Nourishing Pagan

Waterhouse, "The Magic Circle"

I identify with a pagan spiritual path.  While I don’t make a huge deal of it, I don’t deny this.  Sometimes I feel like so much of the real and traditional foods movement is so populated with devout Christians that it almost seems a prerequisite to be Christian and strongly faithful to be dedicated to the traditional foods movement.  With books like The Maker’s Diet advocating a traditional-foods approach, and the plethora of Christian real food bloggers, I sometimes feel like a small, quiet minority.

And, to some extent, I definitely feel like so many people see the “pagan” label as something that teenagers and maladjusted spinsters use to make themselves feel special.  While I’m guilty of believing that of people myself (just because it’s not true in general does not mean it’s never true), this is not my situation.  I honestly identify with the more down-to-Earth, everyday nature of the divine that nature-revering spirituality represents to me.  I don’t run around wearing a pentacle (not a symbol with which I identify), or praising the Goddess loudly, or dancing naked under the full moon (not that I wouldn’t ever).  But I keep a meditation altar with symbols special to me in a back room and sit there in quiet meditation and reverence for the forces that walk unseen behind the nature of all things.

Traditional foods have a lot to do with this, to me.  It saddens me that so much of the traditional foods community is Christian and that so much of the pagan community is veg*n because the two actually have a lot in common.  Traditional foods are a way of honoring the processes that our ancestors developed to bring this species from the primordial ooze to the populating virtually every continent on Earth.  Denying our bodies certain types of nourishment based on an external and artificial moral construct is denying part of our relationship to the Earth.  Animals kill to eat all the time, and we are of the type of animal that kills to eat.  While veg*nism is certainly closer to nature than the mindless adherence to the SAD and all its industrial food horrors, prostheletizing veg*nism while decrying the artificiality of Christian morals is hypocritical.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is kind of like that Dar Williams song:  Christians and pagans should get together and pursue real, traditional foods together.  Any other pagan real foodies here?


5 responses to this post.

  1. I’m thankful you addressed this issue. I don’t follow any particular religious or spiritual path other than a mild celebration of the quarters and cross-quarters. Would you call that being a Samhain and Beltane Pagan? 😉

    In my work, I try to focus on the food – and only the food, except when that food is threatened and then I focus on the politics too. And while I can understand that a person with a strong faith finds that her faith is inextricably linked to everything: the home, the way she relates to her husband, the way she mothers her children and cooks her food, sometimes I see a sense of entitlement among readers and real food bloggers who feel as though the movement belongs to them and them alone and that is distressing – especially, when I post about dying eggs naturally, post photos of harvest festivals or halloween treats and readers/bloggers who make the assumption that everyone believes as they do (or, rather, *should*) complain our write embittered comments. Then I refer them to my FAQ:

    I go on my merry way, focus on the food and talk, occasionally, how a buche de noel fits in with my yuletide festivities or how I catered a 200-person community dinner that celebrates the autumnal equinox, and I call it good.


    • Wow, I’m so glad I posted this, too. I had no idea you followed the wheel of the year, spiritually. I think it makes so much sense, since the pagan festivals are so linked to the food systems (e.g., ewe’s milk at Beltane, apples at Mabon). Thanks for commenting.


  2. Posted by Nicola on August 23, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I am glad that you posted this as well. I also follow less “conventional” paths. I wouldn’t call myself a Pagan, although I have a lot of books on Paganism and I really like the belief system, so maybe someday. I have noticed that there are a lot of devout Christians that follow the traditional foods path. This is fine but it is great to know that there are others like us out there. Sometimes I don’t want to be bombarded with a religious message just to get a recipe. I deal with this daily as it is. I was really happy to see Jenny post here as well. I love her blog and get her recipe cards and have her book.


    • Thanks for the reply! I definitely agree with feeling “unconventional,” but not necessarily any official religion. It’s nice to know I’m not alone, as I wander through this world with my decidedly non-Christian views.


  3. Posted by Sveta on September 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Hi, late comment here but really wanted to post. I am also not religious but real food has definitely made me feel more spiritual and more connected to the seasons etc. But not in any way is it part of any fixed religions – and that’s how real food should stay before it’s associated by others with Christianity/God only instead of the health movement it really is.

    Keep up the good blogging work 🙂


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