The importance of food in Celtic Ritual and Magic
In Celtic ritual practices there are several times that food is ingested as part of ritual. At the end of every full and new moon ritual we take part in cakes and ale. Every Equinox and Solstice we honor the ancestors with a feast. During Samhain we also have a Dumb Feast where we commune with our ancestors as we feast, not a work is spoken aloud.
The significance of Cakes and Ale as part of ritual is a sign of service – just as Orthodox and Catholic priests serve the Host so too does the Priestess bless both the Cake and the Receiver and again she will serve the circle, blessing both the ale (which could be ale, wine, mead, or fruit juice) and the receiver again. In return each member blesses the Priestess for her service to them as a group. This not only reconnects each member of the circle as friends, confidantes, and companions, sometimes even family of choice. The service itself also serves to remind the Priestess as the Priests that they are companions of the Divine called to serve the needs their community and not just their own wants and desires.
The significance of the Ancestor feasts are to remind us from whence we came, that we are made up not only of flesh and blood, but the hard work and sometimes love of the generations before us. We honor our ancestors who changed the world, made history, sacrificed daily, and struggled to live and maintain our beliefs in the face of persecution and death. We honor the Ancestors for the gifts we have in our lives today, and even now science has shown that trauma from previous generations’ leaves a mark in our genetic material as published in Discover Magazine With that said, as we feast and share foods, we also share the stories of those we knew well, the legends of those who are well known, and the family myths and stories of generations past.
For Celts, the hearth, and the comfort, nourishment, and nurturing it represents is sacred, as is the food we eat, and liquids we drink. We came from the earth and in time will return to the earth to replenish the soil with nutrients again.
Bright Blessings be with you always,
Founder and High Priestess