EDITION NO. 4 · May 2021
IN CEREMONY NO. 04 · TABLE OF CONTENTS
01 CACAO MAMA'S MIDWIvES
02 HONOURING BIRTH, FERTILITY, CREATIVITY
03 THE PORTAL OF BELTANE
04 From Seed to Bean
05 FERTILITY & Rain CEREMONIES
06 CACAO IN RITES OF PASSAGE
07 Cacao & Pregnancy
08 The Goddess IxCacao
09 Beltane EMBODIED RITUAL
10 Cacao & CREATIVITY
Cacao Mama's Midwives
Text by SERAP Kara · Picture by Grit Siwonia
I was 'pregnant' with Cacao Mama for three years. This time would not have been possible without the support of midwives. Brothers and sisters who believed in me and the Cacao medicine. The one closest to my heart was Christine, a medicine woman. She held my hand during 'labour', witnessed my rite of passage and handed me the name Cacao Mama in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Unaware of the ancient custom that Cacao is a part of the exchange between mother and midwife, I balanced Christine's services with Cacao. She accepted, although she was sensitive to eating or drinking it; but she loved the energy and presence.
Another important midwife was my spiritual teacher Mari Nil. She said: 'You have a deep friendship with Mother Earth and you have agreed that you will take one sacred resource and medicine that Earth has given and bring it to a new time. Cacao is this sacred medicine. With Cacao Mama, you're creating a midwife that will assist you in the transition. By doing so, you too will enter this new vibration. This is the agreement between Pachamama, Cacao and you.'
With this in mind, we dreamed Cacao Mama into being; a feminine force who would reconnect hearts, roots, and cosmic connections. Now that major cycles change, we're blessing the global transition and calling in Cacao's original medicine and commit to be in service.
People around the world are now able to channel Cacao Mama's energy, and some feel inspired to call themselves Cacao Mama also. Cacao Mama calls you to anchor a loving and heart-centred consciousness rooted in the divine origins in this sacred time and sacred space.
HONOURING FERTILITY, Birth AND ALL ASPECTS OF CREATIVITY
TEXT by SERAP Kara · ILLUSTRATION by ALEXIS ARONSON FOR CACAO MAMA
In the Northern hemisphere, we've entered the portal of Beltane, the Celtic seasonal celebration that marks the beginning of 'the summer half of the year'. At Beltane, we gather to celebrate the union of the divine masculine and the feminine that creates fertility and abundance.
Throughout history, the spirit of Cacao has been associated with fertility, motherhood and abundance. Until today, Cacao is being offered in major rites of passage and ceremonies intended to awaken the fertility of the land.
We dedicate this edition to the Cacao Mother, fertility, birth, midwifery and all aspects of creativity. May we together weave a connected global culture into being. May we be guided by Spirit.
THE PORTAL OF BELTANE
Text by Lena Brandt · Pictures by THE UNSPLASH COMMUNITY
At the end of April, we are reaching the seasonal cross-quarter between Spring Equinox and Summer Solstice to celebrate Beltane here in the northern hemisphere. Beltane is one of the most important festivals of the Celtic wheel of the year and is primarily dedicated to fertility, the boundless growth and free unfolding of nature, sensuality, passion, and the pure joy for life.
In the traditional pagan calculation, Beltane falls on either the 5th Full Moon after Yule or the 2nd Full Moon after Ostara. So there’s no specific date following our Gregorian calendar (like for example May 1 celebrations). In 2021 Beltane falls on the Full Moon on April 27. Astrologically, Solar Beltane occurs this year around May 5 when the Sun reaches 15 degrees Taurus marking one of several High Holy Days each year.
Many ancient Celtic traditions began their celebration of Beltane as a full moon festivity, known as Lunar beltane. Celebrations often lasted over a two-week period until the next New Moon.
The word Beltane means ‘bright fire’ or ‘lucky fire’ and traditionally bonfires were lit to honour the Sun. Beltane represents the peak of Spring and the beginning of Summer. On this day, the 'day of the year’ begins, the dawn. Earth energies are at their strongest and most active. All of life is bursting with potent richness and potential turns into conception. We can sense the magic of fertility and creative expression in the air and within ourselves.
At this moment in the wheel of the year, we are invited to celebrate the power of the sun and the vigorous fertility of the earth and ourselves. To celebrate the fullness of life and the gifts we receive each day from Pachamama, our Mother Earth, that nourish and sustain us. We express deep gratitude for Pachamama, for Mama Cacao, for all abundance that surrounds us. May our thanksgiving activate the field of plenty on this magical portal of Beltane!
From Seed to Bean
Text by SErap Kara · PictureS by Serap Kara, Anne-Kathrin Loss , Big Tree Farms & BAURE CHOCOLATES
What starts as a little seed containing all the wisdom, grows well-nurtured into a beautiful cacao tree that can bear fruits within three to five years after planting. The five-petalled flower of cacao grows directly from the trunk and is pollinated by a specific, very small species of insect. From each fertilised flower grows a cacao fruit. The fruits develop into red, orange, yellow, blue, or purple varieties. In five to six months a fruit pod ripens, containing 20-25 beans, surrounded by a sweet pulp. A mature cacao tree will produce about 50 fruits, which are harvested twice a year.
Wild cacao trees are usually taller than the cultivated ones, they go up looking for sunlight, like this one which is growing freely in the jungle of Bolivia, South America.
"Ancient and modern Earth-worshipping festivals and celebrations feed the fertility of us and inside the Earth, as well as our creativity, so we can continue blossoming into a fruitful Summer. It is at Beltane when the Goddess and the God within the Great Web of Life consummate their passion and love for each other. The transformative portals of ecstasy, intimacy, union, passion, love, and bliss open as the light of the sun penetrates the moist, fertile, dark Earth.“ — Marysia Miernowska
CACAO IN FERTILITY AND RAIN CEREMONIES
Text by SERAP KARA · Picture by ROBERTO NICKSON
Our ancestors were closely connected with Mother Nature and wove her elements into ceremonial and ritual practices, be it water, fire, air, plant spirits, animal spirits, trees, or mountain sites; they were regarded as sacred. Planets and stars were recognised as guiding principles in the web of life. This view was and in some cultures still is an essential part of a cosmology that takes the intimate connection between humans and nature for granted.
Water is life. Our ancestors respected water as a living being with an inherent spirit. Ceremonies were held to honour her essence. Water is associated with the night, winter and the cold, with the moon, caves and the female deities of springs and waterholes, representing fertility, birth and new life.
To this day, Cacao is a sacred ingredient of water and fertility ceremonies in Central America. The Great Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is being revered as the Grandmother of humans. Cacao is offered to the Spirits of the lake that dwell between Water and Earth, to the Chacs (the rain gods) and to the Goddess of the Moon, the Water and the Goddess of the Earth. People believe that the Chacs carry the water from these sacred waters to the heavens, where they become rain and eventually water the lands. The water symbolises the drinking Rain God and the tears of the Earth Goddess that waters the land.
We feel gratitude to witness these old customs as a way of being in ceremony with the spirits of the land.
Mayan Goddess Ixcacao - Goddess of Chocolate & Fertility
Text & PICTURE UNKNOWN · Adapted by lena brandt
The Goddess of Chocolate/Cacao had humble but honorable origins as a Mayan Goddess. Named IxCacao, she was an ancient fertility goddess, an earth goddess in a matriarchal society where gathering crops and seeing to it that everyone was fed was a woman's work. Banishing hunger and providing for the safety and security of the people was her divine responsibility.
However, in these ancient times, a societal shift saw the patriarchy energy begin to take hold. At first, it was a golden age where Kings and dynasties began, and a ruling class was born. The wonders of Astronomy were introduced and flourished, as did the arts. History was beginning to be recorded as glyphs, and magnificent statues, monuments, palaces, and temples were created in honor of the Kings and their many noblemen. Serving the patriarchy became the new order of life.
The King took notice of IxCacao. He saw her ability to provide abundance and this very much appeased his greed. On his request, she was taken away into his kingdom, away from the people and her fields. The King demanded her marriage to the God of Commerce. Soon her lovely, sacred cacao beans were being turned into currency.
However, what really upset the goddess is that the King declared chocolate as the ‘food of the gods’, and made it only available to the rulers and the warriors in their service.
IxCacao’s heart was finally broken when she got word that outside of the kingdom there was now widespread starvation. She hadn’t been tending her dearly missed fields and her people were suffering.
Furthermore, this began the time of human sacrifice in ceremonies to appease the thirst of the Sun so as to prevent catastrophic droughts. The compassionate Goddess of Cacao decided to accompany the sacrificed people in their final hours, climbing the steps beside them, and comforting them with goblets of cacao along the way. Thus she became an important part of the sacred rites each year.
The separation between the rich and the poor was becoming more obvious to IxCacao, as she saw the human suffering being caused by the greedy lifestyles of wealthy aristocrats.
It was then that the Goddess of Love saw that the people were no longer laughing, singing, and dancing. So the Goddess of Love joined with the Goddess of Chocolate and they conspired to bring back abundance and love to all.
They taught the greedy kings’ cooks how to ferment the wine, making it even more intoxicating, and then began to spread the word of cacao’s aphrodisiac properties. This led to a period of even more greed between the rulers as they overindulged in wine and cacao. This greed saw wars break out between the states.
In this time of great greed and warfare, the people were not being looked after. There was no food and great starvation spread. As a result, the kingdoms fell.
IxCacao took the opportunity to remind the people that there was more to life than working for the King or their masters and this made the Goddess of Love very happy. The Goddess of Love then adorned IxCacao from head to foot with flower blossoms and gentle winds. The beautiful IxCacao was allowed to return to her people. Return to her role as the fertility goddess. Return to her fields of corn and ensured her people were fed. But she also now returned as the goddess of love and pleasure.
The Goddess of Chocolate vowed to bring back balance to all. She informed her people that there will be no more work without rest. There will be no more work without time for family and friends. There will be no more work without time for music and dance. And most importantly, there will be no more work without love.
ABOUT THIS STORY
This story has been shared widely on the world web. We first read this story on Goddess Gift and later found this story in full length here, however it is not clear whom to give credit to.
Honouring the Mothers
Picture By Big Tree Farms BalI, INDONESIA
Among Mesoamerican peoples, Cacao plays a major part in rites of passage such as birth, the request for godparents, marriage arrangements, marriage ceremonies, and death.
Cacao Use In Rites of Passage
Text Adapted from Cameron L. McNeil –– Chocolate in Mesoamerica · Picture by LEO MOKO
In many traditional Mayan communities, midwives play an important role as supporters during pregnancy and the birth-giving process and are oftentimes paid in food and money. Among the Poqomam of Chinaulta, Guatemala, a beautiful ritual is performed after a woman learns that she is pregnant: The mother-to-be chooses a midwife and asks for her support by offering a basket of chocolate, bread and guaro (alcoholic beverage made from fermented fruit). By accepting the basket, the midwife takes on the responsibility of helping the future mother to bring her child into this world.
Among Mesoamerican peoples, especially in the areas of Santiago de Atitlan and Guatemala City, Cacao is still an important component of the postpartum diet. Various types of cacao beverages, like pinole (containing maize and cacao), and the consumption of chocolate are considered to support the woman in stimulating a large supply of milk production on the one hand and in regaining full strength on the other. Few sources from Santiago Atitlan, Guatemala, also report the consumption of a beverage of chocolate just before the baby is born to accelerate the birth-giving process.
BAPTISM & GODPARENTS
An important event for the baby is then the baptism. There are records of a Cacao paste mixed with flowers being applied to specific areas of the baby's body. In other baptismal ceremonies, Cacao beans are exchanged as a gift and sign that the blessing has been received and the godparents have been initiated into the customs of the ancestors. Another baptism is described as a water ceremony, with the aim of completely immersing the child's soul into its body. The Tzeltal in Chiapas, Mexico, practice this rite called ki’n ha’ [water ceremony], which is held a Maya month (twenty days) after the birth of a child.
CACAO & PREGNANCY
Text BY Serap Kara · PICTURE BY Grit Siwonia
In the past years, we've shared space with women in all stages of pregnancy. To me, cacao and pregnancy go very well together. Old customs around cacao's use during pregnancy feel natural and aligned. These are rooted in Central America and honour Spirit in all forms.
The magic unfolds with sacred space and intention and less with the amount. I witnessed pregnant women drinking a sip of cacao only, others drinking a full ceremonial cup and feeling great. Many mothers-to-be experience a deep communion with the unborn child when being in Ceremony with the Cacao Mother Spirit.
There are studies which indicate that chocolate is good for the baby. However, many sources point the attention to the fact that cacao contains caffeine, although much less than coffee which some believe harmful to the baby. This may cause insecurity in the mother, especially if she craves dark chocolate or pure cacao.
When a pregnant woman feels called to join the Cacao ceremony, I discuss with her beforehand how she feels, what the wisdom of her body tells her and how much she feels okay to drink. Expecting mothers are more aware in the first and last trimester. Together, we tune into an amount that feels safe to her. An amount of 10-25g ceremonial cacao works usually very well during pregnancy.
imagine craving dark chocolate. Will you allow yourself the treat? Where does the chocolate craving come from in the first place?
Relation with the cacao mother
TEXT, Picture & VIDEO BY Elise Renstrøm
Every child born is a living reincarnation of the universal consciousness. thank you, mama cacao, for your guidance.
As I sip on my ceremonial cacao this morning, I am reminded how blessed I am for all the gifts Pachamama has provided. My current favourite being cacao.
Our indigenous ancestors knew the potency of this plant medicine - and she has been such a catalyst, both before and during my pregnancy.
Pregnancy is a very special time spiritually, and we seem to experience the world from a much more inner place than usual. I notice how my physical, spiritual, and emotional body becomes a portal to transcendence - and how my connection to Mother Nature expand and deepens.
The Cacao Mother supports my journey, as I mature and soften deeper into the archetype of the mother. She heals my womb trauma, and I lean into her softness - unconditionally. Held, loved, and safe.
In ceremony I interact with her essence by visualisation, an internal knowing, dance, song, and physical touch. During my pregnancy, the cacao mother often shows up as a kind of 'presence' in my womb space. I’ve felt her communicating with my placenta, encouraging it to move upwards - making room for a natural, healthy and vaginal birth.
ABOUT ELISE Renstrøm
Eiise's focus primarily is between the feminine path to collectively healing humanity, and the re-villageing of society. Elise is currently working on her master thesis, where she conducts a research about 'how the sacred feminine contributes to the societal destigmatization of the vulva'. She's establishing a platform for facilitating Cacao ceremonies, and a variety of workshops for women.
"At the heart of each of us, whatever our imperfections, there exists a silent pulse of perfect rhythm, a complex of waveforms and resonances, which is absolutely individual and unique, and yet which connects us to everything in the universe." – George Leonard
Birthing the new ~ Beltane embodied ritual
Text BY CAMILLE BARRIOS · Picture by Daniel Olah
Create a dark space in your room with a candle not yet lit. Connect to the Cacao Spirit and ask it to connect to your sacral chakra (located in your lower belly and lumbar area). Close your eyes and visualise this center in your body. Become this darkness, and visualise the deep seat of your feminine energy, like rich dark moist and fertile earth humus.
Feel the Cacao Spirit making space, clearing these last 6 months of winter. Letting go of old fears and limitations with compassion, so that you may again
expand and receive fully. Welcome a soft movement in your hips. Small repetitive circular movements so the emotions may flow and not become stuck in your body.
Breathe deeply and with each exhalation lean into the earth of your body. Sense it preparing the rich soil for vital life energy in your sacral space. Sense the silence and pause that is needed to welcome the new. Like the calm before the storm.
When you feel you are quiet and receptive, light your candle and call in the masculine energy of the sun and fire. Visualise it as golden light coming from your head down into the feminine vessel of your body. It is fiercely attracted to this magnetic darkness. With each inhale bring in this light fire, and with each exhale bring it down.
Feel it making its way down to through your body and into your heart, where it expands into a golden flower. The alchemy of the heart together with Cacao irradiating glow throughout your body.
Welcome some fluid movement into your spine and torso area. Allow the energies to flow and keep the body flexible and present. Feel your chest opening and
As this electric current continues the journey into your sacral area, feel the warmth in your belly. This meeting is the alchemy of light and darkness, Yin and Yang, masculine and feminine, active and receptive. Let them merge into sacred union worshiping each other’s essence. Keep moving your hips and torso/spine in gentle circular movements. Keep breathing.
Visualise golden threads through your body, filling you up with infinite love and golden energy. Let the Sacred Fire and the energy of the Great Mother be witness. Let Cacao work its magic through your body. Welcome expansion and openness, feel a new story emerging. The birth of something new, like tender buds blossoming into fullness. Flowering under this Beltane season, the gateway to the bright half of the year.
Give yourself plenty of time to feel this.
When done, thank the darkness and the light inside of you. Two polarities meeting together to protect and birth something new. Close this ritual by writing in your journal what came up and by taking a walk outside in the sun and observe the beauty and power of nature around you.
About CAMILLE BARRIOS
Camille is a Movement Medicine Teacher, Embodied Brand Coach, Heart Medicine Woman and Cacao Guardian. She holds transformative and nurturing spaces to help others reconnect to their intuition and life purpose. Camille is based in Milan, Italy. Visit www.camillebarrios.com
"And yet the world is full of colour, symbols and harmony to the creative mind. Dare to play, dare to bring joy into your life. Be a child of Nature!" — Serap Kara
THE FERTILE SOIL OF MY BEING
Text by LENA BRANDT · Picture by Gosha Nagashima
In her book 'Spirits of the Sacred Grove’, Emma Restall Orr, a modern-day Druid, speaks of the 'fertility of our personal creativity'. She is referring to our need for active and creative lives, our need for fertile minds to accomplish our work, to tend to our relationships, and to follow our personal soul's purpose.
The Cacao Spirit is a beautiful ally, reminding me of the fertile soil within my being. I consciously connect to Cacao, the midwife, and call in her support to overcome my fears and shadows, to unfold my inner potential outwardly, to get my creativity flowing, and to turn ideas, hopes, and dreams into action in every part of my life.
Cacao lovingly holds my hand as I make my way through this rite of passage and helps me to bring forth that which has been growing and maturing inside. Fueled by the loving energy of the Cacao Deva, I open up in joyful creation and manifestation, just like the Cacao flower blossoms with delight in all her beauty.
CACAO AS A MIDWIFE TO CREATIVE EXPRESSION
Text & PICTURES by Katie Kleinjans
Walking unseen hiding behind the mists of sorrow, dissolving and broken, living in the shadowlands silently. It was there, Mama Cacao found me and gently restored my creative spirit in the sacred womb cave.
Protection dwells in the medicine of Cacao sipped from the rainbow cup. She quenches all the places that crave nourishment and attention, slowly weaving me back together. Mama Cacao gently smooths my brow and holds me tenderly, caressing my aching bones. Whispering words of encouragement, she says ‘listen to the stories that are weaved within you’.
Sat by the fire surrounded by my weathered baskets stuffed with gathered bundles of fabric, needles, and threads, I feel called to courageously empty my essence across the floor and allow the fragmented pieces to settle until I see patterns emerging of my raw creative flow.
Mama Cacao winks at me as I lace a needle with red thread, remembering the language of my heart I begin stitching the story of circles and spirals and roots that spread tendrils down into the underworld of mending souls. The thread spins from my heart to my hands marking truth scars into the soul skin cloth as lost lands are found and stitched back to their remembered place, my purpose emerges.
I am giving birth to my creative voice, breaking the silence and trusting every step along the path. With Mama Cacao holding me, my heart opens into loving expansion attuning to the earth vibrations, awakening to my wild essence, and remembering, I belong here.
I offer a prayer of gratitude and blessings to Cacao Spirit as the Midwife for her deep support and heart connection; holding us as we move through the earth’s rhythm, blossoming and opening to our creative spirit, birthing our gestating projects, nourishing our passion for life, guiding the way home.
Today, April 26, 2021 I'm completing the quilt for my daughter's 10th birthday, weaving my prayers and blessings for her solar return.
ABOUT KATIE KLEINJANS
Katie is a storyteller, textile alchemist, and Cacao Guardian. She is passionate about re-awakening deep feminine earth-based wisdom through folklore and embodied ceremony which inspires her creative process. She loves to hand stitch story quilts and dolls with wild dyed natural cloth imbued with the earth's pigments. Katie is based in York, England. Visit www.instagram.com/katiekleinjans
Guided by Mama Cacao
RITUAL by LAUREN BARBER · Picture by tetiana bykovets
I adore connecting with the Cacao Spirit to activate my creativity; and so whenever I am working on a creative project I adore taking some time to create a simple little ritual to invite my creativity to step forward. I use this ritual before I write meditation scripts, before I start to create for others, before I write or paint, or share with others.
- I use just 10g of cacao for this ritual. Preparing it with loving intention and inviting my creative, playful self to step forward and lead.
- I take my little cup outside with me and sit in my garden and lovingly hold my cacao in both hands, holding it by my heart, before taking time to drink it.
- Once I have finished I sit for a few moments before stepping back into my creative space and pulling an oracle card to guide me forward. Then I create and see what wants to come through. It is so simple but so powerful for me.
- This is one of my favourite ways to let Mama Cacao guide me. It connects me with the language of the universe, the divine creation.
About LAUREN BARBER
Lauren Barber is a mother, poet, priestess, and modern mystic, and multi-faceted human being. She holds space for women on the magical journey of sacred and heart-lead business creation. Lauren is currently studying with Cacao Mama.
CACAO GUARDIAN 2021 · From BELTANE To SAMHAIN
1st May - 1st November 2021 · In German · Enter
EDITION NO. 5 · June 2021
In CEREMONY · CREATIVE DESIGN SERAP KARA · CONTENT LENA BRANDT & SERAP KARA ©CACAO MAMA · MAIL
We at Cacao Mama witness people opening to LIFE IN CEREMONY. The Cacao Spirit forms a centre around which one can feel this particularly magic moment when everything connects and comes alive. Feelings of compassion arise, a deep connection to Pachamama and a coming home to the Self. We have entered the present moment and feel the invisible harmony that surrounds us. In the 12 editions to come, we open Cacao Mama's apothecary and invite you to be in Ceremony with us. Together with our plant family, we weave rituals, stories, songs and recipes to offer a soothing medicine for you to connect with Pachamama and her powerful allies. Our land is Europe, and we weave the Cacao intelligence along with the European medicine wheel, while we tend to our roots, the land and its wisdom keepers.