Ritual for a dark world

October 26, 2017

shaman I was first introduced to a Peruvian despacho ceremony at an afterlife conference a few years ago. That one was a beautiful and moving ritual that honored the dead, and I’ve done several since, including one to honor my friend who died in 2015.

Despacho ceremonies ground us, connect us with the spirit and energy of nature. They assume that the universe is benign and problems arise when we are out of balance with it.

So when I felt my energy out of balance and even spiraling out of control as a result of the negative energies in the world today, I spoke with a shaman friend. Who managed to find a way to come through Santa Fe last week to do an ayni despacho ceremony at our rental house.

An ayni despacho puts us in right relationship with the world: right thinking, right acting, right loving. The despacho is an offering we make to the spirits and the contents of the offering depend on the purpose of that particular ceremony. I am by no means an expert, but want to give you a little bit of the flavor of the ceremony.


We laid out a sheet of purple tissue and then, one by one, placed symbolic objects: sugar meant to honor the sweetness of life, candles to light the way, chocolate representing life’s richness,  beans that stood for the masculine and feminine and other things that honored the flora and fauna, the creatures that swim, the county of the earth and more.

As we put the offering together, Shaman Dan called upon the spirits of the earth, the water and Pachamama (the earth mother of the Andean people who sustains life on earth). This is soul level work, and I felt it.


We each blew our prayers and intentions into the despacho. Shaman Dan used carnations to sprinkle white and red wine onto the despacho as offerings to the spirits.

shaman It was a beautiful, colorful and meaningful package that held all our intentions. I felt the love we had for our friends who had come this way to support me, and I could feel the love that imbued their actions and this lovely ceremony.


After the despacho was neatly bundled, we prepared it for the fire ceremony. We burned the despacho to help us let go of what no longer serves us in our life’s journey. For me, the ceremony helped me release some of the negative energy that’s all around us today and that was making me anxious.

Despachos can also be used to help release blockages in relationships, jobs,  financial issues, career and to let go of self-sabotaging patterns. The ceremony can be performed in a group or by yourself.
There are many ways to honor life (and death) in our own culture. I hope you will take a look at the helpful grief products offered at A Healing Spirit. I also offer several after-death communication services that you might want to learn more about, including past life and spiritual regression and trance channeling. Visit A Healing Spirit any time.




24 comments on “Ritual for a dark world
  1. That is an interesting idea. I’ve never heard of this before, and I’ve never tried anything like it. Being from the south, things like this aren’t exactly common in my area. I love reading about these things. They seem like they could be a big help.

  2. Bill Sweeney says:

    This sounds really interesting. There are times when I can tell I’m off. I’ve never thought of it as energy before, but everything is energy when you get right down to it.

  3. Wynne says:

    This is really interesting, I have never heard of this ritual before. I definitely have learned something new from this post today. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Tracey says:

    I am always open to different forms of healing. This is such an interesting post and I would love to experience something like this.

  5. Diane says:

    Beautiful ceremony! What a beautiful gift to the spirit!
    Thank you for sharing with us!

  6. This looks like interesting experience, and I am always for experiencing new things. So I would definitely try this ritual.

  7. Makeba Giles says:

    What a beautiful and lovely ceremony. Reading about these things are cool and interesting.

  8. I love that type of thing and I agree, it’s powerful. I just saw a play that featured a Mexican Curandera (shaman woman) It reminds me of that.

  9. Maureen says:

    Wow I had not heard of this type of ritual before. Sounds like it can be very helpful in your Faith to have life be a little bit less stressful and it’s a nice ceremonial way to say goodbye too. I am amazed at how others do things, thank you for the education.

  10. Liz Mays says:

    I didn’t know about these ceremonies. It’s really cool that you were able to experience one. It sounds like it was very helpful.

  11. Tonya says:

    I’ve not heard of this type of ceremony before. It is certainly interesting and sounds like it really helped you to begin the healing process.

  12. Pam says:

    This isn’t really interesting. I find it fascinating the way other cultures deal with grief and death. Americans really seem to bottle it up.

  13. kristi says:

    I always enjoy reading your blog posts, I learn so many new things. The ceremony is something new to me, sounds interesting and makes me want to research it a bit more.

  14. This is perfect for getting rid of all that negative energy. I think it’s something that’s worth trying out. I’ve never done any rituals like this before but it’s really interesting.

  15. Theresa says:

    What an interesting and really beautiful ritual! I am sure it is really helpful to burn all of that negative energy away.

  16. Sara Welch says:

    It sounds like this ceremony was very close to your heart. I’m glad it touched you and made you feel peace.

  17. Wendy Polisi says:

    It seems you have found something that calms you in times of chaos. I use Yoga in my “moments” and I feel your ceremony brought about the same feelings my Yoga does for me.

  18. Sheena Tatum says:

    I find it so comforting to know you have found something that works for you in your time of need. I don’t think I’ve quite found that thing yet.

  19. Heather says:

    What a lovely ceremony for ridding your life of negative elements. Watching those things turn to ash must be so freeing.

  20. That sounds really interesting! I’ve never heard about that ritual before but it’s great to know that they have that! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Annemarie LeBlanc says:

    Interesting read. This is the first time I have read/heard about this ritual. It is great to learn about different cultures and their ways to relieve anxiety and grief. Thanks for sharing photos of the ritual. It must have been very uplifting for you.

  22. There are so many wonderful forms of energy clearing, finding one that is effective can sometimes be quite a process within itself, but once you hone in on the one that resonates best with you and is the most effective, keeping up with doing it regularly becomes easier. I am glad to hear that this one worked so well for you, I might just have to give it a go myself as I am contemplating some major decisions and changes for the upcoming year.

    Stay Blessed,
    Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly

  23. Preet says:

    What an interesting ritual it is, I know there are different ways in different cultures to get healed. Honoring life is the best one can do during and after it.

  24. dawn says:

    this seems like such a meaningful and profound ceremony/ritual. it’s nice to hear about how it worked for you.

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