• The White Arrow

    sacred Cacao Ceremonies

  • Sacred raw cacao ceremonies

    The tradition of the cacao ceremonies has its roots in Central- and South America and is still alive in the culture of indigenous tribes in this regions. As sacred cacao ceremonies becoming very popular these days, we can only encourage this movement, because these ceremonies are all about reconnecting our nature to the earth, but also about ‘opening of the heart’ and reconnecting to the people around you. Cacao is known as a medicinal healing spirit for the human heart, as it strengthens (when kept in its pure, unprocessed form) the qualities of connection, truth and harmony within us.

    In a ceremony one drinks the medicinal raw cacao in a small dose (with hot water), this brings us into a state where we can easily open up and listen to the voice of our heart, enter into a state of relaxation and presence (more about the effect of raw cacao to the body - scroll down to the page "cacao as facilitator".)

     

    Because the Cacao is a true heart opener, we can easily connect ourselves with the world. Feel life flowing through your senses, feel eachother's gratitude by dancing, singing and sharing. It's all about expressing your true self.

     

    The cacao among many others is a 'plantteacher'. Plants like these form a very interesting alliance with humans, they bring health and strength into our physical, emotional and energetic body. Having the cacao as your guide, this spirit enlightens your being with divine playfullness and a simplicity regarding life as it is.

     

    These ceremonies by ‘the white arrow’ are all about ‘la familia’. Singing, dancing, healing and celebrating ‘together’, as one big family. We create a space for openness, to express one's feelings in mutual respect and with dignity. Together we make it happen.

     

    Throughout our shamanic trainings over the years with the shamans in Peru and Europe we incorporated a lot of healing techniques, singing medicine songs (icaro), soundhealing, bodywork and much more. According to our perception, the cacao ceremony is one of the strongest healing ceremonies.

     

    More about the history of the cacao and its healing qualities further on the website.

     

    Thanks to the Spirit of Cacao, we celebrate life, we celebrate you, with all beings present in these moments of joy and creativity.

  • Your heart is a river

    Let if flow out in to the world

    Your heart is a river

    Let it flow out in to the world

    "Like a river, the qualities of your heart can flow vigorously from the inner to the outside. Imagine how it would be if your deepest desires, strongest intuitions, most passionate desires, bottomless compassion, wildest dreams, highest truths, your core values, ​​would flow out to the world. If you meet people, compassion can be the quality you radiate instead of self-interest. The idea of ​​separation begins to melt, narrow self-determination will be less present. Your words can be the quality of depth, love, compassion and wisdom all through your connection with your essence or heart.

    When you meet people, you can feel the connection through their hearts. Perhaps inspiration will move you in new ways. Perhaps creativity comes to life in you in a way that you could not imagine. Can love finally take free movement, no longer blocked by surface drama. The quiet, peaceful power of your heart is given space to move in the world, creating his blessings for everyone you meet. Perhaps people will feel that something has changed in you, though they may never know what that is. The smell of your heart, its uniqueness, its rare quality, can flow in the world. Opening of the heart and connection through that heart, that’s what it’s all about in these sacred cacao ceremonies.

    Being together is the real medicine

    Let it flow out in to the world

    Being together as a family that's the real medicine. Singing, dancing and sharing is the biggest heart-medicine there is. Let the spirit of the cacao play its part as being the one who opens the window of your heart, then it's up to you to make the jump by joining hands. The magic of 'people coming together' always works in mysterious ways; spontaneous healings take place, being touched by the deepest joy and simplicity towards life.

    Love is the healing power

    so share that love

    There is a lot to say about 'healing', but we’ll keep it short. The feeling of love has actually become a human emotion or even a conditioning, maybe we think more about love, so we start to project these beliefs out in to the world. What does love actually mean to you? It could be pointing towards everything, because in a way everything is love. Everything you encounter, everyone you meet is merely an expression of the love you hold towards yourself, to keep you moving on the path, wherever your creation leads you. It's actually ALL good!

     

    And, who's healing who? These questions are really only part of a lovely game called: "being human". The biggest healing could be found in the force of 'together'. Feeling joy, warmth, compassion, tenderness for one another, brings out a very powerful energy amongst a group of people. Seeing all those mirrors reflecting your beautiful self, it opens up the heart. This strong healing power is the secret ingredient for our magical cacao-potion.

     

    We all seek to feel whole and connected again. The idea that we have to find something we think we’ve lost is nothing more than a big sacred magical humane hoax. Being in the sacred all-loving space of the cacao ceremony you could even begin to feel that there was nothing lost after all, nothing to find, it was always there, right under your nose, screaming at you: "look, I'm here, I've never left you!"

     

    ‘This love’ has never left you, because it’s who you really are,so embrace your true human nature.

  • maestro tobacco

    During the initiations and formation, we learned to work with the spirit of the Sacred Tobacco. It's probably one of the most known and most used plantteachers of the Amazon. Therefore, we integrate the sacred Tobacco in all our cacao ceremonies.

     

    The Tobacco Rustica we use, has nothing to do with the tabac for smoking you'll find in the local store. For ceremonial use we work with the pure Tobacco from the rainforest. The dried leaves are left in the ground to be fermented. The end of the process gives you a very strong and powerful Tobacco. The shamanic use of this Tobacco by smoking, goes by the name of Mapacho. In the cacao ceremonies we don't smoke, but sometimes it's useful to blow smoke to clear the air of heavy energy or to calm someone's spirit. The tobacco smoke is mostly used during the rites of healing and purification.

     

    In our work and preparation with the sacred Tobacco we put the fermented leaves in pure water to rest for a day so that the water can slowly absorb all of its healing qualities. When snorting tobacco through the nose the total experience, might last just a few minutes, while the experience of drinking the Tobacco in other ways, could continue for several hours.

     

    We recommend to ingest Tobacco slowly when taking it through the nose, because this phase can be a bit hard to overcome for the first time, but quickly it's followed by a second phase in which the energy of the plant starts to build up within one’s system. It could feel being picked up by a wave of energy. Already in that phase the energy of the Tobacco starts to target energetic blocks while it strongly increases awareness which makes these blocks more readily felt. Then there is the height of the experience with a maximum power which feels a bit like being in the zero-gravity spot of a roller coaster ride. Awareness is then at its peak level and in this phase the removal of energetic blocks is at its highest. With this phase, the feeling of connectedness with all around you also arrives; it is as if the Tobacco lowers the barriers of separateness which prevent in normal operating consciousness to feel this oneness with everything, but which is in essence always available. Then in the fourth phase the energy of the Tobacco slowly starts to dissolve, until a state of peace and tranquillity arises. This final phase is a state that is in essence the result of dispersing lower energies from the energy system. It is this phase in which one grinds deeper into the body.

     

    Maestro Tobacca,

    a spirit that protects,

    purifies and heals

    the whole human system

     

  • HEARTBEAT

    The Dancing Spirit of CACAO

    WE NEED TO DANCE

    The dancing spirit of Cacao

    Dancing is always a part of each ceremony (small or big) because the dancing spirit of cacao plays an important role in bringing movement in your body, mind, emotions, ... in your 'life. Movement through dance evoces the fire spirit in your body. Together with maestro tobacco you can easily let go of the dragons you no longer need. Heavy energies start to travel and are being pushed out by means of expressing yourself. The cacao is always present, reminding you to be gentle with yourself during this process. In our smaller ceremonies we prefer to play live music to work deeper with the energies that are present. Djembés, drums, rattles and flutes fill up the room with heart pounding beats, making it barely impossible not to move. (we invite you to bring your drum) In the Heartbeat dance party we work together with DJ BENCHI.

    HEARTBEAT

    A sensational Cacao dance experience

    The Cacao dance ceremony "HEARTBEAT" is a journey through purification by dancing, combining the delicious heart opening cacao, with Maestro Tobacco in an explosive dance experience.

    This ceremony is an invitation to let go of beliefs or habits that serve us no longer. Making space in our hearts, minds and bodies for all that we wish to cultivate in our lives. With our cacao songs, icaro's and playful dancing feet we move through this experience. We bring to you a mix of all the powerfull ceremonial elements of a cacao ceremony and the dancing meditation music by DJ BENCHI.

     

    'Heartbeat' is a great medicine for letting go. A powerful anti-stress treatment. These 'heartbeat' dancing events will come regularly to you so you'll get the opportunity to transform your life by not letting your old habits repeat itself again. Just bring yourself to attend a 'Heartbeat' ceremony from time to time, and life will get more simple.

    HEARTBEAT UPCOMMING EVENTS

    We bring this experience to you

    Upcomming events: 6th of July

    Location: De blauwe poort, Collegebaan 49A, Melle

    Price: 30€

    Start: 19h

    Subscription is necessary and if you want to be shure you can preorder a ticket here.

  • Intimate cacao ceremonies

    These smaller and more intimate cacao ceremonies are held with a group of no more than 25 people. We choose smaller locations to host these sessions. These more intimate ceremonies are ideal for a more personal approach, especially when the healings take place. In the middle of our circle we create a space for individual healings. You're free to participate in these moments by being present in the middle and all together we'll sing the most fitting song for your personal benefit in that moment. These moments gently evolve into people coming closer and melting into one big heart, being there for each other.

     

    Like in any other cacao ceremony by The White Arrow we offer a purification round with Maestro Tobacco and some tribal dancing. Everything we do is only accompanied by life music.

     

    An intimate ceremony or a big cacao event... it's a celebration of life, with lots of laughter, joy and letting go. On the next page you'll find out where there's an intimate cacao ceremony nearby you

    Big cacao events

    These are the big cacoa celebrations, where we focus on a larger group of people coming together as one big family, to drink cacao. A big event like this gives us the oppertunity to work on the collective energies. The force of singing and dancing in these specific sessions generates a power that can creates small miracles. All the same elements are present as in the more intimate sessions, but you feel the difference in energy by adding to the number of people, it brings more energy to guide to our hearts, to help us connect.

     

    These big events are about connecting and lowering the barrier for new participants, the more the merrier. Therefore we don't ask an entrance-fee, but you're free to give a donation. A true spectacle of dance and singing embraced with the power of love.

     

    Check out our callender.

    personal cacao ceremonies

    More and more people ask us to bring the cacao experience to their home. We can hold an intimate ceremony in your house for you and your friends and/or family. To reconnect and to celebrate life together as you probably have never done before. If you’re interested, feel free to contact us.

    Festivals & gatherings

    We’re always happy to attend these lovely World festivals, a great place to host a big cacao event. According to the needs of your organisation we can bring a crew of musicians and energy-workers to support us to give you a very large cacao experience with live music to fill the festival ground. In our own country we mostly work with a free contribution. You can contact us, we’ll be happy to listen to any suggestion.

  • Upcoming cacao events

    Be a part of the experience

    1

    Intimate cacao ceremony Booischot

    (Belgium)

    10th of June 2018

    Hour: 14h till 17h

    Price: 30€

    Location: Casa Kawalu, Broekmansstraat 86, Booischot

    Subrscribe here

    2

    Intimate cacao ceremony Deinze

    (Belgium)

    20th of June 2018

    Hour: 19h till 22h

    Price: 30€

    Location: Shamballa, Ten Bosse 78, Deinze

    Subrscribe here

    3

    BIG CACAO FEST (Belgium)

    24th of June 2018

    Hour: 14h till 17h

    Price: FREE contribution

    Location: comming

    Subrscribe here

    4

    HEARBEAT

    op Body & Soul

    (Belgium)

    1th July 2018

    Hour: 19h till 21h

    Price: free contribution€

    Location: Necker Mechelen

    Subrscribe here

    5

    HEARBEAT

    (Belgium)

    6th July 2018

    Hour: 19h till 22h

    Price: 30€

    Location: De Blauwe Poort, Melle

    Subrscribe here

    6

    Intimate cacao ceremony Booischot

    (Belgium)

    8th of July 2018

    Hour: 14h till 17h

    Price: 30€

    Location: Casa Kawalu, Broekmansstraat 86, Booischot

    Subrscribe here

  • Locations

    places of trust, all over the world!

    We Care About you

    to make you feel at home

    After many years of working with people, the stories, their emotions and feelings, it became obvious that the most important medicine for something 'beautiful' to take place, is to build a band of trust in each other. In ceremonies like these it's propably the most important ingredient to let the magic happen, together with the creation of doing it "together'.

     

    So, looking for the best locations to do our work is where it all starts. Together with the owner(s) of the center we create an energetic space of trust where it's safe for you to be your authentic self, to express and to create. From the moment you'll enter the ceremonial space, you will feel at home.

     

    The White Arrow brings the cacao ceremonial experience to you. As Belgium being our homebase, we organise our ceremonies mainly in Europe, but we're up for travelling around the world.

     
    More detailed information about our locations you may find on our White Arrow Website.

     

  • The White Arrow

    more about the facilitators

    The White Arrow

    Master your inner and outer life

    The White Arrow is the platform where Marijn De Wit and Juanita Pyl operate from. We organise workshops, shamanic ceremonies, concerts, treatments and much more. All about our other work apart from the cacao ceremonies you can find on our website: www.thewhitearrow.eu

    Marijn De Wit

    Music is my life, a bridge between worlds

    Music is the center of my life. With all my heart, I want to share my experiences and insights with you as I guide you to heal yourself. I thank all the teachers and shamans of the Amazon to show me the path to a simple, peacefull, joyfull life of just 'being'.

    Juanita Pyl

    Singer-songwriter dancing through life

    "The body is your temple, take great care of it and Remember That you are the divinity living in it." Osho

    La familia de la luz

    The cacao family

    In the cacao ceremony all participants work together and get the feeling of a big family as they become friends. They start working together to form a cacao tribe of healing. These co-operations between musicians, healers and openhearted people, goes by the name of

    'la famila de la luz'.

  • Videos

    Take a look and enjoy!

    Intimate Sacred Cacao Ceremony (part 1)

    big healings in smaller groups

    Here you see an impression of an initmate cacao ceremony, we can hold for you in smaller circles. Here we can bring a very intense and heart connecting healing ceremony to you. We sing, dance and heal ourselves by just being together , as a family.

    Intimate Sacred Cacao Ceremony (part 2)

    big healings in smaller groups

    Some more fragments of one of our intimate cacao ceremonies, enjoy.

    Big Cacao ceremony

    Larger groups, strong energy

    A large group of people comming together to sing, dans and open their hearts

    HEARBEAT

    Dance and be one

    All the elements of a big cacao ceremony mixed with a beautiful dance experience.

  • Cacao as facilitator

    Maestro Cacao plays the part of the facilitator by building a bridge from your heart to the world.

    It helps breaking down the walls that we've build so we can open up to our selves, eachother and

    the world!

    Super Food

    for the brain

    Cacao contains both neurotransmitters and MAOI’s (monoamine oxidise inhibitors) allowing the brain support molecules in cacao to be more easily absorbed by the body

     

    Icreased oxygen

    to the brain

    Cacao brings increased blood flow and oxygen to the grey matter of the brain for enhanced cognition

    Increased blood flow

    to the skin

    Cacao facilitates a more sensual experience of the body

    Dopamine

    for joy and motivation

    An essential neurotransmitter in the brain, supporting emotional wellbeing and motivation, present in cacao

    Magnesium

    for meditation

    Cacao is the highest food source of this essential mA small taglineineral that assists all the major muscle groups to relax

    Pineal gland

    Activation

    A tiny pea-shaped gland which, among other functios, is perceived to be the spiritual centre of the brain.

    Serotonin

    to reduce stress and anxiety

    The natural stress reducing and emotional resilience neurotransmitter in humans is also present in cacao

    Anandamide

    An essential neurotransmitter in the brain,

    Brain support molecule most known for it’s effect of the producing ‘runner’s high’, is known to increase feelings of pleasure , improve motivation, and moderate the perception of pain supporting emotional wellbeing and motivation, present in cacao

    Phenylethylamine

    for focus and timeless presence

    A naturally occurring neuromodulator in humans that brings the mediator to a new depth of focus and facilitates the perception of time standing still.

  • History

    the origin of 'the food of the gods'

    A brief walk through cacao history

    the origin of 'the food of the gods'

    The Latin name for cacao—Theobroma—literally means, “food of the gods.” This valuable crop played an important role in many ancient South American cultures.

     

    Cultivation, use, and cultural elaboration of cacao were early and extensive in Mesoamerica, to which the cacao tree is native. When pollinated, the seed of the cacao tree eventually forms a kind of sheath, or ear, 20" long, hanging from the branches. Within the sheath are 30 to 40 brownish-red almond-shaped beans embedded in a sweet viscous pulp. While the beans themselves are bitter due to the alkaloids within them, the sweet pulp may have been the first element consumed by humans. Evidence suggests that it may have been fermented and served as an alcoholic beverage as early as 1400 BC.

     

    Traces of cocoa consumption

     

    While researchers do not agree which Mesoamerican culture first domesticated the cacao tree, the use of the fermented bean in a drink seems to have arisen in North America (México). Scientists have been able to confirm its presence in vessels around the world by evaluating the "chemical footprint" detectable in the microsamples of contents that remain. Ceramic vessel with residues from the preparation of chocolate beverages have been found at archaeological sites dating back to the Early Formative (1900-900 BC) period. For example, one such vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico dates chocolate's preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokayanan archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BC. Traces of some kind of drink have been found in a jug that was discovered in Colha in the north of Belize and dates from 600 BC. A sample of the remains was analysed using modern techniques such as chromatography and spectrometry. The results of the analyses showed the presence o theobromine. Now at the time, the only plant in Central American that contained thebromine was the cacao tree. The discovery of the meaning of one of the glyphs, which stands for the word cocoa, and that of the other glyphs on this jar, have contributed a lot to the understanding of the maya writing.

     

    The Name Cacao or cocoa

     

    The word cacoa comes from the olmec word ‘ka-kaw’. In mayan language it still is the same word today. Diefferent Mayan ceramic pots are decorated with glyphs which have been interpreted as: ka-ka-wa. Hence the word ‘cacao of ‘cocoa’ in English.

     

    In Nahuatl, a language which is till spoken today by more than 1.5 million Indians in Central America, cacahuatl is the word for chocolate: kakawa = cocoa + atl = water.

    In the second part of the 16th centuray, the Spanish however used the word chocoloatl. Why this evolution from cacahuatl to chocolatl? According to Francisco Hernandez, who carried out his research in Mexico in 1570, there was a drink chocolatl, composed of equal parts of cacahuatl and pochotl (seeds from the ‘ceiba’ tree) beaten using a molinillo.

    According to Mayan terminology, there was also a hot drink chacau haa or chocol haa= hot water. This is very close to chocolatl. There is also the Mayan Quiché word chocola’l, meaning “ drink chocolate together”.

    It could be that someone (a Spaniard perhaps who had not quite mastered the Indian language) took the Maya word chocol to mean hot and the Aztec word atl to mean water and made up the word chocolatl which later became chocolate.

    So, several explenations exist, but not one is certain. Our recent contacts with different Maya tribes, made us think that the word chocolate might derivate from the maya ‘choco-ha’, which means: warm water. And indeed Mayans were drinking the chocolate warm.

     

    Kukulkan, for the Mayas – Quetzalcoatl for the Aztecs

     

    Is one of the most important gods. He is often represented in the form of a feathered serpent is the symbol of heaven and earth.

     

    Earliest evidence of domestication of the cacao plant dates to the Olmec culture from the Preclassic period. The Olmecs used it for religious rituals or as a medicinal drink, with no recipes for personal use. Little evidence remains of how the beverage was processed.

     

    By 1400, the Aztec empire took over a sizable part of Mesoamerica. They were not able to grow cacao themselves, but were forced to import it. All of the areas that were conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans were ordered to pay them as a tax, or as the Aztecs called it, a "tribute". The cacao bean became a form of currency. The Spanish conquistadors left records of the value of the cacao bean, noting for instance that 100 beans could purchase a canoe filled with fresh water or a turkey hen. The Aztecs associated cacao with the god Quetzacoatl, whom they believed had been condemned by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans. Unlike the Maya of Yucatán, the Aztecs drank chocolate cold. It was consumed for a variety of purposes, as an aphrodisiac or as a treat for men after banquets, and it was also included in the rations of Aztec soldiers.

     

    CODICES (Codex)

     

    The Mayan people, by contrast, do leave some surviving writings about cacao which confirm the identification of the drink with the gods. The Dresden Codex specifies that it is the food of the rain deity Kon, the Madrid Codex that gods shed their blood on the cacao pods as part of its production.

    Codices are books folded like an accordion. The where written by the Mayas, the Mixtecs and the Nahuas.

    They contained both historical and religious accounts dating from before and after the Spanish conquest. Some of them had a religious use and told stories about the gods and astronomy; these were used by the priests who used to interpret the pictures and give instructions and advice on all aspects of life, religious, as well as political, social and even agricultural.

    The codices were painted on deer skin and on ‘amate’ paper that was made either from the bark of the ficus tree sometimes form maguey fibre.

    Most Codices were destroyed by the Spanish church who after the war, considered them objects of superstition and magic. But Mayan and Azetc nobleman also took part in their destruction because some of them wanted to rewrite the history of their origins.

     

     

    How did the Mayas prepared their chocolate-flavoured drink

     

    The Mayas and the Aztecs prepared their chocolate-flavoured drink in different ways.

    The most frequently used method was this one:

    • First the cocoa beans were roasted and winnowed (to remove the husks).
    • Then they were crushed on a grinding stone called a metate to make them into a paste.
    • Corn was boiled up with a little quicklime in order to remove the skin around the kernels more easily (nixtamalisation).
    • The kernels were crushed on a metate.
    • Next the cocoa paste and the corn paste were mixed together.
    • Condments such as Mexican pepper, flowers, hot spices, vanilla and in some cases achiote were added.
    • The paste was then diluted with water.

    Froth

     

    What the Mayan Indians really liked was the froth.

    Froth was obtained in various different ways:

    • By using a tube to blow air into the drink
    • By pouring the drink from a certain height from one container to another
    • By using a stick called a molinillo that was rolled energetically between the palms of the hands.

    The froth that was formed at the surface of the drink was removed with a spoon. Then the drink was poured into a cup and froth was spooned on to the top.

     

    Conquest of Europe

     

    The chocolate drink crosses the Pyrenees to France and then to the rest of Europe. Cocoa becomes the preferred drink of sovereigns, priests and wealthy people.

    In order to avoid upsetting the cups ‘mancerinas’ begin to appear in Spain and ‘trembleuses’ in France. There were now ‘chocolatières’ to serve it.

    Slowly, people begin to consume sweetened cocoa all over the European continent, encouraged by commercial and cultural relations, but also as a result of royal weddings and alliances.

    In France, chocolate appears at the beginning of the 1600s. Anne of Austria, daughter of Philippe III, King of Spain, marries Louis XIII in 1615 and moves tot France. She is accompanied by her ‘molina’, a maid who is expert in the preparation of the drink.

    Marie-Thérèse of Austria, daughter of Philippe IV of Spain who was married to Louis XIV, also adored the drink.

    Little by little, drinking chocolate becomes a habit at the Royal Court. In 1659, Louis XIV grants the right to a certain David Chaillou for a period of 29 years, ‘ to produce and sell a mixture called chocolate either as a liqueur of pastilles or in any other way he pleases’.

    Without replacing coffee, which remained the exotic drink par excellence and without enjoying the success of tea, chocolate becomes all the rage in the 18th-century.

    In 1715, on the death of Louis XIC, Philippe d’Orléans becomes regent until the young Louis XV attains his majority. Every morning, Philippe d’Orléans drinks large cups of chocolate. Being invited to witness this is a great honour.

     

    Voltaire liked chocolate too. He even created his own recipe in order to stimulate is brain.

    Numerous artistocrats drank chocolate when they woke up, brought to them in bed by their servants. The preferred sweetened Chocolate to the bitter coffee of the proletariat.

     

    Diderot and d’Alembert included a recipe for chocolate in their famous encyclopedia:

    • 4 soup spoons of chocolate
    • 2 soup spoons of sugar
    • 3 pinches of cinnamon
    • 1 egg

    Water and milk is added and the mixture heated in a bain marie. Finally a drop of orange flower and two drops of essence of amber are added.

    But chocolate remains expensive. At the end of the 18the century, 1 pound of chocolate costs the equivalent of 5 days work.

     

    Pueblo people, who lived in an area that is now the U.S. Southwest, imported cacao from Mesoamerican cultures in southern Mexico or Central America between 900 and 1400. They used it in a common beverage consumed by everyone in their society. (source: wikipedia)

     

     

  • The cacao tree

    some insides about this amazing tree

    The Cacao tree

    a tropical tree

    The cocoa tree grows in the tropical forests of Central America

    Over the centuries it was transported to other regions and cultivated on a large scale. Large fruits, whose pods contain seeds or beans grow on the trunk and main branches. These cocoa beans constitute the basic raw material for producing chocolate. The trees can reach heights of 8 to 10m but they are generally pruned to a height of 3 to 4 m in order to make harvesting easier. The cocoa tree starts to bear fruit in its 6th year. It will live for between 25 and 50 years.

    The blossom

    a 1000 flowers

    Around about 1000 flowers grow on the trunk and main branches. They bloom twice a year and measure around 0.5 cm. Only 1% to 3% of these flowers will bear fruit after being pollinated by small flies.

    The pod

    the house of the beans

    The fruit, the cocoa pod, looks like a sort of large nut. While it matures, it changes in colour from green tot yellow or from orange to red. It takes between 5 and 7 months to mature. A tree can bear from 20 to 30 pods. Each pod contains between 20 and 40 cocoa beans.

    The leaves

    for protection

    They are large, measuring between 20 and 30 cm long, and from 7 to 12 cm wide. They are green. Once the leaves have fallen to the ground, they start to rot and to supply food for the tree. They also provide shelter for a the small flies.

    Animals

    help to seed the tree

    Monkeys and other small climbing animals are very fond of the pulp that the cocoa pod contains. They do not eat the actual cocoa beans because they are bitter, instead they throw them to the ground which helps to seed the tree throughout the forest.

    Harvesting

    a process of caring

    Cocoa beans are harvested twice a year, from April to July and from August to December. The cocoa pods are cut from the tree using a knife attached to a long handle.

    As soon as they have been cut down from the tree, the pods are split in two and the beans and the pulp are removed and piled up.

    The beans are covered with large banana tree leaves and left to ferment. This is how they lose some of their bitterness which improves the taste.

    Next the beans are dried in the sun. The amount of moisture drops from 60% tot 6% which allows for better conservation.

    Once the beans have dried, they are packed in jute sacks.

    Preparation

    with a warm heart

    Traditionally the cacao is prepared in the way you see in this small film.

  • Connect With Us

    many ways to join, so we can meet

    Facebook cacao ceremonies Belgium group

    Facebook 'the white arrow' group

    Facebook 'the white arrow' page (our complete calender)

    Email

    The White Arrow Website

    Youtube page

    follow our tweets

    Subscribe to our newsletter

  • Contact Us

    Don't hasitate to contact us

    We bring the cacao experience

    to you

    By continuing, you agree to our and
    Submit
  • donation to fund our work

    Feel free to donate whatever you feel is right in your heart.

    It helps us to keep on creating these great cacao experiences for the world to attend.

    Thank you with all our hearts

    Namaste

    ×
    You can find our privacy policy on our website: http://www.thewhitearrow.eu/?use_flash=1#/privacybeleid/4594315109
    ×
    You can find our privacy policy on our website: http://www.thewhitearrow.eu/?use_flash=1#/privacybeleid/4594315109