How A Cacao Ceremony Awakened The Feminine Within Me
Originally posted on Over The Moon Mag.
"The sacred energy of the Cacao Goddess invites us to go deep within ourselves and awake, re-connect with the heart, the beauty, the gentleness, the glow, the compassion and love for ourselves.” — Spirit Weavers
There I was, sitting upon the mineral rich soil of the old growth, redwood forest floor with a cup of cacao brew in my hands. I was sharing a pulse with 75 other teary-eyed women as the warm cacao penetrated our collective bloodstream. We had all found ourselves at the 3rd annual Spirit Weavers Gathering in a cacao ceremony led by Colombian healer, Paola. My heart felt like a flower blossoming over and over again, as tears of gratitude streamed down my face.
In my teens and early 20′s, I struggled with love.
While I was in a few exciting romantic relationships that felt like a flavor of love, I had very little love for myself. In fact, it felt so painful to be in my skin I would hurt myself. I grew up in a private school system that celebrated striving, ambition and academic achievement—an ecosystem where the feminine qualities that came more natural to me as a child were seen as weak or unimportant. No one cared if you were a compassionate listener, had a generous spirit or radiated an inner light.
I constantly felt less than enough, which very quickly squashed my inner voice and creativity. In my junior year of high school, I was prescribed Adderall by a doctor (and self prescribed pot to counterbalance the harsh side effects of the amphetamine).
It lead me into a deep depression.
The drugs brought my exams from a B to an A, which I guess was the point, but I wasn’t growing as a person and I definitely wasn’t happy. I was so depleted, I ended up in the ER with walking pneumonia and pleurisy, which resulted in chronic asthma.
For the past 10 years, I’ve been on a journey to heal these wounds, gradually reawakening qualities of the feminine within: self-love, self-care, beauty, sensuality, empathy, vulnerability and radiance. Doing so has meant redefining what success and power mean to me and discovering the daily practices that bring balance to my life. All of this work exploring my feminine qualities have had an unexpected result: they’ve opened channels of love and connection in my life that I never knew existed.
A few years ago I met the love of my life in New York, left my job managing a friend’s boutique jewelry store and made the 3,000 mile journey West to live in a small cottage in the redwoods.
In the cradle of our love, I’ve been able to heal one of my deepest wounds—the voice that says that I have nothing valuable to share with the world. Within months of arriving, I launched my own coaching business, helping women like me move beyond the fear and self-doubt that keeps them from their dreams and ignites the feminine wisdom and self-love that lies within.
It was this call that brought me to Spirit Weavers, a gathering of 500 women composed of mystics, yogis, mothers, artists, elders, entrepreneurs and healers, with over 85 classes offered on sacred art and ritual. It was the second day that I found myself in Paola’s cacao workshop.
“All of life is a ceremony,” she whispered. Her eyes were glowing. Wisdom poured from Paola, like echoes from her ancestors touching us deep in our bones.
We passed the warm liquid around in silence.
Sisters drummed and sang ancient songs. Copal burned at the altar and the sun beamed down on our faces from between the redwoods trees. Prayers for a better world poured from our hearts into our cups filled with bitter cacao. Thoughts became less and less and eventually, I could only feel.
I left Spirit Weavers feeling like a flame had been stoked within me.
Together with a band of wild, passionate sisters, we explored parts of ourselves that aren’t always expressed or celebrated. We were reminded of the gift of our feminine essence and the beauty and love that emerges from sharing these gifts openly. I was reminded that the experience of divine love is not something we can achieve but something we can open to, like palms outstretched, ready to receive her offering.