The Sanctity of Ceremony: How and Why to Work With Cacao and Kava –

The Sanctity of Ceremony: How and Why to Work With Cacao and Kava

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Our draw to ceremony and the desire to find sacredness in the ordinary is an innate human instinct, something “weve been” attempting out for centuries. Ceremony has been used to demarcate passageways of period, seasons coming and travelling. It has been used to mark rites of passing and to deliver communities together. When we arrive to a ceremonial experience, like Wanderlust, we feel the palpable, somatic changes in our being. It is as if a part of us innately knows we are stepping into an experience that is much bigger than we could have ever imagined. In these sacred spaces, like the yoga classes or workshops at Wanderlust, we find ourselves surrounded by others whose energy, vision, and appreciates mirror and echo our own. And in this space of deep connection to self and other we can let go into the growth and celebration that is here for us.

There are countless directions for us to create ceremony in our everyday lives. When we delivering formality into our everyday we are able to continue to grow the seeds from our previous ceremonial suffers, allowing them to integrate further into our being.

Read here for Ana Forrest and Jose Calarco’s hypothesis on how to create ceremony in your everyday life .

Many of us have recently been drawn to ceremonially work with nature and flower medications to expand our consciousness and create a deeper sense of connection with the world around us. If this has been calling to you then you may have found yourself encountering Cacao or Kava Kava ceremonies. Sound like you? You may be ready to dive into working with these sacred drugs!

A( Very) Brief History of Cacao

Let’s get in touch with our medicine a stratum deeper and encounter Cacao also known as Theobroma cacao. Cacao is native to Central and South America and is believed to have been first detected as early as 1200 BCE by the Olmecs, an indigenous tribe from Mexico. Cacao continued to be fostered and traded by the Mayan tribes of Mexico for centuries and is known as “the food of the Gods” by Mayan people. Cacao was traditionally used in spiritual ceremonies and often day weds. Cacao is a powerful aphrodisiac and superfood, often period eliciting the physical impressions of fallen in love! Cacao is said to teach us of the whodunits of enjoy and powerfully opens our hearts.

A( Very) Brief History of Kava-Kava

Kava-Kava or Piper methysticum, is a root from the Pacific Islands that has been consumed ceremonially for over 3,000 years! Kava Kava is a powerful nervine and relaxes us deep, easing anxiety particularly in social settings. This is partially why Kava was was traditionally drink to maintain peace and harmony during tribal amass and discussions. Historically Kava was made by all the people gathered, truly creating an experience of community drug and connection. Because of Kava’s potency and palpable state-altering results, like numbing your tongue, Kava has been misunderstood as getting you “high.” Kava is non-narcotic, mild sedative and is non-addictive however, it should not be mingled with alcohol or other substances.

Creating a Ceremony Around Usage

If you are called to the heart-opening medicine of Cacao or the grounded associate Kava-Kava has to offer, then it necessary to consciously informant, prepare, and eat these medications as a part of a ceremony.

The first step to creating a ceremony is to connect to our intent. Why are we establishing this ceremony? Holding our liturgy not just for our personal wants, but in service of the collective good and healing, is a great way to practice sacred reciprocity. Once you’ve connected to your intent we can begin to bring that into the creation of our sacred space.

When working with sacred flowers like, Cacao or Kava, we also need to invite their feeling and prudence to join us in this space.

There are many ways to connect to sacred space, devotion, mantras, invocations are used in various traditions to rekindle a sense of the divine. By speaking our prayers out loud and calling in sacred space, we let the vibrational resonance that is felt and heard to come into the space and it is as if we cast a circle around us.

When working with sacred flowers like, Cacao or Kava, we also need to invite their heart and prudence to join us in this space. To begin honoring these plants we can offer a devotion of gratitude to the land which these drugs have come from, the recognition of these flowers contain the memory and energy of everything that has taken place on this property. Next we thank the indigenous communities who have tended to these plants and who have continued the prudence traditions of these flowers alive. Finally we might offer a bles to all the hands that these flowers have extended through, from the farmers to the store keeper, “whos been” made it possible for this medicine to be here with you.

From this place of deep communication we can begin to prepare our drugs with intent and adoration!

hands holding out dried cacao seeds

Photo by Pablo Merchan Montes

To organize Cacao you will need:

1-1. 5 ounces of Cacao paste per person( this is my favorite) 4-5 ounces of liquid per person( liquid or coconut mylk) Honey to taste

Traditionally Cacao is also prepared with Cayenne and Vanilla extract. I personally like to add cinnamon, cardamom, and rose powder to savour!

Heat up the liquid, but make sure not to let it simmer! Slowly add in your Cacao paste and continuously stir; it will take some time for the Cacao to melt in so you may want to add it in batches. When your Cacao starts to thicken add in your honey and spices; arouse some more and serve the Cacao with love.

You may offer your blessings while comprising your bowl of Cacao, returning to your intention and holding the Cacao at your heart. I like to feel the heat of the Cacao against my scalp, to smell the Cacao and to welcome her in through all my appreciations. Sip slowly and enjoy this medication penetrated into your torso and nerve. When you’ve finished your beaker you may want to journal, meditate, dance and move your body, or go on a guided excursion to your heart to connect more. As you transition out of your formality make sure to take another moment to say thank you to the Cacao and you may even want to offer some leftover Cacao back to the Earth.

To cook Kava-Kava you will need:

1-2 ounces of Kava powder per person( this is my favorite) 5-8 ounces of sea or seed mylk Honey to taste

I like to add cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and vanilla extract! You can also use 1-2 ounces of Apple Cider Vinegar to help dilute the earthy taste.

Place your Kava powder into a French press or tea press; fill the press with either hot water( not simmering) or warmed seed mylk and let steep for 20 to 30 mins. Make sure to vigorously stir your Kava at the beginning and end of engulf it. When your Kava is done brewing add honey, apple cider vinegar and spices to taste.

Similar to the Cacao ceremony you can offer your approvals while holding your bowl of Kava. Since Kava is deeply rooting medicine you may want to embark in a grounding reflection, returning to your aim and maintaining the Kava at your belly or heart. Sip gradually and enjoy this drug entering into your body, feel your roots and connection to the earth growing.

Because Kava is traditionally a social drug I recommend developing your rite with community. Each of you can add your voices to the circle and share intimately with one another, letting the layers of guardedness and breakup melt away. You may want to take time to publication and reflect on your experience. As you transition out of your ceremony make sure to take another moment to say thank you to the Kava and you offer some leftover Kava to the Earth.

The Instinct to Create Ceremony

We all are intimately is attached to the instinct to create ceremony. Whether we work with Kava, Cacao or are living in a formality space at Wanderlust, the foundations of ceremony are intention and service. Instead than outlining from indigenous wise traditions that are outside of our ancestries and cultural activities, I promote you to create ceremony authentically from your heart, a home of service and love. Taking time to welcome and honor the drugs you are working with and the traditions that have held these medication for centuries. When we comprise our rite in service of larger healing for the nations of the world, commit to ethical sourcing and rendering back to the communities and environments our medicine comes from we are beginning to practice the pillars of sacred reciprocity and right relationship with medicine that truly benefit and help heal the world.

A note on appropriation: Cacao and Kava are sacred drugs that come from indigenous and marginalized communities. Place of practicing sacred reciprocity with these flowers means that we need to decolonize our relationship to these drugs. This is a on-going and deep practise to take over and regions to start include; honoring the communities and grounds these drugs come out of; sourcing ethically and constructing sure the medication we buy is fair-trade and the profits are going back to these communities; to show up to our ceremonies not as a path to make money or solely benefit ourselves, but as a path to offer large healing to the world.

Contraindications: Kava-Kava should not be consumed by people who are pregnant or on drugs that are harmful to the liver. Kava should not be mixed with booze or other drugs or sedative substances. Kava should be used in moderation and is not for people under the age of 18. Cacao should not be consumed by people who are pregnant( chocolate is fine !) or people on SSRI drugs as it can cause adverse effects. Consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before use if you are pregnant or lactating, have a serious medical circumstance or are on medications.

caity flanagan bio picCaity Flanagan is a holistic herbalist, Tantric and Shamanic practitioner dedicated to supporting other on the excursion of revolutionary realization, sensual awakening, and coming home to the Heart. Caity is the co-founder of Embodied Erotic and is the founder of Serpent& Rose, communities dedicated to sharing the teachings of the body and sensuality as gateways to healing trauma and awakening. She has expended the last 5 years teaching internationally about core shamanic practises, earth-based ritual, somatic coaching and Tantra as practises that lead-in us towards realization sensual waken, and the Heart as the path.


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