Despacho Ceremony 2016
A long long time ago, before we had any technology, before we had consumerism, before we had entitlement, when we we were just One, One with all that encompassed us, One with the natural world and one with Pacha Mama – we were in harmony. It was a perfect balance. Pacha Mama was our everything, for without her we could not survive. She gave us everything that we would ever need, want or desire. This begs the question: where did we lose this precious connection?
The Incas and their ancient traditions never lost sight of this connection. They understood that by disrespecting the natural world and feeding our ambitions we only hurt ourselves. So they gave gratitude. They were humble. They understood that in order to be One, you must be One with all that surrounds you. Think about it. How often to you give gratitude to the sun? To the oceans? Do you take the bees for granted? The trees? Are you being a part of One, or just living for yourself? When was the last time you actually hugged a tree? The last time you saved a seed to replant? For is our Pacha Mama not worth our love and care? …
Our second retreat in August this year witnessed the happy arrival of our befriended San Pedro shaman Kucho. Kucho lives in Cusco and has his own lodge there, from where he takes guests on a tour to Machu Picchu and conducts San Pedro ceremonies with them. He is a master storyteller and loves sharing the countless mystical stories about his land, ancestors and the golden times of the Inca empire. Listening to Kucho narrating these beautiful stories you get a sense of being tele-transported to ancient times where the mystical ruled and where spirits were woven into the fabric of our everyday lives…
Kucho also conducts Despacho ceremonies. These ceremonies are traditionally held in August and follow the ancient Incan tradition of giving thanks to the land. The Incas were very much in tune with Pacha Mama and knew that blessing her for all that she provided would bring abundance to the people. They saw that by expressing gratitude to Pacha Mama she would always respond to their deepest wishes for their families and tribe. So when we met Kucho last year and he told us about this beautiful tradition, we knew we wanted him to come to Rainforest Healing Center to bless our land.
We work intimately with the land and have a very strong connection with her. Not only does she cleanse us with her vibrant green colours and her high vibrations, she is also home to 110+ medicinal plants including Ayahuasca, Ajo Sacha and the Sanango master plants. Just by living and working in this magical place we are nurtured and healed! The Ayahuasca we use in our ceremonies is harvested from the land and cooked near the Maloca – the ceremonial hut situated on the highest point of the land. Then we replant the young Ayahuasca shoots as we want to work sustainably with the medicine. So the land provides very deep healing for us and we want to bless her for holding, nurturing and replenishing us; for her unconditional love and infinite wisdom.
On a beautiful sunny day surrounded by family and friends the Despacho ceremony commenced. Kucho laid out a colourful blanket of the Hindu God Ganesha and we were invited to place our offerings on the top half of the blanket. Then he laid an Incan blanket on the bottom half and started singing the most soothing icaros while he was slowly preparing the offering. They were beautiful songs about all the blessings we receive from Pacha Mama and how this was the time for us to give back to her. Very slowly and with much intent Kucho arranged a string of offerings on the blanket. Coca leaves, pink/purple petals, berries, seeds and llama grease but also creamy biscuits, chocolates and a vast array of colourful sweets. Pacha Mama surely has a sweet tooth! 😉 The atmosphere was very serene as Kucho spent at least an hour preparing this food offering. The icing on the cake was when plenty of chacruna leaves and some Ayahuasca medicine were sprinkled over the offerings, giving back to the land what she provides us with.
Then all the participants were one by one invited to offer something personal. It was such a profound moment; people gave with their hearts wide open, blessing and thanking Pacha Mama for nourishing and sustaining us. We could feel the land below our feet respond with gratitude and infinite love as we all stood in a circle around the offering. Finally Kucho wrapped up the offerings with the Incan blanket and made it into a packet. We all stood up and wrapped our arms around each other’s shoulders while we were watching Kucho pass by each of us, sing an icaro and place the packet over our heads and hearts…
These special moments will be in our memories for a long time to come. To feel so connected with She that gave Birth to us, and She that holds the space for our Rebirth while we’re releasing the parts of ourselves that no longer serve us, is a precious gift. Thank you Pacha Mama for our lives! We love you profoundly. Thank you land, baptized as Rainforest Healing Center, for the deep spiritual healing and journeys we have experienced and for having our back all the way through. Thank you dear family and friends for having shared this sacred ceremony with us – our hearts will always be connected.
In deep gratitude,