Updated: Apr 6, 2020
Despacho is a centuries old Andean tradition which is mediated by 'Paqos' (Andean Shamans) who make an offering to spirit on behalf of their communities to bring about personal healing; group transformation; to mark rites of passage; to celebrate life events...the list is endless but the theme is always one of 'Ayni' - offering gratitude, with the intention of being in 'right relationship' with all that is.
Here in Stroud in October 2017 we created a Despacho Ceremony which was relevant to our time and place and which drew about 30 people from our community to gather together. The following blog is a description with photos and testimonials of a very special 'Earthkeeper's Despacho' ceremony launching Mission Lifeforce. It was a great honour to facilitate this gathering to mark the next phase in the work of Polly Higgins and Jojo Mehta, who together with an international team, are the driving force behind the development of Ecocide Law.
The three of us met in advance of the ceremony to discuss what the focus of the Despacho would be, what this next phase of their work means, any challenges which may be there, and what they wanted to give thanks for. In my subsequent preparation for this ceremony it became clear that we could be guided by the Andean understanding about the 'complement of differences' - meaning that as Mission Lifeforce exponentially shifts and reaches a wider audience with multiple viewpoints, an intention for connection while embracing differences could be fostered - a complement of differences.
We began the Despacho ceremony by calling in the directions and creating a safe and sacred space, I then invited Polly and Jojo to call on their helpers. We all sat in circle and each spoke authentically from the heart about what we wanted to let go of, what we wanted to give thanks for, and what we wanted to offer to Mission Lifeforce. In this way we were all bringing ourselves into right relationship.
And so we built the Despacho - a beautiful parcel made up of objects representing our gratitude and intent, imbued with the breath of our prayers.
...as I brushed everyone's aura with the completed Despacho, it warmed up as it took on everyone's energy...
...and so out to the fire-pit to place the Despacho onto the fire and release our prayers to spirit
The Despacho burned very cleanly. Once the Despacho had burned and the fire had died down we looked at the scallop shell which had been placed in the Despacho to represent the womb of the earth and had held many of the offerings. Amazingly the smoke and ash of the fire had formed a dark grey and white yin/yang symbol on the shell! 'Complement of Differences' made manifest!
Testimonials from Polly and Jojo:
'Our Earthkeepers Despacho on Friday was deeply and profoundly beautiful - it felt as if we were aligning cosmic energies in preparation of the Mission and explicitly inviting in the gods and all the higher beings to fire up this star-ship of ours! Thank you from the very depths of our hearts - we shall treasure the day for the rest of our lives'
'...a gorgeous and powerful calling in and alignment of energies, which has already shifted much and will accompany us positively on this magical mission, both far and wide across the dimensions...Thank you!'
If you would like to discuss having your own Despacho Ceremony for any life event or project please get in contact.