February 20th, 2008


Fair Trade Cannibalism, Expensive Oils, and Spam Divination

I suddenly think that the world needs more Anglicans. They have fair trade communion wine.

What interests me most about this is, once it's transubstantiated, does that make Christ fair trade as well? (Not that all Anglicans believe in transubstantiation, but still. . . it's a fair question: I hear fair trade cannibalism is all the rage.)

Of course, we've been purchasing locally-made and organic stuff for years for our rituals, and working our way into free trade products as often as possible (though it's hard to find free trade certified sacrifices, truth be told).

As an example, the olive oil that we've used is imported from Greece, and it was the first organic olive oil available from Greece that's for sale in the States. It's made on a cooperative farm (i.e. a "co-op") on the Mani Peninsula in Greece. The issue is this: it's expensive (about $15/500 mL) and it doesn't come in the giant bulk metal vats here in the States. One bottle lasts about one and a half rituals. We spend far more on olive oil than we do on silver for our rites, and that says something.

Now, we're not tied to our particular brand (Kalamata Gold), but the search for something of an equally high quality that is cheaper hasn't been so fruitful (no puns intended). Not too long ago, I found that my Grove had an inside joke about me and the olive oil I buy, and I'm not surprised.

The issue is that we've had bad experiences with cheap olive oil as a Grove. The most memorable one was when I was preparing for an Imbolc rite three years ago and dropped a bottle full of olive oil in the kitchen just before the rite. I had just grabbed the bottle from our cupboards earlier that week and put it with the ritual gear: it was just the normal oil we used for cooking every day (which I naturally figured would be just fine). We've had oils that just wouldn't burn (or, worse, nearly put out the fire on one occasion), and oils that have broken or tipped during transportation. We have never, though, had any trouble with this brand.

In any event, the Druids of Columbus, OH, have never been the kind of people to buy sacrifices without a lot of thought and some real consideration toward what the sacrifice means. And that is a comforting thought to me.

On a side note, when I get spam like this:

There were sledgehammerhead sharks, and what a surprise, eightyfour crabs,

I often think, "You know, I should really make a spam oracle for my site. . ." I wouldn't be the first to come up with the idea (I've seen SpamPoetry and SpamScrying), but it would be entertaining.

And it might make more sense than either Jimmy or Homer. It would certainly make more sense than the Christians.