I’ve attended two cacao ceremonies, both a little different—and both incredibly powerful. One involved ecstatic dance, the other, meditation and breathwork. The first took place during an ecstatic dance camping retreat, and the second at a more casual afternoon workshop. My experience goes to show that no two cacao ceremonies are alike.
Moses Draper, the co-founder of Heartblood Cacao—a supplier of ceremonial cacao sourced from Guatemala—tells mbg that this is one thing that people often get wrong about cacao ceremonies. In reality, they don’t have an exact format and can look a number of different ways.
“There are commonalities,” Draper notes, adding, “often people start out with the cacao, and there’s some kind of focused intentional starting point with consuming it.”
From there, he says “there’s really a lot of possibilities. Common ones are ecstatic dance, yoga, meditation, inner processing, or more specific seasonal ceremonies.”
Since their itineraries vary, it’s hard to know with certainty what to expect during a cacao ceremony. But I can tell you that both ceremonies I’ve attended started with intention setting and mindfully drinking the cacao.
The first ceremony was all about dropping into your heart space and simply dancing to your heart’s content (for hours). The second was a bit more structured. We paired off with someone we didn’t know and were instructed to ask our partner personal, reflective questions. Then, we were guided through a meditation and breathwork practice, before the ceremony opened up into free-flowing music and dancing.
If you’re attending a cacao ceremony for the first time, the facilitator should be able to answer any questions you have beforehand. The most important thing is to go in with an open mind.