August 24, 2014 · 3:00 PM
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A despacho is an Andean ritual offering or a gift of reciprocity for what we receive every day in our lives. The act of creating a despacho places us in right relationship (ayni) with Mother Earth (Pachamama) and the Mountains (Apukuna). The offering consists of natural items intricately arranged on paper (similar to a Navajo Sand Painting), then prayed over, infused with gratitude and thanksgiving, and lastly folded into a bundle(like a present to the Creator and the Universe) to be burned. The creation of a despacho is a way to give back through prayer, intention, and love. This reciprocal exchange promotes balance and interdependence with Spirit. It is proper to purify one's self and consecrate the ground before preparing a despacho. Each natural item placed in the despacho has a specific meaning. The end result before folding into a bundle looks like a graphic mandala. When the bundle is burned, the prayers in the despacho ascend to the Spirits in the form of smoke. We meet under the four Sacred Trees in the first grassy area to the left as you enter the park. Park in the first lot and head back towards the highway.