Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Meal Rites Make It Better

Drop in some seasoning for your soup, or dip your favorite meat dish in herbs and spices, and you might find yourself the privilege of a great meal. All the things we add onto our foods each day make them better than their average state, that's why we use them. No one ever did anything to alter food with the intention of making it taste bad. We do the opposite, we literally bless it in every way possible. Humans have many love affairs in their lives, and one of those is with the great tasting things that fill our tables. Every opportunity we get, we hand them roses and love, and one such way is through spirituality.

In ancient Greek religion still to this day, our meals are marked not so much with direct blessings, but with invocation and gratitude to the Household Gods and Spirits before and after each meal, which in turn, I would imagine, brings blessings upon the food since these Gods are largely tied to the family and their household goods. I myself have also found that it makes the food taste better because, one, it of course brings the presence of the Gods upon the family, the gathering and the food, and two, it makes you more grateful for the food that you have. When you love and revere the Gods, you never dream of shunning the gifts they give you, lest they decide to not give you them anymore. Your mental structure becomes accepting of what you have before you as a result. Your mind changes to the Divine frequency, if you will, that it may better tune in with the Gods and the world of which they are a part. Even when I have to eat something I am not particularly thrilled about, I find that I enjoy it much more when I involve the Gods. I am humbled before the wonderful things, those being clean water or drink and food, that They didn't have to give me in the first place. Come to this realization in full, and you'll always enjoy your food.

Before we touch our meal at any given time of the day, we wash our hands and pour a libation to Hestia, Goddess of the home and hearth, and as well to Zeus as God of the home's goods and boundaries, and Herakles as God or Hero of the home's doorways. When the meal is over, a final libation to the Agathos Daimon (the Good Spirit) is done to bring the eating time to an official close. The top three theological dimensions of ancient Greek religion are encompassed here, those being God, Spirit and Hero. The fourth would be Ancestors, and even a fifth if one wanted to reach Deified Mortals, but they are not necessarily required for meal rites unless one chooses, of course. There are generally no right or wrong times to pray to any Divinities or Spiritual Beings. There are simply customary structures that house a variety of them.

There's a reason we Hellenes have no ancient word for religion. The Gods are everywhere, we involve them in everything, because we know that wherever the Gods are, life is far more blissful.

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.