Ceremonial Cacao

06 July, 2022

            Ceremonial Cacao

What is Ceremonial Cacao?

     Cacao is known and enjoyed throughout the world, but its rich identity as a sacred plant medicine is unfortunately misunderstood. As cacao gains popularity and recognition as a superfood packed with nutrition, cacao’s dimensions as a Mesoamerica sacred and ceremonial plant, are equally as important to acknowledge. The qualities that make cacao distinctly “ceremonial” set it above and beyond just a food or beverage. Recognizing these distinctions puts us in touch with the true nature of this divine plant.

     But to understand what Ceremonial Grade Cacao really is, we have to first talk about what it is NOT:

  • It is not cocoa 
  • It is not organic cocoa/cacao powder
  • It is not raw cacao
  • It is not chocolate

         Cocoa, cacao powder, raw cacao, and chocolate are all derived from the beautiful, bitter  Theobroma cacao tree. Each of the above derivations represents a different stage in the process of  Theobroma’s  cultivation. Cacao is not chocolate, but it is where chocolate comes from. An additional 3 steps added to the 7 steps needed to produce 100% pure cacao is what makes it chocolate (i.e. further grinding, cooking, heating, cutting with sugars and fats). Simply put, chocolate is candy, but Ceremonial Cacao maintains its concentration of vitamins, minerals, compounds, flavonoids and antioxidants through the highly intentional care it receives. See more benefits here.

         Store bought, powdered cacao certainly has its own merits but it is the result of further processing that removes the depth of experience and the fullest nutritional value that authentic cacao paste provides. Another name you might hear cacao paste being called is “cacao liquor.” Both are interchangeable. It should be noted cacao is a stimulant with no hallucinogenic properties. It interacts biochemically with the neurovascular and cardiovascular systems, creating a unique sensation both soothing and inspiring, in private and group settings.Learn more about cacao ceremonies.


         Within the last few centuries specifically, cacao has been consumed for its many positive mind/body/mood/energy related properties. Unfortunately, this plant is having a very difficult time thriving in its true nature within our ecosystem. 


         The  Theobroma Cacao tree is where our CHOCOLATE comes from, and the global demand for chocolate exceeds much more than the plant can offer. Because of society's high demand it is commercially cultivated into  monoculture, rendering the trees  genetically non-divesere and severely limiting its historic health benefits and support to mother earth. Most of the chocolate in the world is sourced from Africa, where the soil and the cacao have been degraded by corporatized over-harvesting and immoral human labor. This is why finding the purest and most ethically sourced cacao is of utmost importance. 

    Photo by Might Earth

         Here we are expressing the importance of sourcing ethical cacao for ceremony and general well being for ourselves as well as the supporting nature who continuously provides for us.  The highest quality cacao is considered Ceremonial Grade if: 

    1. The beans are produced by native cacao strains - and when we say native we actually mean it is WILD GROWN, by itself without any human interference. The beans are harvested from these historically and nutritionally rich trees within a biodiverse ecosystem. Since over 75% are monocultured due to society’s high demands, there’s going to be less and less Ceremonial Grade Cacao over time. This scarcity and the specialized dedication to its harvesting are why Ceremonial Cacao is much more expensive.
    2.  The entire process isdone by hand and/or minimally processed according to the traditions passed down through these families. Ceremonial Grade beans undergo a fermentation & roasting process which is necessary for cultivating their profile and activating their natural compounds.
    3. Thesacred intention to abide in the healing spirit of cacao is present throughout the entire harvest from seed to cup. Absolutely nothing is added or removed from the cacao itself, so that Ceremonial Grade is not a title to be conferred but rather an honor that must be preserved. The intention of creating a 1 pound block of cacao in this manner is to give medicine to the hearts of the world.

         We created Sage Cacao to seek other businesses and farmers that believe in the use of regenerative and restorative farming practices to produce high quality cacao that generates rural economic growth and revitalizes the local environment. We partner with businesses that share profits directly with the farmers and communities so that they can live well above minimum wage. This also means they can upgrade and safely modernize their farming resources, ensuring the integrity of the soil and the cacao genetics that have been protected for many centuries.

         While our initial goal towards sharing cacao is to provide information about the extraordinary health benefits, we also want to generate awareness by introducing more love and respect towards the spirit of cacao for our unsettled Panchama “Mother Earth.”



    [ Get 10% off your first Ceremonial Grade Cacao on your first order.  Shop our Peruvian Ceremonial Cacao. We are located in Westchester County, New York where we hold Cacao Ceremonies to further invite those to learn more and connect with Cacao! If you are not located in New York, we also offer an online workshop - Sharing Cacao as Plant Medicine. ] See events here