We branded our business Cooking Alchemy, not only because we are in a period of the resurgence. Our aim is reconnecting and strengthening our bond with one of nature’s greatest gifts, our food and to reclaim nourishment as our birthright.
So what does Alchemy have to do with cooking? What does Alchemy have to do with anything? Nothing and everything. Because in everything that is living and breathing there is consciousness and without consciousness there is nothing. Food is one of the most straight forward paths to tap into the consciousness that is pulsating in plants. Alchemy helps to recognize the hidden, the subtle fields of energy, particularly through plants. By intelligent design, we have an intimate relationship with plants, beyond nutrition.
Food, from a nutritional perspective, is front and center everywhere we turn and with each turn there is polarity. Diets, fads, fast food, slow food, local food, organic food, functional food, nutrition education in schools, but what if there is so much more to nutrition than food, and more to food than nutrition.
While our nation’s epidemic of unhealthiness is layered with many sociological implications, what has suffered most at the hands of convenience and the many variations of lack, is the death of home cooking. We’ve taken a u-turn. After all else has failed, we are coming full circle and making our way back to the home kitchen, to include the science of nutrition. Yet, we are here, knowing that nutrition has a place at the table, but only serves a sliver of purpose. The work continues.
Beyond nutrition, is nourishment. Plants, as conscious, self-organizing and sentient beings are our allies. In transmuting light into energy, they exist to synchronize various forces, from the cosmic, to the earthly. As a part of a greater matrix, plants have to navigate relationships with nature; bacteria, viruses, minerals, insects, animals and mycelium, which in itself is a huge transformation, for the plant and luckily for us. Plants, as our wise teachers, teach us about communal behavior and cooperation with various other life forms.
They are both message and messenger. When we meet, greet and eat plants, we also have a greater stake at transformation. Like us, plants serve to receive and give life. “They transmit the vital-emotional impulses, the life force that is hidden in light. That is the gift, the grace, the power of plants” (Frawley & Lad, 1986, 3). In the world of herbal medicine, this is a very familiar concept, so it would be natural to apply this same thinking to plant foods we consume as medicine. Through them, we are reminded that we are greater than a bunch of chemicals; that we are whole and that nourishment extends beyond our physical bodies. “Energy or …human thought is capable of drawing subtle, luminous particles from the food, which take part in the construction of our entire being (not just our physical bodies), and in this way we are gradually transformed” (Aivanhov, 1977).
It’s not about proving that plants are worthy of being recognized as more than food, because that has already been done through the works of Quantum physics and likes of thinkers as far back as Imhoptep, to Hippocrates, Jung, Steiner, Tompkins, and more recently, Cousens, among others. Take the Doctrine of Signatures, for example, as a gentle reminder of our connection to plants, or the undeniable parallel between the make up of chlorophyll and blood. Not much to dispute or disprove, only to share what we already know about what plants give us beyond their energy as fuel. At Cooking Alchemy, we are more concerned with how this perspective can change the way we eat and how well we live.
Consciousness manifests attention and intention, and this kind of presence thins the veil and roots us where our most authentic and intuitive selves live. It’s the part of us that tunes in, and tunes out, the limits of logical thinking. This is the field of the knower who feels a plant’s energy. This is the potential that exists through communion.
Long before digestion, we are in communion with plants, consistently in the exchange of information, sensing vibrations, seeking correspondence, resonance, attracting what we need and repelling what we don’t. When we assimilate plant foods, through digestion, we are taking in the very consciousness and essence of the plants being. Through the physical process of digestion we are interacting with forces of food (Cousens, 2000). Through cooking, we are forming an intimate bond with our food and assimilation becomes a way to extract the life-force or “manna”, not just from plants we cook and eat, but from the entirety of the experience, from Farm to Table.
Through the art and process of cooking we deepen our connection. Cooking is an essential step in extracting and optimizing the healing energy of plants, and one of the best ways to express the qualities or vibration of a particular plant. Cooking with awareness then, requires our attention and intention. “Attention energizes, intention transforms” (Chopra, 2007, 63).
A way to get the very best of what the plant has to offer, in form of its essence, we have to be present. Alchemical cooking requires present-moment awareness. “ The alchemical cook is much more that just a preparer of food… The alchemist must be an intuitive and insightful physiologist, psychologist, and spiritualist, all rolled into one” (Boyd, 2015). Take recipes for instance. They can be effective, but they can be seen as blueprints to produce carbon copies, not necessarily an exact replica. The magic in alchemical cooking happens in the now, teaching us a valuable lesson in our busy world. The difference lies in the present-moment awareness, the degree of resonance with plants, and how well we are able to let intuition lead the way. Desire, literacy and skill are only forerunners.
In Alchemy, fire is used burn away old patterns and make way for the new. In cooking it’s used to change the quality of food, make it more palatable, digestible or more, relatable. Fire itself carries its own energy and is a symbol of transformation, one that plants know well through the heat of the sun. It may be even fair to say that cooking our food is a way to purify our food or better yet transform it into something greater than the sum of its part. Greater than the class of minerals or nutrients, how many calories or how much fat a particular food has, what the daily recommended values are or what the average dietary intake is. Cooking is the bridge to alchemical nourishment.
The ultimate goal in Alchemy is the Great Work or Magnum Opus, and for the cook, or one who prepares the food, it is the work within the hidden subtle fields of energy that matters. “The mysterious doctrine of alchemy pertains to a hidden subjective, abstract, and higher order of reality” (Wolf, 2000, 3). With the help of plants, each meal has the potential of becoming the Great Work, your very own Magnum Opus or “Absolute Realization”. Alchemy, plants and cooking are multi-dimensional and intricately connected. This relationship allows us to ride the wave of a unified field, as we evolve on the path of collective and higher consciousness called Love.
Welcome to Cooking Alchemy!
- Aivanhov. O. (1977). Hrani Yoga: The Alchemical and Magical Meaning of Nutrition. Prosveta S.A: France.
- Boyd, R. (2015, May 18). Alchemical cooking. Retrieved on 7/10/17. URL: newearth.university/resources/alchemical-cooking/
- Chopra, D. (2007). The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success. Amber-Allen Publishing: CA.
- Cousens, G. (2000).Conscious Eating. Essene Vision Books: AZ.
- Frawley, D & Lad, V. (1986). The Yoga of Herbs. An Ayervedic Guide to Herbal Medicine: US.
- Tompkins, P. , Bird, C. (1973). The Secret Life of Plants. Harper & Row Publishers: US.
- Wolf, F. A. (2000). Mind into Matter A New Alchemy of Science of Spirit. Moment Point Press: NH.