Cacao ceremony | Cacao experience | Ceremonial cacao
Over the last few years, Cacao Ceremonies have become a thing.
Cacao events are advertised all over social media, and more and more people respond to the invitation to join in and experience the power of this incredible plant medicine to change consciousness in the most subtle yet definite way.
So what are Cacao Ceremonies, and where did they originate from? The answer may surprise you.
Although the plant and its seeds were revered for thousands of years by the peoples of Mesoamerica, and there is plenty of archeological evidence of its monetary and ceremonial value, no specific form of ceremony has survived.
There is, therefore, no such thing as a "traditional" Mayan Cacao Ceremony and no known lineage that has been passed down.
But if Cacao Ceremonies are not an "ancient," "indigenous" tradition, where did they come from?
Cacao Ceremonies as we know them today are a very new thing. In fact, the "tradition' of Cacao Ceremonies began with the man behind Keith's Cacao, the Chocolate Shaman himself.
Arriving in Guatemala some 20 years ago, former geologist and adventurer Keith Wilson was led to Cacao by the Deva -or Spirit- behind this entheogenic plant medicine.
Keith immediately recognized that high-quality pure Cacao, minimally processed, intentionally sourced and delivered, can open people's hearts and guide them back into connection with themselves and one another.
Keith began using Cacao as a facilitator to get people in an open-heart space that was conducive to his personal and group offerings as a processing intuitive healer.
Soon, he became known as the Chocolate Shaman, and the people who flocked to his porch started referring to his sessions as Chocolate/Cacao Ceremonies, though there was nothing "ceremonious" about them - or was there?
In any case, that is how the Ceremonial Cacao movement began.
According to Wikipedia, a ceremony is "a unified ritualistic event with a purpose, usually consisting of a number of artistic components, performed on a special occasion."
We indeed think of ceremony as a formal act or series of acts prescribed by ritual, protocol, or convention. But what about the purpose of ceremony?
People have been performing ceremonies since time immemorial. It's a basic human instinct. It would seem that just as we need water, food, and shelter for our survival, we also need ceremony to create a sense of belonging and to try and make sense of the world we live in.
They remind us that there is something greater than we are able to perceive or, as Sadhguru says, "that there is much more to life than you think."
In ceremony, we communicate acceptance, love, a sense of identity, esteem, shared values and beliefs, and shared memorable events.
Every ceremony contains tender and sacred moments. "And in those moments of sensitivity, we are taken out of the normal flow of life and out of our routines. We are then in an event that is irreplaceable and sacred. In ritual, we participate in something deep and significant. They are moments that move our hearts and touch our Spirit." (David Oldfield)
No wonder Keith's offerings were called ceremonies.
For the nature, the quality, and the essence of this magical plant make it so that when you are consuming it in its highly vibrational, pure form, you are transported into a space of open connection and love that is a ceremony in and of itself.
Indeed, the notion and the art of ceremony are evolving in our modern society.
We are constantly forging new and unprecedented frontiers. And Cacao offers a greater level of freedom and creativity than most other Native American plant medicine traditions due to its open heritage. As Keith says, "no culture owns 'ceremony' or 'Cacao.'"
As a deeply personal experience, ceremony is influenced by background, culture, location, and lifestyle.
Still, we each have the freedom to explore, experiment, deepen and shape our ceremonies. This is why you will witness and experience Cacao Ceremonies that interweave Cacao with breathwork, yoga, shamanic journeying, creative writing, ecstatic dance, sacred chanting, sound journeys, and other healing modalities.
As an open-source connector, healer, and facilitator, Cacao deepens your relationship and experience wherever you channel your intent.
As you work directly with the Spirit of Cacao, you discover that she wants to share the gifts you already have; what emerges is a form of ceremony that is unique to you.
There are a few essentials to consider when hosting a Cacao Ceremony.
Although each Cacao Ceremony is unique, the quality of the experience is directly related to, first and foremost, the Cacao itself!
Central to your ceremony, your Cacao needs to be of the highest vibrational quality!
Keith's Cacao is the original and world's finest Ceremonial Grade Cacao (you can buy some here).
Keith hand-selects his own Cacao guided by the Cacao Spirit and has been doing this for over two decades.
He has established a close relationship with the farmers who preserve the lands where Cacao is cultivated and who have preserved the practice of growing Cacao in a sustainable and sacred way.
He has chosen to live among and directly support 35 indigenous families in Guatemala that prepare the Cacao in traditional methods.
This direct, ethical, and responsible sourcing, preserves the energetic vibration of the plant and supports its readiness for ceremonial use.
# 2 Acknowledgment and gratitude
Although the Cacao plant Spirit is not owned by anyone, it is essential to share Cacao not just with sensitivity and humility, but also with a sense of gratitude for everyone involved in the process of making it possible for us to have it in our cups today, including the peoples who revered and used it throughout history.
In ceremony, we acknowledge and honor the long stewardship of the plant, giving thanks to the peoples who bequeathed us this legacy.
The power of intention has been scientifically proven. There is plenty of evidence that "Our intentions seem to operate as highly coherent frequencies capable of changing the molecular structure of matter."
We have all eaten food prepared with love and sacredness and know how it affects its energy, look, and taste.
Maintaining our own high energetic vibration as we prepare the Cacao we will serve, ensures that the energetic compounds of the Cacao remain fully intact, and are even enhanced by our own energy.
Be fully present, treating the time of preparation as a ritual itself.
#4 Sacred Space
A sacred space is a "focusing lens"; it focuses attention on the forms, objects, and actions in it, revealing them as bearers of sacred meaning; symbols that provide access between the human world and divine realities.
A sacred space comes into being when it is defined and interpreted as such.
Whatever form your sacred space takes and whatever means you use to create one -sage/palo santo, candles, an altar, prayer, invocation, sound, or simply your intention- know that its purpose is to be a container for the experience you are about to offer.
Within this container, you will be called to hold mental and emotional space with intention, attention, and energy that provides comfort and compassion.
To open to the spaciousness and preciousness of the moment and receive and accept whatever comes without judgment.
On the Keith's Cacao Blog, you will find posts and videos highlighting some of the ways in which Ceremonial Cacao is produced, used and shared in Ceremony.
Keith's Cacao Practitioners conduct ceremonies and share their magic with the world in unique ways.
Join the Global Cacao Tribe group on Facebook for updates and ceremonies on and offline.
Become a Keith's Cacao Practitioner, to deep dive into the world of Ceremonial Cacao and learn to share it in your unique way!