What is a Shamanic Cacao Ceremony?
I have facilitated cacao ceremonies since 2015 and so more I work with this sacred plant medicine from the rain forest in Guatemala and Colombia, so more I respect the healing power of it. I learned from Rebekah Shaman in London, Keith Wilson and Isaiaz Sajvin in Guatemala and Regina Cardenas in Mexico, who have all done an incredible job in spreading the use of ceremonial cacao all over the world.
At the moment I use cacao from Colombia grown by local farmers, which is unprocessed, unsweetened, just whole cacao beans that are carefully fermented, lightly roasted, conched and moulded into easy to use 10 gram cubes. That means that it still has all the goodies (cacao liqueur) in it, that we don't usually find in chocolate, that is available in health food stores. As a ceremonial dose I use 40 grams of cacao with 250 ml of water. Chillie can be added individually.
Ceremonial cacao contains a number of vitamins, minerals and 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries. It is especially high in iron, magnesium and calcium and leads to a release of endorphins. It contains only a small amount of caffeine, but will still give you a burst of energy, that will help you to focus and improve your memory.
Cacao is considered to be the best creativity enhancer as well as facilitator of deep inner work and is used by authors, artists, yoga and meditation teachers, dance therapists, tantric practitioners and the list goes on. It is also becoming more popular in corporate environments.
It is recommended to drink cacao on a daily basis (as a hot chocolate or in a smoothie), especially if you suffer from depression, high blood pressure or skin problems. It is a great and much healthier alternative to coffee.
On a more spiritual level cacao is said to help us re-connect with nature and the the earth in general, teaching us how to live in harmony with her, seeing the bigger picture and not getting caught up in dramas and low levels of bickering.
I use cacao in Shamanic ceremonies enhanced through sound (sacred gong, drums, singing bowls and my voice) to help people open their hearts and look at situations in their lives with more compassion and forgiveness. This will help them to change their perspective, release energetic blockages, let go of fears, attachments and negative habits.
My ceremonies typically involve bonding exercises for the members of the group, intention setting, a seated meditation, a guided meditation lying down, sound healing as well as a group sharing at the end.
Although this sounds like quite an intense process, and it is, I find that cacao ceremonies are a great introduction into healing work due to the gentle energy of the plant and also the support you receive from the group.
Working with cacao can help to release feelings of guilt, shame, fear, not being good enough etc. You decide if you are ready to let go and the cacao will take you where you need to go. And if you are not ready yet to let go of old belief systems and emotional patterns then that is also ok. Maybe just listening to other peoples' stories will help you to make changes in your lives.
The aim of a cacao ceremony is to empower you to release that what doesn't serve you any longer and help you see and re-connect with what is truly important in your life. To live your life with a courageous heart.
Cacao compared to other plant medicines is easy to integrate. With cacao we can laugh, sing, dance, be creative, think, do yoga etc. and most importantly be joyful and feel uplifted.