A few years back I was in gorgeous Cozumel, Mexico. We (my son and I) flew out to the island in search of a few days of sun and fun. What I didn't expect was an authentic Mayan-Aztec sacred cacao ceremony and experience. Chocolate? I'm in!
Greeted warmly by Mary, a bright and vivacious Mexican Mama - she guided us through the protected jungle as she told us stories and legends from generations past as we entered into our sacred journey.Two trees not to be touched, ever, were the chaka and chechem. The Chaka is poisonous, and the Chechem, when used correctly, is the antidote. But - they grow together, from the same root and look very much the same.
The legend goes something like this as told by Mary;
There is the story of two ancient brothers, Kinch and Tizic, young Mayan Lords who fell in love with the same beautiful woman, Nicté-Ha. The brothers were complete opposites; one calm and thoughtful, the other reckless and evil. They fought a furious battle driven by passionate jealousy and in the end the brothers died in each other’s arms, neither attaining the love they so endlessly sought. Their final request of the Gods was to see their beloved Nicté-Ha again so the brothers were reincarnated as chechém and chaka—two trees that share one flower.
As we continued, we learned so much more about the amazing Mayan's, and how to performed ceremonies, rituals, and spiritual practices.
We got to this beautiful opening in the jungle, with chairs to sit on and a Mayan-Shaman woman was there to greet us. She was using what looked like herbs (possibly sage) and smudge. She also called on the Gods to bless all of us.
This was a Mayan purification ritual.
Her wisdom was permanent, and you could see this deeply residing in her eyes. She made eye contact with me and I began to feel emotions bubble up inside of me, and I knew somehow this was a healing experience. I had absolutely no idea what she was saying, as she was speaking in her Mayan language - but yet, my soul knew. I totally understood.
After our purification, we wandered through the jungle path to a variety of different areas, stations and experiences. Plants for healing, preparing tortilla's the ancient Mayan-Way - but the best was yet to come: Ancestral Mayan Cacao Ceremony and tasting!
First, we learned about the rituals, and reasoning behind the spiritual practice.
Cacao was cultivated by Mayas more than 2,500 years ago and it was called "Ku-Ku". Ku in Mayan Language means Sacred and Ku-Ku "above sacred".
Aztecs learned from Mayan how to cultivate and prepare it, they called Cacao "Cacahuatl" and the bitter drink that they obtained from their fruits "Xocolatl". It was also called: Kakaw in Mayan Language that means "Drink of the Gods".
According to Mayan Elders, the spirit of cacao is one of the most powerful deities of Mayan cosmology. With the spirit of cacao we can unlock our inner self . This ceremony is oriented to reconnect with Beauty, Sweetness and Love in ourselves.
Cacao contains endorphin-like substances that will give you an immediate pleasurable reaction.
Cacao is made of:
- Theobramine: which produces beta-endorphins. These hormones are directly responsible for the feelings of calm, relaxation and happiness;
- Tryptophan: produces serotonin (linked to emotional ecstasy);
- Phenylethylamine: stimulates the pleasure centers;
- Anandamine: Neurotransmitter that maintains the above effects for longer.
Cacao stimulates our pituitary gland. It is the main gland of the body, as it rules many activities of the Endocrine Glands, which secrete substances called hormones that regulate body functions.
Sipping was divine. Immediately, I felt a wave of emotion and connection to earth that I've never felt before. I felt love for all those around me, and I felt relaxed, calm and happy.
It was wonderful!
Now, I've found an amazing Mayan Cacao which I am about to enjoy and I'll document my journey as well as experience here. What am I going to do?
1. Prepare my sacred space, light candles, be still.
2. Prepare my hot cacao drink- some suggest adding cayenne pepper - tonight I'll just drink it straight up.
3. I'll prepare my intention; Healing and forward movement on my journey in life.
4. Before I sip, I will thank all those involved in the process of harvesting and bringing the cacao to my lips and for helping me discover and recover my inner self.
5. I'll journal, or sit, take a meditative journey and ease into anything that bubbles up.
My experience after the ceremony:
First: Whoa. Second: WHOA.
In my experience today, I was so pleased with the beautiful messages and wisdoms I received:
I lit candles, and enjoyed my sacred space.
I had my kettle, cacao, mug, journal and pen ready.
I played beautiful Mayan music.