Photo by Cesar Carlevarino Aragon
Our draw to ceremony and the desire to find sacredness in the ordinary is an innate human instinct, something we have been seeking out for centuries. Ceremony has been used to demarcate passages of time, seasons coming and going. It has been used to mark rites of passage and to bring communities together. When we arrive to a ceremonial experience, like Wanderlust, we feel the palpable, somatic shifts in our being. It is as if a part of us innately knows we are stepping into an experience that is much bigger than we could have ever imagined. In these sacred spaces, like the yoga classes or workshops at Wanderlust, we find ourselves surrounded by others whose energy, vision, and values mirror and echo our own. And in this space of deep connection to self and other we can let go into the growth and celebration that is here for us. There are countless ways for us to create ceremony in our everyday lives. When we bring ceremony into our everyday we are able to continue to grow the seeds from our previous ceremonial experiences, allowing them to integrate further into our being.
A (Very) Brief History of CacaoLet’s get in touch with our medicine a layer deeper and meet Cacao also known as Theobroma cacao. Cacao is native to Central and South America and is believed to have been first discovered as early as 1200 BCE by the Olmecs, an indigenous tribe from Mexico. Cacao continued to be cultivated and traded by the Mayan tribes of Mexico for centuries and is known as “the food of the Gods” by Mayan people. Cacao was traditionally used in spiritual ceremonies and often times weddings. Cacao is a powerful aphrodisiac and superfood, often times evoking the physical feelings of falling in love! Cacao is said to teach us of the mysteries of love and powerfully opens our hearts.
A (Very) Brief History of Kava-KavaKava-Kava or Piper methysticum, is a root from the Pacific Islands that has been consumed ceremonially for over 3,000 years! Kava Kava is a powerful nervine and relaxes us deeply, easing anxiety especially in social settings. This is partially why Kava was was traditionally drank to maintain peace and harmony during tribal gatherings and negotiations. Historically Kava was made by all the people gathered, truly creating an experience of community medicine and connection. Because of Kava’s potency and palpable state-altering effects, like numbing your tongue, Kava has been misunderstood as getting you “high.” Kava is non-narcotic, mild sedative and is non-addictive however, it should not be mixed with alcohol or other substances.
Creating a Ceremony Around UsageIf you are called to the heart-opening medicine of Cacao or the grounded connection Kava-Kava has to offer, then it is important to consciously source, prepare, and consume these medicines as a part of a ceremony. The first step to creating a ceremony is to connect to our intention. Why are we creating this ceremony? Holding our ceremony not just for our personal desires, but in service of the collective good and healing, is a great way to practice sacred reciprocity. Once you’ve connected to your intention we can begin to bring that into the creation of our sacred space.
When working with sacred plants like, Cacao or Kava, we also need to invite their spirit and wisdom to join us in this space.There are many ways to connect to sacred space, prayer, mantras, invocations are used in various traditions to evoke a sense of the divine. By speaking our prayers out loud and calling in sacred space, we allow the vibrational resonance that is felt and heard to come into the space and it is as if we cast a circle around us. When working with sacred plants like, Cacao or Kava, we also need to invite their spirit and wisdom to join us in this space. To begin honoring these plants we can offer a prayer of gratitude to the land which these medicines have come from, recognizing that these plants contain the memory and energy of everything that has taken place on this land. Next we thank the indigenous communities who have tended to these plants and who have kept the wisdom traditions of these plants alive. Finally we might offer a blessing to all the hands that these plants have passed through, from the farmers to the store keeper, who have made it possible for this medicine to be here with you. From this place of deep connection we can begin to prepare our medicines with intention and love! [caption id="attachment_123490" align="aligncenter" width="768"] Photo by Pablo Merchan Montes[/caption]