13 Oct Ceremonial Cacao: Food of the Gods
A Tremendous Heart Opener
Cacao is known as ‘food of the gods‘ and is an incredible transformational tool for spiritual shifts as well as a medicinal superfood. Cacao is a tremendous heart opener and it is this stimulation of the heart chakra that makes it so powerful; it is through connection to your heart that you remember who you truly are. By activating your heart portal cacao helps you to connect to your true soul self which thereby connects you back to Source. Cacao has been used in Sacred Ceremonies for centuries by many cultures such as the Aztecs and the Mayans, dating all the way back to 1900 BC in Central America. We cannot say for sure in what way the ancients used cacao during a ceremony, but in a modern-day ceremony, cacao is paired with spiritual practices intended to elicit reflection, self-discovery, creativity, joy, and love. Ecstatic dance, sound healing, meditation, and journaling are just a few examples of powerful practices to combine with cacao. Cacao is connected to the heart-centered power of the Divine Feminine and facilitates vulnerability, sensuality, and passion. For women, due to its mood-balancing properties, ceremonial cacao consumption is a beautiful way to honor the yin menstruation phase of your cycle. I believe woman’s craving for chocolate during their cycle is truly a subconscious craving for cacao in its raw medicinal form. Commercial chocolate is over-processed and full of ingredients like sugar cane and milk that rob cacao of its natural physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits. When drunk with intention 100% raw cacao creates space for deep emotional healing.
Theobroma Cacao is the scientific name and therefore one of the most active and compelling ingredients in cacao is theobromine. This is a cardiac stimulant that relaxes the blood vessels and makes absorption of the medicinal properties possible. Unlike caffeine, which is a nervous system stimulant, theobromine keeps the heart and brain activity in a way that is beneficial to the body. Theobromine translates directly to god-food and it is this ingredient and the heart-brain connection that makes it such a profound heart opener. In addition, theobromine is proven to lower blood pressure, remove toxins from the body, aid in sleep, and fight inflammation.
Added Health Benefits
Cacao promotes the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine and serotonin, creating feelings of bliss, motivation, stress resistance, and pleasure. Cacao is the highest naturally occurring source of Magnesium, which is a key mineral in relieving stress and anxiety, and also replenishes many other vital minerals to the body including chromium, copper, calcium, manganese, zinc, sulfur, iron, potassium, B-vitamins and phosphorous.
HOW TO PREPARE
There are various recipes and preparation styles online to peruse, but this is how I prepare my cacao and what supplier I recommend. I suggest playing around with the ratio and see how your body responds to the effects of different doses. My general rule of thumb is that I use fewer cacao discs for daily use and increase the cacao quantity for special or ceremonial purposes. When purchasing cacao, it is important to work with butter instead of powder, Cacao powder is processed a few steps further, stripping cacao of its natural fat which contains the true medicinal properties of cacao. Finding a company that supplies discs is important for ease in prep, otherwise chopping and melting a large block of cacao butter can be difficult, I recommend Firefly (click here to shop). With discs, you can use this simple recipe and a blender to make a single cup without tedious preparation.
- 1 cup of hot water (170 degrees, do not make the water too hot, boiling water can reduce the medicinal properties of the cacao) or milk alternative (I love almond milk)
- 10 – 20 cacao discs
- honey, coconut nectar, or 1 pitted date to sweeten
- dash of cinnamon
- mix in a blender and tada!
Many people add other medicinal ingredients to enhance and compliment the power of cacao; such as rose petals, peppermint, Himalayan sea salt, cayenne, medicinal mushrooms, maca, and the list goes on.
Use cacao as an opportunity to be still with yourself and dip into a meditative state, whatever that means to you.
Although drinking raw cacao is ceremonial you do not have to be at a ceremony to consume it. As you may have heard me teach before, true intention is all it takes to create healing. Your ritual with cacao could be as complex as a full-blown ceremony with your community with meditation and dancing, but it can also be as simple as taking a minute in the morning to set an intention for your day and then sit and sip your cacao in peace. In fact, replacing your coffee ritual in the morning with cacao is the perfect way to start. This will not only lead to healing but to increased mental clarity, heightened energy throughout the day (without crashing), and a more joyful, creative outlook on your life.
I recommend Firefly Chocolate (Click here to shop) for many reasons. To start, all of their ceremonial cacao paste naturally includes cacao butter, which is one of the highest-grade fats and is the most effective carrier of cacao’s medicinal benefits into the body. Firefly cacao is all organic, vegan, lightly toasted, paleo and keto-friendly, soy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, and non-GMO. They source their beans directly from indigenous farming families in Belize, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Tanzania. Their ceremonial cacao is grown only in the most pristine areas of the earth, often bordering extensive protected lands, so the cacao agroforestry acts as an ecologically diverse buffer to the protected lands and benefits from pure water and uncontaminated soils. The pods are hand-harvested when perfectly ripe and brought to cooperatively owned artisanal fermentation facilities, where the flavor of the cacao beans develop for 5-7 days in fermentation boxes before being sun-dried (not gas dried) for one to two weeks. All of the cacao is hand sorted before being shipped to Firefly in large burlap sacks, and then hand-sorted again when it arrives at the chocolate studio. Firefly’s cacao has been lab-tested for safety and meets comprehensive EU standards for the absence of heavy metals. Last but not least they have a true passion for ceremonial cacao and maintain the high healing vibration energy level of this plant medicine intact!