Cacao, Venus Retrograde, and the Shadows of the HeartJul 25, 2023
Wow! The last week with the New Moon energy, the Nodal shift taking place, and Venus in Retrograde in Leo (July 23, 2023 – September 4, 2023 in fire-sign Leo) has caused a lot of us to rethink relationships, partnerships, and connections on a multitude of levels. Retrogrades in general are a time to go inward, and this one specifically guides us into the Underworld to walk the Shadow Lands in order to face the deepest recesses of our heart. For 43 days each of us will reexamine how we love ourselves, the people in our lives, how we care for our bodies, and how we show up in the world. Now, this is not a time of shaming and blaming, rather it is a moment to reflect, take stock, and reexamine the patterns around love and relationships that are held in your heart, especially with yourself.
Venus in Retrograde reminds us of how we give and receive love, what we authentically need to feel loved, and what illusions we have engaged in with certain connections or how lovable we think we may be. This is an excellent time to reprogram ourselves for abundance and pleasure, finding the spaces that lift our spirits and support a harmonious life, while removing drama. This time of the year invites each of us to get vulnerable with what we truly desire and require for a life full of love, peace, and prosperity. Dive into the question of what truly turns you on? What or who is draining you? What kind of practices would support your self-love upgrade? How would you like to show up and be seen in the world? What moves your heart? And most importantly, what needs to be released for all of these new requirements to take root in your life? This is an excellent time to step out of your comfort-zone and receive the bliss waiting for you to embrace it.
One of the reasons I adore astrology is because it works with the Taoist concepts of Macrocosmic and Microcosmic energies as influences in how we relate to the world around us, including our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual selves. In Chinese Medicine, astrology is taken into consideration when harvesting herbs and making herbal formulas for people. As a Chinese medicine doctor I incorporate this concept into my practice, including the correlation between astrology, herbs, and the body systems.
For example, Venus is connected to the heart (to some extent), throat, cellular metamorphosis, the womb and reproductive system, the complexion, skin and hair (beauty), the endocrine system, kidneys and bladder. Choosing herbs that help to balance these systems would primarily be in the Tonic herbs category, meaning they are gentle and restoring to the overall body. Some examples of plants that support Venus and the related body systems are Rose, Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, Damiana, Bobinsana, Schizandra, Red Raspberry Leaf, Hawthorn Berries, and of course Cacao!
Cacao (Theobroma cacao) is an incredible plant spirit that has a rich history in Mesoamerican native cultures spanning thousands of years, and connected to the Mayan Earth Goddess IxCacao. This plant has been used in ceremony, to bring on labor in pregnancy, and has many nutritional properties for the entire body, but especially the heart and circulatory system.
Anandamide is the main alkaloid in Cacao, dubbed "the Bliss Molecule", due to its euphoria-containing properties. It is high in Magnesium and Tryptophan, which transforms to Serotonin in the brain, which is why many women crave it before or on their moon. It relaxes the womb and boosts the mood! Eaten in raw form (or cooked very low in temperature) it maintains the Tryptophan content which is broken down with heat.
Due to its many heart opening properties, especially at higher doses (13 grams and higher per cup), Cacao can produce a stimulating and euphoric effect. When combined with breath-work, dancing, or movement, the bliss molecule flows through the circulatory faster creating an expansive, joyous feeling. Many people report having visions, reliving old memories, feeling sensual, and vivid dreams. Having worked with this medicine for 26 years, learning from a Guatemalan midwife when I was 19,I can attest to the power of this plant!
The mornings that I slow cook my cacao I sing to her spirit, giving thanks, and setting my intention for that ceremonial moment I have with her. Consciously choosing to share myself with her, I often slip into a welcoming meditation where she guides me with images and visions. Deepening my breath, sometimes channeling a song, I listen to her wisdom meant for my ears alone. This is how to communicate with plants, softening and deepening until we can listen with our whole being.
On August 3, 2023 FULL MOON, I will open up a class called Allyship With Cacao, where I will share her story, medicinal properties, contraindications, how to create allyship, recipes, and how to serve her with integrity. If you cannot make the class, no problem! The class will be recorded and sent to you with the PDF. Have any questions? Please reach out! This is a wonderful opportunity to honor the Full Moon before the Lion's Gate, the next powerful portal into the next consciousness upgrade!! Link to the class HERE.
Until then, Stay Wild!
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