Well, here I am again, kind of wondering what to write about. Why is there no full and complete list of 366 journal prompts somewhere on the Internet? Somebody needs to make that happen. I mean, I guess I’m doing it, but…somebody else should be in charge of this. I can barely make toast some days. As I’m writing this, I’m realizing I’m out of soy milk, too.
Anyway, no one should be surprised, I suppose, that I’m again taking some inspiration from the Pagan Perspective! Seriously, if you haven’t checked them out, you need to do that pronto. They have some really great information for pagans, whatever level of experience you have.
This week’s prompt is also taken from my own life, really, because this is it: How does food play into your path?
Now, if you have the chance, go back and read my previous post, which was Food-for the Soul? I don’t know why exactly, but it got a lot of hits, and I have the suspicion that it’s because that topic speaks to a lot of us. Or maybe because it had a proper title unlike most of my posts, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, probably 90% of the population has a weird relationship with food at best. But, as I said in the end of that post, we have to try to mend this relationship in order to be at our spiritual best (or something to that effect). Perhaps there’s no better way to mend this relationship than to make food into something spiritual in itself.
I’m leaving this prompt wide open, so if you ever use my prompts as inspiration, you can take it however you’d like. Maybe you want to think about some recipes you make for the different sabbats. Maybe you want to talk about how eating everyday is some kind of spiritual experience for you. Maybe you want to talk about how your food choices are tied to your beliefs. Now that I’ve suggested these things, I’m going to do all three.
Firstly–recipes for the sabbats. I don’t freely celebrate the sabbats due to still being firmly located in the broom closet, but a lot of these recipes are just seasonable dishes that you can make without raising too much suspicion. For example, for Yule I made wassail, which is a drink utilizing apple juice and spices. There’s nothing inherently magickal about this particular recipe or anything, but the spices in your nose and wafting through the kitchen can help to warm your spirits. I even used it as an offering for my Yule ritual. I think the most important thing about sabbat recipes is to bring the essence of the sabbat into your cooking. Why not make recipes with flowers for Beltane, or lots of wheat bread for Lammas? Make stuff with pumpkins for Samhain, and stuff with eggs for Ostara (if you eat eggs). For inspiration, I really enjoy the book The Kitchen Witch, by Soraya. I have the Kindle version. The author compiled lots of recipes for each sabbat and even has some extra tips. The only frustrating thing about it is that the majority of the recipes including meat and dairy, which I tend not to eat. But the book is really interesting and helpful, nevertheless.
Secondly–making food spiritual in itself. It might be helpful here to insert the beautiful phrase, “Self love is synonymous with self care.” I heard that once on YouTube (I’m so enlightened). Regardless of the source, though, I think that the message is really important: if you want to love yourself, you have to take care of yourself. If you want to take care of yourself, you have to love yourself. So when you’re cooking, you’re (hopefully) caring for yourself. You need food to live, to survive, to thrive. The act of making your sustenance is the act of caring for yourself. It is, perhaps, a very personal thing. A ritual in itself. Some people choose to treat it as any other ritual, with the lighting of a candle and the use of special utensils. Sometimes I’m not that focused. But once in awhile, if I’m making something that feels especially witchy (like homemade soup), I’ll actually set an intention for the food and I’ll put energy into the spices and herbs. I’ll stir the thing deosil or widdershins. Usually I make this soup for the purpose of healing and health, so it’s packed with tons of vegetables and good intentions. I’ve eaten it myself when I had a cold to help me recover, and I’ve given it to friends who were sick. I even told my friends that it was “special healing soup” and that it would make them better, because mentality is sometimes half the battle.
Lastly–food choices in relation to our beliefs. As you can probably figure, I’m referring to certain lifestyles like vegetarianism and veganism. For me, personally, my ideal lifestyle is vegan. I was vegan for a few years, and while I’ve been abroad I’ve been vegetarian/pescatarian (the food culture here makes it very difficult to cut out dairy, eggs, and fish). When I buy food to make for myself, it’s almost always vegan, but eating with friends or in restaurants is usually another story. When I return to the United States, I hope to go back to being about 95% vegan. Of course, people in the vegan community might tell you that there’s no such thing as being 95% vegan, and if you are truly vegan, you’re 100%. But I’m kind of a believer that each time you make a positive choice is what matters, and doing something positive is better than nothing. For me, veganism started out as a diet choice based on my weight and my obsession with food, but at least in the midst of my obsession I did get to learn a lot about the meat and dairy industries, and how veganism can impact these industries. I don’t like to hurt animals. I don’t really like to eat animals or animal products, at least not when I think about it. I don’t want to harm anyone or anything. Does that sound like a familiar lesson we Witches learn?
Food is such a complex thing sometimes, but I truly hope that someday I, and everyone else, can have a healthy relationship with food. Regarding food as a spiritual tool may be one way to make that happen. When I eat, I want to know that it is the best thing for me, and that it doesn’t conflict with my values.
If you’re interested in hearing more about other Pagans and their food choices, check out the Pagan Perspective channel on YouTube from a few weeks ago. They touched on veganism and had some pretty interesting things to say.
I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend.