In this new age of Pinterest picture tagging, it has occurred to me that maybe a picture doesn’t paint a thousand words. In fact, I think someone new to the world of kitchen witchcraft or folk magic may get the impression that its all about just cooking something witchy or old-fashioned, or about having a witchy looking kitchen and cool symbols etched into your wooden spoons. Well, there is a little bit more to it than that; at its heart, what is needed is…
good food + good energy
Well, that’s the main idea, anyway. There are also a number of other things to consider; knowing the nutritional/medicinal/magical value of food and food combinations, directing one’s energy from a heightened state of consciousness (and how to get to said state of consciousness)… also, kitchen witchery isn’t just about food and cooking; its really about hearth and home and all the things one makes in the kitchen, like homemade natural housecleaning products, bath products, health & beauty aids, and even crafts.
chant the veil back, sing the magic in
One of my favorite ways of opening the door to the flow of magic is through chanting. It puts me into a heightened state of consciousness, puts me into a magical rhythm, and also flavors the type of magic I am doing. (There are a number of great chants to use while cooking on the Pagan Chants of the Month Page.)
stirring, mixing, kneading, shaping
So after the tasks of getting out all the bowls and utensils and measuring out ingredients is done, I start my chanting/singing, I get in my “zone”. I’m mixing, stirring, shaping; the ambient and spiritual energy in my (purified & blessed) household (see my article on stovetop shrines), as well as my personal energy or Od, flows into the substance I’m mixing, through my hands, through my spoon, which functions as a wand. (Actually, I think a wooden spoon can be a lot more powerful than a wand.)
I stir deiseil (sunwise, clockwise) for increase and prosperity, while tuathal (counter-clockwise, widdershins) would be for decrease of banishing. So too, would the phase of the moon enhance this effect; the waxing (increasing) moon for the former, and the waning (decreasing) moon for the latter.
The shapes formed are of significance as well; circles of eternity, triangles symbolizing goddess energy, with a sharp knife and a good collection of cookie cutters, the possibilities are endless. A kitchen spell can be as simple as cutting a symbol (or sigil) into one’s food (an apple or a biscuit, for instance), with intent, then slowly and mindfully eating that food.
nutrition, medicine, magic
Most of us have a repertoire of home health cures and herbal remedies handed down to us through family- this is kitchen magic carrying on through the generations! Most of these are valid and nourishing, but some should be re-examined and discontinued if necessary (like putting butter on a burn- don’t do that).
And for the magic associations, there is usually a bit of science in the magic connotations a culture puts on certain foods; an apple a day really does keep the doctor away. And most of us do know the magical associations our own culture has with certain foods, but doing a little research and making a chart of magical food associations to go in your cookbook can be helpful, as well as notes on the use of home remedies and common herbs for minor ailments.