“Medicine del corazón” is medicine of the heart. In a Cacao Ceremony, the ceremonial cacao which is blessed and received to drink is a heart medicine.
A cacao ceremony usually involves a communal gathering with a sacred circle, music, & of course, ceremonial cacao. By creating a sacred intentional space, the effects of the cacao are amplified. A ceremonial dose of this elixir will trigger warm & fuzzy feelings – happy bliss chemicals are released by the body such as dopamine, seratonin & anandamine.
Diving Deep with Cacao
Cacao has the potential to be a guide and gateway to help each one of us embrace the compass and depth of our heart as a starting point for profound healing and remembrance.
Cacao ceremony can become a centerpiece of your routine ritual for self renewal that keeps you centered, connected to your heart, and living in a good way. The process of working with cacao can be interwoven with embodiment, creative expression, and many other healing modalities that guide you in navigating your own losses, pain, and suffering. Along the way, you will find healing and connection to yourself, experienced depth and healing in your blood family, and discover deeper connection with the elements, land, and ecology that you may not have experience before.
Gathering together to drink cacao can create healing, connection and inspiration. Engaging with chocolate as a ritual, rather than consuming it as a sweet/candy, has direct positive impact on our individual well-being as well as our global ecosystem.
Cacao ceremonies are becoming more popular, because they are spaces for people to connect with each other in new ways, and they are an opportunity to reconnect with ancient parts of ourselves that remember the simple power of gathering together in community.
Things You May Experience In Cacao Ceremony
While every cacao ceremony is different depending on the energies of the group present and the facilitation, there are some general things one can expect when attending a cacao ceremony:
- A safe, nourishing environment for you to connect with yourself, the spirit of cacao, and other people in deeper ways than one can usually access when by yourself.
- The group will be led through a cacao blessing, where you will learn about the cacao you are drinking, and how it was prepared.
- The ceremonial cacao that one drinks in a ceremony is sourced, made, and prepared with love and intention.
- The facilitator will guide the group through various exercises and experiences based on the intentions of the event. Some examples of guided experiences are: guided meditations, breath-work, sound journeys, journaling, intention setting or movement practices..
- The general arc of a ceremony is there is some sort of opening and setting of the container, a shared group experience, and then a closing where you give thanks, and acknowledge what the group created during that time.
What Are The Benefits of Cacao Ceremony?
Cacao ceremonies are helpful for getting clarity, setting intentions, and doing healing work and inner-processing. Being in a sacred space helps you get out of your normal frame of mind, allowing you to experience new insights & perspectives. Depending on the intention of the ceremony, they can also be wonderful places to connect with people in a safe, open-hearted environment. Sharing cacao brings us into the same energetic frequency with those around us. This often results in deeper more intimate connection with ourselves and each other. When multiple people share cacao together, we have a shared experience of mood elevation, increased vitality, enhanced intuition and empathy, and a more open, present heart.
Cacao increases the energetic field of our hearts, and when we join together, the field is amplified and woven together with multiple hearts in the room. We each carry unique medicine and messages for each other, and even if you are in a ceremony with strangers, they may share something about their personal experience that provides more clarity or inspiration for where you are in your life. When a group all drinks cacao together, they are shifting their energy into the same frequency or vibration. This may seem a bit woo-woo, yet it’s similar to a group of friends going out for beers – they are all getting into the same journey together by drinking beverages with the same effect on the body. In the case of cacao, it is a medicinal & healing experience for your body, mind, and spirit.
How Do I Know If A Cacao Ceremony Is Right For Me?
- Cacao ceremonies can be a great way to meet new people in your community, who are interested in healing and intentional connection with others.
- If you have a specific desire to learn more about cacao and connect with the cacao spirit (often the cacao spirit can ‘call you’ which can feel like you are inexplicably drawn or magnetised to ceremonial cacao), cacao ceremonies are a great place to start.
- If you are interested in doing healing work, such as clearing past trauma from relationships, ancestral clearing, or understanding the root cause of physical ailments, a cacao ceremony can support those intentions. Note, a cacao ceremony is typically not a place where you would experience therapy, or personal 1:1 support, so if you need more in depth support for deep trauma, we recommend working with a therapist or healer 1:1.
- If you are looking to move more, to experience more bliss in your life, to fill up with the essence of who you are, cacao can support a deeper connection with your body.
- Every cacao ceremony and facilitator is different. It’s important that you do a ‘gut-check’ on the ceremony to determine if you resonate with the intention and the facilitator. If you haven’t met the facilitator in person, it can be good practice to reach out to them directly and ask any questions you may have.
This can give you an idea of what the space will be like, and you can then determine if it’s aligned with your intentions. Some spaces may be more externally focused, like before an ecstatic dance event, whereas others may be more inward focused, mostly in silence by the participants with the facilitator offering guided meditations, breath-work or sound journeys.
You can also have cacao ceremony on your own, and we offer cacao and guidance on how to do so. This can be done in infinite forms, from a personal meditation and journaling to a New Moon nature walk.
What Do We Know About Ancient Cacao Ceremonies?
Archaeological evidence of cacao’s use dates back to 3,900 years ago in Central America, and recent genetic evidence dates cacao’s use to 5,300 years ago in the Amazon. Despite this long history of human use of cacao, we know very little about ancient cacao rituals both because of the massive genocide of the indigenous population of the Americas beginning in the 1500s, and because of how quickly ancient artifacts deteriorate in wet tropical conditions.
We do know that for the Olmec, Zapotec, Mayans, and Aztec, cacao was a plant of central importance. Cacao is mentioned extensively in the Popul Vuh, the Mayan Creation story, and can be found in many engravings depicting ritual offerings. We know that there were great storehouses of cacao beans, that cacao was used as a currency, and that cacao was consumed as a drink. Cacao is still an important part of Maya culture today, utilized in midwifery, weddings & other social gatherings.
Cacao ceremony, in the Western context, is a relatively new phenomenon, as people seek a new relationship with cacao outside of what the chocolate industry offers. There is no relationship between modern cacao ceremony and ancient cacao ceremony, besides the desire to engage in sacred relationship with the cacao plant.
This is a fundamental tie though, as all the information for ancient cacao rituals likely arose from intuitive listening and inquiry with the cacao plant, and similarly, modern cacao ceremony arises from a method of inquiry and relationship building with the cacao spirit.
Main resource: https://ceremonial-cacao.com/pages/what-is-cacao-ceremony