Despacho Ceremony

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Despacho ceremony

Despacho describes the Andean practice of making offerings to the mountains (apus), Mother Earth (Pachamama), and other spirits of nature in reciprocity, reverence, and thanksgiving. A despacho is an act of love and a reminder of the connections we share with all beings, elements, spirits, and sacred places. At the deepest level, it is an opportunity to enter into the essential unity of all things, the living energy of the universe.

A despacho is created during a celebratory ceremony. In the cosmology of the Andes, all life is perceived as one grand, infinite ceremony. Because physical survival is so hard in the high mountains, life is experienced as a true gift to be lived, not a problem to be solved.

There are at least 300 variations of despachos in the Quechua-speaking Andes (primarily Peru and Ecuador). While there are certain elements common to all despachos, the particular healing intention--such as bringing harmony and balance to the earth, honoring new beginnings, or getting rid of an illness--determines the design of the offering, some of the contents, and even the way that offerings are added.

The ceremony brings participants into alignment with their personal intent, the group intent, and gratitude to the earth, which supports us in all our endeavors. It also brings participants into internal alignment with the "three bands:" physical (yankay), feeling and heart (munay), and spirit, or energetic wisdom (yachay). (The alignment of these bands is comparable to alignment of the seven chakras or the fifteen chakras of other cultural frameworks.) Finally, the despacho harmonizes the community through the sharing of coco leaves and gifts of stones, all of which strengthen the luminous fibers that connect us all. http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/audioPop.jsp?episodeId=989981&cmd=apop

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