Archdiakonissa Deborah writes:

I tried the Madeleines from the website. I actually used arecipe from a Provencal cookbook I have instead of the one on the website.Since I used honey instead of sugar, I didn’t have to do the mixing of theeggs and sugar over boiling water. This is done to help dissolve the sugarcompletely; if you use superfine sugar (which my recipe actually called for)or substitute honey, you don’t have to bother with the double boiler bit.You do need to be sure the sugar is completely dissolved, however, or thetexture won’t be right.

You definitely need a madeleine pan to get the shell shape (which indicatesthe fact that MM came over the sea), but a muffin tin can be used–just fillthe tins only 1/3 full. Make sure you butter and flour whatever pan you use.

I used honey not only because I prefer it for health reasons, but becauseof my magikal name. I was instructed to use honey for both culinary and medicinalpurposes whenever possible (during one of my Otherworld meditations in theCeltic studies area). It does have a nice “sacred feminine” tie-in, as wellas connections to the sacred marriage (honey being an ancient symbol forthe female anointing the male in coitus).

Though these would be good served with tea, serving them with milk (especiallyif you used honey in them) is a nice male/female, sacred marriage symbol.Milk and honey has been used in India and the Ancient Near East for milleniaas a sign of the combination of male and female secretions during coitus;it is a symbol of balance.

I believe the most important thing to remember when giving a spiritualapplication to cooking or baking is to pray over the item to which you areassigning a special significance. Pray the people who eat the item will beblessed with understanding in the area of sacred marriage and the male/femalebalance. Even if it doesn’t turn out as expected, you can still trust thatthe spiritual information is “coded” into the goodies and will be taken intothe spirit and soul, just like the nutrition is taken into the body.

I am reminded here of the book “Like Water for Chocolate”. The main characterin the book felt things so strongly that her emotions were poured into thefood she cooked. I believe this is true whether we recognize it or not. Cookinghas long been used as a tool for magikal impartation; even if we do not intendto manipulate through our cooking, emotions can be sensed in it. Think ofthe times someone has said that something was “cooked with love”; think ofthe indifference with which some types of food (like fast food or factory-madestuff) is cooked. The missionary with whom I worked in Peru called junk food”soul food” because it helped us Americans remember our childhoods and ourlives in the States; it was food for the soul, not for the body. Just a fewthoughts!

Deborah, Diakonissa




Christian music has long extolled the glories of the love of God. Using theSong of Songs and other physical imagery to compare to the love of God isa device used in many hymns and praise songs worldwide for centuries.

The New Testament takes this imagery into the bridal chamber as well. Theconcept of the Church being the bride of Christ has led to many songs that,if not taken in this spiritual context, could easily be used between a manand a woman.

Some Christian vocalists have used “secular” songs to express idea in reverse.One notable example was Debby Boone’s rendition of “You Light Up My Life”a number of years ago. The love song was number one on the charts for weeks.Boone herself, a devout evangelical Christian, claimed to have been singingthe song to Jesus. This raised a furor in Christian circles.

The debate over “secular” music in the church has been raging for decades,and will likely continue. Many Christians feel they should only listen to”Christian” music. At the same time, many Christian recording artists feelstifled by the “rules” and release “cross-over” music that could apply toa human lover as well as to a spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ.

It is important to remember that there really is no difference between secularand spiritual things. This is an artificial device used primarily to controlpeople. If we are spirit beings, we should always be spiritual. We are alsoemotional, rational, and physical beings. We should always be emotional,rational, and physical as well. Separating out the different parts of ourbeing leads to confusion. The idea should be to combine them.

Enjoying a song for its emotional content is generally easy, since most musicplays on the emotions. If the song makes sense rationally, and has a spiritualconnotation, and gets our body in on the act, we have a real winner.

Charismatic churches have been the forerunners in the unification of allparts of the being in the area of music. Pentecostal churches have long beenknown for their use of dancing in praise and worship. Since the words ofthe song are almost always passed through the medium of Scripture to determinetheir theological soundness, rationality is included. (In esoteric thingswe know that many of these doctrines have layers of meaning, so our understandingcan be further enhanced, and not necessarily put off by dogma.) Music helpsstir the emotions, and the words are often designed to rouse feelings aswell. And of course the spiritual aspects of the song are generally consideredthe most important.

When discussing the concept of the sacred marriage in Christian song, I havefound one song to be the ultimate example.

True Love

Verse 1:
Jesus, I need to know true love
Deeper than the love found on earth
Take me into the king’s chamber
Cause my love to mature

Let me know the kisses of your mouth
Let me feel your warm embrace
Let me smell the fragrance of your touch
Let me see your lovely face
Take me away with you
Even so, Lord, Come
I love you, Lord, I love you more than life

Verse 2:
My heart, my flesh yearn for you, Lord
To love you is all I can do
You have become my sole passion
Cause my love to be true

This song, written by Canadian worship leader David Ruis (copyright 1994Mercy/Vineyard Publishing), caused an uproar in churches when it was releasedin 1994. Some felt extremely uncomfortable in attributing these strong physicaland emotional responses to one’s love for Jesus. Others felt it was an intensespiritual experience that should not be missed. In some churches it createda sense of elitism-some people “got it”, some people didn’t. If you werecomfortable with singing the song, you were more spiritual than those whodidn’t like it.

Eventually other, less controversial songs came into vogue, and this songwasn’t used as often. But it remains a testament to the power of Christiansong to express the truth of the sacred marriage, and to showing us how tointegrate our spirits, souls, and bodies in worship of our Creator.

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