Raw Cacao Guide

My First Time!

Everyone has a first time. Mine was magical and a blessing to my shamanic journey. The first time I experienced the taste of raw cacao, it was handed to me freshly prepared for a raw cacao mediation group I had recently joined in my local city. 

Lost in the hustle and bustle of the city, I found myself far from the source of this amazing ingredient (the distant Amazon Ecuadorian forest), yet I could behold the richness in one cup.

How are we meant to achieve a sense of bliss with the city buzzing? Panicking became difficult to contain as I began feeling ripped off. It seemed impossible till we began. However, the city faded into shadows as we began journeying into the heart-opening realms. We knew life would never be the same again after such an experience. It sounds a little overdramatic, but it was transformational.

At the time, I was searching, waiting to begin my initiation into the 9 Rites of the Munay Ki. I didn’t realise what a truly amazing gentle experience that was. I was already aware of cacao’s amazing health benefits and sacred properties. However, the ceremony and sacred gathering were exceptional – all guided by this sacred bean.

During my Vision Quest course, you will undertake a raw cacao ceremony.

WHAT IS CACAO?

Cacao is a plant native to Central and South America used historically by the Aztecs and Mayans for medicinal and ritualistic purposes. Its scientific name, Theobroma cacao, actually means “food for the Gods.” It was believed to have been sent from the heavens as a gift to humankind.

Most cacao that you come by today has been processed and roasted so that it loses most of its health and spiritual benefits. However, Ceremonial cacao is traditionally cultivated and prepared to retain cacao’s spirit and its remedying properties, so it’s usable in ceremonies.

Cacao Is NOT Cocoa

Before we dive into the recipe for the cacao, we need to clear up the confusion between Cacao and Cocoa. They are not simple spelling mistakes. They are, in fact, very different from one another.

Cacao is the raw, unsweetened, unadulterated form of cacao beans. The powder is a result of a cold-pressed procedure that keeps the beneficial enzymes, antioxidants, flavonoids, any other active healing compounds of the cacao plant intact.

This is the purest form of chocolate you can consume. This form of chocolate is said to be the best and highest source of antioxidants of all foods and the highest source of magnesium of all foods.

On the other hand, Cocoa looks almost identical, but it has been blasted with heat, destroying these beneficial compounds. Most often, the powder has little to no nutritional value left and is also loaded with sugar and additives. This is the chocolate you have probably been buying from your local store over the years.

7 Benefits attributed to sacred cacao

Cacao has been used medicinally and spiritually for almost 3000 years that we are aware of – most likely longer. This seemingly small bean has more to it than meets the eye and bats way above the average. 

    • HEART OPENING

Cacao can open your heart. It will allow you to connect more deeply with yourself and others in a more authentic, loving way. The desire for living life fully in a state of grace and love replaces fear.

    • ENHANCES MEDITATION

Cacao will enable you to connect deeply with your inner spirit and wisdom, Meditation becomes easy, and deeper levels are attained. It allows you to focus more fully on the present moment, and its remedying properties can begin to work on your mind and soul.

    • PATHWAY TO CREATIVITY

Cacao can help build a pathway to new ideas, inspiration and creativity. You’ll find new meaning and purpose begin to flow with ease.

    • MENTAL CLARITY

Cacao can help you find balance and mental clarity. There will be a deep remembering of lost or forgotten and neglected skills, talents, creative ability and life purpose.

    • ENERGY

Cacao can gift you the daily energy you need to fulfil your daily destiny and throughout your life. Your energy levels will rise, and you’ll find yourself able to skip the coffee. Your cravings will diminish, and you will be able to accomplish your daily tasks better.

    • PEACE

Cacao can ease and even erase the stresses and burdens of life from your shoulders. You will discover that you are more in tune with your positive side and more able to face difficulties and hardship.

    • HEALING

Cacao can lead you to a healthier lifestyle in body and spirit. You will become aware of things that have been keeping you from living the life you love and receive strength in letting them go.

Using Cacao In Ceremony

A Maya legend tells us that whenever there is an imbalance between humans and nature, cacao comes from the rainforest to open people’s hearts and return the planet to a state of harmony. Some shamans, therefore, consider cacao the “food for the shift.” It represents the new order of love and peace cultivated right now.

When you consume cacao prepared for the ceremony using high-quality raw cacao beans, all the mood-enhancing neurochemicals in cacao become particularly active. There is increased blood flow and nutrition to the brain, heart and skin. The whole body is nourished, awareness and focus are heightened, and sensations are intensified.

The ceremony is a safe and beautiful space that supports meditation (reflection and connection to the “larger aspects of yourself”). This creates a wonderful opportunity to explore and sit with the heart’s stories and identify areas that are causing you restriction, limitation, and pain. You have the chance to relax deeply and receive insights, inspiration and creative ideas that can give you clarity on the “next steps” of your life and where you can support your overall health. Many people report a deep sense of joy and peace, a connection to something bigger than themselves, and insights into limiting behaviours, thoughts, and feelings that can be understood and released within the safe environment of the ceremony.

Preparation required for this event

There are group cacao ceremonies involving gathering with others to experience healing and connection that you can attend. However, you can also create your own sacred cacao ceremony for a more personal connection with your inner self. The preparation is simple. You will do this with me during my Shamanic Vision Quest Course.

You will need to avoid caffeine on the day. It is recommended you follow a fairly simple and alkaline focused diet the day before and on the day of the ceremony (including avoiding alcohol). Please, kindly arrange a quiet, gentle evening for the event aftermath. Symptoms of physical and emotional detoxification can arise unique to each individual.

I make no health claims whatsoever and advise that you seek guidance from your health care team if you are on medication(s 1 ).

Precautions

If you have any significant health challenges (i.e. having chemotherapy treatment) or you are on high levels of anti-depressants, this precludes you from working with Cacao in a ceremonial context without consultation from your health professional(s).

Sacred cacao ceremony

Plants have amazing spirits and intelligence. They offer individual lessons for each one of us according to our uniqueness. Cocoa is one plant you can actively use for your Sacred Ceremony. Like the gods, it gifts us a powerful method to dream and journey to our sacred space, a way to find our paths, connect with our ancestors, and heal all types of diseases.

Our path is unique, so is our destiny. Like the circle of life, we find it connected across time to everything in the universe. One thing that designs this path is our experiences, backgrounds, and perceptions. They all form our life journey.

Let us be proactive in creating opportunities for powerful new beginnings. Why not celebrate this with a Sacred Hot Chocolate drink that helps us create space for conscious connection.

GIVE GRATITUDE & DECLARE YOUR INTENTION

“Giving gratitude.” This is an old method that has never failed. It remains one of the most effective and immediate ways to enter the heart-space.

It is also perhaps, the most powerful healer. Before drinking cacao, I dedicate time to thanking the rain and soil that cultivated the cacao plant, the hands that picked and dried the beans, the clean water we have to drink, and all that makes the ceremony a success. You could also give gratitude for these things and/or that which makes you feel grateful. After giving gratitude, reaffirm your intention by asking cacao to help you. For example:
  • “Cacao, allow me to work through the deep pain I am holding onto in my heart.”
  • “Cacao, help me express myself authentically in my life.”
Practice affirming your intentions out loud. Our voices are extremely powerful tools, and you may notice energetic shifts as your words echo through your sacred space.

RECIPIES

SACRED HOT CHOCOLATE 1:

10 oz. hot water, or almond milk or coconut water
2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp. organic coconut oil<
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp organic vanilla extract

Pinch of cayennePinch of cinnamon

Directions:

Enter a meditative and reflective mindset as you chop the cacao into smaller pieces so that it can soften into hot water

1. Put all ingredients, except for cinnamon, into a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
2. Whisk all ingredients until they are combined.
3. Once the pot is simmering, remove from heat and pour into your cup.

4. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and enjoy!

SACRED HOT CHOCOLATE 2:

1-2 oz of cacao.

Half a cup of water,

Pinch of chilli or cayenne pepper.
Sweetener such as honey or agave (optional),
Spices such as cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, or
vanilla (optional)

Directions:

Enter a meditative and reflective mindset as you chop the cacao into smaller pieces so that it can soften into hot water

1. Heat the water to just before a boil and add the cacao shavings
2. Use a whisk to stir until you find a smooth texture
3. In accordance with tradition, add the pinch of chilli
4. Add the sweetener any other spices you are including.

DRINK THE CACAO

Smell the aroma of the cacao before drinking it. Let it flow through your vain like the pure oxygen that gives life, and then indulges in each sip, allowing the medicine to permeate through your body. You may feel the cacao immediately, or it may take around 20 minutes to begin feeling a buzz within your body. You will experience more blood flowing to your brain and your heart, and your focus may become easier. Release expectations and listen to your body as energies begin to shift.

Activate Your Intention

Allow the energy of cacao and your intuition to take you where you need to go.

• If your intention is inner processing – you may find that you want to meditate, journal, or embark on a shamanic journey.

• If your intention is self-expression – you may want to sing, create music, or practice a movement modality.

There is no right way to access your soul.

Allow cacao to enhance the experience that is meant for you, whether this is hiking through the forest or allowing your artistic side to shine through.

Again Please Adhere To These Important Health Notes

• Do not consume caffeine or alcohol prior to cacao.

• Drink plenty of water, especially towards the end of your ceremony. If you find you have a headache you may be dehydrated, drink too much cacao, or are detoxing with cacao’s assistance.

• Cacao can’t be digested by dogs and some other pets, so make sure to keep it away from them. It can be fatal.

• Antidepressants contraindicate with cacao and may lead to severe headaches.

• Cacao is a vasodilator and pumps more blood through the heart. Be mindful of

your dosage if you have a heart condition please seek guidance from your health care team before consuming.

My raw cacao bliss ball recipe

(use organic produce if available)

We always have these on hand – they are an amazing quick boost – you nibble them slowly and allow the ingredients to work their magic

3/4 cup dates

3/4 cup apricots or figs

3/4 cup any nuts except peanuts

1/3 cup goji berries

1/3 cup cacao powder

1/3 cup coconut oil

almond meal

In your food processor, blitz the dates and apricots till they are rough cut, then add the rest of the ingredients. Pulse blitz until it starts to look ‘moist’. Don’t blitz until a paste form!
Roll into balls, roll in the almond meal and voila, you have a healthy treat.