Cacao rituals call upon IxCacao, the Goddess of Chocolate, who reminds us to still the busy-ness of our everyday lives and take a moment to rejoice in those things which give us pleasure. The Aztecs associated Chocolate with Xochiquetzal, goddess of fertility, flowers and fruits..
MODES OF CONSUMPTION
The most traditional way to consume cacao is in the form of a hot beverage the Maya called Xocolatl meaning bitter water. It was made by crushing cacao beans together with chilies and water, then poured back and forth between 2 cups to create a froth.
The main advantage of drinking cacao versus eating it is that it has the ability to be absorbed into your bloodstream faster, especially if consumed on an empty stomach. However, the effects of consuming solids like raw chocolate and cacao beans often last longer for certain people as they are absorbed over a longer period of time.
When starting out we encourage everyone to sample a combination of different cacao products and see which ones are best matched to their practice.
Precautions: Pregnant women are advised to consume half the recommended dosage or less depending on body size. If you are currently taking antidepressants or have a heart condition, please advise your doctor before taking ceremonial strength dose of cacao. Always remember to drink plenty of water before and after consuming cacao.
HARNESSING THE POWER OF CACAO
Raw cacao is an incredible tool that increases mental and physical alertness and leads to a greater awareness for those who seek it. When partaking in a cacao ceremony, whether it be medicinal or spiritual, the user should think about their intention and keep that at the center of their mind and heart during and after the session. Since Cacao increases blood flow and circulation and is an excellent addition to physical rituals like yoga or Tai Chi.
Many cacao ceremony participants report feeling the effects up to 2-3 days after with feelings of peace, joy, lightness, ease and relaxation. In order to prolong these effects we recommend having delicious healthy food and avoiding stressful or exhausting activities following the session. It is important to note that in some cases, the after effects arrive in the form of retrospection and emotional turmoil, almost always surrounding issues that require your immediate attention.