Despacho is an offering to the mountains (Apu), to Mother Earth (Pachamama) in respect of all parts of the nature and in gratitude hereof. A Despacho is an act of love and a reminder about the connections we share with all creatures, elements, spirits, and sacred places. The Despacho is created in a ceremony.
The Despacho is a visible prayer. It is a natural mandala, which is used by the Paqoes (the Andean energy artisans) in order to contact the world of living energy and to place themselves inside this energy. There are more than 200 elements involved in the Despacho, and it is possible to create thousands of various Despachos for any precise purpose. It is an act of immense consideration and a deep intention to gather the components for and to sacrifice the Despacho.
Don Manuel Qispe, one of the best known Q’ero elders of our time, once described the despacho as “a gift, a giving back for all that we receive daily. It realigns us with our innermost goals and reconnects us with the forces that define us as human beings.”
Only flowers, herbs, spices, seeds, animal products such as fat, hair, feathers and other materials such as gold or silver are charged with energy and presented to the spirits. There are approximately 350 different types of despacho and each stands for a particular orientation or wish.
Despachos are beeing created on ceremonious occasions.
When the offering has been concluded, the Despacho (offering) with the holy materials will be folded and tied. Do not turn the Despacho upside down; then the prayers may fall out. The shaman may walk around in the group with the Despacho, purify each individual participants in order to remove heavy energy and bless all. These heavy energies, or hoocha, will be a part of the offering, because the Earth is eating heavy energy and digests it.
The Despacho will either be buried (for slow, but stable results), burned (for quicker changes), or be given to the flowing water within a reasonable period of time after the making. If the Despacho has been placed in the fire, generally the participants are not allowed to look into the flames, until the Despacho has burned completely down. In this way, the Apuchin (the ancient Condor) may eat the residues of the hoocha, if any, and the “filament” to be sent out in the Universe, will not be slowed down.