I was introduced to Ceremonial Cacao by a dear friend who invited me to an online Cacao Ceremony she was facilitating a couple of years ago during lockdown. I joined knowing nothing about Cacao; I left mesmerised by the history, nutritional properties and psycho-emotional benefits of this incredible elixir. Keep reading if you want to know more about Cacao and how you can incorporate it in your self-care practice for mental clarity, relaxation, creativity and emotional balance.
THE ORIGINS OF CACAO
Ceremonial cacao has been used for centuries by indigenous cultures in Central and South America for spiritual, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes.
The latin name of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods''. Cacao held an incredibly high value because of its reverent and mystic connotation.
There are many artefacts, artwork and texts showing the Mayan & Aztecs trading Cacao as currency. In Aztec culture, cacao beans were more valuable than gold because of its nutritional & psycho-emotional properties.
WHAT’S CEREMONIAL CACAO?
Ceremonial cacao, also known as cacao paste or ceremonial-grade cacao, is a pure form of chocolate made from the beans of the Theobroma cacao tree.
Unlike the processed chocolate you find in modern chocolate bars, ceremonial cacao is minimally processed and retains its natural properties. It contains theobromine, a gentle stimulant that provides a sense of euphoria, and other active compounds that can promote mental clarity, relaxation, and heart-opening experiences.
IS CEREMONIAL CACAO LIKE HOT CHOCOLATE?
Not exactly. Cacao used in a Cacao Ceremony is different from regular chocolate you find at the supermarket. Unlike what you might expect, it doesn’t taste anything like hot chocolate, so it might shock you when you first try it.
Ritual cacao is made from ground cacao beans, water, a tiny bit of honey or maple syrup all mixed into a liquid. The taste is a bit bitter but naturally high in iron, magnesium and B-complex vitamins.
WHAT'S A CACAO CEREMONY?
A cacao ceremony is a gathering or ritual that involves the ceremonial use of cacao, typically in its pure and unprocessed form. During the ceremony, we come together with a shared intention to connect with ourselves, each other, and the richness of cacao.
The ritual is open with intention setting and opening invocations. You’ll then drink the cacao mindfully, savouring its flavours and allowing it to ground you and open your heart. The effects of ceremonial cacao can vary from person to person but commonly include feelings of relaxation, heightened awareness, and an increased sense of presence.
Throughout the ceremony, various practices such as meditation, breathwork, intuitive movement, will be incorporated to deepen the experience. The aim is to help you connect with your inner self, release emotional blockages, or gain insights and clarity.
Cacao ceremonies provide a space for introspection, self-exploration, and transformation. The presence of the cacao is believed to amplify your intention, supporting your personal growth and inner work.
The gathering is closed with a closing circle and gratitude.
BENEFITS OF DRINKING CACAO
Drinking Ceremonial Cacao can offer you various benefits, which are often attributed to its unique properties and the intentional, ceremonial context in which it's consumed. The most common benefits include:
💟 Physical Wellbeing: Cacao is one of the most nutrient dense food. The vitamins and minerals found in Cacao assist with endurance, energy, bone strength and density maintenance, muscle contraction and relaxation. It's also full of antioxidants!
💟 Heart-opening: Cacao is known to contain various compounds which promote feelings of joy, relaxation, and well-being. Consuming Ceremonial Cacao in a intentional and sacred space helps with emotional release and cultivate a sense of connection, love, and compassion.
💟 Stress Reduction: Cacao has a calming effect on the nervous system. It promotes relaxation, reduce stress levels, and induce a state of calmness and tranquility.
💟 Mental Clarity: Theobromine, a natural stimulant present in cacao increases blood flow to the brain, leading to improved focus, mental clarity, and cognitive function. As you become more aware and present, you reach a deeper state of introspection and self-reflection.
💟 Spiritual Connection: Cacao has been revered as a sacred plant medicine for centuries, and its consumption during ceremonies is believed to enhance spiritual connection. You may experience expanded awareness and a greater sense of purpose.
CACAO DOESN'T REPLACE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE
It's important to note that while cacao ceremonies can be deeply transformative, they are not intended to replace professional therapy or medical treatments. They should be approached with reverence, respect, and a willingness to engage in self-exploration.
It’s a mindful way to cultivate self-awareness & presence which are very beneficial aspects of your emotional and mental wellbeing.
Ceremonial cacao offers a beautiful opportunity to connect with yourself, tap into your creativity, and explore the depths of your being. Whether you're seeking spiritual insights, emotional wellbeing, or simply a moment of tranquillity, ceremonial cacao can be a gentle and supportive companion on your journey. So, grab your cacao, and allow the magic to unfold!
I'll be honoured to see you at one of my upcoming Cacao Ceremonies which I'm facilitating throughout the month of June. If these dates don't work for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to plan your own cacao ceremony either privately or as a team event.
CACAO CEREMONY @ DISNEY
22nd June, 6-7:10pm, £15-£22
The Walt Disney Company, 3 Queen Caroline Street, W6 9PE
Book your ticket HERE
SUMMER SOLSTICE CACAO CEREMONY
25th June, 2-4pm, £39
Hammersmith, London W6
Book your ticket HERE
Until next time…
Be WILD, be YOU!