It is a powerful experience to share the cacao with a group of people but don’t feel you must be in a group to experience the medicine of cacao. As cacao is linked with opening the heart and emotions, you might prefer to hold a ceremony alone in familiar surroundings. When you begin to open up and explore your emotions, you never know how wide your heart will open.
The seed pods from the cacao plant are harvested, broken apart and left until the fleshy part has fermented and run off as a liquid. Then the beans are washed, cleaned, dried, peeled and broken into nibs (small pieces). The nibs are then pressed to make cacao butter and what’s left after that is milled into a fine powder. It’s this powder that’s used in the cacao ceremony to make a drink.
Cacao is full of good stuff like antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium but from a spiritual view, it’s medicine for the heart.
To the Mayans, cacao was ‘the water that runs through the heart’ and it was so important to the culture that it was used as currency. Cacao opens the heart chakra and it also increases blood flow to the brain by 40% so you might find a side-effect of cacao to be heart-led inspiration.
When I’ve co-hosted group events, my insistence that cacao does not taste like hot chocolate falls mainly on deaf ears (until they try it). Cacao is bitter. It’s a bitter medicine. It most definitely isn’t hot chocolate.
After drinking cacao, you can feel a bit spacey and you need to drink water after the ceremony to flush out the emotional rubbish that gets released by the cacao.
How To Have A Solo Sacred Cacao Ceremony
You need cacao. It wouldn’t be the same ceremony without it so before you do anything else, get yourself organic cacao. It’s powdered and it does look an awful lot like hot chocolate. Don’t buy cocoa because that also isn’t cacao.
Prepare your sacred space. Add incense, rose perhaps, a few candles and suitable music. Do whatever you do to get your sacred space all sacred.
Now to get the cacao ready. You need a tablespoon or so of cacao and a little spring water – mix it so make a paste in a mug or cup (I have a tea cup that I use solely for cacao). Traditionally, you’d add chilli too at this stage to accelerate the cacao. I’ll leave that decision to you because chilli powder might not be your thing. Add about 150ml (5 US fluid ounces) of hot water and mix well. Say any blessings and state your intention as you stir the cacao. If the drink is too bitter, add a little honey or maple syrup.
Take the cacao to your sacred space. Sit on the floor (or with your feet on the ground) and imagine roots going down from your body into the Earth. Feel the connection to the Sacred Earth and let her ground you while you sip the cacao.
When you’ve finished drinking the cacao, put your cup on the floor, place your hands in prayer position over your heart and close your eyes. Move your awareness to your heart area and visualise your heart opening like flower coming into bloom. Be open to feelings, insights. messages or tears.
When you have finished (you’ll feel when the time is right to close), give thanks to the spirit of Cacao for the wisdom and healing you’ve received. Retrieve your ‘roots’ from Mother Earth.
Take a few moments to ground or reflect. Have something to eat to ground.
Clear your sacred space.
Remember to drink water!