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Perth’s original Cacao Ceremony has been running continuously since 2010
Willow and Catherine Francis have been working with plant medicines in ceremony together since they met in 2008. They first worked with Cacao in this context in Guatemala in December 2010 and have been holding regular Ceremonies with Cacao ever since, with the intention of supporting individuals to re-connect with their heart, their core values and to be still whilst in a circle of others doing the same.
A beautiful drink made from the fermented and dried seeds of the fruit of the incredible Theobroma Cacao tree (the source of all chocolate) is what we consume in the ceremony. The chemical constituents of cacao support concentration and focus, a sense of wellbeing, relaxation, a connection to the senses, personal insight and an authentic communion with one’s own heart and heart’s intelligence.
We incorporate a blend of leading edge brainwave synchronizing technologies including sound engineering from The Monroe Institute (Spacial Angle Modulation) and IAwake Technologies as well alpha, theta and delta synchronizing frequencies.
All to assist the brain to slow down to the deeper rhythms normally only accessible to those very experienced in meditation or trance work.
When the brain rhythms start to slow, down our awareness shifts and we become more open to perceiving life in a different way. Many experience enhanced creativity, inspiration, self-reflection, self-healing and deep relaxation with the support of the sound technology.
Time stills in these altered states and we can become more present, relating to ourselves anew.
Combining this technology with evocative and eclectic music and singing, including soaring female vocals, overtone singing, wide ambient soundscapes and traditional indigenous music, we are able to facilitate a unique and powerful inner journey.
Ceremony adds richness, connection, depth and meaning to our experience of life. It is a label that describes a concentration of intent and attention where we consciously create richer moments.
“Ceremony is more beneficial for human continuity than any machine or technological development” Thomas Moore
Q: What is Cacao?
A: Cacao is the seed from the fruit of the Theobroma Cacao tree, native to Central and South America. This is the chocolate bean. Most chocolate though is highly processed, cooked and with many other ingredients added, and so loses much of it’s therapeutic affect.
Q: What is involved in the Ceremony?
A: When you arrive, we will help you settle in and you will immediately notice that the space has been meticulously prepared for something special – it is pristine, beautiful and still.
We will talk you through how the afternoon will unfold and give you some suggestions for navigating your journey. You will always have access to support or to ask questions at any time.
Over the afternoon we then utilise the cacaos, gently supportive processes to assist you to still your mind and connect with your heart as well as the brain balancing music technology and a beautiful eclectic soundscape.
We respect your timeframes and will be supporting the ceremony throughout
Q: What is in the Cacao Drink?
A: The drink is specifically prepared for the ceremony from the Guatemalan recipe we were trained to serve. It contains a special raw cacao paste, raw cold-pressed organic dark agave nectar (a natural low GI sweetener from the agave succulent), a small amount of organic panella (unrefined whole cane sugar), organic vanilla bean powder and a pinch of chilli.
* We work with Organic Raw Criollo Cacao Paste – the cacao beans are hand picked and then milled very finely but not roasted or processed in any other way
Q: Is there any caffeine in Cacao?
A: There is no caffeine in Cacao. There is an alkaloid called theobromine, which has a similar chemical structure, and has been mistaken for caffeine in the past. Theobromine is a very mildly stimulating cousin of caffeine and does not have the intensity or jitteriness of caffeine
Q: How do I best prepare?
A: Ideally you need to be able to allow yourself a gentle evening after the ceremony – some people have very deep experiences (e.g. don’t book to go to a 3 year old birthday party straight after the event)
You will need to limit caffeine and avoid chocolate on the day and ideally alcohol and rich foods the night before.
If any of the below apply to you, you will need to let us know before the ceremony so we can adjust the amount of cacao for you.
Q: Do I need any meditation experience?
A: No formal experience of meditation is necessary, just an earnest desire to stop and look within. We have a very supportive sound technology that slows the brain wave patterns to support a movement into a more relaxed meditative state, though if you are an experienced meditator of any level you will find you can really have a very deep experience in the Cacao Ceremony. We offer some suggestions for navigating the ceremony based on our experience, as well as a short guided meditation towards the beginning to support all participants to settle into the afternoon.