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Ayni Despacho Ceremony

A despacho is a heartfelt offering to the Universe, a way to heal, restore balance (Ayni), or seek protection. Think of it as a beautiful exchange of energy that connects us to the organizing principles of life.

In essence, a despacho embodies the shaman’s view of life, connecting at a soul level to the very source of creation. This ceremony, with all its physical beauty, takes us on a journey to nature's soul. Guided by the spirit world, we delve into the energetic meanings behind each element of our offerings.

Traditionally, in the Andes, people perform despacho ceremonies individually or with a community to align with the earth's cycles. This helps renew our connection to nature's powers, bringing perfect Ayni not just for ourselves but for our whole group, or “Ayllu.”

The despacho aligns the shaman with the heavens and earth, balancing the three worlds: Uhupacha (lower world), Kaypacha (middle world), and Hanaqpacha (upper world).

Each item in the offering is a prayer and a gift, sparking energy shifts and healing.

Creating Your Own Despacho:

Start by opening Sacred Space!

It’s simple to create your own despacho:

1. Start with a large piece of white or colored paper – think of it as gift wrapping.

2. Fold the paper into thirds both ways to create 9 squares.

3. Work within the center square, layering burnable objects infused with your breath and prayers.


Here’s a suggested list of contents and their meanings, but feel free to personalize your despacho. 


- Large piece of white paper: Envelope of dreams, filled with prayers.

- Sugar: Represents sweetness and love.

- A drop or two of red and white wine: Offerings to the Earth and Heavens.

- Qintu’s: Typically 3 Coca leaves, but you can use 3 small leaves from local trees.

- Red and White Carnations: Red for the earth, white for the mountains.

- More sugar: For extra love and sweetness.

- Open shell: Represents the womb of the earth.


After the Foundation is created add on any other items. With each item added, infuse love with your breath. 

- Rice: Fertility and abundance.

- Various grains: Sustenance.

- Nuts: For plant spirits.

- Beans: Protection and abundance.

- Corn: Gift back to the earth.

- Raisins: Spirits of our ancestors.

- Figs: Spirits of the ancient ones.

- Alphabet noodles: Beyond language.

- Animal crackers: For animal spirits and health.

- Candies: Representing relationships.

- Chocolate: Mother earth loves it! M&M’s are great, colorful!

- Loose sage or incense: To feed the earth elements.

- Black licorice: For protection.

- Gummy frogs: Messengers and water cycle.

- “Play” money: For success.

- Unraveled cotton balls: Clouds, representing time and dreams.

- Confetti stars: Connection to the stars.

- Colored confetti or sprinkles: Celebration of life.

- Rainbow yarn: Bridge between worlds.

- Red and white cord: Represents the “red” road and the Hatoon Yan or road to the stars. 

- Flower petals: For healing.

Once filled with your prayers and visions, fold the bundle like a gift: left to right, right to left, bottom up, and top down. Tie it with a white cord and tuck in a “quinto” for any “forgotten prayers.”

Finally, bury the despacho for slow results, burn it for quick transformation, or release it into running waters. When burned, don’t look at the flames until it's done, symbolizing letting go and releasing any claim over your offering.



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