The Power of Heart Medicine (Cacao)

Azalea Montaño-Kemp
4 min readJan 4, 2022

I recently went to a dry party meaning no drugs and/or alcohol were allowed at this particular event. This did not only mean that the people organizing this event would not provide drugs or alcohol. It extensively meant that we, the guests, were required to show up 100% sober. The hosts made this very clear on the invitation and they still felt the need to announce at the beginning of the event, “If anyone has any alcohol on them, please do not consume it.” What’s absolutely hilarious about this event being dry is that if you walked in at any given moment, you would think everyone at this event was on something.We danced and chanted to ecstatic music with tribal patterns painted all over our faces. We laughed together and hugged trees in between the dancing. It was an absolutely incredible experience thanks to NO drugs, NO alcohol, … and especially thanks to Cacao. 🤎

Cacao drink over Mayan calendar

Cacao is a beautiful heart opening (non-psychedelic) medicine in the form of a hot chocolate-like beverage traditionally used in Mayan ceremonies. At this event, we were offered a beautiful Cacao ceremony before the dancing. Since this was a drug and alcohol free event, many families with children attended. The children participated in the Cacao ceremony and enjoyed the heart opening chocolate beverage with us!

After setting intentions with the medicine of Cacao and holding it close to our hearts, we were instructed to walk around the room and talk to strangers. We would discuss intimate topics together such as our biggest accomplishments, bad habits we wanted to let go of, what we loved about ourselves, what we loved about each other, and much more. As I talked to strangers deeply about things I may not even feel comfortable talking to my own siblings about, my heart genuinely opened and my connection to the divine through other human beings grew deeper. At one point, I remember talking to a man named Azad (which means “free”). Azad spent a beautiful moment elaborating on his biggest accomplishment — spiritually connecting with his son and sharing this event with him. In this moment of Azad’s raw truth, I felt graced by the universal love which we are all so connected to and have a difficult time expressing with words. My chest felt warm as anxiety melted away. This warmth spread to my cheeks and I blushed from inevitable smiling. The twinkle in my eye recognized the twinkle in Azad’s eye. Love, Life, and Light with capital L’s revealed themselves to me through the magic of this man’s divinity through his radically human words and intentions. The only time I ever felt so connected was on a psychedelic trip.

As soon as that thought crossed my mind, I took a step back. “Wait — am I tripping?” Then, I looked down at the floor … and it wasn’t moving! This beautiful heart opening experience was all made possible by the simple non-psychedelic combination of Cacao and human connection.

When we started dancing, the kids danced too. They ran around (as children should) and hugged their mommies in between breaths. I stopped, with tears forming in my eyes, thanking the plants -

“What a beautiful moment Cacao has helped us create.”

hands holding Cacao

Cacao is known traditionally as a heart opening medicine. While it does not get you “high,” you can (and will) experience a calming euphoria with this beautiful medicine. Before you are skeptical of the power that lies within Cacao, let me make it very clear that cacao is NOT psychedelic. If you follow my work and are familiar with how obsessed I am with magic mushrooms, it may be silly to read this article knowing it doesn’t end with me advocating for psychedelics. While mushrooms are and always will be my favorite heart openers (te amo mis hongitos!), not everybody is ready to sit with psychedelic medicine. For those who aren’t ready or don’t feel called to psychedelics, I invite you to explore Cacao and what this plant can provide for you.

After having this profoundly beautiful experience with a delicious plant medicine that is not psychedelic, I plan to share Cacao with mi familia. I don’t think everyone is ready for psychedelic experiences — and I know for sure a lot of members of my family are not. However, I do want to share a space of unconditional love with them in a form that they are comfortable with! I truly believe that Cacao can help us open up to That space of unconditional love and I invite you to share this medicine (respectfully) with your loved ones if the invitation feels right to you.

With Love, Light, and Gratitude,


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