Like most in the western world, I came across cacao initially in its most familiar form: chocolate.
It had me at hello. And yet, our connection was so superficial. It centered on the way chocolate met my tastebuds, how that flavor made me feel. And that flavor was heavily mediated by white sugar, essentially a drug that causes a quick high and then a crash.
How could I really have appreciated cacao under those terms?
Over time, as I expelled most sugar from my diet, I discovered the joys of raw cacao. I'd put cacao nibs on top of food, and use cacao powder to make raw chocolate, hot chocolate, and for countless desserts (one of my family favorites is avocado chocolate pudding).
As I got to know cacao on its own terms, I learned more of its nuances - the complexity of its taste, its ability to awaken me and connect me with my innate vitality.
And then I made a discovery that took me deeper still. Cacao is revered as a food of the gods in Mayan and Aztec cultures, utilized to open and heal the depths of the heart. As mystical resources make their way around the globe, Cacao ceremonies from the south are moving upwards to north America.
Using the timeless shamanic tool of journeying, I was able to meet cacao on a soul level.
Our powerful meeting opened my heart, showed me a deeper pathway leading from the heart south into the lower chakras, where we store old wounds. For an hour following the cacao journey, I felt invigorated and strengthened. Ironically, it was while eating a square of store-bought dark chocolate that those powerful sensations left my body.
Cacao has become my ally, a plant spirit I connect with for enhanced energy and guidance.
If you're in the greater Boston area, I invite you to join me on the evening of March 2 for a Sacred Cacao Ceremony at Akasha. If not, I encourage you to seek out Cacao Ceremony near you, or engage cacao directly.
Have you journeyed or performed ceremony with cacao? I'd love to hear about your experience in the comments!