This article was written by a colleague of mine along with a beautiful letter of many thanks. I wanted to share it with you because it was pretty powerful for me to read.
What a shift I feel I have experienced after the despacho...and I know I am not the only one. Just had a lovely note from Pranita as you know since she copied both of us and one from Kathy who forwarded the newsletter on to friends because she was having trouble describing the experience.
I wrote about the Soul Food experience of the despacho and I am going to create a feature on my new website to connect others to the powerful ways spirit comes to us, healing comes through us and wisdom awakens within us. I wanted to share the newsletter this month, I just sent it out this morning...I noticed that someone click through to your website and that gives me such joy to connect others with all the flavors of our community! Much love and blessings to you for the gift of your work and play in the world. I am feeling very full of myself, and free and clear today...and it feels yummy!
Every month, I have different features in my newsletter. I have an opening article, a What I'm Reading and a What I'm Playing, my calendar section, (which is chalked full of goodies this month) and sometimes a segment that features some aspect of my intuitive consulting/coaching practice. This month, for the opening article, I had so many ideas vying for attention that it was hard to decide where I wanted to shine the light. A piece called Intuitive Know-How was the front runner after a very successful launch this fall of The Intuitive Gym, a dynamic and interactive intuitive development program. I was working on the article and writing about the power of understanding how our senses are a guide to understanding our intuitive intelligence. Then, this past Tuesday, I hosted Lisa Smith at my monthly meetup and as the evening concluded, I knew I had to write a different piece for the newsletter. As I lay in bed that night reflecting on the evening and the experience, the phrase Soul Food floated up and I knew this is what I wanted to share this month. And how timely that this article would come during Thanksgiving week when we come together with family and friends to share food and ritual...to give thanks for the bounty of our lives.
So, I now have another monthly ritual for the newsletter (and for the website)...a section called Soul Food. And this month, just this week, I experienced my first despacho ceremony. In the Andean tradition, important beginnings very often involve a ceremony called (in Spanish) a despacho. Despacho can mean “sending.” I invited Lisa Smith, a shamanic practitioner and event planner, to be my guest. Lisa offered to create the despacho ceremony for the group and gave me a list of ingredients to buy. The list included red beans, black beans, green lentils, rice, flowers, chocolate and white tissue paper. A cloth is laid on the floor, the white tissue paper on top of that. Then, Lisa creates a circle with the beans and rice. Then, each person in the circle is given three rose petals at a time with the instruction to blow their prayers into the petals and place them in the circle. The prayers may be for themselves, their family and loved ones, the community and the world.
For the next 20 or 30 minutes, we were given petal after petal after petal and silently and powerfully, we blew our heart-felt, fervent prayers into the delicate petals and then small chrysanthemum flowers and placed them in the circle. Bits of chocolate were added after all the flowers were placed. I loved this touch of sweetness at the end (everything, even a despacho, is better with chocolate!). Lisa then invited us to place our hands over the circle and just feel, with all our senses, the energy of the despacho. It was an incredible feeling. I noticed as we started with the first round of rose petals, the energy felt dark, heavy as if the weight of what was being released was ponderous, and as we went on, the prayers in the petals were lighter, and lighter and lighter. That in the releasing, in this ending, there was beginning. When the despacho was complete, Lisa tied it up with string and we took the depacho out to the chiminea in our backyard and burned it.
There aren't words to describe the beauty of this ceremony. There aren't words to describe the feelings and the connection I felt to the women who had gathered at my house that evening. There aren't words to describe what it feels like to feed the soul. This wordless-oneness is a powerful experience. And when we gather together with our imagination and intentions, it is amazing what a feast we can create to feed the world, to fed ourselves.
Copyright © 2012 Mary Welty-Dapkus, MIM, All rights reserved.