What is Ceremonial Cacao?
Ceremonial cacao is cacao that has been grown, harvested, and prepared to use for sacred purposes, whether that be for cacao ceremony, meditation, medicine circle, plant spirit medicine, ritual, journeying, or enjoying with focused intention. In the exploration of plant spirit medicine, we use ceremonial cacao to connect with the spirit of the cacao plant. I like to explain plant spirit medicine as deep listening with a plant. We work with ceremonial cacao to listen to the plant and listen in to our highest selves.
Cacao is a powerful spirit guide and teacher, and ceremonial cacao is grown and prepared for the purposes of divine connection, healing, and listening, through reciprocal communication. This means we are not only coming to ceremonial cacao asking "What can you do for me?" but also asking the plant, "What can I do for you?"
The more we work with a plant, the stronger our bond or relationship becomes. Ceremonial cacao is about building a loving relationship with the plant and listening to the messages of the earth. We also listen in to our selves, and follow the plant as a guide toward our own love and healing. Cacao holds space for us in unconditional love, so we feel safe and held to do the work within.
Most cacao is grown in large mono-crops that are not healthy for the cacao or the earth, often harvested using slave labor or child labor, and then processed using industrial equipment where it is mixed with low-quality dairy and refined sugar in large quantity. This path does not honor the cacao plant and her wisdom.
I have been working with cacao for over a decade, and have searched for many years to find a cacao that speaks to the heart so powerfully and gracefully. Our Cacao Mamma ceremonial cacao is something very special that's hard to describe in words. These trees are ancient and their wisdom great. This rare wild cacao grows untamed in the jungle of Peru along the headwaters of the Amazon River. It is hand harvested by local women and prepared using traditional methods to allow for the purest plant medicine for healing. The cacao beans have been sun dried, hand sorted, toasted over fire, ground by stone, and shaved into powder for intentional use.
Cacao Mamma ceremonial cacao is not cacao powder. Cacao powder as you see it in stores, has been processed so that the cacao butter, the natural fat from the cacao bean, is removed. This destroys the natural healthy fat in cacao and many of the healthy enzymes. However, more importantly in my eyes, is that on a spiritual level, this separates the plant from a part of herself. It’s taking the whole and fracturing it. When we work with ceremonial cacao and plant spirit medicine, we are not looking to unnecessarily change the composition of a plant. We want to work with the whole, out of sacred respect for the plant medicine, and for our own spirit healing. Cacao Mamma ceremonial cacao is made from whole cacao beans that have been set into a paste and then shaved into a powder, a marked distinction from average cacao powder.
While we often focus on the healing of the individual through the use of ceremonial cacao, we also need to focus strongly on the healing of our human relationship with the plant over the last centuries. We have taken a plant that has been respected as sacred and holy by countless cultures for thousands of years, and mass produced and disrespected her to a level that is heartbreaking. Cacao has been waiting with motherly patience for us to return, arms open with unconditional love. Her path has been a painful one, and it is time to come home to ourselves, to the plants, and to respecting the earth.
The ancient spirit medicine of cacao is empowered through reciprocal relationship and consistent practice. To create or continue your relationship with cacao, prepare your ceremonial brew and sip in mediation. All you need to do is listen in to your higher self and listen to the plant.