You may have heard of it– “Cacao, the most delicious superfood”. It’s grown in popularity over recent years, although it’s been around for thousands. Cacao is the original base for all of our favorite chocolate treats.
You know how we go nuts over chocolate for holidays or midnight snacks? That’s because especially in its purest state, it helps our bodies produce the chemicals of bliss and love. Perhaps our cravings can forge a neural connection to the traditional histories of this plant, including why the Ancient Mayans and Aztecs considered it as valuable as gold.
Cacao has been considered a medicine by communities all over the world. Ancient Central and South American cultures would host cacao ceremonies, in which the thick drinking chocolate would be served especially to royal elites, and even induce spiritual trances to connect with spirits and ancestors.
Indigenous folklore says that when the balance between humans and nature is threatened, the spirit of cacao comes from the rainforest to open people’s hearts and restore harmony on earth. It’s been in recent years that Mayan Elders have granted permission for trained cacao guardians to share the ceremonial traditions worldwide, because they believe the world needs heart-healing medicine at this time.
Above all, cacao is considered a “heart medicine”. Especially during ceremonies or intentional settings, cacao is known to support us in opening our hearts, seeing more clearly, feeling and navigating our emotions, and immersing ourselves in creating deep relational connections.
This informational packet introduces the medicinal and traditional uses of cacao, so that we can commune with the medicine with respect to its historical lineage, rather than mindlessly consuming it like another Hershey bar on Halloween.
Additionally, we dive into the health and nutritious benefits that consider cacao a “superfood” or traditionally-speaking, “food of the Gods”. For these reasons, doctors even prescribed cacao to patients in the early days of its distribution throughout Europe.
In this free educational packet, you’ll learn:
- What is cacao? What are its main nutritive components?
- What are the histories and cultural traditions of cacao? How can I respectfully engage with this medicine?
- What are the modern day complications of the cacao industry, and how can we source cacao ethically?
- How can we prepare cacao? An “easy” method and “ceremonial” method are included, with distinctions as to which techniques make the difference.
- What does it mean to commune with cacao in ceremony? General guidelines for ritual practices are provided.
Author (Crystal) Claire has been studying with the Cacao Spirit since 2017, including closely alongside mentor Serap Kara of Cacao Mama. When given the safe, sacred, ceremonial space to connect deeply with the Spirit of Cacao, she has found its revelations to be significantly profound and even slightly psychedelic. The more that we approach anything– especially plant medicine– with respectful intention, the more we can understand and experience its innate intelligence, beyond any preconceived expectations.
A good friend of (Crystal) Claire, Andrew of Cacao King works with Indigenous families in Panama and Ecuador to share this medicine in integrity while supporting small farmers. Make your next elixir with their cacao paste, and feel free to utilize the discount code: CRYSTALCFRIEND. We hope you enjoy!
(Crystal) Claire occasionally hosts cacao and natural medicine ceremonies on the West Coast, primarily in Portland, Oregon. All of her ceremonies incorporate fundraisers for Indigenous communities and environmental causes. Stay connected with her to join in an upcoming circle.
Share what you love about cacao; we’d love to hear!
May this medicine bless your life in all ways.