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Unveiling the Mystical Powers of Cacao: A Dive into its Rich History and Profound Health Benefits

I thought it was about time, after all this time, to chat about the magic of cacao. I have so many of my beautiful clients that ask me so many questions about this velvety, creamy, chocolate drink. YES! It really is that, although with a few different unique elements.

So lets start, What is Cacao?

Cacao (Theobroma cacao) refers to both the tree and the seeds (or beans) of the tree. It is a tropical evergreen tree native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America. The seeds of the cacao tree are used to produce cocoa beans, which are the primary ingredient in chocolate and many other cocoa-based products.

The cacao tree also produces large pods that contain numerous seeds surrounded by a sweet-tasting pulp. After harvesting, the seeds then undergo a fermentation process to develop their characteristic flavour. They are then dried, roasted at a specific temperature, and then ground to produce cacao.

The spirit of Cacao & Its symbolism

Cacao holds significant spiritual symbolism in various cultures, particularly those where it has historical and cultural roots. Here are a few examples of its spiritual symbolism:

  1. Sacredness and Rituals: In ancient Mesoamerican cultures such as the Mayans and Aztecs, cacao is considered a sacred plant with divine properties. It was often used in religious ceremonies, rituals, and offerings to gods. Cacao beverages were consumed during important ceremonies and celebrations, and the act of preparing and drinking cacao was seen as a spiritual practice.

  2. Connection to the Divine: Cacao is believed to have the power to facilitate communication with the divine realm and the ancestors. It was often used as a tool for meditation and introspection, helping individuals to connect with their inner selves and the spiritual world.

  3. Symbol of Love and Unity: Cacao has been associated with love, unity, and community bonding. In some cultures, sharing cacao was seen as a gesture of friendship and hospitality. Cacao ceremonies were also used to strengthen social bonds and resolve conflicts within communities.

  4. Elevation of Consciousness: Cacao contains various compounds that can alter consciousness, such as theobromine and phenylethylamine. In spiritual practices, cacao was sometimes used to induce a heightened state of awareness, allowing individuals to access deeper levels of consciousness and spiritual insight.

  5. Healing and Wellness: Cacao was believed to have medicinal properties and was used to promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being. In some spiritual traditions, cacao was consumed as a form of spiritual medicine, believed to cleanse the body, mind, and spirit.

  6. Connection to Nature: Cacao cultivation and harvesting were deeply intertwined with nature and the cycles of the earth. Some spiritual practitioners view cacao as a symbol of the interconnectedness of all living beings and the importance of respecting and honouring the natural world. I and may other cacao practitioners honour cacao as (Mother Cacao/ Mama Cacao). Cacao is a very feminine plant that holds space and helps us connect to our heart centre. The cacao fruit itself resembles very much as to what a woman's breast looks like. Ecologically the cacao plant grows in lucious landscapes that support her growth and keep the plant and fruit itself fertile.

Overall, cacao holds a multifaceted spiritual symbolism that reflects its rich cultural history and profound significance in various spiritual traditions.

What are the health benefits of Cacao?

Cacao offers several potential health benefits, primarily due to its rich nutrient content and the presence of various bioactive compounds. Here are some of the potential health benefits associated with cacao:

  1. Rich in Antioxidants: Cacao is loaded with antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

  2. Heart Health: The flavonoids in cacao may help improve heart health by lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and reducing the risk of blood clots. Consuming cacao in moderation may contribute to a healthier cardiovascular system.

  3. Improved Mood and Brain Function: Cacao contains compounds like theobromine, phenylethylamine, and anandamide, which may have mood-enhancing effects. These compounds can promote feelings of well-being and may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Additionally, cacao consumption has been associated with improved cognitive function and brain health.

  4. Blood Sugar Regulation: Some studies suggest that cacao may help regulate blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Consuming cacao in its pure form, may be beneficial for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition.

  5. Anti-Inflammatory Properties: The flavonoids and other bioactive compounds in cacao have anti-inflammatory properties, which may help reduce inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to various health problems, including heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders.

  6. Improved Skin Health: Some research suggests that the flavonoids in cacao may help protect the skin from damage caused by UV radiation and improve skin elasticity and hydration. Consuming cacao may contribute to healthier, more youthful-looking skin.

  7. Nutrient-Rich: Cacao is a good source of essential nutrients, including magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium. These nutrients play vital roles in various bodily functions, such as muscle function, bone health, and energy production.

It's essential to note that while cacao offers potential health benefits, these effects are primarily associated with consuming pure/raw cacao. Cacao that has been overly processed, with sugar, and other ingredients/ chemicals will not play a part in all of these benefits.

What is a Cacao Ceremony with Sage Greene?

A cacao ceremony is a gathering that involves the ceremonial consumption of cacao in its purist form, a warm velvety drink blended with spices and honey. In our cacao ceremony, participants come together to connect with themselves, others, and the natural world while honouring the spirit of cacao. The ceremony is facilitated by myself (Jodie) who leads participants through a guided meditation for holding space and honouring mama cacao and our hearts. Alongside another magical practitioner who is a sound healer and uses the power of sound frequency aimed at promoting healing, introspection, and spiritual growth, leading us on a sacred journey with mama cacao and ones self.

The ceremonial cacao used in these rituals is prepared with intention and reverence, and it may be infused with additional ingredients like spices, herbs, or sweeteners for flavour or added symbolic significance. Participants are encouraged to set intentions for the ceremony, such as healing, transformation, or personal growth, and to approach the experience with an open heart and mind. These ceremonies are always guided, ensuring that myself and the other specialist practitioner help you and guide you with every class.

The intention behind a cacao ceremony is to create a safe and supportive container for participants to explore their inner world, connect with their intuition, and experience the healing power of cacao in a ceremonial context.

I hope this has answered many questions that I get asked on the daily and you find understanding this blog post all about cacao. I have so much more I can share and will share in due course although, I do believe this is a great insight on this wonderful sacred and gentle plant medicine.

At Sage Greene you can have a 1-1 cacao ceremony or you can come to our monthly classes held in Sacred spaces around Newtownabbey and Belfast areas. You can even fill out our contact form in the contact section of our website and request private sessions for you and your loved ones.

Much Love, Hope to see you soon, Jodie Greene.

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