top of the leaves (to represent the snow-covered mountains reaching the Heavens and our mother Earth). I rarely have access to red and white flowers so I place two different herbs and simply assign them Earth and Mountain energies.
- Build the foundation of the despacho with some of the suggestions below, informing each with your intention or prayer. Cover this with a little more sugar, representing even more love and sweetness.
- You might like to place an open shell (I use a local seed shell from a Eucalyptus tree) in the middle of the prayers, representing the womb of the Earth, our source and birthplace.
Additions to feed your intentions/ prayers with a handful of what sustains you get creative and add a sprinkle of some of the following:
- Rice: Fertility and abundance, to bring your prayers to fruition.
- Grains either whole or ground: Representing sustenance.
- Nuts: Gifts for the Plant People.
- Beans/pulses: For protection, abundance, power places, and the springs that nourish us.
- Corn: Sustenance, gift back to the Earth for what we have been given.
- Sultanas, raisins, currents: Spirits of our ancestors, our blood lineage.
- Figs: Spirits of the ancient ones who dwell in the sacred mountains.
- Noodles: To step outside and beyond language.
- Crackers for animal spirits, and health.
- Tea leaves, coffee beans: For community and coming together
- Essential oils: To raise our vibrations into the other realms.
- Crystals or small pebbles: Representing the stone people.
- Eggs shells: Fertility
- Red Wine: Menstrual blood, or simply blood.
Now add a little extra “sweetness” only use what you have at hand maybe:
- Biscuits or a small piece of cake: Represent everything we are in a relationship with.
- Chocolate: Pachamama LOVES chocolate.
- Sage or other herb or incense: To feed the elements of the Earth.
- Black licorice for protection.
- Fruit: Represent messengers, envoys to carry our prayers; and the cycle of waters.
- “Play” monopoly money (one piece), or maybe a coin: To ensure the successfulness of the despacho.
- Cotton wool balls (clouds): Representing the dream-time.
- Confetti stars, star post-it notes: Represents the connection to the stars.
- Baking sprinkles or confetti: To celebrate all life.
- Coloured wool or cotton threads: Represents the bridge between the worlds and the pathway to the stars above
- Flower petals for healing.
These are just suggestions
– seriously get creative – purchase nothing – only use what you have own hand to make your despacho. When you have placed all your items in the despacho, the corners of the large paper are then folded over the contents so that they all overlap at the centre to form a smaller square.
Tie the despacho without turning it over so that all the prayers are sustained. Invite everyone who is present with you to close their eyes and open their hands over the despacho in order to receive the blessing from it.
The despacho can be either buried (for slow, steady results), burned (for quicker transformation). When the despacho is placed into the fire, participants generally do not look towards the flames until after the offering has been burnt.
This symbolises non-attachment to the outcome and release of all claim to that which has been given away. I often do these ceremonies privately, especially here on the farm. In that case, I do not wrap the despacho in paper or burn it. I simply make the mandala on the ground or on a stone and I leave it in situ, sometimes I simply write the word LOVE on the ground understanding that the Spirits understand the fire hazards here locally in Australia and the blessings is given freely from my heart in gratitude.
Close your sacred space and be at peace.
May all our prayers be heard with sweetness and sincerity from the pure and innocent place from which they stem, for the highest good of all.
During my Nusta Karpay course you will make your own despacho with me.