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The Cybelines: Elements of a Multicultural Monotheistic Paganism

Part II: The Bread

It is one of the most welcoming and strongly emotionally connected sensations in human memory. It awakens images of childhood, grandmothers, mothers, family and friends. Perhaps no other sensation carries with it such universally positive connections.

It is the smell of fresh, warm bread.

For the Cybeline Pagan, it is a smell, a memory and a part of ritual that connects across the centuries and across hemispheres. The scent of bread brought smiles to the most ancient of our sisters; protection of the grain crop that made the bread possible was the charged duty of the last of our sisters in direct line of descent in the late 1600's.

The cultural memory begins with baked mud ovens , then came beehive ovens that reflect the temples of the Goddess of the same era, stone hearths, cast iron stoves. Around each of these women would gather to participate, to share, to join in a communal activity of not only nourishment but of thanks, rejoicing and of a love for each other and of the Goddess whose blessings the bread is an incarnate reflection of.

Neither sacrament nor supplement, the bread is an integral part of Cybeline ritual and practice. As opposed to the Christian conception of communion, the bread is not a remberance of the Goddess, nor a device to bring grace but a rejoicing in the best traditions of a family meal. The bread connects us in an immediate sense not only to each other in the present, but to every priestess, every woman, man and child who partakes of the bread in the celebration of the Goddess, of the Divine Feminine and the Community of Women throughout history.

Rev. Dr. Caillean Maureen McMahon

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