Quick Links: What Is Cacao Ceremony? | Things You May Experience In Cacao Ceremony | What Are The Benefits Of Cacao Ceremony? | How Do I Know If Cacao Ceremony Is Right For Me? | What Do We Know About Ancient Ceremonies?
What Is Cacao Ceremony?
Cacao ceremony has become a centerpiece of our routine ritual for self renewal that keeps us centered, connected to our hearts, and living in a good way. Our process of working with cacao is interwoven with embodiment, creative expression, and many other healing modalities that guide us in navigating our own losses, pain, and suffering. Along the way, we have found healing and connection to ourselves, experienced depth and healing in our blood family, and discovered deeper connection with the elements, land, and ecology that we didn’t experience before. And we believe you can find the same: cacao has the potential to be a guide and gateway to help each one of us embrace the compass and depth of our heart as a starting point for profound healing and remembrance.
Gathering together to drink cacao can create healing, connection and inspiration. Engaging with chocolate as a ritual, rather than consuming it as candy, has direct positive impact on our individual well-being as well as our global ecosystem.
Cacao ceremonies are becoming more popular, because they are spaces for people to connect with each other in new ways, and they are an opportunity to reconnect with ancient parts of ourselves that remember the simple power of gathering together in community.
Things You May Experience In Cacao Ceremony
While every cacao ceremony is different depending on the energies of the group present and the facilitation, there are some general things one can expect when attending a cacao ceremony:
- A safe, nourishing environment for you to connect with yourself, the spirit of cacao, and other people in deeper ways than one can usually access when by yourself.
- The group will be led through a cacao blessing, where they learn about the cacao they are drinking, and how it was prepared.
- The ceremonial cacao that one drinks in a ceremony was sourced, made, and prepared with love and intention.
- The facilitator will guide the group through various exercises and experiences based on the intentions of the event. Some examples of guided experiences are: guided meditations, sound journeys, dance and movement practices, and partner exercises.
- The general arc of a ceremony is there is some sort of opening and setting of the container, a shared group experience, and then a closing where you give thanks, and acknowledge what the group created during that time.
What Are The Benefits of Cacao Ceremony?
Cacao ceremonies are helpful for getting clarity, setting intentions, and doing healing work & inner-processing. Being in a sacred space helps you get out of your normal frame of mind, allowing you to experience new insights & perspectives. Depending on the intention of the ceremony they can also be wonderful places to connect with people in a safe, open-hearted environment. Sharing cacao brings us into the same energetic frequency. This often results in deeper more intimate connection with ourselves and each other. When multiple people share cacao together, we have a shared experience of mood elevation, increased vitality, enhanced intuition and empathy, and a more open, present heart.
Cacao increases the energetic field of our hearts, and when we join together, the field is amplified and woven together with multiple hearts in the room. We each carry unique medicine and messages for each other, and even if you are in a ceremony with strangers, they may share something about their personal experience that provides more clarity or inspiration for where you are in your life. When a group all drinks cacao together, they are shifting their energy into the same frequency or vibration. This may seem a bit woo woo, yet it's similar to a group of friends going out for beers - they are all getting into the same journey together by drinking beverages with the same effect on the body. In the case of cacao, it is a medicinal & healing experience for your body, mind, and spirit.
How Do I Know If A Cacao Ceremony Is Right For Me?
- Cacao ceremonies can be a great way to meet new people in your community, who are interested in healing and intentional connection with others.
- If you have a specific desire to learn more about cacao and connect with the cacao spirit (often the cacao spirit can ‘call you’ which can feel like you are inexplicably drawn or magnetized to ceremonial cacao) cacao ceremonies are a great place to start.
- If you are interested in doing healing work, such as clearing past trauma from relationships, ancestral clearing, or understanding the root cause of physical ailments, a cacao ceremony can support those intentions. Note, a cacao ceremony is typically not a place where you would experience therapy, or personal 1:1 support, so if you need more in depth support for deep trauma, we recommend working with a therapist or healer 1:1.
- If you are looking to move more, to experience more bliss in your life, to fill up with the essence of who you are, cacao can support a deeper connection with your body.
- As we mentioned above, every cacao ceremony and facilitator is different. It’s important that you do a ‘gut-check’ on the ceremony to determine if you resonate with the intention and the facilitator. If you haven’t met the facilitator in person, it can be good practice to reach out to them directly and ask the following questions:
- Where does the cacao come from that we will be working with?
- What is your intention for the space and what activities can I expect?
- How many people will be at the ceremony?
This can give you an idea of what the space will be like, and you can then determine if it’s aligned with your intentions. Some spaces may be more externally focused, like before an ecstatic dance event, whereas others may be more inward focused.
You can also have cacao ceremony on your own, and we offer cacao and guidance on how to do so. This can be done in infinite forms, from a personal meditation and journaling to a New Moon nature walk on the beach. You can read more information about how to have your own cacao ceremony here.
What Do We Know About Ancient Cacao Ceremonies?
Archaeological evidence of cacao's use dates back to 3,900 years ago in Central America, and recent genetic evidence dates cacao's use to 5,300 years ago in the Amazon. Despite this long history of human use of cacao, we know very little about ancient cacao rituals both because of the massive genocide of the indigenous population of the Americas beginning in the 1500s, and because of how quickly ancient artifacts deteriorate in wet tropical conditions.
We do know that for the Olmec, Zapotec, Mayans, and Aztec, cacao was a plant of central importance. Cacao is mentioned extensively in the Popul Vuh, the Mayan Creation story, and can be found in many engravings depicting ritual offerings. We know that there were great storehouses of cacao beans, that cacao was used as a currency, and that cacao was consumed as a drink. Cacao is still an important part of Maya culture today, utilized in midwifery, weddings & other social gatherings.
Cacao ceremony, in the Western context, is a relatively new phenomenon, as people seek a new relationship with cacao outside of what the chocolate industry offers. There is no relationship between modern cacao ceremony and ancient cacao ceremony, besides the desire to engage in sacred relationship with the cacao plant.
This is a fundamental tie though, as all the information for ancient cacao rituals likely arose from intuitive listening and inquiry with the cacao plant, and similarly, modern cacao ceremony arises from a method of inquiry and relationship building with the cacao spirit. You can read more information about how to have your own cacao ceremony here.