It’s a brand-new day, dear friends, followers, subscribers, and like-minded people. A brand-new moment, a brand-new month, a brand-new year.

I thought I would write my first blog in 2023 and tell you about something I did yesterday, something I have never done before. I went to a Cacao Ceremony. It was actually my Christmas present from my daughter, and it seemed like the perfect day 31st December 2022 to do something like that. So, a very early start as it’s recommended that you participate with an empty stomach. I walked my dog before leaving and it was really dark outside and pouring with rain.  In some or other way, even though we are all fed up with the wet weather, its cleansing. That is what I tell myself anyway, each and every time I have to go out in the rain!

Arriving at a little shop in Sommelsdijk, called ‘Moment for Yourself’, it is a little bit like stepping into a magic box. The place is filled with beautiful crystals and all sorts of things that you can imagine you could spend several hours here, before you had actually seen everything on offer.

As soon as everyone had arrived, 6 people, we went through the shop across a small courtyard into a house. This is such a beautiful old property which stretches from The Ring to the street behind and oh so quaint. The table was decorated beautifully, with candles burning and cups containing 100% ceremonial cacao for the actual ceremony itself. After normal introductions, a cleansing with a smudge stick of sage, we then experienced something I have never done before, smudging with wood which is carefully harvested called palisander. You set fire to the sticks, then blow them out and the glowing embers elude a beautiful smoke which smells like … hmmm how can I describe, like perfumed wood. Just magical.

Our hosts Bastiaan and Karin explained what the ceremony would entail and that the cacao in our cups is harvested in Guatemala, by women, by hand. This is not your normal cacao bean, used in many popular brands of chocolate bars, but 100 percent pure. Handpicked, dried, and crushed. The scent from the cup itself smells creamy and chocolately, which seems a silly thing to say, but considering the purity, one would imagine that the bitterness would be present, but not in the smell.

After listening to a beautiful prayer and some music, we added water to our cups, cold at first to create a paste and then hot water. There was biological honey to add if you found the taste too bitter. Those of you who have used high percentage chocolate in cooking or eating for that matter will know that it is more bitter the higher the percentage. Incomparable to chocolate bars like Cadbury’s or Milka, which probably contains only 6% cacao in fact!

Then more music with very poignant words, there was something special added and that was tincture of Blue Lotus. If you like me thought that the normal lotus flowers are pink, there are blue ones too. There was also dried delicate flowers on the table and then theme was ‘Releasing’. Releasing everything you wanted to say farewell to at the end of 2022 and get ready to step into the New Year with renewed vigor and energy.

The first taste of the cacao was quite bitter but the spices which had been added too, gave an almost peppery taste, the after taste as they say when tasting wine, and people then go on to describe fruits and flowers.

The second sip, which you help in your mouth for a moment, was not bitter at all, how strange is that and how quickly does your palate adapt when trying something special like this cacao?

Taking part in a ceremony like this can bring a lot of emotions to the surface and this is important too. Never ever feel ashamed if tears well up in your eyes, it is a release and this was the theme of the day and just remember this, if you laugh so much you cry with laughing, everyone thinks it’s amusing, but when tears of sadness come up, everyone doesn’t really know where to look as it is very easy if you are a highly sensitive person to be pulled in energetically as well. Important to remain centered our host says, wrapping a warm cozy blanket around our shoulders and offering comfort to those who need it. It was very touching indeed believe me.

As you come to the end of your cup and have added warm water a couple of times to drink everything up, you are asked to write down the things you want to release on paper. When you have finished, add dried sage, and then scrunch up into a ball. As luck would have it, the rain had stopped for a fire to be lit and ceremonially we threw our paper into the fire and watched it burn. The scent of sage filled the air and plumes of white smoke emerged from the crackling fire. I found this very moving to be honest, realizing that all the things I had written down had literally been enveloped in the flames and burn away. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust and like magic – gone!

Back inside there was now time for more general talking and we looked at several of the crystals on the table. There was a beautiful quartz Merkabah (Metatron’s Cube) crystal which my own daughter turned between her fingers. She has always been able to do that just like her daughter seems to have such energy in her hands too, crystals literally break into pieces! Quite unusual and everyone had a go. The secret is not to focus on making the crystal turn between your fingers, just to hold it loosely and focus on the energy within. Trying to make it turn with your mind doesn’t work, and if you hold it too tightly it will not move at all.

Then it was time to write a letter to ourselves, seal and address an envelope and give it to Karin. It will come by post at some stage, but it was a letter that you begin with Dear …. And the letterhead had the words ‘Believe in Yourself’.

I think it is important to mention here that it was a very special group and as the ceremony comes to an end with a closing piece of music and words, I got the impression that no one wanted to leave. I felt that too and we chatted on until nearly midday (the ceremony takes 2 hours).

One thing is for sure that this group will definitely come together again in the New Year. We have so much to share with one another from our life experiences and work. I am looking forward to that a lot.

Leaving in the pouring rain and going back to my daughters for something to eat, I pondered on how I felt afterwards. The first word I came up with was ‘expanded’. I felt as if I could breathe much deeper and having had such a bad cough cold for nearly 4 weeks this was incredible believe me! But not only is my body ‘expanded’ my mind is too and I could let go of a lot of things, negative people and negative influences which have been holding me back this past year.

New Year’s Eve is not one of my most favorite evenings to be honest, so I went home, tidied up a bit and put more Christmas decorations into boxes and hoovered around. It seemed important to also create space and room in my own home, much as I love the decorations, the whole place looks so much tidier when it’s gone. Do you feel that too?

Yesterday evening I was going to watch a film and just sat with candles on and reflected on the day in general. I bought a piece of Lemurian quartz in the shop and to my amazement it had too small smooth surfaces which fitted exactly between my thumb and forefinger.

I walked my dog before the whole village goes mad with fireworks and then went to bed before midnight. I am not someone who wants to be out of the streets being deafened by loud bangs and overdrinking cheap champagne. I just wanted after this ceremony to be still within myself and realize that the words ‘Believe in Yourself’ are perhaps the most important you can say to yourself. I always remember the saying: ‘Seeing is Believing and Believing’ and that is very true too.

So, I can highly recommend if you actually want a ‘moment for yourself’ and you have the opportunity to participate in a Cacao Ceremony that I would just say – Do it! It is the best present you can give yourself and puts a lot of things into perspective.

I realize that many of my readers are not here in The Netherlands, but for those of you who are, this is the address:

Moment for Yourself

Westelijike Achterweg 44

3245 BJ Sommelsdijk

00 31 6 83 94 95 17

Bastiaan and Karin are perfect hosts and ensure that you have a wonderful experience. And it is also fun to meet their very friendly dog, Happy.

I am stepping into a new year today (1st January 2023) with such renewed vigor and energy. I shared a quote this morning on the socials which I will repeat here because it really says it all …

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Jill Kramer

Hi! I'm Jill and I'm a passionate author of books, short stories, columns and blogs.

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