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My Cacao Ceremony Experience in Ecuador

**Updated** Ceremonial Cacao has been a backbone of my daily diet for over 8 (12) years. It is a DAILY ceremonial invocation for ones inner reflection with ones self. This author is also the owner of Island Sharks. As such, I am able to bring you (no longer) my own 'brewable', ceremonial cacao bar I always feature in my posts about #cacaoceremonies. It was inspired by my cacao ceremony experience in Ecuador in 2018. Now Island Sharks is offering wholesale and bulk ceremonial cacao paste for ceremonial cacao rituals using Hawaii grown chocolate. Its brand new and it comes in hunks of 1 or 3 pounds and, subscriptions are available!!!

Here is a story of how ceremonial cacao was further established as my daily ritual by immersing myself in indigenous medicine circles. Just as well, I got my Yoga Teacher Certificate for 300 + hours of Kaula Tantra Yoga, which is the oldest and original form of yoga in the world. Currently not teaching, but Durga's Tiger School, is the place to go to truly learn to live in ceremony, for the rest of your life. Thats being aware of the sacred Divine in everything. Are you already aware? of the Divine? Cacao will light the way inward.

The location in the mountains, of the cacao ceremony.
Ilalo Volcano in Ecuador where we held Ceremonia De Cacao

Ending first, with me alone, on a road, in the dark at 3000 feet near Quito, Ecuador. I couldn't see down. There was a sheer cliff along side the road I walked. I didn't sense danger, but was on the edge of the road. Here are the views during day light. I felt called to have gone to the #cacaoceremony despite the driving hazard and danger. I felt fear. Not the grips of deaths, but it was as if the universe itself had completely disappeared. The moon must have been new...

Over 3000 foot elevation view of Ecuador
3000 feet up for Ecuadorian an Cacao Ceremony

I had come from an innocuous altitude at about 500 feet below. Although Ecuador is coastal, where I was there was no ocean access. No, it was far away. I was near the cloud city. the capital, but all I could see was dark. The jungles were below. Everyone else was still below. The sun had already gone down. I now know the moon was gone that night too. Here are more day light views of where I was at night. Oh and there was no cell service. It was silent empty and I was all alone. Scared? I was more on edge, and ready to use my bad spanglish to defend me at any moment.

There is a dog in the foreground and a city in the background of Durgas Tiger School.
The Neighborhood Where we had Our Cacao Ceremony

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 anyway. 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 didn't drive. Unrevealed was that I didn't know anyone there either so I couldnt ask for a ride. After the event, and a shockingly pitch black wait in the woods, the cab home eventually came...I was taken back to my Durga's.

Burning away of karma at the cacao ceremony
An Offering at the Ceremonia De Cacao

Earlier, I had arrived by cab and jaunted down a long curvy driveway towards the event space. The structure was gorgeous and built by a couple giving off very safe vibes, the owners of the space. I said, "hola and aloha", to all the guests and settled into a spot I found. Looking around I saw and admiring the handmade wood work, I notice her - the host of the cacao ceremony. The community was kind and open and she was the one who brought us all together. She embodied all the vibes. She and I are both available to host cacao ceremonies currently in 2023. Daya, is in the UK. The author is US based and living in Hawaii. We were asked to meditate in silence to begin with and let our minds settle. Then, we went around and shared a bit about ourselves. I was excited to learn about everyone's very different background. UPDATE: Looking back on this session I can see now how it would inspire the cacao ceremonies this author would eventually host at The Portugal Spirit Festival, and in 7 different countries around the world. Now, no teaching or hosting is going on so if you want to learn what this author's cacao ceremonies were all about you still can. Read more about that here. Afterwards, we all did some movement then settled back down. Fully attentive now, the shaman began to speak of wisdom keepers, tribal ceremonies and ancient cultures. While speaking she lifted up her laddle and began serving the room temperature cacao beverage. We passed them around and all took time to set an intention before drinking. When the 1,200 or so flavors hit your palette, the eyes almost automatically closed. In silence we slowly consumed our delicious beverage until everyone was done. Other chemicals in chocolate are unknown!!! I wrote more about the ones we know here. Out of nowhere and with my eyes closed, I heard a voice that rang out in song. Chanting in spanish, a little guitar and some drums were all brought to the moment. They old songs in traditional tongue carried us for what seemed like hours. Some danced to the hand drums, while I just sat in appreciation toward everything. More prayers were said and everyone expressed their voices, desires and passions to the beat. It was moving. I would do it again in a heart beat. My prayers were answered. I was part of a loving wholesome community and it felt it went on into eternity. Blessings of joy and happiness rained on us we experienced the full medicinal and spiritual benefits of cacao. Here is the complete Cacao Master List. It has all our world's current data on psychoactive compounds in cacao. Look for the priestess/shaman on instagram @cacaoamor Thats where I found out about it.

Two Happy People at a Cacao Ceremony
The Author and @CacaoAmorTantra

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 and speaking spanish, a second language, began to feel like my first.

The host sits by the fire at the ceremony de cacao
@Cacaoamortantra sits in Front of the Fire

Meeting new people, in a new land, in a new language is hard enough without social anxiety and anti-social tendencies. I had nothing but the calling to be there and the purpose of being there to to find confidence. The host, also @cacaoamortantra on Instagram, did an exceptional job of keeping me comfortable while she guided us. She spoke English, but I asked to leave to the experience in Spanish. This 'ceremonia de cacao' would be my first but not last in Ecuador. As a host of cacao ceremonies also 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, Greece several other countries.

Practicing Ho'oponopono at a Cacao Ceremony
Myself Hosting a Cacao Ceremony in Portugal

The cacao ceremony in portugal
More of Hosting a Cacao Ceremony at the Portugal Spirt Festival

I let go of all expectations as a peer or colleague. I joined her cacao ceremony as a student or 'estudiante'. No other substances were consumed expect water and bliss was attained. That implies we drank only the cacao and it affected us.

A great place for ceremonia
A Cacao Ceremony near Durga's Tiger School

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 of new places, better. I learned to be pro-social (not anti-social) and share, with or without cacao.

The most important thing I learned, or realized, 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. Even chocolate is, or comes from a Nahuatl Indian word. Would you like to try one in English?

Cacao Ceremony in Ecuador
Tarot and Brewed Cacao in Ecuador

It felt so authentic to have a cacao ceremony in espaniol and in Ecuador! I have to say that although the cacao flavor was delicious, 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!

While I was in Ecuador it was discovered that the oldest cacao in the world actually comes from Ecuador. Previously it was thought that the Mayan's were the first to cultivate cacao. I was shocked and stunned that this revelation was discovered just miles from where I stayed in Ilalo, Ecuador at the time I was there! We now, in Hawai'i, make ceremonial cacao for an actual Mayan shaman. They can be found on Instagram @4manosy5volcanes_cacao where they teach and instruct 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 shaman. 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 cacao ceremony with again, some of our brewable bars of 100% Pure Hawaiian Cacao just go shop here! After traveling the world entering authentic cacao ceremonies and holding my own cacao ceremonies, I still continue my daily ritual. There are many companies making ceremonial cacao these days and more are to come. But to be some of the first people ever in human history to consume Hawai'i ceremonial cacao, I am proud. To bring a renaissance to the Hawaii chocolate industry requires omitting sugar and adding prayers. I am honored and humbled to be a part of this movement. I am grateful and continue to pray that everyone enjoys ceremonial cacao all over the world. I'll be back to post more stories and adventures in cacao and cacao making (and chocolate making) here at least monthly! Sign up to get the updates and discounts! Until then, read these with a cup of ceremonial cacao -- Ethan, the owner of Island Sharks.

Cacao Ceremonies at Durgas Tiger School
Tobacco Lifts Our Prayers At A Durga's Tiger School Ceremony

I don't typically write about prayers, but when I do, its from drinking ceremonial cacao. I'm drinking some Island Sharks Ceremonial Cacao while I write and edit this. It's so delicious. Of course from your own cacao ceremonies and chocolate rituals, moods will be lifted. If you would like to share your cacao ceremony experience or rituals I would love to listen. Feel free to share your journeys in the comments.




Awesome, I'm on my cacao journey in Ecuador now. I was meant to stay at the Yoga school too.

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