What's the recent hype about Cacao, what exactly is a Cacao Ceremony & why all of us can benefit immensely from it?
Let us start with Cacao. Is it the same as Chocolate?
Yes and No. They both derive from the Cacao Fruit, the fruit of the Theobroma Cacao tree. Theobroma is Greek and means food of the gods. The name was given to the tree by the Spanish conquistadores and colonizers. In simple & short Cacao is the pure form of the cacao beans while Chocolate is the processed version of the cacao beans, mostly having sugar, milk or any other ingredients added.
The recent hype around Cacao started with Keith Wilson aka the Chocolate Shaman. He rediscovered the magic of Cacao Ceremonies in the powerful setting of Lago Atitlan, Guatemala and brought it out into the world. He was told by Ixcacao, the Goddess of Cacao to share this knowledge and help the world heal by helping people to open their hearts.
He has helped establish Cacao, its magic & Cacao Ceremonies in the "Conscious Communities" worldwide.
What is a Cacao Ceremony?
A Cacao Ceremony is a special setting where Cacao in its almost raw form is drank in an intentional way. It can be alone or in a group setting. The intention is often one of:
> finding clarity
> rooting in presence
> strengthening intuition
> connecting to the inner voice
> manifesting or releasing something
> opening our heart to others
The benefits of joining in a Cacao Ceremony are multiples. Consuming Cacao in an intentional way can help promote clarity, especially if you find yourself at a crossroads in life looking for guidance or clear signs. It gives the feeling of opening your heart and therefore is great for deepening connections with others, practicing forgiveness or just cultivation love, compassion & an open heart. It helps to magnify your intention when you are working with releasing something, especially on a Full Moon, or calling something in, for example on a New Moon. A Cacao Ceremony helps with amplifying manifestation practices, getting into a Flow State and boosting creativity.
After a Cacao Ceremony people normally feel happy, peaceful, full of bliss, relaxed and energized and in harmony with everyone around. Oftentimes people are inspired, want to move, connect to nature or do something creative. They are normally full of hope, clarity, determination and sure that everything is meant exactly as it is and looking forward to their next step.
The result is mostly immediate. Many times in my ceremonies women (funnily enough, I rarely have men attending) have realized during the ceremony what they needed to change or what was the problem in their situation and how they could change it. Or they found confirmation that they are on the right path and doing exactly what is needed to be done.
Do you need to have experience or pertain to a cult or religion? Absolutelety not! A Cacao Ceremony doesn’t belong to any religion or cult. While the ancient indigenous cultures (Mayans, Incas, Aztecs) used Cacao for special purposes, the modern day ceremonies are open to everyone.
How does such a ceremony work? It really depends on the Facilitator. In the Cacao Ceremonies I create, I first create a safe space where people can arrive. After the participants are welcomed I like to perform a practice to anchor in together like meditation, any kind of movement, sharing etc. The pre-prepared Cacao (noramlly just Ceremonial Cacao with water and maybe cinnamon, chili or cardamom) is served, oftentimes I share a bit about Ceremonial Cacao and its benefits and components. Then I honor the space, spirits, directions and the Cacao, we set our intentions, connect to the magic of the Cacao and start consuming the beverage.
Depending on the day and the theme of the Ceremony we either journal, dance, meditate, practice some Sex Magic (no getting naked, touching or intercourse involved ;-)), Yoga or Qi Gong, do Oracle Card readings, connect to nature or sing some songs. After a certain time I bring the Ceremony to a close oftentimes with a sharing circle followed by some music and meditation.
If this has made you curious and you would like to experience such a ceremony, you can get a free replay of my Equinox Cacao Ceremony here (bottom of page).
You will need some Ceremonial Cacao. I have a list of providers all over the world in our Facebook Community Shankara Experience which you can join for free here.