Sunday, November 25, 2012

Using Chocolate for Spiritual Purposes

My story:

Years ago while living in Guatemala, the Cacao Deva/ Spirit impulsed me to explore cacao.  She reminded me I knew from most any guidebook that Cacao was one of the most powerful deities in ancient Mayan cosmology… I knew that chocolate was yummy but no god… so for sure someone here didn’t know what they were talking about…  

I explored deeper, asking Mayan Shamans (who used alcohol and tobacco for inducing altered states for student training); a local anthropologist (who in 50 Guatemanan years knew of no peoples using cacao for ritual purposes); friends apprenticing in Mayan Shamanism in the Mexican Yucatan (neither they or their teachers knew about cacao); anthropology data bases (suggested cacao was a stimulant); web searches (nothing on the spiritual or ritual use of cacao).  The discrepancy between being held as sacred by ancient spiritually focused cultures... and no information out there on contemporary spiritual use... became obvious.  Even Martin Prechtel’s books from his Lake Atitlan shamanic training in the 70’s (his teacher used alcohol)… nada… nothing on spiritual cacao out there that I could find. 

I told the Cacao Spirit I had drawn a blank, but the adventure energy was clear!  Two weeks later I was volunteering on a botanist’s project in a little community 45 minutes sweltering walk up into the coastal rain-forest mountains on the other side of our lake volcanos.  I recognized cacao growing on the walk into the community from all the web illustrations.  After our days activities, i asked our hosts, “Can I buy some cacao?”  “No… but if you come back in a week we will have some made for you… how much do you want?” 

I took the buses and then the pickups back a week later, walked into the mountains, visited and bought my 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of cacao, and returned to the Lake.  Next day, I took half of what the Deva / Spirit suggested, as it seemed like a lot.

A few minutes later i had finished yesterday's dishes and could feel Her in my body and field.  It was clear that chocolate was an overlooked teacher, and to play with cacao as a facilitator with the personal inner-work and processing that I had been trained to do and teach.  We have been having fun ever since.  I often go deep without cacao… I often use cacao – one of this world’s wondrous assistants offered that I might enjoy using and re-introducing Her in this way through my work.  In the same way, She will partner with you in yours. 

“My partner and I just spent this afternoon experiencing our first cacao journey and are both amazed and touched by how powerful it has been. We are both long time meditators and inner explorers.”  …introduced to ceremonial cacao

“Magic is becoming the fabric of everyday....with the help of the Cacao Spirit doors are opening and connections happening fast. I literally feel like I am surfing a magical wave these days...Loving it!!”  …after going through a few layers of density

“I cant tell you how much the cacao spirit is helping me.....and i dont crave normal chocolate anymore.....not even when its my moontime!  I have been addicted all my life..... thank you soooo much for bringing her” :-)  …an experienced shamanic journeyer

To purchase our cacao, please go to our new e-commerce website:  blessings

 Drying Cacao Beans

Using Chocolate for Spiritual Purposes 

For me, a major advantage to ceremonial cacao is that participants, once beyond the novelty of having their brain flushed with the 30-40% greater blood flow that cacao brings, are able to hold a good multidimensional focus for at least 4-5 hours, allowing more time for deep work with much less mental or emotional fatigue.  Many find that as their meditational focus-holding ability improves and they learn to work on other levels, a full ceremonial dose is unnecessary.  This same focus-holding ability is increasingly being used by artists, writers, coders, and anyone who needs to be productive, inventive, or make decisions in the workplace.

I haven't used a full ceremonial dose in years… even to test a new batch of cacao for public sale.  I used a full ceremonial dose along with everyone else for the first years; now I take 1/3 of what others are drinking, and often less on non-ceremonial days.  As I write this I am taking a break from international ceremonial travel delighting in my own inner work, which is often without any cacao at all.  Today I am writing, without cacao - but often I use 1/2 to 3/4 oz (14-21 gm) with food to spread out the effect, perhaps in a green smoothie or fruit bowl.  That's my flow.

A second major advantage is that ceremonial cacao makes it much easier (for those who are willing) to deeply access their emotional body, pain body, or density on the dark shadow side... or ready expansion and higher dimensional connection on the light shadow side.  Especially in a vibrationally supportive non-fixing and non-judgmental setting, many go considerably deeper than they otherwise would… and understandings tend toward more permanent changes than with many psychedelic trips… but because cacao isn’t taking you, you must be willing to go by your own choice.  The heart-centered anchor that spiritual cacao is, makes it much more likely that wherever one is going, it is with more love and less fear.

I know a fellow with an Ayahuasca website who ordered my cacao and wrote back that he took it according to my website directions and nothing happened.  He was expecting to be taken somewhere and so went nowhere himself.

“…it was PHENOMENAL! I was able to journey deeper, with powerful insights, clarity and stamina for the entire day.” …just getting to know ceremonial cacao  

"Mama Cacao is teaching me so much as I sit with her, and even when I'm not drinking her."  ...from a few ceremonies and a couple blocks of ceremonial cacao

"Today's New York Times has an article citing a journal that shows an unusually high correlation between Nobel Prize winners and countries that consume a lot of chocolate!"  ...from the web with a good chuckle

For those with an agreement to teach and heal with love… who therefore are not going to allow themselves to progress without that love… sacred cacao makes it easier to set down the big-stick cultural paradigm of going within to annihilate whatever is wrong with them.  Metaphorically, with fear as a frightened kitten or puppy under the sofa, a big stick is only going to create more fear.  In the same way, even 'Positive Affirmations' just become more combative inner war… go find the negative and put your arm around it instead.  Expect that there is a gift within, or you wouldn't have put that negativity there in the first place…

Cacao as spiritual chocolate is also helpful for assisting one beyond the cultural conditioning - that pushing down and remaining in denial of negativity is the way to happiness.  This belief is prevalent both from medically using antidepressants, to much of 'New Age' understanding where negative emotions are judged as undesirable.

You know the value of asking for help… try cacao with clear intent and experience the cooperative partnership of 'The Food for the Shift'.  Experience cacao with the meditation or journeying you do.  Use, rather than judge… trust where this teacher takes you!  Use cacao to foster deeper intimacy with your mate – as a connection and partnership facilitator.  Use cacao for a good stimulant buzz, for good social heart-centered interaction or conversation, good yoga, good meditation, good sex, emotional or energetic intimacy, journeying or other shamanic connecting, and to change your reality on inner levels – the choice is yours.  Use it for its excellent ability to foster emotional release.  Play with an amazing creativity facilitator!  Experience hours of amazing dance, chocolate yoga, or cutting-edge creative snowboarding.  Discover it brings another level in breath work.  Explore it as an amazing facilitator in any group activity... from therapy to a wedding.  Sample what will become a huge business... cacao is the best productive focus enhancer around... corporate to writing to music... it connects one to wherever they source their insight, inspiration, and ideas... and it all flows with an open heart.  Use it as an addictive stimulant… this teacher will take you there if that is a place you have inner business!  ...and help you with the relevant issues when you get there.  This is 'The Food for the Shift'!

Drink chocolate - get high - go deep.  Certainly, I call cacao a drug, as are all medicine plants… and like anything else it is not for everyone.  I get occasional e-mails from people, often into raw foods, explaining that drugs aren't necessary or desirable for spiritual purposes - that the body can do this on its own.  However fine for them, I don't work like this.

Whether such a statement is a high truth or a belief system judgment isn't the issue for me.  If Higher Self is impulsing one to use cacao - as a tool - be that for spirituality or to deal with addictive tendencies - that individual guidance takes precedence.  I follow, having no right-way to tell anyone.  Of course, discrimination between the voice of Higher Self, the voice of a belief system, and the voice of addiction is going to be required at some point… 

Cacao with Psychedelics

Cacao is an excellent synergist… most known is combining with psilocybin [magic] mushrooms… in southern Mexico, there is much on historical, anthropological, and contemporary usage - even an anthropological YouTube video.. Cacao is rarely used by the Ayahuascara... they tend to separate themselves from the cacao shamans in the Amazon.

I have met many who use cacao to extend the deeper portion of this medicine journey - take the cacao about 30-45 min before you would begin to surface from those depths. As cacao has significant MAOI's, some take cacao mixed with Aya to reduce the DMT degradation in the stomach. We know many who use cacao instead of the plant with the MAOI’s that is combined with the DMT containing plant… the journey is grounded and deep… take them together in the same mix. You can take additional cacao 30-45 min before you begin to leave the depths... to extend the journey. This usage is going to become much more common… it works.

Some use a full ceremonial amount of cacao next day for the recovery and integration. I have done for an Ayauscara's retreat the day integration after an Aya journey to prepare them for the next night of drinking.

In general, larger amounts of cacao taken with Ayahuasca or Peyote, even an hour later, may for some add to the purging, and few Indigenous teachers use it that way, but an increasing number of westerners do, with both Aya and Huachuma / San Pedro. A full dose of both a psychedelic and cacao together, with 40% more psychedelic-saturated blood pumping around your system from the cacao, can easily be overdose! Try 1-1.3 oz (28-38 gm) or less, and consider using less psychedelic until you know your own experience… or begin with a full ceremonial amount of cacao (1.5 oz 42.5 gm) and less psychedelic.

Many use cacao with very low doses of a psychedelic in an expanded insight / microdose way... take the cacao with the microdose or minidose, or 40 minutes later. There are many who have received great benefit from this usage.

A note: the medical literature will tell you that taking stimulants or MDMA (Ecstasy) with MAOI's can lead to a serious high blood pressure crisis. The MAOI's in cacao come with a vasodilator, and do not cause these high blood pressure problems.
Cacao For Inner-work

A Ceremony in San Marcos la Laguna, overlooking Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Cacao is a heart-centered cooperative partnership facilitator, assisting in conscious connecting wherever your intent or inner need goes.  If you find yourself with a repetitive thought or image… little daydream… about yourself or another… take it inside, receiving it as yours, then follow whatever your Higher Self is gently getting your attention about.  As one does with dream images, assume it is about you even if it is presented (so you can receive it) as about someone or something else.

A story from an early ceremony:  A fellow complained that he had a story-line stuck in his head, and if he could just get rid of it, he could get with what we were doing.  I suggested his Higher Self was trying to get his attention about something… So what's the story?  “I'm riding my bicycle along one of the canals in Amsterdam, going into a cafe, and smoking a big spliff.”  So what's the feeling?  “I'm totally free.”  In the moment… in the flow… in the magic.  We went inside and soon found that he had being free ‘hooked’ to smoking.  He wasn't smoking at this time, so therefore he couldn't be free.  After unhooking at this subconscious level he sat there… grinning… free.  I told him not to re-hook it to cacao.

A story from yesterday:  A fellow said he was feeling restriction in his throat and breathing... and then he bolted out of the circle.  I asked him to wait and said he was receiving a communication from within.  "What communication?"  About (breathing) restriction of life-force and (throat chakra) expression into the world.  "But i feel much better now."  Of course... you ran from your inner teacher and it is not going to chase you.  "But intuitively I was guided to leave."  Consider you may have the voice of fear, an inner liar, assumed to be your inner guidance.  "But i need to leave."  OK... and he did.

Dark shadow’ density (fear, pain body, blocks, issues, conditioning, belief systems, resistance, emotional toxicity) that needs to be released, or its location in your body, will be brought to your attention.  Whatever message you need will come… just like life!  About 30 minutes after drinking in a ceremony, i consistently watch a portion of the group going into a yoga-type stretch to get their inner teacher to shut-up and quit bothering them with its metaphorical message about the location of blockage or a deposit of density... we are all trained to do this!  

Your even scarier ‘light shadow’ magnificence… where you are ready to open/ connect/ expand will also be more accessible, if that is what’s up.  Many in my ceremonies sit in the proverbial pillar-of-light and blissfully broadcast that higher-dimensional frequency, making my job easier – that’s holding space!  This place of downloading higher-dimensional energies and filling until you are overflowing is my standard group cooperative energy where we all assist each other in raising the resonance for whatever we are each here for.  For more on this, see the section on the Glow Meditation.  Engage.

"WOW. Everything has changed. and I do not exactly know who or where I am supposed to be these days, but it oddly feels in alignment.... does that make sense?
It feels as if 6 years of processing have occurred since last seeing you in July!  I think I am still a sane human being (haha) yet feel as though I have been “unplugged” from the program and learning to live in an entirely different way. Some days I feel powerful and others quite boggled, but I still have my love goggles on! 
My life got flipped upside down ... and is just balancing back out, everything and anything not serving my highest good anymore came up and out... with a fury!"  ...some do it gradually, some press a rocket engage button

Background:  What you come into this life to work on… you choose parents and childhood circumstances to lock it in… you play it out with parents, then, selecting certain arenas, with friends, lovers, business partners, teachers, and with prosperity issues in health, wealth, creative expression… to gain experience … if you begin working with ascended masters or guides, you will play it out with them… because these are the basic issues you have with Source, with God-Goddess – your God Drama, Deity Drama, Separation Drama.  After sufficient processing at the parent/ inner-child and relationship (etc.) level, this core drama with Source surfaces and can be owned as the game one is committed to playing… a game Source unconditionally allows until one is done with it.  And then the love that was always available is yours… and in the other arenas, too.  

Ha... I could do another website with this biggie.  In over 20 years of working with this, i have observed that major life changes happen when the Deity Drama surfaces as being directly with God-Goddess (and not in one of the many arenas)... and is dropped! 

“If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself.  If you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is dark and negative in yourself.  Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.”  ...Lao Tzu

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”  ...Carl Jung 

Some advanced systems of healing can work through suspending disease conditions long enough for healthier patterns to be adopted by the whole system.  So here we are saying that change is temporary, and permanent healing doesn't happen unless an inner and personal change in beliefs or attitudes takes place.  ...whatever the 'healer' does or doesn't do.

Cacao often, for example, suspends repression in a selected area (at the head of the queue from a Higher Self perspective) and allows what one needs to work with to bubble to the conscious surface as repetitive thoughts, images, feelings, emotions, or through assistance from the body-consciousness as physical symptoms.  It can be metaphorically subtle or it can be flood-of-tears popped cork.

In using cacao, you work with the density that She helps bring, with Higher Self cooperation, to your attention.  In feeling it, or with awareness of its location in your body, get close to it, move to or into it… and let the knowing unfold.  Feel it to the bottom!  As much as possible hold non-attached surrender and pass on the judgment and fixing.  Feel it to the bottom, as you can.  Then bring in the light.  Give the density to whatever portion of your higher reality or the guides you are working with… and it will transmute.  That transmuted energy and the higher energy you intentionally allow to flow into the newly opened space heals you.  Do both… transmute the old and call in the replacement.  These things are in layers like an onion... when you do a layer you are done... the next layer will be up in its own time.

“that last several waves of da stuff... each one way bigger than the previous... and with maybe 1 day in between... yikes!”  …sometimes it’s that way, especially at the end of playing out a particular pattern when that pattern can get powerfully insistent that you jump in for one more time around

“You will be guided from within, at levels beyond your conscious awareness to navigate the depths of some of the experiential rites of passage. The keywords here are trust and surrender.”  …Oneness by Rasha

Afterwards, remember to drink water!  It is a standard concept in release work that the physical analogues to the energies you moved enter the bloodstream… if you drink… you pee… they are gone.  Water is also a metaphor for flowing emotion and can foster your continuing work in the energies for the next several days after ceremonial use.  Many have density up next day and have an opportunity to follow it if they do not reject it as something negative… ignoring or repressing it as we are all trained to do.

This Sacred plant assists in accessing physical, mental, emotional, psychic, or spiritual arenas… as you require.  Set your intent, perhaps as an issue you choose to work with, and cacao will facilitate connection with wherever you source your guidance, internal and external… however you experience it… whatever window you feel comfortable to open.  The magic and a deeper focus flow; because wherever you are connecting, the real issue is… will you let it in?  Or out… if that’s happening. 

Chocolate brings the door but doesn’t push you through it.  If you really want to stay safe in your rational mind, nothing but a good buzz will happen.  For many, this fosters a significantly different trust and use relationship than with psychedelics.  The type of intimacy facilitated by such trust may be an asset in working through issues where fear is involved.  After all, the literal translation of 'xocoatl', the conquistador era Indigenous Aztec word for drinkable chocolate (pronounced 'shoco-latle' that became chocolate) was ‘heart blood’ (so I've read) - and isn’t the fluid that flows through the heart… love?  …"The food of the Gods".  This is the meaning of ‘Theobroma’ the scientific genus name for cacao (by Linnaeus himself, the originator of scientific nomenclature).  What would a god’s food be, besides love?

What would love do… help with your fear?  Find out.  Find some fear, or other density… inside… cacao, Higher Self, and your body consciousness will show you where it is... (possibly dense, dark, agitated, constricted, contracted, tight, or just painful enough to notice)… sit down with it and get to know it… listen to what it has to say to you, this is not the time to tell it where to go, or to fix it - enough of fighting against it or judging it… feel it… feel the fear… begin learning to trust this process… we are all taught by the consensus reality to shove it back down.  Then open to receive, bring in your light, or feel it as love, open your crown and bring it right down into your heart center… put your arm around your fear… let the light flow, it knows what to do.   

You don’t have to work with fear, or pull it to bits with rational mind understanding… just let it go - you might have to work with the part of self (like an inner child) that is holding on to the fear, however.  Eventually many can feel fear on the ‘cellular’ level… I call it ‘squeamy’… squirm + scream… feels like individual cells wanting to run right out of the body - often the legs.  Some have experienced this in life; here it’s done consciously in meditation.

A note… there are several emotional processing techniques that promise you freedom from your emotional density without having to feel it… a workable introduction for those in terror of feeling what is indeed within them.  “If you can’t feel it, you can’t heal it.”  The higher dimensional energies are not going to transmute density that you are too afraid get close to… that would be a violation of your right to hide and would only create more fear.  Most people would rather die than look at it (no… fear of death is not the biggie… most would rather die from their disease than look at the issues behind it).  In my work, sometimes assisted by chocolate, many are a step beyond looking… feeling it… and then transmuting it…

We are all skilled density movers by creatively and symbolically objectifying ‘external’ reality as a 'mirror' and then experiencing it through trauma, drama, pain, struggle, suffering, and stories.  You can go within and feel it in meditation, or you can manifest and feel it in the feedback called reality.  Your choice.  We say that in Guatemala i have a school in changing from the 'hard bus' to the 'easy bus'.  

In these times, this process is accelerating - as many understand.  Imagine a blissful grin spread over your face while a wave of old often-played-out density is deeply felt with full loving non-attachment, then released/ transmuted with higher-dimensional assistance… first at energetic and emotional levels and eventually at core/ spirit.  Oh my… the gifts that are within that!  With every layer there is more light, love, joy, power, presence... so much so that eventually one welcomes the next wave of painful density as a gift!  You can look forward to that!

Spiritual cacao would help you experience this choice to partner with your own higher and denser energies, and the accelerated liberation this makes possible.  Cacao is in no way necessary for this process, but is an option to facilitate experience in what we already understand within… with open-hearted centering.  When you laugh and cry at the same time, you are very close… sample your mastery.

This holy bean given in half the amount (say 20 gm) will add another level of ease and depth in group facilitation to whatever sort of a circle you are working with... this is just beginning to become known as a major tool.

Intentional cacao use is a relationship, a partnership - you are dancing with a being whose physical expression is cacao.  And as with intimate or business partnerships, your issues, your emotional and energetic density, will come up… manifesting physically or emotionally.  Yes, many play out their stuff with cacao, like any other parent-partner-lover-teacher.  With cacao density comes up relatively gently, and in a way you can work with it, or choose not to.  A natural tendency for many is to assume that the clearing process, if negative, is about the cacao… many in relationships think it’s about the other person as well - you may know this as blame and judgment.

Some into avoiding or repressing emotions are not going to be happy with regular cacao use, especially if they have completed much of their physical level purification and are otherwise ready to deepen detox in emotional arenas.  If you view cleaning up your emotional and vibrational toxicity as an imperative for these times, you might find cacao to be an asset.  Here’s to an open heart! 

Cacao Headaches and Nausea: 

•a. The theobromine in cacao is diuretic, and headache is a typical physiological signal for dehydration… 
•b.  Cacao may work with you through the emotional body, and water is often needed to “keep things flowing”, as literal metaphor and more… headache can be the re-hydrate indicator here as well…  I notice that with those who drink sufficient liquid in the hours after a ceremony, the energies are better able to continue working with them for the next several days.
•c.  Cacao is a partnership facilitator.  One of the things that it helps you communicate with is your caring subconscious mind.  As Carl Jung pointed out, the language of the subconscious is symbols, images, and metaphors.  (As you probably won't allow yourself to hear it directly, as native-language voices in your head.)  In this culture, a head-heart/ left-right brain disconnect is the norm.  Here a headache is the perfect metaphor - the rational head hurts because it is attempting to meet your expectation that it understand and solve reality - for which it is not the appropriate tool.  Even with heart and higher input, the head is not the tool for things like directing one’s journey.  Tho it may be the tool for getting the appropriate ticket once a destination is known...

I often see headaches with cacao… who else tells this truth in such a direct way without a big trip.  Who else will stand up in your reality and lay what you need to receive on the line, straight.  In your face… from behind it…  Ouch.  Many headaches lessen or stop following heart opening or head-heart/ left-right brain integration work.   I rarely see the headaches with those allowing emotional release or higher-dimensional downloads.  Headaches were much more common years ago... folks are much more allowing of their magic now.

More stimulation than you want is overdose.  Above that nausea begins.  A bit more cacao and you will throw-up and feel better.  More cacao and you will vomit and not feel better.   Even more and you will vomit repeatedly and not feel better.   Cacao is bitter… enough of any bitter will produce nausea, and with more become emetic, making you throw-up.  At around 3.5+ oz (100+ gm), the average person will be miserably awake and throwing-up repeatedly for hours, perhaps much of the night.  (I've had the occasional person in my ceremonies who doesn't listen to me, because they know that in the drug world, if a little bit’s good a whole lot’s better.  I have learned to strictly monitor cacao availability with certain groups.)  At 2 oz (57 gm) about 5% will get nauseous enough to want to throw up.

Consider also that lower-dose nausea may be a metaphor – for something one wants to throw out, or for something coming in: “I can't stomach/ digest that” - for whatever life issue cacao is assisting to surface.  The level of nausea drops as one releases or processes the relevant issue.  Those who have been resisting such messages from themselves for some time may get a rather forceful heads-up, especially if they are headed toward manifesting something far less desirable.  “If you listen to the whispers, you don’t have to hear the shouts.” (Lazaris)

Nausea or headache early in ceremony is a metaphor... overdose nausea begins many hours later.  Be aware that some internally clean from a raw low-calorie diet may be more sensitive to bitters and need to consume less cacao until they know their place.  See the 'Toxic Cacao' section of this site.

I've known the rare person in a ceremony to leave early... throw-up... return open and without judgment... deal with their issue... have some more cacao... and continue ceremony in a powerful way.  Rarely, cacao in normal dosage will work along the lines of some plant psychedelics, where physically purging parallels purging on other levels.  This is quite unusual, but it can be lengthy and uncomfortable, however effective.  I see it every few years.

Your chocolate shaman says… Injoy!

To purchase our cacao, please go to our new e-commerce website:  blessings


  1. Thank for your work, your wisdom and especially for sharing.

  2. It's amazing! It just came to me together with my spiritual awakening. I started craving cocoa. Raw, organic cocoa, without any added sugars. I was searching, if this is anyhow related to my spiritual awakening and came across this article. Drinking a cup of cocoa before my readings or channelings makes my vision so clear and I can really go in details with spiritual messages. Thank you for this article. Love and light to you my friends.