Sacred Healing: The Peruvian Despacho

The best gift you can give your partner

is to dress like his parents

and apologize.

@BisHilarious tweet


My heart is overflowing from the happiest and most memorable Valentine’s week of my entire life–no sex involved!  With an expanded view of love beyond romance, there was so much to celebrate: cozy dinners with neighbors and friends, thoughtful surprises of gifts and flowers, dance parties with fun people, and most meaningful of all, a very unusual Valentine’s party my daughter and I attended.

A Powerful Goddess Shaman decided to avoid unnecessary angst and disappointment Valentine’s can bring when our beloved fails to show or deliver what we expect. She hosted a beautiful Peruvian Despacho Ceremony with her favorite people to affirm how we are the true source of unconditional love and healing. My daughter and I were moved to tears as we explained every element we chose to be part of the artwork we created for each other. This most touching experience made me felt seen by loving eyes, grateful to be blessed and bless in turn. My daughter said, “I’ve never cried so much tears of joy!”

Despacho is a Spanish word for “dispatch” or “shipment.”  It is a symbolic offering of your prayers for support, thanksgiving,  desires and blessing. The ceremony can be performed individually or as a group, a most meaningful celebration for birthdays, weddings, memorials, milestones and life transitions. A despacho is similar to a mandala or sacred creation in that it holds symbolic elements and the prayers of the participants for whatever concerns them: relationships, finances, health, career, etc. As the shaman adds elements to the despacho, it becomes a living prayer that brings energy shifts and healing.

To create your own, begin with a large piece of white paper that will serve as the wrapping for all of your offerings. Choose each ingredient you add for its significance and bless it with a prayer or intention before positioning it harmoniously with the other symbols at the center of the paper. Include elements to signify fire, earth, water and air. Examples:

Soil for the feeling of being grounded and secure

Sugar and candy to bring sweetness and love

Corn and grains to symbolize growth and nourishment

Flowers for beauty, joy and love

Arrange your symbolic items with great care and beauty on the paper. Take your time thinking of what else can symbolize what you are praying for.

When your mandala is complete, fold the paper and tie up the bundle beautifully. You can ceremoniously burn your creation to let your intention become part of the air, bury it in the earth to compost for new endeavors, or release it into a river as a symbol of letting go of your desires as they become part of nature’s flow of energy.


Choose the symbols then assemble your Despacho at the center of a sheet of square paper


This Romeo could not resist tasting the sweets I chose to symbolize joy, fun and play for my daughter’s mandala


She cried on my lap as I explained the symbolism of each element I chose for the artwork I dedicated to her


Wrap your creation beautifully before burning, burying or releasing into a body of water


Click on “Leave a Comment” (top left) to share what symbols you might choose for your Despacho.


Give the women you love the most unique gift

of elegant and timeless portraits

with  a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Woman

Ala Anna Karenina

My mother never breastfed me–

she said she only

liked me as a friend.

Rodney Dangerfield


While I admire Anna Karenina’s fashion sense, I stand on the opposite side of the tracks in my belief that there is absolutely no man worth dying for. But for a daughter who is joy and beauty inside and out? Let’s talk…

This Powerful Goddess dedicates her portraits to her mom and best friend, the woman who chose 8 months of bed rest when doctors foretold that with her advanced age and history of miscarriage, she would never carry a baby to term. Certainly not the first (nor last) underestimation of a woman’s courage to choose life, yes?

In this Anna Karenina inspired concept to honor her Russian heritage, this Powerful Goddess proudly wears her mother’s green eyes and a touch of her Asian features.  With her mother’s elegant hands, she writes, “My mom taught me to be kind, honest, and caring, to value life and family above all. I never keep secrets from her knowing that she doesn’t judge and will always be supportive. She gave me the ability to see beauty wherever I go. I admire her tenderness and strength, her wisdom, and her naiveté in loving fully and giving generously. I owe her my life and so much more. I love, you, Mama!”

Sniff, sniff! May all our daughters be as appreciative of us…

Click on “Leave a Comment” to share what you love best about the woman who chose life for you.

Happiest Mother’s Day to all and the Happiest Birthday Ever to my gorgeous Anna Karenina!








Give the women you love the most unique gift of elegant and timeless portraits

with a Powerful Goddess portrait session Gift Certificate:

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards

 © Sharon Birke

201 697 1947

Glamour Portraits of the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Very Koi Body Painting

It is a paradox of creativity that

we must get serious about taking ourselves lightly.

We must work at learning to play.  

Julia Cameron

“The Artist’s Way” by  Julia Cameron  recommends a weekly “artist date” to continually replenish our reservoir of creativity before we dredge a dried out bottom and feel stuck, blocked, or uninspired.   An artist date is any activity that’s fun, enjoyable, akin to childlike play and exploration.  My inner artist happens to be an uptown girl so for a recent artist date, I had to drag her kicking and screaming over the Brooklyn bridge to the new body painting studio of Danny Setiawan of (he’s matching me in red below.)  And, Goddess, was she glad I did!

Models patiently stood/sat through a couple hours of being a human canvas–whoever wasn’t comfortable being topless covered her front torso with a scarf or halter top .  My inner artist had not touched a brush in months.  She quickly got carried away painting the biggest koi fish possible, extending the design all over my model’s forearms and the contours of her voluptuous body.  After 3 hours of painting punctuated by fits of laughter and dancing, my model and I squeezed into the studio’se tiny bathroom where a wall of painted curls and swirls provided a matching graphic backdrop.  The perfect souvenir for a most memorable afternoon.

Add body painting to your possibilities for playdates and unique gift ideas.  Make a party out of it and ask Danny to bring his art to your venue!

Where will you take your inner artist on your next date?

© Sharon Birke

Photography for the Goddess in Every Wife & Mother

Powerful Goddess is a trademark of DoubleSmart LLC

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