There are different types of cocoa ceremonies, but in Yosi Ocha, we only perform those of the Shipibo Meraya tradition, the way they were performed by Maestro Heberto’s grandfather. The origin of these ceremonies goes back to a Meraya ancestor who had a cocoa plantation and a great connection with plants, especially with cocoa, even before becoming Meraya. He felt a strong connection between mind and heart in cocoa, and he also saw the energy of cocoa as the key to improving relations between humans in general, and humans and animals. This ancestor discovered, through cocoa, that we come to the world a hundred percent charged and connected with all the elementals of the earth but, with the passing of the years, this connection is lost.
It is said he was a very lucky man, who lived a happy life with his wife and seven children, until a strange curse fell on his family. His children were dying one by one, and then his wife also died. He was desperate and he made the decision to take his own life, since he thought that death would come for him anyway. He prepared a poison and also a cup of chocolate, he wanted to smell its scent for the last time as to say goodbye to his cocoa plantations that had given him so much pleasure throughout his life. As soon as he took the first sip of cocoa, he felt its energy and heard a voice telling him to look for it, so that it could teach him the right path. As he drank more, he went into a trance and received more information until he reached the depths of his heart and felt great love for life and the need to serve. That day his life changed completely, he decided to become a ‘curandero’ (traditional healer) and he started dieting different plant medicines until he became a Meraya.
The spirit of cocoa helps us to solve everything we have lost throughout life, love towards oneself, love towards plants and towards all nature. Cocoa also teaches us that when human live with their minds and hearts disconnected, they go against nature and against Mother Earth, giving rise to ecological disasters. The spirit of cocoa is love in its purest form, it is the spirit of affection and peace. Through the spirit of cocoa our soul can forgive those who have harmed us and we ourselves can be forgiven. Cocoa gives strength and light to our aura.
In the cacao ceremonies, we make chocolate using the cocoa seeds. Icaros are sung, like the “kushun”, while the aroma of chocolate is inhaled, that’s when the energies of the shaman are activated and, in the connection of the aroma with the icaros, work is done so that, when entering the body of each patient, the cacao can do its work and get to the origin of the ailment. Chocolate is prepared in combination with other aromas and flavors such as cinnamon, chamomile, mint or other aromatic infusions. Generally, in about 45 minutes, one can already feel the effect of cocoa which can last about an hour. Very sensitive people may feel that the heart beats stronger, but in general, cocoa makes a person feel full of life, strength and joy. The cacao cleans especially the blocks in love while the shaman is singing the different ícaros.
At the end of a cocoa ceremony, most patients experience the feeling of regeneration, like the awakening of a new, more meaningful stage in life. Unlike Ayahuasca or San Pedro, cacao is very soft and works with a lot of love. It is highly recommended for all those people who suffer from depression or who carry childhood traumas. Cocoa undoes pain from its place of pure love. Generally there are no visions, although some people may receive some kind of visual information, but usually it works more on the energetic and emotional level.