Offering Cacao Ceremonies in Perth, Western Australia continuously since 2010
Willow and Catherine Francis have been working with plant medicine in ceremony together since they met in 2008. They first worked with Cacao in this context in Guatemala in December 2010 and have been holding regular Ceremonies with Cacao ever since, with the intention of supporting individuals to re-connect with their heart, their core values and to be still whilst in a circle of others doing the same. The chemical constituents of cacao support concentration and focus, a sense of wellbeing, relaxation, a connection to the senses, personal insight and an authentic communion with one’s own heart and heart’s intelligence.
We incorporate a blend of leading edge brainwave synchronizing technologies including sound engineering from The Monroe Institute (Spacial Angle Modulation) and IAwake Technologies as well alpha, theta and delta synchronizing frequencies.
All to assist the brain to slow down to the deeper rhythms normally only accessible to those very experienced in meditation or trance work.
When the brain rhythms start to slow, down our awareness shifts and we become more open to perceiving life in a different way. Many experience enhanced creativity, inspiration, self-reflection, self-healing and deep relaxation with the support of the sound technology.
Time stills in these altered states and we can become more present, relating to ourselves anew.
Combining this technology with evocative and eclectic music and singing, including soaring female vocals, overtone singing, wide ambient soundscapes and traditional indigenous music, we are able to facilitate a unique and powerful inner journey.
Ceremony adds richness, connection, depth and meaning to our experience of life. It is a label that describes a concentration of intent and attention where we consciously create richer moments.
“Ceremony is more beneficial for human continuity than any machine or technological development” Thomas Moore
Willow Francis has over three decades of experience working both in the mainstream healthcare profession (nursing and paramedics) as well as the more holistic and spiritually focused health modalities, including a long history facilitating meditation. He is one of HeartMath Australia’s most respected trainers and supports individuals to emotionally self-regulate and re-align with their core values and deeper wisdom. He also works closely with Cacao, teaches individuals to access the out-of-body state through The Lucid State Academy and co-directs The Self-Kindness Project and Reverence Events with Catherine.
Willow brings his solid, grounded, compassionate and playful personality to all the events he is involved in.
Catherine Francis has two decades of experience in multiple fields in healthcare and the humanities. Working as a Physiotherapist, Catherine’s experience took her to the areas of burns, community paediatrics and those living with disability. She is a licenced trainer with The HeartMath Institute, works with the plant teacher Cacao, supports the development of innovative and meaningful programs in the disability sector and co-facilitates meditation and ceremonial events with Willow .
She is currently the Director of Reverence Events and The Self Kindness Project – supporting individuals to reconnect with their deeper heart wisdom through evidence-based tools and techniques that reduce stress, change emotional reactions and build practical access to heart intelligence.
A: Cacao is the seed from the fruit of the Theobroma Cacao tree, native to Central and South America. This is the chocolate bean. Most chocolate though is highly processed, cooked and with many other ingredients added, and so loses much of it’s therapeutic affect.
A: When you arrive, we will help you settle in and you will immediately notice that the space has been meticulously prepared for something special – it is pristine, beautiful and still.
We will talk you through how the afternoon will unfold and give you some suggestions for navigating your journey. You will always have access to support or to ask questions at any time.
Over the afternoon we then utilise the cacaos, gently supportive processes to assist you to still your mind and connect with your heart as well as the brain balancing music technology and a beautiful eclectic soundscape.
We respect your timeframes and will be supporting the ceremony throughout.
A: The drink is specifically prepared for the ceremony from the Guatemalan recipe we were trained to serve. It contains a special raw cacao paste, raw cold-pressed organic dark agave nectar (a natural low GI sweetener from the agave succulent), a small amount of organic panella (unrefined whole cane sugar), organic vanilla bean powder and a pinch of chilli.
* We work with Organic Raw Criollo Guatemalan Cacao Paste – they are hand picked by the cacao teacher we worked with in Guatemala that have been milled very finely but not roasted or processed in any other way. The beans are from a wild variety of cacao that is traditionally grown and hand-prepared by indigenous Mayan people in the Lake Atitlan region of Guatemala. This is the variety and preparation method that the ancient Mayans used to ensure full potency. This cacao is grown and processed without any chemicals and the Mayan women who prepare the cacao receive fair pay for their work. We have a direct relationship to our cacao source.
A: There is no caffeine in Cacao. There is an alkaloid called theobromine, which has a similar chemical structure, and has been mistaken for caffeine in the past. Theobromine is a very mildly stimulating cousin of caffeine and does not have the intensity or jitteriness of caffeine.
A: Ideally you need to be able to allow yourself a gentle evening after the ceremony – some people have very deep experiences (e.g. don’t book to go to a 3 year old birthday party straight after the event)
You will need to avoid caffeine on the day and alcohol the night before.
If any of the below apply to you, you will need to let us know before the ceremony so we can adjust the amount of cacao for you.
Are on anti-depressants
Follow a 100% raw food diet
Have very low blood pressure or are on blood thinners
The only people we aren’t able to invite to the ceremony are those with epilepsy.
A: No formal experience of meditation is necessary, just an earnest desire to stop and look within. We have a very supportive sound technology that slows the brain wave patterns to support a movement into a more relaxed meditative state, though if you are an experienced meditator of any level you will find you can really have a very deep experience in the Cacao Ceremony. We offer some suggestions for navigating the ceremony based on our experience, as well as a short guided meditation towards the beginning to support all participants to settle into the afternoon.
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