We already had some beginnings in talks about ceremonial cacao in the recent chocolate love blessing group ritual:
There are many lovely experiences over in the group ritual thread, so I recommend giving it a browse. But do bear in mind that it resides within A Sacred Space, so you will need to be logged in to view it.
To begin with, let’s have a look at what ceremonial cacao is.
@CelestiaMoon found some information on what kind of cacao is needed:
It is pure cacao-bean paste: Ceremonial cacao or ceremonial-grade cacao, as it is also known, is a very specific type of product. It’s 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).
It is made from high-quality Criollo cacao beans: Ceremonial-grade cacao paste contains a much higher quantity of beneficial compounds because it is made from a specific variety of cacao bean— the pure Criollo (“kri-o-yo”) bean.
It is minimally processed through traditional production means: The ceremonial-grade Criollo cacao paste is also made in a very specific way. In comparison to the more widely-available and well known cacao-based products, such as cacao powder and dark chocolate, pure ceremonial cacao paste is minimally processed through traditional production means that originated in Mayan and Olmec civilizations (where the tradition of using cacao in a ceremonial way started)
None or minimal amounts of sugars are added: Most cacao-based products like dark chocolate or cocoa have at least a 30% sugar content (even if they are labeled as “low-sugar”). When consumed, that sugar content gives rise to sudden spikes in blood sugar levels which cause a “sugar high” that masks (or overpowers) the heart-warming sensations the pure Criollo cacao paste brings about.
It is organic: In addition to the fact that ceremonial cacao should be minimally processed, it should also be organic. An important part of ceremony is that we are using pure cacao as a tool to heal and connect with our bodies. The ingestion of cacao grown through the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, and genetic modification is potentially harmful for us, and therefore, unfit for ceremonial use.
Anyway, since group rituals eventually close, I thought it would be nice to continue the conversation and adventures here.