Each Cacao Ceremony is a unique co-creation of the energies brought by each participant and the potent spirit of Cacao.
A cacao ceremony is a shamanic healing practice and one of the oldest holistic healing practices used in Indigenous cultures all around the world.
So let me take you on a journey of cacao and how you can use it in your everyday life to create a very beautiful and spiritual ritual. Plus, I will explain to you how to make the perfect cacao.
Introductions to a cacao ceremony
Cacao Ceremony Highlights include:
Invocation & Gratitude to the Energy & Spirit of Cacao
Opening Blessing for the Energy of the Ceremony
Meditation & Peace Mantras
Live Music for Ceremony
Yoga, Qigong & other movement practices
Sound Healing Journey
Go deep into your heart’s essence as you uncover the beauty that is within
Feel yourself blossom into the highest expression of your truth
Opportunity to integrate your experience
Put intention or sing into it while cutting the cacao
Say thank you
Connection with what you have / who you are / what you want
Sacred food for the heart, the spirit, the mind, the body
Cacao is love
Spirituality is not a competition. It’s not about who knows less or who knows more, it is about who respects the most. If you have respect the spirit will speak to you, the grandparents, ancestors, will guide you.that is the guidance you’ll receive with the connection from your heart with your mind
But before all of this, the 1st step is to understand and experiment with cacao.
What is cacao and the benefits?
The raw cacao is a top superfood and is an ultra-potent source of nutrients and minerals. It is packed with some of the following chemicals that are bound to make you feel happier:
Serotonin: we all know this as the happy chemical for our brains. Cacao contains serotonin and also tryptophan, which helps to stimulate serotonin production
Tyrosine: this is the precursor to dopamine, which leaves us feeling motivated with concentration
Anandamide: this is what gives you a euphoric feeling when you drink it
Phenethylamine: known as the love chemical! It helps to boost your mood and increase focus
MAO inhibitors: this ensures your body is utilising all the goddess you put into it
As you can see, many amazing benefits from cacao.
How to prepare your own cacao
A disclaimer before I start - this is the way I prepare Ceremonial Cacao and I make no claims to it being definitive.
My method has been developed through conversations with other practitioners, information I’ve gathered online and a healthy dose of trial and error. I’m pretty sure that some of what I describe here will be deemed bad practice by some people.
The Recipe to prepare the Cacao for our Cacao Ceremony:
What do you need:
40g chopped cacao or cacao powder (about 4 tbsps depending on your sensitivity) for first time use (up ~60g about 6tbsps if you know you’re resistant to the effects of cacao)
Between 100 and 140ml of hot water (not boiling) depending on how thick or thin you like it (you can still add water after)
Hand milk Frother
Optional: pinch of sea salt / pinch of cinnamon and/or cardamom and/or vanilla to taste
After tasting, if you want, add a little healthy sweetener (not more than 1/2 of teaspoon): local honey or coconut sugar
How to prepare it:
Boil water in a kettle or pan (and wait a little bit for it to cool down to ~70/80 c degrees). It should be just too hot to the touch but not boiling
Put water in your cup
Add the cacao shavings or powder
Optional add spices: pinch of sea salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and/or vanilla to taste
Use your hand milk frother to stir the brew until it's all blended and you get a frothy top
Try it unsweetened as Cacao is traditionally enjoyed without sweetener, Cacao’s bitter medicine is good for us. But for those who are new, the rich taste can be surprising! (I personally love it pure). If you'd like then they can add 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey or coconut sugar
It’s helpful to have a spoon or stirring stick to keep the consistency even as you consume. The cacao will settle at the bottom over time. Serve hot & enjoy the ceremony
The Ceremonial Grade Cacao Brand: I recommend it for our Cacao Ceremony. It's a ceremonial grade cacao and already in powder is easier - OrchardSt.
Don’t mix your cacao with cow's milk (or soy). Many of us Westerners are accustomed to hot chocolate, chocolate milk, or milk chocolate that it seems natural to mix the cacao with milk or soy milk for that creaminess we’re accustomed to.
But don’t do this! Milk and soy interfere with the absorption of the cacao, and that can dampen the effects. If you feel that you need some kind of added “milk”, consider coconut milk, which shouldn’t interfere with absorption as do milk and soy.
What is cacao used for?
The ceremonial cacao has allowed me to experience life fully. This is because the plant medicine is for the Heart Chakra. I am a big believer that this allows for more peace, joy and love in the world around us.
What is ceremonial grade cacao?
Cacao beans have been recognised for centuries for the potent heartfelt power among the indigenous tribes of Central America.
A superfood containing a complex mix of vitamins and aminos, Cacao helps to facilitate powerful transformation by accessing the heart center and deepening one’s connection to spirit.
Cacao is a facilitator that brings you to the doors of perception, allowing you to work with your shadows or to step into your own power and gifts. We are honored to have access to this special plant medicine grown in small quantities in the highlands of Guatemala.
For each Cacao Ceremony we set intention to cultivate spiritual purification, deep connection and expansion!
What is the difference between the ceremonial cacao and the powder? Read more about this here!
Cacao for your morning ritual
When you give yourself the time and space to nourish, sit down and enjoy a beautifully prepared cacao - it really is a mindful experience. It allows you to strip back all the distractions and be present with your own self.
Of course, you don’t need cacao to have this experience and can experience it just as easily with a morning tea, coffee or glass of water. But as listed above, cacao has some beautiful benefits, which work best experienced in the morning.
If you want to experience a cacao practice solo, let me take you through the process of a morning ritual using cacao.
Opening the space:
It is all about making it different from your everyday practices. Choosing a space that is sacred and one you can settle into. Tidy your space and make it as distraction-free as possible. Look to light a candle, diffuse some essential oils and even bring some nature into your space. Take some deep breaths and bring yourself into the space.
Then you might want to start expressing your gratitude and bring yourself from consciousness into a space of opening up your heart to the world. Connect with the cacao and with the elements (fire, water, air, earth, ether). You can say simple phrases like:
“I am grateful for…”
“I am so thankful that…”
If you are struggling on that practical day - be curious.
Set an intention:
You can also set an intention for the day. This is a way to connect with your higher self and is a good way to ask what you need.
“My intention for the day is…”
“Today I will…”
“Today I need…”
Once you have set the intention, you take a sip of the cacao mindfully and bring awareness to the sensations you feel in your body! Then you can meditate, journal, read or stretch - fill you creative side.
Closing the space:
Close off in whatever way feels special to you. Sing a song, say a prayer, bring your hands to your heart, give yourself a hug. Welcome in the day and then you are ready in a beautiful loving, compassionate and energetic way!
My experience with cacao
The first time I drank ceremonial cacao was one evening in Pantanal in Brazil in 2007. It was via a ceremony around the fire camp with my friends. It was a magical night sleeping in a hammock under a beautiful sky full of stars.
Since then, I’ve worked with Ceremonial cacao as a sacred medicine. During this time I’ve been asked a number of times about the best way to prepare cacao for drinking.
Cultivate a relationship with your heart and the medicine of chocolate through a mindful daily practice or joining a cacao ceremony!
Holding a cacao or having your own cacao ceremony is an experience that can be very healing and bring in beautiful energy to your body.
It firstly requires you to buy the right type of cacao and for you to understand the beautiful benefits of cacao.
Get your cacao and start bringing in a practice on your own or with the beautiful sisters in your life.