Cacao as a Spiritual Partner
An Indigenous myth tells us whenever the balance between humans and nature becomes threatened, the spirit of cacao comes from the rain-forest to open people's hearts and return the planet to harmony.
Cacao is a very ancient and powerful plant medicine that once was a big part of the Mayan, Aztec culture, used by shamans for healing and conflict resolution between tribes. Subtle in comparison to other hallucinogenic plant medicines used in Central and South America, this familiar yet underestimated teacher is being brought back as a partner to meditation, yoga and many other spiritual practices. It helps us to get out of the mind and into the heart in a gentle yet profound way, allowing for spiritual opening on a whole new level.
On a physical level it contains a beautiful cocktail of compounds that can help to bring a new depth to our practice: It’s one of the highest food sources of magnesium, which is extremely lacking in most diets and helps you to relax on a physical and mental level; theobromine, which is a caffeine like substance which help to keep an alert focus without the buzz of ceffeine and anandamide, otherwise known as the ‘bliss chemical’, to name but a few of the hundreds of active compounds. Together these create the space for a lot of depth of feeling and focus.
On a more subtle level cacao allows more energy to flow through us and also increases our sensitivity to that energy flow. So we may be more able to feel the subtle energies running through the body, the meridians (energy pathways) and the chakras (energy centres). With this we may be able to feel where the energy is blocked, or where we are holding emotion or trauma on an energetic level, so that we can bring some loving attention there and release it.
This applies to emotion as well; cacao helps bring to the surface emotions that may have gone unnoticed or unacknowledged that are asking for our attention. This can happen in a ‘pleasant’ or ‘unpleasant’ way: either it can help us access levels of joy, love and connection that we haven’t felt before, or it can bring up emotional wounds that have gone unloved or unhealed. And being a plant medicine, or guide, it can help us to bring acceptance and love to those areas and open the path to healing old hurts from a loving heart space.
On a mental level we can use the guidance of cacao to help us to uncover limiting belief systems we may hold that are no longer serving us, either of our own or that we have picked up from others. It acts to give us messages from the subconscious in the form of images and metaphors, as a way to uncover deeper aspect of ourselves that are ready to be seen and worked with.
The beauty of this medicine is that it meets you exactly where you are, and gives you exactly the experience that is most beneficial for you in that moment. So depending on the day, depending on the person, depending the readiness in that moment, the experience will be completely different, and no two experiences are ever the same; it may be gentle one day and intense the next. It doesn’t take you to places you are not ready to go; you are completely in control of your experience at all times. It doesn’t take over your consciousness, or take you on a trip, as some more intense plant medicines will, so it’s completely up to you how deep you go.
As my teacher says ‘it will show you the door but it won’t push you through it’.
I look forward to taking you on a journey through your heart in one of the Sacred Cacao ceremonies at Akasha Wellness Retreat.