Archive for November, 2011

After a beautiful and inspiring ceremonial space during our New Moon Despacho, I took a Shamanic Journey to ask for any messages from Spirit on our Awakening and Soul Evolution now. This is that conversation…

Appreciate Nature. Really take in the beauty and wonder of the Natural world. Don’t just look at a sunset and think “Oh look at the colors. They are so beautiful!”. Be in silence and drink this in to your Soul. Feel the beauty of this sunset in you. Become aware of the beauty of all forms in Nature, not as an intellectual pursuit but as a deep sense of appreciation that lands in the core of your Being.

Spend more time with trees, yes trees. Perhaps there is a tree on your property or a tree near where you live. Maybe you pass a certain tree every day. Begin to develop a relationship with this tree. How would you do that? Become a friend  to this tree.

Stop rushing to Enlightenment. There is nothing out there to rush to. Drop the striving, the clinging to some kind of truth just beyond the horizon. That is not where it is.

It is very simple.

In the majesty of a Tree. Really being with a tree. It is that simple.

That can’t possibly be it. Just being with a tree? Just looking at a tree? There has to be more!

But then we miss it. With all the clamoring of wanting more. We miss the experience of what is around us all the time, at every moment. We miss the majesty of the tree. We miss the beauty of the form. We miss the heart of another. We can’t possibly believe this is it. That it is here.

So we keep on missing.


Meditation will elevate Mind.

Meditation will elevate Consciousness.

Meditation will transcend into the Lightness of our Being.

The Light Being that we are.

I am meditating on the side of a mountain, siting on rock, sitting on stone. In another moment I am suspended in midair in the midst of these mountaintops. I can sit in this air because all I am is Light. This Light at the center of my being. This Light that is so light it does not need stone to sit on. This Light that I am needs no ground underneath.

This is what meditation can do for us. Transcend us to the Lightness of our Being.

We must know this Lightness of our Being.

We must know who we are as Spiritual Beings.

We must know the Divinity of our Soul.

This is what Spirit tells us.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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div·i·na·tion [div-uh-ney-shunn]

1. the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by supernatural means.

2. perception by intuition; instinctive foresight.

Spirit is always looking to communicate with us. The practice of divination is one way to receive these messages. All kinds of tools provide a means; pendulums, tarot cards, cocoa leaves, stones, Nature and her elements, astrology charts and planetary alignments. One that I discovered while traveling in Peru was the ash after burning a Despacho. Our prayers journey from the form of the Despachothrough the blaze of fire, until they transform to ash. Here is a reading of these ashes:


What stood out for me, at first glance, are the dark spots, especially at the lower left side. This displays a block to where we are receiving. Being near the bottom of the ash speaks to where we block the flow of Mother Earth energy into our systems. When we are not fully open to receive, manifesting and creating becomes more difficult evident by the smaller dark spot at the bottom right. Can we fully drink in the beauty of Pachamama, swallow whole her abundance without any fear of not having enough? (I will post more on this with messages from a Shamanic journey after ceremony.)

There were a number of figures and images I noticed which may be difficult to see but at the very top of the ash on the right sits an owl. What stood out were the intensity of the eyes. We are seeing more through the eyes of our wisdom. This level of perception allows us to see our life, and who we are, from a higher perspective. It allows us to be less reactive as wisdom also brings with it a sense of compassion. We are rising in our consciousness and levels of perception.

In the upper left (and nearly impossible to see in this image) is the form of a woman. On her left shoulder sits a butterfly. Relationships to our Mother are changing. This Mother is symbolic of Mother in all dimensions. This may be the relationship we have with our birth Mother, or relationships with other significant women and sisters in our lives. This can also demonstrate a shift happening in how we mother ourselves, being less reliant on some source of nurturing to come from outside of our Self. This also speaks to the relationship with our Earth Mother, Pachamama, which reflects back to the first impression of where we are blocked in receiving her. This too is undergoing transformation.

One last impression is a clearing and opening in our hearts that is in conflict with how we are expressing and communicating this in the world. A conflict is not a “bad” thing but rather a place where these two aspects have not come yet into balance. We are still working our way through bringing the openness of our heart into right relationship through our speech, thought and conduct in the world.

AHO my friends! AHO!
Karen Chrappa

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Mandala on which our qintus (prayer holders) were placed

First round of qintus offered in heart of Despacho

Heart of Despacho

Despacho Complete with Qintus and Offerings

Despacho folded and tied up like gift with forgotten prayer holders in place

Sitting through the night under the dark of the New Moon, gold candle keeping watch



AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Every Despacho has its own essence, a theme that seems to infuse its creation. Even though a Despacho arises from a planned intent, elements emerge in synchronicity regardless of any plan. Our Gratitude Despacho could very well have been called A Heart of Gold. What is the essence of a heart of gold? This is the question that arises from ceremony.

How do we weave the elements of gold into our heart to inform the actions we take in the world?

Our Despacho set about surrounded in gold, held in solid integrity. Gold radiates and shines as joy in our heart. A heart full of gold is rich in compassion and loving kindness. Gold is abundance. Gold is prosperity. How can we cultivate these qualities of heart so we are informed by our compassion and integrity to take action in the world? How can we develop a consciousness of abundance and prosperity over lack and scarcity? One place to look are the words on which our prayers were laid.


Let these words be a steppingstone on the path to a heart of gold.


In the midst of ceremony I head to the beach. I am surrounded by AIR, immersed in it, in AWE of it. (I will post more on this later.) Notice if a word calls to you, jumps off the page or notice even a word from which you withdraw. Let this word play like a mantra. Let this word seep into your soul. What arises from the blessing of this word? How does this word feed inspiration? Can these words serve in times of struggle? Does one word flow or fit with another? Call to these words. Keep them close to your heart. Let them serve as guideposts on your path.

This is the first practice from our ceremony. The first practice for weaving a heart of gold.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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~Welcome to the New Moon Despacho Ceremony November 24 to 26~

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

~Create Sacred  Space~

~Perform Purification Ritual~

~Offer Prayers of Gratitude Into 4 Qintus~

~Blow Intent of Qintus into Image of Despacho~


(Refer to previous blog post PREPARATION FOR CEREMONY
for further instruction if needed)


~Qintus may be placed in COPY OF DESPACHO,
folded into a square and tied up like a gift~

~Qintus may be placed in a LIST OF GRATITUDE,
folded into a square and tied up like a gift~

~Bury or Burn All Qintus~

~Close Ceremony with a Prayer of Thanks~

(Despachos held and anchored with the kuyas of my mesa)


Elements of Despacho: A heart of gold surrounds our prayer bed symbolizing a heart solid in integrity. A heart of gold is steeped in compassion and loving kindness. A heart of gold radiates joy. A heart of gold shines with abundance and prosperity consciousness. At the center sits a circle of cotton representing the soft tender heart  within. It is the softness of our heart that holds our most authentic self. It is here we find the power of our vulnerability. A starfish sits atop representing the star essence of our heart. The light of our heart connects us to Infinity. It is the light of our heart that connects us to each other. As this light is represented by the stars in the heavens, this light is manifested on Earth in the starfish. As above, so below. A figure of a man and woman sit in the center to feed our connections and relationships with others and connect more deeply from our hearts. Four white baby tulips reach out from this center in four directions. They represent purity and innocence as we extend our heart out into the world. An image of Christ surrounded in a halo holds the seed of Christ consciousness within each of us and sits above the heart. May we tap into our own capacity for unconditional love and walk without bearing harm in this world. The round gold halo symbolically reflects the heart of gold holding our despacho. Four angel cards sit in this despacho. STRENGTH. AIR. FORGIVENESS. NOW. May we receive the blessings of these words. The string represents the non linear direction of our heart. May we learn to trust the path of our heart, however winding or nonsensical it may feel. Honeycomb found on a visit to Lake Ontario is offered for sweetness and a remembering of our interdependence on all other things. At the bottom of the heart sits a bed of red rose petals representing the marrow of our Mother Earth. Rising up from this and around the heart are sweets so our hearts may be fed by true sweetness, the sweetness of divine nectar. Along each side of the heart are white feathers, placed as wings, so our hearts and prayers take flight. Space was intentionally left to give our hearts the space needed to hear the true calling of our heart. And a reminder that LOVE is SPACE.

May our hearts be fed with prayers of gratitude so Spirit may help us shape a life that nourishes us. 

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Here are a few things to prepare for our New Moon Despacho as we gather as a virtual community to offer our gratitude and feed what nourishes us.

Preparations for Ceremony:

  • 12 bay leaves, small native leaves or flower petals to make 4 qintus (Read more about qintus on How A Shaman Prays)
  • Sacred Space
  • Quiet mind
  • Sea Salt (fine, not coarse) for Purification
  • Intention

Before coming to ceremony, you want to create time and space that feels sacred for you. This is a personal experience so whatever prayers or rituals you have will work. If you have not created sacred space or come to ceremony before, offer a prayer of thanks to the Earth. Reflect on all the blessings the Earth provides in your life.

If the only prayer we ever said was thank you, that would be enough.

Another practice that helps prepare us for ceremony is purification. A simple purification ritual can be created by rubbing your hands while they are dry with sea salt (use fine, not coarse) holding the intention of clearing any negativity from your heart. Continue until you feel your hands are clean and clear. As our hands are energetic extensions of our heart, cleansing in this way helps clear our heart. Purification practices are believed to make the heart more pure, empowering the strength of our prayers and intentions. Smudging, floral waters and incense can also be part of a purification ritual.

Once you have created sacred space and performed a purification ritual, take a moment to reflect on what you are grateful for. We will feed these places of gratitude in our life in this ceremony. Gratitude acts like a magnet attracting more of what we appreciate into our life. Perhaps you are not feeling particularly grateful at this time. Maybe your life does not feel like it is nourishing your heart and soul. Take a moment to become aware of what you would like to call into your life. What would feel nourishing to you? Perhaps you would like more time and space for yourself. Maybe simplicity. Balance. Eating healthier. Exercise. Nature. Soul community. Creative expression. Friendship. Family. Whatever it is that feeds your heart and soul, even if it is not presently in your life, call it in with ceremony.

There are a number of ways to participate.

  • I will post a picture of the despacho and you can exhale your prayers and intentions of gratitude directly into the image of the despacho.
  • You can blow your prayers into qintus that you make using 3 bay leaves  (or small native leaves or flower petals). Exhale what you are grateful for into all 4 qintus. Remember to include Mother Earth in your prayers.
  • Last month some of you made a copy of the despacho to hold your qintus. That is certainly an option! Once you place your qintus in add an offering to energetically feed your prayers. Incense, sage, tobacco, herbs, flower petals, grains, sweets, dried fruits are some of the things you can use. Hold the intent of feeding your prayers as you add your offering. Fold it up into a square and tie closed with ribbon, twine or string.
  • If you like you can also make a list of everything you are grateful for and use this to hold your qintus. Follow the same instructions as above for adding qintus.
  • You can burn or bury your qintus, either wrapped in a picture of the despacho or your gratitude list or on their own.

The Despacho will be available and open for ceremony for 3 days starting on November 24th, the day before the New Moon (and Thanksgiving here in the states) until Saturday November 26th. You can participate on any one of these days. The Despacho will be secured in a place outside of my home to herd and hold your intentions, anchored by the kuyas (stones) of my mesa, many of which I received during rites and initiations in the mountains of Peru. The Despacho will then be burned in a fire ceremony.

Feel free to share comments or questions that arise as we step into ceremony like never before!

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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If you have just found the blog and have not yet participated in a New Moon Despacho Ceremony, read  The Way of the Despacho to learn more.

Last month we released the victim in ceremony. We now turn our attention to what nourishes us. In our upcoming New Moon Despacho we will offer with gratitude, what brings joy to our life. What opens our heart and feeds our Soul? What gets our juices flowing, fires up our passion? What makes our life worth living? As we offer these life sustaining elements in ceremony we let Spirit guide us to shape a life that nourishes us each and every day.

The despacho will be open for 3 days, starting on Thanksgiving and ending Saturday the  26th. Further instructions will follow on how to add your prayers to the collective intent of our ceremony. Stay tuned and get ready for ceremony.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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