After sharing photos of my morning rituals on Instagram, people started asking lots of questions.
Then, Business Insider referenced me in an article about how Cacao was a new SF fad, without my prior knowledge. As I read through the article full of misinformation I knew I had to speak up. I couldn't let people learn about this plant spirit that has brought so much to my life from a misinformed article.
Then I started receiving questions from people trying to make ceremonial cacao using cacao powder from the bulk section at Whole Foods.
I had to do something. But I didn't know what.
I went to a Redwood grove near my house and took 7 Cacao wafers with me.
I laid down on a picnic table and started writing.
I received my whole business, including my online course, in 30 minutes.
I attribute my work completely to the healing work I've done with plants, the teachers, guides, peers and Elders along the way, the guidance of the Cacao spirit, and the wisdom of the Redwoods.
I have so much honor and respect for this medicine. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share it with you.
My relationship with cacao is deeply personal, and I am mostly self-taught. While cacao grows near the equator around the world, Mesoamerican cultures have a history of working with cacao in ceremonial contexts going back ~4,000 years. I am not an indigenous carrier of this medicine, and it is important to bring awareness to and honor the Maya people, and the other indigenous tribes from Mexico, Belize, Ecuador, Peru and more that have nurtured and protected this medicine for centuries.
My intention for sharing cacao in this way is to 1) follow the guidance from the Cacao spirit in wanting to reach more people and bring us back into a heart-centered, balanced way of life 2) educate people around sustainable high quality sources so we are collectively supporting small family farms using permaculture principles instead of industrial farms that are raping the land and disrespecting and displacing farmers in developing countries and 3) complete the circle by returning a portion of my profits to indigenous people working with Cacao, and investing in projects that support Mother Earth.
I first discovered Cacao in 2015 in Troncones, Mexico in a cacao ceremony led by Kula Collective. That ceremony changed my life. I sought out other cacao ceremonies back in the states (there weren't many) and started working with cacao on my own shortly after.
Cacao has a magnetic quality to her, and soon I was sharing cacao ceremonies at my home and for women's circles with my friend.
I later went to Peru to complete a 300 hour yoga teacher training with Kula Collective where I continued learning about Cacao and focused on other healing plants such as Ayahuasca, Wachuma, and Tobacco / Mapacho.
As I continued traveling I would seek out ceremonies, and make connections with the best ceremonial cacao available in a place. I spent time in Costa Rica where my 2 hour morning ceremonies on the beach became a staple time for me to commune with Cacao, and that is when I started sharing more about her magical heart medicine online. I also found a beautiful permaculture cacao project focused on restoring the Costa Rican jungle called Enamorado Cacao, and invested some of the last bits of my savings into becoming a shareholder. I also learned from a beautiful cacao alchemist named Ancel on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
In 2018 I spent a month in Guatemala, where I joined many ceremonies, (including sitting on Keith's infamous porch) went to Cacao Convergence and lived on an agroforestry cacao farm for 5 days, and stayed with 2 K'iche Elders, Nana Marina and Tata Pedro, to learn about Cacao, Tobacco & Fire ceremony.
In the midst of all of this, I've been called out for cultural appropriation which has led me to a deep study of my own roots, and an untangling of what my work is, why I'm doing it, and where I have caused harm. This is a perfect example of Cacao's earth medicine. She's guiding me back to my own roots, and helping me strengthen my inner knowing and connection with my own heart. I'm grateful to have the clarity that this medicine is helping me connect to the Divine Mother, through my matrilineal Mexican line (you can see more about my identities here). I continue to work on unpacking my privilege, with the intention of doing this work in a good way, so that we can continue to open our hearts, and remember why we are here.