Why I’m No Longer Teaching Ceremonial Cacao

{& some other points}

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 arriving nakedly into the roots of my life. This has the quality of open-eyed depth in the belly of Life that is ushering in the birth of my second life.

My midlife rebirth is reducing the past of what-has-been into ashes and I’m aware that if I turn the soil of this with truthfulness, then maybe it can become nutrient-rich for that which is coming next.

It’s taken me two years to consciously get here. Two years of dedicatedly and earnestly doing my work to find my way to the real ground of my Life after being in a long process of retreat and intense dismantling since 2014.

What’s clear to me now is that there are many ways to awaken. There is the Awakening out of Life that occurred for me in 2015 – and there is the awakening into Life that’s occurring right now. How this unfolds is different for each of us because nothing can be standardised. But what I know is that I had to die (whilst staying physically alive) before I could actually Live – it’s the truth, right there.

The silence that’s left after Dying is like the glove that wraps around the hand of Becoming. Awakening into Life is a process of arriving – an uncoiling emergence that’s inclusive of our humanity, our brokenness, our body, the earth, our togethering, our everyday life, our enjoyment, our meaning, our instinctual natural self, and the vibrant, breathing depths of the living Mystery.

It’s also deepening intimacy and growing freedom with grief, vulnerability, joy, openness and grit.

I’m sharing this with you because I believe that this naked arrival into the living body of life is important for what I want to share next.

Welcome, I’m Annu!

I write about embodying the roots of Truth & becoming trustworthy vessels for the living Mystery in the hearth of our everyday life.

Find out more about me & this work HERE!

CONNECT ON SOCIAL

My Journey With Ceremonial Cacao

I first started working with ceremonial cacao as a personal practice in 2011. I was given clear instructions to work with the plant spirit of cacao as a healing and transformational guide via another medicine I’d been working with.

The instruction to work with chocolate as a transformational aid was curious, enticing but also perplexing. Ceremonial cacao was relatively unknown in 2011 and (unlike today) there was very little information about this as an actual practice. There was certainly no-one to my knowledge available in my own city or country publicly offering such work. But the guidance to engage with this plant medicine came as a strong and overwhelming internal instruction of truth, and I could feel that the plant spirit itself was pushing me to listen instinctually and somehow find the way to work with it.

After spending some time researching this, I did come across 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 and eventually establishing my own personal practice before finding the courage to share this with community, which resulted in a huge deepening in my learning with this plant. A friend once reminded me that you practice to benefit those that you teach, and you teach what you most need to learn – what a truth that is.

I spent two years drinking or ingesting cacao almost every day.

What I can say now after these years of intense practice is that cacao played such a pivotal role in opening and teaching me about this instinctual non-linear aspect of myself that was calling out to be intimately known, understood and integrated.

What 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 was flowering through me. This generous, sensuous plant taught me how to open into my own flesh, how to sense, listen and communicate in the realm of Soul, how to come into and thoroughly enjoy my own essence through my embodied form. It felt like coming home to myself as a woman.

So much of my education during my apprenticeship with this plant was really about unlearning and undoing what society as the “outer world” had taught me about my female form, about my relationship with my body, my relationship with nature and the earth, and in general teaching me about the Feminine Principle (as an essence, not a gender) as the raw stream of enlivened undomesticated life force.

Cacao was also teaching me about authentic connection – between myself and everything – and that life/love is relational and reassuring me of the safety to sink deeper into self-intimacy, in opening up the creative field, and widening my receptivity to Universal Source. The medicine was literally demonstrating to me how to plug into the Motherboard through the channels of inner guidance, inner authority and the deep instinctual body as part of my unique human GPS system.

It showed me how to get down into the bowl of my belly-sphere and develop my sensitivity – establishing the necessary resilience to what I discovered there came afterwards through the teachings of Aisha Salem. Cacao was teaching me how to open and cultivate a co-creative, living relationship between the consciousness of my womb and my heart as two different yet co-informing realms of Being.

What I can say now after these years of intense practice is that cacao played such a pivotal role in opening and teaching me about this instinctual non-linear aspect of myself that was calling out to be intimately known, understood and integrated.

I had been struggling with connecting to 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 learn how to be our self through unlearning our conditioning. We have to learn how to be human – and like so many that have yet to encounter their own process of this, I had been living my life according to my mind’s idea and moving from that identification in a way that was profoundly disenfranchised from my intrinsic human beingness of the earth-wisdom.

What I knew of this was mostly conceptual, understood in abstraction but not firmly and stably rooted in my body and direct experience.

Creation Of The Alchemical Chocolate™ Practitioner Training

2014 was critical mass for me. And it eventually reduced me to ground zero.

I came to a crossroads in my life where my internal reality was roaring into Truth, inclusive of the teachings IxCacao had been delivering to me and under the direct care and tutelage of my root teacher Aisha Salem – and yet I found myself embedded in an outer life that I’d created based on my conditioning and not-self ideas.

I was being split in two and it was agony. At the point where I literally couldn’t take being broken in two anymore, I gave up my tormented sense of obligation to the life I’d created and chose Truth. I devastatingly yet swiftly retracted myself to enter an indefinite period of retreat and dissolution.

In the midst of dismantling my life, I received inner guidance to write down everything I knew about working with cacao as a ceremonial guide and transformational embodiment ally. I had a sense of responsibility in this, that everything that had been shared with me should be preserved and marked down. What I ended up creating was the very first (as far as I’m aware) online training for practitioners of ceremonial cacao in which I shared what I’d learned in my journey of initiation and apprenticeship with IxCacao with others who also felt called to work with this plant.

Then I entered what was to become a life-changing two-year retreat and throughout this time the training I’d crafted sustained me financially, and more than that somehow kept me threaded to my humanness during this 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. I’m still learning this.

It’s taken more than I could possibly have imagined to begin finding balance in my own Being, and then to begin actioning stability pinions of this in my life. 

Even though my steps in this feel small and baby-like, what’s clear to me so far is that the essence is in place, and the plant deva of cacao has played a significant role in my process of getting free and becoming me.

(My root teacher was absolutely central as well, but that’s another post).

simply put, most Earth Medicines are here to help us incarnate and be present to the best of our ability

And Now?

I stopped drinking ceremonial cacao about two years ago. It was a gradual move from insatiably ingesting cacao every day to a natural decrease as I entered retreat. In the slow emergence from retreat, I would enjoy a glass occasionally – but in honesty and hindsight, I was just listening to see if this medicine had anything more to teach me.

Right from the beginning, I allowed my body to be my guide in how often I drank. And, at a certain point, my body informed me that it was now toxic to drink ceremonial cacao. It became clear to me that my initiation with the cacao deva was complete and that because the work was done, it wasn’t good or accurate for me to continue to ingest medicinally just because I liked it.

Over the past two years, my medicine work focus has been with Kambo, rapé and some other plant teachers – but none of this has been on the scale or depth that 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 to complete.

I also acknowledge the straight-forward moments of fear toward the Unknown in this too – of the naked, sober presencing with Reality, exactly as it is right down into the dark of the underbelly and root system.

This requires my stability of mind, my unwavering heart, the consistency of not-leaving, of choosing to abide 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 jar so I can open it up for what Life is inviting next.

In one form or another, I’ve been working with this cacao medicine for 7 years and I’m so clear that the spirit of cacao has been one of my core teachers that has assisted me through this immense Rite of Passage of dying to the world and being reborn to the earth. My departure with this teacher is poignant and sad, saturated in gratitude and the deep appreciation and boundless love of my Being.

I’m here and the medicines have been gracious allies in working me through on behalf of the living Mystery. The work is on-going in my unfolding and evolutionary process, and how this creatively and purposefully shows up in the world. I do observe that as consciousness there has been a merging – maybe this is what happens when you ingest, absorb and apply voraciously and vigorously?  

I’ve always instinctively felt that for most people the work with plant medicines is supposed to have a shelf-life, and it’s our job as practitioners to ground the teachings we receive and bring the realisations offered into form before the time is up. The medicine has a purpose, which includes our coming home to Self, to our true nature, and to transform the ways in which we are personally out of balance so that we can each begin engaging our unique contribution to balancing a world that’s currently in disenfranchised fracture back into wholeness and earthiness.

Whether that’s actually possible or not is yet another post, and besides, it may not even be the point. But simply put, most Earth Medicines are here to help us incarnate and be present to the best of our ability – soulfully, sourcefully, corporeally, instinctively, purposefully, openly, lovingly, wakefully, passionately.

The plants are not here to be endlessly consumed, and for their pithy teachings to become the disposable, plasticized wisdom-imitations of pop culture, even though this is the entry point for more of us than we’d like to admit – and paradoxically why many of us need the medicine to break through and resolve our systemically dissociated homelessness and lostness.

This is 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 myth of how cacao will emerge from the rainforests and into the hearth of the world as a guide and ally in our pilgrimage back into the eco-sphere of the earth and becoming at home with our human nature. So, there we have it…

Hopefully, we find a way to listen. As the song of the Mother find it’s way through the cacophonous blabber of our disassociated minds and we begin tugging at the thread of our navel that is beckoning us to turn inward, to properly begin investigating the nature of what we’ve been born into, and eventually the slow, unwinding discovery of what it actually means to become properly rooted 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’ve been struggling to commit deeper in the way that the practice and those entering it so very much need. There is escalating nonsense around this practice that is really asking for some proper hands to hold and guide it into the depth of wisdom it’s actually inviting.

I’ll be honest – I’ve felt called to support in that way. But the rub of integrity comes in the recognition that my personal work with medicines 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. Life is inviting me through, to take the next-right-step, which is proving to be so vulnerable, open, unknown, exposed, and far more loving in a way that challenges me deeply – to be with that love, to agree to this degree of care and presencing.

As I begin to arrive naked into the roots of my life, I’m experiencing this as a kind of shattering process – a shattering that has an awakening quality because the open arrival in depth is inextricably woven with the choice to not go anywhere else. I choose This by saying no 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 projecting my need for roots onto other indigenous wisdom traditions, practices and peoples, without grasping at spiritual bliss, without self-harm, without reacting and distancing myself from otherness. I could go on… the list is a shocker.

It’s a process – 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 a long-winded way of publicly paying homage to the family of medicines that have been my allies into the root of Life, and especially to beloved IxCacao that has been my closest and dearest heart-friend plant teacher over the years.

I thank all of you actual people 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 plant teacher through my practitioner training and have since begun blossoming in your own practice and are bringing 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 practice 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 outer life), tell the truth (always), find your actual proper roots (your body is the key), stop consuming other 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 in).

Here’s to wholeness, whatever it takes.

With Love…

 

 

P.S. If you’re still here, that’s amazing! Leave a comment below and let me know I’m not just whistling into the Void… (OK, now I’m laughing).

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I’d love to hear your feedback & sharing! And don’t worry, your email address won’t be published.

65 Comments

  1. Samantha Goodburn

    You’re totally not whistling into the void! Even if No-one commented. Thankyou always for your unflinching-standing strong in your integrity and authenticity. You’ve taught me so much simply with your honesty and saying it how it is amongst the muck and mire…
    Tears of gratitude for our paths crossing wherever and whatever the future holds. ❤️

    Reply
    • Annu

      oh beautiful Sam, you really are one of the gifts IxCacao has brought into my life. You are such a strong mirror of that unflinching quality – your staying-power in the nutrient-rich mud is an anchoring force for so many, including me. Thank you for that! May the journey continue ❤️

      Reply
    • Maryz

      Much gratitude for your raw and lush wisdom weaved into the fabric of wise words. This training is truly wholeness. Thanks to the spirit of Cacao who has chosen for a glimpse of time in space your vessel to manifest its medicine.
      To truth & integrity,
      Maryz

      Reply
      • Annu

        Beautiful words, Maryz – thank you. So glad you found connection with this training to support you in deepening with IxCacao.

        Reply
    • Jill

      Ahhhh Annu, I feel your journey so much through this post. Thank you for laying it out so deeply. It lands right at a moment of me being asked to reflect on my feelings towards indigenous medicines, & amongst deep confusion & sadness as to why there’s such a huge lean & fuss towards it & yet for many I feel no deeper return to themselves. So many blessings to you. It’s also clicked me in to the beautiful musical sharings on your site. Thank you SO SO much for those, I’m unfolding in them now & feeling very drawn to the wisdom of you right now. Love, Jill xx

      Reply
      • Annu

        Thanks for your feedback, Jill – and great that you’re enjoying the playlists!

        I hear you in that concern and share it, and also have to admit to the logic of evolution. Plant teachers aren’t that different from human spiritual teachers, in terms of consciousness teaching consciousness. But they are beyond-human so that element is, of course, missing. I think that human-learning element is the integration and deeper return you speak. As plant wisdom propagates, we are learning trial by fire where the integration and balance-points are needed, mostly by experiencing the opposite. It seems to me something new is being born out of that tension of opposites… that we are realising we need to learn how to be Human in a way that doesn’t dismiss Universal Source. Thanks for witnessing this part of my journey… Love to you x

        Reply
  2. Anessa Maize

    Annu, with deepest respect I thank you for your raw and real outpouring of describing where you’ve been and where you find yourself now. Definitely not just blowing in the wind….(IMHO)
    Your sharing makes me self reflect and ask questions and see myself in relationship to my life past and present and to my relationship with other sources of wisdom, including the plant medicines and other cultures. I especially appreciate the guidance to “not be just another spiritual consumer”. I too have worked with and let go of many plant and other culture medicine paths that served me so well as teachers and richly informed my life. I’m inspired by your personal growth work that you’ve so generously shared here. I’m about 20 yrs ahead of you on the midlife path yet feel like such a youngster in all that still is yet to be delved into, unlearned /learned and to unfold. Blessings on your journey forward. Much love to you my fellow human being. Anessa

    Reply
    • Annu

      I appreciate your wealth of experience and wisdom, Anessa – you have worked with and let go of so much, and I remember being struck by that quality of you when we first met in the Homecoming Conversations and your sharing about archetypal energies. Thank you for sharing and responding with me here, always a joy to connect with you.

      Reply
  3. Hadhee Jah

    Annu, you have been and continue to be a shining teacher on my path. Thank you, as always for an honest transmission! Filled with deepest respect for you and the journey we are all sharing. It’s in the quality of the light that the wisdom shines!

    Love all ways

    Reply
    • Annu

      Hadhee, so glad to walk and weave with you! Thank you for your words – so much respect and appreciation for you as you carve your own path against the grain of what others would shape you into. All power and softness to your Being You… and yes to the quality of light, I hear you ❤️ Strong Love for our meeting.

      Reply
  4. Judy

    Dearest Annu, thank you for sharing. Meeting you and IxCacao has been one of my pivot points on my journey. Thank you for this connection. You can only ever follow the path of your journey, whatever the route. I am so glad I have met you, IxCacao, recieved the training and joined the amazing community that is out there. The words of a practise from my teacher spring to mind “Beloved one, you have appeared. You are surrounded with divine love and absolutely beauty”. Now you are travelling onward on your path. Safe journey wherever the road leads you…

    Reply
    • Annu

      I remember our first meeting, Judy – drinking cacao in the Death Lodge held in that house that killed me, lol. It was a joy for me to witness you and IxCacao to connect in-body, and I wish you so many blessings for your own journey too. Thanks for your kind words.

      Reply
  5. Rhianne

    Grateful to be here. Thank-you for sharing this journey that we also walk alone. Paradox’s turning inside, outside, upside down…to let go of that which has served you so very well…I bow down to your knowing. May the ground appear beneath your feet as you continue to walk in truth. I love you.
    PS. The invitation is open for you to come to South Africa and share whats’s opening and rooting in you.

    Reply
    • Annu

      I love you, Rhianne… thanks for your blessing. Here’s to the continued weave of our flight-paths, and the forms this may take in our Becoming ❤️ And thank you for the open-invite. What a teacher SA has been for me, as land and tribe.

      Reply
  6. Arya Ingvorsen

    Blessings for you and thanking you for sharing your wisdom and your teachings.

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thanks, Arya – and I wish you so many blessings in your work with IxCacao!

      Reply
  7. Kanchan howe

    Dearest Annu,Thankyou so much for your naked heart and womb wisdom.i have felt moved by you today as I did when I first came to the cacao diet a two and a half years ago.I felt challenged by you in Spain and I felt your love and the grace.
    I resonate and feel your call to truth ,to the unknown and the authentic.not to imitate .i stand here with a shake in my body ,an ache in my chest,with so many young arms reaching out to hold on and yet I know the only holding on is to the knowing in my body in this moment.
    Cacao still is a teacher for me,a warm mother opening me deeper into my body and the call of the wild.She helps me to feel the earth and I witness her bringing deeper intimacy to self and others as we share her in circle and in the moment.
    I’m extremely grateful that you brought this gift through and I also have no idea where she is leading.
    So much love to you and your journey,and thankyou from the bottom of my heart for your integrity and beauty.
    Love kanchanx

    Reply
    • Annu

      I’m really touched by your share, Kanchan – I remember our first connection and also witnessing your deep meeting with IxCacao as your relaxation into the Mother’s arms through her. It touched me then too, as it’s doing now. I acknowledge the mirror between us. What I’m appreciating right now in my life is the tenacity developing in the relationships that know beauty and grace, but also know challenge and grit. I feel we meet here in this place, and I humbly thank you for it. You reflect to me the truth that I’m not easy. It means a lot to me that in light of this, you are willing to show up anyway.

      I imagine that your circles and gatherings around the hearth of IxCacao are rich, deep, compassionate, healing, forgiving and embracing. Such beautiful & meaningful work I feel you doing ❤️ Love & Blessings for it and for you dear soul.

      Reply
  8. Claudia

    Thank you love.
    Dropping deeper in gratitude after reading your sharing.

    Reply
    • Annu

      Appreciate you being here, Claudia – thank you for connecting ❤️

      Reply
  9. Julie Gibbons

    And, exhale …. 🙂

    Feels good to see you share intimately in your space again, Annu – I expect it feels really good for you to arrive here, also. It’s been quite the journey.

    Welcome to your second life! I expect it’ll also be quite the adventure.

    Loving you xo

    Reply
    • Annu

      Oh it does, it does, love! On so many levels, as you rightly imagine 😀 What it takes, eh?

      So endlessly grateful to be walking along with you, in all the tears and hilarity, the depth and sweetness ❤️ I so appreciate and love you for that.

      Reply
  10. Sam

    So fascinating to read your journey. I am just at the beginning of my exploration with cacao, thanks in part to your course. So useful to read your perspective from further along. I really appreciate the reminder not to be a spiritual consumer. thanks!

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thank you, Sam – wishing you blessings on your journey and work with IxCacao ❤️

      Reply
  11. jackie

    Dearest Annu,
    Deepest gratitude to you sister, I feel your heart felt honesty its a joy & truth to hear this. thank you
    for everything you have shared. IxCacao is a beautiful goddess she has been a wonderful teacher to me. Your immense work with Ixcacao & sharing is such a blessing I am so happy
    I found you when I did. I am at a cross roads too in my life with the medicines, I feel the great mother is asking for dissolution of all the stories, programmes & imprints – inviting me to dive deep into her Yin dark waters surrendering into the unknown – I really do understand where you are, its perfect. Sending you a huge loving hug & love always xxx

    Reply
    • Annu

      Wishing a deep, silent surrender for you, Jackie. Love to you ❤️

      Reply
  12. Makaela

    Dear Annu…I recognise so much in your journey…so much…& yet…your clarity & determination is breathless..& Inspired…I wish you All that you Are..In this wonderful arriving into our own precious Life..and I have such faith…to feel such resonance…in so much of your insights & sharing…Tis mad, that it is all there…..our precious…blueprint…That we dedicate our time & Love to this unfolding..& Listening in..& breathing ourselves through it….& all the madness’ that passes our way…or took up residence along the way…to obscure our worthiness..& deep knowing…& Trust…You reflect way to much..for my own ongoing shattering to come to close it would seem…but dep respect. Much Love

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thank you so much, Makaela – I feel your blessing. And appreciate your words here that I know are coming from depth as well. Much Love to you.

      Reply
  13. Jo

    Wow! Such beauty, integrity and authenticity in all of your writings my love; it’s who you are through and through, even if that truth causes pain for you.
    Will watch with huge love and interest where you land next… in your second phase of life.
    What I know is that wherever that is it will be hard earned and true…. you are truth!! Loving you x

    Reply
    • Annu

      You’ve witnessed a lot of it – I so appreciate your support. Here’s to the next cycle… Loving you too x

      Reply
  14. Charlotte Bevan

    Thank-you for sharing your incredible journey. I purchased the training yesterday and I will start this week. I can’t begin to explain how much your words have just filtered through my entire Being and beyond. This message is exactly what i needed to read, especially as i take my journey with Cacao deeper. Thank-you for your honesty within all of your experiences. I have already learnt so much before even opening the first page to the training and something very real has just shifted within. Big Love x

    Reply
    • Annu

      Oh Charlotte, this is so good to read! Thank you for saying so – I’ll admit, I was wondering how the people who have recently purchased the training would feel to hear that I’m stopping. Your words help me understand that it can still be supportive and not just like I’m bailing ship 🙂 Love and welcome to you x

      Reply
  15. brunehilde

    Thank you so much for this beautiful, authentic post that resonates a lot with my own experience.
    It inspires me a lot <3
    I've been struggling so much about this topic of the use of plant spirits as guides & teachers, I've felt for so much time that the over-consumption of them is a way of avoiding applying the teachings in reality. I use myself Cacao and Hapé as teachers and I am very connected to their spirits, it has given me so much so far, and my heart has been literally washed since 2 years when I first met the cacao. But I also start to hear there will be a time to let them go, as what matters is to fully accept the human experience. So, thank you for bringing this topic up, it activates the good question on my path 🙂

    Reply
    • Annu

      Good to hear your instinct on this too, Brunchilde – everything has its season and I’m finding its simultaneously opening and consolidating in the letting go. But it’s all in the listening to that place where truth instructs. Wishing you a good unwinding when the time is right for you.

      Reply
  16. Nina

    I love you so much! Thank you! xo

    Reply
    • Annu

      Nina! Great to see you here – loving you x

      Reply
  17. Aline Verheyen

    Thank you for everything you’ve taught me. My journey with Ixcacao has been rich and full of teachings and healing. I am also closing this chapter and look forward to meeting new teachers. I wish you the best.

    Reply
    • Annu

      Dear Aline, lovely to hear from you. Good to hear you received what you needed – here’s to the next cycle of Life. Blessings for your way.

      Reply
  18. Emma

    So much gratitude to you Annu for the immense courage and love you possess to be able to go to the depths you have gone to for your own healing, lessons, and for the benefit of others. You are a rare diamond, polished by the roughness of life. Your spirit has always inspired and encouraged me to go deeper and listen to my own truth- with all the joy and pain that brings. Thank you for all of your love and all of your tears. Holding you with all of mine too. We all came here so blessed… It’s all inside waiting to birth… Here’s to the next adventure! xxx

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thank you, Emma – I’m touched by your words and feel seen. I feel you – grateful to share my tears and joy with yours. Much Love to you, beautiful x

      Reply
  19. Helen Quail

    Hearing , feeling and receiving you in your realness Annu. Your words find me and echo. Thank you

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thank you, Helen ❤️

      Reply
  20. Celeseah

    Ahhhh! Beautiful Sharing Annu, its wonderful that you
    Are listening and are surrendered so deeply to the mystery that continuously unfolds in life. I look forward to watching your new adventures. Much Love Celeseah & Elandro xx

    Reply
    • Annu

      Big love to you both – remembering our time together 🙂 xx

      Reply
  21. Dailey

    Very beautiful, Annu! I love and appreciate all that I learned from witnessing you on your journey.

    Reply
    • Annu

      So many blessings to your work & path, Dailey – thank you for being here.

      Reply
  22. Tiffany Stephens

    Wonderful post. I love your openness, honesty and integrity. There is so much you say here that echo my own views and understanding especially in regard to plant medicines only being used for a limited time and the teachings being integrated into reality. That is often not the case for many seekers. I applauded you

    Reply
    • Annu

      Dear Tiffany, I remember reading a post of yours many moons ago about your feelings on Kambo. At that point, I was still in my work with it and it was activating for me. But a seed landed within at that point and gathered with other seeds collecting in my consciousness to bring me to the place where I just couldn’t work with it any longer.

      Isn’t it funny how our eco-system moves and educates itself?! It really doesn’t take much to make one small cog turn that impacts the whole system. Something for us all to remember I imagine.

      Anyway, thank you for that and for showing up here ❤️

      Reply
  23. Chloe Forfitt

    Thank you Annu, for putting your truth so beautifully into words. And for using your public platform to give such sound and pithy advice. I wonder how we make our livings, now the veils have dropped and chopping wood/carrying water is all we can do authentically… I don’t remember ever hearing that life would require me to be so simple and quiet… Maybe I wouldn’t have listened if it were said. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with me- I feel lucky to have been able to receive the many gifts from your cacao retreat. Love to you.

    Reply
    • Annu

      Lovely to hear you, Chloe. It’s also been my experience of having that space of Silence where all that’s to do is the metaphorical (and often literal) quiet groundedness of chopping wood/carrying water. This was the dying phase for me, and yes, it also carves out the simplicity, which is so necessary and on-point.

      But in the right-relation rebirth into Life, the Passion is also Truth. And it lives, and moves and breaths us in pure creativity, joy and meaningful purpose. There are so many cycles and phases – each one so necessary for our deeper and truer unfolding. Be in touch if that ever feels helpful for you – and thanks for your sharing here. Much Love to you.

      Reply
  24. Shannon

    You’re not whistling into the void, you sang from your heart and it reverberated throughout the Universe and into the hearts of others. We thank you. May you continue to shine brightly and beautifully, may your heart always be full and may you have a prosperous and abundant life. xSx

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thank you, Shannon ❤️

      Reply
  25. Anna

    <3 Dear Annu ~ love to you for your Precious honesty ~ Celebrate ones inner landscape and journey <3

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thank you for being here, Anna ❤️

      Reply
  26. Brian Wallace

    Thanks a ton for sharing all of this Annu. I appreciated reading every last bit, and particularly enjoyed the encouragement to “listen to the medicine” in your closing paragraph, along with the words that followed. It has been a wild ride to watch the world of ceremonial cacao explode into what it is now over the last few years, and it will surely be mind-boggling to watch it continue to evolve over the next few decades. Thank you for sharing your thoughts in such detail, and thank you for encouraging all of us to explore integrity on a deeper level… And most importantly thank you for leading by example. I hope you continue writing and sharing on whatever medium you’re called to do so on, whether its about plant medicine or some other topic entirely.

    Reply
    • Annu

      Brain, you’ve been one of the rare lights on my journey that assured me of my path with Cacao, when there was so little outer reflection of this and not yet enough direct experience. I still remember how much passion you spoke with about cacao as an entheogen teacher at Burning Man. I so appreciate you for this – and also your deep integrity and artfulness that you seem to infuse into everything you create with cacao. You’re a light in the field – thank you. And also for encouraging my writing, I’m really enjoying it 🙂

      Reply
  27. Lucy Morus-Baird

    Hi Annu

    I literally just purchased the course last night after feeling cacao around me for months but needing to work with her with integrity. I’m amazed and inspired by your honesty and truth, it’s such important teachings to let go of the things we love if it’s right and not be spiritual consumers. I’m so grateful I found this course before it ends, to learn in this way. So many blessings to your heart.

    Lucy

    Reply
    • Annu

      Dear Lucy, so glad to welcome you to this training and hope it serves you well in your own direct relationship with this amazing plant teacher. So often She calls in this way – and now you have answered 🙂 Blessings to your practice ❤️

      Reply
  28. amanda waring

    Dearest One, so many blessings for all that you do and have given. Cacao is with me still but on a shifting way as well, I hear your words and send much love and look forward to new offerings in new forms in time xxx amanda

    Reply
    • Annu

      Thank you, Amanda 🙂 We just had the Edinburgh Festival here and I thought of you and when we met at your wonderful chocolate show xx

      Reply
  29. Amy

    This was beautiful read, Annu. It took me until now to gte a chance to read the whole piece, but I found much richness and inspiration in your words. x

    Reply
    • Annu

      glad you enjoyed it, Amy – thanks for saying so. Hope you are well x

      Reply
  30. Catherine

    Definitely not whistling in the void!! I am hearing you and feeling you. Thank you for finding words for the unwordable. I have been experiencing so much of this in similar but different ways and having been unable to articulate it, so Thank You! Blessings in abundance dear one, I am so grateful our paths crossed in this incarnation. Much love, Catherine xoxo

    Reply
    • Annu

      Glad this spoke to you, Catherine – very interesting to hear you’ve been experiencing similar threads. Thanks for your words ❤️

      Reply
  31. Deborah Sargent

    Interesting read, I am quite fascinated by the whole chocolate adventure you were on. Interested because, I really am not a chocolate consumer. We all have interesting lessons ahead of us. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and knowledge.
    Best to you

    Reply

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