The Journey - pt 2: My first cacao ceremony

I've noticed myself getting caught up on where to start my journey. Google, where I worked for 5 years and experienced my awakening, seems like an obvious place. I get a lot of questions about what life was like there. My experiences there have informed a lot of who I am today. And yet, I find myself much more interested in starting with my first cacao ceremony at the moment. I guess because this was such a pivotal experience - this + my first yoga teacher training sparked a major shift in my being, and I see Google as a backdrop to which I compare my pre-awakened self to.

I also had some pretty intense experiences while at Google, which are challenging to write about at the moment. I plan to share about more later.

 This is the opening i wrote for an E-book I created (not yet published), which has been modified for this blog series.

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I sat down in the circle and immediately had a strange feeling; I've been here before.

I hadn't actually been there before. I was on vacation in a small town in Mexico, sitting down in a circle of mostly strangers for a Cacao ceremony. I had never heard of Cacao or participated in a shamanic ceremony before. My logical mind had no idea what to expect. Yet, as I sat there observing the Mesa prepared for the ceremony I felt intimately familiar with the ceremonial items. I knew somewhere deep within me that I'd sat in ceremonial circles hundreds, probably thousands of times before in my past lifetimes. I felt no apprehension of what was about to happen. I was completely comfortable – letting the Palo Santo waft over me, observing as the ceremonialists were cleansing the sacred crystals, calling in Spirit and creating the sacred space. I observed and relished in the familiarity I felt. I felt at home.

While drinking the delicious Cacao beverage, I couldn't stop grinning. The leader of the ceremony giggled as she informed me I had a Cacao mustache; I couldn't care less about what I looked like, I was already blissed out. As the Cacao coursed through my veins and the Icaros started my eyes closed and I submitted to the Spirit of the plant. My body started moving, circulating and twitching as years of pain and trauma unraveled within me. I started singing along with songs I'd never heard before, feeling the pulse of the circle's energy. My mind was quiet, I was not thinking, only experiencing. The tropical storm of hurricane Patricia thundered as the rattles shook around me and I flowed with the experience for the next couple of hours. There was no moment of worry, no moment of wondering when it would be over, or if I was doing the right thing. It just was, and it was beautiful. As I sat listening to the Icaros I felt my body twitching with releases, as if I was unraveling from the shape of who I was before. Stored pain, emotions and anxieties unknotted as the medicine coursed through my veins. My heart became one with the music. The pulse of the drum became my pulse.

After the ceremony there was a shift. I felt more confident and comfortable in my skin. I was more clear and more awake and more open. I was more connected with my body, my heart and Spirit.

My experience in that ceremony was a powerful one that would set me on a new path in life. Within the next 8 months I quit my job at Google, began leading Cacao ceremonies of my own, and journeyed deeper into plant medicine and shamanic practice. That first day with Cacao healed me, and broke down many toxic patterns and beliefs I had about how life worked and who I was. When I came home from that trip my roommate and best friend exclaimed, “Sena, your anxiety is gone.”

After that first ceremony I sought out Cacao in every way that I could. It didn't take long to see that Cacao was also seeking me. It was like two long lost friends reconnecting after a long separation. The depth and familiarity was instantaneous. The bond was still strong and continues to grow stronger.

Since my first ceremony I have seen Cacao awaken, heal, inspire and love everyone she's touched. Her gentle, supportive and yummy love medicine is again gaining popularity, as our world is in dire need of it.

Thank you for reading my story.

With love and Cacao blessings,

Sena