Despacho Sacred Offerings in the Andes

The ancient sacred Andean custom of gifting to the Pachamama (Mother Earth).

Our friend and contributing author, Stephanie Phelps, illuminates the tradition further – “the despacho is a gift–a giving back of what we receive everyday in our lives to establish new patterns of relationship and possibility. It establishes a link between the physical universe, our personal power, our source of love and wisdom. The despacho, transcends literal and symbolic domains and directly accesses the archetypal and energetic realms.

The despacho is created much like a Mandala and layered with a variety of items all having symbolic significance. We call upon the spirits of the waters, of the mountains, and of the Pachamama (Mother Earth) to come and help us prepare the offering. We have the intent of seeking to establish and maintain a continuous dialogue with the Mother and to bring balance and harmony to our lives, and to all our relations. Each symbolic item offered is arranged on white paper and is imbued with prayer. The power of this act of love sparks the momentum for energy shifts and healing and is a reminder of the connections we share with all beings, elements, spirits, and the cosmos. Upon the completion of the despacho, the gift is bundled up, tied and then placed into a fire. The creation and the construction of the despacho and ceremony takes about an hour to perform.

The Despacho ceremony brings participants into alignment with their personal intent, or the group intent, with gratitude to the earth, which supports us in all our endeavors. There are actually hundreds of different despachos. Ayni despacho is a way of establishing reciprocity and divine exchange, right relationship, balance and harmony with the Universe. If you give you will receive and if you receive you must give back. It is an honoring of the cycle of abundance and gratitude.”