Wishing you could find a book that fulfills both your epicurean and esoteric needs? Want a little spell work with your dinner prep? The Magick of Food is the answer to the kitchen witch's prayers for bringing the sacred back to mealtime. The scope of the book is ambitious. There's a jaunt through history, visiting with Sumerian cuneiform recipes, classical Greek and Roman food traditions, even the Dark Ages. There are discussions of food deserts and modern food shame. This is far more than a cookbook. The recipes in the book serve to illustrate ideas of magical intent through food.
The core of the philosophy is based on the following 5 principles:
1. All food is sacred
2. Eat what you need
3. Share what you can
4. Express gratitude
5. Pass the knowledge along
The second section, Food, Magic and Rituals for today explores the many ways to enjoy food as sacred ritual in a modern context. Whatever you have in your fridge or pantry will serve even if it's potato chips from the convenience store. There is a love of food that rivals what you will hear on any good cooking program but there is no judgment in your personal food choices. The author came from a working class background and respects that we make good with what we have on hand. Recipes range from medieval gruel to feast food for the gods. None of this is beyond the means of an ordinary person. So ordinary cooking implements can be chosen as ritual objects, singing for your supper can be imbued with prayer, a trip to a restaurant can be an exercise in letting go of control and seeing what the universe will offer. With chapters on food as it relates to sex, healing, grief, community and kitchen witchery, the broader meaning of food beyond sustenance becomes clear. The third section of recipes provides food for you and the gods, cocktails and mocktails, and magickal libations.
Do read the contents before diving into the book. Amusing recipe names like Gin and Cthonic and Aphrodite on the Half Shell show that there is both levity and gravity herein depending on the chapter. The Magick of Food serves as a reminder of the pleasure of eating good food, in good company. Recognizing the opportunity to make the banal special, Gwion Raven is really setting forth a philosophy of delighting in food as part of your spiritual practice. May your spirit be sated as well as your appetite.
For the love of food, savor this book!
~review by Larissa Carlson Viana
Author: Gwion Raven
Llewellyn Worldwide, 2020
259 pages, $21.99