Pagan Blog Project: Dietary Taboos (when the Gods come to dinner)

Oh, what to eat. The usual pulling open of cupboards, mentally sifting through menus, standing before the freezer “letting all the cold out”.

Lets see: 2 frozen pizzas, 1/3 bag of pizza rolls, Hot-pockets… pizza flavored. Silly boyfriend, silly pizza obsession. Moving down: soda, water, tomatoes, sweet potato, half eaten pasta that probably needs to be thrown out, vials and jars and jars filled with vile-looking elixirs and tinctures. Fun but not dinner. Tortellini, takes time to cook, need to go to bed soon so I can work my night shift at the hospital. Couscous but no fresh veg, no time to shop.

Oh, what to eat.

Who would have thought that the simple act of feeding oneself could get so complicated. Take 1 carnivorous significant other + 1 god-touched pagan with food taboos + 1 picky preteen eater and you have yourself a whole mess of mess.

Don’t eat this, do eat that. Eat to be pure, to hear Her voice, to nourish a body all too often forgotten in the imbetween. Eat to spite the eating disorder, eat to support the farmers and punish Monsanto. Eat to be political, to be spiritual, to be powerful, to be beautiful.

In the end, I know I will do as the lines are drawn and eat to Her wishes.

But there is always that moment of indecision, that moment of suspense.

Oh, what to eat.

Still Life with Skull (Nature morte au crane), Paul Cézanne

Food taboos within the pagan world are as individual and varied as the practitioners. Vegetarianism, veganism, devout hunters, raw foodists, kosher and a plethora of others all find their way into our culinary vocabulary. Add to this list food allergies and sensitivities and you have yourself a virtual minefield to navigate with every full moon potluck you attend. But food taboos within the spirit-walker culture move us beyond “I choose” to “I have to”.

Taboos, in this context of diet, do one major thing for us: they make the profane holy.  They force us to consider every single molecule of food within our realm of service. Some taboos are simple: if you worship and serve a Goddess who happens to adore rabbits, there is a chance she will request you don’t eat them. Other taboos are more complicated, requiring more of what we would consider sacrifice. Don’t drink caffeine. Don’t eat sugar. Don’t eat meat/only eat meat at these specific times. They change the way we interact with the world, the way we socialize, the way we vote with our “almighty dollar”.

Taboos that are common within the spirit-walker community include (but are not limited to):

  • veganism and vegetarianism
  • eating only organic
  • raw foodism
  • specific types of meat: only game meat, only organic meat, only humanely raised meat
  • local food (food grown within a certain mile radius)
  • no alcohol
  • alcohol only used for certain rites or at certain times
  • no caffeine
  • no sugar

Other taboos are more individual and specific. I can think of one spirit-worker who is required to eat every certain number of hours, a certain number of times a day. She is diabetic and her Gods care about her health very deeply.

Which brings us to another idea, taboos are not there to punish us. I don’t think any of the Gods are asking us to do this because they specifically want to see us suffer. They do this because they know it brings us more in line with their energy, makes us better able to serve them, to hear their voices, and to have the mental, physical, and emotional stamina to do the work they require of us.

*            *            *           *            *

Oh what to eat.

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5 thoughts on “Pagan Blog Project: Dietary Taboos (when the Gods come to dinner)

  1. Sandi says:

    Interesting post! I have a son who is Autistic. What he is and is not willing to eat not only seems, at times, completely arbitrary it drives me nuts! Especially as a kitchen witch I want to make certain foods for my family for varying health and magickal reasons. Most of the time, though, I can not because it even being cooked in the same kitchen or on the same table could send him into an “episode” that could keep us all from eating. All I know is that when he moves on his own my kitchen will be filled with all manner of white food, food in tiny jars, and every color apple I can find!! Lol

    • lcward says:

      My step-daughter is deathly allergic to wheat but with enough meds she is fine and we dont have to monitor her diet. I cant imagine living a life where a) your childs diet affects how you cook and shop and b) how you do magic!! You are a very brave mom and I am sure the Gods understand having to put the magic on the backburner. 🙂 Hang in there.

  2. Cat says:

    I’ve read about dietary taboos before but your post about the daily struggle in front of the open fridge added a whole lot of life to it for me. Thank you.
    Oh, and the Cézanne painting is great and suits your blog theme very well.

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