Cacao & Meditation – being open to new experiences
A couple of weeks ago, on a lovely warm Sunday afternoon, I attended a Shamanic Workshop & Cacao Ceremony. This was organised and hosted by a friend from my village. Having absolutely no idea what I was letting myself in for, in the spirit of being open and trying new things, I thought I’d give it a go.
I can honestly say that I have never been to anything quite like this before. I would, however, definitely consider going again ?
What on earth went on?
I had no idea what I’d signed up for, but luckily we were in capable hands…
Setting the scene
The event was run by a lovely lady named Michelle Martin. This is the first time that I’ve knowingly met a shaman! My friend had attended a similar event a few weeks before and thought, “Maybe I could host one of these in my garden?!”
There was a firepit in the middle of the garden and we all sat around this in a large circle on blankets, rugs, towels, yoga mats etc. There were about 10 people in total, with many of us knowing one or two of the others. No formal introductions were made, I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, but it kept things comfortingly anonymous and non-judgmental.
Michelle started the event by explaining a little about what we’d be getting up to over the next couple of hours. She then kicked it all off by “opening the sacred fire”. With a drum beating, we took turns in walking around the fire, throwing in offerings of twigs, cacao beans and mixed herbs.
For the next couple of hours, we took part in various meditations with beating drums and cricket chorus sounds. Even our hosts parrot got into the swing of things, chanting and dancing. We were also joined by a variety of beautiful butterflies throughout the session.
There were also some crystals available to use, to help us to balance our thoughts and set our intentions.
Between each meditation, we were invited to share what was going on for us – what we’d felt and seen. Michelle offered some possible interpretations, helping us to make sense of things. What she said, often resonated well.
At one point we were offered a kind of tarot card. Mine was “Playfulness”. I took this as a big message that I’d been taking life way too seriously of late and that I need to have more fun. Keep your eyes peeled for a future blog on this one!
Refreshments – The Cacao ceremony
Throughout the whole experience, there was hot chocolate on tap (well, in seemingly never-ending teapots actually). This wasn’t any ordinary hot chocolate, though, rather it was pure cacao powder mixed with hot water. It tasted slightly bitter yet was quite refreshing even in the heat. Pure cacao is used as a heart-opening medicine for people to safely experience awakening, revelation and inner healing. Chilli powder was also optional for additional flavour.
Michelle also invited us to try a sacred ceremonial medicine mix snuff called rapé (pronounced hap-pey). It is blown into the nostrils, first left (death) then right (rebirth). The sharp blow focuses the mind and opens the mindspace for your intentions. Rapé helps with releasing emotional, physical, and spiritual illnesses and eases negativity and confusion, enabling the grounding of the mind. Shamans use it to re-align with energy channels and with their higher self, and to intensify their connection with the world. It aids detoxifying the body and cleans out all excess mucus, toxins and bacteria, thereby helping to fight colds and sniffles too.
Both the cacao and the rapé really helped us to relax and get into the right mood. There was also a ton of chilled chocolate to eat at the end!
The overall experience
I really enjoyed the Shamanic Workshop & Cacao Ceremony! I felt happy (or maybe high!) during the whole experience and very enlightened by some of the meditation.
Speaking to some of the other participants afterwards, many of us had been uncertain of what to expect, but we’d all pitched up, willingly and with open minds. We were made to feel comfortable and at ease by Michelle and our lovely host.
The weather obviously helped tremendously. It was a lovely pleasant afternoon, warm but with shade to shelter from the heat of the sun.
Maybe you do this kind of thing on a regular basis, but this was not my normal Sunday afternoon. I’ve not done anything quite like that before and I’ve never (knowingly) even met a shaman. However, I approached the event with an open mind and I allowed myself to join in whole-heartedly. I enjoyed the experience tremendously and I came away feeling strangely enlightened.
Has it changed my life beyond belief? Maybe not. But there are definitely a few things that I’m taking away with me for another day…
Thank you for reading. For more interesting articles, visit my blog at www.agelifebalance.com to learn more.