A Note on the New Moon Action
The new moon is traditionally seen as a time of renewal, and our monthly New Moon Actions have always been intended as ways to focus on and renew our collective commitment to bring forth a just, thriving, and sustainable world.
This month, we’ve brought a fresh approach to the New Moon Action, giving it its own devoted email. The change will be most evident to those of you who subscribe to our email updates. We will still be sending out a monthly newsletter with the latest on all our programs in Ecuador and around the world.
Practice Sacred Reciprocity with the Earth
At the heart of many indigenous cultures is the principle that Andean peoples refer to as ayni, or “sacred reciprocity.”
One of the most enduring ceremonies expressing ayni in indigenous Andean life is the practice of making offerings, or despachos, to the Pachamama, Mother Earth.
Create Your Own Offering Ceremony
In honor of Earth Day being celebrated worldwide on April 22nd, we invite you to create your own ceremony of offering to the Pachamama:
- Gather the elements of your offering. Flowers, herbs, spices, cookies or candy (She is rumored to have quite a sweet tooth!), a poem or thank-you note you have written are all excellent items to include.
- Arrange the various elements with care on a piece of paper or cloth, then wrap up and tie with string (it’s best to use biodegradable or natural materials – or, if you prefer, skip this step).
- Give your offering to the Earth by burning it in a fire or burying it in the soil.
You can view your offering as a payment for our debt to Mother Earth; you can also view it like flowers you would give a loved one: a beautiful and unexpected gift that delights the recipient and nurtures your shared relationship.
The most important aspect of your ceremony will be the genuine love, gratitude, and care you put into each step.
Examples and Inspiration for Your Offering
Some resources we found with more information about ayni and ideas for your offering ceremony:
- “The Despacho Ceremony” by Meg Beeler at Earth Caretakers
- “Sacred Reciprocity” by Ishilta at United Religions Initiative
- Video of an Offering of the Earth ceremony from Odysseys Unlimited
- “Bolivia’s Offerings to Mother Earth” by James Ingham at BBC News
- “Giving Flowers to the Cosmos” by Oakley Gordon at Salka Wind
Share Your Experience and Suggestions
Got ideas for future New Moon Actions? Please share those with us, too!