(adapted from information from Chris Waters, Spirit of the Inca): Spirit of the Inca

There are different kinds of Despacho and the one we will look at here is the Ayni Despacho. It brings us back into right relationship with our world and with ourselves. Ayni means reciprocity or balance … ‘As I give so shall I receive’. It is an offering, a prayer a way of giving our deepest gratitude. It creates a harmonious energy as we envision a world of love, balance and abundance and in this way we dream our world into being and manifest all we need in our world in order to step into our becoming. We are not asking for specific things – it is more about asking to be the best we can be and envisaging all the support around to help us on this path.

Creating a despacho helps us to come into right relationship with the earth, the heavens and ourselves as we align ourselves with the natural life force of the universe. The shaman, when creating the Ayni Despacho hold a vision of what is possible for the world based on beauty and abundance, the sweetness and the nectar of life and the wisdom that we all inherently hold.

It is a prayer that allows us to thank the universe for that which we are about to receive! And it is done in the spirit of service to the family / community / village / society that we live in.

We blow our wishes and gratitude into everything that we put into the despacho. Make it as personal and heart felt as possible. The most important part of the whole ceremony is the breath. It’s an active prayer of engaging the sacred. Tell it who you are, who you are becoming, call on source, the earth, the mountains, your teachers and give thanks…

You will need:

  • Piece of paper or you could work straight on the earth. (If you are taking it to fire you will need paper). If you use paper, fold it into 9 squares and the offerings go in the centre square.
  • Red wine – Blood of Pachamama (earth)
  • White wine – Offering to the mountain spirits. Pour the two onto the earth to start bringing together heaven and earth.
  • Kintus (3 leaves representing past, present, future or wisdom, love, power or the 3 worlds)
  • Sugar (the sweetness of life) on all four corners representing the 4 elements and a small cross in the centre to represent the southern cross.

The underworld and the earth herself

Call on pachamama to bless the first layer and use a red flower to sprinkle the red wine. “Be with us, thank you pachamama for our lives, thank you for nourishing and nurturing us.”

Call on the mountain spirits and use the white flower to sprinkle the white wine. “Be with us, thank you Apus, mountain spirits, thank you for your wisdom”

Place the offerings onto the despacho for the underworld…

Seeds, rice, berries, nuts, soil, sand… to represent our gratitude and what we want to plant, fertility, abundance.

Sugar for the sweetness of life…

Shell in the middle represents the womb of pachamama / the ocean / the waters / sachamama – great serpent

2 figures inside the shell to represent the masculine and feminine within (complementary opposites)

2 candles representing the light we came with

Middle world

Using food that we feel represents each of the things in the middle world that we want to honour, we continue to blow our gratitude and wishes in… The creatures we share our earth with, the food that sustains us, the people we share our lives with, the language we communicate with, the seeds we sow, the flowers, trees…. All that we love in the middle world…

Upper world

The world of our becoming, where we dream a new world into being, and honour the elementals (fairies and the like), luminous beings, the angelic world, the stars, the moon, the sun…

Fairies love multi-coloured twinkly things! Lots of sparkle here…

Then we can surround it with clouds (sheep wool)

When you have finished we would usually encircle the despacho with rainbow threads to weave together the prayers and offerings and bring them into harmony.

We then either fold and tie it up to take to fire or leave it for the land to consume.

“The ritual itself depends on your presence and intention. The beauty and grace of this ceremony means that although it may be a ritual that is 500 years old, it is totally fresh and new each time it is done because it relies on the presence of those it serves for its fresh aliveness.” CW

And the following is from

“…A Despacho ceremony is medicine.  When going to see a Q’ero Shaman, no matter what the condition or desire – to heal from losing a loved one, to welcome a new soul to the earth, to honour a birthday, to heal from a break up, to call in love, to start a business, to experience physical healing, whatever the cause for the visit, the first thing often done is a despacho!

The Despacho is a gift to spirit, or the organizing principles of the Universe, and is a ritual of energetic exchange for healing, re-establishing right relationship and protection. Let the ceremony be simple.  You say thank you.  You say thank you for as much as you can think of.  And then you keep saying thank you until you feel like you could say thank you for hours.  Beware of your resistance to gratitude and tendency to go through the motions of anything wanting it to be over and on to the next thing.  Sit down and create some time in your day to just say thank you”

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