Sacred Feasts

Celebrating the Mysteries with Food and Drink

Donald L. Engstrom-Reese

© January 2007

    It has been common knowledge sense the first human beings sat down and ate together, that there is a special magic in sharing a meal together. I suspect that we have known for almost as long, that there is also a unique deep power in a shared meal dedicated and focused on a specific issue, day, season, being, etc. It is from these ancient roots of understandings that the sacred feast first evolved.

    The ancient knowledge of feasting has been somewhat diluted in recent years, but the delight of folks gathering together to share in a delicious meal has never been lost. I believe the time is ripe for us to resurrect and create anew sacred feasts to celebrate our lives and the mysteries that surround us.

    ]The sacred feasts that I have been a part of have been quite diverse, focusing on everything from the healing of AIDS, to the honoring of specific Mysterious Ones and/or ancestors, to the honoring of a sacred site or season. One of my personal favorites is the simple celebration and honoring of a living person, such as a birthday. Obviously, there is no limit to the possibilities that the art form of sacred feasting offers.

    But, just how is a sacred feast created? It is quite simple really. It is a matter of consciously naming with intent what one is doing. The following is a list of the some of things that I think is good to keep in mind when hostessing a scared feast.

        1. Choose something, someone or sometime that you specifically wish to honor.

      2. Send out invitations with the intent clearly stated early enough for folks to have enough time and energy to prepare for the event.

        3. Consciously choose food, drink and decor that reflects the focus of the feast.

        4. Set up appropriate altars and/or shrines on the tables and/or through out the space       

        5. Ask the folks whom you invite, to dress in a way which honors the theme of the feast.

        6. Create an opening ceremony/ritual to set the tone while building a sacred container to hold the event.

        7. Write a prayer in celebration of the special focus of the feast.

        8. It is also a good thing to have a special song ready as well.

        9. Prepare toasts and blessings ahead of time to help get the dinner flowing.

       10. As you prepare for and participate in the dinner, continually remind yourself to stay open to the intent, letting the feast's energy flow back and forth between Midgard and the appropriate Realms of Mystery.

       11. At the end of the feast thank everyone, the seen and the unseen, for coming. Wish them all a safe journey home.

    Here are a few examples of sacred feasts.