December 20, 2015: Winter Solstice Gifting for the Year Ahead.
At the beginning of this month, we wanted to give to the community, and a personal Despatcho for each of you for the year ahead was the dream. Also, Eagle flew into our consciousness to pick us up under her wings and fly through sacred fire, taking our community and world prayers to spirit.
A beautiful branch suggested to me that it could be the wings of Eagle. Originally I thought to make a small papier mache eagle, but this branch said otherwise. The size of the curving maple branches resulted in an Eagle with a wingspan of eight feet. Over several days, the branches turned themselves into Eagle, the body woven from red osier dogwood twigs, eventually covered in papier mache. A hollow was left to hold prayers in the heart of Eagle.
Then, we made dozens of little packages, the way Despatchos are in Peru when you buy them from the shaman store in the Andean villages. Each ingredient...sugar, spices, beans, confetti... is parcelled up in newspaper, so you open the Despatcho kit bag, and each little parcel is a tiny gift. Anyway, that is how it felt to us, so we spent a few hours making these delicious kits, one for each participant in the festivities.
On the celebration day, Eagle flew upstairs wating for the written prayers, while downstairs people worked with their personal Despatchos.
Once each of these were made, the group went to fire, placing individual Despatchos in the Solstice blaze. Lastly, we flew Eagle down to the pit and with ceremony released it to the flames, sending prayers to the Hannaqpacha.