How to host your own cacao ceremony

The power of ritual ceremony for modern society: an ancient art of connection resurrected…

Rituals are a vital part of the human experience. No matter what our lineage, our ancestors all had ceremonial rituals and events to connect more deeply within and with one another in sacred community. Rituals can be powerful done alone as an active prayer and also can be a profound bonding experience for a group. This is an ancient art that has resurfaced over the last decade in the mainstream through many traditions and expressions of intent, and one of my personal favorites is through the cacao ceremony.

The ancient Cosmic Maya gifted us with cacao, the food of the gods, as a ritual plant medicine to use to connect more deeply within one’s soul, with one another, and to harmonize ourselves with our external reality experience. Whenever I have a cacao ceremony to share sacred space with my family, friends, or local community I always start by giving thanks to the Maya, for they have provided the entire world with its most beloved shamanic food; chocolate.

Offering a cacao ceremony is truly one of my favorite ways of sharing an organic tender experience with various communities. Cacao is a portal to our soul and higher self expressions. It has the power to both awaken passions, desires, and destinies buried deep in our subconscious as well as provide us with the inspiration/tools/resources/action steps to access them through self-love with an open heart.

Meet your facilitator, Mama Cacao

In the shamanic tradition we call the cacao energy Mama Cacao. Her spirit is a female plant entity of the most generous benevolence and magic. Mama Cacao is a gentle and blissful plant medicine facilitator here on Earth to encourage the ascension of humanity through the gifts of self-awareness and self-love. Ascension is the integration of all our aspects of being into love, gratitude, and peace. It is the highest ultimate destiny of each and every person to find peace and their unique higher calling by releasing their suffering. This is one of the many gifts of meditating in ceremony with Mama Cacao.

Cacao is a heart-opener to embody our higher self/soul. As the highest food source of magnesium it nourishes our physical heart, spiritual heart, brain/higher mind and entire nervous system. On a chemistry level, cacao regulates all our metabolic systems and stimulates the same portions of the brain as DMT, Ayahuasca, and Cannabis on a micro-dose level. What this means is that cacao is a safe meditative access to the deeper parts of our brain and soul that can be as profound a medicine journey as Ayahuasca, DMT, or Cannabis without the same amount of stress or time.

Your brain on bliss chemicals

Our brains already produce these chemical combinations naturally. DMT is made organically in our glandular system (Pineal, Hypothalamus, Hippocampus) as a result of consistent meditation practices. This is what leads to a lucid dream experience in waking reality after some time and dedication; you learn to become a conscious creator through your own mind and energy. Just ask the Buddhist monks who have so much DMT naturally in their brain that taking DMT as a hallucinogen does nothing to their consciousness; they are already there. Cacao is a mindful micro-dose of the various amino acids and chemicals which create DMT, PEA, and Anandamide, aka the bliss chemical. This bliss connects us to the higher realms within, the answers to the questions, the strength/courage/peace we seek. Whatever you need is already within and you may not have to go to extremes to find it.

Where I am going with this is that we can have a micro experience of our higher dimensional access points within ourselves through cacao and not have to commit to all that traditionally comes with the more hardcore medicine journeys. Unless you feel you have to, you just don’t have to go to these extremes to get the wisdom, as it is all within anyway. In the beginning of my seeking I used to be one of those people who needed a serious method to access higher consciousness, so I get it. I am sharing both sides here 😀

Mama Cacao IS a portal to all of these shamanic medicines, so the true power lies in your intention and authenticity to receive. Access the deeper or higher frequency guidance you seek by humbly asking. Sit quietly with a quiet mind, an open heart and listen.

How to host & share a cacao ceremony

First you will want to get some good cacao. It is all about intention to connect and appreciate. I sell cacao ceremony blends on the site because so many have asked for my formulas during ceremonies. I offer two different intentional formulas, one for receiving and peace, and one for courage and inspired action. Each pack has 10 servings, which is great if you want to do this as a regular practice by yourself or to share in a group too! Sugar free, dairy free, and blended with both Ayurvedic & Chinese herbs. You can check these out here

Set up a sacred space where you feel comfortable and will not be disturbed. Your ceremony can be any time of day that works for you where you will have a few moments to be still, be in the receptive mode and savor the experience. Some do this in the morning like a cup of coffee, others on special occasions or auspicious times like the moon cycles/major cosmic conjunctions with a circle of friends.

Have an intention for this experience. Do you have a question, are you feeling the need for inspiration, do you need some upliftment or strength? Use beautiful cups or mugs for this event. Make your environment beautiful with flowers, your favorite colors, crystals, photos of your favorite teachers/animal totems, relatives and so forth. Match the ambiance with your intention.

While you prepare the cacao, think about your intention, and feel gratitude and appreciation for this experience, for yourself, the cacao,etc. Be present for all the sounds here, it is all deeply symbolic. The lighting of the flame to warm up the liquid, the whisking or stirring, pouring it into cups. When we slow down we start to see the miracles in every nano-second.

Once your beverage is prepared head over to your space. Take a few deep breaths to really come into the present moment to give thanks for the opportunity. Give thanks to the Maya, connect with your guidance, ancestors and anyone or anything else you feel guided to connect with to empower yourself and open your heart. Once you feel your heart open, blow three exhales slowly towards the cup to breathe your gratitude and love into the beverage.

Drink the cacao and try to just observe the entire experience without overthinking or analyzing. Try to feel instead of think for this ritual. What does it taste like, how does your body feel, are you getting any messages in answer to your prayer, that kind of thing. Give yourself 10 minutes here at least.

Once done drinking you can close out this ritual with gratitude and a big smile. You may need to write notes down in your journal based upon your experience. Sometimes the answers come right away in the moment, sometimes they take a few days to filter down from your subconscious and higher mind into your conscious mind. Be open to how the messages may come: through others, animal totems, song lyrics on the radio, signs on front lawns, and more fun random ways that you are comfortable with.


Love, Merissa


Celtic Sea Salt for St. Patrick’s Day -honoring ancient Indo-European cultures

Today for Saint Patrick’s day I wanted to share how I pay tribute to the Celts. The Celtic people are a collection of ancient Indo-Europeans which includes the Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Bretons, Manx, Cornish, Gauls, and Gaelic tribes throughout history. For me personally, all holidays have a deeper meaning for us to explore ourselves and lives; an invitation to pause from daily schedules and media frenzied consumerism to reflect on history, simpler times, or some other deep nostalgia that can positively impact our lives here and now. Are we living on purpose? History becomes deep with a medicinal catharsis if we let it. By let I mean make the time for introspection and meditation. This timeline jumping to the past and back to the present moment to bring the teachings into the now is what can help us heal, forgive, learn, bridge, and evolve.

I always encourage people to explore their cultural roots as a joyous method for more self-discovery and empowerment. Oftentimes when we reflect back on the voyages, triumphs and hard times our ancestors not only endured but did so with the ultimate courage and self-reliance, it gives us some confidence, or genetic clout if you will to face another day when we feel overwhelmed or small.

One of my favorite ways to achieve a sense of connection to the past is through a directly activating experience, and it does not get more tangible than our food. Every chocolate I make by hand for Integrity Cacao is an invitation to activate a piece of your soul on a global and galactic level by connecting you to your heart, your soul’s truth, your heritage, and the earth herself based upon the formulas and where each ingredient comes from both culturally and geographically. Each raw vegan chocolate formula we offer contains very special, hand-selected ingredients that link us to our ancient heritage, re-ignite our lineages, initiate our own personal heroic journey, or invite us to explore others’ histories as well.

My Celtic Sea Salt organic raw vegan chocolate formula is kind of a big deal to me historically with my micro craft chocolate business, because it is actually the first chocolate I ever made when I just started playing around with cacao back in August of 2012. It is only three ingredients, and is still the most popular flavor, because as I always say, salty and sweet cannot be beat!

These 3 ingredients are the jungle-harvested organic Arriba National cacao from Ecuador, organic dark A maple syrup from Bascom maple farms in New Hampshire, and Celtic sea salt harvested the ancient way on the shores of the gorgeous beaches in Brittany, France. This Celtic sea salt is a raw living salt from the ocean, packed with incredible minerals, which is why I use it for this formula. It is so unprocessed that it is still damp from the sea, and is also the only doctor recommended sea salt. You can read more about this fabulous company, Salina Naturally here.

When I hired a graphic artist to help me design the posh packaging for retail, I had to sit and think for a minute. What does Celtic mean to me? My heritage is a combination of French, Sicilian, Welsh, and a dash of German. I have always been very enchanted with the history and culture of the ancient Celts. Their art, music, myths, languages, stone henge, Merlin, I could go on forever. I resonate strongly with the Druids of old, with their mythology and lore, their earth magic practices and reverence for the natural world, the faeiries and will-o-the-wisps, mermaids, poetry and the bards, yeah like I said I can go on forever with this tangent due to the immense passion I hold for my ancestors, my own roots.

So, I had to sit there for a good minute and ponder how to pay homage to this vast mystical culture that has been mysteriously under our noses for thousands of years aside from movies and comics. How can I honor them with one visual? Then it hit me. The Triskele. Three spirals connected together in the center with a triangle in their middle, continually flowing forward like a wheel. While the spiral as a symbol is a wonderful rabbit hole one could get lost in for months exploring all cultures’ sacred spiral symbolism -and I highly recommend it as a subject to get lost in- this one symbol of three interconnected spirals, the Triskele, is where we will stay today. This is a symbol that I first discovered while in France at the Ile de San Michel with my mom, and she bought me a Triskele pendant, introducing me to the lore of it and its philosophical significance. I wish to paint you a small verbal portrait of the energy of this place in France, as it IS the resonant blueprint for this chocolate formula and how I came to make it. I was overcome with the magic of this topsy turvy island/mountain/city whose access is cut off part-time with quicksand. You can only visit and depart this world with the timing of the tides. The cobble stones, bustling locals, restaurateurs and merchants remind one of Diagon Alley. Not to mention the massive golden statue of Saint Michael slaying a dragon at the very top of this amazing archaic mountain which dwarfs the whole isle. It’s truly a portal to another time where I expected to see Merlin pop out at any moment.

Anyhoo back to the chocolate. I chose the Triskele, also known as the Triskelion or triple spiral for the Celtic Sea Salt packaging to pay tribute to this ancient symbol which has been so beloved by the Celtics since the dawning of their culture, dating back to the Neolithic era of old Ireland. The Triskele represents many things to many people, depending upon the time and culture that was dominating that era. To me, it represents the original trinity of the old ways: the father-mother-child cycles in nature. I also particularly resonate with these other triple or trinity philosophy perceptions that are prevalent in many cultures: the life-death-rebirth cycle we witness in shamanism, and our generations, spirit-mind-body that we are learning to unify now, and past-present-future circular time that we are learning to work with now as a multidimensional reality.

To me, this symbol helps us to remember and activate within our highest potentials as we are tested sometimes daily, and yet carry on forward with courage and authenticity each day in our lives, despite all of our roles and responsibilities. I feel so strongly about this that I asked my mom, who is an amazing artist, to make me a custom power piece with the Triskele for me to wear when I need some empowerment whilst out in the big world. You can see a photo of this awesome statement piece below here:

The Triskele is a visual guide on a subconscious level, a gentle nudge forward to keep intending and thus achieving understanding and fulfillment. It is also a reminder of the conscious participation we can have in our daily lives by allowing and choosing mindfully to respond with ability, pure love, and compassion to anything that can be perceived as an obstacle or a psychological trigger.

So, long story short, this is why I chose the Triskele to be the symbol on my packaging in stores for the Celtic Sea Salt formula. Companies all over the world use symbols in their branding, so my intention with my formulas and their retail packaging is to do my part to represent a visual art activation that can help someone on their journey. I take it to a much deeper, multidimensional level than just branding. The formulas are meant to activate, and thus so is the artwork. The idea behind the power of symbols upon the subconscious is that when a person sees a symbol, it activates something in their awareness. This activation is entirely up the individual and no experience is the same from person to person.

Whether an inspiration, a memory, a dream long forgotten, or a desire that was subconsciously repressed, the cacao and the powerful ancient symbols I use in my conscious business are all tools to help folks raise their conscious awareness. We are all much more than we thought before.

Have a happy and safe Saint Patrick’s Day! Enjoy your roots.