“That I may fortify my body thereby.”
Review by Lilah Shahkhor
The Thelemic Cookbook: Cooking with Correspondences is remarkable in a number of ways. At face value, it’s a delightfully unique cookbook by an accomplished chef. Filled with a number of proper classics, for example ‘Sunday Beef Roast with Caramelized Onions, Carrots, Beef Gravy and Gooseberry Jelly‘ (for Crowleymas), as well more international fare, such as ‘Moroccan Saffron Chicken‘ (for Hadit) and ‘Ta’amiya ~ Egyptian Falafel Bites’ (for Tahuti), the recipes are from a wide range of cuisines fitting of their elemental and astrological correspondences, making each presented feast simultaneously surprising as well as delicious. The book does not shy away from lesser known ingredients, introducing us to exotic delights such as ‘Fresh Figs with Candied Lotus Seed Crumble’, ‘Egyptian Butter & Lemon Balm Cookies’, and ‘Rosewater & Orange Blossom Semolina Cake‘.
But what makes this non-ordinary cookbook even more exceptional, and important, is the amount of research and experience that went into its creation. Nothing in this book is random. Each and every course, dish and ingredient is specifically chosen and used for its direct magical correspondence. Milk and eggs are no longer just every day staples when you learn that both of their elemental correspondence is water, and that olive oil and orange zest are both of fire. While one does not need to be versed in magick to appreciate the recipes within, practitioners, especially of Thelema, will come to value this tome as much as they do their copies of Aleister Crowley’s 777, especially if they are foodies who like to cook. In fact, the two books perfectly complement one another. Whereas Crowley’s opus references its correspondences with in depth charts and lists, Chappell’s Thelemic Cookbook takes these connections and turns them into something practical, physical, tangible, and edible. While the book offers its recipes via cleverly orchestrated ritual feasts broken up into seasonal menus, namely to the Thelemic pantheon of deities, the possibilities of where an individual can go with this information opens up a whole new level of working with ritual, devotions, feasts, celebrations, spells, food magic, etc. Follow the book and feed an entire hungry oasis or coven with its ‘Feast Menu for the Spring Equinox‘, or, pick and choose as needed for your own purposes, perhaps making the ‘Blueberry Cheesecake With Silver Almonds‘ from the ‘Three Feasts for the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law‘ as an offering to Nuit, or serving up some ‘Tahuti Moon Salad with Mint and Yogurt Dressing’ at the next potluck.
Lita-Luise Chappell’s lifetime of experiences as a chef, world traveler and priestess have coalesced into this great work, which provides in its pages not only a bevy of tempting courses to “eat and to drink”, but also, if one looks deeper at the possibilities, a simple formula by which one can fortify themselves thereby, and infuse their cooking with both love under will and intention.
For more information or to purchase a copy, click here.