Photo by Daniel Lincoln full-moon

Why is cacao used in ceremonies - My thoughts on the subject.

With the upcoming full moon I wanted to write something to provoke some thought on cacao and the salience to ceremony, with focus on the heart, and moon.

There are a multitude of angles to approach this from, and I want to point out from the start I’m no expert, just an individual with an opinion that is fascinated by the lost cultures and rituals of old, but also the new science being discovered about our amazing bodies and mother earth today.

I have been reading an amazing book recently by an amazing individual, Stephen Harold Buhners, ‘The Secret Teachings of Plants.’ The first half of the book delves into a lot of scientific research around the energy and neurological elements of the heart. Not wanting to make this too heavy but the bottom line is the heart has over 40,000 Neurons, has its own central nervous system, like a second brain. The important part being that the brain and heart are neurologically connected, communicating back and forth naturally all of the time.

The primary view amongst the general crowd, is that the life we live is heavily reliant on brain function; communication, basic senses and body function all using the immensely complex components such as the cerebellum, cortex, Frontal lobe, hypothalamus etc etc, with the body often being described in mechanical terms, like a machine with moving parts. Stephen HBs book teaches us that the heart acts like a beacon of energy, like a transmitter receiving and emitting frequencies given off by the world and lifeforms around us. To give context, have you ever walked into a room and known straight away there has been an argument prior to you entering? Have you ever thought of someone and in that very moment they rang you up out of the blue?. The real magic happens in my opinion, when the heart, brain and body are all working in synchronicity, when there is no thinking just doing, when one is so immersed in the task or moment that you are no longer the individual with the label and the story,  you are more alive, and more connected to the world around you. It’s often described as in the flow, and I think that sums it up nicely. The amazing things we see people do on our screens and if lucky in person, is when they have that flow in motion.


The greatest athletes, the greatest dancers, performers, artists. We are not a witness to acts of knowledge or accumulated information these are acts of synchronicity when the brain, body and the heart are all in perfect harmony. Its as much a feeling as it is a conditioned habit or an act of physical prowess.


So, where am I going with this? Well there is evidence that the ancient civilisations of south America, lived their lives with this front and centre, and the heart was seen as sacred, a connection to a higher power, there is still a tribe today in the mountains of Colombia, The Kogi tribe, that moved up into the mountains when Cortez and the Spanish arrived in the early 16th century. They still practice many of the same beliefs and customs today, with the mountain representing the heart of the world within mother earth and that their own human hearts were connected to the earth. As we know cacao was first discovered by the ancient tribes of the same region and there is evidence to now prove that with the many amazing minerals and flavonoids found in cacao, there are physical heart opening benefits from this incredible plant, increasing blood flow to the brain and vital organs dilating vessels, thinning the blood and improving heart and cardiovascular capacity. The Mayans held the cacao bean in high regard for this very reason. It was used as a form of currency, and would have been served as part of ritual in ceremonies on a daily basis. It is no coincidence that the Latin name for the plant itself Theobroma, translates as food of the gods. 

Another interesting series of studies has been on the receptivity of water to emotions, music and sound by Dr Masaru Emoto. He demonstrates that the molecular structure of water changes in accordance with the environment, different compositions of music, different words and prayers all changing the water on a molecular level.

Now it is no new news that the moon effects the water and we are all aware of the impact that this has on us, and our children when the moon is at its fullest. Combining all of the above points, I think we can be assured that there is a lot of credence in applying ourselves not just in person and with our 5 primary senses but with our hearts and emotional energy as much as we can when starting any cacao and full or new moon ceremony.

Ritual. Set the intention for your heart which can only ever be that of love and gratitude as you go through the process of making up your ceremonial cacao drink, feel that which you want to feel and put that energy into your practice.

Drink with gratitude and share heartfelt discussion, listen to others and open your heart, to allow the feelings and emotions that are causing damage stress and pain to be released. If that’s through the gravitational energy of the moon, or just sharing words and feelings trapped inside, what matters is feeling good; that may involve crying, laughing, dancing or just getting letting go. This is all about feeling with your heart and resetting your energy to the right frequency.


Whatever your beliefs and however you practice them I wish you find happiness and an intention that serves you well. Xx



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