*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author, Llewellyn Books and NetGalley. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: Discover a magickal collection of lore, recipes, rituals, and practices from modern and ancient cultures of the world. The Magick of Food reveals how using food magickally can transform the mundane task of fueling your body into an opportunity for deep nourishment and connection to loved ones and the divine. This powerful book provides detailed information on food magick and rituals, from edible aphrodisiacs to feasts for the gods. Whether you re preparing boar tacos for Bacchus or a vegetable frittata to celebrate the equinox, this book helps you find community through food and build your kitchen witch skills. Using history, magic, and more than forty delicious recipes, you ll breathe new life into your devotional practice while you connect with ancestors and deities.
As you can probably gather from the title, The Magick of Food, is a combination of cookbook and book of Pagan worship practices. Obviously this is ideal for the wannabe kitchen witches out there, but as someone who doesn’t follow Pagan beliefs I did wonder whether I would find anything in here for me.
I needn’t have worried! This book has value for even the devoutest non-believer, providing they can see the value and sense in enjoying food and making eating a conscious act.
Gwion Raven takes the reader through the ritualistic aspects of cooking and eating, historically through to the present day, peppering the information with recipes, spells, prayers and personal anecdotes. The main focus is on making the preparation and consumption of food a mindful act. If you are ready to live in the moment, and treat every mouthful as both pleasurable and meaningful then you will find plenty to enjoy in this book.
Raven also avoids any judgements about the kinds of food you ‘ought’ to be worshipping. He observes that doughnuts can be just as magickal as dill: it is the intent behind the act of consumption that matters. If you want to eat takeaway pizza then he is right behind you, but wants you to savour every melty cheesy bite, be thankful for how delicious it tastes and perhaps share it with good company (or your household spirits… you do you!)
It shouldn’t need pointing out that food is linked to all of the important ritual moments in our lives (good/bad health, sex, grief), but reading this book made me very conscious of how mindlessly I shovel in my daily bread (and cheese, and pasta…). It’s not really a recipe book or a spellbook – although it does contain both – but more a thoughtful and informative discourse on living a more meaningful and connected life in all spheres, via food.
Practicing food magick, consciously preparing meals, has shaped who I am as a witch, while at the same providing nourishment for myself and others. Kitchen witchery, magickal cooking, Pagan pantrifying (okay, I made that last one up) is simultaneously delicious, fun, ridiculously practical, and profoundly satisfying. And let’s speak plainly here for a moment. We all must eat. We might as well make it a magickal act, right?
– Gwion Raven, The Magick of Food
Find more from Gwion Raven at his website here, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Goodreads.
The Magick of Food is available on Amazon right now!