endota Retreat

Already a member? Log in
Origins of the ancient ritual

Origins of the ancient ritual

Cacao ceremonies have been used for thousands of years as a form of healing and connecting with the divine. It is the ancient art and ritual of drinking ceremonial chocolate.

These ceremonies are most often attributed to the Aztec and Mayan cultures dating back some 5,000 years, but they served different purposes for different cultures including medicine, nutrition, offering to the gods and as a divine gift. Ceremonial cacao comes from a rare bean that makes up less than 5% of the world’s cacao production – the criollo bean. It is the same bean that was used by the ancient cultures in their ceremonies. It was even used as currency, valued higher than gold.

The sacred cacao

The sacred cacao

Cocoa (the stuff most of us use to make hot chocolate) and cacao both come from the cacao bean. The main difference is how they’re processed. Cocoa is made by roasting the cacao bean at a high temperature and supplementing with additives to overcome its bitterness. When the bean is roasted at a low temperature and has minimal or no additives it produces cacao – a more nutrient rich and flavourful version of chocolate.

Cacao is rich in flavanols, a plant compound that has been shown to lower blood pressure, improve circulation to the brain and heart and is full of antioxidants. It also has lots of potassium which can reduce inflammation in the body and stress on cells and contains iron and tryptophan – an amino acid your body uses to make serotonin and help you relax.

Modern cacao ceremonies


Modern cacao ceremonies

Today the ancient ceremonies are used to help you connect with yourself and set intentions – and are especially helpful when guiding us through times of transition. Cacao ceremonies can be most powerful when aligning with the arrival of a new season, allowing us to incorporate nature’s sacred energy within ourselves as we anchor into the cyclical rhythms of the Earth.

The most significant events of the solar year are the solstices and equinoxes that signal the changing of seasons on Earth.

Times to align your cacao ceremony

Cacao Preparation

play buttonhover button


  • 1 cup of water or your choice of milk
  • 2tbsp or 20-30g of Cacao


  • Sweetener of choice (pure maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar)
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Maca powder
  • Chilli or salt


  • Start by weighing your chunk of cacao - 20 grams for daily use, or 30-40 grams for a ceremonial serve
  • Add one cup of your milk of choice (or you could use one cup of water if you’d prefer to follow the traditional method)
  • Combine all your favourite spices and sweeteners (cinnamon and maple syrup are a great addition)
  • Place your ingredients in a small to medium sized saucepan, and brew on the stove on a low heat
  • Stir until all the ingredients are combined (the longer you stir, the thicker it will get)
  • For best results we suggest using a milk frother for to eliminate separation if you have one
  • Pour into your favourite mug and enjoy
play buttonhover button

how to

Hold an intention setting ceremony with Ceremonial Cacao

It’s important to remember that Ceremonial Grade Cacao is an ancient plant medicine and whilst it may taste similar to a generic hot chocolate, the spiritual and energetic properties of Ceremonial Grade Cacao are different to store-bought cacao powder.

The following outlines a basic structure for a personal ceremony - meaning that this is something you can follow when you make a cup of Cacao at home. This outline involves steps that honour the history of cacao whilst allowing you to establish a moment of peace and connection, no matter where you are or how you're feeling.

We acknowledge and respect the indigenous custodians of Ceremonial Grade Cacao. Our intention is to support, protect and honour the sacredness of this ancient plant medicine and the indigenous communities that have practiced Cacao Ceremonies for thousands of years. While we realise that there’s no replacement for a Cacao Ceremony held by indigenous elders, we encourage you connect with yourself, set intentions and find stillness with this powerful elixir.

step 1

Set a sacred place

You can use candles, dim the lighting, burn incense, diffuse essential oils, whatever feels most sacred to you.

step 2

Set an intention

Close your eyes, hold the cup of Cacao up to your heart, take some deep breaths and focus on how you desire to feel after your personal cacao ceremony.

You may like to use one of the following prompts to set an intention:
- I choose to release...
- I choose to call in...
- After the ceremony, I'd like to feel...

step 3

Rest and reflect

Once you have finished your cup of Cacao, allow yourself to truly bask in the experience of your personal cacao ceremony; allow any emotions, ideas and feelings to move through you and be physically, emotionally and spiritually present with yourself and your experience.

If you have time, enjoy some yoga, meditation, dancing, art or any other form of creative expression.

Have some left over time? Enjoy some more of our classes