Post Ritual Food or... let's talk about it over dinner! - The Witches Table
Let's break some bread!
I am a big believer in the post-ritual meal; especially post-group-rituals. You know the sort of thing, after a big Samhain ritual, when the circle is closed everyone starts to pull out bread and cheese and mulled wine in thermos flask and a post-ritual feasting ensues. 

There are two main reasons why I am so keen on this practice: Grounding and Community.

Rituals can take you to places of incredible spiritual highs.  You can open yourself right up psychically and whilst this is great and feels wonderful it isn’t a good idea to walk out in the world in such a state of openness.  Being psychically open means attracting and absorbing all energy with no filters.  In a cleansed and sacred space with trusted friends this is no problem, in the big wide world you face attracting and absorbing everything from other people’s anger and frustration to spirits looking for mischief.  In particular I seriously counsel against anyone driving back from a ritual in such a heightened state as it simply isn’t safe, your senses may be heightened but this means your reaction time will be slowed as you will be taking in far more information that you can realistically process.  Eating a meal after the ritual is a fantastic and earthy form of grounding.  Nothing gets you back in your body quicker than having to digest something!

But on to my second reason for a post-ritual nosh…the dissection!  It is really important for groups to discuss what happened in the ritual they just performed, share what you experienced and listen to the sharings of others.  Usually you will find that in this process of sharing, absorbing and rationalising you will get better insights and bond more closely as a community. 

I have worked with groups where a post-ritual meal was an unspoken expectation and other groups where barring a bit of drinking everyone scooted off home without talking about the ritual.  In every case the former rituals were far more spiritually satisfying that the latter.

Historically in many cultures breaking bread together is a vital ritual in itself and that is something you should be capitalising on for your post-ritual meal.  Whilst sharing yourself in the energetically charged circle is a close and binding thing, nothing makes people closer than sharing it all again over a meal.  It brings the spiritually sacred experiences straight into the middle of your mundane world …for what is more mundane than eating, we do it 3 times or more a day.

The key to a post-ritual meal is low prep food or food you can easily prepare in advance.  You are not throwing a dinner party, people are primarily coming for the ritual; the food is just a bonus. Choose simple but nourishing food which is cheap and filling.  I find it easier to making vegetarian food as standard since it is cheaper and many pagans are vegetarian and obviously always check if people are vegan or have allergies to wheat, egg, nuts, dairy etc.  A post-ritual meal help to create an inclusive atmosphere and continue the sense of “safe space” created in the ritual, to help facilitate this ask about allergies beforehand to avoid making anyway feel awkward afterwards. 

Shortly I'll be posting some of my favourite, no-fuss recipes for post-ritual feasting!

10/5/2011 03:08:47

YES! I didn´t know groups that don´t eat together - I really agree with you that sharing food (and space and time and laughter and talks) is really really important.

lovely greetings

10/5/2011 08:54:30

I agree that the sharing of food after ritual lends to an extended magical atmosphere where often the deepest and most stimulating conversations are held ~ best part of the gathering!

10/5/2011 13:16:01

I find if I do not ground with food after ritual, I am a little loopy. I do have the most amazing prophetic dreams though but the ritual hangover the next morning is never worth it. Thank you for the reminder to ground and connect.

10/6/2011 02:19:47

Hi Jana

It surprised me the first time, but apparently there are!

I am all for the post-ritual discussion over food, it is an essential way to round off the ritual.

10/6/2011 02:20:40

Hi StellaSeaSpirit

Thanks for commenting, I am in completed agreement with you!

Post ritual discussions are so important to getting the most out of the ritual.

10/6/2011 02:21:48

Hey Jo

I know first hand how bad sustained ritual work without grounding can be so I am extra hygenic about it now!

10/6/2011 14:52:17

Hi Antara

It's taken me ages to get to commenting on this, but YES! I could not agree more on the need for grounding. In all Reclaiming rituals, we have food as part of the ritual,*after* the magical work has been done - not cakes and ale, but oatcakes and fruit juice, or something similarly sustaining. A proper meal afterwards *as well* is always a good idea.

I'm not so sure on the dissecting immediately after the ritual myself. I prefer to let it settle in me, and discuss it a day or two later - but that's not always possible.

10/6/2011 21:17:18

Getting munchies after being high for a while is about bringing you back into the body. Food is very grounding, unless it is overly processed/fast food. It is a big hello to being a spirit with a body.

10/7/2011 10:37:33


I have done many rituals with a cakes and ale (or alternative elements) after the magickal working but before the circle is opened. But as you say it is a good idea to eat a proper meal as well and I do find that the cakes and ale never grounds me as much as the meal does - possibly because the circle has also been closed. I am not quite sure.

Thanks for stopping by though!

10/7/2011 10:39:13

Hi Linnette

Thanks for commenting!

I hadn't though about the connection with being high and the munchies but that is very interesting. I also get what you are saying about overly processed or fast food. I'll be posting my fav post ritual recipes in a little while but then tend towards the home cooked vegetable stew, bread and cheese end of the spectrum :)

8/27/2012 06:26:44

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