Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...



Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]


Views: 16,476,157


April 13th. 2014 ...

Magick and Consequences: My Experience with Sigils

Don't Talk Yourself Out of Trying Something New!

Being a Worrisome Witch

What to Do When the Spell/Ritual Flops


April 6th. 2014 ...

The Elements and the Quarters

Dark Moon Scry: Aries 2014

How the Wheel of the Year Works “Down Under”

13 Keys: The Understanding of Binah


March 30th. 2014 ...

Manifesting the Dream: On Religious Organizations, Pagan Abbeys and our Order

True Meaning of Community

Thoughts on Unverified Personal Gnosis

My Beautiful Grove- A Matter Of Perspective


March 23rd. 2014 ...

Spirituality and Social Change

The First Step to Anywhere!


March 16th. 2014 ...

From Christian to Pagan (Part I)

Nature And The Celtic Tree Calendar

The Teeth in the Darkness


March 9th. 2014 ...

Healing the Witch Within

Incarcerated Witches

Discovering Wicca as a Young Child

March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright


March 2nd. 2014 ...

Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward

The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role

Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?

The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects


February 23rd. 2014 ...

Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences

Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless

The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community

What Makes Us What We Are


February 16th. 2014 ...

The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief

Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing

Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence

Alternative Medicine – What Is It?


February 9th. 2014 ...

Words of Power!

The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse

Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings


February 2nd. 2014 ...

The Magick of Jewelry and Metals

Building a Magick Mirror

The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)


January 26th. 2014 ...

Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do

The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)

13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed

Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected


January 19th. 2014 ...

Open Letter to the Goddess

A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality

Social Conventions and the Pagan World

Reclaiming Independence


January 12th. 2014 ...

Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing

One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression


January 5th. 2014 ...

Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age

Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey

2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!

Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild


December 29th. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)

13 Keys: The Might of Geburah

Beyond The Season of Greed


December 22nd. 2013 ...

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)


December 15th. 2013 ...

The Hex Murder of 1928

My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)

Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)

Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots


December 8th. 2013 ...

Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey

Using Your Wand in Reverse

The Cry of the Soul

Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward


December 1st. 2013 ...

The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness

A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism

Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?


November 24th. 2013 ...

The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective

The Pagan and the Papacy


November 17th. 2013 ...

Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca

For Love of the God

A Threat to Religious Liberties?


November 10th. 2013 ...

Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?

Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return

The Celtic Tree Calendar

Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs


November 3rd. 2013 ...

The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?


October 27th. 2013 ...

Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society

Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them


NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.










Article Specs

Article ID: 14919

VoxAcct: 66480

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 720

Times Read: 3,351

RSS Views: 23,608
Saying Grace to Sun, Soil, Seed… and Science

Author: Wormwood Crow
Posted: April 29th. 2012
Times Viewed: 3,351

"Bless us O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen."

For many of us, the above statement has been heard during the Christmas festivities, perhaps even more than once. Many of us come from Christian backgrounds and were expected to say grace before each meal. Or we have friends we have shared the holidays with who take the time to say grace. In any case there is a strong chance you had to sit quietly through some version of the above before getting to chow down on holiday ham, Christmas enchiladas, tofurkey, or something else you, hopefully, found delicious.

Assuming you were part of a group setting that was not primarily Pagan, and grace was being said, did you participate? Did you sit quietly; silently huffing and puffing while the words were being spoken? Did you recite your own personal prayer in your head? Did you let your mind wander over the table in eager anticipation of a heaping plate of tofurkey? Does saying grace before a meal matter to you? Why?

For many Pagans, the phrase “saying grace” recalls strong memories of their pre-Pagan days, some memories positive, some not. Nevertheless, it has a very Christian sound to it, and since many of us left Christianity for a reason, we balk at the notion of including such a Christian ritual in our daily practices. In the Christian tradition saying grace is a thanks to God for our position on the food chain, essentially. Christians thank God for being in a place of authority over his other creations, with the power to turn those creations into a bountiful meal. Pagans, generally, do not feel they hold that type of authority over nature’s creations, but in cultures around the world a form of saying grace is frequently said before meals, and these cultures also do not embrace a dominion-style ideology over creation.

In Native American and other hunter/gatherer style societies, prayers were made to thank nature’s creations, animal and plant, for sacrificing themselves to become the nourishment of the people. People made peace with the spirit of their food sources to ensure that bounty would come their way again. In Hinduism, traditional prayers over food served to purify it before eating. The vessels, the food itself, and the cooking process all needed to be cleansed so as to best prepare food for an unpolluted mind.

Of course, neither of these groups refer to these prayers as “saying grace”, but in Western culture most of us recognize what people are about to do when someone at the table suggests “saying grace”. It is a phrase we are familiar with, and it might be time to recognize some of the merits behind the practice.

Let us glide diplomatically over Christian ideology of dominion over all other creatures and focus the lens on that moment of the day, their heads bowed over plates of food, when they give thanks. Whether the prayer is a short ditty that rhymes or a formal version that evokes the importance of God in that moment of bowed heads, Christians are giving of their time, while their hunger is great and the temptation is set right before them, to offer a little something in return for that bounty. That offering is a good lesson for all of us.

Many Pagans include offerings in our sabbat and esbat rituals. Wiccans call it cakes and ale. Others will burn incense, bury stones, or light candles in a form of oblation for their own particular deities. A few will even go to more extreme measures to show their gratitude by engaging in periodic fasts, ritual scarification, and other forms of bodily sacrifice. Pagans grasp the concept of offerings just fine, but many of us reserve this giving of ourselves to a few certain occasions... frequently the aforementioned holidays, and magical workings.

Christians, too, have their holidays and then their weekly events when something magical happens for them. Yet many of them also take the time to incorporate a little extra self-sacrifice every day. While we may disagree with the ideology behind the sacrifice, it is still one that is heartfelt and done with a steadfast devotion many people, including Pagans, sometimes forget to include in their day-to-day activities. We’re too busy. We got caught up with something and forgot. We’re with people and we feel self-conscious bringing up [Pagan] prayer at the table. We have plenty of excuses for sliding past opportunities to give of ourselves just a little for something as essential to our survival as the food we are about to receive.

So what would a [Pagan] prayer before a meal entail? Naturally, that would have plenty to do with what type of Pagan you are, which deities you subscribe to, and even what company you take your meals with. It is difficult to ignore the fact that many of us live with others who are not so accepting of our spiritual path, whether those people are our parents, our roommates, or a spouse. Yet, we want to acknowledge the spirituality of our food while not making our meals tense. Perhaps the prayer can include all the powerful forces invested to make your food possible without referring to a particular pantheon. With the right words a prayer could appeal to you, fellow Pagans, Christians and secular thinkers alike.

When sitting down to the table, consider the forces involved to produce food. The primal elements that first spring to my mind are sun, soil, seed and science. No need to invoke a particular god or goddess if you recognize the symbolism behind these four essential parts. The projective sun sends light to the receptive soil of the Earth, the god fertilizing the goddess with his light, she the womb of that energy. The seed is the living essence of that coupling, the culmination of millions of years of evolution, and the basis of the food chain where photosynthesis turns light into sugars and feeds all other organisms. These three primal forces are profoundly spiritual to Pagans, but also recognized as the basis for growing things on Earth by nearly everyone, including devout Christians and stanch materialists.

Finally, the science behind our food; and we are not talking about genetically modified food or a culinary lab experiment gone awry. The science of food began when humans first started observing, recognizing and remembering what resources were in their environment, both plant and animal. This was long before the agricultural revolution when we took those observations and began to harness the natural fertility of the Earth by planting, domesticating and storing foodstuffs. Early peoples learned by observations, trial and error, and trading information, that certain foods kept better than others, that some foods could heal, and that parts of some foods could be turned into clothes or shelter.

Today, those early scientific efforts provide us with foods from around the globe, used in culinary art, cosmetics, clothing, decoration, gifts, and even offerings to the gods. Early, early experimentation trying to get seeds to grow in particular places, and early, early attempts to encourage certain wild animals to react more docilely around humans is the basis for a range of colorful cultures around the world. Something as fundamental as simply getting enough to eat has transformed social etiquette, trade, art, celebrations, handling illnesses, and more. We owe a great deal to our naturally inquisitive, methodical, and creative brains for figuring out how to make the wild taste so delicious. And we owe a great deal to nature for our yellow sun, our warm, wet earth, and the seeds that came to flourish in such variety across the biosphere. I remain in awe that these variables came together to provide me savory, diverse and beautiful foods every time I sit down to a meal, and I cannot help but express my appreciation to these forces for that bounty:

Between shining Sun and fertile Soil,
From within Seed and out of Science,
Found in art, and merriment, and illness fought,
This food is sacred, savory, and gratefully sought!*


While materialists might argue the sacredness of the meal, I have found that this short prayer is usually well received by everyone at the table, regardless of spiritual background. It often elicits questions concerning its origin, which leads to a lively discussion about the foods on the table, their origins, and what people enjoy eating. I have found it a good way to encourage conversation, encourage appreciation for both the food and the chef, and encourage a sense of community around the table, all without reducing the inherent sanctity of the meal on my own Pagan terms.

The New Year is a customary time to make resolutions concerning eating habits, usually to lose a little weight. As January creeps along many of these eating resolutions have already fallen by the wayside. Perhaps it is time to approach our meals not with a little calorie counter ticking away in our brains but rather a heartfelt prayer instead. Our meals are sacred to us, personally, culturally, historically and scientifically as well as magically. If we make the resolution to acknowledge that fact every time we take in food, we might find that our other eating resolutions are easier to keep.

Bon appétit!






Footnotes:
*I make no apologies for my lack of poetic skill. I also have a terrible memory and a wretched voice, so a bard I shall never be.




ABOUT...

Wormwood Crow


Location: Los Angeles, USA




Other Articles: Wormwood Crow has posted 1 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE




Email Wormwood Crow... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Wormwood Crow ...



Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
80,000 Profiles














Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops



Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 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, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ 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.
Witches, Pagans
of The World




Search Articles
1996-2014










 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide


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).