Spirit Cooking

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Spirit Cooking is an event and central ritual started by Marina Abramović, who is an artist known for her gory performances and occultist rituals. [13] [15] The ritual itself has deep influences from old occultist rituals performed prior to consumption of eucharistic meals during worship. In the 21st century, the ritual "spirit cooking," popularized by Marina Abramović, has gained interest as an artistic experience, especially due to predominant news coverage in the late stages of the United States presidential election, 2016.


The origins of Spirit Cooking can be found in the preludes to production of the Cake of Light material, a sacrament in the religion of Thelema which was founded by Aleister Crowley. The original ritual, not of the same name, is performed during the cooking of Cake of Light wafers that is to be consumed during a religious gathering. The ingredients of the Cake of Light include honey, oil, menstrual blood and sperm. The sacrament is meant to symbolize the union between the microcosm, Man, and the macrocosm, the Divine, which is a representation of one of the prime maxims in Hermeticism "As Above, So Below." The consumption of the Cake of Light is a fulfillment of the sacred circle of the connection between Man and the Divine. [✔] The ceremony of "spirit cooking" is the modern rendition of the 19th and 20th century rituals of the Cake of Light. [17]


In Spirit Cooking, Marina uses pigs blood (which most resembles human blood) as a medium to connect the spirit world with the material world. The ritual takes place in the kitchen, which is considered the heart of the home. The goal of the ceremony is to convert matter into energy so spirits can feed on it. Marina "...derives her inspiration from the popular belief that the spirits still need food even though it is no longer solid, but in the form of light, sound, and emotions." [14] [15]

In the video dated from 1997 called Spirit Cooking, Marina is seen writing in blood various statements, including "Mix Fresh Breast Milk With Fresh Sperm," "Fresh Morning Urine Sprinkle Over Nightmare Dreams," and "With a Sharp Knife Cut Deeply Into Your Middle Finger Eat The Pain." [5] The video shows Spirit Cooking appearing to be a combination of an artistic performance and an occult ceremony. [✔]

Marina Abramovic has said that the context in which a ritual performed in is what defines its intention. [13] If it is performed in a gallery, then it is art. Yet, if it is performed in a private setting then it is much more intimate and spiritual. [✔]

Email Involving John Podesta

On June 28, 2015, John Podesta's brother Tony emailed him asking if he is free to attend to dinner at Marina's place. In the forwarded message, Marina states that she is looking forward to her Spirit Dinner at her place (implying that she would like to perform the cooking ritual), and inquired about Podesta's availability. [4]

Abramovic's response

On November 4th after Spirit Cooking received increased publicity, Abramovic said that the email was taken out of context. She states that it was a normal dinner for people who donated to her Kickstarter campaign. Abramovic denies that she is a satanist and that her work and practices are spiritual above all us. [18]

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