Introduction to Ceremonial Cacao

Meet Cacao;
This sacred plant medicine has a rich history that dates back over 5000 years to Meso-American times, where it was highly revered as a  precious resource, as much as gold. The ancient ones understood the purpose of this medicine for supporting the mind, body and spirit. A plant that has so many benefits they gave it the name Theobroma Cacao, which translates to “food of the gods”. It would be used as a tool to facilitate ritual and ceremony, and given as an offering to Spirit. An energy exchange to express gratitude for the wisdom, protection and abundance received.


Fast forward to modern times, most of this connection to Cacao and our understanding of it’s true origin as a sacred plant guide was lost, as it was transformed into chocolate. However, many indigenous cultures such as the Mayans of Guatemala, continued to practice the rituals of their ancestors. The knowledge of Cacao has begun to take root and spread again, with many people feeling the call to connect with this medicine and learn about ancient traditions and the art of ritual to enrich our own lives.

WHAT IS CEREMONIAL CACAO?

It is 100% pure Cacao, with nothing added or taken away. Additionally, in order to be able to class it as “ceremonial grade”, it must be Cacao that has been grown organically and sustainably, as well as harvested and produced with deep love and respect for Cacao as a sacred plant medicine and teacher. This is usually expressed by those working with the Cacao through song and prayer and making offerings to the land, waters and sacred fire as a form of building reciprocity with the Earth.
Most chocolate that is consumed these days has been over-processed and depleted of its medicinal properties. Even “raw” Cacao has been stripped of the plant’s natural healthy fats (Cacao butter) which is vital in assisting our body’s cellular absorption of the nutrients and minerals Cacao holds. Which in case you were wondering, is a lot!

Read on to find out more about the wonderful benefits of this plant ally!

BENEFITS OF CACAO

Drinking Cacao powerfully nourishes and activates vitality (life-force) in the physical body, whilst gently opening the energetic heart space; helping us to tap into the intuitive wisdom of our bodies to awaken inner and outer awareness (consciousness).

On a physical level, after drinking Cacao we may feel an “activation” in the heart space due to the vasodilating and relaxing effects it has on our blood vessels, which can increase our blood flow up to an impressive 40%. This increase in blood flow is why we experience heightened focus and creativity after consuming Cacao.

So as the heart pumps more oxygenated blood around the body, we can not only have a sense of this action but also feel an energetic expansion within our heart. This opening effect is why Cacao is often referred to as a “heart opening” plant medicine. When used with intention in a ritual space with supportive practices, Cacao can assist us in accessing, processing and releasing suppressed emotions, which can manifest in our mind and body as anxiety, depression and pain. Whilst the emotional and psychological effects of Cacao can be truly transformational, this plant works with us in a gentle way, allowing us to connect to the core of ourselves for deeper self inquiry and authentic expression.

Cacao contains the highest amount of Magnesium than any other food source. Studies show that the majority of us are deficient in this compound which is required for many of the chemical processes in our body to properly function. Magnesium helps us to relax; supporting our recovery after exercise and improving our quality of sleep.A common thread of those who experience Cacao ritual report an ability to connect not only with themselves more easily with heightened compassion and love, but also with those around them, serving to allow more honest and open communication. This is in part due to the opening and relaxing effect as mentioned above, but also due to how Cacao stimulates activity of the neurotransmitters in our brain to release dopamine and serotonin. These chemicals play a huge part in regulating our mood, energy and perspective. Thereby inducing euphoric, blissful and optimistic states of being to help you better trust in your process; whether it be healing from trauma, unraveling years of conditioning and false beliefs to aligning yourself with your purpose and passions.

The energising effect that we experience with Cacao is a result of the theobromine it contains, which differs from caffeine in that it has a longer half-life, moving through our system more gradually. Meaning, you do not experience the jitters, anxiety and inevitable crash we are all too familiar with after consuming coffee. Yuk. This is what attributes to many people making the conscious decision to ditch their morning coffee fix in replacement for Cacao. And using this medicine to support their self regulation / explorative practices; whether that be meditation, movement, journaling or a combination.

OPENING TO CACAO

Beginning to develop a relationship with Cacao and incorporating ritual as a self care / spiritual practice can look different for everyone depending on your needs. Therefore, it may be something you feel called to integrate as daily devotional practice every morning, as a weekly check in, or attending a facilitated plant medicine ceremony. It can even be all of the above! Your practice is your practice; a solo exploration, shared with your partner / friend, or shared in community within a ceremonial container facilitated by a guide.
Creating your own Cacao ritual can really help to anchor you into your intention / focus for the day, to acknowledge what is most present within you and can powerfully affect how you show up in the world that day!

Purchase Cacao from a reputable source

Sacbe Cacao is made from Arriba Nacional Cacao beans, that have been organically and sustainably grown in the bio-diverse jungles found in north-west region of Ecuador in Esmeraldas. Dosage and preparation guidance is given on the packet to help you create the perfect cup of Cacao for your needs.

Create your own sacred spaced

Where you will not be disturbed for at least 20-30 minutes, to allow yourself enough time to fully engage in the ritual with presence, let any intuitive messages come through and feelings to be acknowledged. Creating sacred space looks different for everyone, but it can be as straightforward as lighting a candle and burning  palo santo or copal to cleanse your space / make an offering to Spirit.
Your space can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. Following your intuitive guidance to create a space that feels welcoming and peaceful for you.

Some items we suggest bringing are:
– candle- journal- tissues- cushion- water to drink- copal incense or palo santo

Brief guidance

  • Choose the mindfulness practices prior, that you wish to engage in during your Cacao ritual e.g meditation, breathwork, journaling, yoga…
  • Play appropriate music to set the tone for introspection and healing.
  • Prepare your Cacao as per the directions on the packet / with any personal preference and with love.
  • Energetically cleanse your space with the Copal or Palo Santo, around your body and your cup of Cacao.
  • Hold your cup of Cacao in both hands in front of your heart space, close your eyes and presence yourself into the moment by pouring your awareness into your centre.
  • Give thanks to the Earth, and to those involved in the process that has enabled you to receive this medicine.
  • Set your intention for drinking, based on where you intend to place your focus for the day or what you would like to receive support with. You can do this in whatever way feels most natural, either by whispering it into your cup, blowing or visualising.
  • Take slow and mindful sips in silence observing the aroma, texture and taste of the cacao.
  • Move into your chosen practices. Blow out your candle when you are finished.

Melissa Peralta conduction a cacao ceremony in a bell tent
Luzura Peralta Conducting Ceremony, at a Third Eye Event.

LEAN IN

Learn more about Cacao, ritual practice, and about upcoming offerings by following our journey on Instagram @sacbe.cacao and @thirdeyetribe__

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