Chocolate is a popular type of sweets but you will be surprised to know that during history it has been consumed for its healing properties. Since 460 AD cocoa beans were used to make food and drinks. The most common uses of cacao as medication was to improve digestion, nervous system stimulation.
Chocolate has some active ingredients in it that help to feel emotions and pleasure. This ingredient is anandamide, which is a substance produced in the brain of a person and chocolate helps to increase its levels in the brain. It is said to have an effect similar to marijuana. So, by consuming chocolate you can boost anandamide, which helps to relax and control the cardiovascular system.
Cacao comes from the dried fatty seed of the cacao tree fruit. Cacao liquor is made of the nibs, which are roasted and ground cacao beans. This paste is made of cacao butter and solids. To make cacao powder, some of the butter is removed from the liquor. As for making solid chocolate, they mix cacao butter, cacao liquor and sugar. The darkness of the chocolate depends on the proportion of cacao liquor. For milk chocolate, milk powder is added to the above-mentioned ingredients.
As odd it may sound, cacao is used for ceremonies. These cacao ceremonies were originated in South America by the Mayas. Cacao was used for medical as well as spiritual ceremonies for inner awakening and to get creative guidance. These rituals unlock euphoric states and help to get rid of negativity and connect to our body’s loving energy. But before that, late in the 1900 BC chocolate was used as a health elixir.
Cacao ceremonies may vary depending on the shaman performing it. One of the ways to perform a cacao ceremony is through sound meditation. During the ceremony, participants share their intentions of that journey, like what they want to let go of and what to obtain. This creates a very intimate atmosphere, as people start to open up to strangers and see how similar they are. By sharing the same problems, dreams and fears. The ceremony ends with a dance, during which cacao activates and creates an ecstatic and transformative process.
For the ceremony, the usual amount of cacao is 1-2 oz mixed with some water. Sometimes you can some honey, chili or other herbs to spice up your journey.
So, what is it in cocoa that has such a psychological effect, you may wonder? Well, one of the main causes of that is the active ingredient theobromine which enhances the production of dopamine, also known as the pleasure hormone.
The emotional impact the Cacao ceremony has can be very deep. The body starts to experience all types of emotions even those dug deep in the heart. Some people even start crying during the ceremony. But as cacao provides self-love, often these are happy tears which are followed by a smile.
Cacao ceremonies change people’s lives immensely. Cacao provides the space of self-communion, it subconsciously heals yourself. The ceremonies help to get rid of barriers in personal life, career, creativity. So, it is a medicine for the heart and body, making people love themselves more. It opens the heart chakra
Unlike during other shamanic ceremonies, cacao doesn’t create hallucinogenic sensations. But instead, it enlivens you and connects you to your deeper emotions. So, this is a process of emotional healing.
Cacao for Women
There is no exact time for a cacao ceremony. But often these rituals are done during a full moon. It is said that with the combination of cacao the moon has a very powerful energy. In the period of full moon, people set intentions for manifestation and with the use of cacao they get deeper into themselves and their emotions. This helps to clear the mind. Anyways, you can do cacao ceremonies whenever you feel the need.
Cacao Ceremony Alone
Cacao ceremonies vary from person to person, after some ceremonies you develop your own ritual. But to start from you can use this guide.
First of all, you need to take a grade cacao and mix it with hot water. But you can add different herbs, flowers and spices to your liking. If you like your drink to be sweet, you can add some honey. By the way, you need to understand that the ritual starts during this process of making the drink. So, you need to be concentrated, as the way you treat the cacao will have an impact on the ritual.
Also, for rituals, it is better to use ceremonial cacao. This cacao is produced from native strains of cacao, which are growing in the wild. The components that these seeds have are very essential for the ceremonies.
Then, proceed to create an intimate ceremonial space, calling in the 6 directions and your guides. You can do that by burning candles, turning relaxing music, clearing the air or anything else. When the set is ready, sit in that space and start taking deep breaths. This helps to become more open. Don’t forget to have your intentions in mind. Then, you can start drinking. This is some sort of meditation. Clear your mind, take deep breaths and sip the cacao drink. This is it, just focus on your thought and intentions and you’ll start to feel a mix of emotions which will lead to relief, relaxation and happiness.
So, to conclude, the cacao ceremony is the process of connecting to your heart and emotions. It is an emotional process of facing your troubles and overcoming them. Cacao ceremonies can be performed alone or with a group of people. These ceremonies can be performed in different ways, by talking, dancing, sitting on the beach or just sitting in the silence by yourself. So, whenever you feel is the right time for you, prepare yourself a hot drink from ceremonial cacao and start meditating. Or if you feel like talking, join a group of strangers or your friends and share your emotions.