Today I want to discuss the magicks to be found in foods we normally eat during holidays. In truth any celebration, typically involves food of some sort, whether it is snack foods, appetizers and finger foods like at Superbowl parties, birthday and cocktail parties or full, multi-course meals like one would find at Christmas or Easter dinners, Thanksgiving or Sunday dinners.
Historically food has been associated with magickal energies since the most ancient of times. It is not surprising, since the substance of food gives life, nourishment and satiation when consumed. Anything that can 'give' life and makes one feel so good afterwards would be bound to have magickal associations given to it by the ancient peoples who once inhabited the tribes and villages of the Earth. These people saw the magick inherent in the plants, trees, grasses, crystals, minerals and herbs of the land. Many still attribute a 'magickal' quality to the consumption of the food at meals today, when they take a moment to say grace before eating the food. This spiritual practice is simply a magickal incantation, which are words spoken to invoke a desired effect from a spiritual realm.
Let's look at some magickal qualities attributed to various holiday foods.
Meat - There are very few magickal qualities associated with meats as the ancients ate very little meat. The meat that was consumed like beef or swine (pork, which was a sacred meat to the ancient Celts and Druids) was only consumed a few times a year at a Major Sabbat or two. There were a couple of reasons for this, if a village had a few cattle or pigs they would use them for milk, in reference to the cows and the pigs were extremely hard workers when it comes to tilling an area to prepare it for planting. The earliest time for the development of agriculture, the planting of seeds and plants to be harvested by humans was 11,500 years ago. Before this time people were gatherers and would gather what nature provided, where and when it was provided.
So, the magickal qualities of meat is primarily sacred energy, and thanks is given to the God and Goddess for the provision of meat. Scott Cunningham retells a story told to him by the publisher of Llewellyn Worldwide in relation to meat. A woman contacted the publisher and told him she was under psychic attack. Someone had cast a spell on her, she couldn't eat, sleep, was losing weight etc. He asked her if she was a vegetarian, she replied 'yes'. He told her to eat a hamburger. She did and her 'attack' ceased and never returned. It is possible she was lacking in protein and needed grounding energies, which meat will provide. Meat also helps us stay in touch with Earth energies in a way simply fruits and vegetables and grains do not. I do not endorse any specific diet, that is totally up to the individual and their sense of what is right for them, but I found this story very interesting as to what our bodies and spirit needs at any given time.
Breads - Bread has been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. It is found in every, earliest, ancient culture. It can be simply made with very few ingredients, the simplest recipe contains just flour, water and eventually they added salt. This would make a flat bread (unleavened) that was a staple for centuries for many Egyptians and those in the Middle East. Eventually a simple ingredient which was a by product of brewing ales and wine making, yeast, was introduced making bread much more like what we recognize today. In ancient time, due to the association of grains and fours with the Goddess and Gods of the Earth, breads were important and considered sacred during birth events, death events, when a new home was inhabited fresh loaves of bread were considered the perfect housewarming gift bringing protection, love and abundance to the new household. Eating bread together at a meal had the 'magickal' ability to bond the diners together and became known as 'breaking bread'. The most simple of meals consisted of bread and water, wine or ale. This most simple of meals eventually became the sacred act of consuming cakes and ale in Pagan circles also known as communion in Christian religious practice.
In seventeenth century England, midwives would place a loaf of bread on the bed of a woman in labor to prevent the theft of the mother and child. In modern day Greece, men would pack a piece of bread before going into the Army and engaging in battle for protection, whilst field workers n Greece would bring a roll or hunk of bread with them. They wouldn't eat it with their lunch but only when they returned safely home at the end of the day. Some cultures will take a fresh baked chunk of bread, ripped from a loaf, and dipped heavily in salt and place it in a place of honor in the house, such as the dining room table, to protect the house from harmful, evil spirits.
Pies - Many celebrations have desserts for the enjoyment of party goers, and pies have been a favorite in Europe and America for centuries. It is the ingredients found in many pies that together can be considered magickal spells when eaten. For instance, pumpkin pie, with the ingredients of pumpkin squash, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and sugar, along with brown sugar and or molasses, all combine to make a love spell especially enticing to men. Whereas the ingredients in apple pie, apples, cinnamon, sugar, mace and nutmeg, when combined all become an attractive love spell which attracts women. By giving a slice of these pies to a possible love interest it may help them perceive you in a favorable light, but it will not cause them to fall in love with you, if it is not meant to be.
You can make sugar cookies with fresh lavender buds (flower buds only) added and baked into them and give them to a friend or family member you may have had a falling out with. It can help heal the riff if you so desire.
Eggs - Eggs are eaten for spirituality, fertility, magick and abundance. Eggs have many past cultural associations of healing, protection, divination, money drawing, to name but a few. We still often incorporate eggs into our festive feasts from deviled eggs, egg bread, quiches, frittatas or omelets for celebratory breakfasts and brunches. In contemporary magick, I have found, having fresh eggs in the household, especially at the beginning of the year will bring abundance, health and happiness. Be sure to throw away any old, or rotten eggs before the New Year or you could draw into the household unwanted energies such as depression, sadness, anger and unhappiness.
For many cultures, many foods are consumed at different festivities during the year to draw in good luck, wealth, happiness, good health and many more wanted energies, such as:
In the UK, eat Mincemeat Pies for good luck on New Year's Day
The Asians eat noodles for good luck on Chinese New Year's
Pears are consumed on Thanksgiving for good luck
And for general good luck throughout the year eat at anytime:
Red Beans and Rice,
Foods for physical strength in the body are the same foods that provide magickal power. The energies are the same. Some of these strength/magickal power foods are:
Chocolate (my favorite!!)
Meat/Proteins of all kinds
Grounding Foods, especially good after any ritual/spiritual practice, when very stressed out and 'in your head', when feeling 'spacey' or not in touch with the physical plane, these foods might help:
Potatoes/ root vegetables like carrots, beets, turnips
dense proteins like meat
There is so much material that covers the magickal energies found in food and most of them come from different cultures and eras, this is just a small sampling. Having just celebrated Christmas and Yule, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa, we have all recently enjoyed traditional and comfort foods we remember from our childhood. Sometimes that is the greatest magick of all, the warmth and peace, comfort and memories the foods bring to you, as you celebrate with loved ones. Enjoy!
© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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