Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Pagan Values: Feeding the Hungry

There was once a time in my life when my husband (then boyfriend) and I were too poor for macaroni and cheese. There have been times in my life when I was grieving or tired from having and caring for a new baby or stressed out from school. I think we all have times like this when we are just not able, for whatever reason, to make food for ourselves.

One of the most basic human things is sharing food. We've been sharing food with our friends and family since we've been walking on two legs and there is nothing in this world that brings us together like a meal. Some of my best memories revolve around food and mealtimes and I make certain things to remember people I love and I hope that I'm helping to create good memories for others as well. Family mealtimes help improve communication amongst family members and serve to strengthen our relationships. Why not extend this to the rest of your human family?

Some Hellenic Polytheists have a tradition of celebrating Hekate's Deipnon around the new moon. This is a recent innovation, but I like the idea of it. The idea here is that the rich set out food at Hekate's shrines and the poor make it disappear. For this reason, it is becoming more popular to contribute to a local food bank as well as making a ritual offering. I often make food to share with others, but I may begin doing so mindfully as part of this practice. At the grocery store, they even have a display of food for purchase to give to those in need and a bin to put it in. So, it's super easy to add that to my grocery list for the week.

I wrote last time about how ethical eating is a way to honor my gods and the same holds true for shared food. We honor the gods of hospitality and we honor the gifts of life given to us as food by sharing those gifts with others.

Today, I'll be making several things to take to our Women of Faith meeting. It's Pagan Food night and our turn to show what we can do with food. Knowing the Pagans I know, we're pretty much awesome in the kitchen as a group. The Muslim ladies always have a really good spread and last time, the UU ladies fed us very well.  Unanimously, we decided that snacks are an important part of our interfaith work and my thinking is that people are more likely to listen to your ideas if they have full and happy tummies.

What good memories do you have of sharing meals? How has sharing food connected you with others in a positive way? How do you honor your gods with food?

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