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Cacao benefits | Ceremonial cacao | Keith's original writings | Keith's wisdom

Benefits and Uses of Keith's Cacao: Part 1 - Consciousness and Spirituality

This blog post is an extract from the original writings of Keith Wilson, the Chocolate Shaman. For more recent info on all things Ceremonial Cacao, visit our main blog For the Love of Cacao.

Here is a detailed list of the known benefits and uses of Pure Ceremonial Grade Cacao of the Criollo variety, which does not have the caffeine found in the hybrid varieties that comprise most of the world's Cacao, and which retains its active compounds. 

We believe this is the most comprehensive list to be found on the world wide web. It is compiled from medical journals, our own experience, and those of others who have been using Cacao extensively. 

Benefits and uses are listed under five categories:

• Consciousness and Spirituality

• Creativity and Learning

• Workplace Productivity, Decision Making, and Innovation

• Workouts, Sports, and Training

• Medical and Health (including a note on Cacao and Covid-19)

Consciousness and Spirituality


Pure Ceremonial Grade Cacao is a connection and partnership facilitator for whatever you choose to connect to. Well known as a heart-opener by the indigenous people of Mesoamerica, in the Mexican Nahuatl language, the word for drinking chocolate was 'xocolatl'… which became 'chocolate' in Europe. 'Xocolatl' translates into 'heart blood.' Although anthropologists have interpreted this literally, we know the poetic nature of indigenous languages and understand it to mean that love is the 'blood' that flows through the heart. This was understood when Cacao was scientifically named 'Theobroma Cacao,' meaning 'Food of the Gods.’ The food of the gods would be love, would it not? This knowledge has been forgotten for hundreds of years, though not entirely. After all, we give chocolate on Valentine's Day, and in the local tradition, couples exchange Cacao beans in their wedding ceremony. So it seems that this deeper connection is understood in many ways and on many levels.


We first experienced pure Cacao as a beautiful facilitator for meditation, inner processing work, shamanic journeying, and as a fantastic aide in individual and group healing sessions. That expanded into Cacao Ceremonies, and later as an introduction and point of departure for hiking, breathwork, dancing (especially ecstatic dance), yoga, kirtan, sound healing, and so much more. These are now offered all over the world through many practitioners who use Keith's Cacao to take everyone deeper into the experience they offer.   

I once asked the Cacao Spirit what the big picture was, and She directed me to an anthropological journal that quoted an ancient myth: "When mankind gets out of harmony with the natural world, chocolate comes from the rainforest to open peoples' hearts and re-establish the balance." In my early communications with the Cacao Spirit, She referred to herself as "The Food for the Shift." This Cacao accelerates your awakening, if that is where you want to go.


Pure Ceremonial Grade Cacao is a major multidimensional partner in accelerated inner transformation and emotional release, affording greater ease and depth. Once considered a deity, it is now known to be a potent medicinal plant. Wherever you need to go on this journey, "Cacao brings you to the door but doesn't push you through it." Pure Cacao helps you open and receive what has always been available.

"Ceremonial Cacao is like fire. I like to play with it and imagine how it burns down all that's not in resonance with me anymore. I like to imagine how it helps me let go of my past, let go of expectations and the Maya (illusion of self). It is the medicine for my soul. It is the fire that awakens the life force energy within me and lets it flow through me. It is my liquid love, an elixir for the heart that cracks it open.”


We often hear that people go deeper with our Cacao in their system and get more out of workshops, and meditations, from listening to teachings or reading a spiritual book. More is understood and retained on many levels. Do give Ceremonial Cacao a try if you want to understand more profoundly and assimilate what you read! Connections and deeper meanings emerge on much more than the intellectual/mental levels. You have more energy and are more present, which is very helpful in all-day events. Supportive space-holding energies are more easily radiated to other participants, as your vibe is higher and more centered.

"…it was PHENOMENAL! I was able to journey deeper, with powerful insights, clarity, and stamina for the entire day."


We know teachers, therapists, coaches, healers, bodyworkers, and acupuncturists who use our Cacao to maintain focus and keep themselves at a level where they do not need to use their own personal energy. Bringing through higher energies instead, they don't get drained after a full day’s work. Over time, the Cacao will help you to learn to hold this kind of focus continuously, with or without the Cacao.


We have known of 'Cacao bars/pubs' that serve Cacao instead of alcohol (which works as a social lubricant by suppressing fear) to open heart-level presence and facilitate personal connecting. 


As a connection and partnership facilitator, Cacao is, of course, ideal for connecting to your sweetheart -especially for bringing the physical and emotional together- and inviting a higher energetic experience. So much so that many consider it an aphrodisiac. Many who are into tantric practices report it takes their experience to another level. It is easier to stay in the focus you favor with your partner, and that focus stays heart-centered, if you want that, and goes deeper.


Pure Cacao is also an excellent assistant for both couples and business partners who understand how to assist each other in issue/drama processing. Those capable of going beyond blame, fixing, and projection can go deeper to transmute the belief systems behind what they play out on reality's surface as their repeat drama scripts. Cacao can help keep one stay centered in the inner work and not get easily sidetracked away from the real pain-body issue. You will go much deeper if that is your choice.

"I have also used some Cacao this week while having my very last appointment with my ex-boyfriend. It was by a river and very special and wonderful, both opening up like never before, crying and laughing together. Grateful for all of this being part of my journey."

"[My] parents took Cacao together on a retreat, and it helped them with communication and saved their marriage after having been separated for months!"


Pure Cacao is the best lucid dream and dream remembering facilitator around. Take 8-10g in the middle of your sleep cycle (drink enough water before going to bed to awaken to pee). It is also helpful for sleeplessness; 5-10g will help you go deeper, below the monkey-mind loop, and you are back to the dream time. 


I have worked and introduced Cacao to several medicine shamans who hold ceremonies with Ayahuasca, Peyote, Kambo, and other plant medicines. All have experienced the compelling, nurturing nature of this medicine and continually express their surprise and delight at how fast their own lives transform into greater heart-centered and heart-oriented flow and awareness. All report equally deeply satisfying, rewarding, and powerful healing effects for their groups. Each person's experience is exceptionally unique, including my own, in each ceremony. I invite you to try this for yourself if the Cacao Spirit calls you to play on the next level of your unique magic!

There is a long history of combining Cacao with magic mushrooms and other spiritual medicine plants, in macro or micro-doses, among natives in southern Mexico. Insights and realizations tend to lead to more permanent changes than those achieved by most psychedelic trips. Many use Cacao the day after to integrate the teachings from their journeys with a medicine plant. Be aware that because a full ceremonial dose of pure Cacao increases blood flow to the brain by 40%, using it with psychedelics can easily lead to an overdose.

"I have been working with other medicines for years now but only recently have begun to work with xocolatl (chocolate) medicina. It is proving to be the very best possible medicine for my journeywork. I can't wait to see what bliss Mistress Cacao bestows upon us as She opens more and more. I was truly shocked by how potent of an effect my last ceremony had on my internal work."

Continue reading about the benefits and uses of Cacao in blog postsBenefits and Uses of Keith's Cacao - Parts 2, 3, 4, & 5.

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