Peruvian Despacho Ceremony

A Brief Introduction to Despacho

In Spanish, the word
despacho literally means "dispatch or shipment".  In the Andean traditions of Peru, a despacho is a ceremonial offering to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and the Apus (Mountain Spirits).  You could perhaps think of it as a focused, formal way to "dispatch" or "ship" your prayers off to the powers that be.  Despachos also help align personal energies with the cosmic ones.

The intention behind a
despacho ceremony can range from something as noble as world peace, to something as down to earth as offering thanks for a bountiful harvest, to something as personal as relief from joint pain.  You could even include prayers for all three in one despacho!  Despachos can be done in and for groups, cities and countries and can also be done for individuals.

The Power of Intention

A personal despacho is an opportunity to really focus on any areas of your life where you feel you need support or would like to ask for blessings.  It is quite a powerful way to set your intentions and let them go.  You may be surprised to recognize in the weeks and months following a despacho ceremony that you are indeed receiving the things you asked for, though perhaps in an unexpected or unusual form, perhaps in a way more appropriate or powerful than you could have dreamed of on your own.

We can attest to the effectiveness of a despacho.  We created one to usher in the Munay-Ki in Fairfield.  Since that despacho, a little over a year ago. more that 250 people have received the first 4 Munay-Ki rites. 85 people have received all 9 rites with more completing all 9 each month. Despachos really bring about desired change.

The despacho ceremony
For a despacho ceremony, the shaman gathers a variety of symbolic offerings such as wine, sugar, incense, gold and silver threads, red and white flower petals, grains, seeds, shells, candies and more.  Each item is placed on a large sheet of paper with great care and intention, arranged in a mandala-like shape.  Prayers are blown into small bundles of leaves called kintus and added to the offering as well.

Building up the
despacho can take some time, especially as participants remember more people and things they want to pray for - family, career, spiritual growth, forgiveness.  But eventually the mandala is completed, the bundle is folded closed and tied up.  Then the shaman will run the whole bundle over your body, drawing out any heavy energy that may be lurking there. 

Finally, the whole bundle is ceremonially burned, the participants turning their backs to the fire to allow the spirits to "eat" the offering in peace.  The incense takes the prayers up to the Mountain Spirits, any heavy energy is turned to ash for Pachamama to consume and compost, transforming into fertile ground for new endeavors.

read more about ceremony here.