Cacao is a fruit that grows on a tree that is native to Guatemala. Guatemala is where this plant originated, and cacao grown elsewhere has been transplanted there by settlers. Ceremonial cacao differs from “raw cacao powder”, even “organic" stuff, in many key ways. Cacao has been used in Central American Indigenous ceremonies for hundreds of years.
Ceremonial cacao is usually sold in paste form, with the fats still intact. Ceremonial cacao should be single-origin, meaning that it is not blended with cacao from other farms. This ensures you are getting the plant medicine in its purest form, without distortions. Ceremonial cacao has been fermented. While there are differences in technique, this means that any cacao paste one can purchase is, by definition, NOT raw.
Cacao is heart medicine, plain and simple, and its opening and stimulating qualities can invoke passion, groundedness, and creativity, while nurturing emotional connection. The chemical compound Theobromine is the secret to the spiritual healing qualities of this plant.
Some consume cacao every day, some weekly, others save it for “special occasions”. I invite you to develop a relationship with the plant. While not physically addictive, we can develop tolerance and habits around it, like any substance. You may notice times where you are consuming it daily, which is beautiful. At times, you will feel called to back away. Tune in to your intuition.
Ritual is powerful when working with this plant, so give yourself the space to tune in, to smell the drink, and allow it into your being as you sip, smile, and be present with intention. Pulling a daily tarot card can be a beautiful way of creating intention with the plant spirits. Cacao loves to be sung to or sung with, so I invite you to sing a loving hymn as you prepare your beverage and consume it.
Group Ceremony is a powerful container for consuming cacao as well. Group ceremonies are often conducted in a circle, and they can allow for any of the following: the invocation of the spirit of Cacao, calling in the spirit of the land, sharing circle, grounding/opening visualization, attunement to the energy of the people around you in the ceremony, and more.
If imbibing with a Ceremonial Dose, give yourself the gift of space. Allow whatever comes up to arise and sit with the feelings this medicine calls forth. Journaling, drawing, time in nature, and conversation with a loved one become more heart-centered when attuned to intentionally.
While stimulating, high-quality ceremonial cacao contains very little caffeine. Certain methods of processing create more caffeine as a by-product, others do not. For this reason, understanding your sourcing is of utmost importance.
Most of the cacao that I sell and work with is purchased directly from indigenous farmers in Guatemala, with nearly all of the money going directly to the farmers. I have a contact at Lake Atitlan who has nurtured these relationships and is constantly growing the network of farmers whose values enrich the land and stay true to the indigenous traditions. Through this connection, I can access different farms, harvests, and varieties of this sacred plant.
If you are interested in purchasing some, please reach out. If you are not local to me and would like to get some, I can ship.
Some commercial sources I have used and trust:
Below is a sample recipe for your home use, along with some sourcing I use for my key ingredients
My Perfect Cacao Recipe
Ceremonial doses use between 30-40 grams of cacao. Daily doses range from 20-25 grams. Chop your cacao finely so it melts more easily. Take a moment to give thanks for this sacred plant. Combine the ingredients in a blender for the most drinkable consistency.
Coconut milk 3-5oz - $12/case at Costco
Coconut oil (MCT oil is best) 1 tbsp - $29 Costco
Rose Petal Powder 1/8tsp - $22 - organic veda
Organic Maple Syrup $12 Costco
Maca - 1 tsp
Hot spring water or reverse osmosis water (do not use tap water - well water is fine)
Temp should not exceed 180°, water boils at 212°, using water that is too hot will destroy medicinal compounds