Course 1: Cacao and Holistic Health

  • $149.00
  • 8 Reviews

+ -

In this recorded video class you will learn one of the reasons we come to cacao everyday - for the incredible ways it can boost your health. This is the place to start if you want a grounded understanding of how cacao helps you physically thrive. You will leave this class feeling confident to share fascinating cacao facts with your friends & family, and ready to develop your own regular cacao ritual.

We'll cover essential details that help you read beyond the label of chocolate products, and and know exactly what to look for and what to avoid with critical issues such as heavy metals, cocoa powder, sweeteners, and other additives. We'll cover proper dosages for cacao, and will look at how to stay in right relationship with cacao and navigate your changing body and relationship with cacao over time. We'll also look at the chemistry of how cacao interacts with our physical body, and dive into the exciting neurochemistry of cacao so that you fully understand explain why cacao can be an important addition to your daily health.



The Details

  • When you sign up for class you will receive an email with the link to join the private social network, where all materials & class recordings live. You will have lifetime access and can re-watch the videos as often as you'd like.
  • Your supplemental reading material includes scientific research papers we've compiled about the effects of cacao. 
  • You will receive "love-work" journaling prompts to help you reflect upon and integrate the course material.
  • You can also ask questions and interact with Jonas, Sena & the course participants in the private social network.


    Course Overview

     Class One

    • Physical Benefits of Cacao
    • The Chemistry of Cacao
      • Theobromine and Caffeine
      • Magnesium and Minerals
      • Beneficial Neuromodulators
    • Detoxification & Liver
    • The Download on Heavy Metals in Cacao
    • The Cocoa Powder Lie & The Benefits of the Whole Bean
    • A Sugar Story - Cacao and the Gut
    • Headaches, Jitters, and Sickness

    Class Two

    • Contraindications
    • Emotional, Energetic & Spiritual Benefits of Working With Cacao
    • Navigating the Cacao Marketplace
    • Why Organic Matters
    • The Truth Behind The Raw Cacao Marketing Trend






      Did You Know We Have More Online Classes?

      We have broken down our two big courses into six smaller classes, to offer a self-guided learning journey through the topics that you're most interested in. These classes can be taken in any order, and you can see the entire list here. They are listed in order from beginner (cacao health & embodiment 101) to advanced topics (cacao ceremony facilitation) so if you are interested in receiving a comprehensive education around ceremonial cacao we recommend starting from the top and working your way through.

      Yet, our intention is to make the courses accessible for those who want to pick and choose the areas they are most interested in, as well as provide the comprehensive course option for those that want it.

      *If you want a comprehensive cacao education you can sign up for all six courses and receive $97 off here!*


          Our unsweetened drinking chocolate is freshly made in micro batches from whole raw cacao beans and nothing else. Unlike cocoa powder, our whole food cacao includes cacao butter, a high-grade natural fat is the most effective carrier of cacao's medicinal benefits. Cacao is the best natural source of magnesium and chromium, and contains many other beneficial trace minerals. Our cacao has been lab tested for safety and meets comprehensive EU standards for absence of heavy metals.

          Your Guides

          Organic Cacao Beans Belize

          Jonas Ketterle

          After first encountering chocolate making with a Zapotec elder in Oaxaca Mexico in 2012, Jonas founded Firefly Chocolate in 2014, with the mission of inspiring awe and wonder through cacao. As his third entrepreneurial venture and his first at the helm, starting a business was a big initiation. Building a modern chocolate factory to produce purely 100% ceremonial cacao took many years, and now Firefly has found its footing with a unique expertise as a leading supplier of ceremonial cacao in the US and internationally. Jonas loves that every day he shows up to work, he gets to work with cacao, and it is always teaching him. His favorite part about teaching these courses is that he gets to share that rich learning experience with you. 

          Jonas goes by he/his, and he identifies as a first-generation American, having immigrated from Germany at 4 years old,  He grew up in Boston, land of the Massachusetts people, and lives in Northern California, occupied land of the Nisenan people.

          Sena Shellenberger

          Sena Shellenberger 

          Sena worked at Google pioneering their hardware projects for 5 years before discovering cacao in a ceremony in Mexico in 2015. She eventually left her corporate job which led to travels in Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Belize to deepen her connection with cacao. She joined the Firefly team in 2018 after teaching many about ceremonial cacao through her online courses and in addition to her marketing support for Firefly, continues to lead ceremonies, retreats, and workshops on cacao stewardship.

          Sena goes by she/hers, and identifies as half-Mexican and half-European. She grew up in the land of the Dakota Sioux, now called Minnesota, and lives in Northern California, occupied land of the Nisenan people. 



          The course was so life changing. It was so much more than I expected. My intention was to take the class as a way to develop z spiritual practice. All the "spiritual" practices in the past never felt right for me. Cacao makes me feel so connected, makes me heart so open and big. She begs for me to share her with others. As I sit with what I have learned and am still learning I have a great desire to become a ceremonial cacao facilitator for my community. Fargo needs this! I also have changed my primary beverage of the morning to cacao instead of coffee. Realizing now the janky, anxiety ridden vibes of coffee I've been allowing all these years where why I didn't feel good. Ufta! But mama cacao makes me feel so good and energetic without ever dropping a beat. Those heart vibes are so real and big. Thank you a million times over to you both... Jonas and Sena. Now if we can have a sustainable way for everyone to drink cacao everyday and spread the good vibes. Cacao can and will surely change the world.



          When I first saw Firefly Chocolate's announcement of their "Meet Cacao" course I didn't hesitate to sign up, and I'm so glad I did! Such thoughtful presentation of topics, so knowledgeable of the cultural history, literally all things cacao, nutritionally, farm to disc, ceremonial cacao, and so much more flowed so generously throughout this course. Jonas and Sena are a wonderful team of knowledge, a great balance, and beautiful space holders. This course exceeded my expectations and for me was the perfect balance between cacao facts, nutrition, history, also their farmers and standards (all wrapped around handling this plant as living medicine, a sacred being-and bean!), as well as the spiritual side of cacao, ritual and ceremony, the sacred plant medicine. Highly, highly recommend experiencing and learning from this class. You will connect with great people, you will love working with cacao. I learned so much about the plant and myself, which is a continuing experience as I grow in this journey with Mama Cacao. So much gratitude for Jonas and Sena, their tremendous knowledge and respect, and the lovely space they create for this special class.
          All the best to you both, thank you again! I can't wait to take the Stewardship/Facilitator course, just wasn't meant to be this time around--but hopefully next time! See you in the chats and on social media LOL!



          My experience of the course was not like I imagined it to be. First off, equal attention was given to both heart time and brain time; and they were woven together seamlessly. While there was significant information about all aspects of Cacao, it was delivered in a heart full connected way, and rather than just receiving data points, I had the full experience of what I was learning. I am all in for the next level of Steward the Medicine while insights resulting from my personal Cacao ritual continue to enrich and inform. Kudos to Jonas and Sena for creating something quite special.



          I signed up for Meet Cacao simply wanting to gather more information for myself on the medicinal and physical benefits that I felt were beginning to transpire for me in my month of drinking Firefly Chocolate. I was absolutely blown away after the very first class with the depth of information and education that the course provided and the honesty and candor with which Jonas and Sena presented everything. Each class continued to inspire my curiosity about Ceremonial Cacao and the benefit of participating live when I could was also a wonderful surprise gift of community! My only wish was that the course was spread over 6 weeks with one class a week instead of two so that I would have had more time to steep in the information I collected from each class and allow it to more fully integrate before even more interesting information was presented. This course truly exceeded my every expectation! I feel much more able to speak about cacao to friends and family with this foundational information to build upon. Thank you for this offering and for sharing your knowledge with the world! Mama Cacao is working her magic through you and Firefly Chocolate!


          I had been working with Cacao a few months before I joined the introductory Meet Cacao course with Firefly Chocolate. All that I had experienced personally up until that point, I still only had a small understanding of the cultural history, cultivation, and social impact of ceremonial-grade cacao. Jonas and Sena have broken all this down into fascinating, digestible details, from their tremendous experience and research, truly honoring the long history of the cacao plant in nature and in culture. Each lesson expanded my relationship with Cacao, as well as my inner-self, and introduced me to a beautiful community full of passionate, wonderful people who are all just as dedicated to Cacao as I am! This is a unique, interactive course that perfectly weaves education, guidance, and hands-on exercise, creating leadership and integrity in the practice of working with Cacao. 


            Organic Chocolate Maker Organic Cacao Beans Drying Guatemala  

          Online Course FAQs

          Online Course FAQs 

          Virtual Online Cacao Ceremony with Jonas and Sena


          Q: I’ve never done an online course before, how should I prepare?

          A: We know new things can be a little intimidating, yet trust us when we say it's quite easy to receive cacao information and experiences online!

          Whether you are watching the recording or joining us live, we recommend setting up your space beforehand to optimize your ability to be present.

          Set the space

          • Ideally, you can be in a private space and dedicate this time to self-study. You can create a nourishing space with pillows, candles, and other meaningful items, or keep it simple.  We recommend having a dedicated notebook & pen for your work with cacao. Also water, tea or maybe even some cacao to sip on during class can be nice.
          • Since this will be via your laptop or phone, you will want to make sure your devices are charged or that you have a charging cord and outlet nearby. You can prop your computer or phone up in a chair or with books to allow for easeful watching and typing without hurting your neck or back. You may also want headphones. 

          Q: I’ve never done an online course before... what's it like?

          A: We decided to use an online format so we can connect with you via your smartphone or computer, no matter where you are in the world. 

          You can imagine it like FaceTime or Skype video chat, but with your video and audio off. Or, you will be watching a recording of us presenting to you, webinar style. Essentially, it's like connecting with your teachers in the comfort of your own home!

          Q: What is the time commitment required each week?

          A: Each module is broken into either two or three 60-minute classes. If you are joining us live, your commitment will be two hours, plus any integration time where you may want to review your notes or re-watch certain parts of the video. We recommend planning for three hours for the two-part courses and 4 hours for the three part courses including prep and integration time.

          Q: Where does this content come from? Is there a specific lineage that you have studied with?

          A: We believe that cacao ritual is the art of engaging in sacred relationship with the cacao plant. In the Western context, this is a relatively new phenomenon, as people seek a deeper relationship with cacao beyond that which the “candy” chocolate industry offers. Cacao is an incredible guide for re-connecting people to their own ritual practices, as we believe that ritual is natural to all humans, and fundamental to our ability to survive and thrive in right relationship with the earth, the elements, and each other.

          We do not claim any relationship between the modern cacao rituals we offer and ancient or indigenous practices of cacao ceremony. Rather, we seek inspiration by looking to:

          • Our ancestors' practices of ceremony and ritual
          • Ancient and modern indigenous world views and understandings of medicinal plants
          • Our present day connection to the ecosystems that we live in and are a part of
          • Embodied traditions of yoga, breathwork, song and dance

          Sena and Jonas together developed the concept of cacao stewardship as a way to create informed cacao lovers with a grounded understanding of the history and present day context of how cacao impacts indigenous communities. The cacao stewardship framework is the result of frequent personal study with cacao for over seven years, on the ground visits with cacao farmers and cooperatives, and anti-oppression work studying decolonization, cultural appropriation and social justice initiatives.

          Q: I live in a country outside of the U.S. and the class time doesn't work for me. Is there a different class time that I could join?

          A: We hear you! You will receive the recorded version of the class via email so you can watch at a time that is convenient for you, and re-watch as many times as you'd like.

          Q: I’m brand new to cacao… is this course right for me?

          A: Yes! We recommend starting with Course 1: Cacao and Holistic HealthThis course is a foundational overview of working with ceremonial cacao focusing on the physical & wellness aspects. From there you can move into course #2, and so on, or you can jump around to the topics which interest you most.

          Even if you have a strong connection with cacao, each of these courses is unique, and provides an in-depth perspective that you won't find anywhere else. We include footage from our stays with the cacao farming communities in Belize, Guatemala and Tanzania, insights from making our cacao discs from the beans in our chocolate factory, and stories from our personal rituals. This course sets the stage for empowering cacao stewards that have a well-rounded and cohesive understanding of how ceremonial cacao impacts us personally and collectively.

          Q: Does this course cover how to facilitate group cacao ceremonies?

          A: We focus on specifics around space holding, and cacao ceremony in Course #5: Facilitating Cacao Offerings.

          Honestly, we recommend taking all of our courses if you are planning on sharing cacao with your communities, as the more accurate information you have, and the more connection you have to cacao, the more potent and clear your offerings will be.

          Q: I want to take all of the courses together! Is that possible?

          A: Yes! When you add all six courses to your cart you can enter the discount code: CACAOSTEWARD to receive a $97 discount. Each course is a part of a comprehensive cacao curriculum that we developed, so this was actually designed as a complete course in itself before we broke it down into a more modular format.

          Q: Do I have to drink cacao to be a part of the course?

          A: While it’s not required to drink cacao during our courses, drinking cacao regularly throughout the course will help you to deepen your relationship with cacao. 

          Q: Do I get a certificate upon completion of this course?

          A: We are not offering this as a certification program, because sharing cacao is a heart calling that only you can hear and know. Our intention for this course is to share best practices and learn from each other to raise the bar in the quality of cacao ceremonies and healing experiences people have all over the world. We (Jonas & Sena) won’t be evaluating you or judging the quality of your offerings and we envision this more as a council space for sharing and learning from each other. 

          Q: How did you arrive at the course price?

          A: The course price is the result of personal inquiry & heart-based evaluation of our values. We honor the energy we put in to organize, facilitate, and create the resources for this course. In looking at other online extended learning classes, we feel this offering is a really good value for those wanting to deepen their connections and offerings with cacao. We are distilling years of knowledge into these courses, and a fair monetary exchange for our energy input supports us in our personal well-being and our ability to run our company with sustainable ethical sourcing at the forefront of our values.

          One of our company’s primary reasons for existing is the positive social impact we can create through our products. As an independent small business with no outside investors, cash flow is a significant challenge, and the money coming from this course will directly enable us to buy more cacao from the farmers that we work with. Buying more cacao from them has a direct social impact on the farmers’ livelihoods and their communities. It also has a direct positive impact on the local ecosystems as the cacao we purchase is organic and sustainably farmed supporting thriving rainforest habitat. We will soon be releasing our Social Impact Report which offers full transparency into the industry leading prices we offer and the environmental benefit we offer. 

          Q: I changed my mind! Can I cancel my registration after signing up?

          A: In order to keep costs down and make our courses accessible we've minimized the admin efforts needed to run it. Meaning that when you sign up you will automagically receive the course recordings in your email as soon as they are available. Because of this, we aren't allowing cancellations after purchase. We believe in the quality of our content and encourage you to sign up only when you feel 100% clear on your commitment.

          Preparation Recipe for Online Cacao Ceremony

          Customer Reviews
          4.9 Based on 9 Reviews
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          Filter Reviews:
          Luisa B.
          United Kingdom United Kingdom
          Learning to Love Cacao!

          This course has been so beautiful. It has taught me to channel written wisdom to help in my everyday life. It has opened my heart in the most beautiful way.

          Deepened my relationship with cacao

          I loved the course. It really deepened my ritual and my relationship with the cacao spirit. I highly recommend for anyone who’s interested in growing their practice, creativity, or open their heart more with cacao.

          Incredibly Informative

          This is the first class from Firefly I have taken. I was very impressed by the thought that was put into presenting the information. I was very happy to have the main workbook/class notes to refer back to - it was very well done. I loved the tasting chart for now and future use! I also appreciated the source document with the links to research articles and more. I also feel the Jonas and Sena did a fantastic job with presenting the information and their passion for cacao really comes through. My only suggestion (I am an educator in the tech field) would be to maybe break the videos into 3 instead of two - I found myself wanting a bit of space in the second video for the content presented. Also for the price point I expected just a bit more. Overall I have already recommended this class to several fellow cacao fans as a great resource. Thank you so much!

          Martin M.
          Jonas and Sena did it again!

          Cacao and Holistic Health is the third class I have taken from the Firefly offerings and the information was comprehensive and jam packed into the two one our classes. Support materials were more extensive than ever and links to studies and articles were provided. This not only gave us access to excellent source material, it gave us an opportunity to easily go deeper into the information and better integrate what was presented. It was a fast moving joyful experience underscored by Jonas and Sena's passion for ceremonial cacao.

          The course was so life changing. It was so much more than I expected.

          The course was so life changing. It was so much more than I expected. My intention was to take the class as a way to develop z spiritual practice. All the "spiritual" practices in the past never felt right for me. Cacao makes me feel so connected, makes me heart so open and big. She begs for me to share her with others. As I sit with what I have learned and am still learning I have a great desire to become a ceremonial cacao facilitator for my community. Fargo needs this! I also have changed my primary beverage of the morning to cacao instead of coffee. Realizing now the janky, anxiety ridden vibes of coffee I've been allowing all these years where why I didn't feel good. Ufta! But mama cacao makes me feel so good and energetic without ever dropping a beat. Those heart vibes are so real and big. Thank you a million times over to you both... Jonas and Sena. Now if we can have a sustainable way for everyone to drink cacao everyday and spread the good vibes. Cacao can and will surely change the world.