Haywarikoy & Despachocemermoni

To lift our prayers up to Spirit

The Q'ero "shamans" in the high Andes of Peru has a lot of different types of ceremonies but it is the despacho ceremony that is one of the most common rituals to create a personal contact with the universe. The purpose of this ancient ceremony is to bring our prayers up to the universe by a ceremony of appreciation for the gifts that they receive from the earth and the universe during each day and to returning or deepening ones relation to the cosmos. Their perception and worth of Ayni (or reciprocity) between the society and the environment is of utmost importance for cooperation and co-creation.

A despacho is not a prayer for personal gain and can not either be seen as a sacrifice. Rather that they are strengthening their believe that nature, the earth and the universe will take care of them if they take care of it. They consider it an offering or a fair exchange for what has been taken from the nature, to preserve the relationship with the land. It is a prayer to Apus (the mountains), Pachamama (mother earth), Inti (the sun), and other forces that is guarding the places of the earth to become one with them. The despacho is designed for reciprocity, to share, trust, integrity, respect and holiness. It is a manifestation of gratitude and is created through an act of Munay (love) and Ayni (reciprocity)- that is; when you give, you will receive and if you receive you must also give.

The result is that when you adapt to the universe, you can attain or be granted ones highest potential. Mainly, when you are in Ayni with the universe, it returns tenfold. The ritual of a despacho is built upon the believe that you actively have to participate and act through reciprocity- that it is based upon the "principle"- what you sow, you will reap.

There is a lot of types of despachos

There are well over hundreds of different despachos that the Q'ero shamans conducts depending on the situation, from birth to death, from initiations, the first planting of the season, harvest, weddings or for example to honor a new or an old home. Besides, a despacho is often created when someone is sick so that the person can be able to reset his Ayni with the universe, to that the health returns. They believe that illness is a corresponding result of no longer being in Ayni with the universe.

The process

A despacho is created of flowers, leaves (with prayers) and small subjects from nature (for example shells, insence, seeds or dried fruit) and artificial objects (for example candy, thread, cotton and paper). Every object represents an organizing principle and is placed during the ceremony in the despacho, with the intent to create a momentum of healing and reciprocity in the area that the ceremony is held.