FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
For details of cacao contraindications click here.
Please note all my offerings are for over-18s only.
DO YOU OFFER ONE-TO-ONE OR PRIVATE GROUP CACAO CIRCLES?
Yes I do, under certain circumstances! Click here for more info about one-to-one cacao offerings.
Please contact me here for more information.
CAN YOU TRAIN ME TO HOLD CACAO CIRCLES?
In short: no!
My offering is creating & sharing a sacred ceremonial space for healing with the assistance of cacao plant spirit medicine. I have the permission of my indigenous teachers to share their medicine with others; this is an honour and I have great respect for my teachers and their tradition.
To be an authentic teacher of cacao in this tradition requires decades of deep training - of course as cacao grows in popularity, there are plenty of people out there now offering cacao trainings. If you are sincere and serious about wanting to connect with cacao respectfully, and wishing to share with integrity, I highly highly recommend the cacao training offered by the Mayan Wisdom Project. This is not a "how to hold cacao ceremonies" training but a deep education in cacao from an authentic Mayan perspective. The Mayan peoples are cacao's true living lineage-holders, as a sacred plant - and I feel more and more strongly that they need to be the ones who benefit from the explosion of interest in cacao...And also, they are the ones who have the greatest depth of knowledge, experience and understanding - they have been working with cacao for thousands of years, cacao is in their blood and soul and embedded deep in their mythology and cosmology!
As someone sharing cacao also in the format of a plant spirit medicine, I work in partnership with the cacao spirit and this also was possible because of an earlier initiation during my first apprenticeship training with a plant spirit medicine practitioner. If you find power in my particular cacao offerings, I am honoured, but the way I share cacao is partly the result of a lot of training and personal practice and also grounded partly in my other experiences eg holding safe healing space as a Yoga teacher for over a decade...This is not stuff I can teach you in a neat package! And I do feel strongly that if you wish to learn about cacao, it's vital to learn from Mayan teachers who are willing to share this sacred wisdom with sincere students of cacao.
I feel there are questions of integrity also around how much non-Mayans have the right to be profiting from sharing their sacred medicine - for this reason too, I would rather direct you to those authentic teachers who carry the depth of ancestral lineage and a lifetime of experience, and deserve to be acknowledged and rewarded for the gifts they are generously sharing with the world, despite the centuries of genocide and cultural oppression they have endured. (I say authentic also because obviously, not all Mayan or Mesoamerican people are actually cacao spiritual guides! Just as not all British people are druids or priestesses...)
I love sharing Ixcacao's medicine and guiding others on journeys to connect with her for their own personal healing and spiritual connection. I wish to always share this medicine with respect and integrity, with Ixcacao's consent and blessing.
Participating in circles with me does not equate to an apprenticeship training in cacao plant spirit medicine nor in holding safe, sacred ceremonial space for others.
In this spirit, I ask that if you're coming to a circle, it's to participate, to surrender yourself to the experience of the medicine and circle fully, rather than observe and study how I work. This is also important in terms of respecting the other participants: the circle is intended to be a safe place for vulnerability and open-heartedness.
(I have had some odd experiences over the years of people being less than honest about their intentions in various ways, and none of this is acting in integrity, let alone grounded in any experience or respect for the medicine and traditions and indigenous heritage. It is also a shame when the spirit of these circles is intended to be oriented in the energy of the heart!)
WHY ARE YOUR CIRCLES FOR WOMEN ONLY?
Although in Mayan culture, cacao has a strong feminine connection (and corn/maize has the strong masculine connection - cacao and corn are a polarity), it is women who cultivate and prepare cacao traditionally, there is no protocol against men consuming cacao (and the sacred rituals are often guided by them); it's simply my personal calling to share with women. I appreciate that many men are in touch with their feminine side too! But I wish to create a safe space for women to explore healing, spirit and feminine empowerment; and this aligns with my own personal path working with cacao. My personal experiences around cacao have centred so deeply on my own path of feminine healing, including some very visceral initiations; and the cacao plant spirit came to me with a deeply feminine energy, so I feel I can only really speak to and share this authentically at present.
Cacao has a feminine energy which can be healing to connect with if you are a woman needing to heal your own relationship to your feminine aspect in some way, whether on a personal level, to other females in your life (eg the "mother wound"), or healing your relationship to the feminine within a patriarchal culture. We can internalise misogyny more than we realise when it's so deeply embedded in the culture we grow up in, however feminist we might think we are.
In a sense, I feel the western belated recognition of cacao's power as a sacred plant, after 500 years of being debased, and abused (along with the animist peoples of the Americas who revered cacao and other plants), stripped of its inherent spiritual power and reduced to a highly processed piece of confectionery is perhaps being mirrored in the ways the sacred feminine is being restored within the consciousness of many western women. Western/European culture & the various patriarchal monotheistic religions have repressed and abused and dishonoured the feminine, the intuitive, the heart-based, the sacred, Mother Earth/Nature for centuries...Perhaps this is why so many women are being called now to connect with cacao's loving, maternal and deeply healing energy; and why more people in general are hearing the call of plant medicines, to teach them how to heal the planet through healing themselves & their separation wound from nature, by reconnecting to nature spirits...