It's been a long Fringe darling, so slip into something comfortable, pour yourself a nice glass of cacao and settle into a warm, soothing sound bath.
Ceremonial cacao is a plant-based medicine used by Mesoamerican civilizations for thousands of years in ceremony and celebration. It's known for opening up spiritual channels, particularly in the heart chakra, and for helping you connect with your higher self. According to Jay Hoad, professional sound healer and our principal guide for this evening's ceremony, cacao "opens the door but doesn't push you through it." A gentler approach than our booze fuelled nights at Fringe Club then.
The ceremony begins with each participant being 'saged' by Hoad – cleansed of any negative energy with a smouldering smudge stick – then setting an intention with Nicole Tretiakov, our energy healer. We all settle onto our yoga mats and start deep breathing as we're washed with some rather banging doof tunes. These two certainly know how to establish a powerful energy in the room. As Hoad explains the theory and practice of cacao ceremony, what to expect, and what the ground rules are (anything goes, essentially), Tretiakov passes around the cacao, and we all drink.
While cacao on its own can make you feel expansive and connected, combining the effect with some seriously chakra-resonant music amplifies the experience dramatically. The fun really starts, then, when Hoad gets behind his clamorous kit of didgeridoos, medicine and cosmic tone drums, singing bowls (and who knows what else) and starts to play. Starting lying down on our backs, we're invited to move with the music, om, yell, do whatever comes up. Finally, we seal the ceremony with a dance together, red thread tying, and tossing any bad juju that came up onto a fire.
This was my first cacao ceremony but I sure hope it won't be the last. We get enough mind-numbing hedonism in our lives, especially at this time of year, so it was pure bliss to take some time out and reconnect with something real. Hoad and Tretiakov create a truly beautiful and welcoming space for shared healing and love expansion. They travel the world doing it too, so we're lucky they landed in Adelaide just when we all needed it.
There's one last Sound Journey on offer, at Synergy Yoga in Glenelg, so hop to it.