Cacao for Sacred Ceremony
Cacao is ancient earth medicine, used for thousands of years in ceremony, devotion and gratitude, to connect people to their hearts. Cacao in its purest form is a powerful medicine, a boundless healer, a wise wayshower.
Most people are familiar with a highly processed version of cacao: cocoa, which is made into many kinds of chocolate. We love the silky smooth sweetness and rich mouth feel of this delicious snack, but the medicine buried deep within is difficult to connect with, given how heavily processed this cacao has been – into cocoa – and all the sugars and often toxic ingredients that accompany it.
Cacao in its purest form is served strong and only with hot water in ceremonies worldwide, but as you’ll read here, you’re welcome to respectfully make your own cacao for personal use or to serve in a group.
My favourite sacred cacao recipe
I prefer to use a cacao paste imported by a family who live close by in Byron Bay. It’s called Sacred Earth Medicine and it’s utterly delicious. If I’m having a quiet, sacred mug of cacao in the morning, I’ll have around 12-14g, while in ceremony by myself or with others I’ll have around 20-24g.
I encourage you to play with a few types of cacao to see what really sings to your heart. Get to know it without any other additions, then gently add ingredients such as:
Lion’s Mane, Turkey Tail, Tremela, or Reishi mushrooms; lucuma, maca, mesquite, vanilla, cinnamon, chilli powder and salt.
Then sweeten with maple syrup or honey (try not to boil honey, add it to the cacao when the heat has settled).
You’re welcome to add a nut or oat milk that feels light and nourishing to your body. I love macadamia nut milk… and some days I prefer it without.
Cacao Ceremony Recipe:
20-25g ceremonial cacao paste
3/4 mug boiling water
1/4 mug nut milk
1tbsp raw honey
+ Any additions you like from above suggestions or your own
All measurements are per person
Finely chop cacao paste and add to a pot (preferably a thick pot like cast iron) on medium heat with boiling water. Stir until there are no cacao lumps. Adjust temperature if it gets too bubbly as you don’t want it to boil. Add other ingredients including milk (if using) and warm gently. When it bubbles around the side of the pot, turn off the heat and let it settle for a minute. Then add your favourite sweetener.
Serve with love!
*Note: you don’t really need to chop your cacao, you can just put a block of the correct amount of cacao into the pan, it just takes a little longer. Chopping also gives you a chance to sing your blessings to the cacao!
Cacao ceremonies provide an opportunity for you to go deeper into the space that Mama Cacao holds for us all. Cacao is a powerful heart opener, while she also grounds your energy into the earth and raises your vibe high. She’s truly remarkable, a special medicine.
While drinking cacao on your own, you can set an intention for what you’d like to give to cacao and what you’d like to receive. She’s a powerful plant, so don’t play small with her. During your ritual, ensure you’re focused on something beautiful, like nature, oracle cards, beautiful music, or perhaps a healing journey.
When holding a cacao ceremony with others, it’s important that you already have a strong energetic connection to cacao and are able to hold space for others to journey with you. Here’s a guide to holding women’s circles if this helps as a part of your journey.
Cacao is a vital energetic force that can have a profoundly healing, loving, joyful impact, especially in ceremony. Connecting with ceremonial cacao must be done in reverence, otherwise you are dishonouring those who have held this custom within their tribes and families for countless generations.
Come to cacao in your truth, there’s no need to pretend you’re happy. Come to cacao with your whole, authentic presence. Don’t let screens interrupt your ritual. This is what Mama Cacao has taught me over the years: be present, open your heart, be honest, and listen deeply.
I recommend eating only lightly before drinking cacao, preferably with at least one hour of no food before. Don’t have any other caffeine that day, otherwise it may be too intense for your body. Stay hydrated, but don’t drink too much water when your body is digesting and integrating the cacao. I prefer cacao in the morning, otherwise it interrupts my sleep.
Many people love to dance in the euphoria that often follows a mug of strong, ceremonial cacao. I don’t personally dance, nor do I recommend it as the heart is wide open, beating strong, and the dance may make the body too overwhelmed. You’re welcome to move your body as long as it’s not too wild… and you’re listening to what your body needs.
Integrations is an important part of the process as well. Time to relax, to let the energy swirl and settle. To light and candle and send and blessings. To have a gentle walk in nature. Listen to what your body needs and what you’re craving. Feel free to cry as much as you need and reach out for support from another.
If your heart beat makes you feel anxious, you might want to have some Coffea 30C homeopathy on hand to calm the body, or keep in mind something you can do to relax, such as a warm shower and a bowl of steamed root vegetables. Nourish yourself with love as the healing takes place.
I love the way cacao lovingly gives us an opportunity to delve into the subconscious mind for wisdom, deeper understanding, release, renewal, healing, activation, ancient remembering, ancestral connection, and so much more.
As I go into depth in my book The Call of Intuition, the subconscious mind is directly related to the heart. Through the medicine of cacao, we have a unique access to our emotional state, we’re able to journey in the Temple of the Heart, the inner landscape of love, and discover all that cannot be fathomed with the mind.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology and have always woven my curiosity of the psyche into my work, especially as a mentor and writer, but also as a cacao ceremonialist. In this kind of ceremony, we are able to go deep in a sacred space to discover more of what we seek as heart-centred people.
If you listen to the meditation I linked to above, you’ll see how I guide others into their heartspace to really connect to what it is their heart wants them to know. You can take this, use it to inform your own personal practice, with friends or in sacred space.
I have a Cacao Ceremony playlist available here to choose your favourite music during and after your ritual. I find music to be such an important part of this ceremony, even if I’m relaxing on my own at home with a light mug of cacao, music really activates and relaxes, it helps to open my heart and release emotions, it soothes the edges, expands my loving energy field, and makes me feel so wildly good.
When you create your own playlist, consider how you want to feel, and how you want others to feel, as you/they integrate the healing journey of cacao.
Sending blessings on your journey, may you lovingly, gratefully and repsectfully follow the calling of your wild heart and commune with the grounded bliss of cacao.