Cacao (ka-kow) is a Sacred and Medicinal plant and an ancient teacher and facilitator that assists you with the journey into your heart. Cacao was known to the Ancient Mayans as a powerful heart opener and potent healer.
Chocolate is widely known as an aphrodisiac and this understanding of how it opens our hearts is by no means new. The Aztecs often spoke of Cacao as ‘yollotl, eztli’, meaning “heart, blood”. Western science reinforced this by giving it the scientific name Theobroma Cacao, which means “The Food of the Gods”. What else would the food of the Gods be but love?
Raw cacao is also the most powerful antioxidant in the world, and is the ONLY known food where you will find therapeutic levels of magnesium and the chemical Anandamide, aka the LOVE chemical. (In Sanskrit, Ananda is translated as ‘bliss’) It results in feelings of pleasure and euphoria and also plays a role in moderating pain perception and memory of pain as well as improving consciousness and creativity as it increases blood flow to the heart and brain by up to 40%.
Cacao, when used with awareness, gives us time and space away from the busyness of the world & an opportunity to go on our own inward journey. Cacao is a gentle plant medicine, acting as a vasodilator on the smooth cardiac tissue, so literally it helps to open our heart. As the anatomical heart space is opened, it creates an opportunity for our energetic heart to open as well, offering us an doorway into the places deep within where healing is needed; but it will not push us through until we’re ready.
The ceremonial work I lead uses many tools for us to commune with the spirit of the Cacao. I tend to begin with an overview, as many people are new to working with plant medicine and/or ceremony. To me, all ceremonial work comes down to intention, so allowing some time before we drink the cacao to pause, get quiet, and set an intention (or prayer, question, offering, etc). Every ceremony looks different & I customize my plan for the ceremony based on the space and student requirements & interests, but all usually contain a combination of the following: drinking of the cacao (there are alternatives to actually ingesting the cacao for those who are sensitive or on medications which don’t allow for them to drink), guided & silent meditation, breathwork, gentle grounded movement, mantra & sounding, deep rest.
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