"Mythology believes whenever the balance between humans and nature becomes threatened, cacao leaves the rainforest to open people's hearts returning the planet to a peaceful harmony."
A Mayan Proverb
What is Cacao?
Cacao (kə-ˈkau̇) is a bitter seed or bean found in the fruit of the Cacao Tree or Theobroma Tree, translated from latin to Food of the Gods (Theo=God and Broma=Food) and known as the 'The Food of the Shift.' It's a plant medicine that has history with the Mayan people, and other Indigenous groups of Meso-America. It holds the ability to connect a person to the Earth, to ones spirit, and to Source Energy, or the Creator. It is the same bean that the chocolate we eat and love is made from. But the chocolate we're use to buying, is highly processed, and farmed through mass corporations. To learn about the process of cacao, click here.
As mention Cacao has a history with the Maya people and their spiritual wisdom, as well as other Indigenous groups for over 5000 years in Central & South America. It's is apart of the Mayan story of Creation, and before European interaction was used it in everyday life by many groups in diverse ways. Most often it was traded like money, and drank by the wealthy. If you could drink cacao, is was like drinking your savings. It was also used in spiritual/traditional rituals.
Cacao was, and still is used alongside many Mayan spiritual ceremonies, and is seen as an offering to give thanks to the 4 elements, the Creator, Ancestors and for meditating on the daily spirit (nawales) of the Mayan Calendar, for self-awareness, spiritual growth, and community connection.
It is with great thanks to the many Mayan guides, and elders. alive and pasted, for keeping and sharing this wisdom throughout colonial invasion, and the rise of modernity.
It truly a gift for us to receive, and bring into our lives.
The use of cacao has now been expanded and merged with modern meditation, and earth healing practices. Which is allowing more humans, from all background and cultures to get to know this plant, and begin to form a relationship with it, Mother Earth, and the sacredness of life.
Ceremonial Cacao refers to the most authentic way of preparing cacao, that has been grown in traditional ways, involving a spiritual relationship to farming, rather than one of commodity and capital.
The overall energetic properties of the plant is called 'the Spirit of Cacao,' and comes with a consciousness that understands how to be absorbed by the body, and facilitates self understanding and connection to Spirit/Universal Consciousness. It's believed the energy of cacao is feminine in quality, but the plant itself is a hermaphrodite. So really it seen to be androgynous, and non-dual/non-gendered. This is why it can be used to helps face both the light and the shadow self, as it encourages us to bring an acceptance of the whole self. Cacao is subtle, and doesn't shift your state of consciousness, as it is a non-psychedelic. In a circle, or gathering it helps to facilitate an inner experience of self-inquiry, love, and awareness that can be heart oriented and healing.
Beyond the ritual and spiritual benefits of of cacao, it is also full of essential vitamins & minerals like magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc and electrolytes. As well as containing high amounts of Serotonin, Anandamide, and Theobromine. Which influences it spiritual qualities.
Tritopheme is something we are familiar with, as its the chemical that contributes to our system feeling happy, and unthreatened, while stabilizing our anxiety and mood. It switches the body into the parasympathetic nervous, bringing a calming state of mind, and body function, It not only contains serotonin, but also enables to the body to create it.
Anandamide is a neurotransmitter. The first part of the word 'ananda" is the sanskrit word for Bliss, and so Anandamide is known as the bliss chemical that gives our body and mind a sensation of deep ease, love, and relaxation.
Dissolving the disconnect we have to bliss, while softening our heart, and freeing energetic pathways.
It's is processed as an endocannabinoid in the body. This means it's received by bonding to the body's cannabinoid receptors, which stimulates a response like to cbd.
Theobromine is a bitter alkaloid that is a gentle and grounding stimulate to the body and mind. It is only found in cacao. It is a vasodilator, which allows the blood vessels to relax and an ease of blood flow. It increases cognitive function, reduces inflammation, and relaxes muscles tissues, which enables deeper and easier breathing.
The combination of the cacao fibre and fat/butter in ceremonial cacao enables the minerals and vitamins to be more bio-available, and absorbed faster in the body.
When you meet cacao with intention and purpose, it brings out the ceremonial magick or qualities. It allows for the spiritual work to enfold in an exponential way.
Receiving downloads of higher information, intuitive foresight, and ancestral connection.
Allowing us to get out of our head, and into our hearts.
Only a Mayan Guide can lead a traditional Cacao Ceremony. As a share of this medicine and being of non-Mayan Heritage, I respect this, and only offer Cacao Cirles. A gather o to respect, honour, respect cacao, and use in away to help guide myself and others on the the spiritual path of self-awareness, and conscious connection.
What is a Cacao Circle?
It is is a modern adaptation of the traditional use of cacao, for interpersonal work, heart healing and group connection. It's a ritual that invites the spirit of cacao, and acknowledges it's indigenous ancestry, and colonial trauma. Cacao helps to calm the mind, ease the body, and open the heart which when in a circle enables us to become aware of our heart's, bodily blockages, wounds, and shadows. The group offers a chance for us to be open, vulnerable and empowered in sharing, and healing together. Cacao helps to facilitate this work in a subtle and loving way.
A circle is about coming together to connect and share with other humans in the quest for Earth connection, healing, harmony, respect and love.
What to expect in Cacao Circle:
Opening Meditation with breath work.
Invitation of Cacao.
Drink the Cacao.
Oracle card pulling to receive some insight from the universe.
Journal Prompts/Dyad conversations (an introspective conversation witha partner).
Final meditation with sound medicine.
As well as tons of magick, and intuition.
How Chrys Found Cacao
Chrys found himself first exploring the benefits of cacao in 2009 while in Guatemala and El Salvador. Husking freshly roasted cacao beans by hand as a karma yoga task. He travelled back and forth to Central America for 10 years, where cacao always made itself known to him.
He got a calling 2019, while in Guatemala during a Cacao Circle, to commit himself to share this medicine through his voice and wisdom. He learned and observed over many Mayan Elders in Guatemala, and studied the historical knowledge, and shares Cacao with the utmost care, respect and love for this medicine, and it's original wisdom keepers.
He honours the Maya, the Aztec, and the many other indigenous groups that have grown and taken care of cacao over thousands of years, keeping it a secret during the terrible and ignorant colonial, and post-colonial eras. One cannot not use cacao without honouring it's ancestral heritage and homeland.
I hope you can join me in circle, and take the step to connect to Mother Earth, yourself, and collective consciousness through great plant medicine.
*Chrystof does not take the title of Shaman, or Ceremonialist, or holds any authority over Cacao. He considers himself an Earth Mystic and a humble educator of Cacao, and it's spiritual usage.
He acknowledges his privilege of being a white benefiting human and has no Mayan or Latin American Indigenous ancestry. He is also aware how cultural appropriation can easily be at play with cacao without the right awareness, acknowledgements, and respect.
He actively tries his best to listen, learn, and give back from/to Indigenous elders who teach, share and encourage the use of cacao.
He has and continues to learns a lot about cacao through Nana Marina, a Mayan Guide and Elder in San Marcos de Laguna on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala.
And connects through many online Cacao communities.
He constantly gives a portion of his circle proceeds to the Mayan community in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
He is particular about the sources of cacao he uses in circle, as well as in daily consumption.
Chrys tries his best to approach his cacao circles with a respect to the tradition, alongside a modern, and yogic approach that promotes a heart-centred healing and self-awareness.