Be Kind to Yourself: Stop Worrying About Your Stomach

by Grannie Burton

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Do you call yourself a vegan, a vegetarian, a lacto-vegetarian, a person intolerant of wheat or dairy or citrus or some other food product?  Do you find yourself worrying about what you will eat, how much or how little?  Do you carry around potions and pills to boost your nutrition and count the amount of water you drink each day?  In other words, do you define yourself by what you put in your mouth?

When you go and stay away from home, do you fret about what you will eat, what you will drink?  Is the first thing you say when invited to someone's house 'I don't eat … oh no not for me ...' in utter horror?  Do you read the back of every food packet, maybe with a magnifying glass to make the print legible?  Do you worry about where your food has come from, how it has grown, how it has been treated?

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Demeter and the Barley Cakes

Tips and Hints from Grannie Burton

Model of Ggantija Temple Complex in Gozo

The great Mysteries at Eleusis are one of the most astonishing stories in human history, because they are still mysterious in so many ways.  It seems that over two thousand years of initiation for both men and women, young and old, rich and poor, no-one ever talked about what happened in the Rites.

This is almost impossible to believe, especially in an age of information and blogging. Most of the evidence for what actually occurred comes from archaeological digs and votive offerings.  This in itself is very limited and the central rites are still a complete mystery.  It seems that a person's chance to achieve life after death was dependent on keeping everything that happened a secret, so I suppose that could be a great incentive to keep it to yourself.

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Hel’s Dish: some thoughts on hunger, anorexia and the Goddess

by Geraldine Charles

She condemned him
To Hunger —
But infinite, insatiable Hunger,
The agony of Hunger as a frenzy.

From Tales from Ovid, Ted Hughes

I set myself the task of writing about hunger and the Goddess without any clear idea of which Goddesses I would write of, but my Google search ("Goddess +hunger") quickly turned up Hel or Hela, certainly a Scandinavian Goddess but also connected to other northern European countries. And what a Goddess!  It is likely that her name gave us the English “Hell”, for she is Queen of the Dead, and Goddess of the underworld; she dwells beneath the roots of the sacred world tree and, according to some tales, was given dominion over all nine worlds, sending those who die of sickness or old age to one or other of them.  Half her body is blue/black (which reminds me immediately of the Cailleach Bheur, who is often depicted entirely blue). According to mythology, Hel’s dish is called Hungr and her knife Sullt (starvation).

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