If you’ve been following along on my Instagram, you’ll know I recently attended my very first Full Moon Cacao Ceremony and Sound Healing + Meditation. If you didn’t know, make sure to follow me @DesiChance to stay current with all my travels, wellness tips, parenting, and unique experiences like this one!
What is a cacao ceremony?
As this was the first Full Moon of the decade, actually, a Full Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse, it was a very special time to participate in my first cacao ceremony. So, what exactly is a cacao ceremony? When prepared and consumed correctly, and in the appropriate setting, ceremonial grade cacao is used as a method of consciously opening the heart to give and receive more love, clarity, abundance, and connection with self and others. High-quality, ceremonial grade cacao is a powerful tool when used in conjunction with meditation and intention setting, as it helps to energize the spirit while also stimulating blood flow to the brain and deepening connection to heart and inspiration. Cacao is non-psychotropic, however, it is said that when consumed in these ceremonial settings, it unlocks a blissful state within and releases negative thoughts or emotions and is replaced with acceptance, love and awakening. You may have already heard that similar emotions are experienced when eating chocolate. (*Side note, pure raw cacao is not the same as cocoa. Cacao has little to no added sugar or milk products, making it pretty bitter on its own).
Cacao ceremonies can be done alone or in group gatherings. I use cacao at home to prepare my own elixirs (see recipe below), but was very curious as to how the effects of it would be different in a community setting with others, and with the accompaniment of sound and guided meditation. To be honest, I was using cacao in my own recipes simply because I enjoyed it and knew of all the health benefits before ever learning about cacao ceremonies. My curiosity was piqued after researching it more and finding that cacao has been consumed in ancient traditions for thousands of years by Mayans, Aztecs and Amazon natives during their spiritual ceremonies. It’s believed to be sacred, medicinal and healing. The group setting is something a bit more ancestral, as it was common practice for the community to come together to create space and practice sacred rituals.
During a cacao ceremony, you will be given a blessed elixir. Ours was comprised of coconut milk, cacao, maca, cinnamon, and rose, but each shaman or ceremony may make their own unique version. To start the ceremony, our healer began by sharing about the mystic nature of the Full Wolf Moon Lunar Eclipse and what this means for us on an emotional and spiritual level, what we can expect during this time, and how the cacao ceremony will help to heal us. She then led a guided meditation, calling on all the spirits like Pachamama, Isis, Gaia and so on to guide us. As we held the elixir close to our hearts, an intention was offered to all of us and we were also prompted to call on our own personal intentions, softly whispering it into our cup before taking the elixir and laying down on our mats to begin the sound healing.
Benefits of Cacao
- Has a high concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain
- Release energetic blockages
- Enhances the immune system
- Releases endorphins
- Contains a natural & gentle source of caffeine for energy & awakening the senses
- Improves memory & focus
Generally these practices require the participant to be comfortably seated or laying down. Sound healing uses therapeutic tools like music, vibration, chants, meditation and sometimes even movement to lower stress levels, promote balance within, and improve mood and emotional well-being. When administered correctly and with the right instruments, sound healing has shown to improve both the physical and emotional health in all ages, from pre-mature babies to nursing home patients, those with chronic stress or anxiety disorders, PTSD and so on. The audible sound vibrations penetrate the body to promote relaxation, release tension, and help tune your frequency to a more pleasurable and conducive state of being. There are a number of specific sound healing modalities, each slightly varied from one another, but with the same general goal of total mind and body well-being at heart.
Sound baths are something I’ve done before, but this was unlike any of my previous experiences, with the exception of plant medicine ceremonies, which cacao is considered to fall under as well. This seemed more aligned with a ceremony led by shamans. In my past sound bath experiences, crystal bowls were the only source of instruments used, but this ceremony put a myriad of them into play. Two healers led with chimes and proceeded to take us on a beautiful musical journey using about 10 or so different instruments from didgeridoo’s to gongs, drums, tuning forks, rain sticks, crystal bowls and more! It was quite beautiful against the faint sound of the water feature in the back of the room. One peculiar thing I noticed during this sound journey were that the crickets I had seen in the studio earlier in the evening began to chime in during the more intense waves of sound. It could easily have been overlooked, in fact, my friend who joined me at the ceremony was unaware of this when I brought it up afterwards, but with a recent plant medicine ceremony I had done the month before, I was unintentionally more attuned to the way nature responds during these kinds of musical “callings”. The crickets seemed to be reciprocating in a conscious way, and in a manner that felt oddly familiar. During my plant medicine ceremony last month, the rain and insects seemed to respond in the moments of intensity during the icaros with the same idiosyncrasy. I was so intrigued by this phenomenon, I spent the remainder of my evening researching crickets and their spiritual symbolism, to find the representation of their presence extremely congruent to that particular moment in time. Could it have been coincidence? Absolultely. But, I’ll just leave this conversation for another time perhaps. Nonetheless, it was a beautiful 60 minutes of musical enchantment.
Sound baths, when combined with meditation and led by experienced practitioners, can be an incredible experience. Each sound healing journey is different, so go into it with an open heart and no expectations. At the very least, it will permit you the time and space to clear your thoughts, relax and be present. You may experience some emotions coming up during the ceremony. It’s not uncommon to cry or even laugh sometimes. Emotional baggage releases itself in many ways. Do not feel ashamed or try to stifle yourself. Allow yourself permission to express these feelings – its healthy! Think of it as shedding your old skin and stepping into a brand new suit that fits your current state of being better.
Comfort Items You May Want To Bring
- Yoga mat
- Eye mask
- Essential oils
- Water bottle
*Be prepared by wearing comfortable clothes and not eating heavily throughout the day. It’s best to eat lightly a few hours before the ceremony, but do not come with a full stomach.
Revitalizing Cacao Elixir
- 1 tbsp Raw Cacao Powder
- Dash of Ginger Powder
- Dash of Cinnamon Powder
- 1/4 tsp Maca Root Powder
- 1/4 tsp Mesquite Powder
- 1 tsp 10 Blend Mushroom Powder by Four Sigmatic
- 1/4 tsp Pearl Powder
- 6-12g (depending on preference) Grass-fed Collagen Peptides
- 1 1/2 Cups of Coconut Milk
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- Heat coconut milk over a low flame and stir in maple syrup until dissolved
- Slowly add in each ingredient, blending well with a whisk or electric frother before adding the next one
- Once you’ve reached the desired temperature, pour in a mug and ENJOY!
- Rebuilds muscle
- Repairs skin at cellular level
- Brightens and tones appearance of skin
- All natural source of energy
- Loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Boosts mood
- Helps regulate menstrual cycles
- Balances hormones
- Increases libido & fertility
- Enhances memory & immune system
- Reduces redness, dryness and wrinkles
- Prevents bone loss and joint pain
Have you participated any kind of ceremony that you felt awakened, inspired or better because of? Please share! I’d love to hear about your experience!
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