Within the Wiccan coven ritual structure, cakes and ale (sometimes called bread and wine or cakes and mead) are an important aspect of the magickal working. Its symbolism is of the union of male and female polarity and brings the focus of the coven together to celebrate the bounties of the God and Goddess brought by their union. Like communion in church where the partaking of wine is to symbolize the blood of deity, in the Wiccan tradition when the ale is blessed using the cup and blade its charged, blending the feminine and masculine forces which are found within Deity. The athame upon the altar represents the God and the chalice the Goddess: therefore when the blessing of the ale occurs as part of the consecration of food and drink, it’s a representation of the sacred marriage. God and Goddess become one – light and dark, magnetic and electric, positive and negative. This act celebrates life as a balancing of opposites which is needed for creation in the natural world.
In our ritual joining of these energies through this act, is a powerful way to release and merge these polarities which are ultimately consumed by the practitioner. It’s also way to become close to the Goddess and God and thank them for aiding us in our boons which were asked for in the working aspect of the ritual. It shows that we can take Piety within us, which in turn bestows us with their amalgamated felicitations. This union of divergences manifests as power within, which are then consumed by the coven members who do this one by one, thus deepening the connection to one another. The aspect of consuming the ale, grounds the energy raised in the circle during ritual and assists it in manifesting in the physical sphere from the etheric. Whatever remains in the cup are libations scattered within the coven’s cast circle further promoting focus and abundance within the group.
Another point to take note of is that when you share food and drink it allows you to build stronger connections and bonds. Within the coven environment this is true of not only the feasting aspect after ritual but the cake and ale aspect within ritual. In the coven we give and receive shared knowledge and experiences. Therefore sharing the cake and ale is a practice of goodwill with one another, as well as a partaking of the God and Goddess’s bounty together. The sharing of food is a communal activity which emphasises familial connections and what is a coven after all but a spiritual family joined in religious celebration.
Here is a simple drink blessing I would like to share with you which I created for use in wiccan rituals and can be done in a coven or solitary environment:
Making your own cake and ale imbues your magickal intent and shows you have sacrificed and offered your time and resources for the Goddess, Gods and fellow coven members. Mead which has been made for coven rituals has been a staple in wiccan communities for decades. Known as one of the world’s oldest drinks which predates wine making, this fermented drink in its simplicity yet complexity enables the maker to create various flavors than simply the traditional blend of honey and water. Mead throughout various cultures has been thought to bestow magickal healing as well as fertility and as such a perfect representation for the joining of the God and Goddess. Here is a mead recipe you can make yourself for your rites and rituals:
(c) T. Georgitsis 2014