Q: WHAT IS IN THE DRINK?
A: The drink is specifically prepared for the ceremony as simple as possible to be able to appreciate the true essence of Cacao. It contains a special raw cacao paste, a pinch of maca, cayenne and chilli.
* We work with Organic Raw Criollo Guatemalan Cacao Paste – The Criollo beans have been hand selected by a Cacao Shaman, guided by the Cacao Spirit to only the highest vibration cacao. This cacao is grown and processed without any chemicals and the Mayan women who prepare the cacao receive fair pay for their work. We have a direct relationship to our cacao source. Sacred mayan cacao beans are grown in the wild on mature trees farmed without chemicals in the Guatemalan rainforest on the shores of Lake Atitlan. The beans are mildly fermented in the pod, extracted and lightly heated on a hot plate so the outer shell can be removed easily. the women then hand peel the beans. The beans are transported to an antique mill that has only ever been used for grinding cacao. the whole beans are ground, the powder warms slightly to form into a paste. This paste is then poured into 500 g blocks, known as the “cacao liquor”, there is no separation of the cacao liquor into powder and butter, as you see in most health food shops. This sacred cacao is the whole bean, nothing added, nothing removed. It is high vibration pure cacao. It’s a heart opener, creative juices flowing for music art writing and dance. When you consume cacao prepared for ceremony using high quality raw cacao beans, like what we bring from Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, all the mood enhancing neurochemicals in cacao become particularly active.
Q: IS THERE ANY CAFFEINE IN CACAO?
A: There is no caffeine in Cacao. There is an alkaloid called theobromine, which has a similar chemical structure, and has been mistaken for caffeine in the past. Theobromine is a very mildly stimulating cousin of caffeine and does not have the intensity or jitteriness of caffeine.
Q: ARE THERE ANY PRECAUTIONS I NEED TO BE AWARE OF?
A: Ideally you need to be able to allow yourself a gentle evening after the ceremony – some people have very deep experiences. You will need to avoid caffeine on the day and alcohol the night before and we recommend to have a light meal 3 hours before the ceremony so the cacao can have greater affect.
If any of the below apply to you, you will need to let us know before the ceremony so we can adjust the amount of cacao for you.
- Are on anti-depressants
- Having chemotherapy
- Are pregnant
- Follow a 100% raw food diet
- Have very low blood pressure or are on blood thinners
The only people we aren’t able to invite to the ceremony are those with epilepsy.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CACAO AND COCOA?
A: Despite coming from the same plant, cacao and cocoa have numerous differences. Cacao is a pure form of chocolate that comes very close to the raw and natural state in which it is harvested (One Green Planet, n.d.). It is possible to find cacao in several forms. When the cacao beans are released from their pods, they are sometimes blended into cacao butter. Cacao butter contains the fatty part of the cacao fruit and is white in color. The remainder of the fruit is used to make raw cacao powder. It is also possible to purchase cacao nibs, which are cacao beans that have been chopped into smaller pieces. These are similar to chocolate chips although much more intense in their chocolatey flavor.
In contrast, cocoa has undergone a more intensive refining process. Cocoa refers to the powder that is commonly seen in American supermarkets and stirred into beverages. Cocoa is a form of cacao powder that has been processed using high heat. This destroys some of the beneficial nutrients that are found in raw cacao, although cocoa still has several beneficial nutritional properties. Some cocoa powder has added sugar, oil, or milk fat. Other cocoa products have little or no added ingredients.
Q: DO I NEED ANY MEDITATION EXPERIENCE?
A: No formal experience of meditation is necessary, just an earnest desire to stop and look within. We have a very supportive sound technology that slows the brain wave patterns to support a movement into a more relaxed meditative state, though if you are an experienced meditator of any level you will find you can really have a very deep experience in the Cacao Ceremony. We offer some suggestions for navigating the ceremony based on our experience, as well as a short guided meditation towards the beginning to support all participants to settle into the afternoon.