There is an Indigenous myth that shares:
“Whenever the balance between humans and nature becomes threatened, cacao comes from the rainforest to open people’s hearts and return the planet to a state of harmony.”
A concept that sounds incredibly appealing, but perhaps one that seems somewhat out of reach right now. In truth, there has been an imbalance between humans and nature for quite some time. You only have to spend a few minutes scrolling through Netflix to see documentary after documentary outlining the state of emergency the planet is in. Harmony in many aspects of life right now may seem slightly out of reach.
Whilst we aren’t here to say that cacao is going to come and save the world (although we really wish it could), there are nuggets of gold in this ancient myth that we can benefit from in our everyday lives.
But before we tap into that gold, it would first be beneficial to have a little insight into cacao’s origins.
The cacao fruit tree, Theobroma Cacao, produces pods where the cacao beans are nestled inside. Once the cacao seed is planted, it takes six years until the tree produces its first decent production of fruit. Then, when it has bloomed, a further 7 months are required for it to grow into its full size and finally be ready for harvest. Technically classified as a fruit, the cacao bean harnesses a subtle sweetness, but its lengthy production also means that it has a harsher bitterness to its taste too. This blend of sweet and bitter flavours are believed to be an example of how nature provides balance and harmony. It is because of this that cacao was upheld to embody the heart of nature; the place where the contrasting elements meet in unison.
Today, it’s easy for us to place little thought into this process as our cacao comes in a neat package, with free delivery at the touch of a button. Appreciating its process and sacred associations isn’t always at the forefront of our mind. Instead, our attention is placed on enjoying it as a delicious drink, or snack.. But appreciating its journey, flavour and sacred place in Indigenous society can have more benefits than we may realise.
For one, it encourages us to practice gratitude.
To stop for a moment, and acknowledge the years of processing and harvesting that has gone into the cup we are able to enjoy effortlessly, brings the ritual of gratitude into our being. Taking time to honour our privilege and to savour the benefits can offer helps us tap into a thankful mindset. This then sets a precedent and enables gratitude towards the rest of our lives to flow more freely into our mindset.
Secondly, it connects us back to the earth.
Throughout our day-to-day lives, there’s every chance that ‘honour the earth’ isn’t at the top of our to-do lists. Our modern society is fast-paced, addicted to technology and busy with a multitude of demands to meet. It can sometimes feel like grounding is out of reach. But, with sacred connection to both our hearts and the earth in every cup, there’s opportunity to find grounding whenever we enjoy cacao. It could be as a grounding morning practice, an afternoon reset or an evening unwind.
Thirdly, it offers a sense of harmony.
Just as the Indigenous myth outlines, cacao embodies harmony that has the power to extend into the rest of the world. With its balance of sweetness and bitterness, its representation of the contrasts that nature offers is a delicious example of how harmonious states are always available for us to tap into. In a world that can often feel unbalanced, cacao is a beautiful reminder that our differences are the very things that can bring us together.
For a grounding practice, head to the meditation below:
To tap into cacao’s unique ability to help us connect deeper to both our hearts and the earth, purchase a pack of cacao below: