Speaking a blessing over my morning meal is, I believe, of great benefit to me as a Pagan. Before eating I first hold my hands over or around the plate and visualise filling my food with beneficial energy (I use Reiki on it, but you could simply channel divine energy, or bless it in some other way, however you perceive magic). Internally, I pray. In my mind I speak a blessing for every entity without whom I would not have my breakfast. I think of the Earth, grasses and corn that grow on it, cows, farmers, various factory workers, transport workers, and finally clients that pay for my work, and bless each of them. I imagine the whole process of transforming basic ingredients into my morning meal. I thank all beings involved. Then I eat.
I think that this prayer helps me develop a Pagan way of thinking. Before I can bless everyone involved in the process of making my meal I have to read the list of ingredients and research where they come from. This turns me into a responsible citizen of the world, well-aware of the impact I’m making on the planet and its inhabitants, and helps me make well-informed choices when purchasing food. I develop a stronger relationship with the world and its inhabitants. Finally, by pronouncing a blessing I also affirm my personal power – I am not powerless and alone, I have a connection to the Gods and I can use it to better the world.
This practice has some obvious personal benefits as well. A meal that has been magically transformed and blessed will make me stronger. Additionally, when I research what goes into my food I become more aware of what I take in. Pronouncing a blessing over what I know to be junk food leaves me feeling uneasy, since I know it’s not good for me and I will hurt myself when I eat it. It’s not a worthy fuel for the temple and the gift of the Gods that is my body. I’m therefore compelled to develop healthier dietary habits.
(Read this excerpt from Barbara Brown Taylor’s excellent book „An Altar in the World” on the practice of pronouncing blessings to see where I got the inspiration for my morning prayer).