I do keep going on about how excited I am that I will be hosting another season of retreats this year (pinch me!) and that we will be hosting another Cacao Ceremonial Gathering. But what exactly is a cacao ceremony anyway?
Believe it or not we don’t just sit around in a circle eating a chocolate bar multipack (mmm… sounds like a plan though) and chant. There’s a lot more that goes in to a cacao ceremony than you think.
Over the last few seasons of retreats we have had live harp playing, ceremonial cacao, meditation, dance, movement, carob tree dancing and so much more – all part of our cacao experience.
Each evening at the retreats I host a meditative practice – a rest from the day. And the ‘story’ or ‘flow’ from that practice moves us through the week to Thursday (cacao day!). In the daytime we make chocolates and in the evening we drink a pre-prepared cacao elixir that has been prepared ‘in ceremony’, ready for us to enjoy also in ceremony under those dancing carob trees.
This year the delightful Peace Ravenwood will be joining us in Portugal. I met Peace a few moons ago and invited myself to her home to experience her cacao magic. It was great and I knew that I had to bring this experience, and Peace, to my guests at my Raw Food & Yoga Summer Retreats.
When we have done it before: There was drumming. There was music. There was rhythm. There was meditation. There was love. There was deep thought. There was light thought. There were stars. The moon was full. It was magical. And I plan for just the same this year!
Peace Ravenwood is a graduate of Pure Joy Culinary Academy and is a Ceremonial Cacao Goddess who joins our dream team of awesome beings at my Raw Food & Yoga Summer Retreats this year.
Peace has been a devotee of raw foods for many years, since she began her own healing journey of recovery from chronic illness.She’s also trained with nutritional powerhouse David Wolfe and raw Chocolate ambassador Amy Levin over the years so has a wealth of passion to share with everyone. Now as she is already connected to two of my food heroes – I just knew that working with her was on the cards for me. You know when you just get that feeling?
Peace will be co-creating daily feasts in the kitchen for guests as well as holding our incredibly life changing Cacao Ceremonies each week, which promise to bring much insight in to personal expansion as well as giving a different aspect of working with chocolate.
So what’s the experience like?
The cacao ceremony is essentially a meditation that holds space to experience the depth of healing that comes in waves of pure unconditional love. During our cacao ceremonies we work with the most rich, potent and deeply nourishing Chocolate Sacrament or Elixir (sacred offering) created especially for our retreat.
During the Ceremony we will create an altar together that calls in all that we wish to bring into our lives, all we wish to celebrate and give thanks for.
We will take the thick and creamy sweet Sacrament in two servings over the course of our time in communication with the plant Devas, slipping gently into deeper meditative states of bliss.
Peace says: ‘Momma Cacao offers us a safe haven to unfold into our awakening, She embraces us as we fall and opens us up to deep life changing opportunity. She offers us sight that we are the key holders to many doorways, all we need do is accept the offer of opening them once they appear and then to step though and walk the path to the next door.’
‘There will be moments of deep silence whilst we are in Ceremony, moments of movement and dance, singing and joyful sharing, ensuring that everyone’s voice is heard using a talking stick.’
We will, of course. also be selecting chocolates to nibble from our co-created chocolate box of pralines and healing mushroom sweets made in the daytime. Nom. Nom.
What is in the chocolate elixir?
We will be essentially drinking a beautiful prepared very special ‘hot chocolate drink’. Peace crafts incredibly potent cacao medicine, from whole beans, herbs, roots and medicinal mushrooms, she invites in a host of plants who wish to be combined for both a deeply profound experience along with body, mind and soul nourishment.
The effects of being in such a place of deep unfolding last anywhere between 48 hours to several weeks, each person has a unique relationship with their healing journey. Peace and the team are on hand afterwards to hold us through what ever arises, sharing with us how to embrace and love all of it.
I am amazed at what we can do when we bring special people together to hold space for our incredible guests and this year will be no different!
Keep checking back in on the blog and on social media (facebook, instagram, twitter) for updates on how our events unfold. As the nature of my retreats is about ‘withdrawing’ I don’t do facbook lives or anything indiscreet as our time together with the guests is intimate and private but we will be sharing recipes, our food, and photos of our space.
Perhaps you will join us one year? Do sign up to my newsletter to be the first to get news on dates for 2018!
Bring on the cacao love!
Keeping juicy & raw!