We have heard gratitude referred to by a First Nations teacher as "the words that come before all else."
You can think of gratitude as something that activates the cacao and your ritual or ceremony.
Gratitude does not require a specific set of beliefs and is something we can all cultivate, and we believe that gratitude is a crucial component to connecting to the spirit of Cacao and any plant for that matter.
Some say plants vibrate at the frequency of gratitude. So when we come with open hearts and thankfulness, we can fully open ourselves to receiving what the sacred plants of the Earth have to offer us!
As we near a day where many of us gather to give thanks, we want to invite you to begin nourishing your own gratitude practice. You might even wish to share this ritual below with your loved ones, shifting the paradigm of what you do each year and bringing in more authentic practices that aren't tied to a holiday that, for some, is a reminder of the pain that was inflicted on their culture.
Cacao Gratitude Ritual
What you need
- 12-15 discs of cacao per person
- Offerings of thanks for your altar such as flowers, sweets, stones, candles, fruit, and ethically sourced plants for burning such as copal, sage, or palo santo
- A journal or some paper & writing utensil
- Uninterrupted space
- Some enjoyable lyricless music (there are great playlists on Spotify)
- A candle
Begin by setting up your space. Turn on some music, cleanse and shift your consciousness with sacred smoke, and set up your altar.
Once your space is ready, prepare your cacao with the intention of infusing your heart with gratitude and bringing to your awareness all you're grateful for.
Now it's time to take your cacao to your space and begin. Make sure to have your journal handy.
- Holding your cacao at heart-level, close your eyes, take in the sweet aroma, and say, "Thank you cacao for your presence, thank you air, water, fire, and earth for your presence, may you live within my heart, may you be infused into this cacao."
- Take three deep belly breaths, envisioning that with each breath, your heart's gratitude rises to the surface. *You may repeat this as many times as you feel is necessary
- Now that you're grounded, take a moment and ask yourself, 'what am I grateful for?' don't rush. Take your time and really allow the answers to this question to arrive.
- As each thought of gratitude arises, speak it out loud and take a sip of cacao. Be as specific as possible, focus on feelings, focus on memories, and why they make you grateful.
- Repeat this practice as many times as feels good. If you've finished giving thanks but you have cacao left, perhaps save some to give back to the Earth as an offering at the end of your ritual/ceremony.
- Once your gratitude practice is complete, grab your journal and note down what you gave gratitude for, you may even allow yourself to free-write in this space. Then reflect on how it felt to give thanks in this way. Did you notice how your heart began to expand and your thoughts became more positive?
You may close this ritual by placing your hands on your heart and saying, "Thank you to the elements of air, water, Earth, and fire for accompanying me on my journey, thank you cacao for showing awakening gratitude in my heart, thank you to my heart for this space, this time, and this practice."
"Wear gratitude like a cloak and it will feed every corner of your life"
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