Cacao – It’s Origins and History
Cacao is a powerful plant medicine that has been used ceremonially for thousands of years across Central and South America. It’s active ingredient – Theobromine, is translated as ‘Food of the Gods’, and the people of ancient Meso-America attributed a sacred status to Cacao and would drink it ceremonially to commune with their gods. The Maya believed that the ka’kau’ was discovered by the gods in a mountain that also contained other delectable foods. According to Mayan Mythology Hunahpú gave Cacao to the Maya after humans were created from maize by the divine grandmother goddess Ixmucané. The word Cacao originated from the Maya word Ka’kau’, as well as the Maya words Chocol’ha, and the verb chokola’j ” to drink chocolate together. What we offer is a modern day Cacao ceremony to commune with our inner ‘god/goddess.’
We drink Cacao in ceremony to reconnect with our deep inner guidance. Using guided meditation we journey deep within to discover more about ourselves, release negative blockages and find peace and clarity. Cacao doesn’t take you out of your body, and is not psycho-active but some people can have clear visions. It all depends on an individuals extra sensory perception, and how cacao works best with you. A Cacao Ceremony gives us time for ourselves in a hectic and stressful world. It is the perfect space to switch off the outside chaos and journey into the silence, so that we can become clearer of who we are, where we are going, and the opportunities available to us. Whether you are looking for help shifting an emotional blockage, needing to let go of a past experience, dissolve negative energy or you simply want to lift your spirits, these ceremonies can provide the focus you need to re-align with who you really are, and get back on track.
Cacao – Emotional and Spiritual Benefits
Cacao has many amazing, life-affirming, qualities that support health and psychological well-being. Cacao is a heart-centered anchor, so that wherever one is going it is with more love and less fear. Cacao is a powerful Plant Medicine that helps us to release emotional blockages that no longer serve us, find forgiveness in ourselves and others, and shows us the way forward if we are stuck or afraid of making the necessary life changes in order to move on. It also enables us to access stuck emotions, conditionings, patterns of behaviour and addictions that are buried deep in the unconscious. During my time working with cacao I have experienced some extraordinary healings and breakthroughs, energy releases and surrendering. Personally, I am more relaxed, my tolerance levels have increased, and I don’t get as stressed or anxious. I feel much happier, younger, more vibrant and energised. Most importantly, I no longer suffer from depressive dips, instead I find I look forward to every day and have found a deep sense of inner peace and trust. Here is a quote from one of my long-term students: “Cacao has transformed my understanding of myself and the universe, through surrendering I love myself at last. I feel so grateful and connected.”
Cacao – Physical Benefits
Scientific research now confirms that chocolate helps to relieve emotional stress. Stress hormones and stress-related biochemical agents were reduced when volunteers, who rated themselves as highly stressed, consumed 1.4 ounces of dark chocolate per day for a period of two weeks. Cacao increases the blood flow to the brain, creating more mental agility, awareness and focus. It may also delay dementias like senility and Alzheimer’s, increase skin resistance to UV radiation/ sunburn, slow tooth decay and can remove heavy metals from the body. Cacao in regular use seems to make the blood clots that cause strokes rare and, with the extra blood flow, keep skin smoother in advanced age. With daily Cacao consumption, blood pressure can, over time, be normalised ending the need for medication. Cacao also contains potassium, phosphorus, copper, iron, zinc, and magnesium which contribute to cardiovascular health. Cacao has the ability to trigger the release of dopamine and the endorphin phenylethylamine, both of which soothe the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and depression. Most importantly, it contains Anandamide, the bliss molecule. Anandamide is an endogenous ligand that your body produces when you feel a workout “high.” It is a natural pleasure molecule that fits into the cannabinoid receptor sites of the cells of the nervous system. Anandamide has been associated with improving motivation and increasing pleasure. A study published in July 1998 indicated that anandamide inhibits human breast cancer cells. Due to its high valeric acid content, Cacao also has stress relieving properties despite the presence of the stimulants theobromine and caffeine. Raw Cacao also contains powerful antioxidants along with a significant amount of chromium, which balances blood sugar levels. Cacao also acts as natural antidepressants.
“We do not go into ceremony to talk about God. We go into ceremony to talk with God.” Quanah Parker Comanche