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So what is a Cacao Ritual and why do people use this plant medicine?
A cacao ritual is an opportunity to connect to yourself and ‘open your heart’. Because of the cacao’s ability to increase your connection to your inner self and your emotions/and your heart chakra, it can assist in transformational shifts that you are working towards, whether you are looking to deepen your understanding of who you are, or release old patterns and traumas, or to move into a more self-confident space. Whatever your path is in life, the intention is yours to set, and the cacao helps with the awareness to move towards your goal.
Known as the “Food of the Gods”, cacao is the seed found in the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree, which is native to the Amazon Basin. The bean was first discovered by the Mayans and has remained a staple in many cultures ever since. It is also known as the chocolate tree. Shaman Shamanic Healer Healing
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cacao beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cacao and removes the fat (cacao butter). Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, cacao can be considered a super-food.
What can happen in the ritual?
We enter into a sharing with each other, of what we want to let go of and what we are calling in, which creates the intention for our personal journey. This is a beautiful safe space, and most people that attend will surprise themselves at how they are able to open up so easily, especially when they start to realize they we are all a mirror for each other, all just human beings with the same fears and sufferings, the same hopes and dreams.
What is the physical impact?
One of the main active ingredients that we experience in our physiology during the ritual is Theobromine. Theobroma cacao, is the scientific name of the cacao tree. The genus name, Theobroma, literally translates to “Food” (Theo) “of Gods” (broma) in Greek, and potentiates the release of dopamine, the ‘pleasure’ hormone. This, alongside phenethylamine, which is known to help relieve stress and depression and is released in the body during emotional euphoria, and can create heightened sensations and empathy. Alongside these, the high amount of nutrients in the cacao support and nourish the body, whilst also inducing a detoxifying effect on the liver and kidneys. Theobromine is a chemical relative of caffeine but is not a nervous system stimulant. Theobromine dilates the cardiovascular system making the heart's job easier. This is one of the major reasons why cacao is an important part of a heart healthy diet. Contrary to popular opinion, cacao is a poor source of caffeine.
What is the emotional impact?
Due to the euphoria inducing ingredients, the emotional impact can be profound. Everything feels heightened within the physical and emotional body, including your awareness to your deepest sense of self and to your heart. The experience of love and empathy, particularly for yourself, can literally feel as if your heart is opening like a flower. When this happens, the body can become flooded with the many emotions stored in the heart, some of which can be painful. It is not always an easy experience, and I have seen many shed tears of release as they peel away old layers of hurt. But as the cacao facilitates a deep sense of self-love, and so tears are always followed by smiles of deep gratitude. In other moments, the sheer ecstasy felt from the cacao can be described as nothing other than a divine experience. Coupled with inner healing work, cacao ceremonies can be hugely transformative.
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