Valentine’s Day Cacao ritual

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REMEMBER THAT THIS RITUAL CAN BE EXPERIENCED ANY DAY OF THE YEAR THAT YOU DECIDE IS VALENTINE’S DAY!

 As we near Valentine’s Day….. that time of year when we like to take a special day to focus on the love we have in our lives, and particularly romantic love, there are many ways we can bypass the commercial pressure to do the usual ‘dinner, flowers and chocolates’ and actually engage in something truly meaningful.

Chocolates have long been associated with romance….yet what we find in high street grade chocolate is often a lot of sugar, dairy and caffeine. Yet cacao was used in ancient times to connect with the heart….yes the physical heart and all the emotions that bond us with others and help us to seek cooperation, communication and union.

Ceremonial grade cacao is having a resurgence of popularity at present, and ‘cacao ceremonies’ are becoming more frequent and well known around the globe. It is a wonderful gift to give instead of the usual chocolates on Valentine’s Day….along with what follows!

So how could ceremonial grade cacao be used on Valentine’s Day between lovers and partners to bring hearts together and create a truly magical and memorable evening/day experience? Here are some ideas!!! And what about if your great love is with yourself right now?

Read on……

Firstly, turn the phones off, lock the door and make sure TV, Facebook and any other distractions are OFF.

Some essentials to consider in preparation:

Music…..hmmmm choose what you love- might be classical, R&B, new age hippy beats, or something that says ‘tantra’ on Spotify.

Candles…..red, pink, purple ideally and lots of tea lights (but make sure you don’t start a fire – careful of soft furnishings/curtains/the cat…

Really nice incense or aromatherapy oils in an oil burner- for romance rose oil, ylang ylang, lavender, jasmine , patchouli or sandalwood are great if you like a more earthy aroma(check out online quantities and blends but generally 6 drops in an oil burner suspended in  water is perfect)-

You could go for 2 drops patchouli, 2 ylang ylang and 2 rose…..

Organic massage oil, or massage bars from Lush, and soap/ shampoo/conditioner etc.- make sure this is super special stuff you don’t find in super market. If you have time go online to www.lucyrose.biz, otherwise, visit Lush store or Neal’s Yard in most high streets.

Turn the central heating UP….and make a den either in your living room (if you don’t have housemates/children awake) or in your bedroom. Use cushions, blankets, and towels….maybe rose petals?!!

Make sure room is tidy…

Now is a good time to make your cacao drink….prepare it and take a moment to connect to the spirit of the cacao deva before you drink it….ask her to connect you to your deepest desires…for each other, for yourself, for your evening together.

Drink cacao….have a giggle….maybe right down what your deepest desires are.

Try this before the next step:

Close your eyes and intend that the smile in your heart finds you. Let that smile spread across your lips and fill your whole body. Imagine that you are glowing- every cell of your body is glowing brightly and a beam of golden light is flowing down from the centre of the universe, above you and trough you. Anchor this light into the earth, through the soles of your feet and base of your spine.

Send the glowing golden light to your partner from your heart and visualise receiving it from theirs.

This is a good point to have a bath/shower together…..intend that you are clearing your physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual bodies (eye rolling kept to a minimum at this point- keep an open mind and hear).

It takes around 30 mins to feel the full effects of the cacao so scrub up- wash each other’s hair (if you have any still), enjoy cleansing each other’s bodies with natural soaps/scrubs ideally (good time to visit health food store in preparation or Lush retailers have some great lotions and potions).

Towel dry and lounge in bath robes or chosen lingerie…..

 OK so now for the really fun part…..and you really don’t need to take this seriously…

If you are spending the evening with yourself, face a mirror for this part and place your right hand over your left, on your own heart centre.

Sit comfortably facing each other, at a distance that you touch each other. If you are comfy on the floor, with blankets and towels and cushions, then sit there, if not, sit on chairs opposite each other.

My friend Ben taught me this:

Place your right hand on the centre of your partner’s chest, and let your left hand cover theirs.

Look into each other’s eyes and focus on the left eye if you can’t focus on both. Giggle away till the desire to giggle subsides and then focus on the love you feel for your partner.

As you breathe IN, receive your partner’s love. As you breathe OUT, send the love you have for them to them.

Keep going with this for at least 5-10 mins….don’t worry if your eyes go out of focus…you may start to see different aspects of your partner- its ok, just keep going.

Aim on breathing in the same rhythm.

Allow your hands to move down to your own lap , palms facing up and fingers lose- take the time to receive the love that has come to you, and that you have for yourself.

Feel the love enter the crown of your head and move through your body going deep down into the earth.

Now it’s time to express love, both with words and through touch.

Take it in turns to stroke each other’s face, body outline, hair…say what you like about each other…what you love and appreciate.

You will by this point be feeling a lot of energy in your heart…allow yourself to express it.

Take at least 5-10 minutes each and keep it respectful and non sexual.

Next it’s time for massage- and the aim of this massage is to really enjoy your partner’s body….the feel of them, the look of them.

Start with no intention for it to lead to anything else…as in give for the sake of giving, not for what you may get in return. Start from the head and work your way down, or from the feet and work your way up. You don’t need to get technique ‘right’ just the pressure your partner enjoys. Ask for feedback to start with so you make sure it’s to their liking. It’s much more about stroking, and sensuality, then it is about a perfect massage technique.

If you are already lovers, then this is where things can take on a life of their own.

(If you prefer to keep to just massaging, make this clear at the start)

Aim to give each other at least 30 mins each of your touch.Then get under the blankets/cover you have, into the warm and hold each other.

You may wish to face each other or have one ‘spoon’ the other. Now practise breathing together again….INHALING up the spine and EXHALING down the spine. See where this leads you…..and enjoy the deep connection.

Make sure all candles are out before bedtime and drink lots of water  in the next 24 hrs (at least 2 litres each per day).

Stuff can come up that needs to be talked about and released. Practise listening to each other fully, without trying to put your point across. Just hear your partner and accept.

Then let yourself be heard.

Another option is to finish drinking your cacao, do the heart holding exercise and then turn your music up and have a dance.

In this version you get ready BEFORE drinking your cacao (bath/get dressed etc).

Massage is optional….. as is what follows 😉

InJoy my friends……

 

Where to buy ceremonial grade cacao? At present this is not available in retail shops but can be obtained through individuals (contact Rosanna Kalliabetsos on rozy@injoy-yoga.com for more info and how to prepare cacao).

You can buy raw cacao powder and cocoa butter in reputable health food shops, but this is already processed much more than ceremonial grade cacao and doesn’t have all the synergistic compounds that make ceremonial grade cacao so special.

Also there are some contra indications with ceremonial grade cacao- because of its high potency, there are some anti-depressants that don’t mix well with it, and people with heart and/or blood pressure issues should go for smaller portions than the average ceremonial dose of 42.5 grams.

Pregnant/breastfeeding woman should also be cautious with how much they take- the upper limit is usually 28 grams in these cases, as with people who are very sensitive to caffeine.

Ceremonial grade cacao from Guatemala has the lowest levels of caffeine found in cacao, but it does have theobromine in it which acts in a similar way to caffeine, so if you are prone to nausea/migraines, start with a dose of around 7-10 grams and see how you go!

 

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