By Nick Polizzi
Guest Writer for Wake Up World
Ever wondered why people exchange chocolate on romantic occasions? Like Valentines Day for example?
Long before Willie Wonka came around, it was known among the ancient Maya as the “food of the gods,” because chocolate, or cacao, can act as a powerful aphrodisiac that awakens the “love hormones” in the body, such as serotonin and dopamine.
It has the power to provide mental clarity, to move you from your head to your heart, and to produce a gentle euphoria.
In the jungle, certain shamans use cacao in its raw, unadulterated form for healing. But here in the modern world, this plant spirit—or the energy behind the form called cacao—is often overlooked as a sacred medicine.
But when used correctly, cacao unlocks your ability to explore your own personal and mystical journey from an enlightening new perspective.
Lately, I’ve been drinking a homemade cacao hot chocolate in the mornings instead of coffee, and wow…it unleashes such beautiful creative energies while also giving you a subtle morning boost.
More on the mysteries of cacao below, but first, I wanted to share my favorite sacred hot chocolate recipe. (Be careful of how much raw cacao you use – this stuff can be potent!
Sacred Hot Chocolate
(makes 1 serving)
10 oz. hot water (almond milk can be substituted for beginners)
2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder
2 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. organic coconut oil
1 tsp. maca powder
¼ tsp organic vanilla extract
Pinch of cayenne
Pinch of cinnamon
1. Put all ingredients, except for cinnamon, into a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat.
2. Whisk all ingredients together thoroughly.
3. Once the contents are simmering, remove from heat and pour into a cup.
4. Sprinkle cinnamon over top of the brew and enjoy!
Using Cacao In Ceremony
A Maya legend tells us that whenever there is an imbalance between humans and nature, cacao comes from the rainforest to open people’s hearts and return the planet to a state of harmony. Some shamans therefore consider cacao the “food for the shift.” It represents the new order of love and peace, which is being cultivated right now.
With all the shifts on the planet, cacao’s power is growing. It’s therefore no surprise that ceremonies are popping up in various yoga studios, healing arts centers, and metaphysical festivals. Typical ceremonies last as long as four to six hours, and are led by either a shaman or mystic who understands the plant’s energy and effects. The cacao ceremonialist guides individuals toward unveiling their capacity for unconditional love, revealing their deepest truest selves, releasing anything that does not serve them, accessing liberation through love and ecstasy, and manifesting their most blissful lives.
During cacao ceremonies, one can expect to engage in various shamanic and metaphysical heart-centering practices including deep meditation, connection to the sacred cacao spirit, sound baths, Kundalini awakening, Trance Dance, Tantra, and various other sacred rituals.
One of cacao’s active pharmacological ingredients consists of N-acylethanolamines, which, according to Drugs.com, are “compounds found in chocolate that are structurally similar to anandamine, which is similar to the cannabinoid responsible for euphoria from cannabis. These compounds may not exert their effect by binding with the tetrahydrocannabinol receptors, but by inhibiting breakdown of endogenously produced anandamine, thus prolonging a ‘natural high.’”
Cacao’s alchemy can be subtle and its messages can come quietly. It is an excellent synergist and partnership facilitator, helping each of us to become aware of our subconscious mind. If we pay attention to these “easier” lessons, we can avoid the hard ones.
As psychologist Carl Jung explained, the language of the subconscious is symbols, images, and metaphors. He encouraged us to notice repetitive images and also the physiological responses, like headache or nausea—seemingly common phenomena that are often ignored. Through deep meditation with the plant, its medicine can show you deeper truths about these experiences. Don’t be surprised if you experience a proverbial “Aha!” moment.
Here are some of the health benefits of cacao:
• Increases blood flow.
• Contains powerful antioxidants, up to 40 times more than blueberries, which absorb free radicals.
• Boasts the highest plant-based source of iron—twice that of spinach.
• Full of magnesium for a healthy heart and brain.
• Acts as a natural mood elevator and antidepressant.
• Contains more calcium than cow’s milk per 100g.
Some of the reported spiritual benefits of cacao include:
• Acts as a heart chakra opener, allowing for deeper, authentic love-based connections and emotional release.
• Promotes powerful shamanic journeying.
• Creates a stronger connection with your higher self, to connect you with your own power and truth, and to remove blocks and create a blissful life.
• Facilitates deeper meditation, providing clarity and allowing you to receive inspiration and experience conscious creativity.
• Gaining awareness to oneness, love, and enlightenment.
• Balances the yin and yang, feminine and masculine, energies within.
• Improves yoga practice along with increasing flow of energy through Qigong, Reiki, and Kundalini.
• Allows connection to higher dimensions and ability to receive downloads, and raises vibration.
If you feel inspired to dance with the Spirit of Cacao and share her magic, we recommend finding a ceremony led by a shaman or mystic to experience the profound effects cacao has to offer. And if you want to simply begin using it for its many health benefits, or for communing with the plant and bringing it into your meditation, the simple recipe above is perfect for daily use.
Note: the effects of cacao are most noticeable when consumed on an empty stomach and prepared without any dairy products, as these tend to dilute its efficacy.
Stay curious with your heart open,
Nick Polizzi has spent his career directing and editing feature length documentaries about natural alternatives to conventional medicine. Nick’s current role as director of “The Sacred Science” documentary and author of “The Sacred Science: An Ancient Healing Path For The Modern World” stems from a calling to honor, preserve, and protect the ancient knowledge and rituals of the indigenous peoples of the world.