I often write about chocolate in relation to, well, anything spiritual, religious, or divine–anything that I can find to justify my oh-so-out-of-control addiction to this confectionary delight. In my most recent book, “Becoming a Goddess of Inner Poise: Spirituality for the Bridget Jones in All of Us,” I not only paid homage to the milk and dark varieties, but followed up these sugar-induced reflections by interviewing Katrina Markoff in an article called “The Sweet Spirit” for Beliefnet. Katrina is executive chef of Vosges Haut-Chocolat and runs a Yoga and Chocolate Retreat in Mexico each year, as well as a series of Yoga and Chocolate Worskshops. I discovered via my “research” for the Goddess book (as chocolate research is v. v. important); she has quite a develeped sensibility about the relationship between chocolate and the spiritual life. What more could a girl ask for?
Well, as a result of my more public prose about chocolate and all its derivations, sometimes people decide to send me things. You know, in the form of chocolate. Which, I must admit, I do not protest in the least bit.
Most recently, I received a delightful present from a company called “Chocolate Deities” in the form of Sheela Na Gig, portrayed on the face of a large, solid chocolate disk. Sheela Na Gig is a Goddess who apparently “appeared on Irish churches before the 16th century, reminding those with the ability to see that entering a sacred space is to enter the Womb of the Goddess.” The little booklet accompanying my edible divinity proclaims wonderment about her: “Goddess, Grotesque, or Otherworldly Power? A Protectress, a Hussy, a carefully concealed Saint? She is brassy…she is gatekeeper…she is a spirit that commands our attention…”–and she’s yours to eat too!
Well, command my attention she did–immediately. Eagerly opening the box that contained Sheela Na Gig in edible form, I was stunned by the way she, well, is quite brassy and commanding of the attention, and how, quite literally and visibly in chocolate form, she shows how to enter that “sacred space” that is also the “Womb of the Goddess” if you know what I mean. Just go check out the picture and see for your self; it’s not quite appropriate to print on a family website such as ours.
So, um, well, as I sit here glancing now and again at my chocolate Sheela Na Gig divinity, and then averting my eyes–in what I can only describe as… modesty?–I ponder whether or not I will ever be able to actually enjoy what I can only imagine is the fabulous chocolate that forms her current state of being in my apartment.
Regardless of the edibility factor, a chocolate deity makes quite the interesting gift for the spiritually reflective girl with the unquenchable chocolate thirst, even if she doesn’t actually ever eat the divine offering. She will perhaps just have to adorn my kitchen counter (albeit enclosed in the box) rather than my stomach.