* For May classes, we are trying out a new format. Classes will be prerecorded, followed by a live Q+A session the following week. In the material below, I have included question prompts to prepare you for those meetings. I would love to hear from you! Please direct your questions, comments, and/or general feedback to our Sabbatical group page!
Elder Council, Tues, May 22 at 5 PDT:
Magical Sabbatical Class:
The Magic of Maya
Maya was a prosperous culture that flourished under the thumb of its sacred practices. Maya believed in the cycle of life – there was no end, or beginning. Even their ceremonial offerings were reciprocal from the living to the non-living in many realms above, and below. Men, women, and children were considered equals in the workforce – whether it was in agriculture, craft, or housework (which included farm maintenance and raising children). Houses were made of mud and dirt, cacao was used as currency, and ceremony was held once month – the most important aspect of the Mayan culture. The Maya was an abundant civilization, and they reached this status through balance – not just in the physical realm, but in the spiritual as well. They sacrificed all attachments – their homes, their negativity, their livestock, their egos – to make room for the new. This was their secret to prosperity – not only did they ask, they believed, and they received. They honored and expressed gratitude for all blessings, engaging with their ancestors, before and after ritual. This, the beginning of the Maya, a matriarchal society, was known as the golden age. Everyone was of equal, peaceful, and powerful stature.
Then, the patriarchy began, a few hundred years after the birth of the Maya civilization. Kings and dynasties appeared. A ruling class was born. Astronomy flourished, as did the arts; writing (glyphs) began to appear on the magnificent monuments, palaces and temples of the kings and many of the nobility. Large cities were established and populated with wealthy people.
Ixcacao, the Mayan Goddess of Chocolate, was first known as the benevolent goddess of abundance, who was swept away from her beloved fields to marry the god of commerce. She was rumored by the commoners to be the Earth Goddess, whose favorite crop was chocolate. Chocolate, declared as the food of the gods, was then only available to the rulers and warriors of service. Her heart was broken at the sight of chocolate being used exclusively for the rich, while children were starving, working in the fields. And so, the Goddess of Chocolate, under the guise of a commoner, saved her people by offering them chocolate. She filled cups of chocolate mixed with allspice to comfort the men on death row. Cacao was also used in ceremony, opening the Heart Chakra, increasing serotonin, and stimulating the influential love compound. It has similar euphoric effects to that of opium – helping its consumers reach higher planes of existence. Known forever on, in the Mayan culture and beyond, as the Goddess of Chocolate, Ixcacao is praised even to this day.
- Discussion Question: How do you relate to the Mayan culture?
Ritual – Invoke the Cacao Goddess
The ancient Maya used cacao for spiritual and ceremonial purposes. It’s a heart opener. It promotes shamanic journeying and is known for bringing awareness. Chocolate is called the “love drug”. It produces the same chemistry in the brain when we fall in love – a sense of delight that no other substance can replicate. In meditation, we will go back to the secret wisdom attained by the Maya. Why did they put such a high value on chocolate? What did they feel? How was it different from the chocolate that we consume today, and how did they use it in ritual? The only way to answer these questions, is to experience it for yourself.
Heat dark chocolate and incorporate allspice in the mixture. Allspice was always incorporated in ancient Mayan ceremonies – it is a key ingredient in traditional Mayan cacao recipes. Allspice has a powerful effect on the mind, ensuring success by enhancing creativity and providing inspiration and vision. The most important benefit of allspice, however, is its abundant healing and purifying magic. It attracts good health, magnifies intentions of other herbs when mixed, and purifies the soul.
Clear your mind as you drink. When you are ready, burn copal resin mixed with tobacco in a heatproof bowl. Tobacco was the most important plant used for ritual during the ancient Maya civilization – it was the initiation for every ceremony because it allowed the living to engage with their ancestors in a magical way. Tobacco was a reciprocal gift – its sacred smoke carried messages, intentions, wishes, and prayers up to spirit. The Mayans would burn copal resin as an offering to the gods, as it purifies and protects against the evil.
Allow the smoke of tobacco and copal resin to gain cloudy momentum. Breathe deeply, and speak your intentions into the smoke, allowing them to float up to Spirit. Feel yourself burning away the negative vibration stuck to your aura – release anything that isn’t serving you, and listen to the messages that come to you at this time. Surrender to the essence of chocolate, and bring your own heaven to earth. When you’re finished, don’t put out the fire, but leave it to burn in a safe place outdoors. Allow your ancestors and guardians to be soothed by the smoke, and express your gratitude for the abundance of blessings you have and will continue to receive.
- Discussion Question: What do you feel when you’re consuming chocolate?
May Sabbatical Set – Magic of Maya: Cacao Ceremony
May’s Sabbatical set was inspired by the prosperous energy of the Maya civilization. This set is filled with tools intentionally chosen to mimic the effects of cacao in ceremony. The Mayan Goddess of Chocolate is a compassionate Goddess of Abundance. The colors, fragrances, and symbology present in this set will give you a glimpse, a feeling of the many layers of texture and richness that originate from ancient Maya. Cacao is intimately linked with love, opening the heart, and sexual pleasure. The items in this set will instill you with the delicious enjoyment of life. The best way to work with all the tools in this set is to not have expectations. Ixcacao may show you something now, as you sleep, or in the days to come. She reminds us of the luxury we have in our everyday lives. We are lucky, because today, high-quality chocolate is available to almost everyone.
I chose tobacco, vanilla, and cacao absolute as the key notes for my Pulse perfume. Vanilla is a powerful aphrodisiac, while tobacco’s sacred aroma has a grounding presence that calls you back to the now. Cacao is intoxicating, opening up your heart and your awareness for a stimulating sensation of pleasure that affects you and others around you. Anoint yourself with this potion to receive more love, joy, bliss, and abundance. Each bottle is infused with a clear quartz chip stone to further amplify its properties.
Included in this set is one Pulse Candle in a 6 oz jar, hand poured and blended with my Pulse Perfume and a clear quartz chip stone to further amplify its properties. Light this candle to invoke Ixcacao, allowing the flame to ignite your heart with passion for life and the enjoyment of sensual pleasures. You are a goddess, and cacao is a food of the gods – remember this every time you use this candle.
My Cacao Herb Blend includes cacao nibs, rose petals, and lavender, intended to be mashed and blended with the mortar and pestle provided in this set. During times of travel, incense made from cacao beans was offered to the gods for protection and safe passage. Rose is intimately linked with Venus, the Goddess of Love. Lavender brings calm and peace to the soul. Burning this blend instills you with a sense of love, comfort, and tranquility which makes you open to receive.
You will also receive a large natural rose quartz, which is THE love and heart stone. Rose quartz is the stone of true love and deep affection; it represents the bond that transcends time and space. If you want to attract love, this is the perfect stone to use. Rose quartz is a stone of universal love energy – love for self and others. It draws love to you, brings peace during transition, and eases heartache.
And finally, you will receive a gorgeous piece of SG canvas art with your set. This canvas art was designed right here at SG Headquarters, to help you invoke the Cacao Goddess in ceremony and in your own sacred space.
- Discussion Question: Which tool are you most excited about?