Image: Overhead view of a cup of Ceremonial Cacao
Blog post written by Annu Tara, published 13th August 2018
Where I Am Right Now…
I’m not sure how to start this post other than by saying I’m going through changes. Big changes. This is a very specific process that began in May 2018 and what I can say about this right now is that I’m being pushed down into the very roots of my Being & Life.
This is the Opening of Eyes deep down in the belly sphere, in my biological and creational core – and the process is ushering in the birth of my second life.
Some folk know what I’m speaking about as the Uranus Opposition or when in its unacknowledged shadow-state, more commonly understood as the mid-life crisis.
My midlife rebirth is reducing my past and what I’ve previously been into ashes. And I’m aware that if I turn the soil of this with truthfulness, then maybe it can provide the nutrient-rich foundation for what’s coming next.
It’s taken me two years of deep, conscious, dedicated effort to find my way into the real ground of my Life. Since my dark night of the soul and awakening into Truth in 2014, and the two years of integration necessary after this, the past couple of years have really been a downward journey of piecing together and reclaiming my humanity that underwent a shattering at that time.
What’s clear to me now is that there are many pathways of awakening. There is the awakening out of the Dream of Life that occurred for me in 2014 – and there is the awakening into and within the Dream of Life that seems to be what is occurring right now. How this unfolds is different for every single one of us because if there’s one thing we can rely on, it’s that nothing can be standardised. The possibility is Universal but the journey itself is utterly unique.
All I know is that I had to die (whilst staying biologically alive) before I could actually Live – it’s a truth for me, right there.
The death I’m speaking about is the death of identification and as it strips away all of the fillings we insert and construct around the nature of Reality, what is left is an ever-purifying, strengthening Silence that infinitely wraps around the hand of our Becoming, and eventually simply is the embrace of our Being. My identification with life has been very strong and I’ve found it to be an immensely challenging process of letting go. Awakening into Life is a process of arriving and I understand deeply now why this is sometimes considered to be even more challenging than the leaving.
Awakening into Life is a cross between a crash-landing, an underworld descent and the uncoiling emergence of our spirit, our infinite nature and our creational life-force energy through which we meet and purify the programming of our humanity, our personal and collective brokenness, our shadow realms & exiled aspects, our divisive polarisations, our ancestral pains and patterns, the unconscious elements of our body, the pure power of the deep Earth-Being, and the fractures of our togethering.
Although it’s a terrain saturated with grief, suffering, pain, trauma, fracture and immense vulnerability, this is also the richly fertile ground of our natural instinctual self, our true enjoyment & pleasure, our indestructible grit, resilience & rooted capacity, our meaning, embodied purpose & the opening of our Dream-seed, our deepening in intimacy with the vibrant, breathing depths of the living Mystery, and the breakthrough of our real freedom into form, which is the game-changer for the fulfilment of our individuation, sovereign unique life.
I’m sharing this with you because I believe that this naked arrival into the living ground of Life is important for what I want to share next.
My Journey With Ceremonial Cacao
I first started my explorations with ceremonial cacao as a personal practice in 2011. I had receive these cryptic inner instructions to work with the plant spirit of cacao as a healing and transformational guide at the point of completing my apprenticeship with another plant medicine I’d been initiating with for serveal years.
The instruction to work with chocolate as a transformational aid was curious, enticing but also perplexing for me. Ceremonial cacao as a practice or form was relatively unknown in 2011 and (unlike today!) there was very little information about this available. There was certainly no-one to my knowledge available in my own city or country publicly offering such work with this plant teacher. But the strong directive inner guidance to apprentice with this plant medicine came as an overwhelming internal instruction of truth, and I could feel that the plant spirit itself was calling me to listen instinctually, directly and somehow find my own unique way to work with it.
After scouring the internet for any kind of information I could gleen about this medicial plant teacher, I did come across the website of a man living in Guatemala named Keith who called himself The Chocolate Shaman – and it was from him I was able to purchase my first shipment of ceremonial grade cacao liquor.
I picked up a few guidelines from his website on how I might possibly work with cacao as a medicinal ally but I was full of questions and knew I needed to find my own way of working with this medicine and open directly to the plant itself to receive what it was so eager to share with me.
I spent 9 months fumbling around how to prepare the medicine, how to create a container of practice and engagement with the plant spirit, and learning the ways in which it shared its consciousness and wisdom with me. And through this process I was able to establish my own personal daily practice before finding the courage to share this with community, which resulted in yet another huge deepening in my learning with this plant teacher. A friend once reminded me that you practice to benefit those that you teach, and you teach what you most need to learn – and what a truth this is!
I spent two years drinking/ingesting the medicine almost every single day as the fulfillment of my apprenticeship with the spirit of the cacao plant, and spent several more years teaching what I’d learned with others.
Notes From The Field
Welcome, I’m Annu – and I write about embodying Truth, Love, Sovereignty & Liberation as our full-spectrum being; harmonizing our deep humanity & infinite nature that sprout the seeds of our New Earth living.
“Much of the ‘education’ during my apprenticeship with the cacao plant spirit was really about unlearning and undoing what the ‘societal outer world’ or ‘outer authority’ had inserted within me regarding the true nature of Life, of my female form, of my relationship with my physical & stellar bodies, of my relationship with nature and the Earth-Being herself, and about the Feminine Principle as the raw stream of sovereign, enlivened, undomesticated, inter-connecrive life-force Wisdom.”
What Ceremonial Cacao Taught Me
The teachings I received directly from the spirit of the cacao plant were so rich, visceral and deep – at times it felt like a constant stream of instruction and inner guidance that was flowering through me. This generous, sensuous plant taught me how to open into my own fleshy body, how to listen & communicate in the realm of soul, nature and our inter-connectivity, how to come into and thoroughly enjoy my own life-force essence through my embodied form. It felt like coming home to myself as a woman.
So much of the ‘education’ during my apprenticeship with the cacao plant spirit was really about unlearning and undoing what the ‘societal outer world’ or ‘outer authority’ had inserted within me regarding the true nature of Life, of my female form, of my relationship with my physical & stellar bodies, of my relationship with nature and the Earth-Being herself, and about the Feminine Principle as the raw stream of sovereign, enlivened, undomesticated inter-connective life-force Wisdom.
Cacao also taught me about authentic connection – between myself and everything – and that Life/Love is relational in its essence. This was a constant reassurance as I dropped deeper into self-intimacy, in opening up to the creative field, and widening my receptivity and embodiment of Universal Source energy. The plant spirit quite literally demonstrated through me how to plug into the Motherboard through the channels of inner guidance, inner authority, frequency precision and enlivening the deep instinctual body as the foundation of my unique GPS system.
It showed me how to get down into the bowl of my belly-sphere and develop my sensitivity, resilience and self-honesty there. The cacao spirit taught me how to open and cultivate intra-connectivity and collaboration between my deep womb consciousness and my universal heart consciousness as the wider, deeper and vaster sphere of embodying my Being and full-spectrum self.
I had been struggling to connect with my own gnosis and depth-embodiment prior to this, often abdicating my power, inner authority and integrity through mistrust of my own body and what it was feeding back to me.
It’s clear to me now that we actually have to remember how to be our self through the dismantling and unlearning of our personal, societal and ancestral conditioning, pains and patterns. And in some ways, we actually have to learn how to be human – how to become a True Human.
Until each of us discover what it actually means to be a True Human, we are basically living and enacting through a distortion that has been inserted into us – either through the illusory nature of the world and the construct of the Matrix itself, through our genetic databanks and bloodlines, or through the societal programming and control agendas.
Our identifications and abstractions are part of the illusory constructs – and purification through our own infinite nature as direct experience is the universal antidotes available to each and every one of us right now.
There have been many different facets to my own process of purification, realising my inherent freedom, reclaiming my sovereignty, and embodying my multidimensional spectrum but the sweet and beautiful spirit of the cacao plant has been a very deep and significant teacher and ally along the way.
Creation Of The Alchemical Chocolate™ Practitioner Training
As I mentioned previously in the post, 2014 was both a critical mass and ground zero point for me.
I came to a crossroads in my life where my internal reality was roaring into Truth – and yet I found myself entangled in an outer life that I’d created based on my conditioning and not-self patterns.
I was being cleaved in two by this, and it was agony. At a certain point, I simply couldn’t hold these two different realities anymore because it was breaking me apart. It was possibly the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make but I chose to walk away entirely from the not-self life I’d created – and chose that roar of Truth within me instead. I retracted myself from my old life and the outer world, and entered an indefinite period of silence, stillness and retreat in the mountains of Spain.
In the midst of dismantling my previous life, I received inner instructions to write down everything I knew about working with cacao as a plant spirit ceremonial guide and transformational embodiment ally. I felt an authentic responsibility in this, and that everything that had been shared with me should be preserved for the benefit of others. What I ended up creating was the very first online training for practitioners of ceremonial cacao (as far as I’m aware), in which I shared what I’d learned through my journey of initiation and apprenticeship with IxCacao that could support others who also felt called to work with this plant spirit.
Then I entered what was to become a life-changing two-year retreat and throughout this time the training I’d crafted was able to sustain me financially, and more than that somehow kept alive a thread to my humanity during this awakening and dark night of the soul. When I look back, I can see how ceremonial cacao served to plug me into deep existential teachings, and the period of retreat offered me the silence and stillness to be able to stay present with that depth. And I’m still integrating this.
It’s taken more than I could possibly have imagined to begin orientating balance and the cosmic divine order of my own Being, and to begin integrating this into the living ground of my life.
Even though my steps in this feel small and baby-like, I’ve come to realise that they aren’t. They aren’t even steps – they are quantum quasar pulse-points of rapid expansion and purification.
And this is why I take in these teachings to such a deep level, metabolise them, and move on so rapidly. It’s simply part of having a fixed destiny life design – if you have this too, you may recognise what I’m describing.
But what’s clear to me is that the plant deva of cacao has played a significant role in my process of getting free to become fully me and I’m forever grateful.
Simply put, the devic Earth Medicines are here to help us incarnate, to strengthen our own source energy and inner authority, so that we can be present, sovereign and fully embodied to the best of our ability.
I stopped drinking ceremonial cacao about two years ago, in 2016. It was a gradual organic move from insatiably ingesting cacao every day to a natural decrease as I entered into personal retreat and simplified my life. In the slow emergence from retreat, I would occasionally enjoy a glass of ceremonial cacao – but in honesty and hindsight, it was always just a listening to see if this medicine had anything more to share with me.
Right from the beginning, I allowed my instinctual body to be my guide regarding how often I drank. And, at a certain point, my body informed me that it was now toxic and harmful for me to drink ceremonial cacao. It became clear that my initiation with the cacao plant spirit was complete and that because the work was done, it wasn’t good or accurate for me to continue to ingest the medicine just because ‘I liked it’.
Over the past two years (2016-2018), my earth medicine work focus has been with Kambo, Rapé and some other plant spirit teachers – but none of this has been on the scale or depth of what IxCacao brought to me. It’s taken up to the early spring of this year (2018) for all other work with plant medicine to completely cease as well.
I was immensely reluctant to enter this work with plant medicines, which first began in 2008, and it seems I’ve also been reluctant to let it go, even though I’ve ironically longed for my plant karma series to complete.
I also acknowledge the straight-forward moments of fear I experience in facing the Unknown without the aid of such tecahers and allies – this is a naked, sober presencing with Reality exactly as it is right down into the dark of the underbelly and root system. No teachers or guides to point the way and run to when sh*t hits the crazy-fan.
Free-flowing in the River of Truth demands stability of mind, my unwavering indestructible Love, the consistency of not-leaving and not-moving just for the sake of it, of choosing to abide by Reality no matter what, to be present and be met by Life at depth-Source. So, it’s time to let go and remove my hand from the sweet medicine jar so I can open it up for what Life is initiating next.
In one form or another, I’ve been in working-relationship with the plant spirit of cacao for 7 years and I’m so clear that this devic intelligence has been one of my core teachers and allies through this immense Rite of Passage of dying to the world and being reborn to the Earth. My departure from this teacher and beloved friend is poignant and tinged with sadness but utterly saturated with my gratitude, profound appreciation and boundless love.
I’m here and the medicines have been gracious friends and kindreds in working me through and out of the matrices of harm, on behalf of the living Mystery to which I fully belong. The work/play is on-going in my unfolding and evolutionary process, and how I choose to creatively and purposefully show up in the world.
I’ve always instinctively understood that our apprenticing and work with plant spirit medicines is supposed to have a shelf-life, and it’s our job as practitioners and guides to ground and fully integrate the transmissions we receive and bring the realisations offered into form before the time is up. The medicines have purposful healing intentions, which includes our coming home to our true infinite nature, and to transform the ways in which we are personally out of balance with our own unique design, the principles of Nature and the Earth-Being herself. But they are not the destination in themselves. Many folk either forget this or choose to ignore the fact. This is the advantaged of seeing from a fixed destiny life path I guess – because there’s no room to linger wantonly.
Simply put, the Devic Earth Medicines are here to help us incarnate, to strengthen our own source energy and inner authority, so that we can be present, sovereign and fully embodied to the best of our ability.
The plant medicines are not here to be endlessly consumed, and for their pithy wisdom and healing capacities to become the product of spiritual materialism and indifference.
This is a signature of the very imbalance itself – the upside-down, back-to-front posture we often arrive at the ceremonial table with. The same imbalance that is foretold in the prophecies of how the cacao spirit will emerge from the rainforests and into the hearth of the world as a guide for our pilgrimage back into the eco-sphere of the Earth and our True Human Nature. So, there we have it… least we forget.
Hopefully, we find a way to listen deeply, honestly and authentically to the song of the Great Mother as the clear ring of Pure Love cutting through the cacophonous babble of disassociated mind, suffering and destructive energies.
May that true harmonic sound the thread of our navel-cord, which beckons us to turn inward, and to properly begin investigating the nature of what we’ve materialised into, and purifying and unwinding discovery of what it actually means to become properly initiated here as a True Human.
Closing The Alchemical Chocolate™ Practitioner Training
I’ve been in dilemma with the Alchemical Chocolate™ Practitioner Training for quite some time now.
I’ll be honest – the old part of me has felt called to support those coming into this kind of apprenticeship with the cacao spirit. But integrity demands that I let this work go now because my personal initiation with medicine is complete.
I recognise that there is now an open door before me – it’s the other side to this Rite of Passage of dying to the world and being born to the Earth and I choose to walk through with my whole and full Being.
As I arrive nakedly into the roots of my life, I’m experiencing this as a kind of shattering process – a shattering that has an apocalyptic awakening quality because this Arrival at depth is inextricably woven with the choice to not-go anywhere else. I choose This by saying no to the deluge of other options available to me. I arrive because I no longer go anywhere else, and day by day I’m doing my best to stay sober in this – without medicines, without grasping at other people’s truths, without immitation, without external authority or guidance, without projecting my need for rooting onto other indigenous wisdom traditions, practices and peoples, without grasping at spiritual bliss and bypassing, without self-harm and violence, without reacting and pushing away Otherness. I could go on… what is necessary in order to root authentically in Truth, Love, Sovereignty & Liberation is quite the shocker.
And it’s also a process, best tended with compassion and graciousness – to Be Here and abide in the belly of Reality. I’m newly arriving in the awakened root system, so I’m learning day by day. Sometimes I can speak fiercely about this, other times with tenderness, and right now there’s also a lot of grief and despair. I’m trusting I’ll stabilise in that. Maybe not, who knows…
So, this is my own way of publicly paying homage to the family of plant spirit guides that have been my kindred allies into the Roots of Life and Truth, and an extra-special bow to our beloved IxCacao that has been one of my closest and dearest heart-friends over the past several years.
I deeply thank all of the beautiful humans and more-than-humans who have shown up on this amazing journey too – those of you who have attended ceremonies in person and online; to those of you who heard the call of IxCacao and chose to deepen your relationship with this devic plant teacher through my practitioner training and have since begun blossoming in your own practice and are bearing-forth your own fruit in this; and also gratitude to those rare lights along the way that offered me some kind of reflection that yes, this is a key on the path of Life and I can trust it.
I will no longer be offering the Alchemical Chocolate™ Practitioner Training or Crafting Ceremonial Cacao after the end of August 2018. I will, however, keep my Practitioner Facebook group open until August 2019, with the option for it to continue if students are willing to run it themselves. And if you have purchased either one of the trainings prior to the end of August, the materials will be available to download until 31st December 2018.
My closing sentiments on this topic..?
Listen to the medicine – receive the actual teachings and begin applying them in your life for real. Don’t just be another spiritual consumer – do the work (it will ask everything of you), make the changes (hold the integrity of your inner realisations and actionable outer life), tell the truth (always), locate your actual proper roots (your body is the key), stop consuming other indigenous cultures and their spiritual traditions (learn & acknowledge – don’t steal & colonise), and find out what it means for you to wake up here and be truly, authentically you (clue: it’s already blueprinted inside you).
Here’s to Wholeness, Truth, Love, Sovereignty & Liberation, whatever it takes.
P.S. If you’re still here on the page, that’s amazing! Thanks for reading through – leave a comment below and let me know I’m not just whistling into the Void…
Content Copyright © Annu Tara, 2018. All rights reserved.