Updated: Oct 13, 2021
Ceremonial Cacao has been a backbone of my daily diet for over 6 years. This is author is also the owner of Island Sharks. As such, I am able to bring you my 'Brewable', ceremonial cacao bar I always feature in my posts about #cacaoceremonies.
Anyway, here is the story. Ending first, with me alone, on a road, in the dark at 3000 feet near Quito, Ecuador. I couldn't see down, and there was a sheer cliff along side the road I walked. I didn't sense danger. Here are the views during day light. I felt called to have gone to the #cacaoceremony
I had come from about 500 feet below. Although Ecuador is coastal, where I was there was no ocean access. I was near the cloud city. The capital, but all I could see was dark. Everyone else was still below. Here are more day light views of where I was at night. With no cell service.
I was waiting for a cab and there was no one else around on this dusty, black expanse. No cabbie. The potential fall and the absence of the moon were my only company. My phone had died after calling the cab. It was late and I lamented to be waiting in such a vulnerable place. I was on some road on some old volcano and everyone I just shared a beautiful cacao ceremony were all about 500 feet away below at the venue. Also the parking lot was there. It was useless to me as I clearly didn't drive. Unrevealed was that I didn't know anyone there either. After the event, and shockingly pitch black waiting in the woods, the cab eventually came...
The host of the cacao ceremony was amazing. The community was phenomenal. The journey, radical. I would do it again in a heart beat.
You see I had no fear. No fear of animals (coyotes?) or strangers. It was the wilderness of backwoods and rural Quito and I felt (almost) at home. During the ceremony I was nervous. Arriving I was scared. Cacao made me fearless.
Meeting new people, in a new land, in a new language is hard enough without social anxiety and anti-social tendencies. I was a wreck but I knew cacao was coming. My cabbie was off and I was relying on the company of strangers. I had nothing but the calling to be there and the purpose of being there to defend me. The host, @cacaoamortantra on Instagram, did an exceptional job of keeping me comfortable while arrived and she set up. She spoke English but I asked to leave to experience in Spanish. This 'ceremonia de cacao' would be my first but not last in Ecuador. As a host @hawaiicacaoceremony of cacao ceremonies in Hawai'i, this writer has to admit that he began hosting cacao ceremonies of his own after going through events similar to this. I even held ceremony at the Portugal Spirit Festival, Tokyo and several other countries including the Sovereign Kingdom of Hawai'i and Hawai'i in the United States. Virtual cacao ceremonies will begin soon! Go follow the account on Instagram for more!
I let go of all expectations as a peer or colleague, especially since Spanish is BARELY a second language to me. I joined her cacao ceremony as a student or 'estudiante'. No other substances were consumed expect water and bliss was attained. That means we drank the cacao.
Pineal glands secreted the substances usually reserved for church or weddings and people felt their sacred nature return. We all shared after imbibing the cacao, how we felt. I translated well, y ahora yo hablo espanol mejor (and now I speak Spanish better). But, more importantly I learned cacao ceremonies better. I learned not to be afraid better. I learned to be pro-social and share with or without cacao.
The most important thing I learned was that all cacao ceremonies were originally in Spanish! Maybe Peruvian or 'Quetchwa' was spoken. Definitely Mayan and Olmec languages were used too. But thats it. Not English. Cacao (and cocoa) is a Nahuatl Indian word.
It felt so authentic to have a cacao ceremony in Spanish. I have to say that although the cacao flavor was blessed, I have an affinity for Hawaiian cacao. I learned how much has changed in the world of cacao ceremonies and it seems, well, its all changed! We now make ceremonial cacao for an actual Mayan Priestess!!! She can be found on Instagram @4manosy5volcanes_cacao where she teaches and instructs students from around the world on Traditional and Ancient Mayan Cacao Rituals. The author and his team are so honored and humbled to work for such a noble, authentic and gifted Goddess. If you want a discount on her 'bean to disc' cacao, made by us, use code: Hawai'i. If you want to do some self-care with some of our Brewable Bars of 100% Pure Hawaiian Cacao just go shop here! I'll be back to post more stories and adventures in cacao and cacao making (and chocolate making) here at least monthly! Until then, read our other posts all by the same author -- Ethan, the owner of Island Sharks.
Aloha and thanks for reading!