Updated: Dec 1, 2020
By Allison Graham and Dorothy Farrell
So, you’re on the heart frequency and you’re ready to change the world? It’s time to plan your first successful cacao ceremony! Those of us who have had the opportunity to connect with the power of this plant medicine know the potent benefits physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Sharing this heart medicine is one key to elevate humanity into the heart, together.
If you are a healer, yoga instructor, energy worker, or space holder that is inspired to use cacao in ceremony, this article will provide you with 8 ways to design and promote a successful and powerful cacao ceremony. 1. Create a Theme.
Cacao will amplify your intention and draw in people who are ready to connect and share. Before planning your ceremony, create a central theme.
Ask yourself: What am I passionate about and what would I like to share? If you’re a yoga instructor, maybe you’d like to welcome the winter solstice with cacao and 108 sun salutations. Or, try combining cacao with a heart-opening vinyasa flow. If you follow astrology, maybe you’d like to guide others through a heart-centered meditation that honors the full moon and tuning into the planetary aspects. Cacao also is the perfect companion to women’s/men’s support groups, creative masterminds, song circles, and sound healing.
Whatever theme you choose, make sure it resonates with you and what you feel comfortable and excited to bring into the world.
2. Announce It. Once you have chosen a theme for your ceremony, translate your vision into a clearly defined, concise idea. This will give people something to grasp through what for many is still uncharted territory.
Create a graphic representation that communicates your event. You can use Canva.com, for example, to create a flyer and social media infographics. Make posters and graphics that are engaging and easy to read. People love pictures of other people smiling and enjoying cacao, for example. Include pertinent information: date, time, location, exchange/price, and any other important information for the ceremony.
3. Promote and Network.
Share your announcement far and wide. Consider sharing a printed poster in community hubs, such as a café or yoga studio that attracts similar people. Use social media to frequently post announcements. Tag your best friends and those who you think will be the most interested. Also consider sharing your post in social media groups that are geared towards raising consciousness (ie. meditation, yoga, art). Build a sense of “togetherness” that is going to attract like-minded people to your hearth.
When it comes to social media, post on Facebook, Instagram, newsfeeds and stories, even go Live about it. There are endless ways to connect with your audience and the only way to get people in your ceremony is for others to know you’re holding it.
Cacao is a unique medicine and each practitioner has their own style of holding space. If you are called to work with cacao, there is no doubt that there are people out there who need exactly what you offer. Network, network, network! Use your message to weave a web of excitement around you. Talk about your work, talk about why you do what you do, give the information, and invite people you feel in resonance with. Yes, people will connect with the cacao, but they also will want to connect with you. So open up! 4. Connect with your cacao & recipe.
There are a plethora of cacao brands out there. You choose the cacao you resonate with both energetically and ethically. Some cacaos from South America, for example, are a bit milder, while Mayan cacaos tend to be a bit more energizing. Some cacao companies share the full story of their product while others are more closed. Some cacaos will take you into a deep, inner heart journey of meditation while others will take you into a wild, ecstatic dance. Whatever you choose, make sure first that the cacao is aligned with you.
On ceremony day, you’ll prepare a big batch of cacao. If you know exactly how many people will show up, you can brew an appropriately sized batch. Try a ratio of 8 oz (236 ml) of water to 1-1.5 oz (28-42 g) of cacao.
While preparing your cacao for the ceremony be sure to infuse it with love. Sing or dance as you make the beverage. Spice up your cacao with some salt, cinnamon, clove, cardamom, anise, cayenne, or honey. If you like your beverage to have a little bit more substance you can add tahini or macadamia butter (Just make sure no one is allergic beforehand). Hand-blenders are excellent tools for creating a frothy head. People love a scrumptious cup of chocolate, so really take time to craft your recipe and make sure it’s delicious. 5. Share and sit in a circle. One of the many reasons why we love cacao is that it is meant to be shared. Everyone ingesting the same beverage creates a harmonic resonance that everyone rides together. To begin a ceremony, try sitting in a circle and inspire each other with intentions. As the space holder, you should share first. Set the tone for the ceremony. Tell people how grateful you are for each and every person who showed up. Share why this event is meaningful to you. People will mirror your openness. Give your participants an opportunity to share what they hope to transmute in the space together.
6. Invoke the senses.
Guide your ceremony participants to utilize all their senses before and as they take the first sip of their chocolatey beverage. The Ancient Mayans utilized cacao as a sacred medicine and revered it as a bridge between the seen and unseen worlds. A cup of cacao uplifts the senses. It shifts our perspective on life and how we use our bodies and senses to fully experience its effects, both seen and unseen! How does the cacao feel in your cup? Does it exude a sense of love, playfulness, or something else? What does it smell like? What does it look like? What flavors and tannins are present? How does it feel to drink the cacao? Maybe even check-in after a half-hour, how has the energy shifted? 7. Shake up the energy. Expect cacao to activate every element of your being. Each one of us is an infinite well of creativity and expression. The more we stretch the bounds of our creative imagination, the deeper we sew seeds within our own consciousness. Use your cacao ceremony to guide some sort of creative practice.
One of the best ways to move out of the mind and into the body is through dancing. If you or someone you know plays live music or DJ’s, set up a dance. Find a space to hold the ceremony that has enough room for the participants to move around and explore the body. Other ways to shake up the energy are through singing, creating art, being in nature, and connecting to new people. Set a safe container to allow participants to express freely and let the magic of chocolate and music move the soul. 8. Make it a celebration. Do not let the word ceremony fool you. Cacao teaches us that this life is playful: Every moment is sacred and it is meant to be celebrated. Allow cacao to guide you so that every step in planning, promoting, and executing your event is a ceremony. There is great potential in working with this strong, yet subtle, plant medicine. Magic happens when you and the people around you are truly enjoying life and living. Using cacao as a catalyst for connection, healthy living, creativity, and humanity inspired by the heart.