Q&A: Why Cacao?
1) How long have you been working with Cacao?
I started my Cacao Ceremonies in February 2013.
2) What got you into working with it?
I had been apprenticing with Ayahuasca for 14 years in the Peruvian Amazon with my teachers, and the first time I took Ayahuasca outside of Peru, in Palenque, Mexico in Dec 2012, the Ayahuasca told me to find the Cacao Shaman and to bring Cacao back to the West and use it in Sacred Ceremony just as I had been doing with the Ayahuasca.
3) And what you kept you there?
I have seen so many transformations and I'm always so amazed at the healing power of Cacao. Each ceremony is completely different so I enjoy the varied experiences and its an honour to watch people deal with their issues in a loving, peaceful and calm way. It is also the only plant medicine that hasn't been made illegal so I can do what I love and do my work without the fear of being arrested.
4) What changes have you seen to the world of Cacao since you began working with it?
When I came to London with 21 pounds of Guatemalan Cacao in my rucksack there was nothing here so I had to dive into the deep end and start my ceremonies based on the principles I had learned during my Ayahuasca ceremonies.
I have witnessed and also been a huge part of the Cacao movement that is now sweeping across the UK. Many practitioners are using it as an addition to what they offer, be it sound healing, movement, dance, yoga. It is a versatile plant medicine that brings a depth of healing to any modality. However, I work with it in it's traditional form and take people on a journey to meet the Cacao Spirit so they can find their own inner answers, clarity and guidance.
5) Though they have ancient roots, how do Cacao ceremonies fit in with modern life?
Cacao is a powerful heart opening Plant Medicine that gives us clarity by enabling us to hear our own inner answers, helps shift emotional blockages and let go of past experiences. It also dissolves negative energy and lifts our spirits so that we can re-align with who we really are and get back on track.
A Cacao Ceremony also gives us time for ourselves in a hectic and stressful world. It is the perfect space to switch off from the outside chaos, and find the inner peace and silence to integrate, process and become clearer of who we are, where we are going, and recognise the opportunities available to us so we can move forward more confidently and effortlessly.
6) What benefits does it have for our current predicaments?
Cacao is a natural anti-depressant. It is packed with goodness by naturally producing serotonin, dopamine, and anandamide - the bliss molecules that make us feel high. It increases the blood flow to the brain, creating more mental agility, awareness and focus and opens our hearts so we feel more loving and peaceful. It is a great non-alcoholic alternative, as it produces a natural high without the hangover and even help us metabolise so we actually can lose weight and feel better about ourselves.…If more people drank cacao, and not coffee, we would all feel a lot more loved up and blissed out, rather than stressed, jittery and anxious.
7) What do you see in the future of ceremonial Cacao usage?
As more people become aware and open to exploring new ways of feeling better I see Plant Medicine ceremonies and the use of Shamanic processes growing and becoming more mainstream and acceptable.
Love Rebekah Shaman