cacao ceremony + soundbath
For thousands of years people have considered cacao as a sacred plant with potent healing properties. It was used both for its widely understood health benefits as well as in ceremonial settings. It wasn’t until Europeans came across it and brought it home that sweetener was added and what we now know of as chocolate was created. Today, chocolate is usually laden with extra ingredients such as sugar, milk and preservatives and people often see it as either a guilty pleasure or junk food.
We say throw out this outdated view and re-discover the spiritual uses of cacao to facilitate work in the inner realms. Cacao is a powerful heart-opener, increasing blood flow significantly with a ceremonial dose. It increases focus so that meditation, yoga and therapeutic work are more accessible. It’s gentle, supportive energy allows people to expand and experience heightened states. It facilitates greater connection to other people and in intimate partnership.
THE MAGIC OF CACAO
Cacao is unlike other plant medicines in that it doesn’t take you on a journey, but gently supports you in wherever you’re at. Cacao is a more subtle energy that works with you based on what’s happening inside. If you’re in a “get things done” mode, it will enhance that. If you’re in a creative mood, it will enhance that. If your focus is on slowing down and letting the gap in thinking appear, it will support that. If there are deeper feelings that need to move, it will support that. That’s the beauty of cacao – it’s versatility and non-directiveness. It will show you the door, but walking through it is up to you.
People generally describe cacao as a heart-centered energy because it significantly increases blood flow and generates an expansive feeling, often centered around the heart. Intimacy is easier, whether romantically or simply with feeling a deeper connection with friends. Love seems to flow naturally. Focus is easier and more effortless. Often there will be a gently glowing or vibrating energy. From there, it’s all a matter of where you take it.
WHAT IS A CACAO CEREMONY?
A Cacao Ceremony is a sacred ritual where you can connect with your inner world at the same time as you connect with Mother Earth, the elements, and the benevolent collective consciousness of ascended spirit guides, angels, masters, and ancestors. Ceremonial Cacao supports this by reminding ourselves to feel and to celebrate. The Cacao has a supportive, mothering energy, and is great for insight and inner work. Many have found that this Cacao connects them directly to the jungle energy and the natural world around them.
A ceremony distinguishes itself from an ordinary situation, in that a special, protected multidimensional space is created in ourselves, transforming the everyday linear beta wave brain activity into Alpha and Theta brainwave states, allowing for a wide and holistic perception.
Cacao gives you energy throughout the session and enables you to go deeper, opening your heart. Cacao supports and protects your cardiovascular system as a rich source of antioxidants. The theobromine stimulates your heart and at the same time dilutes your blood vessels to regulate your blood pressure. This increases the flow of oxygen through your body even more.
Participants are encouraged to allow whatever is happening to emerge as they breathe deeper and faster. The sound healing that is accompanied by the Cacao is needed to move any energy blockages and will help to release that which does not serve you.
We think of our cacao as a plant medicine. Like any potent medicine, it is important to be mindful in its use.
In most cases, there are no concerns to be aware of. In the case of Ceremonial Cacao, the combination of potent cacao and a higher dose warrants some additional mindfulness.
First, if you are working with it ceremonially, we recommend that you start off with about half the full dose. A full dose, the maximum we use, is 2 ounces, so that means starting off with 1 ounce. See how it feels and wait at least 30 minutes before consuming more.
Cacao is a strong bitter and stimulant, so there are some side effects to be aware of, as well as certain contra-indications. Since cacao is consumed in higher doses in ceremony, people might experience symptoms such as light-headedness, sweaty palms, headache or nausea. Simply slow down, drink water and practice self-care as needed until symptoms subside. Cacao can also stimulant detox symptoms in some cases. If this happens, take it as a blessing and drink plenty of water as your body lets go of whatever it didn’t like. This will likely be accentuated for people on a raw diet or who are fasting. Go with lower doses in this case.
Certain anti-depressants are contra-indicated with the tyramine in cacao, so we recommend checking your meds first. MAOI based anti-depressants are contra-indicated with chocolate, so a larger dose of cacao is not recommended. MAOI based anti-depressants are first generation anti-depressants and are less common these days. People taking them are on a restricted diet that includes limiting or avoiding chocolate, so they should know if they can consume or not. Side effects could include more serious headache and nausea, so make sure to check medications first.
Serious heart conditions. The theobromine in cacao increases heart rate significantly and is a vasodilator, lowering blood pressure. If you have such a condition, consider consulting a physician and certainly go lighter on amounts.
Pregnancy & breastfeeding. Like coffee or tea, it is important to reduce the intake of stimulating foods. The theobromine in cacao, which is very similar to caffeine, has a stimulating effect. Thus we recommend using lower dosages (ex. a maximum of 1oz in a ceremonial drink).
WHAT IS A SOUNDBATH?
DON'T WORRY, YOU WON'T GET WET.
A sound bath is a healing session you can experience fully-clothed, lying down in a comfortable resting pose in a dry, safe, and secure place. A sequence of quartz crystal singing bowls are played, each one keyed to the energy centers (chakras) of the body, where the sound nourishes the nervous system. The results are a deeply relaxed state of mind, body, and spirit.
How do these singing bowls affect our bodies so profoundly? Every part of our body, down to our cellular level, are crystalline in structure. This allows them to respond and resonate with the frequencies produced by the crystal singing bowls. Sound baths also act as a therapeutic gateway to your subconscious mind by allowing you to achieve and stimulate the Alpha and Theta brainwaves which are most commonly present during hypnosis, REM sleep, and deep meditation. Time is suspended as you enter a world of vibration, sensation, and experience. Physical injuries can be healed and old emotional traumas are released. You will feel nourished, alive, and vibrant after each session.
Sound can help facilitate shifts in our brainwave state by entrainment; synchronizing fluctuating brainwaves by providing a stable frequency to which the brainwave can attune. By using particular combinations of rhythms and frequencies, it is possible to shift our normal beta state (alert, concentrating, reacting) to alpha (creative, relaxed), and even theta (meditative state) and delta (deep sleep; where restoring and healing can occur). Using sound as therapy can provide results for a variety of issues including: sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, stress management, PTSD, pain management.
Sound baths boast multiple physiological benefits that are supported by science. These include: a slower pulse, a decreased heart rate, lower blood pressure, and deeper breathing, just to name a few. The sound vibrations also help move emotion, allowing you to purge grief, sadness, and anger in addition to physical pain. All together, these calming effects boost your immune system’s functioning, meaning that the benefits continue long after your sound bath session is over.
There’s no one reaction to a sound bath. During the process, you might feel vibrations, a sense of transcendence, sink into a meditative state, or experience an emotional release. You might cry. You might laugh. You might get irritated. You might fall sleep. Creative insights or solutions to problems might pop into your head during the sound bath. You may see colors or hallucinations. Some people report sensing, or communicating with, the spirit world, the unborn, or the dead. Whatever your experience is, it’s all good. Let your feelings arise and then let them go.
how to prepare for a cacao ceremony
It is best to fast after 10 am on the day of a cacao ceremony. Please AVOID the following the day prior and the day of the event:
- Spicy Foods
- Processed Foods
- Sugary Foods
V(EYE)BES at The Mystic Rebel
453 S. Spring Street, Suite 641 on 6th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90013
For those of you who don't live in DTLA we absolutely know how nerve wracking it can be to navigate. There is metered street parking on Spring St and other streets nearby. There are also some lots and garages in the area. The best solution we have found so far is an app called Spot Hero. You can type in our address, find lots in the area with the best rate, pay with your credit card in the app and swipe the bar code when you arrive. We don't have any kind of deal with these guys, we just like the ease of it.
We are in the Spring Arts Building located above The Last Book Store. Let the doorman know you are there for class and take the elevator up to the 6th floor. Turn right off the elevators and we are the first door on your left. We look forward to seeing you!
We recommend you wear comfortable, stretchy clothing to this event. You may also want to bring/wear socks and a wrap, sweater or sweatshirt in case you get chilly.
Soundbaths are a great way to charge crystals, so feel free to bring any to set up around your resting area
If you’d like to journal or keep photos of loved ones nearby, you may also bring them with you.
This is a safe place for any emotions to arise within you. Feel free to express them without consequence as long as you are mindful of your neighbors’ safety and well-being. It’s natural for participants to cry, laugh, moan, and/or rejoice as their heart opens from the Cacao.
If you’d like to go deeper within your heart opening meditation, bring along an eye pillow or scarf which will block most excess light.
This event may fill up quickly. There is limited space and we suggest getting your tickets early before they sell out.
Please be mindful of any contra-indications listed above. We trust that you will be honest with us if you have any of the concerns listed.
Tickets are non-refundable for this event.
Doors open at 7:45pm and door will be locked at 8:05pm. As to not disturb the ceremony, we will not allow for latecomers. Please allow ample time for parking and coming up to the 6th floor of the Spring Arts Building.