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Cacao Ceremony - what to expect

Updated: Oct 29




"Isn't that just hot chocolate?" Is the most common question I get asked at my Cacao Ceremonies.


So I thought I would write a post explaining the magical medicine of ceremonial Cacao, the ins and outs of a ceremony and what to expect from your experience with Cacao!


What is Ceremonial Cacao?


Ceremonial grade or Theobroma Cacao has been used for many millennia by the indigenous plant medicine keepers of Meso America. Earliest traces of the medicine have been found in Mayan and Aztec communities, depicted as a divine beverage drunk to bring one closer to the spirit of God and open the heart.


Theobroma translates from greek to The Food of The Gods and was revered as a sacred medicine globally. In ancient Mayan the word Chokola’j roughly translates as to drink Chocolate together demonstrating the community stories and presence of love that is deeply rooted in the medicine of ceremonial Cacao.


Grown internationally around the heart of the Earth, Theobroma Cacao is also used in the manufacturing of modern day chocolate. This is not the same food as Ceremonial Cacao, not containing the rich nutrients, alkaloids and Cacao butter that makes Theobroma so nourishing for the mind, body and spirit.


How do you make Ceremonial Cacao?


Purchasing an ethically and mindfully farmed Cacao paste (I have listed my suggestions at the bottom of this article) is the first step!


Cacao paste is the raw product that is created using the beans of the Cacao fruit that are left out to dry, crushed and packaged to ship. Below is my favourite recipe for a beautiful, ceremonial beverage that can be drunk everyday!

  • 20g ceremonial Cacao (or 30-40g if partaking in a supervised ceremony!)

  • 100ml organic oat or coconut mylk

  • 100ml filtered spring water

  • 2 tsp organic maple syrup or coconut sugar

  • herbs + spices (pinch of each: black pepper, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, maca, reishi)

  • Splash of pure, organic rose water

Melt the Cacao paste gently into the mylk + water. Do not boil.

When the Cacao paste has melted, add the herbs, spices, sweetener and rose water.

Blend and serve to create a creamy and rich Cacao drink!


What is in Theobroma Cacao?


Organic, raw cacao is a superfood containing a variety of unique phytonutrients such as sulfur, magnesium and phenylethylamine. It’s a great source of monounsaturated fat, cholesterol-free saturated fat, vitamins, minerals, fibre, natural carbohydrates and protein. Cacao is also rich in;

  • Plant-based iron: 7.3mg per 100g.

  • Antioxidants: up to 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries.

  • Magnesium: a nutrient that’s important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It can also sharpen your brain while relaxing your body.

  • Calcium: more than in cow’s milk.

  • Theobromine: an alkaloid that 'opens the heart' by expanding the blood vessels.

  • Caffeine: a small amount, activated by heat and fat soluble with the Cacao butter content.

Cacao vs Cocoa


Cocoa powder is raw cacao that’s been roasted at very high temperatures and processed. Roasting and processing raw cacao changes the molecular structure of the cacao bean, reducing the enzyme content, destroying antioxidants, and reducing overall nutritional value.


Cocoa is what’s usually used to make chocolate you can buy at supermarkets and your local shops. Pay close attention when buying Ceremonial Cacao – look at the label to make sure there are no uninvited guests in the ingredient list. Only buy from a trusted, sustainable seller who values the medicinal properties of the plant medicine and the communities who farm it.


The plant spirit wisdom of Cacao


Many people feel a deep calling to connect with the Cacao Spirit. This calling can often feel like a longing for more connection, an intuitive whisper of the heart to seek community - within ourselves, one another and within Nature. Ceremonial Cacao is so much more than your regular chocolate - She exists within a spiritual dimension - a vast and cosmic intelligence that we can only perceive with the heart, the intuition and through the emotional body.


The Cacao Spirit is a keeper of ancient and sacred wisdom. Most indigenous peoples regard the Cacao Spirit as a divine feminine force - IxCacao being the traditional name for the Cacao Goddess - and associate her powers with the heart, emotional body, the voice and a way to commune with Spirit.


Mama Cacao holds within her medicine the tender vibrations of kindness, unconditional love, and joy, allowing a loving connection with yourself and others to blossom without resistance. Cacao's energy is healing, motherly and very gentle - speaking directly to the heart.


When we connect with the heart’s energy our voice may speak from a place of deeper intelligence carrying vibrations of peace.


What is a Cacao Ceremony?


When sourced ethically, prepared intentionally and drunk within a ceremonial space - cacao is a potent, and ancient, energetic medicine that exists within an elevated vibrational state of love.


A Cacao Ceremony is a sacred ancient ritual to honour the elements and spirits of Nature, to create a harmonious matrix with all living beings and express gratitude for Life itself.


A Ceremony is a way of the heart and reflects humanity's sacred connection and relationship with the land and the (un)seen worlds. Cacao Ceremonies are responding to an increasing longing for connection, ritual and ceremony in an urban environment. When offered and experienced with integrity you may feel an expanded sense of love for yourself and those around you beyond cultural, religious and political agenda.


You will have more abundant experiences if you commune with the Cacao Spirit to ask for healing energy. Speak to Her like a dear friend, share your intention, express words of gratitude and respect and ask the Spirit to assist you in your ceremony.


The Cacao Love Club is growing; people gather in Circle, with kindness, to drink a cup of Chocolate together and celebrate the life's ceremony.

If you’ve been invited to a cacao ceremony and have no idea what’s about to happen, here’s some of what you might expect. Don’t worry, you’ll be guided through every step of the way!

  1. Create a sacred space, often with an altar to the five sacred elements in the centre.

  2. Sit in a circle and share a word/sound/sentence about yourself and your intentions.

  3. Serve the cacao and pass it around the circle

  4. Honor and bless the cacao, calling in the elementals + sacred directions

  5. Drink the cacao ritually, often with a poem, spell or invocation offered.

  6. Breathwork, meditation, sound journey, dance, music – from here, it’s up to the person leading the cacao ceremony and whatever tool they prefer to use to amplify and manifest the intentions created by the participants.

  7. Close the circle – an important part of the ceremony that invites integration of the deep spaces you may have explored during your cacao journey.

  8. Hugs + love!

In a more traditional setting the Cacao healers & shamans would prepare by fasting before entering the spiritual realm of a plant. The healer shares the intention, negotiates with the plant elder & listens to what this elder expects in return. He/she makes an offering. Only then would the medicine be offered to other people.


An Invocation for Cacao


We give thanks to above, the heart of the Air

We give thanks to below, the heart of the Earth

We give thanks to the left, the heart of the Water

We give thanks to the right, the heart of the Fire

We give thanks to the front, the Spirit of Cacao

We give thanks to the back, ancestors past


As above

So below

As within

So without

As The Universe

So The Soul


Ashe - Aho - And so it is


Everyday Rituals


Cacao is a wonderful teacher to strengthen your loving relationships with yourself and with others. The Maya verb chokola’j means: to drink chocolate together. Invite your friends or a family members to sit with you and share your heart. This is the medicine that brings us closer together.


Create an everyday Cacao ritual for yourself that nourishes your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual selves - light a candle, draw an oracle card, breathe and meditate, put on some beautiful music and dance, play an instrument, sing, journal, visualise, manifest... the universe is yours!


Contraindications


Cacao is powerful and potent plant medicine. Be gentle with yourself, respectful towards the Spirit and don't waste the sacred medicine. Cacao is a diuretic and additionally helps to detoxify the body. Water (before and after) is essential to keep the energy flowing, also drink water if you feel a slight headache or slightly nauseous shortly after drinking cacao. Ceremonial doses of Cacao are not recommended for somebody who is taking antidepressants, SSRIs (Cacao contains MAO inhibitors), has a serious heart condition, has very high blood pressure or suffers with epilepsy. Raw Cacao contains Histamine - therefore pregnant women should consider taking smaller amounts. Dogs and animals should not be given raw chocolate, as they lack the enzyme to metabolize theobromine (which can be fatal).


Enjoy your new knowledge of this beautiful and abundant plant medicine! See below for my favourite Ceremonial Cacao distributors.


Ritual Cacao

Cacao Love

Keith's Cacao



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