What is a Cacao Ceremony? Everything You Need to Know

Let’s be honest, modern life can leave many of us feeling disconnected. Disconnected from the things that are most important to us: our spirituality, ourselves and each other. We all owe ourselves the opportunity to reconnect. Reconnect with our creativity. Reconnect with those around us. And rediscover the sense of community that was so important to our ancestors. Many people around the world are reforming these connections with a Cacao Ceremony. You may have already heard of these rituals, or know people who’ve taken part in them. But with any mind and body altering experience, questions are bound to come up. That’s why we’ve accumulated everything we know about Cacao Ceremonies down below. That way, you can decide for yourself whether it’s a journey you want to take.

What is Cacao?

Cacao, as you may know, is the plant which provides us with everyone’s favourite sweet treat: chocolate. However, that kind of chocolate is a far cry from the ceremonial cacao which has been used in sacred rituals for thousands of years. Cacao, it its purest form, has fantastic healing properties that you just don’t get from the sugar-laden offering at your local supermarket. It can bring on euphoric feelings, somewhat mimicking the effects of stimulant and psychedelic drugs.

What is a Cacao Ceremony?

Cacao Ceremonies are often held in safe, calm spaces. You enter, and sit cross-legged in a circle with others taking part. The cacao is brewed in the middle of the circle. It’s a thick, bitter concoction, so don’t be expecting a pre-bedtime hot chocolate! Sweeteners like honey can be added to the mix, but nothing beats the authentic, bitter, earthly taste of unadulterated cacao. Everyone in the circle is given a cup, which is then filled with a small amount of the mixture. Then, you each meditate while cradling the cup, and finally drink it down.

After this, the ceremony can take on many forms. You can share positive experiences with the group, or even talk positively about those participating. After thirty minutes or so, you’ll feel an unbridled burst of energy. And how you wish to spend this energy is entirely up to you. You could get up and dance, practice yoga and other forms of exercise, or simply tell jokes and laugh. Really, this part of the experience is completely up to you. Do whatever feels right. Emotions may come rolling out of you, but let them. Let the Cacao Ceremony be a cathartic experience. And let it be your own. After around four hours, the effects wear off.


Why do people take part in Cacao Ceremonies?

Well, for many reasons. Cacao is one of the highest naturally occurring sources of magnesium, zinc, iron, and a myriad of other vital minerals. These help the brain and the heart be at their best. And they’re all contained in this one plant! Regular consumption of pure chocolate can also elevate the effectiveness of mood-altering hormones like dopamine and serotonin. So Cacao Ceremonies can help revitalise your body and mind.

Pure Cacao Benefits

  • Keeps skin moisturised

  • Reduces wrinkles

  • Improves sleep

  • Helps you dream

  • Prevents UV damage

  • Regulates your blood pressure

So it’s no wonder plenty of people are hopping on the cacao trend!

But perhaps most importantly, taking part in Cacao Rituals can revitalise your spirit. They can help you share a positive experience with those around you, align your energies with theirs, and rediscover parts of yourself you may have thought lost. For those of us who struggle with the work/life balance, and neglect ourselves and our creative endeavours, a Cacao Ceremony can be a clarifying, eye-opening experience.

Are there any side effects to raw cacao?

Like everything you eat and drink, moderation is key. In its raw, unroasted state, cacao contains caffeine and a substance known as theobromine. These are both stimulants, but eating 50-100g in a day has been known to cause sweating, trembling and bad headaches. Read more about the negative effects of raw cacao here.

Where to find a Cacao Ceremony?

While you may not be able to attend a Cacao Ceremony outside at the moment, there are still virtual rituals you can attend online! Maya Moon Co. are holding a few virtual Cacao Ceremonies, which include meditation sessions. Camilla Baker from Stable House Meditation has multiple dates available for online Cacao Ceremonies. And Peace Ravenwood have brought their sacred Cacao Ceremony online too. So, even now, you’ve plenty of options.

Once things go back to normal, there are sure to be offline Cacao Ceremonies available in your area too. Check online and see which suits you!

How to create your own Cacao Ceremony

While we’d recommend attending a Cacao Ceremony, at least at first, you can create your own one at home. All you need is some fresh, pure cacao which you can find online.

To start, eat a small meal before you partake, and give the food time to digest. Then, simply mix a small amount of cacao with hot water. If this is your first time, don’t use more than 7 grams of cacao. It’s a new experience for your body, and you don’t want to take too much before you understand how your body reacts to it.

Sit cross-legged on the floor – or a cushion if more comfortable. Pour some of the mixture into a cup and meditate. Let your thoughts travel inward. When you’re calm and ready, drink the concoction. As mentioned earlier, you can expect the effects to start taking hold at around the half-hour mark, so don’t worry if you feel nothing early on. And don’t drink more! Give it time to travel around your body.

Then, depending on if you’re alone or with friends, the experience will be different. With friends, it will be much more social experience. Alone, you’ll spend more time focusing on yourself. You might find the spark to write, paint, compose or take part in any number of similar creative outlets. Or, you may simply be content to meditate. It’s entirely up to you. The experience lasts for around four hours, so make sure to stay hydrated with plain water towards the end of the experience.

If, for whatever reason, the ceremony brings on feelings of anxiety then don’t worry. In small enough quantities like those outlined above, it’s a completely safe experience. If it’s not for you, simply wait for the effects to wear off, drink plenty of water, and eat some food. You’ll be fine!

If you’ve got any questions, comments or experiences about/of cacao ceremonies, we’d love to hear about them. Just leave a comment for us below. 

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