RAPÉ, sananga, & cacao
Andrea's Sacred Earth Medicine Ceremonies are rooted with the spirit of each medicine, the Great Spirit/Creator, and Pachamama/Mother Earth with gratitude and reverence for the healing and learning each of these tools bring us. Though we recognize that we are indeed the medicine. And we allow you to have your own experience while remaining part of the sacred circle as we utilize energy healing, vibrational sound healing, and shamanic practices.
RAPÉ & SACRED TOBACCO
Nicotine may be a widely abused substance in our modern world, but to many indigenous cultures of the Americas, tobacco is a sacred plant known to cleanse both individuals and ceremonial spaces. That’s the case for rapé (pronounced “ha-peh”), a powerful, cleansing snuff used by shamans in Brazil and Peru as part of important medicinal rituals.
Rapé is gaining more popularity outside of the Amazon for its medicinal properties, and for people interested to try it, it’s important to find a reputable source for the sacred tobacco. While you can administer rapé yourself or with a trusted friend, it’s also important to educate yourself on its proper usage.
Benefits of Using Rapé
Rapé can help you in the following ways:
Helps focus and sharpen the mind.
Clears a person or space of distracting, bad energies in preparation for intention setting.
Detoxes both body and mind and clears your energetic field. Because of this, rapé is often used in conjunction with ayahuasca ceremonies.
Clears sinuses of mucus and bacteria, thereby helping to combat colds and respiratory ailments.
Provides a calming, grounding effect on the emotions that lasts much longer that the initial sensation.
Can be used in conjunction with other treatments for addiction and mental illness.
What is Rapé?
While rapé is often made of several Amazonian plants, the core of most rapé snuffs is the tobacco species Nicotiana rustica. This Amazonian tobacco, also known as mapacho, is used extensively in tribal rituals and is much stronger than N. tabacum, the type of tobacco found in cigarettes.
In addition to the tobacco, rapé usually includes the alkaline ashes of other plants such as cinnamon, tonka bean, clover, banana peel, or mint, but many shamans keep the exact ingredients of their particular rapé a secret.
The Experience of Using Rapé
The tobacco and other ingredients are ground into a fine powder, which is then blown or snorted high into each of the nostril cavities through a ceremonial pipe made of bone or bamboo. While it’s ideal to do this using a two-person pipe and an experienced shaman or practitioner administering the snuff, there are also pipes designed for use by one person.
Rapé is a cleansing medicine, so after taking it, you may experience side effects such as vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea.
Although this is an admittedly uncomfortable part of the experience, some people say the pain is an integral part of the spiritual and physical cleansing process—by purging deep-seated toxins, you come out the other side of the experience feeling calmer, more focused, and more in line with your true self.
Creating a Healthy Environment for Use
The indigenous peoples who have long used rapé see the ceremonial use of rapé as a form of prayer that “call[s] upon the forces of Nature, the blessing of the animals of the forest, and power of medicinal plants to heal us and give us strength.” It is, therefore, important that you use this substance in a respectful environment focused on healing.
Rapé can be used alone or in conjunction with ayahuasca or kambo; the set and setting of using rapé is integral to its benefits. The main ingredient is nicotine, so there is a possibility of getting addicted. It’s ideal to use it with an experienced guide, but you can administer the snuff yourself.
The native tribes of the Amazon use sananga as a strong eye medicine. Their main use for it is to sharpen vision at night before a hunt.
The modern, spiritual users, is different of course. Often used prior to kambo, cacao, and ayahuasca ceremonies, this eye medicine has the potential to give energetic healing and cleansing. It also offers increased spiritual insights and can be used to open the third eye prior to spiritual ceremonies. This is a powerful and potent medicine. While you can administer sananga to yourself, it’s recommended to get assistance from an educated and experienced facilitator or educate yourself before use.
Take a look at some of the advantages of sananga here:
Benefits of Sananga
While the tribes of the Amazon have been using sananga for many generations, it can benefit the whole world and has been known to assist in the healing process of:
Prevents and treats diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness
Helps with detoxing the body from bad energies and toxins
Helps with addiction, depression, and other psychological issues
Opens the third eye and improve spiritual vision
Increases visual perception and enhances colors
Clears blocked emotions and memories
Resets energetic field
Our eyes are a particularly sensitive organ, which means a sananga ceremony might be painful. Sananga causes an intense burning that might last a few minutes; some say this pain is a part of the healing process. It’s advised to breathe deeply into the pain, to put your body in a relaxed state, and gain the most from its benefits. One drop of Sananga is placed in each eye and then you go into your process.
It’s by leaning into the pain that you can cleanse not only your eyes but your mind and spirit as well. After the process, you’re left with a feeling of immense relaxation and presence.
What Is A Cacao Ceremony?
Cacao ceremony has become a centerpiece of our routine ritual for self renewal that keeps us centered, connected to our hearts, and living in a good way. Our process of working with cacao is interwoven with embodiment, creative expression, and many other healing modalities that guide us in navigating our own losses, pain, and suffering. Along the way, we have found healing and connection to ourselves, experienced depth and healing in our blood family, and discovered deeper connection with the elements, land, and ecology that we didn’t experience before. And we believe you can find the same: cacao has the potential to be a guide and gateway to help each one of us embrace the compass and depth of our heart as a starting point for profound healing and remembrance.
Gathering together to drink cacao can create healing, connection and inspiration. Engaging with chocolate as a ritual, rather than consuming it as candy, has direct positive impact on our individual well-being as well as our global ecosystem.
Cacao ceremonies are becoming more popular, because they are spaces for people to connect with each other in new ways, and they are an opportunity to reconnect with ancient parts of ourselves that remember the simple power of gathering together in community.
Things You May Experience In A Cacao Ceremony
While every cacao ceremony is different depending on the energies of the group present and the facilitation, there are some general things one can expect when attending a cacao ceremony:
A safe, nourishing environment for you to connect with yourself, the spirit of cacao, and other people in deeper ways than one can usually access when by yourself.
The group will be led through a cacao blessing, where they learn about the cacao they are drinking, and how it was prepared.
The ceremonial cacao that one drinks in a ceremony was sourced, made, and prepared with love and intention.
The facilitator will guide the group through various exercises and experiences based on the intentions of the event.
Some examples of guided experiences are: guided meditations, sound journeys, dance and movement practices, and partner exercises.
The general arc of a ceremony is there is some sort of opening and setting of the container, a shared group experience, and then a closing where you give thanks, and acknowledge what the group created during that time.
What Are The Benefits of A Cacao Ceremony?
Cacao ceremonies are helpful for getting clarity, setting intentions, and doing healing work & inner-processing.
Being in a sacred space helps you get out of your normal frame of mind, allowing you to experience new insights & perspectives.
Depending on the intention of the ceremony they can also be wonderful places to connect with people in a safe, open-hearted environment. Sharing cacao brings us into the same energetic frequency.
This often results in deeper more intimate connection with ourselves and each other.
When multiple people share cacao together, we have a shared experience of mood elevation, increased vitality, enhanced intuition and empathy, and a more open, present heart.
Cacao increases the energetic field of our hearts, and when we join together, the field is amplified and woven together with multiple hearts in the room. We each carry unique medicine and messages for each other, and even if you are in a ceremony with strangers, they may share something about their personal experience that provides more clarity or inspiration for where you are in your life.
When a group all drinks cacao together, they are shifting their energy into the same frequency or vibration.
In the case of cacao, it is a medicinal & healing experience for your body, mind, and spirit.