Ceremonial Cacao

photo by Irene Bratsis

Many of my offerings include the use of ceremonial cacao to invite heart-centered energy flow and expansive states through which we can engage our intuitive personal and collective healing through a variety of modalities including but not limited to meditation, breath work, sacred sound, vocal activation, creative play, and movement.

Lineage of Cacao

Anthropological evidence suggests that cacao (pure chocolate) was used by the ancient Mayan and Aztec cultures from as far back as several millennia, and various myths exist as to its origins. (As the cacao I work with is from a Guatemalan Mayan lineage, I will speak mostly to that.) For the Mayans, cacao is a central part of their cultural identity. The wisdom of cultivation has been passed down through generations of indigenous farmers, and the ritual use of cacao in Mayan ceremonies–which was nearly all lost due to the effects of colonization and industrialization–is currently being resurrected and revitalized by resilient wisdom keepers. As we move further into the 21st century, ceremonial cacao is being brought into spiritual, transformational ceremonies all over the world as an ally for our hearts, our communities, and our planet.

As we bring this plant medicine into our own practices and communities, it is imperative to honor the indigenous roots of this sacred plant and the Mayan people who are revitalizing their heritage and reclaiming their spiritual lineages. This means becoming aware of the history of exploitation and suffering in MesoAmerica, committing to continual education and making informed choices about sustainable sources, staying updated on what is going on in the Mayan spiritual revival, and sharing what you know and what you’re still learning in a transparent way whenever you share cacao. This is the response-ability of being a cacao steward and medicine carrier. I would even venture to say this includes educating ourselves about the chocolate industry and informing our family and friends about what we learn.

(Soon I will have a page with more information regarding cultural and ecological considerations of cacao along with information about current projects and resources to learn more.)

Please also check out this brief article about my friend and founder of Cacao Laboratory, which offers digestible insight into tradition and cultural context.

Also check out this informative page from Firefly Chocolate.

More information and resources forthcoming!

Cacao as a Plant Teacher

photo by Diana Egizi

Why all the buzz about cacao? Why has it spread all over the world??

Cacao has been rightly called the “Food of the Gods” (“theobroma”), bringing us into re-membrance of our true, multi-dimensional nature. The spiritual energy of cacao can bring a subtle heart-opening and activation of the higher energy centers, making it an ideal partner for spiritual exploration and learning. As we traverse the landscape of our evolution, cacao can assist us in personal and planetary healing in the light of the highest good. We may notice our intuition heighten, our visions more clear, inspiration flooding in; we may even experience communication with or the presence of higher dimensional beings, ancestors, angels, guides.

On an emotional-energetic level, higher amounts of cacao (usually 1 oz by weight or above at one time) increases our heart rate and blood circulation which can facilitate a sensitivity to energy moving in and around the body. We may also experience bliss, joy, pleasure and other positive-identified ecstatic states! We can partially attribute this to the fact that cacao increases serotonin and dopamine as well as contains anandamide (commonly known as the “bliss molecule”–“ananda” meaning “bliss” in Sanskrit)*. As part of the spectrum of possible experience, cacao can also help us illuminate where in our body we are holding tensions and emotions that are causing dis-ease in our systems; we may experience that cacao wants to help us identify and move through whatever has been stagnating. We can trust this process.

Another beautiful gift of cacao has to do with the feeling of connection in circles and groups, to self, to Source/Universe/Spirit/the Divine/God/Goddess/etc.  When we gather together to share cacao, we are reviving the ancient ways of sitting in council together, and we are making sacred space to be fully present. That is an important and powerful choice to make in this day and age.

It is said that cacao will take you to the door, but never push you through. This is one of the things I love about her: cacao invites us into making conscious choices in our evolution and taking full ownership of them.

Ultimately I invite you to discover your own relationship to cacao as you would any teacher or friend. Be humble. Be curious. Show and share appreciation. Learn as much as you can. Commit to lifting that friend up as you grow too. Honor your teacher with respect. Honor the circumstances and the people that made it possible for you to meet your beloved.

*More information about the physical benefits of cacao are forthcoming. This page is constant flux as I refine how and what I want to share here. 🙂

How I Share Cacao

In ritual and workshops, I work with the Cacao Spirit as a guide for heart-centered exploration and communication for our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies. Our unique gifts and passions come alive along with profound connection to the Divine within and without, opening the door to vibrant creativity and manifestation energy. Sharing cacao in groups gives us the opportunity to be seen and heard in a loving and safe space. This is a wonderful medicine to invite into your spiritual community, yoga studio, and even art collective.

Additionally, I offer personal cacao rituals woven with Reiki, sound healing, meditation, breath, yoga, and/or Tarot. I work with groups and individuals: check out my Private Sessions offerings to see all the possibilities for an intimate one-to-one session!

What’s your source?

Our ceremonial cacao currently comes from two sources:

Keith’s Cacao comes from small farms of Mayan families in the Pacific rainforest of Guatemala and processed lightly by loving hands at Lake Atitlán. Keith brings his love and multi-dimensional support to each block of pure cacao paste. This was the very first cacao I ever experienced, and has been such a valuable ally on my journey for the years since. I’ve sat on his porch many times and attended numerous cacao events and ceremonies with friends who have worked extensively with him as well.

If you’re interested purchasing Keith’s Cacao, you can actually do so on their new website. Input my code for a one-time new customer discount: egizi19us02

Ruk’u’x Ulew Cacao

Ruk’u’x Ulew (meaning “Heart of the Earth” in the local Mayan Kachiquel dialect) is a wonderful organic cacao grown in the Coban area of Guatemala from small farms. The purchasing, roasting, and entire business is run by local indigenous women of San Marcos la Laguna. They are working on raising funds to also buy a mill as their business grows!

I have personally met this family and am overjoyed to support them in this way. I can ship Ruk’u’x Ulew cacao within the United States as they do not yet have a U.S. warehouse. Please contact me for more information!

5% of all cacao proceeds I receive currently go to a non-profit called the Integral Heart Family, assisting in breaking the cycle of poverty through education, nourishment, empowerment, and more for Guatemalan children. I have met many of these children personally and my heart has been truly touched by the sincere, dedicated endeavors of this small yet powerful organization.

If you are interested in hosting a cacao ritual in your community, go ahead and email me at diana@inspiredheartalchemy.com. Cacao blessings!