‘There will also be the opportunity to partake in some Cacao before the drumming journey.’
The year of the dragon energies, combined with the symbolism of this mythical creature are powerful. We could be blessed with good fortune, luck and prosperity. Allowing for expansion, action and transformation. For this event, we will journey together as a group with the beat of the drum to call in the Chinese New Year. As this year unfolds the Wood Dragon will be our guide. This dragon is endlessly energetic and full of vitality, a visionary leader, strong and independent. Representing success, innovation and creativity we are in for a wonderful year of growth and progress for our new world.
As a community, we will be working interdependently as well as standing alone as individuals. With this in mind, you will then be invited to connect, as an individual, with the dragon and its gifts. Gathering your own resources from the dragon’s toolbox to accompany on your unique journey this year.
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We will begin the event with a cacao ceremony where we will share a tea cup of this beautiful elixir.
Cacao is a gentle and beautiful heart healing medicine. It can help bring focus and clarity where we were feeling unclear, stagnated or stuck. As we drop down from the head and into the heart, blockages around the heart are dispersed. Cacao enables us to connect with the more subtle realms and our own deepest wisdom. This medicine allows us to be guided from a place of feeling and inner knowing.
**It is important that you read the information below about the use of cacao before you attend this ceremony.
Any questions feel free to contact Juliette Noske at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Following the cacao ceremony we will move through two shamanic drumming journeys; the first one will be about 10-15 minutes, the second one will be about 25-35 minutes. During the first journey, you will be invited to practice going on a journey and during the second one you will be invited to deepen this practice as we call in the energies of the dragon.
No prior experience is needed.
The rhythmic sound of the beating drum induces deep relaxation, reduces stress and promotes the production of endorphins. A drumming journey of sound is healing on many levels. The drum is regarded as a living entity and is said to be the oldest instrument. Journeying with us since the dawn of humankind this beautiful instrument is primal.
Juliette will be accompanied by her Native American Buffalo hide drum.
Born on Vancouver Island, Canada, her connection to the indigenous peoples of this land runs deep. Juliette has been holding sacred circle space and running events for over 20 years.
A journal & pen.
A yoga mat, blanket, cushion, eye mask.
(Whatever you need to feel comfortable and warm)
You can either lay down or sit up, whatever suits you.
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Cacao Ceremony with Juliette Noske
Cacao is a gentle and beautiful heart-healing medicine. It can help bring focus and clarity where we are feeling unclear, stagnated or stuck. As we drop down from the head and into the heart, blockages around the heart are dispersed. Cacao enables us to connect with the more subtle realms and our own deepest wisdom. This medicine allows us to be guided from a place of feeling and inner knowing.
Lots of Goodness:
Contains iron, magnesium and calcium and tonnes of antioxidants.
Improves Your Focus
Cacao contains dopamine, the neurotransmitter that aids mental concentration, focus and the cultivation of positivity towards life.
Reduces Your Stress
Cacao stimulates the release of endorphins, which calm the body’s stress response and act as a powerful and natural anti-depressant.
Boosts Your Energy
Cacao stimulates the cardiovascular system, giving a full body high without the anxious buzz of caffeine.
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Read this information carefully, it is important:
Is cacao safe for me? Who shouldn’t drink cacao?
For most people, cacao is very safe! However, there are some specific contraindications so please check below.
Health factors to be particularly aware of are:
*if you are on antidepressants, SSRIs or other medication, have a heart condition or are pregnant: Be aware that the theobromine in cacao is a vasodilator: it increases the heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Cacao in the concentrated doses we consume in ceremony therefore increases blood flow to the brain & heart by at least 40% so you may be better off with a smaller dose. I usually offer a half-dose to people on SSRIs. Please see below for more info.
*if you are taking 5-htp (5-Hydroxytryptophan) it’s advisable to have a smaller dose of cacao.
*if you are taking St John’s Wort, please refrain from taking it for a few days before & after the cacao circle.
*if you are on MAOI antidepressants, cacao (& all forms of chocolate) is contraindicated because it contains tyramine.
*if you take antipsychotic medication, (for any reason), consuming ceremonial cacao in this way is also contraindicated. (And if being treated for psychosis, I also don’t feel it’s wise to engage in practices which involve exploring how to tune into and hear an inner voice, the voice of a plant spirit or other guide.)
*if you have low blood pressure, be aware that although cacao is a stimulant, it lowers blood pressure. Depending on your condition, a smaller dose might be appropriate – in some cases it may be contraindicated eg if you have had epileptic fits triggered by low blood pressure (bear in mind that the whole ritualised experience of lying down & being guided on a nidra & deeply introspective journey is also likely to lower your blood pressure even without the cacao!). Please contact me if you want to ask more.
*some people are allergic or sensitive to theobromine – it can trigger headaches or migraines in some people. (You will probably already know if this is you.) In some cases, a smaller dose will be fine depending on how sensitive you are.
*if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, be aware that theobromine is a stimulant & increases heart rate & lowers blood pressure. Some western people advise avoiding it completely during pregnancy, others suggest a smaller dose. However, I think it’s also worth noting that for thousands of years, indigenous Mayan women have consumed cacao safely throughout pregnancy and even during childbirth (in the final stages of labour, to assist with the final big push!), as well as afterwards – in their culture, midwives know that cacao is such a nourishing, energising food that it gives women great strength. So if you are pregnant or breastfeeding this does not rule cacao out for you – I simply present this information so that you can make your own informed decision, and if you are new to cacao especially, I would certainly serve you a smaller dose so you can see how you respond. Cacao contains roughly a tenth of the caffeine found in coffee so depending on your stance on coffee during pregnancy you may be ok with the smaller dose of cacao. Similarly, some people prefer to avoid all sources of theobromine & caffeine while they are breastfeeding.
*if you are epileptic: high consumption of cacao stimulates the brain and there is also scientific research to suggest a possible connection between caffeine & cacao consumption and increased seizures. Scientific research / evidence is still inconclusive, but I would err on the side of caution if you have a history of epilepsy. It is also important for the sake of other participants that we create a safe environment where there is little risk of disruption.
*if you are sensitive to caffeine, it can affect your sleep – though cacao contains far less than coffee – about a tenth of the amount. People often find they actually sleep really well and dream vividly after consuming ceremonial cacao.
The ceremonial-grade cacao shared in the medicine ceremony is very different from, and more pure & potent than, the raw cacao powder you might use to make raw chocolate, a superfood tonic or smoothies (although ceremonial grade cacao can also be used for all these things). It is far less processed: ceremonial cacao is not heat-treated & retains the cacao butter as well as the cacao powder (cacao solids).
About our “ceremonial grade” cacao from Cacao Love
This ancient strain criollo cacao is sourced from organic farmer’s co-operatives in the Peruvian Andes. From “seed to ceremony” we only work with co-operatives and family-run businesses, supporting indigenous entrepreneurship with our exchanges.
The co-op we’ve worked with over the last decade was founded in 1998 with the intentions of working with small farmers to preserve traditional methods of cultivating, processing and harvesting cacao.
Their four founding principles are:
1) Prioritising quality over quantity
2) Supporting Andean mega-biodiversity, not homogenisation
3) Promoting organic methods of production
4) Fair income distribution amongst the people participating as suppliers, transformers and traders
5) Social responsibility, following the principles of Fair Trade
The co-op works alongside the small farmers, generating employment for the local community and offering training and financial support to encourage indigenous entrepreneurship, raising the living standards of small farmers and sustainably increasing crop yields.
***There will also be the opportunity to buy some cacao at the end of the ceremony.