I've been thinking about these cast iron pots since I incorporated one into a key scene in Southern Fried Wiccan. There's magic long associated with this old, simple cooking implement, and I began to wonder why.
Humans have always eaten, but only in the last million years or so have we transformed our food from its natural, raw state by the aid of fire. Some scientist credit this new cooking technology with the rapid expansion of the Homo brain into the modern humans we now are.
|Gundestrup cauldron, from Denmark|
In Southern Fried Wiccan, I employed the symbolism of this cooking vessel by two women who each use it to perform their own brand of magic. Mother Faith, the Wiccan priestess, uses a small altar cauldron to help her young witches focus their minds and energy on what it is they truly want to achieve, whereas G-ma, the protagonist's grandmother, uses the food and drinks she lovingly prepares to heal and strengthen all those she comes in contact with.
For as long as we live, we need to eat. And as the modern re-movement to whole foods shows, WHAT we eat is important to how we live. I like to think that when I cook, I'm participating in a spiritual magic handed down from the dawn of human history.