This is intended for those who want to use or facilitate cacao, in honor of the traditional and sacred Mayan teachings
According to Mayan tradition, only an Aj’qil (A Mayan guide) is recognized to lead ceremonies which include cacao. They have achieved this status after a lifelong devotion to rigorous and disciplined training. Ceremonies held by an Aj’qil always includes the sacred fire, and day counting of the sacred calendar. Cacao in this traditional setting is also used for offering and not exclusively for personal consumption.
You are encouraged host a gathering, retreat, or circle and share cacao! To honor the original tradition, we invite you to use clear language that does not confuse or mislead a participant into believing this gathering, or your modality, is a traditional ancestral practice. The word "ceremony" is universal of course, but mindfulness and respect to the sacred traditions is lovingly requested.
According to the Mayan Cosmovision, cacao was gifted to the Mayans in the creation story. Cacao is a sacred gift from the Gods. In modern times, many foreigners have brought out local landlowners, and/or purchase cacao at extreme low prices, only to resale as "ceremonial cacao", while indigenous locals are not being compensated fairly at all. Also the recent popularity in "Cacao Ceremonies" has misconstructed and misappropriated a sacred tradition for the benefit of others and in most cases, not the original keepers whatsoever. In addition to the still present effects of colonization and marginalization of Indigenous peoples.
No. Certification is a western capitalistic concept that does not exist in ancestral traditions. Also, becoming a guide or healer within Mayan traditional practices is a lifelong path that only those of Mayan descent can attain.
Place honor and reverence toward the spirit of cacao in the forefront of the gathering. Ensure to learn directly from the keepers of this tradition when possible and be mindful of your cacao sourcing.
Mayan’s have a strong opinion not to associate cacao with any type of tantric, aphrodisiac, or sexual modality. Even more importantly, not to mix with any drugs or alcohol, for health and spiritual reasons
Of course! Cacao is a plant given to all humans by our abuelos and abuelas to honor, connect, and to celebrate. This includes doses in moderation to children and pregnant women. Do not give to animals, as it can be lethal.
Traditionally only herbs that grow alongside the cacao would be added to it.
For example in the Tz’utujil region, ceremonial Cacao is only combined with cinnamon, panela and/or pataxte.
You are invited to pair it with other herbs of your intentional choosing. You can take the opportunity to learn about those herbs and their healing properties to support your intention.
Intention: Set a clear intention which honors the plant first, then your journey and experience second.
Honor: Take a moment to acknowledge the Original Keepers of tradition, their efforts and sacrifices.
Offering: Make an offering, whether to the spirit of the cacao, the earth, the waters, etc. It’s always good to give thanks by giving back in the form of an offering for all of which we receive. Your offering can be in the form of flowers, copal/herbs, songs, prayers, etc. We always like to offer the best of the best and not just what we have left.
Gratitude: Gratitude is the most important part of our rituals. We give thanks to our ancestors, to the four elements, the four directions, the spirit of the plant(s), the sacred sites, etc.
The following is what Nana Marina Cruz typically recommends:
The recommended individual ceremonial serving is 40-45 grams (approx. 3 tablespoons) of cacao for every 3/4 cup of hot water.
For larger groups, the entire block/bag mixed with 8 cups of hot water will serve approximately 12 people.
The recommended individual meditation serving is 20-25 grams (approx. 1 1/2 tablespoons) of cacao for every 1/2 cup of hot water.
For larger groups, the entire block/bag mixed with 10 cups of hot water will serve approximately 20 people.
Preparing Your Cacao:
Bring the water close to a boil and then mix in the cacao (do not boil the cacao). It can be blended or whisked for a creamier texture, remember to set an intention as you prepare it as the aroma is part of your offering.
*The are no additives or emulsifiers in our cacao as it is 100% pure which means that some natural fats from the plant might separate from the solids and create a thin oily layer or white crumbles as it cools. This is perfectly normal and does not affect the taste of your drink, simply reheat for consumption.
🌱And as Nana shared, let's remember that it's not about how much we consume or how much our body physically feels the effects but rather what are we offering the plant in our prayer, in our intention. As we deepen our relationship with the spirit of the plant, we may need to consume less to connect.
Important Cacao and Health Information
Cacao will naturally raise your heart rate slightly. Please consume accordingly and mindfully.
Epidemiological studies suggest that cacao reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Flavanols found in cocoa have shown to support blood pressure reduction.
If you are currently taking SSRI antidepressants and/or anti-psychotics, they might not be compatible with the MAOI's (Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors) in cacao. Depending on the dosage, consuming cacao might be ok, as always, if you're taking these types of meds please consult with your doctor.
-Pregnant and nursing women:
In Guatemala, mothers will drink cacao during pregnancy and certainly during lactation. It is is regularly utilized due to its numerous health benefits.
Raw cacao contains both serotonin and tryptophan which have positive effects on our mood. Blood flow to the brain is also increased amplifying brain power.
The caffeine content of cacao varies widely amongst cacao plants and processing, this cacao has shown a very low, to no-caffeine feel.
In moderation and of course smaller doses based on their weight is recommended for children.
Cacao should NOT be consumed by your pets as it can be deadly. Please keep out of reach from your beloved animals.
I hope this supports you and as always thank you for your support!