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Taste, touch, feel, aroma, shape and color. What do your senses tell you about food? Do some foods feel more powerful than others? For example, what do your senses tell you about a lemon? Powerful? If so, what power do you find? Imagine how many hours it spent soaking up the sun's energy over an entire season before turning into brightly colored sour citrus fruit.
Garlic? Garlic has held a wide variety of magical uses by cultures all over the world. (But it doesn't take magic to tell us that garlic is something powerful!) Besides its powerful aroma, garlic is unlike most foods in our kitchen or herbs in our jars -- because garlic is still alive! If left alone in the back of the refrigerator, it will sprout new life. If planted, it will take root and grow. Perhaps one magical energy in garlic is its own life force. And like any living creature, whether animal or vegetable, this life should be treated with respect. Honor it briefly before making it part of your magical dinner. Be thankful for its gifts.
Hot peppers -- powerful? To this day, wreaths of hot peppers are hung on doors as protective charms to bless homes in Arizona and other places in the American southwest.
What do your senses tell you about sweet foods? Powerful? Remember, the text book definition of a "calorie" is a unit of energy. Can this energy be used magically? Perhaps it is no accident that high-calorie sweets like cakes or honey were often used long ago as offerings to Deities.
Besides our senses, we can better understand food by looking at the specific function it performs in nature: roots absorb, stems transport, and flowers are reproductive organs! What about milk? Milk is a gift from "The Mother." What about seeds? Who gives their seed as a gift? Do seeds still hold a tiny spark of life? Is a seed a catalyst that joins with the fertile Earth to help Her bear new fruit? Think of this the next time you enjoy a wedge of cheese made from milk, or a cup of coffee, made from beans. Perhaps food brings "nutrition" on both a physical and metaphysical level because, like us, food has both body and spirit. Remember this as you plan your balanced diet.
What about the color of your food? Do tomatoes, red meat and strawberries all have something in common? What about aroma? Are some foods powerful enough to actually "radiate" their energy throughout the entire room via their aroma? What about shape? Perhaps my favorite "magic circle" is the one formed by a tasty pizza. (And cut in eight slices, it can even become a mini Wheel of the Year!)
Can we learn things from nature's food chain itself? Plants soak up sunlight, and through photosynthesis they build themselves from the moist soil. It takes both Sun and Earth to birth new life; through our food we take in a balance of both. And when we eat from our own garden, we are taking in and growing closer to the land upon which we live. The "Earth" can be a very vast place -- or our own back yard.
The food we eat, and the energy it brings, stay with us for a period of time. Within each of us is the water we drank today, the protein we ate last week, and maybe even the minerals we took into our teeth and bones decades and decades ago. It all becomes part of us; we carry it around with us like a magical charm, charged with the energies shared at mealtime. Remember this as you share a special dinner with a loved one, or nurse your hungry child. Try to make each meal become a happy, positive moment.
We often say that one food is for healing, and another is an aphrodisiac, and yet another works magic for a different purpose. If you recognize the very basic power in food, perhaps you can channel it anywhere you wish, similar to the way your home's electrical current can run a variety of appliances. (You decide what appliance to "plug in" according to your needs.)
We try so hard to develop a "sixth sense" when dealing with magic or spirituality. When developing your sixth sense, just remember not to ignore your other five! They too are a special part of your spirituality - not something separate. Food is only one example of this lesson. Let your daily surroundings speak to you on a variety of levels, including your everyday senses. You may be quite surprised with what you find!
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