Beetroot – a mystical vegetable by Heather



Beetroot is one of those veggies that people either love or hate! Personally I love them, fresh cooked with a sprinkling of ground pepper.  I discovered that its history is far from boring or mundane.

Before the Romans brought sugar to Britain, then Christopher Columbus on to the New World, honey and sweet vegetables (beetroot, parsnips, carrots, rhubarb) or fruits were used to enhance the flavour of dishes.

In ancient Greece and Rome, the ladies would dry beetroot, grind it to a powder and use it on their lips and cheeks.   (There is also mention that women from the early Celtic cultures used it in this way too.)  This may have something to do with its link to Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love, who was beautiful, sexy, and could melt hearts with the flick of an eyelid. She is said to have attributed Her romantic powers to beetroot. She so loved this vegetable that She is supposed to have eaten it every-day.   So the word spread that beetroots could enhance beauty and provide aphrodisiac properties. The Oracle at Delphi claimed that beetroots are worth their weight in silver, second only to horseradish in mystic potency.

In some countries today, there is a belief that if a man and a woman eat from the same beetroot, they will fall in love (hopefully with each other!).  These beliefs may simply be from association with Aphrodite, however another theory as not all cultures worshiped Her is that the beetroot is symbolic, as it is roughly the same colour and shape as the organ of love, the heart.

Beetroot plays a part in several Talmud ceremonies to ward off disease and obtain God’s favour, especially in times of difficulty or battle. The Hebrew word for beetroot (pronounced selek) appears to resemble the word for ‘banish’. It could also be that the blood-red colour of the vegetable has some health/military significance.

Beetroots were also used in some cultures to colour hard-boiled eggs, making them bright red. These were eaten as symbols of the Sun God to give prosperity, health and other benefits.

It is also linked to Kvasir, Norse God of Inspiration. There’s a strong beetroot connection here as Kvass, the staple drink of the Slav and Nordic peoples, which is made from fermented beet juice.

I found that beetroot was associated with Pan, during rituals to Him, His followers would eat  beetroot  to have messages about life, death, love and happiness revealed to them.

Today beetroot is becoming fashionable again, surf the WWW and there are recipes for cakes, drinks and savoury dishes, as well as how we can incorporate it into our magical lives.




Sources:

A Kitchen Witch’s World of Magical Food by Rachel Patterson

www.wiseowlhealth.com

www.witcheslore.com

www.themagickalcat.com

© 2023 Kitchen Witch UK
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