Rome's Ceremonial Cacao
"After water, cacao is the single healthiest substance you can put in your mouth. It can easily replace a number of psychiatric drugs for mood, plus it produces the same chemistry in the brain that occurs when we fall in love." - Chris Kilham, WellBella
Welcome in the world of ‘CACAO’ with Rome
Cacao has been used in ancient ceremonies by South Americans (the Maya) for 5000 thousands of years. It has an active ingredient in it called theobromine — which can be translated to, ‘Food of the Gods’.
The word cacao actually came from the Maya word Ka’kau, and the Maya word Chokola’j — which means to drink chocolate together.
So it makes sense that cacao was given its sacred status, and enjoyed in communal ceremonies by the Maya with their Gods.
You probably already know that cacao comes from the cacao bean — which is also used to make chocolate.
But the cacao plant is seen as a medicinal plant, and has been used for a number of spiritual, medicinal and ceremonial purposes throughout history.
Which allows the cacao to activate within the heart and body, and create transformation.
Through opening the heart, cacao enables us to hear our true self, work through blockages and past traumas, dissolve any pent up negative energy, and help us align with who we truly are.
You may feel expansive, blissful, connected to self and/or others, inspired, connected to your intuition & vision, connected to spirit, grounded, emotions arise, and the movement of stuck energy.
When drinking about 1oz of high quality cacao, one can experience increased blood flow, mood elevation, and a more expanded state of consciousness. Cacao is a vasodilator, meaning your blood vessels and muscular systems relax. When working with ceremonial doses of cacao, one can increase their blood flow by up to 30%, meaning that more blood, (life force energy) is moving through your body and nourishing all of your systems.
CACAO NUTRITION& HEALTH BENEFITS
Organic, raw cacao is a superfood containing a variety of unique phytonutrients such as sulfur, magnesium and phenylethylamine. It’s a great source of monounsaturated fat, cholesterol-free saturated fat, vitamins, minerals, fiber, natural carbohydrates and protein.
A single cacao bean contains 54% fat (that’s the cacao butter), 31% carbohydrates (mainly fibre with a tiny amount of sugars), 11% protein (including arginine, glutamine and leucine), 3% polyphenols (flavonols and proanthocyanins) and less than 1% trace minerals including magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.
Cacao is rich in:
Plant-based iron: 7.3mg per 100g.
Antioxidants: up to 40 times more antioxidants than blueberries.
Magnesium: a nutrient that’s important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. It can also sharpen your brain while relaxing your body.
Calcium: more than in cow’s milk.
*Disclaimer: this is not medical advice. Please consult your doctor for further questions.
1. Serotonin: A neurotransmitter commonly known as the "feel-good chemical. Cacao not only supplies the body with serotonin, but also aids the body in producing its own serotonin naturally. Serotonin is well known for its ability to combat stress and improve our mood by promoting the feelings of comfort, fight depression, contentment, happiness, relaxation, and well-being.
2. Phenylethylamine (PEA): better known as "the love chemical," for its association with the giddy excitement one feels when falling in love. When ingested, PEA stimulates the central nervous system to release the body's natural opium-like compounds called endorphins. PEA signals the body to promote the sensation of alertness, focus, and mental acuity, all while elevating one's mood, speeding up metabolism, and boosting memory.
3. Anandamide: in Sanskrit, ananda literally means "bliss," making anandamide the "bliss chemical" in chocolate. Anandamide is a neurotransmitter found naturally in cacao and also in the human brain (the only two places it is has currently been discovered). Anandamide doesn't leave you in a mind-altered state, but, does produce a feeling of euphoria.
4. Theobromine: this chemical acts as a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes smooth muscle. Benefits of this chemical include enhanced blood flow and oxygenation to the brain in addition to long-term antioxidant properties.
5. Magnesium: every cell in the body contains this mineral and requires it to function. Magnesium helps increase energy, calms nerves, aids in digestion, and relieves muscle aches and pains (among a whole host of other benefits).
IS THERE CAFFEINE IN CACAO?
Theobromine is a chemical that has a similar structure to caffeine, but the difference is that instead of being a nervous system stimulant like coffee, theobromine dilates the cardiovascular system that results in opening up the blood vessels and a sense of alertness and relaxation at the same time.
The two stimulants are related but are very different chemicals with different properties, effects and origins. Cacao is a poor source of caffeine, and in fact is a wonderful substitute for your morning latte if you want to reduce your caffeine intake.
However, experience has shown me that having potent ceremonial cacao past 7pm might keep you awake for hours – be aware and start by having ceremonial cacao earlier in the day. It makes a wonderful morning elixir. Keep reading to find out how I prepare my ceremonial cacao.
SPIRITUAL BENEFITS OF CACAO
It’s a powerful tool to go deeper in your inner work, whether it’s journaling, visualization, or shamanic journeying. In my experience, cacao ceremony can also assist in energetic healing and receiving clarity in the areas of love, purpose, intuitive abilities, career and personal growth.
What Is Cacao Ceremony?
Cacao ceremony usually involves a communal gathering with a sacred circle, music and of course, ceremonial cacao. One can have intimate Cacao Ceremony with Self.
I also have it daily as part of my morning ritual.
Enjoying ceremonial cacao every morning helps me to remain connected with my heart and be a gentle guided through transformational consciousness shifts.
One can make Cacao ceremony centrepiece of our daily routine ritual for self-renewal that keeps us centred, connected to our hearts, and living in a good way. Along the way, find healing and connection to inner selves, and discover deeper connection with the elements, land, and ecology that we didn’t experience before.
Cacao has the potential to be a guide and gateway to help each one of us embrace the compass and depth of our heart as a starting point for profound healing and remembrance. (Phenylethylamine (PEA): better known as "the love chemical," for its association with the giddy excitement one feels when falling in love)
Gathering together to drink cacao can create healing, connection and inspiration.
Cacao ceremonies are becoming more popular, because they are spaces for people to connect with each other in new ways, and they are an opportunity to reconnect with ancient parts of ourselves that remember the simple power of gathering together in community.
Things You May Experience In Cacao Ceremony
Emotional & spiritual benefits
Cacao is rich with emotional and spiritual benefits that have not only worked for ancient cultures, but also the new wave of people who are embracing cacao in the world today, and allowing it to open and heal them.
Known for opening the heart, cacao will allow you to connect with yourself, and others, in a deeper way than before. Any fear will be replaced with love and joy.
Connection with your higher self
Your higher self can be whatever you believe it to be — source, God/Goddess, light, or soul.
Cacao helps strengthen your connection to your higher self, which helps you connect to your inner peace, power, strength, and truth.
You will find yourself exploring the pain that is plaguing you right now, and feel your way through it — because it’s only when we allow ourselves to truly feel it, that we can let it go.
This will help you to live a happier, lighter life, where you don’t feel weighed down by your past. Releasing this pain makes space for more love and light to come in.
Enhances and deepens meditation-You will be able to connect to your inner spirit, which will help you to explore meditation on a much deeper and spiritual level.
You will find you are able to focus and be in the present with more ease, and this will help you to live more fully in the moment in your life, bringing peace to your mind and soul.
A pathway to creativity-Cacao is often used to bring inspiration and creativity together, and help you move past those inner blocks that are keeping you playing it safe, and not allowing your inner child to play.
You will find that new ideas and expressions of yourself flow to you with ease.
Because of the benefit cacao has on every level — physical, mental, spiritual& emotional, mental clarity.
During these ceremonies, you will be reminded of everything that you are — your skills, talents, and creative abilities — and you will begin to let go of all the thoughts of everything you are not.
This will help you find balance in your life, as well as clarity in your mind, which will make your purpose clearer to you.
Re-balance of your inner male & female energies, male and female energies can be found co-existing within all of us, but often they are unbalanced. Some men have repressed their feminine energies, while some women have trouble connecting to their male energies, and vice versa.
This isn’t helped by the fact that the world is currently in a state of imbalance when it comes to the masculine and the feminine.When you balance these energies within, you are able to live a more effective life, filled with complete harmony.Feminine energy allows you to receive inspiration, while masculine energy helps you to act on it.
Cacao can help to ease our everyday stresses and worries, as it encourages us to get more in tune with our positive, optimistic side.
If there are things in your mind or your heart that are holding you back from living the beautiful life you’ve always dreamed of, cacao will help you get clearer on what these things are, and help you receive the strength to put them down, and pick up the things yourself truly.
This will help you live a healthier life in body, as well as spirit.
Maybe you’re in a job you hate, or you have no idea what your true calling is here on earth?
Cacao will help you gain clarity on your natural talents and strengths, connect with your creativity, and allow you to find your way to what lights up your soul.
When you’re in this state, creation and abundance will flow to you.
Cacao is a feminine power that can help you see that life is meant to be fun — this is what we’re here for.Allow yourself to fully surrender to this energy, and step into a higher dimension, where you realise that nothing here on earth is permanent, and all of life is simply a game to be enjoyed right here, right now.
Cacao is a fantastic source of scientifically proven "bliss chemicals" known to influence the body and brain in beneficial ways.
“Let’s pull the curtain on these mysterious chocolate chemicals and reveal their delightful identity:
Open your heart to creativity energy and bliss this weekend.