Musings on the Earth Mother and Ancestral Ties in my Kitchen

Even though I don’t observe Easter and its associated feast days, I am grateful for the time off. I’m probably one of a lucky population who feels she works in a great profession that is both socially and intellectually satisfying.  That said, there are many times where a part of me wishes I had more time at home.  This sensation increases the closer I get to delivering my baby…  but due to our economic position, I am not able to stay at home with my child.  These days off will become even more of a treasure.

One of my favorite parts of vacations is my ability to play in the kitchen.  During the rush, rush, rush of the week, I try to make healthy and balanced meals, but it’s a challenge.  Lunch and breakfast are always small affairs, and dinner is… well, I try.  We have our lazy pasta nights, but I do my best to make healthy stir fries, crock-pot stews and chili, soups, salads…  And yet I inevitably end up exhausted from that combined with my workday.  I tend to collapse after dinner.  Vacation brings me a glorious opportunity to focus on making healthy and balanced meals without feeling exhausted, without any time stipulations, and without a hungry, impatient tummy.

Cooking is magic.  It’s primal – a traditional activity our species has been performing for countless generations.  Too many modern folk in developed nations seem to have forgotten the deeply spiritual side of cooking which is sad.  It’s no wonder so many approach agriculture as if it were a factory…  I’ve found that kitchen magic fits in very nicely with my Druidism.  Folk practices inspire me more than any other form of magic, and the transformation of ingredients into a meal through fire and water in a cauldron is hugely significant and very well aligned with my spiritual outlook and symbolism.  Add to it that cooking allows me to give a significant amount of my energy to my family, and it becomes even more important.

Preparing an onion and beets for borsch. Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

Today I was preparing some borsch for lunch.  Beets make me feel so earthy.  Their smell, their taste, heck – even their beautiful pink stain so reminiscent of blood, our life force.  I felt in touch with the Earth Mother as I washed and chopped them into tiny pieces.  I meditated on the bounty of the Earth Mother and how we work with her and the Nature Spirits to sustain ourselves.  How intimate that connection is…  do most people even stop and think about it?  When I consider my ancestors and all the work they had to do to prepare for the cold times, it’s humbling and a little embarrassing.  I so look forward to my vacations so that I may reconnect with that effort that goes into sustaining my life – even if it’s just a small dose.  I thank my ancestors for the wisdom and ingenuity they shared so that our lives could be better (more or less).

As I chopped my vegetables, I realized that even the knife was from the Earth Mother, transformed through similar powers – fire and water. Through industrial means, yes, but also through a wisdom that has been passed down.  They are fine knives.  I silently resolved to take better care of them in the hopes that I never need to buy more.  The metal they’re made from comes from the Earth Mother’s bones, and to take more than I need would be selfish of me, especially when the effort needed to care for them is really quite minimal.

And so it all comes back to effort…  The joy I feel at being able to exert some effort and control in what I’m eating.  The joy and necessity in taking care of my precious gifts from the Earth Mother.  I thought of effort again as I put vegetable scraps in my compost container.  I should try harder with that as well.  I have been slacking, and no – I don’t needlessly chide myself for honest mistakes or the lack of energy I naturally feel while pregnant.  I chide myself because I know I’ve been lazy and I know I can do better.

What I need to hold onto is my mental discipline so that I spend less time putzing around online, and more piety to the Earth Mother, the Nature Spirits, and the guardians of my hearth and home.  More piety to myself, my values, and my tribe.  All it takes is a little extra effort.  And what an offering to the Earth Mother that is!

So today, and my productivity – it felt really good.  A Good Friday indeed!

And good soup! Photo by Grey Catsidhe, 2013.

Published by M. A. Phillips

An author and Druid living in Northern NY.

8 thoughts on “Musings on the Earth Mother and Ancestral Ties in my Kitchen

  1. I love the color of beets and their juices are perfect for natural dying things. I use beets, and tea with herbs or other combinations to tint paper for spellwork. I love how it gives off a beautiful color. I don’t mind the dye too much but after a few days of my hands looking like I had an accident I decided to get gloves. Then again I use gloves for when handling meats so it’s not like it was a special buy lol. I’m not a fan of beets but i’m working on finding recipes that will help me like them. What’s the difference in flavor between fresh and can? I use canned for smoothies but i’ve used fresh in the past for a root vegetable salad when I was in college.

    1. I prefer fresh to canned (although pickled beets are excellent!). Borsch is my favorite meal to make with them. The taste of the beet is very obvious but it blends so well with the broth… Oh it’s just divine. I also like to roast them with other veggies. I once made a veggie shepherd’s pie with beets. It turned the whole thing pink which was fun! I’ve never had a beet smoothie before!

    2. And funny you should mention the dye! I use the color as well, and was actually doing some crafty work with it yesterday! But that’s a post for another day. 😉

  2. Hmmm…Maybe you can re-introduce me beets. I WANT to like them, but haven’t found a beet-dish that I like yet…But what you made sounds yummy!

    1. One of these days I’ll have to make a beet dish to share! I think potlucks are a perfect time for such an introduction. If you decide you don’t like my contribution, there’s still so much else to eat!

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