One of the most wildly popular trees on the planet is the cacao tree, the plant species from which cocoa and chocolate is derived.
While some may think cacao and cocoa are one in the same, they aren’t quite.
Cacao is the tree, while cocoa is the product made from it.
Edible parts of cacao pods and the beans inside them are processed to make cocoa powder, cocoa butter, or chocolate after being dried and fermented.
What is a Cacao Ceremony?
A cacao ceremony is an opportunity to connect to yourself and open your heart. Because of cacao’s active ingredients that release ‘feel good’ emotions, cacao is considered a heart opener with its ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your heart chakra, aiding in transformational shifts.
Whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of your purpose, release old patterns, limiting beliefs or traumas, or move into a more self-confident space, a cacao ceremony can support you.
Whatever your path during ceremony, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao brings you to the insight and awareness to move towards that intention.
How a Typical Ceremony Goes:
You’ll be welcomed into the space with plenty of time to set up your sacred spot.
Once everyone has arrived, we’ll have a bit of discussion about the ceremony.
You’ll then have time to sit in silence to connect with your highest intentions.
As everyone completes intention setting, we’ll take part in drinking the cacao and coconut milk mix. You’ll receive 1 serving, which will be 1/2 tbsp cacao powder and 1 cup coconut milk.
You’ll return to your sacred spot and be guided through an intuitive meditation.
When the meditation is complete, you’ll take part in a yoga practice infused with essential oils, while the cacao activates within the body and the heart, allowing for a truly transformative and potentially ecstatic process to unfold.
We’ll end with a closing meditation and open dialogue.
What You May Physically Feel During a Cacao Ceremony:
One of the main active ingredients you’ll experience in your body during your cacao ceremony is theobromine. Theo-broma literally translates as God-Food, and activates the release of dopamine, the pleasure hormone.
This, alongside phenethylamine, which is known to relieve stress and depression and is released in the body during emotional euphoria, creates heightened sensation and empathy.
The high amounts of nutrients in cacao support and nourish your body, while also inducing a detoxifying effect on the liver and kidneys.
Sounds amazing, right?!
What You May Emotionally Feel During a Cacao Ceremony:
Due to the euphoric inducing ingredients, the emotional impact can be profound. Everything feels heightened within the physical and emotional body, including your awareness to your deepest sense of self and to your heart.
The experience of love and empathy, especially for yourself, can literally feel as if your heart is opening. With this, the body can become flooded with emotions stored in the heart.
It is not always an easy experience and tears may be shed as you peel away old layers of hurt. But as the cacao facilitates a deep sense of self-love, tears are always followed by deep love, acceptance and appreciation.
Other times, the euphoria felt from the cacao can be described as a Divine experience.
13 Benefits of a Cacao Ceremony:
- Heart Opening – opens yourself to a deeper, authentic love-based connection with yourself, others, and all of life.
- Awareness – assists in bringing light to the things you need to see more clearly.
- Connection to Self – enhances connection with your own Power and Truth creating feelings of oneness, enlightenment and ecstasy.
- Release of Pain – “You gotta feel it to heal it.” Once you feel your pain you won’t keep manifesting situations to feel these feelings. You’ll live a freer, happier life, without constantly being triggered.
- Deep Meditation – calms the left brain chatter allowing you to delve more into that ‘no mind’ space of bliss enabling you to connect easily with your Inner Wisdom.
- Integration – embodiment of recent epiphanies, allowing you to feel in your body what you know in your head. The teachings you might be aware of are now understood and felt on a deeper level.
- Healing – assists with the ability to let go of emotions, stories and paradigms that no longer serve you.
- Energy Balance – more enhanced, connected male and female energy. The balance of these energies allows you to receive inspiration (feminine energy) and act on it (masculine energy).
- Divine Creativity – access to the One Mind allowing the receiving of creative ideas.
- Improved Yoga (and similar practices) – more effective, deeper, profound, easier practice on every level; physical, mental, spiritual and emotional.
- Higher Vibration – a deeper, stronger connection with the Universe.
- Clarity of Purpose – brings light to life purposes, missions, messages and experiences that are meant for you to live out.
- State of Joy – chocolate is a gentle, powerful feminine force. By surrendering to the essence and energy of Cacao, you step into higher dimensions of love, joy, freedom and fun!
Health Benefits of Raw Cacao:
—>Contains more than 300 different chemical compounds and nearly four times the antioxidant power of your average dark chocolate – more than 20 times than that of blueberries.
—>Contains the mood enhancer, anandamide, known as the bliss molecule, which creates a feeling of euphoria.
—>It’s an aphrodisiac because of the compound phenethylamine, which triggers the release of endorphins and pleasurable neurochemicals.
—>Balances hormones boosting serotonin, the feel good brain chemical.
—>Protects the heart with flavanols, an anti-inflammatory and heart protective antioxidant improving blood circulation and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
—>Contains over 700 compounds and complex antioxidants, known as polyphenols, that help reduce bad cholesterol and prevent hardening of the arteries.
—>Thins blood and can prevent blood clots.
—>Keeps you looking youthful with more polyphenol antioxidants than green tea and red wine.
—>Contains MAO inhibitors that shrink appetite.
—>Loads of energy because it contains high level of magnesium. Magnesium also helps to protect against osteoporosis, reduces type II diabetes and lowers blood pressure.
—>Get shiny hair, strong nails, protect liver and pancreas with this great source of sulfur.
—>Lowers blood pressure.
—>Reduces insulin resistance and sensitivity.
—>Improves kidney and bowel function and aids in digestion.
—>Prevents sunburns and protects against harmful UV rays.
—>Get glowing skin.
—>Fights tooth decay with a crystalline extract that helps harden teeth enamel.
—>Halts coughs from the effects of theobromine.
—>Contains healthy fats.
It’s best to consume no more than 40 grams per day and to not mix with dairy. Dairy prevents antioxidant absorption.
All the negative things commonly attributed to non-raw chocolate bars, such as cavities, weight gain and diabetes, are actually caused by the dairy, sugar and other fillers added to chocolate.
A Bit of Cacao History:
Because cocoa beans were prized for their medicinal and aphrodisiacal properties, they were traded just like currency among ancient South American civilizations.
It’s thought cacao was first used as a health elixir and ceremonial medicine as far back as 1900 BC by the ancestors of Central America before becoming a ritualistic medicine used by the Aztec and Mayan cultures.
The Ancient Mayans and Aztecs used chocolate for spiritual and ceremonial purposes. In its purest form it is a powerful assistant for inner work, creative guidance and so much more.
The Spirit of Cacao was one of the most revered of the ancient Mayan Deities. They called Cacao ‘The water that runs through the heart’. Chocolate is a sacred, medicinal, psychoactive plant and theobroma. Cacao actually means “Food of the Gods”.
You alone are responsible for your health.
Are you pregnant, nursing, have a heart condition, kidney or liver issues? Cancer? Cacao is a vasodilator and pumps more blood through the heart.
Are you taking anti-anxiety or antidepressant medication? Antidepressants with MAOIs contraindicate with cacao and can lead to severe headaches.
Cacao does contain properties that can cause nausea associated with detoxification.
Do not consume alcohol or caffeine prior to cacao.
Drink plenty of water afterwards to assist with washing out any toxins.
Cacao is an unprocessed chocolate. It is not a drug and does not lead to hallucinations.