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A Perfect Pair! Cacao & Tarot

Elevate Your Intuition: Pairing Ceremonial Cacao with Tarot

For many, our daily tarot practice consists of a simple shuffle and draw with a specific question or theme in mind. But do you sometimes crave more? If so, the heart-opening benefits of ceremonial Cacao may be what you’ve been seeking. Here's how to work with A Perfect Pair! Cacao & Tarot.

A teapot and mug of cacao resting on two felled tree branches

Pairing tarot with ceremonial Cacao can elevate your tarot experience by enhancing your intuition. In turn, this deepens your connection to both tarot and self, bringing overall enrichment to your practice. This sacred partnership invites you to open your heart, connect with your inner wisdom, and embrace the healing and nuturing of Cacao.

A red Cacao pod on a Cacao tree

What is Ceremonial Cacao?

Ceremonial Cacao is a pure form of chocolate used for thousands of years in spiritual and medicinal ceremonies by the indigenous peoples of Central and South America. Unlike processed chocolate, ceremonial Cacao is minimally processed to retain its natural properties, including its bitter flavour and nutrient density. It comes from the Theobroma tree, whose name is derived from the Greeks and means ‘Food of the Gods’. The seeds—Cacao beans—are used to make chocolate liquor, Cacao solids, Cacao butter, Cacao powder, and following heavy processing, the chocolate and cocoa sold widely around the world.

The main difference between Cacao and cocoa is in the processing. The cocoa used in everyday chocolate products is heated to a high temperature which strips out all the nutritional benefits. It also goes through a defatting process before sugar and oil are added, resulting in a chocolate that’s a far cry from its original form.

To benefit from the many healing aspects of Cacao, we need to use it in its purest form: Ceremonial or Heirloom grade.

a green cacao pod on a cacao tree

Where does Cacao originate from?

Ceremonial Cacao primarily comes from regions in Central and South America, particularly Peru, Guatemala, and Ecuador. The indigenous people have cultivated Cacao for centuries, not only as a food source but as a sacred plant used in rituals and ceremonies. Increased interest in Cacao has resulted in the cultivation of many Theobroma varieties beyond Central and South America, including Asia and Africa.

What is the Power of Ceremonial Cacao?

Ceremonial Cacao is revered as a heart-opening medicine. It contains theobromine, a gentle stimulant that increases blood flow to the brain and heart, enhancing focus and clarity. Cacao also stimulates the production of serotonin and endorphins, promoting a sense of well-being and joy.

The Mayan Goddess IxCacao is known for being a compassionate goddess associated with fertility, harvest, abundance, and of course, Cacao. She is known by many names, most commonly, Mama Cacao and the Spirit of Cacao, but is also referred to as Pachamama, which translates to World Mother, or Earth Mother.

Mama Cacao is present in every sip of heart-warming Cacao, so meditating with and on her, helps to form a deeper connection with her wise, gentle, healing energy. In Shamanism, every plant possesses a soul, so it is said that when we drink Cacao, we embody Mama Cacao's energy and open a sacred space where we can converse with her.

What are the benefits of drinking Cacao?

Cacao gently shifts our consciousness and encourages a more open and vibrant view of the world. When we take time to be still and move within, we often hear the quiet messages drowned out by our busy lives. With Cacao, this connection is amplified. Many experience waves of pure, unconditional love when drinking Cacao, and when taken in stronger doses for practices such as ecstatic dance, the effect is euphoric.

At lower doses, the chemicals within Cacao promote rest and recovery of our nervous system. Cacao lifts our mood, boosts our energy, and delivers exceptional nutrition, truly balancing mind, body, and spirit!

pouring cacao from a white jug into a white mug

Here’s a brief breakdown of Cacao’s medicine power:

Mood Enhancement: Boosts serotonin and endorphin levels.

Heart Health: Theobromine and flavonoids improve cardiovascular health.

Antioxidant Rich: High in antioxidants that combat free radicals.

Mental Clarity: Enhances focus and cognitive function.

Nutrient Dense: Packed with essential minerals like magnesium, iron, and potassium.

It takes approximately 20 minutes to feel the effects of Cacao, so I would recommend setting aside at least half an hour for ritual or meditation. Please also note that smaller doses of Cacao should be used in the following circumstances:

If pregnant or breastfeeding

High blood pressure / Heart disease / Glaucoma

Use of antidepressants containing serotonin

Liver sensitivity

If you are unsure if Cacao is safe for you to consume, please consult with your doctor.

It is also important to drink plenty of water before and after consuming Cacao as it has an astringency effect on the body. Some people are more senstive to stimulants than others. I personally drink a dose between 15 – 18g as any higher and I feel anxious and headachy. Cacao is best consumed early in the day and on an empty stomach. Daily long-term consumption is not recommended, so take regular breaks, especially if you experience any sensitivity.

Dosage Guidance:

If you’re new to Cacao, begin with a gentle 10g dose

For sensitive or long-term Cacao drinkers: 11 – 20g

For meditation or to assist with creativity: Up to 28g

For ecstatic dance, active yoga or gym workouts: Up to 34g

Ceremonial dose 42g

tarot cards and a tarot journal

Integrating Cacao into Your Tarot Practice

When you combine ceremonial Cacao with tarot, you create a ritual that amplifies your intuitive abilities and deepens your connection to the cards. It’s also a signal to your body that it’s time to relax and go within. Here are the steps to follow:

1: Set Your Intention

Before preparing your Cacao, set a clear intention for your tarot reading. This could be gaining clarity on a specific issue, seeking guidance, connecting with your higher self or Spirit Team, or simply sliding into a space of peace.

2: Prepare a Sacred Space

Use a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. Light candles, burn incense, and play soft music to create a calming atmosphere.

3: Prepare & Drink Mindfully

Prepare your Cacao with positive and mindful intent. Avoid dashing about with other tasks as you wait for the water to heat. Instead, be present. Once you’re ready to drink, sip your Cacao slowly, savouring its rich flavour. Focus on opening your heart and mind, allowing the Cacao to guide you into a meditative state.

4: Shuffle and Draw

When you’re ready, shuffle your tarot deck while focusing on your intention. Draw the cards that call to you, trusting your intuition.

5: Meditate and Reflect

Spend time meditating on the cards you've drawn. Allow the Cacao to deepen your insights and connect you to the messages of the tarot. If it feels right, close your eyes and picture yourself inside the tarot card/s. Reflect on how the energy moves through your body.

6: Converse with Mama Cacao

Chat to Mama Cacao about the cards you’ve pulled. Perhaps she has further insight to share? Journal your experience! Over time, a theme may develop offering further guidance.

Here are some sample questions to ask during your Cacao journey:

What do I need to know about my current path?

How can I open my heart to greater love and compassion?

What message does my higher self have for me today?

What blocks or challenges am I currently facing, and how can I overcome them?

How can I better align with my true purpose?

What steps can I take to enhance my spiritual growth?

chopped cacao
Cacao comes in a block form, known as 'paste' or loosely chopped

Where to Buy Ceremonial Cacao

To ensure you’re purchasing genuine Ceremonial Cacao, and from a reputable source, do your research! Ensure the company you’re buying from has a relationship with their supplier and the entire process is ethical. To avoid buying from companies engaging in child labour, child slavery, abduction, and any other unlawful practices, ensure your Cacao products are Ethically Sourced, Organic, GMO & Chemical Free, and come from biodiverse farms where companies are socially responsible and have cooperative arrangements with local farmers.

In Ireland, I purchase my Cacao from Magic Earth Cacao (no affiliation).

a copper saucepan

How to Prepare Ceremonial Cacao

Remember to choose the dosage best suited to your particular needs and sensitivity.

  • If your Cacao comes in a block, slice off the amount required.

  • Gently heat water in a saucepan. Do not allow the water to boil as this will take all the nutrients from the Cacao.

  • You can add the Cacao (and optional extras) to the water in the pan, or place the Cacao (and extras) in your cup and add the water to it.

  • Optional additions are sweetener, such as Agave or Maple syrup, and spices such as cinnamon, cayenne, chilli, or vanilla. Dairy is not recommended as it is claimed to block the effects of Cacao.

  • Blend with a whisk or frother to get a light, frothy consistency.

Practice mindfulness as you prepare. Reflect on your intention, and give thanks for the gift of Cacao. As you prepare to take your first sip, offer health and blessings to the hands that have brought the Cacao to you. Welcome Mama Cacao and whisper your intention into your Cacao. Then, relax, sip, and enjoy the journey!

Pairing ceremonial Cacao with tarot is a beautiful way to enhance your spiritual practice. The heart-opening properties of this sacred plant medicine, combined with the intuitive guidance of tarot, create a powerful synergy that can lead to profound insights and a deeper connection with your inner self. Embrace the ritual with an open heart and mind, and let the magic of Cacao and tarot guide you on your journey.

Do you use Cacao? I’d love to hear about your experiences with it.

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