Updated: Aug 8, 2022
My name is Nicole O Kelly and I am a cacao circle facilitator and yoga teacher from Offaly. I
have had many people asking questions about Cacao and I am so delighted Christine has
offered me a space to share with you. I hope this answers some questions you may have.
Cacao is a sacred plant medicine well known for its energetic link to the heart, building
connection and many medicinal benefits. Ceremonial cacao is grown on farms in Central
and South America and Mexico, with a lot of the ceremonial cacao available to us here in
Ireland being sourced directly from Guatemala and Peru. Ceremonial cacao is grown on one
farm, unlike commercial cacao that can be bought in the health shop or what is used to
make chocolate. These are grown in many other places across the equator that the cacao
tree is not native to and the product generally comes from a mix of farms and places. Cacao
has been used by the Mayans for many centuries and is continued to be drank today in its
native countries as a support to fire ceremonies or as part of a celebration.
Cacao drinking has taken a rise in popularity in recent years with more people taking an
interest in personal and spiritual enquiry and development. Whether it be in a group cacao
ceremony/circle or a personal ritual or practice. Many people ask me what a cacao
ceremony or circle is, and this depends on the facilitator holding the space. Some of these
spaces may include a sharing circle, meditation or shamanic journey, movement, journaling
… however different facilitators share cacao with many different practices. Intention setting is
usually always involved. I feel some important things to look out for is that your facilitator
has a knowledge of where the cacao comes from as well as their own personal connection
with Mama Cacao. And that the space is held in gratitude for the earth and cacao and with
Cacao carries the energy of the feminine hence being referred to as Mama Cacao. In Mayan
tradition she is represented by Ix’cacao a goddess of abundance and fertility. Also there is
deep connection with cacao and Mother Earth. Cacao is known as a heart opener as it
brings you into the energy of the heart - expansion, love and connection. Drinking cacao
brings our attention into both the light and the dark, maybe bringing our awareness to areas
that need more attention or that we need to delve into deeper.
Medicinally cacao has so many benefits. It contains Theobromine known for its energy and
mood boost similar to caffeine but lasting much longer and without the caffeine come down.
The anandamide - bliss molecule, magnesium and iron in cacao are great supports for the
menstrual cycle. Personally I find cacao a great support in my luteal phase as my body is
preparing to bleed.
As with all plant medicines and spiritual practices, cacao is not for everyone. Always check
in with yourself and your body and if you hear the call of cacao go from there. If you have
any queries ask your known facilitator no question is silly. There are also contraindications to
be aware of with cacao. People with heart conditions, on antidepressants, other medications
or are pregnant or breastfeeding are advised to consult their doctors and let your facilitator
know. If attending a ceremony a lower dose if suitable or a herbal tea is often offered as an
alternative to the cacao so you still receive the energy of the circle experience.
I hope this introduction to Cacao has been of benefit to you. I am always happy to answer
any questions so please reach out.
I also have a Cacao Circle coming up in YoGrá Studio on Sunday the 14th August if you feel
the call to join.
Find me at @nicoleokellyyoga on Instagram or email at email@example.com for
booking, any questions or if you wish to purchase Cacao.