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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in kitchen witchery
Everyday Elements Part 1: Cooking and Cleaning

Even in the busiest, most crowded, modern, neon-lit metropolitan areas, we come into close contact with the elements countless times a day. Even – or, especially – with all our technology we truly cannot live without them!

I’m often reminded of a line from one of my favorite songs by Lady Isadora, a witch, priestess and talented singer/songwriter who pioneered the Pagan musical genre in the early 1980s. It is from her song “Witch” – “I call myself a witch because I’m not afraid to tell that the magic is in life itself, not just in some ancient book or secret spell”.

Indeed it is! Magic is everywhere at all times and it is manifested through the elements in more ways than we sometimes realize. Even the most devoted Pagan or witch can struggle to maintain their ideal practice in this demanding, fast-paced age. However, much comes down to perspective and a slight shift in our approach to “mundane” tasks can go a long way toward helping us maintain a wonderful connection to nature and to enhance our magic.

There are four things that, for the most part, we all do on a regular basis, and they each correspond nicely to the four elements: cooking, cleaning, healing and learning – fire, water, earth and air, respectively. Simple awareness and gratitude for the elements and all they allow us to accomplish in our daily lives can help create all manner of easy yet effective rituals, grounding states of mind and to raise our vibrations.


Cooking – Fire

Even if you don’t manage anything more complex than microwaving a Stouffer’s entrée or brewing a pot of coffee, not much cooking can be accomplished without fire in some form or another. A pot of boiling water on a ceramic cooktop can easily conjure images and the energy of an old bubbling cauldron suspended over an open flame in a hearth, and be just as magical.

Obviously real cooking – that is, from scratch or close to it, and going through steps to peel, chop, sauté, flambé, marinate and macerate different fresh ingredients – is not only always more likely to be much more healthy, but it is a wonderful way to connect to ancestors and can be very meditative and easily ritualized.

There are so many wonderful books about kitchen witchery that teach about spells that can be incorporated into cooking, include magical and unique recipes specifically designed for sabbats, and give ideas for turning your whole kitchen into a shrine/altar to nourishment, magic and, of course, fire!

One of my favorite such books, at least that I actually own, is “The Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook” by Patricia Telesco. While I am not Wiccan, I find Scott Cunningham’s “Wicca in the Kitchen” to be a wonderful reference for the general energies and associations of most herbs, fruits, vegetables and several other ingredients. I feel it could have easily (and perhaps more accurately) been entitled simply “Witchcraft in the Kitchen”, but that’s just my opinion based on the content of the book which doesn’t seem to reflect the specificity of just Wicca.

Another favorite is “A Sorcerer’s Cookbook”, by Brigitte Bulard-Cordeau. It is not exactly geared toward the kind of magic and ritual that specifically pagan kitchen witchery books are, but it is visually stunning, filled with very unique and interesting recipes and still has lots of fun and enlightening information about folklore, history and magical uses associated with the ingredients and recipes.

Fire is the great transformer of the elements, and its use in cooking and preparing the food that we ingest can also transform us, our health and energy. No matter what we make or how, it all begins with fire.

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Kitchen Witch Dolls: Modern Household Icons

My great-grandmother, whose father immigrated from Norway when he was around nine years old and whose mother was a third-generation German American, had a kitchen witch that was passed down to my mom, her granddaughter. Unfortunately, it was lost over time, but my mom remembers that it wore a long, red dress and perched on a straw broom. This is the traditional form of the kitchen witch: a long dress, usually a kerchief tied around its head rather than a witch hat, often a characteristic long nose on a friendly face, riding upon a miniature broom (or a wooden spoon!)

Over time, craftspeople have branched away from this traditional form, creating kitchen witches that reflect the various interests and needs of contemporary cooks. This is typical for folk traditions: to remain relevant, they transform over time, taking on new elements and meanings. One thing has remained the same, however: they are always friendly, always helpful, always good luck.

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  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember a little kitchen witch over the sink in my parents house. I think one of my sisters got it after my mother died, but I

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Pop Culture Kitchen Witchery

I cook and I know things.  I love being in the kitchen as much as I love watching my favorite movies, reading my favorite books, and making magick.  However, as a busy person what I love best is finding clever ways to combine those things into a single action in order to save time and energy.  Oh yes, I do pop culture kitchen witchery.  Let me share with you how I make fun and nourishing treats infused with pop culture magick.

There are nearly limitless ways to infuse magick into cookery.  One can choose foods with inherently magickal ingredients; many common herbs and spices have powerful magickal correspondences.  Think of the basil, garlic, and fennel in many traditional pasta sauces and their inherently protective qualities.  Once can also compose a meal based on the color correspondences of the ingredients; perhaps an all green meal for prosperity.  Add baking to your repertoire and you have the option of shaping cookies and breads into magickal symbols that are charge when baking and released when eaten.  Of course one can, and should, always add their intent as they create their food; better still if it’s something like bread where intent can be literally kneaded into the dough.  These are just a few of the wondrous ways to add magick in the kitchen and there are plenty of resources out there for diving into the rabbit hole that is kitchen witchery.  Of course, being the inveterate nerd that I am I take things a step further.

I like to get as much bang for my magickal buck as possible and much of my stand-alone magickal workings involve pop culture magick, so I decided to bring my kitchen witchery and pop culture magick together to supercharge them.  One of the easiest ways to add pop culture magick to kitchen witchery is to make foods that appear in your favorite pop culture media, such as lembas bread from the Lord of the Rings, butterbeer from Harry Potter, or fish fingers and custard from Doctor Who.  Lembas bread is a great example; it’s already a magickal food, giving the consumer hours of energy from a single bite.  By baking a high-energy bread or energy bar and infusing it with the magickal energy of lembas bread you can create an amazing spell for stamina energy that you can take along on a hike, a long drive, or any day where you know you’ll need a boost.  Pop culture is filled with enchanted provisions and iconic foodstuffs from Alice’s tea cakes to wizarding chocolate.  Take a moment to think about the iconic foods in your favorite pop culture media and the many ways they could potentially be used in magick.  Kind of amazing isn’t it?

You can also create an infinite variety of foods themed for and inspired by pop culture media.  Kitchen Overlord has a wonderful recipe for a pasta dish where the end product looks like Tony Stark’s arc reactor that would be a fantastic base for a prosperity spell.  As you stir your pasta add your intent, let the golden color of the wheat pasta symbolize prosperity, and link to the dish to the energy of Tony Stark’s wealth; take it further by adding a few herbs that both taste great and correspond appropriately like thyme and basil.  In doing so you’re using the color and magickal correspondences of your ingredients, adding intent directly through the cooking process, and taking advantage of the prosperity energy associated with the character - that’s a triple charged spell and dinner in one!  Similarly, you could make Super Mario Brothers stuffed 1-UP mushrooms infused with energy to ace a test or job interview.  Get a few crimini mushrooms, stuff them with ingredients that align with your goals (Google stuffed mushrooms, there are hundreds of recipes for inspiration), charge them as they cook, and consume to seal the spell.  The possibilities for this type of magick are limited only by your imagination and what ingredients are available.

Beyond crafting edible spells, you can also create foods as offerings to pop culture entities.  Like any other metaphysical entity, pop culture entities often require an offering in exchange for their magickal assistance and what better offering than a food they're known to enjoy?  If you were doing a working with Dean from Supernatural it would be a no-brainer to bake him a pie.  If, for whatever reason, you wanted to do a working with Deadpool what better offering than chimichangas?  Taking the time and effort to make a food offering from scratch adds a tremendous amount of personal energy that many other offerings lack and it allows you to add specific energies into that offering.  You can add even more energy by mindfully sourcing your ingredients: making extra effort to get the highest quality ingredients, buying from merchants the character would support, etc.  If you have a special working that requires a little more “oomph” for your offering, or you just enjoy cooking, try making something appropriate from scratch. 

If you want to try your hand at some pop culture kitchen witchery I suggest starting with simple rolled sugar cookies.  If you like to cook you can make the dough from scratch; if you don’t like to cook you can buy pre-made dough at any grocery store.  You can find some amazing pop culture themed cookie cutters online or you can cut custom shapes freehand.  Try D20 shaped cookies for luck, tardis shaped cookies for adventurous travel, or R2-D2 shaped cookies for computer skills, etc. As you roll out and shape your dough allow your intent to flow into the dough itself.  Bake the cookies per your recipe and then continue to infuse magick into the cookies as you decorate.  Add icing, sprinkles, or crystal sugars in the colors and designs that correspond to your intent.  If you’re more of an advanced baker try making emoji macarons.  Infuse your macarons with positive emotions to create an edible energetic boost.  In general, cookies are easy, quick, and versatile, making them a fabulous starting point for pop culture kitchen witchery.

Whether you’re making Game of Thrones kidney pie or Welcome to Night Vale’s not-so-invisible corn, pop culture kitchen witchery can enhance your magick and put dinner on the plate to boot.  Combining pop culture magick with more traditional kitchen witchery you get all the benefits of traditional practice while layering more intent and meaning into your working, giving it extra power with very little extra time and energy.  Make the results of that magick dinner and you’ve made the most efficient possible use your your limited time and energy.  If you enjoy cooking or baking and love pop culture then give pop culture kitchen witchery a try. 

There are many websites and cookbooks dedicated to recipes from and inspired by pop culture.  Here are a few resources:

http://www.geekychef.com/
https://theniftynerd.com/category/recipes/
http://www.geekyhostess.com/
http://rosannapansino.com/
http://watch.geniuskitchen.com/show/GKPCB/Pop-Culture-Baking-Class/

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Rose Drink for Freya

Planning a ritual, I was thinking about what sort of drink to offer to specific gods, and listening inwardly to see if my plans were acceptable. Freya said she wanted rose.

I had gotten into the habit of smelling the pink rose in the front yard for Freya. It's an antique breed with a wonderful scent. I clarified: Did she want more of that? Yes, that rose. To cut the flowers and bring them inside? No. To eat.

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  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    After I posted this, I received an ad for the opening of a new grocery story in my town. I just went to it and they have the Fenti
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember seeing a recipe for candied violets. I think the same thing can be done with rose petals.

Following on from my previous post about foraging and working with plant spirits to add extra magic to our potions and hedgerow cooking, one very important berry to collect at this time of year is the rosehip. Rosehips are the hard, oval shaped berries of the rose. Packed with vitamin C and a host of other essential vitamins and minerals these rich red berries have been used medicinally for thousands of years all around the world and are a potent magical resource. Like roses, these are usually thought of as sacred to earth goddesses as well as goddesses of love, and astrologically they are usually thought to be ruled by Jupiter and Venus and are suitable for magic related to these themes; love, abundance, exuberance, fertility and sexuality. Like roses rosehips also have strong faery energy, and are attractive to the sidhe  and nature spirits. Rosehips however have quite a different energetic feel than rose flowers. Far more robust, their taste and scent is quite fruity and zesty, hinting at their high vitamin C content. Traditionally the best ones to use for flavour or magic are hips from rosa canina the wild dog rose, although garden roses also work well.

Medicinally rosehips have been used to help with intestinal problems, kidney and bladder infections, stress and depleted immune systems, and to boost the circulation. When using rosehips some like to remove the seeds inside which are covered in tiny hairs and can be an irritant, but personally I've never noticed this be a problem. To remove the hairs, slit the berries and scoop out the seeds, or roughly chop the berries in a mixer, and then sieve. The tiny hairs will fall through the sieve easily.      

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The Witch’s Broom

The Witches’ Broom, or Besom is an important and largely misunderstood tool of the Witch.

Gaining its notoriety from the witch hunters’ manuals of mediaeval Europe, it is a tool of a far more ancient origin. As we know, the writings of those who “documented” the traditions, rituals and practices of early witches did not do so in an inimical fashion. This largely explains the negative associations related to many customs, tools and traditions of ancient Witches.

It is believed that the practice and use of the Besom can be traced back as far as ancient Egypt. While typical or traditional Besoms are made of a specific plant called Broom (from which the broom gains its name); it would also appear that many traditions and cultures have their own version of a Besom.

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Cauldron bubbles....autumn kitchen witchery part 1

This time of year as Mother Nature's larder is at her fullest I'm always being asked about making home remedies, foraging and using wild ingredients. To me, working with nature and living close to the earth is a practical as well as a spiritual path, and gives me an opportunity to keep in close relationship with the land around me, as well as its indwelling spirits. Gathering wild herbs nuts and berries for remedies and cottage preserves, as well as fruits and vegetables from the garden I'm always reminded of the kinship I feel with the plant and tree spirits, and this dictates how I go about my gathering as well my preparations. I consider them to be among my magical and shamanic allies- they help me understand and grow into greater communion with this sacred earth, as well as adding extra energy, taste and effectiveness to the potions and preserves we make together.   

Some of my top tips

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