CACAO CEREMONIES & HEART OPENING MEDITATION

Join me for an unforgettable journey of self-discovery, heart opening meditation and sound healing! It’s like nothing you have ever experienced before! 

Cacao has been used for centuries as a “plant medicine” due to its heart opening qualities and wide-ranging health benefits, and when grown and consumed consciously, carries a vibrational quality that opens us up to a higher level of healing. Cacao ceremonies bring us together to share an intention, and by consuming ceremonial grade chocolate, we hope to achieve a deeper state of meditation.

Allow me to be your personal guide on this unique journey designed to facilitate the release of old, tiring patterns and abandon negative energy, allowing you to open up to a greater sense of love and gratitude – so that you may ultimately step further into heart-centered living. I supplement our meditative journey with the use of Native American drums, koshi bells, the rain stick, bowls and ancient gongs, which will serve to deepen our collective experience & aid healing. 

Read on to learn more about sacred cacao and cacao ceremonies, or feel free to inquire about your own personalized introduction to this incredible plant medicine. 

CACAO CEREMONIES & HEART OPENING MEDITATION

Join me for an unforgettable journey of self-discovery, heart opening meditation and sound healing! It’s like nothing you have ever experienced before! AHO! 

 Cacao has been used for centuries as a “plant medicine” due to its heart opening qualities and wide-ranging health benefits, and when grown and consumed consciously, carries a vibrational quality that opens us up to a higher level of healing. Cacao ceremonies bring us together to share an intention, and by consuming ceremonial grade chocolate, we hope to achieve a deeper state of meditation.

Allow me to be your personal guide on this unique journey designed to facilitate the release of old, tiring patterns and abandon negative energy, allowing you to open up to a greater sense of love and gratitude – so that you may ultimately step further into heart-centered living. I supplement our meditative journey with the use of Native American drums, koshi bells, the rain stick, bowls and ancient gongs, which will serve to deepen our collective experience & aid healing.

Read on to learn more about sacred cacao and cacao ceremonies, or email me to inquire about your own personalized introduction to this incredible plant medicine. 

Now Booking Cacao Ceremonies, 1-1s, Group Sessions, Workshops & Retreats.

WHAT IS CACAO?

Cacao is raw, unprocessed chocolate in its purest form. Ceremonial grade cacao is typically sourced from Central and South America, where the beans are grown by local tribes, prepared by hand and harvested with love. When ingested, it helps to release ‘feel good’ hormones and endorphins, including theobromine, dopamine, and anandamide. Cacao can be useful in reducing stress, improving mental agility and improving blood flow. It is not psychoactive, but many people enjoy a beautiful physical and emotional journey during the meditation. Cacao is quite simply, a gentle facilitator for a connecting with your true heart and bringing out feelings of love and gratitude.

The seeds of the cacao tree have an intensely bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then ground to into the beloved chocolate in its most basic form.

WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY?

 Cacao ceremonies are simply magical!  I borrow from ancient traditions performed by healers from Central & South America using chocolate as a “plant medicine” to release blocked or negative energy so that you can heal the heart.  I strive to help participants end draining cycles of anger, pain & emotional trauma so you can connect with your inner wisdom and stand strong in your truth with renewed clarity and focus. 

Here is how it works:. Everyone will set a personal intention, asking the spirit of cacao to help guide us on our journey, letting go of what no longer serves us and clearing the path for a brighter future. I will have melted the ceremonial cacao into purified water so that we have a warm chocolate brew to savor. We will select a guidance card for the meditation and then all you have to do is lie back, relax and enjoy.  I will begin our guided meditation by helping you to visualize your connection to Mother Earth and the Universe. I will take you on an inner journey using my drum, the rain stick and the gong. Each session is different, but the goals are the same, let go of the past, seek wisdom and truth within and discover clarity on how to move forward in heart-centered living. Once the meditation is complete, we will take a moment for journaling so you can record your personal experience. We will then go around the circle, allowing people to share the highlights of their individual experiences. To close the session, we will use our intuition to select a “guidance” card, taking a message of hope and opportunity out into the world. So let us raise the vibration, together, as we open our hearts to greater love using this beautiful plant and ancient tradition.

CACAO IS NATURE’S SUPERFOOD

Cacao is one of natures “Super Foods” and when taken in ceremony or as part of your daily diet, the benefits can be far-reaching and may include:

  • Cacao may increase blood flow to the brain, creating higher levels of mental agility, awareness, and focus

  • Cacao contains potassium, phosphorous, copper, zinc, iron and magnesium which contribute to cardiovascular health

  • Cacao contains Anandamide or the “Bliss Molecule.” Anandamide is an endocrine liquid that your body produces when you feel a workout “high”. It is a natural pleasure molecule located in the cells of the nervous system. 

  • Cacao contains theobromine, which translates into “Food of the gods” – similar to caffeine in terms of energetic impact but with a gentler effect on the central nervous system. Theobromine increases energy without the anxious “buzz” one gets from ingesting caffeine (it is a great alternative for those of you trying to cut back on your coffee intake!)

  • Cacao is a natural mood lifter, cacao can help with easing depression and releasing negativity

  • Cacao can act as an aphrodisiac 

CACAO DOSAGE FOR CEREMONY & DAILY USE

As a result of the amazing physical reactions to ingested ceremonial cacao, indigenous healers of Mayan and Aztec communities used Cacao to enhance their journeying and connect with the vibrations of Mother Nature and the universe. We use cacao in ceremony today as a facilitator token our hearts and minds, release negative or blocked energy and reconnect with our true selves. They say the purge of cacao are tears and laughter and it is wonderful to increase creative energy, especially through art and dance. 

For ceremony, I prepare a “shamanic dose” which is 42 grams of cacao to 250 ml of water, about 3 tablespoons to 1 & 1/8th cup. This will result in the maximum effect for a 3-4 hour period. You can’t “overdose” on cacao, but any more and you will likely have a tummy ache, so no need to overindulge! For a daily dose, I recommend 1-2 tablespoons depending on your personal preference and physical reaction. Everyone is different, so start with a low dose and increase to a level which feels best for you. The taste can be quite bitter, so feel free to add a natural sweetener such as agave or honey. Cayenne or red pepper an also be added as it helps the cacao enter the bloodstream more quickly. Personally, I love to add cinnamon, nutmeg, and coconut oil. I mix my cacao with warm water, mixing or blending until the concoction is smooth and frothy, but advise against using boiling water or using any dairy products which can impede the release of the feel-good endorphins. Coconut milk, almond, and soy are perfectly acceptable for your own daily brew! You just need to find what’s right for you. 


Important: Always Set an Intention 

Whether sitting in ceremony, or in your living room, the most important part about enjoying cacao is intention. Remember, this isn’t “just chocolate,” ceremonial cacao has been grown and blessed by indigenous hands and carries an inherent vibrational quality. When we use it as a plant medicine for its amazing benefits, we should treat it with the respect it deserves. Before you drink your cacao, acknowledge its origins, feel its vibration, set your intention and invite the cacao into your heart and body to help you on your journey. 

Cacao Ceremony Soul Fire Social

WHERE TO BUY CEREMONIAL GRADE CACAO

In general, store-bought Cacao/Cocoa products (powders, nibs, blocks, bars) go through a significant manufacturing process where even the highest quality chocolate may lose up to 80-90% of its health benefits and often includes unwanted/unnecessary additives like dairy and sugar. I have carefully selected those purveyors that I believe to be the finest producers of raw, organic, unadulterated, wild cacao that has not been chemically or physically processed. I prefer native bean strains such as the Criollo and Chuncho, which are found in Guatemala and Peru and I look specifically for suppliers who collaborate with the indigenous people to create a sustainable business model that supports the local community.

My aim in making these suggestions is to make sure you are purchasing authentic Ceremonial Cacao that is highly vibrational, and that has been blessed with positive intention throughout the process of land, to hand, to ceremony.

When choosing cacao for my own ceremonies, I seek not only consistency but wish to support suppliers who genuinely believe in the spirit of cacao and its healing abilities. I intend to spread the word about cacao to the world, along with the loving touch of trusted suppliers who are committed to the same high standards I believe in! I have personally connected with all the suppliers below and highly recommend their cacao, and feel they provide the raw materials to bring you the heart of cacao!

MY EXPERIENCE

I was invited to my first cacao ceremony five years ago by a spirited friend and teacher, Maren Lander. The ceremony was facilitated by Rebekah Shaman, author “The Shamans Last Apprentice”, plant medicine specialist, shaman, healer, and environmentalist whose mission has been to bring the amazing benefits of ceremonial cacao to the West. I didn’t know what to expect, but as we shared our cacao and invited the cacao goddess into our bodies to release blockages and free ourselves of past trauma and negative energy, I felt overwhelmed with love and clarity. It was on that night that I was able to let go of a lot of emotional baggage and open myself up to more self-love and connect with the universal heart. I was a cacao convert. After several more ceremonies with Rebekah, we were invited to work together on a the “Golden Summer Retreat” at the Sen Wellness Sanctuary in Sri Lanka, to take people on a cleansing journey using cacao, Kundalini yoga, gong meditation and shamanic journeying through the chakras to elevate their awareness and connection to themselves and the universe. The experience was, to put it lightly, life-changing. I was then asked to assist Maren on her “Heart of Pachamama Retreat” in San Marcos, Guatemala, where I met man affectionally known as the “Chocolate Shaman,” Keith Wilson, who is a key player in bringing cacao back into modern day usage. From these experiences, I began hosting my own cacao ceremonies and using cacao regularly to aid in my daily intention setting and for its amazing health benefits. In April of 2018, I attended Rebekah’s “Sacred Cacaoista Apprenticeship” training in Ibiza, Spain where I spent a week learning all about the history of cacao, its uses as a vibrational, “plant healing medicine”, and healing space provided by this amazing, ancient plant. I look forward to sharing cacao with you in a future ceremony, as I am confident you will find cacao a beautiful facilitator for an open heart and mind

Read on to learn more about the history of Cacao!

THE FASCINATING HISTORY OF CACAO

The Aztecs were very fond of Cacao and saw it as offering deep symbolic meaning as one of the foundations of the universe, demonstrated in various maps and illustrations unearthed from this period in time. Chocolate was also used as a metaphor in the language spoken by the Aztec elites – poets and philosophers – to define ‘heart’ and ‘blood.’ In one creation story, the Aztec God Quetzalcoatl discovered cacao (bitter water) in a mountain filled with edible plants. Cacao was deemed as a very sacred item meant primarily for nobility and kept from the common people. In fact, Cacao was once only consumed by men as it was thought to be toxic to women and children. As Cacao was often associated with nobility in ancient times. “Commoners” often only had access to cacao in special occasions – weddings and festivals.

Madrid Codex

Ancient Mesoamericans consumed cacao as a cold, unsweetened liquid beverage, and many ancient drinking and burial vessels depict the use of cacao. Burial vessels often contained cacao residue. Cacao was also once the currency of the past, perhaps the bitcoin of ancient times, with cacao nibs used as a unit of currency. Cacao pods could be used to pay taxes and salaries, barter, or given as a tribute to overlords. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? CACAO or COCOA?

Soul Fire Social Sacred Ceremonial Cacao

The name granted to the Cacao plant formally granted by the father of Botany, Linnaeus around 1753 is Theobroma Cacao, which is based on the ancient Mexican name for the cacao tree, “cacauatl.” Theobroma, interestingly enough, is an ancient Greek word translated as “Food of the Gods.” The Europeans somewhat lazily began to refer to the product of cacao trees as coco, likely because it was easier to say. Highly processed cacao products are most commonly called chocolate or cocoa (as in cocoa powder) but are not the same as unprocessed, raw cacao – which is the essence of the cacao plant obtained from its fruit – known interchangeably as the pod, bean, seed or nib. The most vital element of real cacao is the inclusion of the cacao butter, which is removed to create homogenous powders often seen on grocery store shelves. Unfortunately, this removes the 80-90% of the health benefits of this amazing “superfood”.

MY FRIENDS & MENTORS

 
AHO!

Be sure to check out my events page for upcoming cacao ceremonies in your area.

Raise the Vibe With Your Tribe!

Soul Fire Social is a platform for all of my passions: Kundalini Yoga, Gong Therapy and Sound Meditation, Cacao Ceremonies, Community Service, Bespoke Events and Retreat Experiences, Music, Art & Travel. I invite you to enjoy me on my journey. Together we can raise the vibe of our collective tribe.

Contact Candace at Soul Fire Social

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