Sacred Cacao, Wolf Moon and Honor of Apu Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica!
Sacred Cacao, Wolf Moon and Mountain Apu Spirits of the Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica
Such blessings to gift oneself the communion of the earth, air, sky, water and fire. We decided to leave the fiery beaches on the Pacific side and make our way to the mountainside where the air is cooler and the breezes bathe you in relief.
Our first stop was a Cacao Farm in the countryside. The name of this farm which in Spanish is ‘finca’ is “Finca La Amistad' ' that employs 12 laborers of love. The farm has small vegetable and herb gardens called ‘huertas’ not a flower garden. By the way, ‘jardin’ is the Spanish name for garden , usually floral. The cabins were so clean and spacious and had high quality mosquito netting and as you opened the window; you heard the water flowing peacefully and had all local wood furniture and leather to lounge on the decks with hammocks. Of course, every farm has their dogs and cats.
We arrived to learn that chocolate takes 7 years to grow. Lots of grafting for the best tasting and disease resistant plants. The time it takes once harvested is a few weeks. Once harvested it takes time to cure with plastic sheeting and leaves on the first level and then moves down mixed to each level of 7 times aged. Then moved to large bins where they are dried by this time the insects and animals do not find the cacao pods edible. Did you know the pods grow inside a large pod and each seed is covered with mucilage. Mucilage is a white cloudy coating of the cacao seeds and you can suck the juice from it. The folks at the farm make cacao pulpo which means jugo or juice. After one week the staff constantly raked and mixed and another 2 weeks occurred. Then the ship to another area which is hotter to finish the process.
In our preparations to make chocolate takes 2 days. On the first day the cured and dried cacao seeds are gathered into a wok like over a open fire stove outside and turned and mixed for 30 minutes til roasted so you can get the outer coating off. After that there is a grinder that is sifted through 7 times and twice in this same process…whoa 7 is their number. Then we sort the ground nibs to separate the shells by taking a fan and tilting the batch slowly as the wind blows the shells off from the fan to the ground. So we are making this outside, not in a professional kitchen. Once there are only nibs; then we grind by hand grinder into powder (cacao powder). Our teacher has done this many times and we each received a kilos worth about 2.25 pounds or 9 to 10 bars of chocolate. Then a processor again takes place as we have the cacao poured into the processor by adding cacao butter in small amounts slowly and wait for the mixture to take place. We must not rush this process and then after that organic sugar is added a little at a time. The more sugar; the less percentage of chocolate. This is for dark chocolate. Since we didn’t have enough guests with us to have the class requested milk chocolate; we stuck with dark. After the processor mixes the last bit of sugar it is moved to an area where bugs or animals cannot disturb it as the processor mixes all night and it comes out very creamy.
The next morning there is a metal bowl where the mixture is of chocolate. There is another metal bowl with ice and water and we must cool the chocolate mixture from 40 degrees Celsuis to 28 by each of us taking turns mixing and scraping sides and bottom. Once the temperature is reached; we see clumps so we must take another metal bowl of hot or warm water and place the chocolate metal bowls mixture on top or the bowl of metal warm/hot water just like the ice water and take turns mixing until there are no clumps. This is the time I do my “Julia Child’s’ voice impressions…Gotta have some humor. Then cleaned and dried trays of plastic are out that can hold 3 bars each. We are given a choice to make different types, marshmallow, vanilla, chili, coffee, salt, cacao nibs, etc. on each bar. After one hour; the farm teacher has cooled the trays and placed them labeled into sealed wrapped foil and paper and has them in bags to take home. We enjoy the cacao cold (fria) ice drinks or the hot (caliente) chocolate. Having the drinks makes us happy and we don’t feel icky from the sugar in it. We are almost giddy…has vitamin b in it and we gather people to start to jam with us. We have the pulpo chilled and the cacao powder is ready for purchase. This farm; I would highly recommend this farm called “La Finca La Amistad (amistad means friendship) in La Fortuna, Costa Rica. The cabins are so beautiful and I saw a horse neighing by ours cabin grazing in the fields of the farm. The kitchen staff fed us farm fresh foods and asked us to play ‘musica’ - music. We all enjoyed each other.
After jamming our instruments and having the locals join us; we head toward Arenal Volcano hot springs. The sights along the way are volcanic boulders on some farms that landed there after many centuries of explosive thrusts onto the earth so long ago dispersing the parts of the Majestic volcano to remind us that the Volcano can come alive. However, the gift of the Majestic ‘Apu’ I call the Volcano is the hot springs in most hotels. It is a rare gift to drive to Arenal Volcano and see clearly the top of the mountain without clouds crowning the Majesty of centuries of volcanic display. On the way; I have been praying even on the night at the finca to ask the clouds, air, sky and rain and water spirits and the Majesty Apu Volcano to allow not only us to enjoy seeing it but many others that we do not know. As we travel; we arrive to see no clouds around the top of the Arenal Volcano. We are so blessed. I am in silent tears for the sacred blessing of seeing the Volcano fully and seeing the mountain spirits of centuries' faces look at us. As my Love and I take a photo we kiss and the Spirit form a woman and man kissing the same way. There are ancient spirit forming faces and we have so much gratitude for this blessing and grace. We both play as my intention is also the all life the volcano has given nutrients to grow and the animals and all living things as I say “thank you” a few times to all. I am tearful again and then the Moon shines as a haze of rainbow crowning light surrounds the Moon. Such beauty in the fullness and releases and manifestations of whatever is designed in our divine plan together and individually.
We ready ourselves to celebrate this and dress and journey after a meal to local shops and parks. There is a man a little startled and makes a weird noise as a muffled scream. He then says: “It is a frog!” The frog looks at me and is the size of almost my palm as I move my hands and protect him from being smashed; I wave this symbol of transformation and healing with sound and the sign of rain to come; the frog makes no sound and jumps on my dress as I try to move the frog then it moves to my leg and then I wave my hand and it jumps on my Love’s pant leg. Then I keep waving the sacred being’s eyes just stare and feel no fright. It then moves the park grass away from the sidewalk or street. Then we move on. As we return to sleep; a loud burst of rain showers down throughout the night. It is the tropics of course and mountain as this is normal from time to time.
We wake and go to the hot springs to find ourselves needing to play in gratitude for this journey of many signs and blessings. I point my didgeridoo to the mountain and all nature spirits and plants and animals and all living things to be advised to stay kind, positive and calm from the Mountain Spirits and plants and the earth. The birds gather when I play as my Love tells me they love the earthy tones of the didgeridoo. We were all very blessed for this and thank Spirit and the Apu Mountain Majestic Arenal Volcano for the love and guidance.
We are all manifestors if we keep our minds on taking care of ourselves and requesting benefits of self that doesn’t hurt to have for all if possible with Nature. Keep in mind to disconnect from the laptop or phone and enjoy the moments. I hope you enjoy the blog of our travels. Oh and forgot we added more to our sound healing family made locally and some animal clay flutes (macarinas) made by the 'Malecu' tribe instruments. We just love the time we grow and with each other and share this with you.
Much love, Pura Vida!