Archive for January, 2012

We are stardust, we are golden,
We are billion year old carbon,
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.
Joni Mitchell

Our Sun is deeply woven with the creation and sustenance of our Earth Mother, shining through eons as witness to the rise and fall of life on our Planet. Inherent in this relationship is the ability to adapt, change and evolve. What happens when we look to cultivate a relationship with our nearest Star?

It is cold here in New York but the sun is shining. I run through trails in a nearby woods. The rhythm of breath and body over Earth empties mind. As I finish I find a place to sit. On a rock. Against a tree. Today atop an old tree stump, the sweetest meditation spot. It is here I create a Shamanic Salute to the Sun.

As I turn my face to the Sun I offer a prayer…

Beloved Sun..
Inform my luminous body.
Inform my cellular body.
Inform my DNA
so I may receive what is needed
to evolve in this time of great change.
Penetrate any darkness
so I may awaken
into the Lightness of my Being.

I allow the boundaries of my physical form to dissolve as the warmth of the Sun penetrates every pore. I set my mind to the side to enter a state of complete receptivity. Every space of who I am absorbs this Radiance as a dry sponge soaking water. I breathe in the Light of our Sun with each inhalation. Looking to the mirror of our nearest Star, my Light is reflected in this glory.

Although this practice is most profound when done in Nature it can be done indoors with intent and imagination. Imagine for a moment setting your body and mind to the side. Let your awareness settle into your heart. Imagine the Sun being reflected here, right in front of your heart. Breathe the Light of the Sun into your heart. Imagine a pulsing radiance between your heart and our nearest Star. Allow yourself to bask in this radiance as long as it lasts. In the beginning we may have nothing more than a fleeting glimpse of our Light. With practice, our awareness grows. Our Light is sustained for longer. With time, practice and attention, the awareness of our Light deepens.

Our Light is felt in deep surrender as we let go and allow our Light to simply be. It can be  a challenge to access our Light since most of us grew up having to hide or diminish our Light in order to be loved. Shamans teach us it is who we become, not what we do that changes the world. As we come to know ourselves, more and more, as the Being of Light that we are, we lose the sense of separation and step into an awareness of unity and oneness. This is how we make a difference, by radiating the Light we were meant to be.

Even after all this time 
The Sun never says to the Earth, 
“You owe Me.” 

Look what happens 
with a love like that, 
It lights the Whole Sky.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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The Universe has a bigger dream for you…
your Destiny.

Rise up,
open wide
and greet it with all your heart.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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The following prayer holds each name in ceremony,
A collective call of our Souls. 

We come to this ceremony with good heart,
with good intention to offer the seeds of our becoming,
the seeds of our Soul to the darkness of your belly Pachamama.
May the dreams and visions that lay deep in our hearts
take root and grow strong
so they may blossom fully on this Earth plane to bear fruit
under the light of Inti Titi, Father Sun.
May these seeds be nourished and healed
by the waters of Mama Cocha.
May we learn to live in flow with the great River of Life,
trusting our hearts to the guidance of Spirit.
May the starlight of destiny shine upon us,
illuminating the way for the highest manifest visions of our Souls.

AHO my friends!

Karen Chrappa
Daughter of Pachamama
Sister of the Sacred Lodge of We the Women
Sunflower of the Bouquet of Light Ayllu 

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~Welcome to the New Moon Despacho Ceremony for January~

We call on Great Spirit
to hold the seeds of our dreams and visions
as we offer them to the Mystery of Creation.
We plant these seeds in darkness
and ask that they be guided by Light
to blossom into the highest manifest vision for all.



(Click on Image to Enlarge)

~Create Sacred  Space~

~Perform Purification Ritual~

~Blow Intent of Dreams and Visions into Image of Despacho~

(Once you offer your intentions into the image of the despacho
you can create a ceremony for yourself
by offering your intentions into seeds or qintus, see below)

~Blow Intent of Dreams and Visions into 12 Qintus~

~Blow Intent of Dreams and Visions into Seeds~ 

~Plant Seeds of Intention in Garden or Potted Soil~

Listen to the Guided Meditation below once you have offered your intentions

~Letting Go of Expectations Meditation~

~Close Ceremony with a Prayer of Thanks~


Elements of Despacho: The despacho was inspired by the shapeshifting form of the kaleidoscope that holds infinite possibilities for beauty. And so it is with our intentions as they begin as formless intent and manifest in form as a collective beauty. The starfish in the center holds the intention that what we set forth to Great Spirit above may manifest in this Earth plane below, the star existing both above and below. This starfish sits on a bed of tobacco symbolizing the dark of the New Moon and the dark womb of creation where all seeds begin their journey. Rice surrounds the darkness to offer Light and fertility. Licorice pieces point in eight different directions representing both the cardinal (North, South, East, West) and non-cardinal (SW, NW, NE, SE) directions of the medicine wheel holding our intentions in balance. Nuts, grains and seeds create the pattern for our despacho so our intentions are supported on a bed of sustenance and nourishment. The different colors of beans and grains hold the many colors of traditions we come from, the many colors of humanity, for how we weave together our differences creates the beauty.

Once all intentions have been placed in the despacho they will be fed with a variety of offerings before being folded up and tied like a gift. Our ceremonial gift will then be burned in a fire. More will be posted after ceremony.

I offer deep appreciation and gratitude for bringing your prayers to this ceremony, for your prayers empower the prayers of us all.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Daughter of Pachamama
Sister of the Sacred Lodge of We the Women
Sunflower of Bouquet of Light Ayllu 

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Here are a few things to prepare for our New Moon Despacho as we gather as a virtual community to ceremonially plant the seeds of our dreams, intentions and visions. There are a number of ways to participate depending on your time and what calls to you.

Here are some things you may need depending on your level of participation:

  • 36 bay leaves, small native leaves or flower petals to make 12 qintus (Read more about qintus on How A Shaman Prays)
  • Fine Sea Salt for Purification
  • Seed of the Soul Journey
  • Seeds
  • Potted Soil, Garden or Earth for planting seeds
  • Candle for Creating Sacred Space

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. Lighting a candle is a simple way to enter into ceremony. We transition from our ordinary routine and shift to a space that feels sacred.

Another practice that helps prepare us for ceremony is purification. A simple purification ritual can be created by rubbing your dry hands together with fine sea salt 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 your intentions for the upcoming year.

What are your dreams and visions?
What is the calling from the seed of your Soul?
What is the highest prayer you hold for our planet? For humanity?
What would the highest manifestation of your Soul feel like? 

Place your hands over your heart. Close your eyes as your gaze turns inward. Breathe into your heart as you hold your dreams, visions and seeds of your Soul. This is what you will offer in ceremony surrendering your intent to Spirit.

There are a number of ways to participate so notice what calls to you:

  • If you have joined ceremony online, a qintu with your name will be offered to the despacho with the intention of holding the highest manifestation of your dreams and visions
  • A picture of the despacho will be posted into which you can blow in your intentions, dreams, visions with your exhale, sending them into the image of the despacho with your breath and intent
  • You may blow your intentions into 12 qintus which are then be buried or burned
  • You may print a copy of the despacho to hold qintus and make a despacho of your own. Place your qintus in a meaningful arrangement and add offerings such as incense, sage, tobacco, herbs, flower petals, grains, sweets or dried fruits to energetically feed your prayers. Fold your despacho into a square and tie closed with ribbon, twine or string. Do not turn your despacho over or shake in order to keep your intentions undisturbed. Your despacho is then burned or buried.
  • You can blow the intent of your dreams and visions into seeds which you will then plant in potted soil, a garden or somewhere on the Earth.
Once you have finished placing your intentions in whatever way called to you, listen to the guided meditation Letting Go of Expectations. This is a seated meditation that will help release your attachment to any outcome of how your intentions should manifest, surrendering your intent completely to Spirit.

The Despacho will be available and open for ceremony for 3 days starting on January 22nd, the day before the New Moon at 7:30 pm EST, until January 24th at 7:30 pm EST when it will be offered in a fire ceremony. You can participate on any one of these days. The Despacho will be anchored by the kuyas (stones) of my mesa which I received during rites and initiations with Shamans in the mountains of Peru.

Please share any comments or questions that arise as we create a collective intent to energize and empower each other as we step into ceremony.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Walking a spiritual path for a long time
challenges our ability to maintain
the fresh perspective of a beginner.

artwork by deviantart

artwork by deviantart

Rather than lead us to a destination,
a path returns us to wonder.
AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure of Spirit

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A despacho is a ceremonial prayer bundle from the Shamans of the Andes used for visioning, healing, dreaming and prayer. I was first introduced to the ceremony by Marcela Lobos and Alberto Villoldo years ago and have been in love ever since. Although I have created despachos for years, the ceremony was personal, done privately for family, friends or clients.

With a new book out, I set an intention last year to bring my work more deeply to the world. It was time to come out of the spiritual closet I was safely practicing in. With a nudge from Spirit I started to go public with ceremony offering the despacho to local groups and workshops.

A few short months ago I extended an invitation to ceremony online. I started with skepticism. The work of ceremony is at the energetic, beyond time, space and form. We do not need to sit side by side to meet in ceremony. Our collective intent is our meeting ground but was bringing this sacred ceremony to social media venturing into forbidden territory?

Some intentions brought to that first online ceremony were to reach a wider audience with my fan page, step more fully into my power and move from needing to be physically present with the work I do. Having spent over 25 years with my hands on people for healing the last one is a big shift.

Three New Moons have passed. My online page has grown from near 100 fans to over 500. I am teaching “The Art of Self Care” in a virtual classroom for the very first time. And what has truly astounded me is the powerful community of medicine women, shamans and priestesses that have magically found their way to connect through this online matrix. I cannot connect the dots that brought us together from different walks of life to create a Sacred Lodge of Sisters, yet this support has been essential in growing my reach. Truly an answer from Spirit to a call from the despacho.

If we want to make a difference, if we want to be uplifted, we cannot do this alone. It takes a community. Through these virtual realms I have received support, love, guidance and wisdom. This Sacred Lodge is a divine intervention, one I never could have imagined on my own. This my friends is the work of Spirit.

And I am excited to be able to share this community with you. For when we gather under the dark of the Moon, to offer our dreams to the despacho, my Sacred Lodge Sisters are gathering too. Gathering around fires, in sweat lodges, in prayer and meditation. We are not alone. We were never meant to do it alone. There is power in community. And I am so grateful to have you here, as a part of this ever growing, uplifting and inspiring virtual community.

AHO my friends! AHO!

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