If you saw my last blog post you’ll know I love Cacao ceremonies... and quite a few of you asked how a Cacao ceremony was made, so this post is for you!
(If you didn't read it, here's a quick recap: a Cacao ceremony is a ritual in which you enjoy a delicious drink made from pure Cacao bean paste and enjoy its positive effects, which include physical and mental health benefits, and an unleashing of creativity.)
PS: I am an Australian woman with no ancestral connection to Cacao, so everything here is based on my personal experimentation.
For the perfect Cacao experience, you’d travel to Peru to learn from the traditional custodians of the plant. That's on my wishlist! Meanwhile, there's nothing to stop you from discovering it from your own home. So without further ado, here's how I do it.
Choosing your Cacao
It all starts with choosing a high-quality ethical Cacao paste - this is definitely a case where less of a higher grade product is more.
There is more choice coming into the Australian market now which is great. The brand I have been using lately, Sacred Earth Medicine, comes in a block, gorgeously presented and looking and smelling like fine traditional chocolate.
The next brand I’m going to try is Soma Cacao, they have varieties sourced from a range of locations so it will be nice to check those out next.
Setting the scene / intention
You are about to give yourself the gift of a beautiful experience. The best experiences are had when you deliberately amplify and elevate the occasion, and some of my favourite ways to do this are by setting up a place in the sun where I will drink; putting music on; turning distractions off; lighting candles and choosing crystals that suit the purpose of my session on that day.
This is not a way to get high, but the effects are noticeable and the more energy and thought you invest into creating a space for yourself to feel those feelings, the more you will take from the experience.
I prepare myself mentally and energetically by using a smudge stick, expressing thankfulness to the Creator for life, home and family, visualising the space as being cleansed by the smoke. I also smudge the Cacao itself, setting my intention to create from a pure heart.
I have a dedicated cup for Cacao ceremonies. It is a gift from my sister, an earthy ceramic vessel that I love to hold. This is totally optional of course but for me adds to the sense of ritual.
Next, I set up a little table and bring onto it crystals, candles, plants and whatever other things I feel drawn to include on the day. I dedicate a beautiful little space for myself to make the time feel special, and get music, pens and paper ready. Then it’s time to make the brew!
Preparing the Cacao
Not surprisingly, Cacao handles like chocolate so shave or chop it with a knife, preferably on a wooden chopping board. Some people grate theirs on a grater but I find that messy and a bit wasteful - your call!
A typical dose is between 28 - 45 grams although you don't need to be super accurate measuring the dose, it won't hurt you. How much you use depends on what depth of experience you seek, and how used to Cacao you are. I suggest starting with 30 grams moving up or down as you prefer. A full ‘Shamanic’ dose is about 57 grams, for when you're ready to go deep.
Chop Cacao finely and place into a saucepan
Add a mug’s worth of your favourite milk
Melt over medium heat, stirring until blended
Add any sweetener and/or spices to suit your taste.
The chocolate flavour is so strong - almost savoury - that even honey gets a bit lost so I don't bother adding it anymore. It’s worth surrendering to the Cacao and enjoying it for what it is. Whisk the blend if you like for a frothy creamy finish, and scrape every last drop into your favourite drinking vessel!
Enjoy the Feels
Cacao takes about 10 minutes to ‘come on’ for me. When it does, I notice myself feeling more present, alert to my senses, and full of gratitude. There is a beautiful sense of flow to Cacao.
People report receiving ‘creative downloads’, where they are unblocked and able to tap into their own forms of expression and receive from their angels or the Source, however you like to characterise it. This is certainly my experience, I enjoy dancing sessions that feel nourishing and full of release...singing sessions, making creative new designs, and moving through mental or emotional blocks - writing pages of practical and out-of-the-box ideas for taking my relationships and work forward.
Theobromine does have that mild stimulating effect and has a long half-life, so you may continue to feel the effects of being present, creative, and focused for some hours afterward. That means doing a nighttime cacao ceremony may keep you awake longer than you want to be so I definitely recommend starting out with a morning session.
Cacao would be a beeee-autiful thing to share with friends as part of a retreat, which is also on my bucket list!
Do you see ceremonies like this advertised anywhere in your town, and would you be interested to try them out? Let me know!
Interested in the benefits of Cacao? Check out Calling in Creativity with Ceremonial Cacao