Ceremonial cacao or ceremonial-grade cacao is a 100% pure cacao-bean paste that contains a much higher quantity of beneficial, health-restoring, and mood-elevating compounds than any other cacao-based product on the market (like cacao powder, non-ceremonial cacao paste, dark chocolate, etc). The word “cacao” comes from the Mayan words “Ka’kau” meaning “heart blood,” and “Chokola’j” meaning “to drink together.” This blood connection comes from the belief that the Mayan gods bled onto the cacao pods, and cacao was considered one of the ingredients used to create humanity. It was also believed that the gods gifted cacao to the people directly. The scientific genus name for cacao is theobroma, which translates to “Food of the Gods,” and the Maya believed that cacao was a key ingredient in restoring balance and connection to the divine.
Benefits of Cacao
Cacao is a heart opener. Cacao allows for a deeper connection to self and others.
It can accelerate inner transformation and spiritual awakening. It is useful for meditation, inner processing work and shamanic journey. It allows the space to discover the feeling of unconditional love.
Cacao provides many nutrients and minerals.
It is high in magnesium, chromium, copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc, sulfur, iron, and phosphorus. It is known to lower blood pressure and improve blood flow.
Cacao can provide mood enhancing effects.
It increases serotonin & dopamine. It can bring in the feeling of joy, calmness, and bliss. It can provide a positive ourlook, releave and help prevent stress and increase motivation and confidence.
Cacao is a powerful medicine that can release stuck energy.
It is helpful in decreasing fear, uncertainty, doubt, and provide opportunity to acknowledge and release difficult/trapped emotions as well as mental limitation.
Cacao ceremonies are helpful for getting clarity, setting intentions, and doing healing work & inner-processing. Being in a sacred space helps you get out of your normal frame of mind, allowing you to experience new insights & perspectives. Depending on the intention of the ceremony they can also be wonderful places to connect with people in a safe, open-hearted environment. Sharing cacao brings us into the same energetic frequency. This often results in deeper more intimate connection with ourselves and each other.
Things to know
Cacao is beautiful and powerful medicine. Due to the current constant availability of chocolate, one may underestimate Cacao's power. Most chocolate contains a small percentage of industrially processed Cacao. Ceremonial Cacao is made of the whole bean and is much more potent. Cacao has psychoactive but no psychedelic properties. Compared to other medicinal plants, Cacao opens the layers of consciousness in a gentle, loving way and ties together what may have been disconnected; on a physical, emotional or spiritual level. Not everyones experience will be the same in a Cacao Ceremony. Cacao can be uplifting, healing, nostalgic, and may also bring an emotional release. Be gentle with yourself, respectful towards the Spirit. Cacao is meant to be drank with intention. Cacao is a diuretic and additionally helps to detoxify the body. Water (before and after) is essential to keep the energy flowing, also drink water if you feel a slight headache or slightly nauseous shortly after drinking cacao. Ceremonial Cacao is not FDA certified.
To have a more pure experience, it is encouraged to refrain from drinking any caffeine or eating food at least 2 hours before a cacao ceremony.
Cacao should not be mixed with recreational drugs as the effects of the combination are unknown and cannot be controlled. Please respect this sacred medicine. Cacao contains various compounds, including theobromine and caffeine, which can interact with certain medications, including antidepressants that are under the category of Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs. If you’re on medication, please send me an email, text, or call.
Ceremonial doses of Cacao are not recommended for those:
on antidepressants (cacao contains MAO inhibitors)
has a serious heart condition
has very high blood pressure or suffers epilepsy
Please speak to your doctor if you consider taking ceremonial doses of Cacao in any of these cases. Raw Cacao contains Histamine. Pregnant women should take smaller amounts.
Where we source our cacao from?
My partner Paul and I have had the incredible impact of receiving cacao from various places including Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua. In previous ceremonies we have used cacao from Ecuador and Costa Rica. We had a beautiful connection with the cacao from Costa Rica and the tribes that have blessed us to share this medicine with you all. The Toltecs, Mayans, Aztecs, and Olmecs all believed that cacao was the key to creating humanity. When I hear this I believe that cacao is a tool to help us come to unity with the duality that we believe exists in this world. To have more compassion for all that exists. Each medicine from the different regions have served in such a beautiful way and we are looking forward to continue bringing in cacao from various parts of the world we connect too. The most recent cacao we will be using comes from the north of Nicuragua in Matagalpa.
I attended a Cacao Ceremony facilitated by Madleen and it was a very special experience! She attracts participants who have a lovely energy because her own lovely spirit comes through in all her offerings. I recommend attending any of Madleen’s events that you can because each one is sure to give you a lift and lighten your heart, your load, and your soul.
-Erin G, RP III. RMT, HeartMath Mentor
Wow. My heart is SO FULL and I am SO IMPRESSED WITH MADLEEN AND PAUL. The music, the guided movement, the different parts of the workshop.. it was very clear that this experience was crafted with so much love and intention.
-Alcy, Private Chef
After experiencing a car accident the night prior, I knew coming to this event would be the medicine I needed to feel safe in my body again. Walking in to the space you immediately feel held and supported by soft lighting, genuine smiles, and deep breaths. You can let your guard down. The cacao was incredibly delicious, relaxing and allowed me to sink into where my body needed extra love. I felt invited to join in the breath work, movement, and music at the exact flow and pace I needed. The way the whole experience was intuitively curated was incredibly soothing and inspiring. Afterward, the room of people were beaming with peaceful presence. Hugs, laughs, smiles, offerings, and stories were shared as we shuffled our way out the door. Paul and Madleen have a great gift in gathering, supporting, creating magic and showering people with the love we all crave.
-Rachel H, Property Manager
This event was absolutely amazing!! We have been to a few cacao ceremonies before in FL, but this blew us away. The music was absolutely incredible and the ceremony, poetry, and all the little details made this a fun, warm, & inviting space and was just what we needed. I loved the community aspect where everyone was able to share about their experience too. Thank you for making this such a wonderful ceremony!! We will definitely be attending another cacao ceremony!! ☺️
-Andrea R. Business Owner, Reiki Practitioner
Madleen’s events are so much fun!! I always try to attend when I’m available!!
-Tom K, Software Architect
How to Integrate After CeremonY
If you aren't already involved in a community, I invite you to find places where you are able to express yourself in a safe way. Whether that is singing, through yoga, in dance, or drumming there are many different spaces and places to do so If you are looking for a place to do any of these thing, I am happy to suggest you to community pages and places where you can stay up to date with what is going on out there.
Journaling or writing is a great place where we can transmute any of our thoughts or aha moments into.
Dancing, Singing, Movement.
If you feel stuck in your body, I invite you to put on your favorite jams and dance and sing! There is no right or wrong way to do it because it is an expression from your soul! <3
For my Madison, Wisconsin folks, Here are some links to groups to stay up to date with events in the Madison area for singing, dancing, and. yoga.
Just like the cacao tree needs a lot of water to stay hydrated to share the heart medicine, so do you! Maybe whisper an intention into your water as you drink it in the morning to start your day or any part throughout your day.
Madleen's Cacao Journey
Madleen's passion for serving cacao and hosting Cacao Ceremonies developed after seeing the impact it made on her through generational and trauma healing. It has inspired her to feel compassion, forgiveness and love for herself and others. She believes her mission on earth is to inspire those around her to express their authentic self and believes cacao and yoga are wonderful tools in allowing the space and vulnerability in doing so. She loves incorporating breathwork, yoga and cacao together as they help us open up and align with the physical and energetic chakra system in the body. Madleen looks forward to connecting to one another into the same energetic frequency through the wisdom of cacao, breath and yoga practice.