Articles/Essays From Pagans
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
My Father, My First God
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
The Fear of Witchcraft
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
My Concept Of Grey
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
A Strange Waking Dream
August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Rediscovering Cakes and Wine
Article ID: 14718
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,623
Times Read: 3,514
RSS Views: 20,111
Posted: January 22nd. 2012
Times Viewed: 3,514
In the Scriptures of the Abrahamic traditions, we find a curious verse. Essentially, it describes an “order of service” as would have been used by the worshippers of the old Gods in the land of Israel. It reads:
“And your children gather wood, and your men build a fire thereof. Your women bake cakes for the Queen of Heaven, and the people pour out libations to the other Gods, which causes me to vent my wrath to them.” (Jeremiah 7:18)
Leaving aside the Hebraic deity’s expression of wrath, we find the sharing of food and drink as the basis of this domestic cult. From contemporary sources, we find agreement that the Gods were celebrated throughout many cultures through this means. And, save in certain specific instances (such as to avert plague or beg pardon for a severe misdeed) , the bulk of the offering was ingested by the faithful.
At its most basic level, this custom stems from the concepts of hospitality. Indeed, that was the entire premise behind the ancient sacrifices, i.e. the maintenance of reciprocal relationships with the Gods. The Divine Powers had shared food at the table of Humanity, and received myriad gifts for deigning to attend the gathering. Hence, They were obligated to return the giving through abundance, fertility, good fortune, and felicity.
This premise is often unspoken in today’s Pagan and Craft environments. Indeed, the concept of giving in libation a portion of the Cakes and Wine* is frequently stated as an after thought. Many books purport that this portion of the ceremony is (variously) a thanksgiving to the Gods, an interlude between the “magical work” versus “social time” of the group, and a grounding or earthing of the rite. If any inkling is mentioned regarding the “give and take” attitude of antiquity, it is frequently brushed aside as superstition.
This flippant attitude naturally arouses an urge to scream at such people on my part. Yes, Cakes and Wine is an offering of gratitude. However, social time happens AFTER the magical work and ceremonial details are attended to. Likewise, one does not ground or earth energy in the middle of a ritual.
Part of the problem is the knee-jerk reaction some in the popular Pagan and Wiccan communities have with two other related concepts. The first is sacrifice. The second is any possible resemblance between their rituals and the Christian Eucharist. (Presumably, the fact that at least 80% of Wiccan ceremony was derived from an Abrahamic framework inspired by such grimoires as the Clavicula Solomonis… is lost on these people) .
The Christian Eucharist, especially in the forms practiced by the Roman Catholic Church and Greek Orthodox Church, are directly indebted to the sacrificial cults that supported the Roman State. They are also directly linked … nay, adopted from… certain features of the Mystery religions. Indeed, the early Church fathers were aghast that these pre-Christian sects had practices and teachings that sounded so Christian!
Some went so far as to preach a curious doctrine of diabolic imitation i.e. their quaint Devil-figure became aware of the importance of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, so presumably went “back in time” and sowed counterfeits to confuse and seduce people. While some Christian sects teach this still …most intelligent individuals will see how ridiculous this is. But I digress…
The State Cults of our Pagan past (of which the Roman Empire’s is one example) sought to maintain a collective relationship with the Divine. On the immediate level, if the Gods were happy, the community would prosper. However, on a more sublime level, it also sought to maintain the whole cosmos.
The Latins phrased this divine order as the Pax Deorum (the Peace of the Gods) . The ancient Egyptians knew it as Maat. The Norse saw in it the postponing of Ragnarok. In the Americas, the Aztecs practiced their sacrifices to feed the Earth and keep it alive. To the Celts, each sacrifice recreated – whether of human, animal, food, or material goods – on some level, the primal sacrifice that created the worlds.
Our English word, blessing, derives from the old German word ‘bletsian’. Bletsian can be translated as ‘smeared or sprinkled in blood’. As Bram Stoker’s Reinfeild notes in Dracula, “the blood is the life.”
No, I am not advocating we return to butchering animals (or people) in our recreations of our mythic past. But we should recapture the mindset of giving our best to receive the best. And, if we join that mindset to our simple feast of bread and drink, they become equivalents of the same.
To avoid charges of “black masses”, many in the Wiccan Revival made sweeping statements that their rites have no resemblances to Christian rites. Had they clarified that they too were drawing upon the same Pagan roots that also happened to inspire the modern Christian liturgy… I do not think the sundry hordes of what some detractors label as ‘McWiccans and/or ‘PopPagans’ would be able to do any such cultural violence against their own ancestors!
Thankfully, representatives of the Traditionalist Craft outside of the Wiccan Revival have refused to whitewash the virtues and vices of their forebears. (And, thankfully, many of the older lineages of British Traditional Wicca are now embracing that mindset.)
If we simultaneously offer up food (or any item) and bless it to our Gods… and then either ingest or put it to use in our service of Them… that rite is one of communion. The practice of “God-eating” is incredibly ancient, and the sacred meal of the Mysteries has always been shared amongst the Elect.
But there is another aspect that many don’t recognize. Not even the Lord’s Supper of the Christian Churches recognize this. The eucharist also becomes a theurgic talisman and an aid to all treading the Path of Return. Before the Gods pour their essence into the Gifts, we must become aware that the Gifts represent our Selves… Bread of our Body, Wine of our Blood, Mead (or Cider) of our Spirit, Incense of our Highest Ideals, Salt of our Worth, and so on (depending on what the offering is) .
We offer our Selves with the meal to the most high, that all be put to the service thereof. And, once that freely-given gift is accepted, then reversion of the offerings to the use of the people offers a seal of sanctity.
In closing, I would like to share some recently (in the past decade) unearthed ancient words found carved upon a shrine to Dionysos located in catacombs underneath Saint Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. These words are:
“Those who eat of my Body and drink of my Blood,
they shall be my brothers, and they shall not taste Death.”
*Cakes and Wine, or Cakes and Ale, as a term stems from the Wiccan Revival. However, as defined in this article, it is equated with the Heathen practices of blot and symble, the old English Craft housle/houzle, the love-feast (or sacred meal) of the Mediterranean Craft traditions (of which Hekate's Supper is one well attested example) , the thusia of Hellenismos, and so on.
Resources for Further Research and Contemplation
Anderson, Cora. 50 Years in the Feri Tradition.
Anderson, Victor. Thorns of the Blood Rose.
Artisson, Robin. Witching Way of the Hollow Hill.
Artisson, Robin. The Resurrection of the Meadow.
D’Este, Sorita and Rankine, David. Wicca Magickal Beginnings.
Evans, John. Roebuck in the Thicket.
Fortune, Dion. The Winged Bull.
Foxwood, Orion. The Faery Teachings.
Frazer, Sir James. The Golden Bough.
Gray, William. By Standing Stone and Elder Tree (AKA Rollright Ritual)
Gray, William. Western Inner Workings.
Gray, William. The Sangreal Sacrament.
Greer, Jonathan Michael. The New Encyclopedia of the Occult.
Gwynn. Light From the Shadows: A Mythos of Modern Traditional Witchcraft.
Jackson, Nigel. Masks of Misrule.
Kingsley, Peter. Ancient Philosophy, Mysticism, and Magic.
Kirsche, Jonathan. God Against the Gods.
Kondetreiv, Alexei. The Apple Branch.
Leek, Sybil. The Complete Art of Witchcraft.
Leland, Charles Godfrey. Aradia, or the Gospel of the Witches of Italy.
Martello, Leo. Black Magic, Satanism, and Voodoo.
Paddon, Peter. The Crooked Path (transcripts of show) .
Reed, Ellen Cannon. Heart of Wicca.
Regardie, Israel. Ceremonial Magic.
Sanders, Maxine. Firechild.
Shadwynn. The Crafted Cup.
Thorrson, Edred. The Book of Troth.
Valiente, Doreen. ABC of Witchcraft Past and Present
Valiente, Doreen. The Rebirth of Witchcraft.
Copyright: (c) Jonathan Sousa 2011
First published 8/19/2011 in Society of Diana's blog @ http://societyofdiana.blogspot.com/2011/08/rediscovering-cakes-and-wine.html?zx=c3bcf5c74125baeb
Also, will be published in the upcoming Hallowmas issue of the Black Walnut Anthology, through the Temple of Diana @ templeofdianainc.org/
Location: Norton, Massachusetts
Author's Profile: To learn more about Kedeshim - Click HERE
Other Articles: Kedeshim has posted 8 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Kedeshim... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2016 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).