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World Chocolate Day by Ness

I discovered that today, July 7th, is World Chocolate Day! How fabulous! Not that you need a specific day to appreciate, or indeed enjoy chocolate. I think it can be enjoyed any day of the week, and I shall admit it, at any time. Although I do try and not eat chocolate before breakfast, I have been known to eat a square, or two - while waiting for the kettle to boil for my early morning cuppa.

Chocolate is a pretty ancient thing but its origins are a little bit different from the sweet confectionery that we consume today. Chocolate or cacao was discovered about 4000 years ago in Mesoamerica or today known as Mexico. An ancient tribe called the Olmec were thought to be the first to turn this plant into chocolate to be consumed as a medicine and which was also drunk at rituals. The Mayans and the Aztecs were also said to be a part of this discovery of this precious bean. Cacao beans were also used as a currency and as offerings to their Gods.

Cacao - or chocolate, wasn't always the sweet drink that we know of today. The Mayans mixed it with maize and added water, so it must have been a very interesting taste. Other spices were added to it to help enhance the flavour - vanilla, chilli and allspice to name a few.

As time went on, sugar and spices were added to the ground beans and this eventually evolved into an early form of the drinking chocolate that we know of today. It took us Brits a while to cotton on to this chocolate thing - the Spanish, French and Italians had already begun to enjoy this new beverage around the early 17th century.

Chocolate was only consumed as a drink for quite some time and it was an expensive commodity and dedicated chocolate houses for the wealthy were soon built.

It was around the 18th century that chocolate began to appear as something to eat - biscuits, puddings and chocolate cream are recipes in some cook books that were around at that time.

In the mid 19th century, the world famous Fry & Sons were the first to produce a bar of chocolate which was designed for eating. Some time later, Cadbury were given a royal warrant to provide chocolate for the Queen and both companies are now two of the biggest producers of chocolate confectionery.

Chocolate has lots of magical properties - and I shall be sure to try each and every one of them out:

Prosperity, positive energy, love, happiness, grounding, earth connection

Ruling planet: Mars (now there is a coincidence)

Element: Fire

Gender: Feminine

Add it to workings that promote positive energies, for friendship and love magic. Chocolate is very grounding, so when you have worked with energy, a square or two will help ground you. Offerings of chocolate are also welcomed.

Cacao ceremonies are an ancient practice - sacred and powerful and are still performed today - usually in a group setting to facilitate healing, connection and self exploration, mindfulness and physical health benefits too.

Cacao is not like drinking chocolate to taste, but it can be sweetened with honey, or other natural spices or flavours to make it a bit more palatable.

I love chocolate, in pretty much all of its forms, but a large bar of Cadburys Dairy Milk is my go-to. I've had chocolate when I'm ritual writing, there's been a bar around when I'm blog writing (yep, even this one) and some was never too far away when I used to write my homework for my witchcraft lessons. The stuff makes me feel good, relaxes me, makes me happy, so despite its high sugar content, a little bit of what we fancy can't be a bad thing now, can it..

Happy World Chocolate Day - if you're a fan of the sweet brown stuff, get out there and enjoy some!


magical food - chocolate - by Rachel Patterson

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