One of our visions for Ora Cacao is to nurture and grow community. After all, cacao’s wisdom encourages us to create community connections and bonds as it is part of our evolution.
Once a month, we’re going to highlight someone from our cacao community for inspiration, and so we can all get to know each other better. If you’d like to share your cacao story with us and our blog readers someday, feel free to let us know by replying to this email!
Today, you’ll get to meet Ayana, Ora Cacao’s content writer, ceremonial practitioner, student and advocate of ancestral teachings, and musical artist.
Many of you know her by now as she hosts our weekly Free Virtual Cacao Ceremonies and today we are creating space for her to share her journey with cacao.
What would you say if you could only describe Cacao in one sentence?
If I had to sum up Cacao into one sentence, I would say this:
“Cacao is a door opener and a sacred way-show-er of walking a heart-led path.”
Cacao has completely transformed my life and has helped me find inner healing in ways that I couldn’t have imagined; that’s why I’m so passionate about sharing it with the world. I’m so grateful that sharing about Cacao and its wonders is a part of my everyday life.
Cacao first entered into my life in 2016 at a cacao ceremony a friend had invited me to when I lived in LA. The ceremony was led by a woman who learned about Cacao from Guatemalan elders. I immediately felt a big pull towards this medicine as my entire family is from there and I grew up there until I was 8.
The experience was profound. I tapped into my inner child and mother-wounds in a way I never had before. I experienced complete catharsis that then led to being in absolute bliss for the rest of the night. I never actually drank Cacao in a ceremonial context again until 2020 during the pandemic.
During this time, I got to know Cacao in her full power. Along with the world, I was going through an intense time. I had panic attacks that would last hours, and anxiety that made me feel like I was in constant danger. I didn’t know where to turn; fortunately, a caring friend recommended her mentor to me. She became my cacao angel. During one of our sessions, she decided to do some reiki on me as I struggled to feel present. My anxiety had me experiencing depersonalization, a sensation of not being fully here, as though you’re high, but in a very uncomfortable way. During the reiki session, she received a clear message for me. She said that the medicine I needed was the medicine of my ancestors, the medicine of Cacao.
Healing From Anxiety & Moving Into a Heart-Led Path
I began to listen to the plant deeply. Everyday, I would make space for ritual and Cacao would guide me gently yet powerfully into my anxiety. It was interesting to notice how Cacao would literally push me (gently) into the emotions I didn’t want to look into, yet I felt so supported that I began to dare to touch them. I began to be more open in my expression within the relationship that I felt trapped in, I started being more honest with myself, and I began realizing that my anxiety was actually a wise ally that was letting me know I was not living the life that I wanted. Liberation came into view, and Cacao was the catalyst for that.
Cacao’s Greatest Lessons
Here are just a few of what I would consider Cacao’s most significant lessons in my life.
Cacao teaches us the importance of community and having the courage to take our masks off so we can experience genuine connection. One of my favorite sayings is: “wisdom is created between everyone.”
Cacao reminds us of the power of softening. Softening into our heart, our truth, our relationships, life! Through the presence it brings you into, compassion comes to the forefront, and feeling the big feelings becomes less scary. You remember that you aren’t alone, and that every expression within you is a part of this experience in life.
Cacao In Your Day-To-Day
As time has gone by, my personal practices have shifted and my relationship to Cacao as a teacher has too. Cacao brought me to some of my greatest guides so far on this path, and though many look to me as a guide within this realm, I consider myself to be a baby. When I turn to look at my teachers, and those who also carry the wisdom and medicine of Mesoamerica (the tradition through which I study Cacao), I am humbled and remember that this is a long and beautiful winding road.
The most significant role that Cacao currently plays in my day-to-day life is to continue remembering to honor life and give thanks for having this magnificent experience as a human being. This looks like making an offering of cacao everyday to the Earth before I take my first sip.
Connect With Ayana
You can find Ayana at our weekly Virtual Cacao Ceremonies every Tuesday, either hosting or facilitating! To follow her journey you can keep in touch on Instagram @serpentayana, and listen to her music on Spotify here! She will be releasing her next two singles in August and her first EP in October!