How a Despacho Ceremony Can Cleanse and Release Your Fears

despacho ceremony

I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, all I knew is that I was excited. I walked up to the door of a little house in Venice, California and was greeted by Colleen, a Shamanic Energy Practitioner.

In her hands she had a sacred feather and a bunch of sage. She greeted me warmly and instructed me to hold my arms out. She started saging my aura and even cleansed the bottom of my feet. I am going to like her I thought, she is thorough.

When I entered the room I was blown away with how beautiful everything looked. The ceremony “ingredients” were laid out like a piece of artwork and included everything from candies to flowers.

despacho ceremony

There were about 10 of us there, some had participated in the ceremony before, and some like me, were new.

We all sat in a circle around the beautiful set up and Colleen started welcoming us to the ceremony.

Instantly I was blown away by the electric energy radiating from Colleen’s aura. She was in her element, and you could tell that conducting this ancient Peruvian ceremony was something she had done in many lifetimes before.

Colleen explained that the Despacho is an ancient ritual designed to help you release things. Despacho ceremonies can also be used to manifest things, but seeing as this was a Full Moon, the theme of the night was going to be about release.

A traditional Despacho ceremony takes hours, but in order to introduce the practice to the modern world, Colleen had adapted it into a shorter and more accessible ritual. She explained-

“I honour the teachings of Peru’s native Shamans, The Q’ero, who inhabit the Sacred Valley of Macchu Picchu by explaining a 50,000 year-old healing technique in a way that can be used in a practical, palatable and digestable manner by all that attend. I also like to incorporate elements of my #pastlife as a fashion designer and stylist by decoration and theme to celebrate each Despacho. When honouring The Snow Moon all the elements used to decorate and in the ceremony were white: rose petals, gummy bears, marshmallows, chocolate, drawing paper, seasalt, birch wood, sugar, flour, doile etc.”

Colleen instructed us to take one of the beautiful items that were laid out in front of us, state what we want to release and then using the power of the breath, blow into the item three times before dropping it into the middle of the circle.

“Shamans believe that energy can be transmuted through the elements: earth, air, fire, water, metal, wood etc.” shared Colleen. “In a Despacho we are directly accessing the element of air and are able to move energy through the breath. The most amazing part about this practice is that the breath is always available and always with us. It’s a tool we don’t have to invest in or carry around in our yoga bag. Tips & Tricks! Lets say you had a bad day at work and you literally want to blow off some steam.  Here’s what you do! Find a natural object (meaning a crystal, stick, flower petal or paper) and blow into the object what you would like to release.  Next! Burn, bury or set this item to sea. Remember! You are returning the dense energy to the earth in an effort to transmute it into a more palatable state.  Thank the energy for its lessons and teachings, but it’s time to go.  In essence this is a type of ancient breathwork.  Ask anyone that has tried this and they will always say I don’t know why but I feel better, lighter, calmer or focused.”

As the ceremony progressed, we all started getting more and more passionate and people were releasing all sorts of things into the middle of the circle. Old self-limiting beliefs, ex boyfriends, fears of not being good enough, past pains, you name it, it all went into the middle of the circle.

despacho ceremony

After the releasing was done, there was a distinct lightness in the air, almost like a heavy purge had just taken place. You could even see it on the attendees faces, everyone looked lighter, happier and freer.

Colleen then took all the released items that were placed in the middle and wrapped them up in paper like it was a present.

She told us she was going to bury it in Mother Earth as a way to release and give back the energy. For this reason, all the items used in the Despacho ceremony were biodegradable and not harmful to wildlife.

“I am very blessed to live within walking distance of Venice Beach and the East River,” says Colleen.  I have released many Despacho’s into the sand and water.  I like to get up with my roomate, Priestess Ace, at sunrise the day after a ceremony and we bury a 2ft hole at the beach and release our Despacho. We burn after placing the Despacho in the hole. Then cover it with sand.”

After the ceremony I got a chance to chat with Colleen who has studied Shamanism for several years. She is also a gifted medium and energy healer, and does readings in both Los Angeles and New York.

Her work is some of the most respected in the business and even top publications like Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop stock Colleen’s products and interview her for about all things relating to crystals, Shamanism and more.

There was no doubt in my mind that Colleen was on to big things and was really being guided by Spirit. Even when talking to her it was like she could peer into the truth of my soul.

Since my first Despacho with Colleen, I have been to several more. Each time they are different and each time the healing was evident. I always feel lighter, I always feel brighter and I always feel at peace after doing a Despacho with her.

I believe in the value of the Despacho ceremony so much that when I was organising my retreat, I just knew I had to include it as part of the weekend and I knew I wanted Colleen to facilitate it.

Despite her incredibly busy schedule- trust me she is one in demand lady on both coasts-Colleen agreed. Yay!

colleen mccann

If you are interested in taking part of Colleen’s amazingly healing Despacho please sign on to her mailing list here:

You can also find out more about Colleen’s products and energy healing services here:

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About the author


Tanaaz is the creator of Forever Conscious. She is an intuitive astrologer and aims to use her writing to heal and inspire. She is also the author of several books including the Power of Positive Energy, Messages for the Soul, and My Pocket Mantras. She also runs online courses and in-person retreats.