Guide & Preparation
Hi guys and a massive thank you for taking the plunge and coming on a heart opening journey with the ancient sacred plant medicine Cacao. I am so happy you have resonated with what we have to offer and I am so excited to take you on a journey with Cacao. This is a very special experience to delve deeper into who you truly are and welcome in the magic and the guidance of the great teacher Cacao. As you can see from the package you have received you have everything at your disposal to partake in a journey of expansive self-discovery.
My journey with Cacao started in December 2012. I was in Guatemala for the end of the Mayan calendar, which in its self was a massive shock as 12 months earlier I was almost sent to prison and classed myself as an atheist. I had been suicidal for quite some time and was willing to try anything to find happiness. When I was staying in a small town called San Marcos on the majestic Lake Atitlan I heard about a ‘Chocolate Shaman’ who got you high on his porch with chocolate and the experience was like a massive healing. I thought ‘what a total load of bollocks, but let's check it out’. I ended up drinking Cacao and being in a deep emotional state. I was also seeing all the deep emotional work that was going on around the room. After the ceremony it was like everyone was so much lighter and brighter the Cacao had opened us up and allowed us all to process deeply hidden scares and emotions. I was lucky enough to work closely with Keith the ‘Chocolate Shaman’ for around 5 weeks. I attended three weekly sessions and the odd private session for some deeper work. You could say I was hooked but I was feeling a deep connection to the medicine and was soaking up everything Keith did and communicated. He showed me how to connect to the Cacao spirit and use this amazing facilitator to open my heart and mind and move my consciousness to a higher vibration. Since I returned from Guatemala in 2013 I have been passing on this knowledge and opening people up to this great teacher by facilitating Cacao Ceremonies (with my own spin) that allow people to deeply relax, and connect with themselves and the highest version of who they are meant to be. Most importantly I am just here to hold the space so you can revel beautiful parts of yourself to yourself and set into this greater version of you. I am here so that you can do the work you need to do in a safe and controlled environment.
Cacao, The Sacred Ancient Medicine
Cacao is a powerful plant medicine that has been used ceremonially for thousands of years across Central and South America. The people of ancient Meso-America attributed a sacred status to Cacao, and would drink it ceremonially to commune with their Gods. The Mayan’s believed that the ka’kau' (Cacao) was discovered by the gods in a mountain, according to Mayan Mythology Hunahpú gave Cacao to the Mayan’s after humans were created from maize by the divine grandmother goddess Ixmucané. The word Cacao originated from the Maya word Ka'kau', as well as the Maya words chokola'j " to drink chocolate together.
Cacao is amazing at opening the heart and allowing us to release our shadows and truly step into our light. It’s active ingredient is Theobromine which when translated means ‘Food of the Gods’. Working with Cacao is so beautiful and gives you this warm fluffy feeling inside, it is also very beneficial nutritionally. Cacao contains potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc and magnesium which contribute to cardiovascular health. Cacao is the primary dietary source of magnesium, the most deficient mineral in western civilisation. Magnesium is the most important mineral for a healthy functioning heart. It also plays a key role in producing energy for the neurons in the brain from glucose. So when there is an abundance of magnesium the brain works with clarity and focus. Cacao can trigger the release of dopamine and the endorphin, phenylethylamine, both of which soothe the symptoms of premenstral syndrome and depression. It is scientifically proven that Cacao helps to relieve emotional stress!! Whoop whoop!! It also contains the bliss molecule anandamide (ananda is Sanskrit means bliss) which is also released during a workout when we get that natural high. Anandamide is a natural pleasure enhancer that fits into the cannabinoid receptor site of the nervous system. Cacao also has more antioxidants than any other food, (621) wild blueberries only have 61!!! It also has a significant amount of chromium which helps balance blood sugar levels. It increases blood flow to the brain making the mind feel clearer and more peaceful which creates more mental clarity, control and focus. Perfect for meditation. What more could we ask for?
At my Ceremonies we use FOREVER CACAO which is the finest 100% Ceremonial Grade Organic Criollo Cacao. It has been grown, harvested, fermented and dried by Ashaninka families and directly sourced from the ancient Cacao gardens in the Rio Ene region of Peru. It is of the highest energetic vibration and has not been through any process to remove any of the active ingredients from the natural Cacao bean. Chocolate you buy in a shop has been diluted and diluted by adding fats and sugars eradicating most of the original goodness found in the Cacao bean. In fact, the more Cacao is processed, the more of its goodness disappears. We are talking about 100% cacao straight from the bean, and ground down into what is known, as the ‘cacao liquor,’ and historically renowned for its many health benefits that support physical and psychological well-being. There is a different vibration when you eat a dairy filled chocolate bar to minimally processed dark chocolate and when you drink Ceremonial Grade Cacao absolutely none of its divine magic has been taken away. This is the creme de la creme of Chocolate and once you get used to it you won’t want anything else.
Cacao in its purest form allows us to form a deeper connection with ourselves, our own intuition, knowing and inner guidance. The medicine has only recently been rediscovered in the western world with more and more practitioners and facilitators popping up all over the place. People are coming to the medicine for guidance and support, receiving the messages they need from the Cacao spirit.
It is a very gentle earth medicine in comparison to Ayahuasca and other more psychedelic medicines. Ceremonial Cacao invites you on a journey, to travel with the chocolate spirit through the veil, but only if you choose. It does not act like a psychedelic – it does not take you on its trip, but facilitates your own. Ceremonial cacao is therefore an ancient plant medicine, a wisdom keeper, a teacher and facilitator. It is the forgotten plant medicine that assists you with the journey into your heart. You may feel more stimulated and awake and your heart may appear to be beating faster. Don't worry this is just the medicine pumping more oxygen around your heart and the Cacao opening you up so you can connect deeper with who you truly are.
Emotional & Spiritual Benefits
In our crazy and stressful world Cacao allows us time and space for ourselves. To get a deeper understanding of who we are, what we like and how to connect to our dreams. Cacao gives us an opportunity to move towards the fullest expression of who we truly are and this can be the catalyst in removing barriers in all areas of your life; relationships, career, personal growth, creativity, or wherever your focus is. Ultimately, cacao can help deepen your connection to your heart, and expand your capacity to love and be loved. It has amazing, life-affirming qualities that support health and psychological well-being. She is a powerful Plant Medicine that helps us to release emotional blockages that no longer serve us, find forgiveness in ourselves and others, and shows us the way forward if we are stuck, or afraid of making necessary life changes. It also enables us to access stuck emotions, conditionings, patterns of behaviour and addictions that are buried deep in the unconscious and release them in safe and nurturing environment.
How to Prepare for the Ceremony
Fast for at least 4 hours before the ceremony, those with an empty stomach will notice a quicker and deeper connection to the medicine. Taking cacao with food or liquids in the stomach, or drinking it together with food, will slow absorption and assimilation. Also go easy on caffeine or coffee in the hours before having a ceremonial dose of cacao, it will create poor focus. Coffee and cacao as a mocha is fine, but a poor combination in ceremony. So I would say no coffee the day of the ceremony to ensure better focus. The general agreement is that there is little caffeine in cacao, it is its chemically similar constituent Theobromine that is responsible. It would also be worthwhile doing some light yoga or stretching before we get started as we will be sat for a long time.
Well before the ceremony starts set your sacred space ready for your journey with Cacao. If you have an alter create a comfortable space close to it where you can sit in meditation and with enough space so that if you feel the need to lay down flat you can do so. Set your alter bringing any crystals and pictures you want and light some candles. Have your Paulo Santo and candle set on your alter as we will be using these during the ceremony. Make the space comfy and cozy and have a blanket handy. Make sure you have plenty of fresh drinking water at hand and a note book for journaling any thoughts and insights you may get.Now smudge yourself and your sacred space with the sage, using the shell to make sure no sparks fall on the floor. Blow at the lit sage to produce the cleansing smoke, (more details about smudging below). You can say a prayer as you smudge like, “I remove any negative energy and only allow in love and light”. Never leave the lit sage unattended please!!!
Bless your Cacao by holding it close to your heart, giving gratitude to the spirit for helping you connect with your true essence. Prepare the Cacao by emptying your bag of Ceremonial Grade Cacao into a pan. Add around 50ml of water and slowly heat whilst whisking to dissolve the granules. Then add another 110ml of water and heat. Do not allow the Cacao to come to the boil as some of the active ingredients can be released. You want all the goodness in there. You can drink the Cacao like this or if you want you can infuse some of your favourite spices like, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cardamon. You can also replace some of the water with your favourite plant milk. Please don’t use dairy as it can block intestinal assimilation of flavonoids. We don’t want that do we!!!
I also like to add a bit of Chilli or Cayenne Pepper which is a traditional addition and warms your circulation allowing the Cacao into your bloodstream quicker. This isn’t essential but on a vibrational level can be stimulating and acts as a spiritual accelerator!! Then if you require anything to sweeten, this is your opportunity. I typically add a little agave or maple syrup, try and avoid processed sugars.
Ok so get your Cacao tasting exactly as you want it and come and join me for the Ceremony in your nicely prepared sacred space. You could put the Cacao in a flask to keep it warm but it's not essential. I like to drink it a little cooler!!
Start drinking your water about half way through the Ceremony so you don’t start to feel dehydrated. Dehydration headache may be experienced well into the next day so drink plenty of water!
Cacao is an ancient plant medicine from the rainforest and can be very potent and powerful when taken in a ceremonial dose (40g). So please listen to your bodies inner knowing on the amount you take. You can always have more later. We are trying to reveal that inner knowing so if it says enough please honour that and gain control over the ego!! Every person is different physically and energetically therefore the dosage is suggested on what I feel works best for people and is safe. If you feel a little apprehensive then just start with half a dose and put the other half in a flask incase you want more later. If you decide to do a ceremony alone please be aware that Cacao can keep you stimulated and awake so try not to take a dose any later than 3pm or it may keep you up all night. First hand experience right here!! However if you do want to stay up all night Cacao is the perfect aid. I always use it to stay up for the solstices.
What Will Happen During the Ceremony?
You will start to feel a buzz about 30-40 minutes after drinking the Cacao and the effects should last for 4-5 hours. You will feel the chatter of the mind disappear and really sink into the heart. You will feel very, very relaxed and be able to meditate deeply. You will experience around 40-60% more blood flow to the brain. Cacao helps your body process nitric oxide which enhances blood circulation and improves the cardiovascular system. Increased blood flow brings increased oxygen, nutrients and prana (life energy) to our mental space. Cacao also has ‘flavonoids’ which Harvard studies have proven to enhance thought and memory.
You need to be prepared to process what arises for you during the Ceremony and this could happen for days weeks and months afterwards as parts of you that have been closed start to open. That is why journaling during and after the ceremony can be highly beneficial, you may even feel the need to express this through art, poetry or song. Whatever comes up for you just go with it. My personal experience with cacao is that my mind is quieter. The increased blood flow does not increase my typical mental patterns, rather the increased prana calms the mental chatter of the mind (the vrittis in Sanskrit) and opens portals to connect with my true intellect. From this place we can feel ourselves from our space of inner knowing. The cacao moves our mind energy from the cerebral cortex (the brain) and into the mind of the heart. The mind of the heart, which actually fires neurons nano-seconds before neurons are fired from the cerebral brain, is where our emotion-based decisions come from. Rather than thinking of a solution, we feel a solution that we know is right for our inner knowing. Whereas we are conditioned to make decision with our brain-mind, the cacao facilitates this awareness of our heart-mind and allows us to connect with this space of love and emotion on a more consistent basis.
We are going beyond personal emotions to understand the love in all emotional fluctuations, becoming love itself, we begin to sense the greater possibilities for heightened awareness that creates a feeling of transcending the more mundane aspects of existence. It is a journey to reflect and bask in self-love you have nourished and created, honouring your own personal sun. Looking to illuminate the parts of you which are longing for more light and more love. The Ceremony gives us time for ourselves in a hectic and stressful world. It is the perfect space to switch off the outside chaos and journey into the silence, so that we can become clearer of who we are, where we are going, and the opportunities available to us. Whether you're looking for help shifting an emotional blockage, needing to let go of a past experience, dissolve negative energy or you simply want to lift your spirits, the ceremony can provide the focus you need to re-align with who you really are, and get back on track. The aim is to come into harmonious union aligning ourselves to our true nature. You will leave feeling spiritually inspired, emotionally empowered and expansive….ready to live life, the life that wants to live you! When using Cacao we allow nature’s wisdom to guide us in shifting our perceptions and dreaming our world into being! Now is the time to reveal yourself to yourself. As the Hopi Elders stated: “We are the ones that we’ve been waiting for.”
Cacao has always been considered a ‘very powerful’ aphrodisiac, exotic food, and medicine, by the Mesoamerican and South American cultures, such as the Mayans, Aztecs and Spanish conquistadors. With the heart opening effect and extra blood flow to the genital area Cacao is so much more powerful than conventional Chocolate. Going into ceremony with a partner can allow a deeper heart based connection and add more sensuality and sensitivity to your exploration of one another. You can experiment by adding different heart opening tonics like rose water which also has a heart based vibration. Historically its Greek name ‘Theobroma Cacao means ‘Food of the Gods’, Thea (God), Broma (food). Benefits are found in the neurotransmitter modulating agents that act as natural antidepressants. Its high valeric acid content blocks the stress hormones, while triggering the release of dopamine, anandamide and the endorphin phenylethylamine, all of which are known as the ‘bliss molecules’. Benefits are found in the neurotransmitter modulating agents that act as natural Cacao also contains the essential amino acid tryptophan, which increases production of serotonin, an important brain chemical that helps us remain positive and happy. These neurotransmitters also remain in the bloodstream longer after ingesting cacao, creating a natural antidepressant benefit, while the theobromine and caffeine content boosts energy levels and relieves fatigue.
When someone first told me there was a Chocolate Shaman and you could get high on Chocolate on his porch I was like ‘no chance, that’s bollocks’. How wrong was I. Who would have thought that the Chocolate the world is addicted to is such a powerful medicine in its natural form? ‘Let go and glow’ people it’s time to share the love!
When working with Cacao we are opening up and sometimes we struggle to let go. We need to release what comes up for us, not hold onto it. If we don’t we can get a ‘chocolate hangover’ the next day until the energies can dissipate or you suppress the emotions again. You will have 30-40% more blood flowing to the brain, no pharmaceutical drug does that. It's energy it has to get out somehow so you may end up with a headache and feeling a bit sick. Just drink plenty of water, keep trying to listen to the body and what’s coming up emotionally and just sit it out and let it pass. This is very rare by the way!
Cleansing your Space (Smudging)
Sage smudging is a powerful cleansing technique used by indigenous people for thousands of years in order to remove negativity and invoke positive energy.
Use the smudge sticks to cleanse a space, person, object or your own mind, body and spirit. To use your sage, begin by ensuring your space is well ventilated for effective cleansing.
Place the sage bundle on the shell or in any ashtray or bowl, or hold and light one end of the herb. As the flame appears, let it burn for a few seconds, then put the flame out and encourage the embers to smoke by wafting the sage around or gently blowing.
You may cleanse yourself first by encircling the smoke around you. Use a feather or fan to direct the smoke to the areas or person in need of cleansing. As the smoke rises into the air, picture your intention. If you are cleansing negative energy, picture its density and see it lifting away and being replaced by positive energy.
You can pray or chant if you feel like doing so. Use your hands or smudge fan to guide the smoke around your sacred space. Once finished, press the smudge into the shell or ashtray to put it out. You can smudge any time and as often as you see fit.
NEVER LEAVE A LIT SMUDGE STICK UNATTENDED
Whilst you are smudging you may want to recite one of the below prayers.
“Cleanse this space, remove the past. Fill this place with joy and love.”
“Negative energy may not stay. I release it and send it on it’s way.”
“Into this smoke, I release all negative energies that do not serve me, all negativity that surrounds me, and all fears that init me.”
“Positive feelings come near, all others wither and disappear.”
Please do NOT drink a FULL dose of Cacao if:
If you are taking anti-depressants or any other medication. They can interact with the enzymes that metabolise the Cacao and you will get migraines, nausea and vomiting. Cacao can be consumed but at much lower doses. Many antidepressants do NOT mix with the tryptophan and MAO (Monoamine! Oxidase) Inhibitors in the cacao.. Google your medication!! I have seen some extreme migraines, and it could be worse!
If you have a serious heart condition (you would know about it if you did.) Cacao increases heart rate significantly, and is a vasodilator, opening blood vessels, increasing flow, and reducing blood pressure if it is high. Go easy at first with very low blood pressure –though it is rarely a problem (for most, cacao increases low blood pressure).
Those who need dietetic detox, or are toxic (as with people who are having chemotherapy treatment), may become nauseous 5-6 hours after a large dose, as the bitter present in natural Cacao, stimulates the liver… if so drink water!!!!
Those into fasting or raw diet may overdose on regular ceremonial quantities. Reduce your dose.
Lower doses may also be needed for some (but not all) with LOW BODY WEIGHT or those who regard themselves as sensitive, such as to drugs or energies. This could be physiological or belief system based, or both.
You are pregnant or breastfeeding. Take a smaller dose. No more than 28g and not that much until you know cacao and understand your own pace with it.
MIGRAINE sufferers: If you get migraines from coffee, be cautious with cacao, though we rarely see a problem.
A larger or full ceremonial amount of cacao combined with intense aerobic activity or a high heat, hot spring/tub/sweat/sauna could make anyone nauseous. Avoid intense physical activity after taking a full ceremonial dose (40- 42g and above).
Please make us aware if any of the above apply to you.
Ingesting more than (57g) of this cacao is unnecessary and undesirable for almost everyone and the likely outcome is that within 1 hour, you will become nauseous enough to vomit.
As little as 28g is enough for many inner activities and may bring on deep emotional release. It is certainly sufficient for open heartedness. Everyone is different. Many have experienced emotional release or immediate energetic blending with the Cacao Spirit from eating one cacao bean or from the first sip of the Ceremonial Grade hot chocolate.
Beware Cacao is fatal to Dogs
Spiritual chocolate is fatal to DOGS (also parrots, horses, and somewhat to cats) who genetically lack the enzyme to metabolise theobromine (a caffeine related compound that is the principle stimulant in cacao)… and so have a heart attack. So please, keep your Cacao far away, out of reach of your beloved pets to avoid any tragic accidents.
Before the ceremony we recommend that you do not eat or drink coffee for at least four hours. This is so that the cacao can be quickly and easily absorbed enabling you to go deeper into your journey. Please drink plenty of water both before and after the ceremony to stay hydrated. A good way to ground the energy if you are feeling floaty or spacey after the ceremony is to have a good warm meal.
What you need?
Your journal and a pen to write down any insights from your journey
A cosy blanket, some pillows and anything to make you super comfy
Any crystals or tools you like to connect with whilst journeying
Dress in comfortable loose clothing
If you require any further information or have any questions, firstly have a look at the information on the Facebook event page. Still cant find what you are looking for then send me a message. You should now be fully versed in the power and sacredness of the beloved ancient medicine of the rainforest Cacao. Let’s have a beautiful adventure together and discover your individual superpowers!!! Boom!!!
With love, light health and happiness I will see you on the inner dance floor ready to move to the beat of our hearts and follow its guidance.
Thank you Cacao!!!
Matiox, Matiox , Matiox
“We do not go into ceremony to talk about God. We go into ceremony to talk with God”— QUANAH PARKER COMANCHE
All the above information has been prepared with the help of my mentor The Chocolate Shaman (Keith) and his blog. I have also used information from Rebekah Shaman’s website and from The Divine Magick website. All links are below.
Keith The Chocolate Shanam- http://ceremonialcacao.blogspot.com/2011/08/cacaoDpreparationDandDuse.html
Rebekah Shaman- https://ritualcacao.co.uk & https://www.rebekahshaman.com
The Divine Magick- https://www.thedivinemagick.com
Matiox, Matiox , Matiox