There are different types of cacao ceremonies, but in Yosi Ocha, we only perform those of the Shipibo Meraya tradition, the way they were performed by Maestro Heberto’s grandfather. The origin of these ceremonies goes back to a Meraya ancestor who had a cacao plantation and a great connection with plants, especially with cacao, even before becoming Meraya. He felt a strong connection between mind and heart during cacao ceremonies, and he also believed the energy of cacao was the key to improving relations among the people in general, and between humans and animals. Through cacao ceremonies, he discovered that we come to the world 100% charged with energy and connected to the elements of earth, over the years, these connections get damaged and our life force begins to wear out.
It is said he was a very lucky man, who lived a happy life with his wife and seven children until a strange curse fell on his family. His children were dying one by one, and then his wife also passed away. He was so desperate that he decided to take his own life since he thought that death would come for him anyway. He prepared poison and also a cup of chocolate, he wanted to smell its scent for the last time as say goodbye to his cocoa plantations that had given him so much pleasure throughout life. As soon as he took the first sip of cacao, he felt its energy and heard a voice telling him to look for it so that it could show him the right path. As he drank more, he went into a trance and received more information until he reached the depths of his heart and felt great love for life and the need to serve. That day his life changed completely, he decided to become a curandero (traditional healer) and he started dieting different plant medicines until he became a Meraya.
The spirit of cacao helps us let go of the pain linked to the losses we suffered in life, it redirects love towards oneself, love towards the plants and love towards nature in general. Cacao also teaches us that when people live with their minds and hearts disconnected, they go against nature and against Mother Earth, giving rise to ecological disasters. The spirit of cacao is love in its purest form, it is the spirit of affection and peace. Through the spirit of cocoa, our soul can forgive those who have harmed us and we ourselves can be forgiven. Cocoa gives strength and light to our aura.
In the cacao ceremonies, we make chocolate using the cocoa seeds. Icaros are sung, like the “kushun”, while the aroma of chocolate is inhaled, that’s when the energies of the shaman are activated and, in the connection of the aroma with the icaros, work is done so that when entering the body of each patient, the cacao can do its work and get to the origin of the ailment. Chocolate is prepared in combination with other aromas and flavours such as cinnamon, chamomile, mint or other aromatic infusions. Generally, in about 45 minutes, one can already feel the effect of cacao which can last about an hour. Very sensitive people may feel that their heart starts beating stronger, but in general, cacao makes a person feel full of life, strength and joy. The cacao is particularly indicated for cleaning the blocks in the love life, while the shaman is singing the different ícaros.
At the end of a cacao ceremony, most patients experience the feeling of regeneration, like the awakening of a new, more meaningful stage in life. Unlike Ayahuasca or San Pedro, cacao is very soft and works with a lot of love. It is highly recommended for all those who suffer from depression or who carry childhood traumas. Cacao undoes pain from a place of pure love. Generally, there are no visions, although some people may receive some kind of visual information, usually, it works more on the energetic and emotional level.