The Ancient Elixir for the Heart

I was seduced in the jungles of Costa Rica.

And it’s probably not what you think.

I remember the first time I tasted her smooth, rich flavor.

I had never been with her before, but still - she reminded me of home.

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Photo by our resident photographer Miranda Guzman. To check out her stunning work, click here

When I first met the medicine of cacao in ceremony, I knew that life wouldn’t be the same.

What I didn’t know, is that this plant would guide me on a journey through the sacred lands of the Americas and play an instrumental part in meeting Doña Maria Carmen, my beloved teacher. 

In our modern, colonial, patriarchal world we are taught surface-level living. We say a quick hello and then, we move on. We read the headline of a story, then skim to the next page. We live on the surface where we can stay comfortable. We coast through life, and many of us successfully remain unattached, unaffected, and unchanged.

Our current mainstream understanding of plants is no different. We see them only at the surface level. We are so attached to enjoying their body, we miss the energetic essence of who they ACTUALLY are.  

Plants are far more than just their phytochemicals. They offer more than just vitamins, enzymes, and minerals. 

Infused within each plant is a unique medicine, a spirit. Yes, that’s right - I am proposing (although I have no doubt in my heart) that plants are sentient, spiritual, absolutely precious beings. 

I remember when I first started reading Terence Mckenna, an American ethnobotanist who opened deeply studied the world of psychedelic plants. One line that he wrote will always stay with me and ring through my being - 

“Avoid Gurus, follow plants.” 

And so, I did.

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Photo from one of our sacred womben’s intensives in Costa Rica.

I first met the teacher of cacao in ceremony in Costa Rica. Her medicine was dark, sultry, and invited me to dive deeper into the medicine of my own heart. 

All throughout Mexico and Central America, cacao is revered as a Goddess of fertility and abundance. She is worshipped for her ability to connect us back to the most authentic part of ourselves. When we work with cacao, we are reconnected to the magic, the openness - the Truth that exists within our heart.

When we are young, there is a kind of innocence to our play. We express ourselves gleefully, unashamedly. We are aware of our potential and believe wholeheartedly in the mystical Universe where all is possible. 

Yet, somewhere along the way - many of us lose ourselves. We are molded, shaped, and conditioned to hold in our joy - or situations arise that teach us that life is anything but joyful. 

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Cacao reconnects us with that which is inherently joyful in our being. She resurrects our inner child from the ashes and supports her maturation into a fully embodied human who leads life fearlessly from the heart. 

How many times in your life have you heard “listen to your heart” and felt absolutely dumbfounded by HOW to actually do that? 

Cacao is your teacher, listen to her. 

When we connect with a plant in ceremony, we work specifically with their spiritual essence. Many of us learn about plants in terms of how they can heal our physical body, but when we work with a plant in ceremony - we set the intention to heal the Soul, the being at the CORE of who you truly are.

Okay - enough talk. I want you to actually EXPERIENCE cacao so these teachings can come alive. Below I’ve included my favorite recipe that I use to connect with this powerful teacher. 

Medicinal Cacao Elixir 

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Ingredients

2 Teaspoons organic raw cacao powder

½ Teaspoon organic ceylon cinnamon 

½ Teaspoon dried organic roses (or 1 teaspoon fresh organic roses) 

1 Full cup of water 

½ Teaspoon of raw honey 

*Makes 1 serving 

Bring the water to a boil, then add the cacao powder and turn down the heat. Allow the cacao and cinnamon to the water and simmer for 2 - 4 minutes, or until you start smelling a rich, enticing smell from the water. Turn off the heat, add the roses and then cover with a lid as the medicines infuse into each other. Uncover the medicine and place a finger in the mixture to test the heat. Add raw honey only once the heat is bearable enough to keep your finger in the water for 10 seconds.

Raw honey, when heated - loses all of it’s medicinal properties and chemically changes to a high glycemic food.

Before you drink your medicine, take a few minutes to set an intention. 

Cacao won’t take you anywhere you’re not ready to go. 

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Caught in my most natural habitat, in a deep squat serving medicine for one of our womben’s intensives in Costa Rica.

She outstretches her hand and quietly whispers - ‘come my sister, the answer is this way.’ But YOU are the one who has to decide to take the first step. She shows you the path, you must initiate it. 

When an intention arrives, gently invite your cup of cacao to your face. Take three deep breaths and sense that the inhale is supporting your intention to grow. As you exhale, slowly blow your intention into your cup as a way of infusing it into your medicine. 

For the rest of your day, notice the physical sensations that arise in your body and pay close attention to your heart. Stay curious to your experience - everything that arises is here to teach you in some kind of way.