Alchemy: Roasted squash

Eating simply. Winter squash, sage, garlic, olive oil, butter, salt, pepper and fire.

Squash are gourds that grow on vines and are part of the melon family. Due to their high carotene properties, winter squash exert a protective effect against many cancers, especially lung cancer. The fleshy rinds of many squash are edible, while the seeds are known to be highly nutritional and widely used for medicinal purposes all over the world. The pumpkin is the most eaten squash; it is a symbol of prosperity and fruitfulness in China, even though the first pumpkins came from India. Hollowed-out pumpkins with scary faces are used to frighten away evil forces on Halloween night.

Sage is a powerful protectorant and healing agent and was sacred to the supreme gods, Zeus and Jupiter. Today, its healing energy is said to originate from the Virgin Mary. According to Medieval folklore, all you have to do to become immortal is take a little sage each day, especially in the month of May. Toads love sage and are said to be attracted to the plant’s primal power. The most powerful sage is picked on the summer solstice at the first ray of dawn, though an old superstition says that you should never pick your own sage but always buy it from a stranger. Sage opens one’s artistic faculties by stimulating the Throat Chakra. It is known that the herb kills bacteria, prevents spoilage, aids digestion, and reduces high blood sugar. It is also a remedy for angina, edema, and night sweats.

Garlic was known and used at least as far back as 3000 BC. In early antiquity, it was sacred to the goddess Hecate and left at crossroads as a sacrifice to her. The pungent cloves were also used for protection against evil and to break curses and hexes, and psychic cooks rub garlic into pots and pans to remove negative influences that might contaminate food. When eaten, garlic stimulates the immune system to protect the body, although it is said to induce lustful behavior in some people. Garlic is a proven antibiotic, cholesterol reducer, blood pressure reducer, and general heart remedy.

Olive oil dates back at least 5,000 years, and the versatile oil was burned in lamps, used in cooking, and applied as an ointment in purification rituals. Even today, in North Africa, the plough is smeared with virgin olive oil before it cuts the first furrow of the planting season. The ritual is designed to ease the pain of mother earth before she is raped and fertilized by man.

Butter is the churned cream of milk and was part of the Mesopotamian diet around 3500 BC. The ancients considered it a miraculous and sacred food, because it was a solidification of the nurturing properties of milk. Butter adds tenacity to all types of food and is used to soothe troubled relationships.

Photo courtesy of whatkatieate


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