So as many of you know I am doing a semester abroad in magical Tel Aviv. I am saying magical because this place sure does feel like there is some unique energy flowing. The “spiritual scene” is huge, so many yogis and lovely spirits wandering around. Obviously, little me got sucked right in and I participated in my first Cacao Ceremony on the night of New Moon on Saturday. Wonderful Victoria, a fantastic yoga teacher, who shares not only my name but also my love for New York, Tel Aviv, and mindfulness, hosted the event at OrYoga here in Tel Aviv.
I myself am only at the beginning of my spiritual journey, attracting knowledge and learning constantly about the wonders of the universe we carry inside us. I want to share these experiences with you. You may laugh at this. You may feel confused. You may feel uncomfortable. But my wish is, to inspire you. To inspire and invite more light, love, and mindfulness into our lives.
The ceremonies intention was to help every one of us to
✨ release old stories
✨ cleanse negativity
✨ opening your heart
✨ connect to your deeper self
✨ increase creativity
✨ feel uplifted
Victoria had prepared a room at Or Yoga wonderfully. In the middle of a circle of yoga mats, she had laid out the cacao, some palo santo wood and the instruments for the meditation. Each yoga mat was topped with a pillow and a blanket for us to feel most comfortable. The lights dim and cozy, the energy and excitement high: it was Victoria’s first ceremony in Tel Aviv. As we came entered, two girls cleansed our energy with some burning sage and each of us found a mat for themselves. Victoria introduced herself and explained a little bit about the ceremony.
The New Moon
As everyone knows, the moon lives in constant cycles. The New Moon may be seen as the beginning of a cycle, entering into the waxing crescent, growing into a full moon, before waning back into a crescent before leaving the night sky again without ever being gone. Since ancient times humans have built their lives around the cycles of the moon – the most known example may be farmers. The moon influences the oceans in ways we can all experience and many up until today believe that the moon affects our everyday lives. My mom for examples never get’s her hair done without checking the moon (and she’s not the most spiritual person besides that).
So what can we make of a New Moon?
Basically, the New Moon is the perfect time to reset. Ask yourself: What do I want to let into my life? What do I want to let go of? What are my plans, dreams, and goals? New Moon is the time to release old baggage and set new intentions. Get your priorities straight.
To most of us, the fact that cacao is some kind of magic is no big news. But that it actually has powers that help you reconnect with your body and soul, that may be news to some.
Tons of alkaloids, neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, vitamins, and minerals that have have a particularly nourishing effect on the human body are to be found in cacao. If unprocessed and unroasted these effects are amplified, especially if consumed in the context of a ceremony. While all the wonderful properties of cacao are naturally produced and perform essential functions in the body, they appear to be less available if you live a busy western lifestyle.
For the ceremony, high-quality raw cacao beans are combined with spices. We all got a cup of the mixture and blessed it with love and our intentions for the ceremony. Before the blessing, everyone in the circle one by one said, what their intention was, what they wanted to let go, in one word.
The cacao didn’t taste specifically good. There was no sweetness to it, no buttery feels as we know it from conventional chocolate. It was raw, spicy, bitter – I think I was the only one in the room how rather liked it.
Now, why is the cacao part of the ceremony?
All the mood enhancing neurochemicals in cacao become particularly active if you drink this certain cacao. The blood flow and nutrition to the brain, heart, and skin, is increased and the whole body is nourished. Also, awareness and focus are heightened, sensations are intensified. This is important for the main part of the ceremony:
Thanks to the ceremonial patterns, we created a safe and beautiful space, supporting the reflection and connection to the “larger aspects of oneself”.
Now that the preparations where made we all lay down on our mats, the way one does “Shavasana” in yoga practice. And the breathing began: two breaths in – through the belly and through the mouth – and one breath out. All breathing happened through the mouth, which spiked the amount of breath flowing in and out of the body. In the beginning, a loud drum showed us the rhythm. Throughout the hour Victoria and Kim, a wonderful Reiki teacher, used different instruments and techniques to further stimulate our experiences. It created a space where one can explore and sit with the stories of the heart. Identify areas that are causing restriction, limitation, and pain in many possible ways.
For me, this is exactly what happened. I felt a tingling and prickling in my body and fell into a deep relaxation. I, as many others who engage in ceremonies like this one, received insights, inspiration, and creative ideas and felt a deep sense of calmness and clarity. For many, this tangles the next steps in life, the solution to problems or supports overall health. In the state of constant breathing, I experienced a deep sense of joy and peace. Many describe it as a connection to something bigger than themselves. One gains insights of limiting behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that are able to be understood and released within the safe environment of the ceremony.
I am over the top grateful to Victoria for creating this enlightening experience and can’t wait to hear what you guys think about all this…
As always with a lot of love and glitter