HOW I CAME TO WORK WITH CACAO
I first heard about cacao plant medicine in 2014 whilst training in Thai massage in a hill tribe village in Thailand. A big reason I opted for this particular training was the opportunity to experience living in an animist tribal community - something I had been fascinated by for years. I was also interested in traditional plant spirit medicine practices, and the idea of experiencing a deep spiritual connection to the divine as expressed through the natural world, partly feeling called to dive in and partly wary of plunging into something so intense, aware that my path had been the gentler, slower path of yoga & meditation up until that point...This was why a wonderful friend I made during this training suggested I might like to connect with cacao, since her medicine is so much gentler to experience and integrate; and she recommended ceremonies held by a plant medicine shaman working in London.
I began to investigate over the next couple of years, during which I also experienced a profound heart-opening during a transformative stay on the Hawaiian island of Maui at the end of 2015... but it was in 2017 that cacao really began to call me very clearly. I finally experienced my first ceremony in London, and I knew this was the direction I wanted to follow: it was the closest to the blissful heart-opening I had experienced since Maui. I subsequently undertook my initial cacao apprenticeship training in Ibiza in early 2018 with Rebekah Shaman, a plant medicine shaman whose background was in Western Amazonian plant medicines, and whose ceremonial framework is rooted in those indigenous plant medicine traditions which she learned first hand. Following that powerful, transformative initiation, I've continued my own devoted studies and ever-deepening relationship with Ixcacao and her medicine, connecting, journeying and working with her by myself and also holding safe, compassionate space and guiding others on powerful, deep journeys. I bring a gentle, intimate, compassionate energy to the women's ceremonies I've been holding regularly since 2018; I also draw on many years of experience holding safe, compassionate and sacred/healing space as a yoga teacher (since 2012) and a Thai massage therapist (since 2015).
I work with profound respect for this ancient plant medicine, for my first teacher, and for the indigenous traditions of plant spirit shamanism. I acknowledge the Mesoamerican traditions which first honoured cacao as a plant spirit and the cacao I use is sourced from Ashaninka tribal people in the Peruvian Amazon, supporting their community and the rainforest. When circumstances permit, it's my heartfelt wish to make a pilgrimage to cacao's traditional heartlands, connect with the trees and the cultures which first deeply recognised the power and sanctity of this special plant.
Cacao FAQs here
"What a powerful and enriching experience! Feel very blessed to have been there...The ceremony was an extremely nurturing and powerful process within a safe, beautiful group of women. You held and supported us as a group with such grace, it was a truly empowering and life-changing experience." - Sarah
" Big thank you for an amazing experience. So rewarding to have a safe place to share honestly without judgement. Good to have time to reflect...It felt very positive and gave clarity to thoughts. Personally I feel I gained a great deal from Saturday's cacao ceremony." - Rachel