Sacred cacao from the Heart of the World
Sierra Nevada Niwi Umukin is inhabited by four pre-colonial indigenous peoples that all are descendants of the Tayrona Chibcha culture. These tribes are the Arhuaco, Kogui, Wiwa and Kankuamo.
The Sierra Nevada region has all types of climatology and rises to a height of 5,000 meters above sea level. Sierra Nevada’s indigenous cultures have lived there from time immemorial, safeguarding balance and universal harmony as a way of life. Life in these deeply spiritual cultures has an intimate relationship with the environmental nature.
According to their origin story, descendants of the Tayrona Chibcha are the elder brothers of Humanity. Each community is led by spiritual guides called “Mamo” or “Mama” who possess a deep knowledge of natural life. As bearers of the laws of nature, Mamos cultivate Sierra Nevada to be a pharmacy of tranquility and share their knowledge with visitors as a way to care for the heart of the world.
For thousands of years, ceremonial cacao has been an important part of spiritual life in Sierra Nevada. It is said that ages ago the Tayrona people used cacao to strengthen their visionary abilities while building sacred sites such as the Lost City.
Although cacao cultivation was interrupted when Spanish conquistadors forced our ancestors high into the mountains, as we recover our ancestral lands we are also restoring our long-standing relationship with this sacred plant. Over the past decade, we have begun to master once again the cultivation, fermentation, and preparation of traditional cacao. Owing to the powerful energy of Sierra Nevada, Arhuaco cacao is already considered among the best in the world.
What is ceremonial cacao?
Ceremonial cacao is an ancient spiritual medicine prepared from the cacao bean, the seed of the sweet fruit of the cacao tree.
Ceremonial-grade cacao is made through a process of fermenting and then sun-drying or lightly toasting the beans. The beans are then de-husked and stone ground into a paste, nothing added, nothing removed. This is important as it means the beans natural fat remains aiding to balance its stimulating effects and make it easier for your body to absorb it over time.
This is cacao in its pure, traditional form, used by ancient civilizations and cultures in ceremonies for generations.
Why drink ceremonial cacao?
Using ceremonial cacao either in a ceremony or as a part of a daily routine is neither intense nor a psychedelic experience, as other plant medicines can be. Rather, cacao gently nudges the heart chakra open, gifting benefits such as emotional embodiment and spiritual connection.
Cacao allows the drinker to quiet the mind and focus on good intentions either for the future or maybe just for the day, momentarily pausing that endless battle between head and heart!
In addition to its subtle entheogenic effects, cacao increases energy levels and concentration, illuminates a pathway to creativity, and balances the male and female energies within the body. Cacao also improves blood-flow and circulation.
Drinking cacao with intention enhances and deepens daily practices like meditation, yoga, and conscious dance.
What makes Origen's cacao special?
How to prepare ceremonial cacao
Apart from the physical preparation of the actual cacao drink itself, time should be taken to focus on intentions and prayers. Some people sing medicine songs during the preparation and serving of ceremonial cacao.
To prepare cacao, grate or cut 1 ounce (Origen’s cacao comes pre-crumbled for convenience) and add it to 4 ounces of boiling water. The amount of cacao can be increased once accustomed to the effects.
If someone has a heart condition or finds themselves to be sensitive to the effects of the cacao, they should start off slowly (¼ ounce of cacao to 4 ounces of water).
While we prefer to drink cacao raw (mixed only with hot water), some people add spices such as cayenne or cinnamon to make it less bitter. This is entirely up to individual preferences.