WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY?
"...ritual and ceremony are sacred technology that heals, enables us to understand our life purpose, and reconnects us with our inner sacred feminine..."
- Katalin Koda, Fire of the Goddess
Cacao ceremonies are essentially a contemporary fusion, largely inspired by Mesoamerican traditions of ritually consuming hot beverages made from cacao beans and other sacred plants, as well as other plant medicine traditions from further south, in the Amazon. In recent years, Amazonian plant medicines with strongly psychoactive properties have become very popular: cacao (the purest form of what eventually becomes chocolate after a lot of processing), which is native to both South and Central America & Southern Mexico, offers a much gentler, safe, legal and easily-integrated alternative for those interested in experiencing a traditional-style plant medicine ritual, communing with an ancient teacher plant for personal healing or spiritual connection rooted in the sacredness of the natural world.
Traditional cultures around the world recognise the power and value of creating ceremonies which centre around ingesting special plants and communing with "plant consciousness".
This is not a recreational or hedonistic practice but a ritual, intentional way of mindfully, respectfully consuming a plant to develop a kind of personal connection to its energy, and receive its wisdom and experience its healing potential.
"Cacao ceremony" has become a blanket term for a range of offerings; my ceremonies embrace an introspective energy, exploring cacao's healing, heart-opening qualities and her ability to restore our lost connection to the sacred in nature, through meditative inner journeying rather than eg ecstatic dance or kirtan. Consumed intentionally, in ceremony, cacao holds the power to help us reconnect to our hearts, recognising the ways we might be blocked there, and calling on the cacao to assist us in letting go of whatever "stones" have been weighing down our inner bowl.
WHAT HAPPENS IN THE CEREMONY?
I won't go into too much detail because it's best to come with few expectations!
I work with small groups of women in my public ceremonies, and also offer private one-to-ones and small groups. (I only work with women in ceremony), so if you come to a group ceremony, we begin by sitting in a circle.
After the opening & introduction, each participant shares their intentions, we drink the cacao together, invoking the spirit of the plant through some simple rituals, and then you will lie down, close your eyes and be guided on a deep inner journey. (To help everyone relax their bodies and settle their minds, once everyone is lying down, I start with some guided meditation & Yoga Nidra before the actual inner journeying part of the ceremony.) This is an opportunity to shift into a more intuitive, receptive state of awareness in which you may connect more deeply with the spirit of the cacao and receive her wisdom and assistance. After this, you'll be brought back gently and given time to process through journaling, and also through sharing with the group in a closing circle.
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