Welcome to

Smile Cacao Smile Cacao

How to run a Cacao Ceremony

Women* have been gathering in circles as far back as we know.  The power of the circle to share our deepest thoughts, ideas and experiences in a safe and confidential space, provides a powerful platform of connection.  *These circles have evolved in recent years to include both genders and it is commonplace

now for men to meet in their own circles.


Whilst there are no set rules and there is much room for creativity, a cacao ceremony is usually led by a facilitator who prepares the setting, prepares the cacao, opens, closes the circle and directs activities of the ceremony.  However, sitting with one friend and simply asking what each other feel grateful for, can just as sincerely be considered a ceremony and can just as authentically spark the flame of the soul to ignite.  

We share below some ideas around creating a group ceremony.  If you would love to run something like this for yourself, we recommend checking out our guide – ‘8 steps to create your own Cacao Ceremony



It’s important to create a sacred space, free from distraction to allow attendees to direct their full energy and intention into the ceremony and a deep connection within themselves.  Whether it’s in the garden, a forest, a room in your home or a hired venue, the space is set up with the intention to allow sacred, loving energy to flow through the space. 


The area may be cleansed with the element of fire such as sage, Palo Santo,
incense (Nag Champa are free from synthetics) and optionally followed by the element of water such as a spritzer made from water and cleansing
essential oils.  If the area is not suitable to use these, the facilitator can simply spend a moment to set the intention to cleanse the area energetically.

Some music will help to set the tone and energy of the space, as well as aromatically diffusing some essential oils.  It’s best to avoid bright fluorescent lighting and make sure the temperature is suitable.  In meditation people can often experience their body temperature drop, so having some blankets or asking guests to bring one can be a good idea depending on the season and setting.


With no beginning and no end, the shape of a circle represents eternity and equality.  It is the ideal layout for a gathering of this type where we come together as equals, with respect and with eternal love and compassion for each other. 

The circle is usually laid out with pillows or cushions for guests to sit on and the centre made into an alter which may be some material adorned with elements of nature such as flowers, crystals or candles.  Oracle cards are often placed out if the facilitator intends to use them as a part of the ceremony.

Guests may be asked to bring an item to place on the alter – a special piece of jewellery or crystal that they would like to offer for the duration of the ceremony.  This gives the ceremony a sense of collaboration, community and belonging.   

As well as the physical circle, the group as a collective is also known as ‘the circle’.  It is important for the circle to be opened and closed to officially mark the ceremony and associated confidentiality. 

Kimberley Hopkins Cacao Ceremony


When the ceremony is ready to start and guests arrive, the facilitator will welcome the guests in to the space.  They may cleanse each person individually with sage, a cleansing spritzer and a blessing on arrival. 

Once everyone is seated and set, the facilitator will usually welcome the group, introduce themselves, set an intention for the ceremony, advise the theme (if there is one) advise any guidelines (see below) for the circle, ask each guest for a visual or verbal signal of agreement, then officially ‘open’ the circle.


Common guidelines for a circle include:


#1 Only one person to speak at a time.  Often this is aided by a‘talking stick, which may be a stick, or a crystal wand.  Whoever is holding the talking stick is the only person permitted to speak.  This helps with allowing people’s words to flow at their own pace as well as promoting ‘fertile listening’ by anyone not holding the stick.  When a woman feels seen and heard, she is in the perfect space to key into her power and wisdom.  A person may choose
to ‘pass’ and not speak, free from judgement.


#2 A circle is a listening space.  When we share our thoughts and feelings in the world, we may find others like to prepare a response, offer a solution and/or try to change our perspective.  A circle is a space where others simply listen intently, truly hear us and disengage from the practice of responding. 


#3 Speaking and listening from the heart.  A commitment to both speaking and listening with compassion, free from judgement of self or others, will elevate the circle to a platform of unconditional love.


#4 Confidentiality
What comes to the circle stays in the circle.  This trust is paramount to allowing emerging energies and words to flow freely,
free from inhibition. 


#5 (optional) Ceremony to start with invocation.  (See below)

Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva


Invocation is an optional practice of women’s circles where each woman introduces herself by name and calls in her maternal ancestors. Whether blood relations, adopted family or other females taking on a significant mentoring role, they are invited in.  (This same process happens in men’s circles – bringing in paternal ancestors and male mentors)

For example, a woman will say “I am [Angela], daughter of [Sarah], granddaughter of [Grace] (and if known…. ), great-grand-daughter of [Anne].” 

They may light a candle as they speak before the next person continues.  Incorporating the element of fire is powerful – read below to find out why!


Incorporating each of the elements (fire, water, air & earth) into the ceremony is of symbolic significance.  

In traditional Mayan ceremonies, fire is a crucial element part of every cacao ceremony.  In traditional ceremonies, cacao is even poured onto the fire to evoke the spirit of cacao.  Any steam from the cacao cup is seen as the offering to the ancestors.  Therefore incorporating candles, incense, burning sage or Pal Santo is a sacred offering.  It is not always possible in an indoors venue, but where possible, the facilitator will incorporate the element of fire into the ceremony, even if simply placing candles in a safe way outside the entry to the venue.

A ceremony is not always possible outdoors, so bringing flowers, wood, crystals or any earth elements to the alter is a beautiful way to represent the earth.  Some ceremonies may include an opportunity to create items using produce of the earth – weaving grass, kokedama, jewellery beading from crystals etc.

Water can be celebrated by creating a spritzer with water and essential oils to cleanse each guest on arrival.  Essential oils such as citrus oils and floral oils mix beautifully for gentle cleansing.  Some ceremonies will include an opportunity for guests to make their own unique spritzer to align with their intention for the ceremony. 

Air is honoured through communal breathing, and through any movement in the room, bringing airflow.  Using a diffuser is another way to ensure continued flow of air throughout the ceremony. 


The ceremony itself usually lasts between 90 minutes and 2 hours.  The facilitator will lead the group through a series of activities, each with the intention of loving self-exploration and connection. 



There may be a theme to the ceremony (see themes below), there may be a guest speaker or specialist facilitator leading parts of the ceremony. 



There are no set rules for a ceremony to follow – a ceremony can take on any of a large pool of practices and tools to support the deepest level of self-discovery.  Whether through journaling and meditation, breath-work, dance, chakra cleansing, crystal healing, drumming, drawing, singing, sound healing, oracle cards… (the list is endless!), any of these tools interweaved with supportive group sharing and powered by sacred cacao, will create an incredible experience for the soul.

As cacao has the incredible power to open up the heart for the spirit to more fully express itself, this heightened state will amplify other undertakings. 


Therefore, cacao is often experienced in the first half of the ceremony
for the benefits to be felt through all following proceedings.  However,
the facilitator will find the best flow depending on the theme, the group and their own experience.    

There is no set structure and each session to take on its own creative form as feels right for the facilitator.  An example of a ceremony might look something like this:

  • Welcome and introduction
  • Agreement to guidelines
  • Invocation
  • Opening
  • Circle
  • Poem, song or some questions posed to accompany the theme of the ceremony
  • Collaborative breath-work
  • Cacao ceremony  
  • Guided meditation or meditative dancing
  • Invitation to journal experience
  • Invitation to share experience
  • Communal breathing
  • Close circle

Once the circle is closed, the facilitator will most usually express gratitude
to everyone there and allow them to gently bring themselves back.  

Our vision here at Smile Cacao, is to create a world where people understand and are connected to their ultimate power.  We know that the more people turn inwards to their innate wisdom, the more outward good there will be for our planet and all who live here.  

For this reason, we have created wholesale access for Women’s Circle facilitators to be able to provide cacao to their communities to empower them to continue to use this powerful tool in their own homes during their spiritual practice.  

Apply here for wholesale access to help this sacred cacao reach as many hands and hearts as possible.  You can also check out our affiliate program to obtain a link to use on your website or give to your guests for them to purchase online themselves. 

At Smile Cacao we have sourced the smoothest, ceremonial grade cacao with a rich flavour profile from the Criolli bean.  Smile Cacao is inducing deep, profound, experiences in conscious communities across Australia, with sacred cacao sourced from indigenous Peruvian farmers using sustainable organic farming practices.  Smile Cacao is here to support you to connect within, to your intuition, to your wisdom, to your inner fire.  We are so excited to provide you with this sacred cacao to make your body, mind and soul SMILE.

Purchase your Smile Ceremonial Cacao HERE.