It is said that the longest journey we will ever take is from our heads to our hearts. With so much going on in the world, we often find ourselves stuck in ineffective thought patterns, looping between the fear of recreating old patterns and constructs from the past to fearing the unknown in the future. It's through ceremony and ritual, self care and the willingness to lean into self awareness and responsibility that we return home to our hearts and this here and now moment.
Ceremonial Cacao is the perfect invitation to lean deeper into ritual, a heart opening medicine that brings you into presence, activates the heart chakra and creates inspired action.
It was my first cacao experience in Bali over 6 years ago that had me crack open my heart space, soften into the feminine and lean into total bliss and freedom in my mind and body. This was something I had never experienced to this magnitude before, so much so that I questioned if there was anything else added to the cacao that made the experience so expansive, and when I learnt that it was pure ceremonial grade cacao, I began my journey of deep discovery into this medicinal wonder and how something so delicious could have such an impact.
I've since sat in and facilitated ceremonies and rituals in both Australia, Bali, Sedona, New Zealand and Italy, as well as discovered the art of holding space, diving deeper into yoga teacher training, breath work, reiki, chakra balance and access consciousness, all while connecting with women in my sacred hair studio developing modalities such as hair ceremonies and more, it was without question that I had to weave this medicine into my studio offerings, women's circles and workshops
Over the past 2 years I have witnessed more and more women gather with an intention to connect, activate and open the heart space, reconnect to the womb space, feel held, reignite their creative essence and relieve unwanted tension from their bodies, all while being gently guided to sit in deep gratitude and reverence for the wisdom and nourishment ceremonial cacao provides.
My intention has always been and continues to be to help guide individuals to lean deeper into connection and self-love. I believe that when we operate from a more balanced, centred and open space, we deepen our connection to others, to nature and to our highest selves.
When we sit in sacred ceremony with this plant medicine, we create a potent practice that has you dial in rich in intention, gratitude and creativity.
Leaning into and recalibrating back into this space not only helps you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and others, it also allows you to open yourself up to that which is similar in us all rather that what is different.
What is cacao?
Cacao is a heart healing plant medicine used traditionally by ancient Mayans in ceremony with recent archeological evidence dating back 5500 years, and is now widely used as a tool for releasing old energies that have you feeling stagnant, stuck and unmotivated or uninspired, while activating the heart space leaning you deeper into connection and creative expansion.
This sacred plant medicine has been used for centuries by our ancients in ceremony for many reasons including but not limited to...
- Healing vibration of the heart
- Helps release old, stagnant emotions -
- Opens creativity and leaves you in a gentle state of bliss and love.
In short, CONNECTION, CREATIVITY and LOVE are what are bought into union when journeying with cacao.
When sitting with any plant medicine it is important to understand and form a deep respect for its history as well as the traditional custodians and ancient civilisations that used it in ceremonies and initiations well before our time.
For deeper understanding of the history of Theobroma Cacao, pls click the link.
How does it work?
Sacred Cacao works on opening and activating the heart chakra, as it increases blood flow throughout the body. The ceremonial cacao used in all of our sacred ceremonies is ethically sourced and minimally processed to maintain its nutrients at an optimal level.
Bursting with benefits, cacao is one of the most concentrated forms of magnesium, calcium, chromium and antioxidants found in nature.
For the science lovers, here’s a little more info…..
- ANANDAMINE - anandamine in Sanskrit means BLISS - and is a bliss chemical that is found in the brain and in cacao that brings you literally into a state of bliss also known as that euphoric felling.
- SEROTONIN – cacao increases the production of serotonin in the body, in turn turning up the dial on the HAPPY feeling.
- TRYPTOPHAN – the precursor to serotonin. Tryptophan is great for elevation of mood, alleviates depression and anxiety.
- THEOBROMINE – theobromine (directly translates to “food of the gods”) stimulates heart and mind, increases your energy, focus and concentration. HOW? it is similar to that coffee like kick, but smoother and without the crash.
- 13 x more antioxidants than blueberries
- 10 x more magnesium than bananas
- 2.9 x more iron than spinach
How to prepare your ceremonial cacao
- Add 2 Tbsp (30g) per person into filtered hot / warm water or hot /warm plant-based milk (eg oat milk, almond or macadamia milk).
*I personally prefer it as raw and natural as possible so use filtered boiled water.
- Choose to enjoy with or without spices (examples - cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, cayenne or chilli) and / or sweetener (coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup) and blend or whisk until creamy. (Another option is to add a drop of coconut oil prior to blending for extra creaminess)
- Gently warm your water or milk in a pan
- Add the cacao paste
- As it melts continue to mix in well. You can blitz in with a hand blender for a creamier, frothier drink
- Serve in your favourite ritual cup and sweeten to taste if desired
Make it Sacred
- When you prepare cacao for use in a ceremony, make the preparation a ritual in itself. Create space and time to sit and include your ritual tools in the form or your favourite crystals, totems, candles, incense and journal to write down anything that comes through the experience.
- Smudge your space with white sage to clear any energies that may block or distract you.
- Light a candle and return back to gazing into the flame throughout your journey
- Set an intention for your ceremony. (This could be to connect to your heart, to clear your mind, to ask for guidance and support from your guides or simply to lean into radical self care)
- Take your time to connect with your breath. Yogic breathing is incredibly beneficial prior to any ritual. *See bottom of post to learn more about this.
Be mindful of why you are preparing your cacao.
- Take your time
- Send your prayers and intentions to the drink as you make it
- Hold love in your heart as you do
If you are interested in journeying with sacred cacao here in the Sunshine Coast in either a group or one on one session please email Annalisa at email@example.com and for anyone looking to expand their cacao experience from home, you can find our favourite cacao here Shaved Ceremonial Cacao
*For our pregnant or nursing sisters or anyone with heart conditions, we advise you to do your own research here. If you feel cacao is too stimulating for where you may be on your journey, Annalisa also has some ceremonial tea and or maca she can brew just for you. Please let us know in advance, for blessing and preparation.
Breath work invitation
*Nadi Shodhana, also known as Alternate Nostril Breathing, can have a profound impact on your body, mind, and nervous system. This is a simple and powerful tool, which can be used by most people as a simple and effective practice to clear the mind and calm the whole self.
*How to practice Nadi Shodhana Pranayama:
- Sit comfortably.
- Bring the Right hand into Vishnu Mudra (thumb to the Right nostril, ring and pinky fingers to Left, index and middle finger folded and resting at the base of the thumb)
- Exhale completely
- Block the Right nostril and inhale through Left nostril
- Release Right nostril and exhale
- Block Left nostril and inhale Right
- Release Left nostril and exhale
- This completes 1 full cycle
- Repeat 10-12 cycles
Stay connected for more insights, workshops and our latest ritual boxes.