If someone told you drinking a warm drink made from cacao could guide you on a path of self-discovery, rejuvenation, and heart healing, would you believe it? Traditions surrounding ceremonial cacao date back to 5th-century Native Mesoamerican cultures. The scientific name, Theobroma cacao translates to “food of the gods” and was believed to be a gift from the gods by the Mayans and Aztecs. The Mayans used cacao in religious ceremonies, marriage, baptism, and as a tool to lift the spirits of those sacrificed in the Aztec Kingdom to the heavens. In this post, I’ll break down what is cacao and four spiritual benefits of ceremonial cacao.
Cacao is considered a plant medicine and possesses a powerhouse of nutrients such as fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, selenium, protein, and antioxidants. It is good for the skin, heart, and blood pressure and has been known for centuries to cure various alignments. It has a stimulating effect on the body and is known for its heart-opening qualities that guide you deeper within to explore what's there. When we come together in ritual, we work with ceremonial grade cacao in a sacred way to engage with the spirit and energy of the plant. This is a very different orientation than eating chocolate as candy, and has a positive impact on well-being and our global ecosystem.
First, it’s important to understand how ceremonial cacao is different than cacao powder or cocoa. Ceremonial cacao is minimally processed which means the beans contain the purest, richest natural compounds. It is lightly roasted, cracked and stone ground by traditional means, and never tempered. It naturally contains more cacao butter which helps the body absorb its nutrients. It is the most pure, raw and unrefined form of the plant that we can engage with and it is naturally bitter to taste. And perhaps most importantly, it is produced by farmers who treat the land and plants with compassion, love, and respect. They have a deeper connection with the wisdom of the plant and work in reverence to this energy of wellbeing that is being harvested for sacred purposes.
Cacao is known for containing theobromine, which relaxes the blood vessels and stimulates the heart. This has both a physical and energetic effect on the heart. Consuming cacao naturally opens the heart chakra, the energy center associated with love, compassion, affection, acceptance, grief, forgiveness, jealousy, and judgement.
When our hearts are closed, it creates a feeling of isolation and separation. We may feel stuck in negative looping patterns and experience feelings of anger or jealousy. We may hold on to resentment or carry bitterness that we aren’t even aware of. Intense emotional experiences have a way of getting stored in the body and until we work to release them, they play out again and again through our emotional reactions.
Consuming cacao with mindfulness awakens the senses and creates space for us to reconnect more deeply to our innermost self. There, we tune in with our true selves and can hear the profound callings of our hearts. We can see more clearly what lives there and find the compassion to be with all of it. It is the perfect setting for inner healing, restoring the heart back to wholeness and transforming your heart to hold more joy, love and gratitude.
The higher self is that part of you that is connected to Source and all living things. Cacao contains a consciousness and can impart spiritual wisdom when you return to your heart, connect with your soul and the expansiveness of the universe. It can take you on a powerful journey.
As Vladimir Antonov, a Russian scientist known for his works on theology, spiritual evolutional anthropology, once wrote, the “stairway to God does not lead upwards, but inwards.” And this stairway begins in our spiritual hearts.
While on this journey, you may be brought to a greater awareness of the blocks and limitations you have created out of fear. As you reconnect with your power and your truth, that path for your soul may become more obvious. This wisdom may also propel you towards a healthier lifestyle, both in mind and spirit.
Meditation is a wonderful tool in our spiritual toolbox that can help relieve stress, cultivate connection, improve focus and soothe our hearts. Combined with cacao, it becomes more profound and easier to connect. This is because cacao stimulates the bloodstream in the learning and memory areas of the brain and is also known to impart peace and relaxation. Cacao can become sort of an emotional detox, providing the pathway for connecting in with the inner self and the ease of quieting the mind in meditation to hear the wisdom of your heart.
I especially love bringing rose quartz into the meditation experience with cacao for how it further balances the heart field and offers gentleness to open and receive.
Imbalances create energetic blocks, preventing us from living the life we are meant to live. Cacao balances inner male and female energies. Everything in life has two forces: yin and yang, dark and light; and that is also true of our feminine energies (listening, seeding, nourishing) and of our masculine energies (acting, speaking). When the energies are in balance, we can live more harmoniously. Female energies may stimulate inspiration; male energies may help you put that motivation into action. Action may be facilitated by the fact that cacao contains low amounts of caffeine, giving those who consume it a burst of energy that also helps focus. Cacao has also been said to enhance creativity and perhaps find new solutions to the problems or roadblocks you may be facing.
Cacao ceremonies offer a pathway to explore and touch the soul. They opens us to heart healing, spiritual benefits, and remembrance. In ceremonial rituals, we drink cacao to connect with the plant in a mindful way, go within and be fully present. In ceremony, we may meditate, sing, dance, set intentions, give thanks to the abundance in life, and share our hearts.
Cacao rituals go back to the ancient times of Mesoamerica, where it was an important part of traditions associated with marriage, death, and birth. Modern cacao ceremonies continue today to allow spiritual seekers and self-healers to connect with mother earth in a deeper way, open their hearts and be guided on a soulful journey to the emotional center of their body.
Join me for two Cacao Ritual events!
In-Person at Kozy Kandles on Thursday, Feb 17 - Purchase Ticket
Virtual on Tuesday, March 15 - Purchase Ticket - Purchase Ticket
Cacao is a sacred plant medicine used since ancient times for healing the body, mind, and soul. Through this guided experience, you'll discover the beauty of working with cacao to open and explore the depths of your heart. We'll also be working with the energies of the rose and rose quartz to gain greater insights into the wisdom held in our hearts. Bring a journal, pen, and an open mind ready to connect, share and receive the magic of your own heart that cacao will so graciously show you.
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While cacao has been enjoyed and celebrated ceremonially for thousands of years, it is important to take precautions based on your individual health journey. Cacao contains theobromine which increases the heart rate and is a vasodilator. It may not be appropriate for those with serious heart conditions or high blood pressure. Those taking antidepressants such as MAOI's or SSRI's may experience migraines hours after. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it may be best to lower your dose until you know how it interacts with your system. If you have any concerns, it is advisable to consult with your doctor before consumption.
 Antonov, V. (2000). Ecology of human being in multidimensional space. Retrieved from: https://www.religiousbook.net/en/text/Ecology.pdf.