Archive for February, 2012

I was not planning on a ceremony when I entered the woods today but that is what happened. My heart has been heavy with grief over the past few months as many things have been swept clean from my life. Lately it felt like I was coming to the other side but this morning there it was again. My heart heavy with sorrow and tears.

A walk in a nearby woods is a daily tonic. Shortly after entering this sweet nature preserve near my home (I live in the suburbs of NYC where nature is carefully doled out in parcels) a small stone seemed to light up in front of me. I picked it up and began praying. This way of praying by blowing my breath into a stone is not the way I grew up praying but one I have learned from the Shamans of Peru. This way of praying has changed my life and shaped my Soul.

I hold the stone with an endearing gratitude for taking this heavy, dense energy, or hucha from me. I spend the next half hour or so walking through the woods, blowing my breath, and my prayers into the stone, emptying the hucha of my heart. Prayers are sent by exhaling into the stone with intention. I ask the stone to hold the energetic impressions that inform my body with this grief, the patterns that have been laid down in my DNA, my cellular essence. As I keep blowing and holding an intention of clearing, tears come and tears go. Other sensations arise. Another awareness of what needs to be emptied comes through. Everything is offered to the stone. Everything is a prayer. And everything is held in gratitude. 

A man made jetty stretches into the water. For all the years I have walked here I have never ventured out. Today I do. To release the stone as deeply to the water as I can, to be cleansed and purified. It is a bit cold and a bit windy this February afternoon but the sun is shining. There is some trepidation climbing over the rocks but this effort is part of the offering, part of the exchange with Spirit.

At the jetty’s end the rock is thrown into the water with such love for the cleansing the waters offer. Thank you Mama Cocha for washing clean my sorrows. Thank you to the waters for washing me clean.

I lower myself to sit in the rocks, face turned to the Sun. Thank you to our nearest Star for informing my luminous body, informing my cellular body, informing my DNA with your light. Thank you for penetrating the darkness so my heart and mind may awaken.

Immersed in the elements I come into balance. Earth. Water. Fire. Air. I have been hollowed out a bit more deeply.

I share this not so much as a recipe for ceremony but rather as an invitation to trust the conversations with Spirit, the guidance from Nature.

For these gestures are the conversation.

These actions deepen our trust.

I did not plan a ceremony today. I have never done a ceremony exactly this way before. And this ceremony will not repeat itself in just this way again.

Is there a ceremony in your heart today?

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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After burning our Sacred Union Despacho the ashes reveal a darkness to the right, the masculine side, as well as a darkness at the base, our connection to Mother Earth, Pachamama. A lesser darkness appears at the level of the belly or womb. It reveals areas not in harmony and balance with each other. Where actions and intent of masculine energy are in conflict with the connection to Mother Earth and wisdom of the womb.

This wounding plays out individually as well as collectively. The collective wound shows up in the soaring price of oil for instance. This non-renewable resource straight from the womb of Mother Earth is being depleted. The resultant action is to raise the price of gasoline. Is this action in right relationship to Mother Earth? Surely not a relationship of harmony or balance.

We can become disheartened and feel powerless if we see ourself simply in relationship to the oil company believing there is nothing we can really do to make a difference. But the truth is this relationship is also being played out somewhere in ourself. Where we are creating abuse? Where can we clean up our own act? Where are we out of balance?

As each individual does their own personal healing work it creates a change in the actions and behaviors that we bring to the world. It is each individual making those changes that begins to change the collective. It is not about going out and having to battle with the oil company per se but rather healing our own wounds, the places where we are not in right relationship with our Earth Mother. It is not a time to delude ourselves into feeling we are enlightened but rather to finding within what needs to be healed.

Looking to the relationship with our own physical body is a place to start our personal healing work. Just as Pachamama is a physical manifestation of divine feminine energy, so too is our physical body. Where is it we may be neglecting our body, abusing our body, polluting our body, harming our body? When we heal the relationship with our physical body we bring ourselves into right relationship with our physical Earth. The actions we take are then in harmony with the world in which we live.

This is what the ashes tell us.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Artist Alice Popkorn

Artist Alice Popkorn

When the needs of the heart go unmet, the pain can be excruciating. In order to cope with feelings that overwhelm or threaten survival, elaborate strategies are constructed to compensate. A common tactic to insure survival is to abandon our own heart in an illusionary attempt to avoid the pain we feel. Maybe if I pretend I have no heart it won’t hurt so much. We lose a part of our vital life force energy. A loss of our Soul occurs.

If we fear that what we need we will not receive, our efforts are used to keep the feelings of our heart under control. We learn to manipulate the emotions of others in order to get what we want, inflict guilt or shame to coerce another to get the love and attention we seek. We learn to smile without any feeling for a false sense of approval. This begins an interplay of how our masculine energy of action and will meets our feminine energy of emotion and feeling.

This coping strategy is similar to a software program in that it downloads information into the hard drive of the physical body. In response to the vibrations of the program, the body will shape itself in a certain way. Anger, bitterness, despair, despondency vibrate at much lower frequencies and create a density in the body as compared to the higher vibrations of love, gratitude and compassion. If we are attempting to control our rage or sorrow, enormous tensions are required in muscles and tissues to restrain these energies and keep them from flowing. Constrictions may be noted in and around the heart, chest and jaw. Our movements may be become stiff or painful. The energy demands required to keep ineffective coping strategies running are tremendous and place excessive strain on our organs. All systems in our body are affected; digestion, respiratory, immune, musculoskeletal. These tensions and knots that initially serve to suppress pain in our body and numb what we are feeling ultmately become perpetrators to the pain they are looking to avoid.

We are often blind to the awareness that these programs are even running.

Artist Kevron

Artist Kevron

When we step into ceremony we are essentially updating our software progams. We are setting in motion, through our intention and work with the divine intelligence of Spirit, different programs that are ultimately downloaded into our physical body. Our body begins to restructure itself to organize around this new information. This is not always comfortable. We are birthing into the unknown. And like any birth it can come with pain. You may notice aches, pains or stiffness that arise out of nowhere, and just as randomly disappear. Disturbances of sleep and digestion can be common. Having a physical practice is so supportive, especially during this time of rebalancing. Any practice that uses intentional movement or integrates energy with movement of the physical body, such as yoga, tai chi, dance, martial arts, is so important with ceremony work because we are ultimately affecting changes in the physical body.

The healing tonic of a walk in Nature cannot be underestimated.

Emotional and mental agitations may increase as energy moves and shifts. Meditation is essential to help bring stillness to these waters. It allows us to ride these waves of turbulence as a witness rather than being swallowed whole and consumed by them. Diva Carla, Sacred Lodge Sister of We the Women, is generously sharing two healing meditations for women and men taking part in the New Moon Sacred Union Despacho. These rituals support your process of integration and are resources for sexual empowerment. For women she offers the recording of a Women’s Self-Love Ritual connecting a woman to her Sacred Feminine Power Source at the center of the Wheel of Life. For Men she offers the gift of the King’s Self-Love meditation, which connects a man to his inner masculine fire, the archetypes of Mars and Jupiter and the relationship to the Sacred Feminine. There is medicine for women to hear the men’s meditation and for men to also hear the women’s meditation. Give yourself the gift of these meditations as you integrate the powerful work of this ceremony.

Let us recognize not only the sacredness of ceremonial work but the divine interconnection this creates with all of our being, especially the divine temple in which we reside.

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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Each name is blown into a qintu, a prayer holder of three bay leaves, offered to the despacho with intention and prayer. During this time, a prayer song arises through the collective voices of each Soul called to ceremony. Here is the prayer from the offerings of our Sacred Union Despacho…

We come with good heart, with good intention,

For healing the energies of the Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine.

May they be brought to right relationship

So harmony, beauty and balance reign supreme.

May the seeds of self love awaken heart,

Awaken mind,

So we may elevate to the highest frequencies of Love

As we walk fearlessly

to the call of our Divine purpose,

Anchored and grounded deeply in your belly Pachamama

Through a strong and tender heart. 


Sacred Union Despacho full of Prayers and Offerings

Sacred Union Despacho full of Prayers and Offerings

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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~Welcome to the New Moon Despacho Ceremony for February~

Thank you,
Thank you,
Thank you,
Great Spirit.
We stand humbly before you
as your sons and daughters
to plant the seeds of self love
under the dark of Mama Killa,
Grandmother Moon.
Teach us the ways of the heart. 
Guide our Sacred Masculine and Sacred Feminine
to balance and unity from within.
May the clarity of an awakened mind
merge with the intelligence of our emotional waters
to inform our actions from our deepest knowings.
May we be of fearless service with a tender heart
in this time of walking upon Pachamama.



(Click on Image to Enlarge)

~Create Sacred  Space~

~Perform Purification Ritual~

~Blow Personal Intentions of Self Love and Healing
to Rebalance Heart and Mind into Image of Despacho~

You may wish to create a ceremony for yourself
by offering your intentions into seeds or qintus, see below

~Blow Personal Intentions of Self Love and Healing into 4 Qintus~

~Blow Personal Intentions of Self Love and Healing into Seeds~ 

~Plant Seeds of Intention in Garden or Potted Soil~

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

~Attitude of Gratitude Meditation~

~Close Ceremony with a Prayer of Thanks~


Elements of Despacho: The two circles symbolize union as their shapes intertwine with each other. The masculine is represented on the right where it energetically resides in our bodies. White flowers indicate the heavens, celestial spirits and Apus or Mountains as we hold the spiritual masculine as residing above. To the left the feminine is held in red flowers symbolic of the blood of Pachamama, Mother Earth, as we are spiritually held from the feminine below. Within each circle is a seed of the other as shown by the red flowers of the feminine in the white flowers of the masculine and vice versa. A feather sits in the masculine representing Air and Spirit while a shell representing water and Earth resides in the feminine. Red and white candles in each circle symbolize the Sacred Fires of Passion that burn within the heart of the masculine and feminine. All four elements are symbolized and brought to balance, Earth, Air, Water and Fire. At the heart of our despacho is a bed of tobacco and sugar to hold our intentions which sit in the shell in the center, our intention to plant seeds of self love and bring internal balance and harmony to our Sacred Masculine and Feminine, heart and mind. Two small figures of a man and a woman sit inside the shell. A wreath of rosemary surrounds the flowers.

Once all names and intentions have been placed in the despacho a variety of offerings will feed our prayers before being fold and tied like a gift. A forgotten prayer holder will be attached outside. 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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Iva Peele, a Sacred Lodge Sister from We The Women, is currently creating The Road to Q’ero: A Journey Home, a film of the ceremonies and teachings from where our despacho ceremony is from. She receives messages directly from Lorenzo, a Q’ero paqo mesayoq, or shaman priest of the Andes. He speaks of the despacho in this way. “The most important ingredient in an offering is the feeling of love that comes out of your heart. The material ingredients can be things like fruit, flowers and incense. Let’s start this journey by becoming better friends with the mountains and opening our hearts.”

Despacho Ceremony in the Apus (Mountains)

Despacho Ceremony in the Apus (Mountains)

I fall in love with every despacho I make. And it is love that holds each and every one of you in this ceremony. I love and honor the call of your Soul that brought you here. I love and honor the leap of faith that each one of you makes just by showing up with your intention. I love your heartfelt desire to awaken your connection to Spirit, to deepen your connection to the knowing of your own heart. This takes tremendous courage, to walk fearlessly in the direction of a wide open heart.

As we weave our virtual tribe from one heart to another I share a message to inspire us on this journey from Sacred Lodge Sister, Carla Goddard. Take a moment to listen to her Message for 2012 from a journey with the fire. Let us hold each other in love as we set our hearts right, or in the words of the shaman, restore ayni. For when our hearts are in right relationship from within, we are then able to create that in the world around 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 harmonize and integrate our Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine. We ceremonially offer our intentions to bring Sacred Union to heart and mind and plant the seeds of self love so our actions may be informed from our deep knowing and our life may shape itself from the deepest expressions of our heart. 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:

  • 16 bay leaves, small native leaves or flower petals to make 4 qintus (Read more about qintus on How A Shaman Prays)
  • Fine Sea Salt for Purification
  • Seeds for Planting
  • Potted Soil, Garden or Mother Earth
  • 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 turn your attention inward. Bring both hands together over your heart center (middle of your chest). Close your eyes. Breathe into your heart. Let your attention rest here as you hold the intention of bringing together in sacred union the highest expression of your Sacred Feminine and Sacred Masculine essence. This is a union of heart and mind.

What is the highest manifest vision of your heart?
What does a heart full in self love feel like?
What might your walk in the world look like if your actions were informed by the highest expression of your heart?

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 at the event page on facebook or through the blog, a qintu with your name is offered to the despacho with the intention of creating a Sacred Union of our Divine Feminine and Masculine essence to rebalance heart and mind and plant the seeds of self love.
  • A picture of the despacho will be posted into which you can blow in your own personal intentions with your exhale, sending them into the image of the despacho with your breath and intent.
  • You may blow your intentions into 4 qintus which are then 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 your personal intentions and seeds of self love into seeds which are planted in potted soil, a garden or somewhere on the Earth.
Once you have finished placing your intentions in whatever way calls to you, listen to the guided meditation Attitude of Gratitude. This will awaken a sacred awareness of your body and cultivate a feeling of thanks and appreciation. This takes place while lying on your back. If time is not available at ceremony, listen before dreamtime.

The Despacho will be available and open for ceremony for 3 days starting on February 2oth, the day before the New Moon at 7:30 pm EST, until February 22nd at 7:30 am EST when it will be offered in a fire ceremony. You can participate during any of these times. The Despacho will be anchored by the kuyas (stones) of my mesa received during rites and initiations from Shamans in the mountains of Peru.

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

AHO my friends! AHO!

Karen Chrappa
Author of A Structure for Spirit

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