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    What is a cacao ceremony? Everything you need to know.

    What is a cacao ceremony? Everything you need to know.

    A cacao ceremony is a special occasion where people come together to consciously drink a special form of cacao . Instead of the regular (hot) chocolate that many people are familiar with, raw, unsweetened cacao is often used for ceremonial cacao. The ceremony is often more than just drinking cacao. It often involves creating a quiet, respectful space and setting intentions for the gathering. During the ceremony, the cacao is consumed consciously, meaning that participants take the time to appreciate the taste and feel how the cacao affects their body. Dance, singing or meditation is often also part of a cacao ceremony. Cacaois often seen as a 'heart opener', it could provide more connection with yourself or others.

    Brief history of cacao ceremonies

    The cacao ceremony has deep roots in ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, particularly among the Aztecs and Mayans, where cacao was considered a sacred drink with spiritual and healing properties. In these cultures, cacao was considered precious, often reserved for rituals, religious ceremonies and important events.

    For the Aztecs, xocolātl (the name for their cacao drink) was not only a special delicacy, but also a symbol of prosperity and spiritual significance. Cocoa was therefore often used in wedding ceremonies, as an offering to gods and as a special means of generating energy and strength.

    Cacao also played an important role in ceremonies among the Maya. They saw it as a bridge to the gods. Cacao was not only drunk, but also used in ritual incense and in offerings to gods.

    With the arrival of European settlers in the 16th century, cacao entered Europe, where it gained popularity as a drink for the elite.

    Today, the cacao ceremony is a revived tradition, with people worldwide honoring ancient practices and adapting them with contemporary elements and needs, such as relaxation, self-discovery and community building. Cacao ceremonies are very popular in the conscious community.

    Sometimes cacao is part of ecstatic dance or it is combined with (modern) components from the tantra tradition.

    Why participate in a cacao ceremony?

    There are several reasons to participate in such a ceremony, such as experiencing relaxation, opening their hearts, and exploring inner peace. Or connecting with others.

    People choose cacao ceremonies because of the experience of connection, both with themselves and with others. Cacao is considered a kind of spiritual ally that can help open the heart and promote mindfulness. It is a way to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, to reflect on the moment, and to feel a deeper connection with themselves and the people around them.

    What can I expect at such a ceremony?

    Are you going to participate in a cacao ceremony and are you curious about how this works? Logically! Although every experience is different, we will guide you as best we can to help you prepare. You can always ask questions in advance to the person supervising the ceremony.

    The first tip when attending a ceremony is to leave all your expectations at home. Return to the blank canvas of your pure being, where your heart and mind are wide open.

    Two hours before the cacao ceremony, eat a light, nutritious meal and spend some time in nature to connect with an intention or question you may want to gain insight into. If necessary, meditate a bit and pay attention to your breathing.

    Cacao ceremonies are safe, nurturing spaces where everyone is encouraged to say whatever they want. Some people's experiences with Mother Cacao are transformative, others may sit with her a few times before they feel an opening in their hearts. Don't pressure yourself to feel a certain way - this is about total acceptance of where you are in your own journey, and loving others for where they are too.

    When you enter the ceremony room, there may be an offering in the center of the circle where you can place a crystal, flower, note, or anything else meaningful in front of you. You can also choose to keep this object with you and work with it during the ceremony, such as a crystal.

    Strong emotions may arise during the ceremony. You will be assisted during the journey by caring facilitators who can help you and answer any questions you may have before or after the ceremony.

    Are there any side effects or risks?

    When participating in cacao ceremonies, there are some things to be aware of when it comes to possible side effects. Although cocoa is generally considered safe, it can cause less pleasant effects in some people.

    Some possible side effects or negative effects that can occur if you participate in a cacao ceremony:

    Stomach complaints: Cacao contains stimulants (caffeine and theobromine), which can cause some people to experience mild stomach complaints. It can help to eat lightly beforehand and stay well hydrated.

    Headache: Cacao can cause headaches in some people. Make sure you drink plenty of water before, during and after the ceremony to stay hydrated.

    Energy: Cacao can affect your energy levels. Some people experience an increase in energy, while others feel more relaxed. Pay attention to how your body reacts.

    Emotional responses: Cacao is known for opening up emotional space. Sometimes (unresolved) intense emotions can surface. This can be both positive and challenging. Don't try to hold on tight and accept what presents itself. You can always enlist the help of a counselor if you experience a difficult moment.

    For whom is a cacao ceremony not suitable?

    Pregnancy: Pregnant women are often advised to consume cacao in moderation due to its stimulating properties.

    Heart problems: People with serious heart problems should be careful because of cacao's effects on the circulatory system.

    Psychiatric conditions: Individuals with certain psychiatric conditions should use caution, as cacao can heighten emotional responses.

    Medication: If you are taking medication, it is advisable to consult with your doctor or healthcare provider, as cacao may interact with certain medications.

    How does ceremonial cacao differ from 'regular' cocoa or chocolate?

    Ceremonial (or 'raw') cacao differs from regular cacao in several ways, including origin, processing and use. Here are some key differences:

    Type of cacaobeans

    Regular cacao: Often comes from different cacao beans and may be subject to a blending process to achieve a consistent flavor.

    Ceremonial cacao: Often made from high-quality, raw cacao beans that have been carefully selected to retain their pure and unaltered properties.


    Regular cacao: Often undergoes more intense processing, including roasting the beans. But the addition of sugar and milk, and other processing for commercial use are also typical for cocoa and chocolate-containing drinks.

    Ceremonial cacao: This involves minimal processing to preserve the natural flavor and properties. The cacao is often unsweetened and unroasted.


    Regular cocoa: May contain sugar, milk, flavorings and other additives to improve the taste.

    Ceremonial (raw) cacao: Often drunk straight or with some plant-based milks. So with little or no additives, to maintain a pure, pure taste.

    Intention and ritual

    Regular cacao: Often consumed more casually, without specific intention or ritual.

    Ceremonial cacao: Is drunk mindfully, often in a special setting and with a conscious intention such as meditation, self-reflection or spiritual work.


    Regular cacao: Can vary in quality and is often produced for mass consumption. Often not grown sustainably and people may have been treated poorly during the cultivation and production of cacao.

    Ceremonial cacao: Commits to high-quality, organic and sustainable sources to ensure the purity of the cacao. It is also important that this cocoa is produced so-called 'slave-free'.

    The main difference lies in the conscious use of ceremonial cacao as a spiritual tool. The use of regular cocoa is more focused on everyday enjoyment and culinary applications.


    Guided cacao ceremonies

    Guided cocoa ceremonies are held all over the world. It is often experienced supervisors who organize such a ceremony. Do you have doubts or are you excited? Then ask your network about the experiences of others. What was it like for them? Did she feel safe and behaved? Or contact the organizers in advance.


    Want to buy ceremonial quality cocoa?

    In our range you will find different types of high-quality, ceremonial cocoa from the Pure Kakaw brand.

    Do you want to microdose with cocoa? Then the Pure Cacao Stack Starter Pack is a good choice. You can get started right away.

    Another nice combination is that of cocoa and adaptogenic mushrooms. In the Mushroom Cacao Heart, no fewer than 4 medicinal mushroom species are combined with the highest quality raw cacao. One heart is sufficient for a ceremonial dose, or two casual doses.

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