Many of you may be asking "What is a cacao ceremony?
Others may be asking "What is cacao?" Cacao or theobroma cacao is the name of the fruit that holds the seeds in which cocoa and chocolate are made from. The name theobroma cacao literally means “food of the gods” in Greek - so clearly revealing humans love for these prized seeds.
Over 4000 years ago cacao was domesticated in Central America by the Olmecs, and later popularized by the Aztecs and the Mayans. Yet it is believed that far earlier than that the cacao tree began its life in the Amazon Basin. Recent findings have led researchers to believe that perhaps Ecuador is the birthplace of cacao; other scientists have claimed that the Orinoco Valley of Venezuela is the origin, while others believe it was in Peru. Regardless of where this coveted fruit first sprouted from, it was the Olmec, Mayan, and Aztec cultures that valued cacao so much that the seeds came to be used as currency and a rich drink made from the fermented, roasted, and ground seeds became a sacrament of sorts in an ancient ceremonial practice.
Long gone are the days when cacao was exchanged like money and priests served chocolate drinks in spiritual ceremonies, yet the popularity of the cacao ceremony is making quite a comeback. Here is a brief description from a volunteer in Costa Rica
“I attended my first cacao ceremony in 2007. A group of us gathered together in a home in the rural countryside of Costa Rica. Mugs of steaming, rich, aromatic chocolate brew were passed about and we were instructed to drink, quiet the mind, and open the heart, it was a very simple ceremony yet I was surprised to find myself on a journey of emotional depth and personal revelation.”
You can be inspired to explore cacao - the history, ceremonial use, medicinal properties, and more. You can began learning how to work with cacao as a medicine and in ceremony.
Some words of our Madre Verde spiritual Guides “We gathered a group of amazing people to help support the process. We roasted and shelled the cacao seeds ourselves. We made a rich cacao brew that we would bless with positive intentions and healing energy. Each ceremony would begin with a prayer, a blessing, and a silent meditation. Throughout the ceremony there was live music to guide the experience, as well as healing energy work, sound and crystal healing, guided meditation, and movement. It was always such an incredible experience to witness people getting in touch with emotions they had repressed, releasing old painful emotions, opening themselves spiritually, calming the mind and being present, letting go of tension and stress, and feeling peace simply by sitting and drinking pure cacao brew.
Bliss, Love, and Feel Good Chemicals
One of the reasons that so many people experience a release of tension and even a blissful experience when consuming cacao is due to the presence of anandamide - a neurotransmitter that has been called the "bliss chemical" because of its role in helping support positive moods and feelings of happiness and bliss. Anandamide also plays a role in movement control, pain, and appetite. Low levels of anandamide can decrease happiness, increase fear and anxiety, and interfere with your ability to manage stress. Anandamide is part of the endocannabinoid system that offers protection against stress-related psychiatric diseases, including major depression, generalized anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
In addition to the bliss chemical anandamide, cacao also contains PEA, phenethylamine. This chemical stimulates the nervous system and triggers the release of pleasurable compounds known as endorphins. Phenethylamine has been called the "love chemical." PEA also stimulates the production of dopamine, a neurochemical related to sexual arousal and pleasure. PEA acts as a potent antidepressant and increases during times of romantic connection. PEA is known to increase when we fall in love and also at the time of orgasm. This is most likely a big part of why chocolate has been associated with love and romance.
Cacao not only serves up bliss and love chemicals, it helps to increase the brain’s level of serotonin - the "feel-good chemical." Serotonin plays a major role in maintaining positive moods, emotional well-being, proper sleep, and numerous behavioural and physiological functions. Low levels of serotonin can be cause for depression, lethargy, and even suicidal tendencies. Many women intuitively turn to chocolate during PMS and menstruation, when serotonin levels are typically lower. People often consume chocolate as a medicine without even realizing that they are doing so.
Third Eye Activation
Another feature of cacao is that it has been believed to help decalcify, stimulate, and activate the "third eye” or our spiritual-psychic chakra. The third eye has been said to be responsible for psychic abilities, clairvoyance, and certain spiritual experiences. Some people believe that the third eye must be "open" for spiritual awakening to occur. The pineal gland, which is the actual physical home of the "third eye", greatly benefits from an increase in blood supply. When cacao is ingested, nitric oxide is released in the bloodstream. Nitric oxide is a powerful vasodilator - meaning that circulation and blood flow is increased and thus the pineal gland is stimulated. Many people have reported spiritual experiences during a cacao ceremony or drinking cacao before meditation, perhaps due to the stimulation of the pineal gland and the activation of the third eye.
Blossoms like orchids, waxy white Waiting for pollen's lore
Producing those bean pods purple Chocolate treats galore
13 Spiritual Benefits of Chocolate – Cacao Ceremony Time – And Connecting with ‘The Spirit of Cacao’…
13. HEART OPENER
12. SHAMANIC JOURNEYING
11. THERAPY – SOVEREIGN (RATHER THAN CODEPENDENT)
10. CONNECTION WITH HIGHER SELF
9. EFFECTIVE MEDITATION
8. GET’ ANY LEARNINGS IN YOUR ENTIRE BEING… NOT JUST YOUR HEAD
7. A JOURNEY TO ONENESS, LOVE, ENLIGHTENMENT
6. A BALANCE OF MALE & FEMALE ENERGY WITHIN
5. ENHANCED CREATIVITY
4. IMPROVED YOGA, CHI KUNG AND SIMILAR PRACTICES
3. CONNECTION TO HIGHER DIMENSIONS
2. CAREER GUIDANCE – CROSSROADS CLARITY
1. FUN – The Reason We Are Here!