Cacao & Clarity

Cacao is a less processed, much richer version of the cocoa we're used to drinking. This extra dark chocolate is especially effective for enhancing mood and even helping drinkers achieve altered states that can lead to inner transformation and healing. Traditionally cacao has been used in ceremonies intended to open the heart and connect to emotions & intuition.

Gwyn's cacao ceremonies combine traditional elements of a ceremony with meditation and self-healing practices inspired by psychology & spirituality. The mood altering benefits of cacao help you make the most of the session, which can have a lasting impact on your mental health and happiness.

Gwyn's Cacao Gatherings

A micro retreat from the privacy of home

What to Expect

Cacao ceremonies take place online, so you can make yourself cozy in your bed, on your sofa, or even on the floor. Keep your camera and mic off and relax completely as you listen to Gwyn's guidance throughout the ceremony. All of the practices are intended to help you connect with your inner wisdom, work through common emotional issues and find healthy resolutions. You may feel strong emotions during the ceremony, but they are usually cathartic. Make sure you are somewhere private where you can feel free to express any emotions that come up.

Ceremonies last a little over an hour, but it is good to plan for an hour and a half in case a session runs long. It is especially important to try and set aside some time before and after the ceremony if possible. Before the ceremony you will want some time to prepare your cacao, think of your intention, and get into the right mindset for a ceremony. After the ceremony you will want some time to reflect, journal, and ease back into your usual routine. 

Gwyn's cacao ceremonies, are designed around a theme. To see the details of upcoming themes, check out the main Gatherings page.

What You'll Need For the Ceremony

  • An intention
  • Your prepared cacao or hot beverage* (we’ll drink it together at the beginning of the call)
  • Notebook/notepad and something to write with
  • A laptop or device to call into the session (you can do audio-only if you’d like)
  • A quiet, relaxing place to be for the entire session (It is possible you may experience some strong feelings, so make sure you choose somewhere you feel safe expressing them. You don’t have to be on camera so get as cozy as you’d like!)

*Chocolate helps some people sleep but keeps others awake. If you don't want to drink cacao or cocoa during the ceremony, please choose a favorite hot beverage to participate in the mindfulness part of the ceremony. Caffeine free sage tea also has similar mood altering effects as cacao and makes a good substitute.

Intention Setting

Setting an intention helps you get more out of the session. An intention is something you want to accomplish by participating in this workshop. It might be something simple like “I want to love myself more”. Do you want to reach a goal or let baggage go? That may inspire your intention. Do you have a particular topic or issue on your mind? Do you have a question you’re having trouble answering? Maybe your intention would be to gain a better understanding of the situation. Gwyn will be available 15 minutes before the ceremony's listed start time to help with developing intentions if needed.

Cacao Options

These descriptions are for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time researching options. If you already have a favorite cacao or dairy-free hot chocolate mix, feel free to use that.

  • Ceremonial Grade Cacao / Cacao Paste 
    • Very bitter unless prepared with a sweetener (see a suggested recipe below)
    • Best mood enhancing effects
    • Closest to what you would use in a cacao ceremony
  • Drinking/Sipping Chocolate 
    • A good mix of enjoyable and mood enhancing effects
    • Very rich but should have some sweetness to it
    • Easy way to get the effects without the effort of making your own cacao blend
  • Rich Hot Chocolate (must be dairy free!)
    • May have more sugar and less mood enhancing effects
    • For those who don’t like dark chocolate, this may be more enjoyable for your mindfulness exercise

Cacao Preparation & Basic Recipe

Whatever you choose to use, make sure you follow the instructions on the packaging. It should be thicker than typical hot chocolate and fill a little over half a mug when poured. Avoid any chocolate mix with dairy, but feel free to add any dairy-free alternative you’d like. If your chocolate mix contains lactose (dairy) you may not get the full effects of the cacao.

Whatever preparation method you choose, try to do your preparation in a peaceful, relaxing environment. While preparing, concentrate on your intention, or just focus good intentions/energy on your brewing drink. The more you steep this process in intention, the more meaningful it will be for you. 

Suggested Cacao Drink Mix (especially if using ceremonial cacao/cacao paste)

  • ¼ cup cacao paste or drinking chocolate 
  • ½ cup your favorite tea that will compliment the chocolate (suggestions: rose, mint, herbal tea, etc.)
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk, like coconut or almond milk (it is very important not to use dairy!) 
  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending how sweet you like things)
  1. Put the chocolate in a small pot on the stove.
  2. Brew the tea for the usual amount of time, and add ½ cup to the pot of chocolate while it is still hot.
  3. Turn the stove on low and gently stir the chocolate as it melts. Do not boil your cacao!
  4. As the chocolate warms, add the nondairy milk and maple syrup.

Delightful dashes to add to your cacao:

  • A sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Rose petals/fresh edible flowers
  • A sprig of mint or lavender