The History and Ancestral roots of Ceremonial Cacao.

The word cacao originates from the Mayan words “Ka’kau” (meaning heart blood) and “Chokola” (meaning to drink together). According to Mayan beliefs, cacao is one of the components used to create the human race. Mayan gods have bled onto the cacao pods and gifted cacao to humanity. Cacao in the scientific genus is called Theobroma which means the ‘’FOOD OF THE GODS’’.
Ancient Beginnings

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Cacao was discovered by the Olmecs in 1500 B.C and used in the Mayan and Aztec cultures for centuries and had a place in these cultures as a sacred, and ritualistic plant medicine. Aztec mythology tells us that cacao was often used in sacrificial ceremonies to lift the spirits of the soon to be sacrificed…

Many spiritual practitioners still use cacao to restore balance and connect with the divine just as ancient Meso-American civilisations used it.

It is said that cacao is an integral component to many rites of passage including birth, initiation, marriage ceremonies and funerals. Native cultures continue to hold cacao ceremonies as a communal experience to this day.

These practices have been adopted by the West which is probably why you are here. It is of great importance to honour the roots of this medicine and give thanks to the deep history, ancient civilisations, the lands, mother earth of the Theobroma tree itself.

A journey through time

Historical Timeline

Olmec Civilisation (1500–400 BCE): The Olmecs were among the first Mesoamerican societies to cultivate cacao. Archaeological evidence suggests that they consumed cacao in a beverage form, possibly as part of rituals or ceremonies.

Maya Civilisation (c. 250–900 CE): The Maya people considered cacao a divine gift and referred to it as "kakaw." They consumed it in a bitter, frothy beverage mixed with spices, chili peppers, and sometimes honey. Cacao was central to Maya religious ceremonies and was believed to have mystical properties, connecting mortals with the divine.

Aztec Civilisation (c. 1345–1521 CE): Building upon the traditions of the Maya, the Aztecs also revered cacao as a sacred substance. They called it "xocolātl" and believed it had nourishing and energizing qualities. Cacao beverages were consumed during religious rituals and as a symbol of abundance and fertility.

European Influence (16th Century CE): Following the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in the early 16th century, cacao made its way to Europe. There, it underwent transformation with the addition of sugar, leading to the creation of the sweetened chocolate we are familiar with today.

Thriving Strong around the world

Legacy and Revival

Although the conquest of Mesoamerica by European colonizers led to the decline of indigenous cacao traditions, the legacy of ceremonial cacao endured through the centuries. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in traditional cacao ceremonies and practices, fueled by a growing appreciation for holistic wellness and spiritual exploration.

Today, people around the world partake in ceremonial cacao gatherings to honor its ancient roots, foster community, and embark on inner journeys of self-discovery which is why The Jasper Cacao Project exists today serving others and sharing wisdom.