In this final section, I want to talk specifically about foods that can enhance our Thelemic feasts. For the spring and fall equinoxes and for the summer and winter solstices, serving the foods of those seasons should be the primary goal, aligning them with the elemental aspects of each season. For the Feasts for Fire and Water, they should be made up primarily of fire and water foods, respectively. For a feast for life, the foods should be young, fresh, tender, and sweet, with seeds and sprouts, and of simple construction. For a feast for death the foods should be heartier, stronger of flavor and texture, aged, offer spices, and their construction should be more complex.
Our Thelemic holidays begin with a New Year in spring. The ritual invocation of Horus that Aleister Crowley performed on the night of March 20, 1904 in Cairo, inaugurated the shift from the Aeon of Osiris to the Aeon of Horus, and is recognized as the Supreme Ritual. A menu dedicated to this event can be used to represent many of the ideas expressed in the Ritual. This is a feast emphasizing a special form of Horus and his coming into power. This power can be experienced with the red pulsating aspect of fresh foods from the land and the sea.
Foods recommended for this menu might offer fresh oysters, the bright and full flavor of red salmon roe on grain crackers. A pâté formed into a Khepera beetle, can represent the “hidden Mastery of Midnight”. Spring eggrolls with assorted sprouts are a good contribution because they are a concentrated food at the beginning of their growing journey. Breads with seeds and the grain support the energy needed for this magical shift. Beef Shish kabobs can represent the “flaming sword” in the invocation. Fruits that are water of fire add to the fiery nature of the event. Tapioca pudding can represent the “garment of white” and “the Beads of Pearl” also referred to. Star shaped cookies can represent the “Child of the Flaming Star” symbolizing Ra-Hoor-Khuit; and together the pudding and the cookies lend to the conception of the Milky Way and it’s star-studded fiery heavens. Finally a cake made with foods of fire like coffee and chocolate can be made, topped with frosting of a yellow equal armed cross, symbolizing the “Cross of Life and Light.” Add 44 candied pearls referring to the master number in the invocation, and center a red sugar rose for love and unity, and a celebratory feast is accomplished.
An additional menu can be created for the specialized aspects of the Equinox of the Gods. It is a feast paying homage to the Gods that dawned our new aeon. In the old aeon, it was Osiris who sat upon the throne of the East and oversaw the seasonal changes, like Isis before him. Due to the Supreme Ritual, Horus advanced and took Osiris’ place upon the throne, and a new aeon was born. This marks a time for Thelemites as a new era in which a sense of personal growth may be achieved through the realization of their True Will. Within this new spiritual awakening, a greater sense of self- actualization may be attained. Crowley wrote in The Heart of the Master:
“The crowned and conquering child, who dieth not, nor is reborn, but goeth radiant ever upon His Way. Even so goeth the Sun: for as it is now known that night is but the shadow of the Earth, so Death is but the shadow of the Body, that veileth his Light from its bearer.”
The gods of the past aeons, of Isis and Osiris, can begin the meal with cheeses of blue and gold; and an appetizer made with the slice of a hard- boiled egg, artistically rendered with the black olive and red pimiento can form the right eye of Horus. Spiced rice rolled in grape leaves in honor of the mummified Osiris can be offered. More foods of Egypt like lentil soup and flat bread can be added since these are Egyptian gods that have worked together to make this change. Lamb can be offered as the main course as it is the spring sacrifice of Aries. A combination of sweet fruits with a honey and rosewater dressing can be in Isis’ honor. A cinnamon spice cake flavored with Abramelin oil can be served with eleven sparkler candles to celebrate this imposing and explosive new energy released upon the world.
We move on to the Three Days of the Writing of the Book of the Law, and the first menu dedicated to Nuit. Foods attributed to Nuit should be soft, creamy and enriching, as well as the colors of white, blue, and indigo. The primary element for Nuit is closer to water than the other elements, but she is also beyond the elements, for she possesses a combination of both Lunar and Venusian qualities. As Crowley learns in the first Chapter from Nuit, “eat rich foods and drink sweet wines and wines that foam!” This menu is rich in texture and flavor and the appropriate liquid refreshment. It is still springtime and those foods should predominate. Blue cheese dip and blue crab with their coloration and sea attributions are a good way to begin. More foods of the Moon like melted Brie, the blue of Peruvian potatoes, soft steamed cauliflower and creamy white soups. Salad with water filled vegetables, almonds of the goddess, and blue borage flowers to fill her sky. The main course can be tender white chicken breasts in a creamy white wine sauce. Sweet fruits of Venus to appease the tongue, dark blueberry topped cheesecake for her night sky, and silver almonds to sparkle from atop a white chocolate cake, will all do her justice.
The second chapter of The Book of the Law is unto Hadit. The key to this menu is found within its stanzas. Hadit is “the flame that burns in every heart of man, and in the core of every star,” and that core is golden. The “light [that] devour[s] men and eat[s] them up with blindness,” is the sun, which will cause blindness if stared at for too long. Hadit is the “force and fire” which burns with “beauty and strength” and it is the “Sun, Strength“, colors are distinctly described: “Blue am I and gold in the light of my bride; but the red gleam is in my eyes; & my spangles are purple and green. Purple beyond purple: it is the light higher than eyesight.” With these words, we are informed as to the colors and intensity that shall be employed. For this menu we concentrate on spring foods that are blue and purple, yellow and orange. Hadit with its bright fiery aspect may be aligned with the energy of the solar plexus, so yellow foods should predominate. Also, since Hadit is the counterpart to Nuit, foods that are predominantly of fire will prevail. The type of cuisine that suits these parameters is Moroccan. Its foods are colorful, strong in flavor, and diverse with texture and seasoning that warm the body and enliven the spirit. The sharp bright flavors of Moroccan-styled pickled lemons and spiced olives will open the taste buds. Spicy meats in appetizers with a warming Harissa sauce, bright yellow vegetables in a salad, and a hearty golden pastry filled with ginger, cumin and turmeric can be offered. Yellow and orange squashes and phallic spears of asparagus with sesame seeds, a pinwheel of golden fruits, and a puff pastry in the shape of a horn can be filled with whipped cream, for a match made in heaven, like Nuit and Hadit.
The third day of the celebration, unto Ra-Hoor Khuit is next. In the third Chapter we have several references, which lend recommendations as to what should be offered in this menu. Ra-Hoor-Khuit is the active and solar force of Ra. His character is identified, “now let it be first understood that I am a god of War and of Vengeance” and “worship me with fire & blood“. Also, “I am the strength, force, vigour, of your arms.” All these statements tell us that the redness of a battle’s blood should be represented, and the flavors should be potent, strong and fiery hot. For this menu, bold, robust flavors are needed, and all foods that are red, spicy and hot. Foods which best meet this description are the full-bodied and intense foods of Mexico and Spain. Spicy garlic stuffed olives and chorizo in cider, salsa with the red tomato, cactus, and the sharpness of lime. Enchiladas filled with chile cheese and covered in a rich red enchilada sauce. Smooth tomato soup with warming fresh basil, sun-dried tomato corn bread, and a salad filled with red vegetables and a ginger dressing. For a main course, a Spanish beef stew made with red wine that’s heavily spiced. Add a Mexican chocolate cake with Kahlua sauce and a cinnamon orange flan, and the offerings to this God will be complete.
Next is the feast for Tahuti and the Child of the Prophet. We do not have any information from Crowley that might help us to fix a date for this feast. However, Egyptian history can provide us with a strong possibility. We know that Egypt’s New Kingdom calendar began with the flooding of the Nile. That first month is called Akhet, which is dedicated to Tahuti, and translates in our Gregorian calendar to July 19th. In ancient Egypt the Festival of Tahuti was held on this day every year. This is well documented as having occurred in the temples of Ramesses III (a king of the twentieth dynasty) at Medinet Habu, between 1182 and 1152 BCE. It was a very happy day when mounds of incense were burned and much food was consumed. Not only did the gods receive food offerings in their shrines, which in turn fed the priesthood, but also the people of the village feasted. It was a day to celebrate the forthcoming blessings of the Nile’s inundation that would enrich their soil and bring an abundant harvest. Tahuti’s statue was ceremonially taken out of the temple, paraded before the people to cast blessings upon all, and returned to his shrine at the end of the day.
Tahuti was a god depicted in two forms, he took the form of an ibis, representing the Moon, and the form of a baboon, representing the Sun; so foods that are both watery and fiery should be offered in combination. Thoth in the form of an ibis laid an egg from which Ra was born, so eggs in their raw and cooked form should be included. We know from tomb excavations what the Egyptians ate: a good selection of fruits and vegetables, legumes and grains, fowl and fish and other meats, so the feast should include a combination of the foods of water with their cooling, juicy, and soothing qualities; and the foods of the sun, with their warm, spicy and invigorating qualities. Soft mushrooms, soft goat cheese, yogurt sauces, a stuffed baked fish, and fruits of the moon, should be served with golden falafel balls, pita, solar vegetables and nuts dedicated to the sun.
The last feast is dedicated to the First Night of the Prophet and His Bride, so make it an anniversary celebration. Offer a wedding feast to celebrate this union. Though their marriage ceremony was a civil one, there is no doubt that Rose and Aleister would have had their champagne and celebrated with the best foods available. Since Crowley places himself and his bride in an alchemical love story, the Moon and the Sun will be strongly activated through her water and earth, and his air and fire. To begin, offer Prosciutto, Goat cheese, Pear and honey. The fresh soft curve of a sweet pear, which sits upon a mound of salty prosciutto ham folded back and forth lies upon a thick fan of tangy Montrachet goat cheese, and on a sturdy bed of wheat grain cracker. But it is the pear, which receives the sweet elixir of honey. Add fresh oysters with Champagne butter sauce, lamb meatballs with spicy chutney, a sweet potato soup, summer fruits with guava nectar dressing, and an anniversary wedding cake layered with sweet syrups, cream and fruits, and topped with sugar flowers. By the time the last bite is taken with such a variety of soft swathes of sweetness, the tongue will lie limpid in Aphrodite’s arms.
This completes our adventure today into the realm of cooking with correspondences. Our feast celebrations may be only periodic, but they are part of our sacred nature, serving as magical markers that allow us to partake in these magical moments. We can relive them all, because our nature is to find joy and seek rapture, and because through our conscious fellowship to meet and eat, we continue to keep alive and strengthen our covenant toward each other in our shared beliefs. I hope you decide to utilize these magical keys at your local body so that you and your members may be able to enjoy the magic that can come from transforming ordinary food into a magical and spiritual sacrament!