The light carriers, medicine people, mystics and artists who find their way into our community self-select as stewards of the more-than-human world. They yearn, consciously or unconsciously, to experience an intimacy with the ancient heart of the sacred that goes beyond partnership and familial ties, one that sings of our own wilderness. It is no coincidence that the main initiation of Mountain Shamanism is the Pamemesioq Rite, which opens apprentices to the voices of the Earth. When we are listening, she shares with us the greatest lessons of love and belonging, the miraculousness of life, death, and rebirth, and of patient forgiveness. It is from her that I am learning that love is not something to be bartered with. To be an earthkeeper is live our commitment to ayni – to right relationship – by putting love into action without looking for credit or grasping at a particular exchange.
Joan Parisi Wilcox, a life-long student and teacher of Andean land-based spirituality, describes pampemesioqs as “expert ceremonialists, the keepers of earth-based rituals and knowledge. They are healers, with a thorough knowledge of herbal medicines. They are masters at making despachos and performing the ceremonies connected with them.” This is one of their greatest gifts to the worlds.
The despacho is a sacred art that holds practitioners accountable to active prayer and creating beauty. Comprised of natural items, where each ingredient represents an aspect of nature, a symbol or tool, the despacho is an art of alchemy. The specific elements added are dependent on intent and they are imbued with purpose and meaning through the prayer of the breath. Attributed to the high Andean medicine people, this ceremony requires the creator to sustain the highest vibration throughout: one of gratitude.
At present, with the new year upon us, we mark the threshold of the return of the light. This is an auspicious time for an earthkeeper to create her despacho. They are built in response to the needs of one’s community and beyond and often created during life or seasonal transitions to nourish, heal, and pray for balance. We share with you a recipe that holds the intent of unity, an offering to Shakti, through the honouring of her parts. By participating, you can begin this next turn of the sun aligning with gratitude and vision.
To Begin, Open Sacred Space:
Call in the cardinal directions, the earth and the heavens or pray in a way that feels authentic to you. Prayer is a sacred art. It is unpretentious, constantly current, spontaneous heartspeak. The weight of prayer lies in humility and reverence. When we open sacred space, we are appealing to the powers of the known and unknowable to support us. Call the descent of grace into your work.
Optional Divination Tool:
3-card draw, guidance for the Personal, Global, and Collective ingredients
Ingredient Suggestions and Their Representations:
Remember to imbue gratitude and intent through your breath into all aspects of the despacho
White Tissue Paper for the “Envelope of Dreams” – begin with three sheets folded as such so the paper has 9 squares. Work in the centre section for your art piece
Sugar – for sweetness
4 pillars – light, fertility, ayni and wellbeing (start in the top left corner and work clockwise)
Cross – create in the centre of the square, intersection of time and space and the portal to infinity, the middle of the middle
Lavender – Directed action lead by grace, healing
White Buffalo Sage – for cleansing, to appease the spirits
White or Pastel Candy sprinkles – to feed the elemental spirits of earth, water, fire and air
K’intus – made of 3 white flower petals (carnations, roses, mums, daisies, etc.) to honor the nustas, the princesses and goddesses of the land, mountains and waters; sacred feminine representatives that we are calling to awaken in our localities. 12 for the nustas of the 12 mountains and the nagas, the feminine energies of the bodies of water from where you reside. Spiral out from centre
Matches – Activation
White wine – Blessings for the mountains and their waters
Red wine – Blessings for the Earth and her waters
Second Layer: Gratitude
White Egg Shell – to hold the intent of the despacho, place in the centre
Two Triangles – one pointing up, one down for the Divine Masculine/Divine Feminine
Flutes – Put into shell. Represents sound, the primal engagement with the universe. Sound has more information, is more complete that sight. Brings full blossoming of manifestation.
White Beans – Pacarinas, wellsprings and places of emergence
Lima Beans – Huacas, activating and harmonizing these places of power
Chickpeas – remove the obstacles, blockages, stagnation
Alphabet pasta – language of the essential
Rose quartz lodestone – embodiment
Gold Egg – Hiraṇyagarbha
A Tool for Liberation
White or light pink candy hearts – love language of the Divine Heart
Crown – Sovereignty
Gold and Silver cord – ceke lines, placed into a web
Tobacco – Activation
Hummingbird – Infinity
Sulphur – Soul Retrieval for the collective
Salt – in gratitude of Yemaya: mother of the waters, goddess of the ocean
Third Layer: Visioning
Create a layer of cotton – a soft place to rest and vision
White rice – for abundance
White candles – radiance, illumination, tejas regenerative light
White sugar beads – pearls of wisdom
Star pasta – connection, star nation, Pleiades, Sirius
Swan – Hamsa, Discernment
Gold and Silver Foil – calling the angelic beings, the enlightened ones, the Hake Mallkis (the luminous ones, the wise ones, the masters who have become the mountains)
White feather – for flight
White ribbon – the Divine Femine Way, spiral from centre
Once complete: close gently and tie with a ribbon. Bless the creator(s) of the despacho. Burn or bury within 24 hours.
We would love to see your creations. If you are called to do so, please share with us through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media: @shamanicyogainsitute.