Cacao has been used for 1,000s of years by indigenous communities of Central and South America for spiritual and medicinal purposes as a healer and revealer of truth. Its scientific name is Theobroma which translated means “Food of the Gods”. It is a heart medicine which gently opens you up to experience inner peace, awakening, healing and a pathway to manifesting your intentions. In ceremony, Cacao allows us to pause from logical reasoning to listen to the whispers of our hearts, assisting us in releasing physical and emotional blockages, healing old wounds, letting go of what no longer serves us and really connecting
in with ourselves so we can follow our inner wisdom and ignite our creativity. Best of all Cacao opens our hearts to give and receive unencumbered love.
Cacao ceremonies are becoming popular in yoga communities worldwide because of Cacao's powerful ability to accelerate us yogis in gently awakening to our true nature.
What to Expect from a Cacao Ceremony with Me?
The format of ceremonies differ depending on the background of who you are working with. Some ceremonies are a full on ecstatic dance party while others are in stillness.
In my ceremonies we begin by opening sacred space using various smudges and grounding through a guided meditation. I incorporate shamanic principles of honouring Mother Earth and the spirit of the Cacao plant while focusing on the self. Comprised of a circle, we may do some very, very gentle heart opening postures (stretches) on the floor, we discuss the origins and benefits of Cacao, how to work with her on our journeys and then expressing gratitude and setting individual intentions, we ceremonially drink our Cacao together and sometimes sing songs/mantras to welcome the Cacao into our bodies (do not worry if you do not want to sing you do not have to:) I then lead you into a deep space where you can meet the spirit of Cacao and receive her guidance. I use shamanic drumming and singing bowls to assist us on our journey as well as recorded sound. I also go around the circle giving individual Reiki and Pranic energy healing during ceremony and remain available after ceremony to support you in whatever may arise.
You will leave feeling nourished, grounded and loved - itt may feel like peaceful bliss or you may be bursting with energy. Either way you will have love to share with your family, friends and strangers...that is the magic of Cacao.
To Prepare for a Ceremony?
You should avoid caffeine, dairy and big meals prior to a ceremony and stop eating at least 2 hours prior to ensure you receive the maximum benefits of Cacao. And let your facilitator know if you are taking MAOIs, have a heart condition or pregnant or breastfeeding. Cacao is not out of the picture for you but you may have to adjust your dose.
Benefits of Cacao Plant?
Here is the plentiful goodness you find in raw Cacao:
1. Anandamide - known as the "bliss molecule", the word "Ananda" is sanskrit and means happiness. It is a cannaboid naturally produced in our bodies and improves our mood when attached to neurotransmitters with similar therapeutic effects of THC. It influences physiological systems such as pain, appetite regulation, pleasure and reward. And for the wannabe mommas and poppas - Anandamide has shown to play a fundamental part in ovulation, fetal implantation an is key for fetal development during the first weeks of gestation. (source: https://www.kalapa-clinic.com/en/what-is-anandamide/)
With my womb healing practises and teachings, you can imagine how delighted I was to this, it is no coincidence why I feel so connected to this plant!
2. Theobromine - promotes the release of dopamine bringing about feelings of arousal; with cognitive enhancement properties it improves our focus and concentration. Similar to caffeine in its mood enhancing effects, it is longer lasting (up to 7.5 hours) and much milder - it will not cause the jitters like coffee does. Theobromine is also contained in natural mood enhnacers, Guarana and Yerba Mate.
4. Magnesium - regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, increasing the flow of healing oxygen to our organs and tissues, assisting us with balanced energy, healthy sleeping patterns and general well being.
4. Flavanoids - natural antioxidants which protect us from disease. Cacao contains 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries.
5. Iron - Cacao is the highest plant-based source of iron known to man, at an unbelievable 7.3mg per 100g. Compare to beef and lamb at 2.5mg, and spinach at 3.6mg.
6. Calcium - Cacao has more calcium than cow’s milk, at 160mg per 100g vs only 125mg per 100ml of milk.
Cacao also contains Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Potassium, Phosphorus and vitamin B12.
NOTE: You do not need to know the properties of Cacao to experience their benefits. Working with plant medicines is an experiential process, it is not intellectual. If you try to work with plants using your brain instead of your heart you will miss the awakening and healing effects they are intended to provide us.
How is Cacao Different than Chocolate?
Cacao is chocolate in its raw form. When heated to a high temperature, raw Cacao becomes chocolate but unfortunately alot of the amazing benefits of raw Cacao disappear through this process. Raw Cacao is processed from plant to bean, to fermenting (that's if you are getting high quality, cheaper quality skips the fermenting process because it adds at least 5 extra days to the process), to toasting, to peeling, to grinding the beans into a paste. That is the end of the raw Cacao process and from there to make chocolate you'd add sugar, milk, fat, etc. during the heating process.
And just like chocolate comes in varying qualities so does raw Cacao so it is best to ask about the source of the Cacao you are journeying with.
If you feel so inclined to join a Cacao ceremony check out my events page to see what is coming up!
With love and light,