Kitchin Witchery: Spicing Up Your Magickal Life
When it comes to kitchen witchery, the cooking is magick, whether the cook in the kitchen identifies as a witch or not. After all, preparing meals, baking, and making kitchen crafts, all hold elements of creation. Even equipping and organizing your space creates an energetic container for a specific purpose.
In those ways, all cooks are witches, or at least they are making magick. However, not all witches are cooks. Not to worry, though, stirring up all sorts of kitchen witchery is still easy peasy lemon squeezy.
The Science of Kitchen Witchery
The culinary arts are a form of alchemy. Cooking is the process of combining two or more ingredients to create an end result that is different, and more, than the combination of its components. But there’s also magic in the simple transformation of single ingredients.
For example, why does the texture of a potato come out differently depending on whether it’s boiled, baked or fried? The answer is because you are applying the elemental force of heat in different ways, through water, through air, or by direct contact to a hot surface.
This is why I believe kitchen witchery provides the most easily accessible on-ramp to understanding and practicing the mysteries of magick. We apply our will through the physical energy of chopping, blending, stirring, and kneading. We also call forth the properties and actions of the natural elements. Both earth and water energy are present in the plants and food. Air is incorporated by folding, whisking or stirring. Fire brings the heat that transforms the ingredients.
And then the magick happens. In baking a cake, for example, flour, eggs, oil, sugar, and flavorings are all blended together. A lick of the gooey batter tastes good, but applying heat transforms the texture and taste into something different, and better.
From Everyday Cooking To Kitchen Witchery
I began cooking at very young age, around seven years old. That’s when my older brother pushed a step stool in front of the stove so I could reach the burners, He taught me how to make French toast. It sounds like such an endearing gesture, an older brother sharing his love for the culinary arts with his little sister. Not so—it was my brother manifesting his desire to be catered to. And once I mastered the preparation of perfectly golden French toast, I was eager to cook his breakfast and serve it to him on a platter every Saturday morning.
I was hooked from then on. Such a simple act manifested so much positive energy. By preparing delicious sustenance for myself and others, I created a sense of pride in myself, gratefulness in others, and joy all around. Doing all of this with nothing more than a few eggs, a cup of milk and some stale bread, was surely magical.
After that, I was off to the races. My Christmas present that year still stands out as the best I ever received. I’m sure the next door neighbors heard my squeals of delight that morning, when I unwrapped my very own Easy Bake Oven.
Fired with nothing more than the energy of a 100-watt lightbulb, that table top oven kept my brother and I fed with cakes and cupcakes for many happy months. When I was ready to move beyond baking simple confectionary concoctions, my mother took me under her tutelage. An excellent cook, she was happy to pass her skill on to an an eager apprentice.
Building Relationship With The Land
Many years after my early introduction to cooking, I married my first husband. Born and raised in the rural countryside, he fostered my deep connection to the land. I learned to plant, tend and harvest the produce from a large garden.
Behold, this was more magick! We poked seeds into soil, watered regularly, applied compost and let the elements transform those seeds into a bounty of food.
In addition to our garden produce, we picked wild blueberries, strawberries, June berries and blackberries. We also raised and hunted our own protein, and kept bees for the honey they produced.
It was during these years of husbandry that I truly began to understand the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. From seed to plant, from animal to meat, to food on the table, all of it transformed into the energy that sustains life.
Food As Medicine
I entered the world of food as medicine when my current husband fell ill with heart disease and diabetes (thanks to the poor diet of long haul semi-truck driver). It was then that I truly delved further into the cycle of food as life force. I considered not only energy in and energy out, but nutrient value and other benefits of the food I prepared and served.
From there, it wasn’t much of a leap to honest-to-goodness kitchen witchery. I now grow and forage herbs, flowers, berries, nuts, barks and fungi. I brew these into teas, tinctures, and essences to support the health and wellness of my family.
Early in my practice of kitchen witchery, I didn’t light candles, stir clockwise, or chant intentions while cooking up my magick. I concentrated on the medicinal properties of food, your basic chicken soup for the cold kind of cooking. I didn’t fully understand the how and why behind intentional magick.
It wasn’t until completing a course in herbalism for healing that it all came together for me. Plants have both physical medicinal properties, but they also have energetic aspects. I’d been working with only the physical, and ignoring the esoteric aspects.
Further, when I began exploring the world of flower essence remedies, I found that a plant’s spirit energy doesn’t always coincide with the organic, medicinal properties. Understanding this added a layer of magical correspondence to my kitchen witchery and made the difference between lucky happenstance and intentional magick.
Creating Layers of Correspondence
In my early experiences with herbal remedies, I was stunned each time a plant I chose instinctively offered exactly the energetic healing I needed. I understood, then, that I had been engaged in a subtle communication with many of the the plants I was familiar with, and that I could deepen that relationship.
Certainly the garlic I add to my chicken soup has antiviral and antibacterial properties, but it also offers the magic of warding and protecting. Why not summon this essence, too, to help ward invisible viruses and illness?
Likewise, while pepper induces a physical sweat, helping to flush toxins from the body, the fiery aspect can also be called upon to burn away all manner of energetic dis-ease.
There are many layers to creating magic. The more of them you incorporate, the greater the degree of conjuring and more powerful the resulting magick will be.
Making Kitchen Witchery Your Own
Kitchen Witchery is the simplest form of practical magic for beginner and seasoned witches alike. And you don’t have to love cooking to make it your own. There are many options for creating magic in your kitchen.
Pepper placed in an amulet keeps harm away. Sprinkled on thresholds and windowsills it wards all those with ill intent, human or spirit, from entering my home.
Cinnamon from my pantry and mint leaves from my garden added to a simmering pot of water, releases aspects of prosperity and abundance. The magick rises with the steam and fills my home. The same herbs, sprinkled into melted wax for a candle pour, are reactivated every time I light the candle.
Invoking my desire with a spoken spell, opens the way for the desired energies to seek out like vibrations in the universe, and return them to me multiplied. Energies are further increased by adding still more layers of magick.
Try drinking a tea made from the food safe herbs used in a complimentary spell. And don’t discard the herbs from the tea. Instead, strain and gather them into a bundle. I use paper coffee filters for this purpose. Once dry, I tuck the bundle into my pocket or coin purse. Or, I might bury the herbs beneath a tree, manifesting an energetic money tree for my purposes.
Practicing Safe Kitchen Witchery
Of course, research all ingredients carefully. Make certain any herbs or other ingredients used in teas, tinctures, and even oils or salves applied directly to the skin, are safe. Don’t rely on a quick internet search of one or two reference sites. Look for reliable sources like Web MD in addition to online blogs or witchcraft sites. Check with your healthcare provider for any possible interactions with medications you take.
If you’re new to kitchen witchery, start with the herbs and spices in your kitchen cupboard—you know those are safe. Consider making your own Book of Shadow entries for the plants and herbs you work with, using a format such as this materia magica page. Remember to include contraindications, drug interactions and known side effects.
Also, consider investing in reliable references like Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs and Rosemary Gladstars, Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide.
Finally, take the opportunity to strengthen your intuition and instinct as a witch. Before researching, spend time with the plant. Use your senses to get to know it. What does is smell like, what is the texture, what does it taste like, what sensations to you feel eating it? It is warming or cooling? Dry or moist? Make notes in your BOS, then check them against your research.
Explore the magical plants right outside your own door. Dandelion, plantain and moss are just a few that grow almost everywhere, even in the cracks of urban sidewalks. You local county extension office has complete information available on regional species of plants.
In all cases, when in doubt, err on the side of caution. Refrain from using any plants or herbs internally or topically if you are not certain of their safety.
True Magick Happens In The Kitchen
My purpose in witchcraft is two-fold. First, I strive to render my craft down to its simplest form, so that it becomes a part of my everyday life. I want witchcraft to be as natural and familiar to me eating when I’m hungry and drinking when I’m thirsty. Second, I base my practice on intuition and experience. For me, all of this happens in the kitchen.
Much like the hearth of ancestral witches, my kitchen is the hub of my home and has become central to my practice. I now stir my magical brews with a consecrated spoon, circling deosil for increase and widdershins for decrease. I light candles, chant incantations, and maintain an altar that passes for any ordinary kitchen shelf holding spices, oils, and teas.
I’ll be sharing more ideas for witching it up in your kitchen as a regular feature here in the Way of Witch Magazine. If you have questions, or topics for future articles, drop a comment below.