Cacao – Theobroma cacao

Sacred to: Xochiquetzal, the goddess of fertility (Aztec); Ek Chuah, cacao god (Mayan)

Myth: Several references to cacao have been found within ancestral versions of the Maya creation story. The Mayan’s sacred book, Popul Vuh, contains their story of the creation, and instead of an apple tree, there’s a cacao tree.  In this myth, immortal ball-playing twins are beheaded by the gods of death. One has his head hung on a cacao tree. The magical head manages to mate with a woman who becomes the mother of twin gods. These two defeat the gods of death and then end up in the sky as the sun and the moon.

Myth 2: According to ancient Mayan mythology the cacao tree was hidden in a sacred mountain and brought to the earth’s surface by divine intervention.

Other Notes: Held sacred by the Aztec. It’s named means “Food of the Gods.”

Note on illustration below: from Koehler’s Medicinal-Plants 1887 [Image in Public Domain]

Cacao seedpod with seeds

Cacao seedpod with seeds

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