By returning sephardim
March 12, 2010
Coffee - The ancient healing energy
So, have you had your daily Judaic healing exorcism? Probably ... in a way.
Sephardic medicine of the home honours coffee as a great healer and protector. Coffee is a big part of Jewish culture and cuisine; we've been doing the caffeine kick longer than most. For other's tea cakes we have coffee cake.
The 'Mode Ani' or prayer of waking and restoration of body and soul, the 'Netila' or washing of shadows, is followed by the Asher Yasar. Here we give thanks for be awoken; lifted from the dead towards oneness.
For many, reaching for the coffee cup is a ritual still. Yet this connection of its use in ritual as something that washes away shadow and 'con grace del dio' lifts us from a waking death, is one only passingly, unknowingly bidden within us. Used in rituals of exorcism or casting away evil, used for protection, cleansing and opening up to light, this is a powerful healing tool. It reminds us that our rituals and prayers of being and becoming are part of every flow of every day. There is no division between the practical and the spiritual quest. 'All' is halakha if walked with will, heart and connection.
Coffee is now used by some as an enema, said to help cleanse deeply and attributed by many as an aid in fighting cancer. There is of course, as ever, much discourse on these points. However, some evidence suggests such practice may have been used by some in the practice of preparing for Mikvah; the cleansing of every crevice for the sacred, living waters to touch and sooth into living, vital tissue once more.
For those who feel this is a waste of a good cup of coffee, such cleansing, with the open heart and will, can be enjoyed through the mouth that speaks the word with care and honour.
As a child I would never take coffee instant, only when I heard the song of the coffee machine and tasted the first notes of the voice of coffee on the air; smelling its scent, did I want it. Black with hazelnut syrup or bitter and aromatic, scented with fresh mint, iced or frothed into cappuccino or gingerbread latte (just as easily made with soya), there is a coffee for so many an occasion, celebration and healing need. Here are some ideas for coffee from my own kitchen:
Cardamom coffee (best black) ... crush pods and blend with fresh grounds, allow to infuse and settle for at least a day or so. A warming blend and good for nausea and nerves.
Orange or citrine coffee ... finely grated organic peel of oranges or lemons or bergamont blended and left as above. Uplifting, cleansing and 'bright'blend.
Coffee with 'Sephardic' sugar, spice blend. This sugar blend is full of warming, soothing spices said to remind the tongue to speak sweetness and the soul to sing love. The coffee can be latte for black.
Blend fair-trade brown sugar with a wee bit of cinnamon, a pinch of coriander, a dash of intense vanilla extract (fair-trade ndali vanilla is best). This sugar is easily used in baking and on fruits too and has healing effects of its own. Sugar and all spices mentioned, used carefully towards love and to sweeten the spirit. We are very big on the giving of sweets, are we not?