The despacho brings us back into right relationship with our world and with ourselves.
Below: Don Augustine’s Despacho 2009. Photo: Ali Rabjohns.
It’s an offering to the earth and to the heavens, a prayer of gratitude, in the spirit of service to the family/community/society/community that we live in. Ayni means ‘reciprocity’ – ‘Whatever I sow I shall reap’. This is a beautiful way to dream our way into being. By creating an ayni despacho, we intend to manifest into our world all that we need to step into our becoming. As we work with our despacho, we create a harmonious energy and we envisage a world of munay (love) of balance and abundance that we can step into. By aligning ourselves to the forces of nature, we are able to create a reality that doesn’t collude with lack and fear, but attracts the natural forces of the universe, which are powerful, creative and vital. We live in an abundant, beautiful world. As shaman, we hold a vision of what’s possible based on the sweetness, the nectar of life and the inner wisdom that we all inherently hold.
When we come into right relationship with the earth, with the heavens and with ourselves, we align with the living energies of the universe. This living energy flows through every living atom. When each of us grants ourselves the gift of abundance, we become abundant, radiant generous human beings who do what they love and love what they do, therefore creating a world held in alignment and balance.
Large piece of paper:
Represents an envelope of dreams which we will write with prayers
Fold into 1/3d’s horizontally and vertically to create 9 squares
Place offerings in the centre square to begin
Red wine Blood of pachamama (earth)
White spirit Offering to the mountain spirits.. The holy mountains
Toss the two drinks outside to bring together heaven and earth, to call the elementals of the three worlds
As you build layers of the despacho you sprinkle using a red flower for the red wine and a white flower for the white spirit. Offering thanks as you do this.
Uhupacha – keepers of the riches of pachamama
Kaypacha – middle world
Hanaqpacha – upper world – the luminous beings
The basic ingredients of the despacho are:
3 leaves (bay) assembled face up stem down together
3 worlds Uhupacha – underworld
Kaypacha – middle world
Hanaqpacha – upper world
3 qualities – power (yanquay)
3 states of self- past
Red and white carnation petals Red petals – earth the blood of pachamama
White petals – mountain spirits/water of source
Placing these on top of the Kintus brings together heaven and earth
The most important act of doing a despacho is the breath
It’s an active prayer of engaging the sacred.
Breathe into the kintu.
Tell it who you are (who you really are merged with your external identity)
Tell it your myths, your wounds, your contracts, your promises
Tell it who you are becoming
Call on all places of source: Apus (mountains) Pachamama (earth)
Call on your teachers, anyone and everyone who has contributed to who you are now
Use your right hand clockwise as you assemble the despacho
SUGAR Represents – Love and the sweetness of life
Place sugar on all four corners of the paper – representing four corners of the world and the four elements
Make small cross in the centre of the paper with sugar to represent the Southern Cross
”What is in heaven is reflected back to me” “As above so below”
Use sugar liberally throughout
On top of sugar
Any aromatic flowers/essences
RED WINE Call on pachamama to bless this first layer
Hold glass; pray into it
Use a red flower to sprinkle the despacho with red wine
“Be with us, thank you pachamama for our lives”
Thank you for nourishing and nurturing us
VODKA Call on the mountains to bless the despacho
Use a white flower to sprinkle the despacho with spirit
“Be with us, thank you Apus, mountain spirits”
Thank you for your wisdom
RICE Sprinkle rice over whole paper for fertility/abundance/to bring our prayers to fruition
Place kintus onto this foundation layer
Each person involved prays into his or her kintus
Ask for what they wish for themselves
Ask for what they wish for the earth
Prayers or the earth
Prayers of manifestation
Prayers for this land
Passing the kintus around the group allows the prayers to gather momentum
For the Inca there is no word for ‘I’ so that each Kintu represents the community/the village/us and grows in intention as it is passed around and each person blows their intention/prayer into it
Give SOUND to these prayers / Give voice to your intent
Intention is everything
When prayer comes from our deepest self, it becomes a Mantra
And allows us to access and bridge all possibilities
Cover this first layer with sugar – love
Place shell in middle
This represents the womb of pachamama our source/birthplace
Holds us and nourishes us
Provides us with opportunity and safety
Represents mother of the waters – sachamama –great serpent
FIGURINE made of candy – represents the masculine and feminine within
Complementary opposites (yananti/mesinti) balance/communion
Everything after this basic foundation can be created as you wish
Here are a few ideas:
Gold bead represents the sun
Silver bead represents the moon
Gold cord connection to earth
Silver cord connection to mountain spirits
Corn growing corn in our lives
Candy represents the sweetness of life
Chocolate for the earth
Seeds that feed us
Rice abundance, fertility of our dreams and prayers and thanks
Lentils abundance of the earth
Peanuts old trees/plant people
Cranberries native berries to our lands
Raisins. Spirit of our ancestors/healing for them and us
Sprinkles represent the elementals
Money to ensure successfulness of despacho – measure of success
Cotton wool -clouds – provider of waters
Rainbow yarn -connects the clouds/bridge between the worlds/rainbow
Red yarn path of life (red thread)
Flower petals yellow for healing
When the contents are placed typically encircle them with a long thread or piece of yarn. Often this string is died with colours of the rainbow.
It weaves together our prayers and offering and bring them into harmony,
We seek to create a vortex of energy in order to manifest our prayers. The corners of the large paper are then folded over the contents so that they (all corners) touch at the centre.
The despacho is now a smaller square.
The new corners of the square are also folded to the center.
Tie the despacho with white and yellow yarn.
White – clarity
Yellow – harmony
Wrap in a cloth and use to cleanse the energy body of everyone
participating in the ceremony
What do you do with the despacho then?
There are several options:
Bury the despacho – for slow steady results
Burn the despacho for an explosive transformation
Or feed it to running waters ceremonially within a reasonable amount of time.
When it’s placed on the fire… turn away from the fire, do not look towards the flame (it’s usually put on the fire at the end of a fire ceremony) this signifies non-attachment to outcome and release of all claims to that, which was given away.
Adapted by Ali Rabjohns from notes written and compiled by Chris Waters,
Graduate and teacher for The Four Winds August 2006.