Here’s a sneak peek at my soon to be released book. The Magick Of Food – Rituals, Offerings, & Why We Eat Together. The book is available for pre-order right now, and will be released on January 8th, 2020. My dear friend, Kristoffer Hughes, very generously wrote the foreward and that’s what I’m including here.
Foreward: The Magick Of Food – Rituals, Offerings, & Why We Eat Together
I love food. I think that statement must be made at the beginning of this short discourse and praise for the book that you now hold in your hands. Restraint is one quality that cannot ever be associated with my love of food, and whilst greed may be seen as an errant fault, I find in certain circumstances that it can also be a fine and just motivator.
The love of food has taken me to local and far flung locations in search of the delicious. The topographical nature of our planet—at least in my mind—is not defined by contours of terrain, but by the gargantuan diversity of food. Food provides a map that sings of connection to locales and the people and creatures that inhabit them. I am quite able to recall towns, cities, parties, events, and countries by the food that I have eaten there.
When I am happy, I eat; when I celebrate, I eat; I eat when I am sad; I eat to express emotions and also to suppress them. I imagine that those statements are not alien to those who have found their way to this book.
Food and drink do not simply sustain and nourish the body, they have long been associated as sustainers of the spirit, family, and community. As a Druid, food plays an important function in the expression of my spirituality. The Celts are renowned for holding hospitality as a vital attribute, made the more wondrous and fulfilling by special foods and beverages taking centre stage in any hospitable act. The cauldron plays an important role in the symbology of Druidry and within the greater Pagan movement, a symbol that embodies hospitality, mystery, sustenance, and nourishment. It is no accident that a cooking vessel finds itself amidst the mysteries, for surely they all serve to feed.
To invite another into one’s home or sacred space and to then offer them the fruits of your edible labours is to give something of yourself, your community, and your foundation of hearth and home. It is perhaps the feast that usually follows a sacred observation that instills and reaffirms the communal aspect of my Pagan practise, which delightfully is a common trait in any denomination or tradition of spirituality. I anticipate that feast—I long for it.
The food we eat connects us to a multiverse of relationships, they tell the story of growth, of the quality of soil and water. Food acts as a bridge between us and the very land that we walk upon. Growing our own food, even if only some potatoes in a bucket on an apartment windowsill, expresses an action that, as humans, we have participated in for countless millennia.
This magic of connection articulates a mystery that binds us to all the people who have gone before us; for nothing on our planet vanishes completely, but merely changes its form. Its energetic component remains. All the food that our ancestors ate, all the fine beverages that with their celebrations, all their rituals and their emotions are still here and held by the organism of our biosphere. We take in, we give back, we live, we feast, we die, and the circle begins again. All our food arises from the amalgamated wisdom of all things that have found their way to the birthing ground of soil.
If I was able to articulate one human emotion associated with the act of eating and drinking, it would undoubtedly be joy. It is this quality that fills the pages that follow; Gwion has succeeded in imbuing the words of this book with the joy he gleans from food and drink. He has succeeded in combining not only a sense of the celebratory, but also deep thought and a joyous articulation of the history and complex magical traditions surrounding food. This is not just a book of recipes, albeit they are plentiful, but there is also a lot to surprise you in this book, and a magical view that may well transform your relationship to food.
Whilst Gwion and I share a common heritage and foundation in Great Britain, perhaps what we mostly have in common is our love of food. Regardless of cultural differences, tradition, or worldview, the delightful act of feasting will always bring people together.
And with that, feast and rejoice in the words that dance from the following pages.
Head of the Anglesey Druid Order, author of From the Cauldron Born, The Celtic Tarot, and The Book of Celtic Magic.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS EXCERPT FROM THE MAGICK OF FOOD-RITUALS, OFFERINGS,& WHY WE EAT TOGETHER IS COPYRIGHTED BY GWION RAVEN & LLEWELLYN WORLDWIDE, LTD. AND IS REPRINTED HERE WITH PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER. NO PART OF THIS ARTICLE MAY BE REPRODUCED IN ANY MANNER OR ANY FORMAT WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR AND LLEWELLYN.