- Kitty Edwards
“I do despachos for health, love, and for business... and for the Apus.” – Don Agustín, Q’ero paqo
The signature ceremony of The Living & Dying Consciously Project is a despacho ceremony, which has been practiced for hundreds of years in the high Andes Mountains (Apus) of South America. A despacho is a prayer bundle prepared in gratitude to the earth, the mountains and the spirits that support us in this world.
All despachos have common elements and yet each has unique intentions. A despacho can be a simple offering with few ingredients or it can be an elaborate affair. During a traditional despacho ceremony, participants build the despacho together by assembling various ingredients (each representing a symbolic element) and adding their own individual prayers of gratitude.
There are a wide variety of despacho ceremonies to choose from. An ayni despacho ceremony brings one’s life into right relationship with the world. An aya despacho allows participants to build a rainbow bridge for a loved one who has died so that her journey into the afterlife is successful. A kuti despacho turns everything upside down, releasing the energies that bind us to a way of life or to our stories. An apus despacho honors the great mountains who are the wisdomkeepers. Despachos can be created in celebration of a marriage, a birth or a new beginning.
Once the despacho or prayer bundle is created it should be buried, burned or set out to sea. This allows the natural elements an opportunity to digest our prayers and deliver them to the helping spirits who are listening.
A despacho ceremony offers us an opportunity to extend our gratitude to all those who have helped us on our journey in life. It allows us to cast our nets into the future to catch the destiny of our dreams. Likewise, a despacho ceremony provides a safe environment for individuals, friends and family to process their grief and joy in community.
Create your own despacho ceremony with one of our despacho guides. Learn more about them here.
Quote from Joan Parisi Wilcox, Masters of the Living Energy, the Mystical World of the Q’ero of Peru, p. 106.