When I was living in America, I often got into discussions about diet, explaining my choices and debating the options. I found that there tends to be opposition along the lines of meat eaters vs. vegetarians/vegans. Is it really that black and white? Is one right and the other wrong, one spiritual and the other cruel? One balanced and the other extremist? One healthy and the other sickening?
The question of what to eat in order to nourish ourselves in body and soul, like every question in Damanhur, it’s a multidimensional one.

A piece called ‘The Little Dietary Gospel,’ from one of Falco’s books, the Seven Scarlet Doors offers some insight into what an ideal Damanhurian diet might look like. As you will see, it’s not so much focused on the choice of eating plants or animals, rather living with an attitude of respect and dignity for all beings in the chain of life, being in harmony with the cycles of nature and the physical and spiritual ecosystem. Eating local foods grown on our lands as much as possible, not only as an ecological choice, also as a magical and alchemical one.

Here are some excerpts from ‘The Little Dietary Gospel’:

At least one chestnut a day, since chestnuts grow abundantly on our lands and are part of the ecosystem in the Sacred Woods. At least one green leaf. This recalls our attention to the plant world through trees, close to the sun, bridges to the earth.

Milk and its derivatives are beneficial if the animals that produce it are looked after, respected, cared for. This creates happiness in them and is collected from the grass and the flowers of the earth and given in their milk.

Feed on the fruits of the woods, the flowers and herbs, tubers, mushrooms and roots, cultivating small areas so as not to damage the harmony of the earth.

Cultivate the vine and fruit trees, and let everything be respected and protected from cold, heat, bad weather and diseases, as if they were your children.

Let the bees give honey and bee products: taken care of and respected, leave them what is right and a little more as nourishment. For this, give them lots of flowers in exchange.

Bread may be leavened and unleavened, in flat and imaginative shapes. Let bread tell a story. Let it be made with flours according to taste, mixed together, but not just one kind of flour. Harmony requires alliances of many beings and living forces, and flour that originates from sources above and below the earth, and in the skies.

Create sweets according to your ideas and imagination, from a taste that learns to choose a thousand different kinds. And so it is with food and drink. Don’t exclude salt, beer, wine, eggs of various species.

I find that making choices about food and consumption with the kind of awareness described in the Little Dietary Gospel is a completely different experience than when I do things out of old habits from city life. For example, eating store-bought foods that are out of season and transported in from far away, loosing all but the most tenuous connection to the life force and spiritual energy of the original nutrition. Being so much in connection with nature from the inside out, it heightens awareness and dreams, and the power of the natural world becomes part of my magical potency.

Quaglia Cocco

What kinds of foods are the best for your spiritual practice? Share in the comments!

You can read: Nutrition for being a better magician (part 2) - How to eat

You can read: Nutrition for being a better magician (part 3) - Beyond food