Our life and all the goodness that we receive is a gift from God. We should show our gratitude and return the favor with a gift of our own to that God. We can do this exchange by creating a Despacho.
A Despacho is a Prayer Bundle or offering used as Ayni (I’nee). Ayni is a Q’ero word that describes when one is in a state of balance or harmony. The Despacho is built to begin to create this state of balance and can be described as a gift to God that holds symbolic elements and the prayers of the participants.
A Despacho Ceremony is the process of assembling ingredients and prayers to make a Despacho. The prayers are spoken out loud, then with an out breath, the intentions of the prayer are blown into a 3 leaf Triune called a Kintu. By blowing the prayers into a Kintu, the prayers are locked into something that is material. The Kintu’s are then combined with the other gifts and a Despacho is created.
The history of the Despacho goes back thousands of years. The Laika (high shamans or wisdom keepers of the Q’ero lineage of Peru) have used the Despacho Ceremony for a wide variety of occasions.
An example of this is a seasonal Despacho which is used as a gift to God and the Mountain Angels to insure a bountiful growing season and harvest. In Peru, Mountain Angels or Apus are similar to the Archangels that are found in other faiths. Prayers are placed in the Despacho asking for a successful growing season and harvest. Despachos are also used to hold the prayers for the Llamas and Alpacas so that they will be protected and the breeding season will be successful. After the growing and breeding season, another Despacho Ceremony is performed to give thanks for all that the season produced.
The Despacho is also used to try and prevent any calamity from occurring in the Mountains of Peru. High in the Andes, life is dangerous, and many natural occurrences can affect life or cause death such as lightening strikes, ice storms, avalanches, etc. If a calamity does occur, a Despacho Ceremony may be conducted to fix any wrongs that may have occurred to cause this mishap.
In today’s society, a Despacho Ceremony is a beautiful; heartfelt way to show our Gratitude and Love to the great mysteries that are all around us. The Despacho Ceremony is also a beautiful way to show gratitude to our personal God for the wonderful gifts that are freely given to us.
A Despacho Ceremony can also be a wonderful source of gratitude for any event in your life. A few examples are marriage, birth of a child, a new car, house, job, food, clean water, etc.
A Despacho may also be used to grieve and let go. Examples of this are a divorce, death or other calamity that may occur.
A Despacho Ceremony can also be performed as a pre-gift to the Universe for something that we want to manifest or create in our life.
A Despacho can also be used to assist in Healing. Healing is different than being cured of something. Healing is a process of returning to our natural healed state we were born into while being cured is the endpoint. The belief in Peru is that we must heal ourselves as we are also working on healing our dis-ease or trauma.
A Despacho Ceremony is also a wonderful way to pray for and begin to manifest Community and World Healing.
The Despacho Ceremony
Prior to the Despacho Ceremony, a variety of ingredients (biodegradable whenever possible) are gathered as offerings. Tangible offerings enhance the feelings and intentions of our prayers and are of great importance when praying for a community, humanity or ourselves. The elements used are less important than the intent that we place into them.
As with any Ceremony, the Despacho Ceremony begins by opening Sacred Space.
The ground on which the Despacho is to be built is consecrated. The wrapping for the Despacho ingredients is than placed on that ground. The offerings are than selected one by one. Each offering is filled with prayers of Love, Gratitude and Healing.
The offerings in the Despacho can be arranged anyway that feels right to the one constructing it. The gifts offered have a tendency to flow upward from the Earth (Pachmama) to the Heavens (Wirchocha) and all the realms in between.
Participants pick out a number of leaves and separate them into groupings of three called a "Kintu". In Peru, they use the coca leaf, in the states, we use bay or rose leaves. We hold the leaves with the front side facing us and the stems facing down. The prayers are spoken out loud, then with an out breath, our intentions, hopes, dreams and gratitude from those prayers are blown into the Kintu. By blowing the prayers into a Kintu, the prayers are locked into something that is tangble. The Kintu’s are then combined with the other gifts and a Despacho is created.
Right intention, humility, gratitude and an open heart are important throughout the Despacho Ceremony. With this offering, you experience more Grace in your life by becoming a better vessel for Grace. As the elements are added to the Despacho, the Despacho will than become a living prayer that may bring energy shifts and healing now or in the future.
Once the Despacho is completed, the Despacho is carefully wrapped and secured with a ribbon or string. The Prayer Bundle will then be ceremonially buried (for slow, steady results), burned (for quicker transformation) or fed to running waters, thus conveying the gifts to Spirit.
Once the Despacho Ceremony is complete, The Sacred Space is than closed.