EXPLORE CEREMONIAL CACAO, THE PREPARATION, RITUALS, PHYSICAL AND METAPHYSICAL BENEFITS.
So, what is cacao and, how is it different from a slab of chocolate you buy from your local supermarket or the cacao powder that you might already be putting in your coffee or smoothie?
Firstly, the contents of ceremonial cocoa is a combination of the cacao butter (the fat that is in the cacao) and the powder, not separated like you’d find in the store but together in its most authentic way, rich in magnesium and iron but it also has healthy fat, essential for your nourishment needs.
Secondly, ceremonial cacao is sourced, grown and processed with purpose and thought to be served with intention, along with ceremonial music and chants.
Why I love a Cacao Ceremony
The cacao tastes so nourishing and so grounding and delicious. Enjoying ceremonial cacao can help you connect with your heart and be a gentle guide through transformational consciousness shifts.
Enhance the Cacao and the ceremonial benefits by customising it. add things like;
- Dates, agave or natural sweeteners.
- Mocha for energy.
- Ashwagandha for stress.
- Oat milk or almond milk.
- Cayenne or Cinnamon for some spice.
- Medicinal mushrooms for all their magnificent healing properties. (or any adaptogen to suit your nourishment needs.)
What can you expect from a traditional Cacao ceremony?
Usually, a cacao ceremony is hosted by one or several people trained in preparing cacao and holding sacred space. If you’ve been invited to a cacao ceremony and have no idea what’s about to happen, here’s what you can expect. Don’t worry, you’ll be guided through every step of the way!
- Create a sacred space, often with an altar in the middle
- Sit in a circle and open up the circle by going around and saying your name out loud, sharing an intention or a word you’re calling in
- Pour the cacao and pass it around the circle
- Honour and bless the cacao
- Set an intention for the ceremony
- Drink the cacao
- Breathwork, meditation, sound journey, dance, music – from here, it’s up to the person leading the cacao ceremony and whatever tool they prefer to use to amplify and manifest the intentions created by the participants.
- Close the circle – an important part of the ceremony that invites integration of the deep spaces you may have explored during your cacao journey.
Can you make ceremonial cacao from powder?
Not really. You can make a delicious chocolate drink, but to preserve the integrity and wholeness of the experience, you should use cacao paste (which is a whole food that contains cacao butter before it’s separated from the powder)
Is there a required amount of time needed to perform the ceremony?
No, absolutely not, you can personalize the ceremony according to your time or needs. While usually, a cacao ceremony lasts at least an hour, you can make it more accessible and fit it into your schedule by taking a sacred 15-minute pause out of your day.
Can you create your own Cacao ceremony?
Sure thing! Once you have sourced yourself some ceremonial cacao
chop it up, blend it with some hot water. You can adapt it to your nourishment needs by adding things like adaptogens and other naturally nourishing ingredients.
The ceremonial procedure goes something like this:
- Prepare ceremonial cacao
- Clear the space with sage or palo santo
- Hold the cacao, connect to the feeling of gratitude, and set your intention.
- Drink the cacao
- Journal, meditate, listen to sacred songs, dance or have a heart-to-heart conversation with your friend or lover if you’re doing a ceremony with them.
- Burn some sage or use crystals, whatever you need to set your intention. Perform the ritual at home when you need a moment to reconnect to yourself and your intuition. If you don’t have time for all 5 steps, just do one and set an intention before drinking the cacao by asking yourself, “How do I want to feel? What am I ready to call into my life?”
5 Reasons to make a Cacao ceremony a recurring ritual.
1. Rich in natural nutrients.
Cacao beans offer fibre, monounsaturated (“good”) fats, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and copper. Cacao is also packed with antioxidants. It also offers vitamin D, an essential nutrient that supports calcium absorption.
2. Cacao beans are teeming with antioxidants.
Antioxidants inhibit the activity of free radicals by neutralizing them. This is key because high levels of free radicals can lead to cell damage and oxidative stress, a major factor in the development of chronic conditions such as cancer and heart disease.
3. Cacao lowers inflammation.
As antioxidants in cacao combat oxidative stress, they can also pump the brakes on inflammation. What’s more, these antioxidants can also decrease the production of pro-inflammatory proteins called cytokines, thereby reducing your risk for inflammation.
4. It’s Good for the gut.
The polyphenols in cacao beans are actually prebiotics. This means they “feed” the good bacteria in your gut, helping them grow and flourish, which, in turn, can help you avoid both temporary and chronic digestive issues. Simultaneously, the polyphenols may also work against the bad bacteria in your tum by inhibiting their proliferation or multiplication. Together, these effects help maintain microbial balance in the gut, which is key for supporting basic functions such as immunity and metabolism.
5. A Nourishing, Natural energy boost
In addition to containing a bit of caffeine, cacao beans are one of the richest sources of theobromine, a compound that stimulates the central nervous