I received some great questions from the last Cacao ceremony about how to work with Cacao in your everyday life, how to make a Ceremonial Cacao Drink and how Cacao may help deal with toxic people in your life.
Raw Cacao is a powerful antioxidant that increases circulation to the brain. It also contains a plethora of compounds that are responsible for the blissful euphoria most commonly associated with feeling in love. These compounds include anandamide, phenthylamine, seratonin and dopamine. Cacao is also considered the highest whole food source of magnesium, which helps muscles to relax and is often deficient in the western diet. The more respect the Cacao plant is shown throughout it’s life, the more powerful its healing potential in a ceremonial experience. Choosing a raw, organic, heirloom and fair trade Cacao is best.
When honoured with sincere intention in a ritual setting that allows a remembrance of the sacred, Cacao creates a feeling of openness in the heart and greater clarity in the mind. As a result we are able to reflect on our thoughts, patterns, behaviours and traumas from a more liberated and unconditioned state of consciousness and receive powerful insights about our life experiences. Sometimes this is all that is needed to integrate the wisdom that can transform density, pain and destructive habits into embodied health. Sometimes we must work through many layers connected to an issue before it is transformed.
With this understanding it is important to state that the more respect and intention offered to the Cacao spirit before your union with her, the more likely you will be in the sensual embodied state of listening required to receive and integrate the plant’s medicine teachings. Cacao consumed without intention will still give you a energy and mood boost and still has many health benefits but if you are wanting to work with Cacao on a deeper level to navigate challenges and the shadow aspects of life, some sort of ceremony will be key to establishing a spiritual relationship with Cacao. A ceremony doesn’t have to be a long process and is essentially about creating the space needed for you to make a meaningful connection with yourself, your intentions and, in this case, the spirit of the Cacao.
Preparing a Ceremonial Cacao Drink.
Cacao can be eaten ceremonially in various forms from beans and nibs to paste but preparing the paste in to a drink with cayenne will improve its absorption and gives you more time to connect with the Cacao. To avoid destroying the beneficial properties of the Cacao with excess heat it is best to cut the Cacao paste into small pieces and melt it in a double boiler on a low heat. If you wish to sweeten the Cacao for taste dissolve some honey (1-2 teaspoons) in 200ml of warm-hot water. Once the Cacao is melted add a pinch of cayenne pepper. Then slowly add the warm/hot water while stirring until your Cacao drink has a smooth consistency and feels ready. Prepare the Cacao with the same gratitude you would offer a dear friend, teacher and lover. Sensuality blend as a option : add a splash of rose water, a sprinkle of vanilla powered, cardamon and cinnamon.
Personal Cacao Ceremony.
Here is a suggestion for a basic ceremony you can explore. Later on you can develop this by listening to your intuition from a heart centred place that always wishes to be expressed for the greatest good of all creation (you + everyone + everything). Sit in a quiet, safe space where you can be by yourself with your ceremonial Cacao. Start by acknowledging the beauty of your breath and allow your inhales to be a moment of deeply receiving whatever it is you feel you need to be completely nourished. At first, allow your exhales to be an opportunity to release anything that no longer serves you, feel free to tone, groan and sigh… even talk out what may currently be creating stress in your life as freely and unfiltered as possible. Once you feel complete take a few breaths to witness the stillness that follows and then allow your intention to be planted in this space. Now begin to offer gratitude to the Cacao with your exhales for supporting you with your intention. Establish an energetic connection with the Cacao. Listen to your intuition for when your gratitude offering feels complete and enjoy drinking in with all your senses your sacred union with the Cacao. This can be done daily if desired just making sure to hydrate abundantly and is most recommended to do in the morning. A ceremonial dose can range between 28g - 42g of Cacao depending on your sensitivity. Consuming more may result nausea, vomiting and headaches.
If your ceremony is to help deal with a toxic boss it is good to vent what has been challenging for you at the start of the ceremony to release the energy and after drinking the Cacao it is then also really important to wish the best for that person (and truly mean it!) to start to shift the energy. Most toxic people are acting from deep wounds and get used to people shutting them out. Sadly, this triggers them to behave in ways that push people even further away and the negativity perpetuates. No babies are born this way, toxic people are a result of a major disconnect from love and a lack of a healthy support network. If you can take some moments to consider where this person’s unpleasant behaviours are coming from this can help to cultivate some genuine compassion for that person. If a toxic person starts to receive authentic respect that does not come from you depleting your own energy to do so, new healthy boundaries can be created in a relationship. Some words to support your process Be clear on what you need to do to respect yourself and communicate that in a way that honestly owns your needs. Be clear on the ways you are letting your energy be drained by this situation and hold your presence in a way that does not give permission for that any longer. Be clear on what others need to feel respected, not on a ego level but on a soul level. Can you look that person in the eyes and still see the beauty of life in them. Be clear on how you would like your boss to behave and treat them in a way that could facilitate that. Know we can receive help but healing always happens from within and people will only evolve when they are ready. Offer your best and let the rest go.
*** if you have any heart conditions or are currently taking anti-depressant medications it is not recommended to work with a full serving of ceremonial cacao and can cause headaches when combined.