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Author Topic: Food and Ritual  (Read 8772 times)
Star
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« Topic Start: March 02, 2007, 12:28:39 pm »

I am absolutely positive we've discussed this at some point in the past, and I cannot for the life of me remember what anyone said about it.

What (if any) role does food play for you in religious ritual and vice versa?  Do you offer food?  Share it with deities?  Why?  Do you pray before mealtimes in thanks for your food--to who, and what kind of prayer is it?  Do you do anything religious when preparing food, either regularly or on special occasions?  Again, what and why?
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« Reply #1: March 02, 2007, 12:34:20 pm »

Well, I'm VERY food focused, normally.  Especially chocolate.  Grin

But that doesn't seem to have carried over into anything religious for me.  Except that I'm experimenting with food offerings.  For some reason, I have a hard time with the concept.  I think that's because I've had "don't waste food!!" so completely ingrained in me.  So, it's difficult to see food offerings as not-wasteful.

I've been trying out food offerings specifically to Ganesha and Lakshmi.  We were discussing this on the old board a few days ago.  I've been offering sweets to them each night.  So far, I've gotten no "feeling" for whether that's a good thing or not.

Other than that, I have no religious food things.  I'll be interested to hear what others do.
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« Reply #2: March 02, 2007, 12:36:21 pm »

Well, I'm VERY food focused, normally.  Especially chocolate.  Grin

But that doesn't seem to have carried over into anything religious for me. 

That gives me an idea for another thread.  LOL  Thanks!
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« Reply #3: March 02, 2007, 11:01:33 pm »

Food is a vital part of most Hellenic rituals -- the theoxenia, a banquet or meal shared with the gods. There are other food offerings (fat and inedible bits burnt in the sacrifical fire) or first fruits offerings, too.

When preparing food, especially for a ritual feast, I light the Hestia candle on my stove and offer a prayer and sometimes incense. And each morning, when I come down and light the burner to make my tea, I offer thanks to Hestia as well.
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« Reply #4: March 04, 2007, 05:26:05 am »

What (if any) role does food play for you in religious ritual and vice versa?  Do you offer food?  Share it with deities?  Why?  Do you pray before mealtimes in thanks for your food--to who, and what kind of prayer is it?  Do you do anything religious when preparing food, either regularly or on special occasions?  Again, what and why?

I'm sure more recon-oriented Kemetics will be along to correct this ... I often offer bread (pastry actually) to my gods. The way I generally do it is to lay the bread on the altar with some kind of invocation, leave it there for a while, and then eating it. As I understand it, it's general Kemetic practice to eat the offerings afterwards. There are a bunch of food taboos associated with the various Netjer ... though, following Set, I am constantly confused about them. (Darkhawk ... SatAset ... help!)

I don't pray before meals or any of those other things.
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« Reply #5: March 04, 2007, 06:26:02 pm »

As I understand it, it's general Kemetic practice to eat the offerings afterwards.

I'm not Kemetic, but that's how I've always approached food in offerings as well--maybe because I've also had a lifetime of "don't waste food!" ingrained into me, or maybe it's because I'm a starving art student who needs every nurishment she can get!  Cheesy
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« Reply #6: March 05, 2007, 11:53:04 pm »

I'm sure more recon-oriented Kemetics will be along to correct this ... I often offer bread (pastry actually) to my gods. The way I generally do it is to lay the bread on the altar with some kind of invocation, leave it there for a while, and then eating it. As I understand it, it's general Kemetic practice to eat the offerings afterwards. There are a bunch of food taboos associated with the various Netjer ... though, following Set, I am constantly confused about them. (Darkhawk ... SatAset ... help!)

I don't pray before meals or any of those other things.

I'm not kemetic either, but I seem to remember in a thread in archives that somebody said that the food should be consumed afterwards, not thrown out. I can't seem to find the thread however, sorry Sad
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« Reply #7: March 06, 2007, 12:38:53 am »

Do you pray before mealtimes in thanks for your food--to who, and what kind of prayer is it?  Do you do anything religious when preparing food, either regularly or on special occasions?

We always "said grace" in my house when I was a kid, but I never kept it up.  Partly, I feel kind of stupid saying a prayer before I eat a meal I cooked myself, because I'm one of those people who's always eaten half of the food before it gets on the table.  So it seems a bit late at that point.

I had been thinking lately about whether I ought to pick it up again, because cooking and eating was always such an important part of my family culture, and now that I'm not at home I'm afraid it's losing its importance. Since I'm no longer a practicing Catholic, I can't use the "standard" grace, but if I think of it I usually send a few thankful vibes to the universe.  Usually I don't remember.

Maybe if I had something to recite it would be easier; I might have to find/write something and try that.  Or maybe I should try before cooking or after dinner instead of before eating, that might be more natural.
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« Reply #8: March 06, 2007, 07:21:13 am »

We always "said grace" in my house when I was a kid, but I never kept it up.  Partly, I feel kind of stupid saying a prayer before I eat a meal I cooked myself, because I'm one of those people who's always eaten half of the food before it gets on the table.  So it seems a bit late at that point.

I had been thinking lately about whether I ought to pick it up again, because cooking and eating was always such an important part of my family culture, and now that I'm not at home I'm afraid it's losing its importance. Since I'm no longer a practicing Catholic, I can't use the "standard" grace, but if I think of it I usually send a few thankful vibes to the universe.  Usually I don't remember.

Maybe if I had something to recite it would be easier; I might have to find/write something and try that.  Or maybe I should try before cooking or after dinner instead of before eating, that might be more natural.


Here is an option. Instead of saying a prayer for the whole meal, say it only for specific foods. Jews have one for bread and another for wine (or any vine based beverage).

I'd choose one that you are not required to taste when prepping meal.

Or say prayers over specific ingrediants before cooking. In ancient times, most meat was the result of animal sacrifce, so it was already blessed prior to being slaughtered.
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« Reply #9: March 06, 2007, 07:38:19 am »

Maybe if I had something to recite it would be easier; I might have to find/write something and try that.  Or maybe I should try before cooking or after dinner instead of before eating, that might be more natural.

Before cooking sounds right - blessing the food and giving thanks as it's being cooked.  To me that just sounds more effective anyway.  Giving thanks before you eat seems as if it would be like trying to add a bay leaf just before you serve.  Sure it'll do *something,* but it won't be nearly as efective as if you'd added it earlier.  But that's just me.
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« Reply #10: March 06, 2007, 10:09:13 pm »

I'm sure more recon-oriented Kemetics will be along to correct this ... I often offer bread (pastry actually) to my gods. The way I generally do it is to lay the bread on the altar with some kind of invocation, leave it there for a while, and then eating it. As I understand it, it's general Kemetic practice to eat the offerings afterwards. There are a bunch of food taboos associated with the various Netjer ... though, following Set, I am constantly confused about them. (Darkhawk ... SatAset ... help!)

I don't pray before meals or any of those other things.

SatAset here, reporting for duty!

Yes, in Kemetic practice all the food offerings are eaten.  I've also read of wine or beer or water being poured out into temple grounds as libations.  I don't leave my offerings on the altar very long.  I feel the energy of the deity around the offering when he or she is partaking of his or her share, then when that's done, I take it and eat it. 

Taboos: 
Aset: pork
Heru Wer (at least in Behdet): pork  (This I found in George Hart's Gods and Goddesses of AE in the section about Heru.  But then they have a play about it and there is a pig there and it's divided among the gods so I'm confused on this one). 
Amun: Ram, goat
Wesir: sand, fish, pork

Here is my page on offerings:
http://www.asetnet.net/listofo.html
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« Reply #11: March 07, 2007, 08:19:42 pm »

What (if any) role does food play for you in religious ritual and vice versa?  Do you offer food?  Share it with deities?  Why?  Do you pray before mealtimes in thanks for your food--to who, and what kind of prayer is it?  Do you do anything religious when preparing food, either regularly or on special occasions?  Again, what and why?

I do offer food to my deities. If I don't eat it, I give it to wild life. Waste doesn't come into play with offerings.

Astarte especially loves chocolate. Plain old Dove milk chocolate.

I also make offerings and ask blessings while I cook. I have been *trying* to remember to at least say a silent "thanks" before a meal, but I am a greedy pig who usually doesn't remember.

Another thing I've been doing is having a weekly meal that's nicer than the others. It's an offertory meal that will eventually serve the dual purpose of teaching my child table manners. My husband and I always eat together, but we usually eat at our bar, or infrequently, on the couch at the coffee table. Also, even though I'm always cooking, I usually just put the food from the pan straight on to the plate. This special dinner may not feature things that are super-complicated, but we do eat it at the table, with all the proper silver ware and food is presented in serving dishes. Fancy!

Acacia
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« Reply #12: March 08, 2007, 01:18:43 am »


SatAset here, reporting for duty!


Thank you much! Man, pigs always seem to get a bad rap  Undecided Apparently Set likes pork though (always contrary  Grin).
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« Reply #13: March 08, 2007, 02:04:21 am »

Thank you much! Man, pigs always seem to get a bad rap  Undecided Apparently Set likes pork though (always contrary  Grin).

LOL.  Yeah. 

Aset though is associated with the sow (both as a caretaker of children and as an eater of her young).  While I was listing this on asetnet, I first wrote pig and I got this...that's not it, from Aset.  She seemed very particular (heh, when isn't She?) about it being the female pig she's associated with; and maybe, this is my guess that because Set is associated with the male one.

I believe a few other Netjer like pork.  I just don't know who they are.  Ohhh, I thought of one.  Sobek! 

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« Reply #14: March 20, 2007, 01:28:15 pm »

I sometimes make offerings of food and beverages.  As with the Kemetics I usually let it sit for a time then eat or drink it myself.  When working with a group the offering is generally passed around so each participant can have some.  A bit is saved for the end and poured on the ground.  If we are inside I set a bit aside and take it out at the end.

I do not generally say grace, though I try to make it a practice when eating meat to think about the animal it came from.  I like the idea of saying something while cooking as I am the cook in my household and can't see my partner wanting to "say grace" or anything like it.
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