HOW I WORK WITH CACAO
As cacao ceremonies are becoming more widespread in the west, I do like to emphasise that I'm both trained and fully insured to hold these ceremonies! I believe it's also vital to work with honesty, integrity, respect and compassion: for the plant spirit medicine, for the planet, and of course for all who are coming to participate in these ceremonies.
Contemporary cacao ceremonies can take many different forms. I work with cacao plant medicine in quite a traditional way, rooted in a deep personal relationship with the spirit of the plant, sometimes called "Ixcacao" (reflecting the Mayan roots of much of what is known of cacao's history as a sacred plant) or "Mama Cacao" (for her strong, loving, even fierce maternal energy). Like the Mayans and other Mesoamerican civilisations, I hold ceremonies in which participants can be assisted by the plant medicine as they embark on a trancelike shamanic journey (whilst lying down), and what we drink now is essentially the same as the sacred cacao of those ancient cultures. Shamanic journeying has been practiced by humans for millennia, all over the planet, and the journeying we embark on in these ceremonies is not specific to nor taken from one particular culture.
I first heard about cacao plant medicine in 2014 whilst training in Thai massage in an animist village in Thailand; by 2017 I was feeling strongly called to cacao, and finally experienced my first ceremony in London. I subsequently undertook my initial cacao apprenticeship training in Ibiza in early 2018 with Rebekah Shaman, a plant medicine shaman whose background was in Western Amazonian plant medicines. Following that powerful, transformative initiation, I've continued my own devoted studies and ever-deepening relationship with Ixcacao and her medicine, connecting, journeying and working with her by myself and also holding safe, compassionate space and guiding others on powerful, deep journeys. I bring a gentle, intimate, compassionate energy to the women's ceremonies I've been holding regularly since 2018; I also draw on many years of experience holding safe, compassionate and sacred/healing space as a yoga teacher (since 2012) and a Thai massage therapist (since 2015).
I work with profound respect for this ancient plant medicine, and for the indigenous traditions of plant spirit shamanism, offering you a chance to dive particularly deep within during a guided journey. Everything about the ceremonial space I create is intended to cultivate an experience of being safely held and guided, so that you can relax on all levels, feeling able to share & be open to the experience, open to what arises when you relax and allow the rational mind to switch off so that the more intuitive, expansive states can be accessed. In this state, we call on the energy of the cacao to assist us on our journey of heart-opening, intuitive insights and emotional release.
For some, this opens into a profoundly spiritual experience, though I would always advise participants not to place particular expectations of what their personal journeying experience will be (eg expecting to have visions), particularly if this is your first experience with ceremonial cacao. Some participants form an instant & powerful connection with the spirit of the plant, for others it may take more time & journeying. Being open to the experience as it unfolds is a good approach to life in general, and for a cacao ceremony in particular!
WHY MY CEREMONIES ARE USUALLY FOR WOMEN ONLY
I offer these sacred ceremonies for groups of women, so there is a supportive empathic feminine energy to these sharing circles. I'm sometimes asked why my ceremonies are for women only. There is no protocol against men consuming sacred cacao, it's simply my personal calling to share with women primarily. I appreciate that many men are in touch with their feminine side too!
Cacao has a feminine energy which can be healing to connect with if you are a woman needing to heal your own relationship to your feminine aspect in some way, or to other females in your life. (Mother & daughter & childhood issues often come up!) Participants in these ceremonies often seek healing from trauma and abuse in ways which make an all-female environment feel much safer too.
There seems to be a greater healing of the female spirit occurring in our culture now, and a great rediscovery of feminine spiritual power, after a long history of repression and abuse and diminishment of our experiences and our voices. It is beautiful & moving to be able to connect with feminine power and spirit, in a group of open-hearted women sharing their stories and journeys, being heard and held, without judgement.
Dates for upcoming Cacao Ceremonies here
Learn about what happens in a ceremony and why you might benefit here
Cacao FAQs here
Learn about Cacao's ancient and more recent story as a spiritual superfood here and learn more facts about theobroma cacao here
"What a powerful and enriching experience! Feel very blessed to have been there...The ceremony was an extremely nurturing and powerful process within a safe, beautiful group of women. You held and supported us as a group with such grace, it was a truly empowering and life-changing experience." - Sarah
" Big thank you for an amazing experience. So rewarding to have a safe place to share honestly without judgement. Good to have time to reflect...It felt very positive and gave clarity to thoughts. Personally I feel I gained a great deal from Saturday's cacao ceremony." - Rachel