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When we think of plant medicine we often think of the extremes like ayahuasca, magic mushrooms and peyote. Mother Nature has much more to offer than the extremes though. She gifts us with plants that can ease our bodies and minds, plants that lift our spirits and plants that can gently guide us into knowing our own shadow. Cacao is one such plant. This beautiful medicine offers all of the above benefits, depending on both the source of the cacao and the intentions we set before consuming the plant. Ora Cacao provides great information on where they source their cacao and the energy each option possesses. That is also where I get my cacao from because of the high quality. (Use this link to get $5 off on your first order).
Personally, I love to use cacao ceremonies to go deeper into shadow work. The plant acts in a similar way to EMDR therapy or a sound bath; not altering your state of mind but allowing it to become more malleable and accessible. In my experience, my emotions become more neutral, allowing me to experience them without becoming overwhelmed by them. That aspect of the plant makes it very conductive to shadow work and healing. That being said, it is also great for relaxation or getting creative and overall just having fun.
Intentions: Intentions are everything. And during a cacao ceremony, it plays a crucial part. In essence, it is the core of the ceremony. Intentions can be set for the extent of the ceremony, for the coming month such as on a New moon, or an entire life shift; as simple or deep as you want to make it. Maybe you want to experience relaxation or calm. Maybe you want to get clarity on a new relationship. Maybe you want to move states and start a new life. Cacao can help as long as you set the intention.
Setting your intention also provides insight into which cacao you may want to consume. For example, if you want to focus or get creative, the Boundless Belize that Ora Cacao offers may be the way to go. If shadow work is your goal, Glowing Guatemalan is my favorite. That being said, intention truly is everything and can override the energy of the cacao is you don’t have the ‘right’ one.
The Elements: Cacao is extremely grounding and we want to really tap into and honor this during ceremony by honoring the four elements; Earth, Water, Air and Fire (you can add in Ether if you feel called to do so). I honor these elements by having a representation of each laid out in front of me during the ceremony and giving thanks to each before I start drinking the cacao. For Earth I use a rock of crystal. Water, well, a bowl of water. For air I like to use incense or oil diffusers. And for fire I have a small tea light candle. This is a personal preference, so if anything feels more representative of the elements for you, feel free to switch them out. Also remember that we are the elements personified, so if you don’t have access to physical representations, that’s okay because you are all of the elements in one. Earth my body, Water my blood, Air my breath and Fire my spirit. Now isn’t that a great reminder to honor ourselves as much as we honor anything outside ourselves!
Cacao: Choose your cacao based on your intentions. Heat water to around 170 degrees Fahrenheit, or just before boiling. You want it to be warm enough to melt the cacao but you don’t want it too hot because the heat can damage or alter the properties of the nutrients in the cacao. If your water does boil, just allow it to cool before adding it to your cacao. You can make it a number of ways; adding it directly to a cup or mug and stirring it in is the easiest way however it will likely be a bit chunky and separate relatively easily. You can also add the hot water and cacao to a blender and blend it together or add the warm water to the mug and use a hand blender or frother which allows for a better blend and smoother taste to the cacao. I personally use a frother and love the smooth texture it provides.
A beginner dose of cacao is roughly 1 oz and a ceremonial dose is roughly 2 oz. If you are using Ora Cacao, the beginner dose comes out to roughly 20 cacao discs and the ceremonial dose is about 40 discs. You can do more or less depending or your desired effect. Not eating for at least 2-3 hours before ceremony is also recommended for full effect of the cacao, but is not required.
The Ceremony: Set up your ceremony in whatever way you feel comfortable; setting out your elements, a place for your cacao and a journal to write your intentions and any insights that come to you during the ceremony. Make your cacao but don’t drink it quite yet. First write your intention if you haven’t already. As you sit before the elements and your cacao, it is time to give thanks. You can use the following prayer or alter it how you see fit if some of the vocabulary doesn’t resonate with you.
“We give thanks to the element of Earth for providing us with a stable foundation.
We give thanks to the element of Water for bringing us changing and connection.
We give thanks to the element of Air for uplifting us in our dark times.
We give thanks to the element of Fire for burning away the toxins of our mind, body and spirit.
We give thanks to Mother Cacao for facilitating our journey.
We give thanks to Mother Gaia for being our Home.”
With a spoon, stir your intention into the cacao or hold it to your heart, repeating your intention silently or aloud.
Finally, it’s time to drink the cacao, as fast or as slow as you like. But know that it can get chunky as it cools down.
As the cacao starts to set in, do whatever you feel called to do. Sometimes it doesn’t feel obvious or like it matches your intention; but your soul will bring you to what it needs. A great practice is to journal in the form of automatic writing. Automatic writing is a practice in which you write whatever comes to your mind even if it doesn’t make sense. It can even start by writing “I don’t know what to write” over and over until other things come to mind.
Other options are getting creative with instruments, writing, art, jewelry or any other creative outlet you feel called to. Simply meditating and allowing thoughts to come up and pass, or focusing in on an emotion or thought to do shadow work with. Breath work can be another option. The cacao will bring you into the present and draw your spirit to what it needs most in that moment.
I usually sit with the experience for an hour or so; however you can also go about your day feeling the relaxation and openness.
This process can also be used in a tea ceremony or really any other type of ceremony you’re wanting to have. Bringing friends and loved ones into the ceremony is another fun experience to have.
If you try the ceremony, tag me and Ora Cacao in a post about it!!
Many Blessings Starseeds!