WOTC Extra – Tools of A Kitchen Witch & Their Correspondence

Book & Candle Comments

WOTC Extra – Tools of A Kitchen Witch

Your own kitchen should provide everything you will need. Common utensils with suggested symbolism strengthen your enchantments. There are hundreds of them, look around with a magical eye, it’s there! Choose between different tools according to your magical goals. Make your own blessing and charge your tools with them. For example: Take a wooden spoon, carve or draw the symbols for Health, Harmony, and Love onto the handle of the spoon. Visualize these things for your family, while you light a white candle for Purity, Truth, and Sincerity. Say, “With this spoon I stir Love, Health, and Harmony, into our food”. Keep saying and visualizing until you feel it is done.

BLENDER :

Mingling with others, Stirring up energy

COOKBOOK :

Book of Shadows, Excellence, Virtue

COOKIE TIN :

Sweet things in life, Pleasure
CRISPER :

Invigoration and Restoration
CUPBOARDS :

Savings, Supplies, Providence
DISH TOWEL :

Stricture, Determined precision
DISHWASHER :

Leisure, The Water Element, Convenience
DRAIN :

Troubles, Burdens, Bad habits
DRAWERS :

Hidden matters, Material goods
FOOD WRAP :

Prudence, Conservation, Control, Secrets
FORK :

Piercing, Penetrating, Perception
FUNNEL :

Flow, Unhindered order, Coaxing energy along
KNIFE :

Cutting away, Sharpness of mind, Separation
MEASURING CUP :

Evaluation, Allotment, Caution
MICROWAVE :

Acceleration, Legal expedition
OVEN :

Passion, Fertility, Fire Element
OVEN BURNERS :

The Four Directons/Elements
OVEN FAN :

The Air Element, Movement, Clearing vision
PITCHER :

Abundance, Invigoration, Refreshment
REFRIGERATOR :

Cooling temper, Preservation, Protection
ROLLING PIN :

Discipline, Moderation, Control
SIFTER :

Sorting out confusion, Organization, Filtering negativity
SPATULA :

Sensibility, Recycling, Changing directions
STEAMER :

Slow processes, Even temperament
TEA KETTLE :

Divination, Alertness, Kinship, Health
THERMOMETER :

Observations Skills, Analysis
WHISK :

Excitement, Increasing bounty
WINDOW :

Winds of change, Refreshment, Vital energy

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Let’s Talk Witch – Being A Kitchen Witch

Let’s Talk Witch – Being A Kitchen Witch

 

People have often asked me, what is a Kitchen Witch. I really have been unable to give an answer to that question because the defination of a ‘Kitchen Witch’ is an ever evolving thing.

The kitchen, in my mind, is one of the rooms which symbolize a certain cense of family. When I think of the word ‘Kitchen,’ images of a family sitting down to a nice dinner come to mind. Or, I think of the wife who makes a loaf of bread, kneading the dough with firm, tender loving movements.

It doesn’t really matter what kind of image one has of a kitchen, tho. Just as long as an image comes to mind.

If a Witch asks themselves, “Do I incorperate my witchcraft (the magic, and the worship) to include things associating with the kitchen?” and answers the question by saying, “Yes,” then, that is a good example of a kitchen witch. One can easily find magic spells that involve cooking, or other items associated with the kitchen. Making a magical tea out of certain ingredients to serve someone is a good example of what most people think of when the term Kitchen Witch comes into play.

However, to me, there is much more to being a witch than casting spells. Just the same, there is more to being a Kitchen Witch, than making magical brews and foods. The magic is only a small part of this.

As a witch, there are certain things that I hold in high reguard when dealing with the craft. Spending time with the Goddess and the God, the healing of the earth, and celebrating the tides of nature are also large parts of my images of what being a witch is all about. And all these things can easily be applied to all facets of our lives, including what happens in the Kitchen.

It is just as easy to heal the earth inside the kitchen by recycling plastic egg cartons, and saving biodegradable food remains to be made into mulch, than it is to go outside and plant a tree. (And making mulch takes so much less energy, too.)

___________________________

There are many resources for Kitchen Witches available on the common market. Some of the books I would recommend, include:

The Urban Pagan; The Victorian Grimoire; and The Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook by Patricia Telesco

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs; The Magical Household, and The Magic of Incenses, Oils, and Brews: By Scott Cunningham.

Positive Magic :By Marian Weinstein

…just to name a few. (Note: Not all those books are meant specifically for the Kitchen Witch, however, some have general themes that do go hand in hand with my image of what a Kitchen Witch is, does, and believes.

TO BE A WITCH

Witchy Comments
TO BE A WITCH

To be a witch is to love and be loved.
To be a witch is to know everything, and nothing at all.
To be a witch is to move amongst the stars while staying on earth.
To be a witch is to change the world around you, and yourself.
To be a witch is to share and give, while receiving all the while.
To be a witch is to dance and sing, and hold hands with the universe.
To be a witch is to honor the gods, and yourself.
To be a witch is to be magick, not just perform it.
To be a witch is to be honorable, or nothing at all.
To be a witch is to accept others who are not.
To be a witch is to know what you feel is right and good.
To be a witch is to harm none.
To be a witch is to know the ways of old.
To be a witch is to see beyond the barriers.
To be a witch is to follow the moon.
To be a witch is to be one with the gods.
To be a witch is to study and to learn.
To be a witch is to be the teacher and the student.
To be a witch is to acknowledge the truth.
To be a witch is to live with the earth, not just on it.

To be a witch is to be truly free!

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Raising a Kitchen Witch From Scratch

Raising a Kitchen Witch From Scratch

Author:   Seba O’Kiley  
“In fact, people who posses not magic at all can instill their home-cooked meals with love and security and health, transforming ingredients and bringing disparate people together as family and friends. There’s a reason that when opening one’s home to guests, the first thing you do is offer food and drink. Cooking is a kind of everyday magic.” — Juliet Blackwell
When I was wee, I stayed with my Grandma quite a bit. She was my mentor, my teacher, my “other momma” and augmented my kitchen learnin’ in her own natural way. Her grapevines were teaching tools, as in: grow them slow, water daily, “feel” their skin for trouble and dry them, molasses-slow-like, in the hottest rays of the sun–then rest them in cool niches for storage. (Her own aunties were down-home wine makers over around Elk River, Alabama. We didn’t talk about that much.) Grandma was rightly specific about the element of touch when it came to process. I can still smell her favorite peach stand on Highway 72–that cloying, somehow musky aroma that smacks of pies and late afternoon sun and where all the best “picked anything” sat on rough wood shelves. The memory that resonates the most is:
Dusky, bruised pink horizon slung low under an already indigo sky . . . fireflies dancing in the dim outline of pines . . . and there, off the highway, a brightly lit “farm stand” called her name. A kitchen witch’s dream, complete with roughshod tables, sawdust floors, jams and jellies glimmering purple, red and golden under the hum of precariously hung light fixtures. And the process: her hand reaching out to melons, tomatoes, cucumbers, feeling the texture, feeling for a soft spot indicating hidden rot, running her chewed fingernails across the microscopic hairs of peaches and okra. I think I finally understand now, all these decades later, what she was teaching me back then. We were feeling our way through choices that otherwise might have been mislead by labels, presentation or advertisement.
If Paganism is the “Old Religion, ” then the cooking that we do down here in the Deep South is the “Old Kitchen Witchery.” It is marked by a disregard of measurements, tasting each and every step, burning our fingers and palms and tongues in our refusal to disconnect from each and every sacred step and the rustic presentation of soul-satisfying suppers. It is the art of seed preservation, pickling, canning, growing, sowing, harvesting and frying or simmering in hundred-year-old, seasoned iron skillets. It is the unabashed reverence for home and hearth, community and family and a well-fed body. For that, y’all, we need to feel our way.
Perhaps this is why we tend to keep our recipes within the family, pass them down in grease-stained books and reminisce on the soul who crafted it when its spell weaves its way onto our tables. They represent the sacred process, the sacred thump of someone’s divine presence in the realm of the living. Sometimes, that process was a journey as a momma. Sometimes, that process is the struggle through an economically crippling period of life. Most times?
Sustenance. Pure and simple.
One night, my grandma had suffered my whining on about being “hongry” about all she could. Before I knew it, flour was sifting through the air, butter was being melted slowly in a pot and cocoa met sugar across the plane of the most delicate crust, rolled and sliced like buns. Little more than pantry items had conjured themselves into a little soul food for her grandchild–and I never forgot the story with which I sopped it all down. Seems that, in the Depression, treats like Poptarts and Little Debbie cakes weren’t within the reach of chubby child fingers (imagine my shock) forcing mommas across the land to get a might creative. Love. Simple and sweet. Love manifested itself out of bare pantries and broken pocketbooks and landed on the tongues of country younguns and lit their hearts like butter on a biscuit.
Sacred process.
Is that not an oral tradition? In more ways than one? Stories, legends, legacies weaving from farm to table, ancestors to children, echoing their way through time in fatback and the juice of the perfect peach, sliding down sticky Alabama fingers. I hear her voice every time touch a peach. I feel her warmth with every stir of a wooden spoon. I know my own thread in the tapestry as I write, by hand: pinch of salt, an egg or two (depending on their girth) , serves ’round six if fin they ain’t that ravished. Now, if that doesn’t represent tradition, the creek’s done gone dry and the fish have flopped uneaten on red clay.
And catfish is what’s for dinner tonight, y’all. (The Southern Fried Initiate/Daughter hankered for it and I plan to feed that sweet flesh of hers. Right after I teach her how to batter it, just so, with buttermilk and stone ground yellow meal.)
I reckon’ that night at the Limestone County Farm Stand taught me most of what I needed to get by in life. Lessee:
1. Support your locals. This builds a foundation for the community and helps sustain all in the circle.
2. Local sustenance tastes sweeter, brighter and fosters a connection between the dirt between our feet and the neighbor waving howdy from the yard.
3. Eating locally works in healing ways. Local honey can ease yor’ allergies. Backyard flowering vegetation is safer in a pollination drift.
4. Rotted fruit is best in the compost heap, so as it can be recycled into an element of growth.
5. Growing things your own self nurtures a sense of pride, wholeness and is sustainable for your wallet and the cheapest Prozac in town. (Get yor’ hands in the dirt. I guarantee that the cucumbers won’t be the only things fruiting soon.)
6. Share healthy seed, extra sprouts, bushels of harvest, recipes, preserves and suppers. Believe it or not, there is ALWAYS room for another set of feet under a table.
7. Thank the universe, and yor’ local farmer, for the bounty. Divine process made that dinner. Hit knees, bless sustenance and grab a fork.
8. Pay it forward. Share those potions and tricks to ward off caterpillars, aphids and rabbits. Get over to some soul’s house and help build that chicken house. (Good energy out, good energy in. This is true building of a community, y’all. And you never know when a wolf might blow YOUR house down. Re-read “Stone Soup.”)
9. Barter. Money sure ain’t everything, and in fact, it doesn’t represent much at all. Got a bushel of banana peppers, but sure would like some cayenne? Are you one helluva seamstress, but need someone who tinkers on cars? Well, skip the government taxes and get to trading! (This is a lost art in our community and one of the most Pagan things you can do.)
10. Revel, wildly and hopelessly, in the tastes and smells and textures of our sweet Mother Earth. We all think too damn much. Feel your way. Feel the grass beneath your toes. Feel the energy traversing through the veins of a spinach leave, the sweet burst of tomato seed, the vinegar tart of a pickled pear. We are so short for this world. What blasphemy do we enact when we forget to commune with it all?
Imagine, for one moment, if Gran hadn’t stopped there on Highway 72 with that young wile chile?
Kitchen Witchery: The art of sustaining legacy, legend, community and family through the sacred process of communion with Mother Earth. Produces magic, healthy bodies, balanced minds and promotes sustainability in all realms.

Serves . . . .
All of us.
Aho.
Seba


Footnotes: This post first appeared at Southernkitchenwitch.com on August 12th, 2012.

A Witch Is…

Witchy Comments=
TO BE A WITCH

To be a witch is to love and be loved.
To be a witch is to know everything, and nothing at all.
To be a witch is to move amongst the stars while staying on earth.
To be a witch is to change the world around you, and yourself.
To be a witch is to share and give, while receiving all the while.
To be a witch is to dance and sing, and hold hands with the universe.
To be a witch is to honor the gods, and yourself.
To be a witch is to be magick, not just perform it.
To be a witch is to be honorable, or nothing at all.
To be a witch is to accept others who are not.
To be a witch is to know what you feel is right and good.
To be a witch is to harm none.
To be a witch is to know the ways of old.
To be a witch is to see beyond the barriers.
To be a witch is to follow the moon.
To be a witch is to be one with the gods.
To be a witch is to study and to learn.
To be a witch is to be the teacher and the student.
To be a witch is to acknowledge the truth.
To be a witch is to live with the earth, not just on it.

To be a witch is to be truly free!

Kitchen Witches Do It Root Up

Kitchen Witches Do It Root Up

Author: Seba O’Kiley

Not too long ago, I was thinking about the idea of “selfishness.” As a Kitchen Witch, and as a Southerner, it is not in my nature to be selfish. After all, I provide sustenance and healing energy to my tribe, show up to a neighbor’s house with casseroles after a loss and am surrounded by other Southerners who would hand you the shirt off of their backs. I never forget a birthday and will sit in my rocking chair on the front porch until the wee hours of the morning to lend an ear if someone is in pain. Raised in a primarily Christian state, it was impressed upon me as a young child that to be selfish is a sin–but here’s where the equation gets a bit slippery. I’m Pagan. I’m a Hereditary Witch. It occurs to me often to ask: where’s the line between the concept of selfishness and the preservation of legacy? The answer comes back to me, more and more lately, as simply this: when the gift is demanded.

Let’s say your great auntie had a recipe for peach cobbler. Now, she finally taught you said recipe under an oath of secrecy, or if you are Pagan, an Oathe of Secrecy (big deal, y’all) . You get inundated at the football tailgate, somewhere between the cheese ball and the crescent rolls, with plaintive pleas for the recipe.

Do you:

A. Smile with restraint, hand it over, worry over it all the way home and never bring the dish back?

B. Throw a hissy fit, storm out, then have your husband tell everyone it was the “change?”

C. Thank them for their compliments, but graciously say “no” until they stop asking?

That depends. Are you going through the change? Sounds like the only fun to be had, then. (Make it a good one, though. Think Scarlett O’Hara. They’re never having you back, anyway. Stomp, wail and take off your brassiere yelling “yeehaw” on the way out the door. Then call me and we’ll have a good guffaw over a glass of wine.)

I pick C every time. There are Oathes in our practice that preempt all politeness, and my friend RB always says when someone stops being polite to you, all bets are off. Like all other situations in life, if you Oathe something you just stepped all the way into the water. In the South, this equivalates to baptisms, consecrations or anointings and there’s no way out but death. I grew up specifically in Alabama, but have lived around the South a bit, too, and one sure-fire promise you never break is the blessed transference of a hereditary recipe. Sharing is in the food, not the preparation — and if folks act a fool about it, take their fork away.

Now, sometimes the reason something is secret is simply because it’s always been. Some of us do not relish the thought of losing the sacredness of an oral tradition and the history it protects. Other times, it’s simply because we swore on it and that’s good enough. Occasionally, though, it’s due to the nature of the transference. My Grandma thought me to be of sound spirit, a good heart and a natural spoon-hand, but she also relied upon my respect for the old ways. She counted on the fact that I would rather wax my nose hairs than let someone put walnuts or clove in her cobbler–thereby keeping a dish that her own momma whipped up in one divine, pure, peachy piece. Perhaps she was protecting its simplicity and possible criticisms, or perhaps she was preserving the whisperings of a matrilineal cooking heritage: hand-over-hand, steam and thick, molasses love. That moment cannot be handed out on a three by five card, y’all. Wouldn’t come out the same, anyway.

I have a sister-friend who loves several things I create: dark chocolate, hazelnut torte, brown sugar, bacon sweet potatoes and homemade honey and ginger ricotta. I have offered her, as she is my sister and as I invented these dishes my-own-self, the recipes. She has graciously declined. Her feeling on it is thus: wouldn’t come out the same. I plan to teach her son, thereby insuring a new hereditary cooking line as well as her own culinary satisfaction when I’m long gone. (See my posts on adopted family and being Cherokee.) That being said, about a month of Sundays ago she asked me to teach her how to make gravy. Not just any gravy, but the one I Divine with wine or brandy, a little bacon grease, a smidge of sugar and thyme. It took only about twenty minutes over her cast iron cauldron, but with a little hip swinging and a helping of giggles, gravy came into being on her stovetop. The difference between handing a recipe down and handing it over is simple: being present. Stirring and chopping to the sound of heartbeats and the warmth of camaraderie. Can’t buy or steal that, folks. Gotta’ inherit it proper. Camenae DeWelles did it with an Oathe to only transfer that moment to family. Imagine the blasphemy of disregarding that form of magic?

No, skip the eternal damnation of your soul and just pick C. Or B, as I do dig a good full-tilt-boogie in-your-face slap-down. But do the right thing. You see, kitchen witchery has a full set of other ancestors to consider. Mine, for instance hails a little Cherokee/Celt/Christian/Southern, but also holds to other rituals and precepts outside of the kitchen. As a Kitchen Witch (since about 1970) , I am perplexed and saddened at concepts of our craft as only “domestic” and find those considerations to be at best ignorant of our heritage. While there is nothing belittling about the term “domestic, ” it simply does not accurately encapsulate our craft in all of its amorphous facets. A true Kitchen Witch is always already Pagan somewhere in his/her bones and most often has farming knowledge, garden experience, merchant proficiency, story-telling and humanity enough to eclipse any diplomat. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, folks, and the heart of the home is the kitchen. My Celt, and my Cherokee, ancestors knew one thing to be true: if no one eats, no one fights, no one lives. (And nothing beats down an unruly dog or unwelcome visitor like an iron skillet. Or a butcher knife.) No, we are often just a bit underestimated and that’s just how we like it. But just for fun, and no Oathe breakin’, how about:

I plant by the moon. Every single time. This requires a steady knowledge of the phases, the seasons, inter-planetary space, meteorological cycles and celestial bodies. Later, all of this will taste one way or the other in my herbs, eggplant and peppers, depending.[1]

I utilize scientific ratios for minerals, water, sun and fertilizers to grow my garden. Slip that one up, and you end up with pumpkins that won’t fruit. (An overworked witch is a civilian, at best.) [2]

I consider the spiritual nature of my plants. How are they placed? Do you have a table set out in their circle from which they can draw upon your laughter? Are their roots well-tended, protected, fed, aerated?

I utilize every bit of the plant, root to fruit. No man is left behind. We have made burning men/women out of old vine, crumbled dried tomato leaf in jars for craftwork and cooked squash flowers in garlic butter. The impulse is both Cherokee and Celt, although I have known ancient Cherokee woman to pray before a plant as prelude to the reaping.[3] Blessed be.

And then, garden aside, we have process:

I bless my knife, my spoon and my food. Comfortable clothes and bare feet are usually requisite measures to insure good standing in my kitchen while music plays, soft and acoustic over candles and a glass of port wine. A good Kitchen Witch clears her mind, her metaphysical space and her counter before calling in this kind of magic. She/he considers everything from the temperature of the room to the speed of the wind outside of the window before cutting nary a stalk of celery. It’s a heavy responsibility, this fuel of the soul and body of family and friends; it is, in effect, the lifeblood of the human heart. I believe in transference, and ain’t nothing good ever come of transferring slop into life. (Except maybe a pig. But even then . . . best consider the desired taste of your bacon.)

As to transference, it’s a “root-up” kind of magic. While I teach top-down (moon phases, how they affect life cycles, why moon flowers open only at night, how their seed must be planted in the waxing phase, etc.) , I cast root-up. A good Kitchen Witch understands the paradox of utilizing pre-existing energy (reduce, reuse, recycle) from the ground on which she/he stands. Attempting to cast top-down is, as my oldest mentor taught me, playin’ God. Everything that goes up must come down, and until we are not, we are physically on this plane of existence. To be a little crass, my sister-friend likes to put it like this: you just can’t go down on that. My molecular energy, among other metaphysical things, desires and aligns to that which is around itself. Bungee cords are fine–but first one must climb the ladder. Everything else is EGO, plain and simple, and nothing shoves its fist up spirituality like that bitchy beast. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; therefore my work begins at home. Call me domestic, if you will, but mundane? Naw, shuga. It’s the ontology of the craft. Labeling kitchen witchery as simply “domestic” shrugs off its inherent roots of potion-making, world-leveling potential.[4] No one messes with a cook who boils her bones, every time, and dances with a knife called an athame. Not if they know what’s good for ’em.

The rest is, well, secret. I took an Oathe a long time ago with butter on my tongue and a kitchen towel tucked into my dress for a napkin. It was about the only thing I inherited, and I’ll be damned if I’m handing that out like candy. Hereditary cooking is akin to hereditary teaching: we do not go all Sophist on that number.[5] You won’t catch me teaching the Secrets on an open forum simply because it’s sacrilegious to my heritage. Plato and Socrates would be proud at this “purist” notion of keeping the flies out of the ointment, I believe, and I’m damn certain my Grandma would agree with them. While I dearly value, respect and honor other traditions and the folks who follow them, I hold mine tight to my chest so that it beats with my heart. A hereditary anything refuses to hand over that indelible legacy simply because it wouldn’t be polite to do otherwise. Why, I don’t find it very Southern for anyone to ask me to do so.

But that won’t stop me from defending my heritage. My kin never did place much value in monetary goods, but Laws, we did in our traditions. You see, there are folks out there that understand friendship or cordiality as something owed and paid out in material increments or measurable checks and balances. Sad to think, isn’t it, that these souls walk around and never understand that words like “I love you” or time spent waxing long on a telephone about their children, their worries, and their hopes were always already goods. When those folks demand payment that they can see, say, a recipe on a card, this means that they missed the point. It was always in just the sharing of the cobbler, ‘specially if you got it handed to you by a Kitchen Witch. She got that from her Grandma.

We are taught right slap out of the word “mine” when we are small.[6] It’s not nice. You aren’t sharing. Hand that over to Susie right now. Let me tell y’all something secret here: some things are yours. Some things are sacred and sweet and without it, your heart won’t be right. I don’t share my man, my skivvies, nor my Hereditary Inheritance.[7] If there is such a thing as sin, it’s in the asking of these precious treasures. It’s vampiric in the truest sense of the word. Naw, I pee all around those trees and keep my leg down around ‘yorn.

But I will offer you my time, my love and a sweet, buttery piece of cobbler.

Blessed Be,

Seba


Footnotes:
[1] For the delicious science and history of the art, read the article here: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/07/0710_030710_moongarden.html

[2] Regretfully, I learned this one the hard way. Last spring, exhausted from planting, I confused my watermelon seed for pumpkin, thereby planting pumpkin in late March. When the aphids landed, I fell horribly from grace and in a shameful moment of weakness declared “war” by the use of Sevin dust. Neither of these sins will be repeated by the Southern Kitchen Witch. Ever.

[3] My little tribe is a wild Southern hybrid of Celt and Cherokee. At Mabon, cornhusk dolls nestle neatly next to Green Man wreaths on the table. Amen.

[4] See the etymology of the word at: ttp://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=domestic

[5] Plato had strong views on the transference of the art of rhetoric to unethical practitioners. I strongly disagree with the Sophistic disregard for form and ethics. Marina McCoy writes that: “Plato differentiates [the sophist and the philosopher] by the philosopher’s love of the forms and his possession of moral and intellectual virtues. However, because sophists do not even acknowledge that the forms exist, the philosopher is separable from the sophist only from the viewpoint of the philosopher. From the sophist’s viewpoint, a philosopher is merely a deficient sophist.” McCoy, Marina. Plato on the Rhetoric of Philosophers and Sophists. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2008: 111.

[6] It tears my soul up a little to think that, especially as Pagan parents, we don’t allow a little “mine” in a child’s life. To grow up believing that everything is up for grabs cannot be good for their sweet souls and is a direct violation of their personal rights. Rather, I would like to see a parent correct them if ownership is in question, then remind them of all those lovely things that are, in fact, their own. This is particularly crucial when dealing with female babes. Think about it.

[7] Hereditary recipes and their sharing has to do with friendship and family. But as my momma has pointed out, when you are at a function and someone is judging you by your shoes, you just go on and tell them you made that lemonade (and skip the part about Country Time Lemonade and some sliced lemons for good measure.)

The Path of the Earth Witch

The Path of the Earth Witch

 

The path of the Earth Witch most closely resembles that of a Kitchen Witch or a Green Witch. It is grounded in the home and family. Whether gardening, cooking or cleaning, the Earth Witch brings magic into her life at its simplest level. She becomes one with the Earth. The Earth Witch accepts that everything she does is a reflection of the cycle in nature, down to the cell multiplications in her body, and she considers all of it to be magical. She fully understands the mysteries of the Earth.

In almost all religions traditions and mythologies, humans sprang forth from the Earth. The Earth allows us to draw energy from it and to return that energy to it. It cleanses us by its very presence. We may purge into the Earth any negative vibrations that bother us, and we can depend on it to do a thorough job of cleansing them away.

The Witch who follows the element of earth is similar to the Kitchen Witch in her use of herbs and magic in the kitchen as well as her affinity for “home-grown” magic and simple folk magic. The Earth Witch incorporates magic into the spice additions and stirring patterns of the majority of meals she prepares in her home.

The Earth Witch relates to the path of the Green Witch in that they both often are gardeners. It is not unusual to find Earth Witches with statues and beautiful rock formations in their gardens. They decorate them in much the same manner as they do their homes. Often, they tend their edible gardens the closest, while courting the favor of the gnomes to watch over their more delicate plants.

The Earth Witch views her home as an extension of the Earth in every way; it is like her own personal slice of the Earth. The kitchen is a direct extensions of the garden and therefore of the Earth.

The Earth Witch specializes in protection magic, past-life discovery, prosperity and fertility. She trains to hold herself closely to the honors of the Earth by recycling and practicing eco-magic. She often is very frugal and prefers to make the things that she can rather than buy them. She can usually make her own cleaning products, candles, and all types of herbal remedies. From healing teas to lice treatments, the Earth Witch understand that the magic is within the Earth itself and within her. She knows exactly which herb to prescribe to cheer you up or relax you. Herbs are her special course of study.

The Earth Witch lives in a world where every knife is a potential athame and every glass a chalice. While she does perform more formal rituals, for the most part she keeps things informal and constant. She holds her path close to her heart and has no illusions about how grand magic can be. She knows that it takes work. She is grounded in reality.
The Earth Witch views spirit as a part of her and everything she does. She accepts that spirit lives within everything in existence. Because her view of spirit is so all-encompassing, she understands that not all things have rational explanations. However, she is the first to try to find a scientific explanation before chalking up an experience to something “supernatural.” While she easily accepts the existence of spiritual conjurations and the like, she does not do so blindly. She keeps her mind open.

Through the Earth Witch is often perceived as boring or a homebody, she stands on a foundation that is unshakable. If you are friends with an Earth Witch, you have a true friend. She has a very nurturing and protective quality and is loyal and dependable.

Deity of the Day for Jan. 5 – BEFANA

BEFANA

Befana Fair (Italy)
 
Themes: Overcoming Evil; Wisdom
Symbols: Broom; Horns; Hag Poppets
 
About Befana: Befana is the Italian crone goddess. Call on her for wisdom and guidance through the other eleven months of the year. Because she has lived a long life, her astute insight will serve you well. Today is her festival day in Italy, celebrated with horns, noise makers, songs, and music. These loud sounds drive out evil and mark the passage of winter’s darkness out of the region.
 
To Do Today: Have any children in your life follow the Italian tradition of leaving Befana a broom to fly on and a gift basket. According to legend, Befana rewards this kindness with little gifts in stockings much like Santa Claus.
 
Find a “kitchen witch” at a gift shop and hang it up near the hearth to welcome Befana’s wisdom into your home.
Or, take a broom clockwise around your house, sweeping inward toward a central spot to gather her beneficent energies.
To protect your home for the rest of the year, use a kazoo or other noise maker (pots with wooden spoons work well). Go into each room and make a loud racket saying,
 
All evil fear! Befana is here! Away, away, only goodness may stay.
 
If your schedule allows, make a poppet that looks like an old woman. Fill it with dried garlic, pearl onions, and any other herbs you associate with safety. Keep this near the stove or hearth to invoke Befana’s ongoing protection.
 
 
By Patricia Telesco

Cooking Dinner Does Not Make You a Kitchen Witch

Cooking Dinner Does Not Make You a Kitchen Witch

Author: Deborah

I spent my twenties fighting against who I really was in oh so many ways. I didn’t want to be a kitchen Witch. I thought that was the least impressive, most Holly Hobby branch of magic there is.

You have to picture me from ten years ago: I’m constantly listening to NIN! I wear boots with sparkly laces to my corporate gig! I’m thrashing around on top of tables pumped full of piss and goldschlagger! I’m trying to break glass ceilings! I’m smoking cigars with the boys! I’m demanding my place at the occult table at occult events! I’m getting tats! I’m going through Shamanic trials! I’m punk rock and . . . you want me to bake a cake? Really? Really?

So I fought against it for while, which is why I wasn’t terribly successful in my own personal magic for quite some time. Somewhere around 27? 28? I started really embracing it. Once I bought my own home, my own hearth, I *really* started embracing hearth Witchery. I had the tools all along, it turns out. I just needed to know how to use them.

When I first started blogging, I wanted to bff (best friends forever!) a variety of people in the magical world. But let me be honest, most of all I wanted to befriend fellow kitchen Witches. Sisters/brothers unite! Let’s get some spit, blood, hair, dirt, and basil and get this party started!

But I didn’t find too many. I Googled. I tried tracking down people. I tried a lot of different key words. Honestly, I found a lot of people who claimed to be kitchen Witches, but in scanning their blogs all I generally found were recipes and chatter about their kids. Now, there’s nothing wrong with any of that, but there are some flaws to it.

What Doesn’t Make You a Kitchen Witch Per Se (in my opinion) :

A recipe isn’t magical in and of itself. Just dumping a bunch of recipes on your blog doesn’t make you a kitchen Witch anymore than it makes Wolfgang Puck a kitchen Witch. If you said I use honey in my Chocolate Lavender Mousse to sweeten my mother-in-law towards me because she’s a complete bitch on wheels to me by that point in the meal or I put menstrual blood in my spaghetti sauce so my husband still thinks I’m dropping it like it’s hot even when I’m tired and in sweats, rock! Those are magical acts. Bring on the recipes!

Having children. While yes, it is a very specific way to mark your transition into motherhood (sometimes) , kids don’t really make you a practicing magic type person any more than it makes SuperNanny Mary Poppins. Things that would: Using magic to help soothe a baby/get a baby to sleep (I will only slightly guiltily confess to having done this before) , protection magic, detailing tiny rituals you do with your kids.

Being a Homemaker. I do very much think that unpaid labor in the home needs to be appreciated and ideally compensated (please see here for more clearly articulated thoughts on the matter, it’s applicable for both mono/poly people) , but it’s a job. And just like going to work in an office is not a magical act in and of itself, neither is taking care of your home. If you were talking about cleaning/organizing in a magical blog and discussing how to be more green (because we need to take care of Mother Earth of course and she’s a goddess in and of herself) , discussing what oils you use to scent your house and why, what you do to keep the house spiritually/magically clean, rock on.

What Qualifies You as a Kitchen Witch/Hearth Wo/man/Someone Who Does Hedge-Like Magic (in my opinion) :

If the Personal is Political, then the Every Day is Magical. Look, you don’t have to cast +5 magic every time you make hotdogs for dinner on a Tuesday night. But what can you be doing in your every day life in your hearth to make it more magical? Smudging with sage every few days to clear out the energies? Spray bottling your bed with a water based mist you made that has come to me oil in it? Choosing your cooking herbs based on magical purposes? Go crazy.

Deb’s Example Rite for Making the Every Day Magical: I had been hemming and hawing about starting my current novel because (a) I’ve never finished writing one and (b) it’s a little silly in a genre that’s already a little silly. But it came to me in a dream and it feels right. So I started by not just slap dashing it together, I took my time. I did research on names, other books in the genre, brainstormed and I made a mood board for it. When I knew it was time to start writing, I wanted it started right. I wanted my surroundings perfect, like giving birth (which is what I do with writing) . I made sure my house was clean, went to brunch (appropriate for the kind of novel it is) and then I put on mood music and wrote. When I finished the beginning, I sealed it with eating a really posh chocolate (salted dark chocolate with balsamic and caramel) from the best chocolatier in NJ, which was also appropriate for my novel’s genre. It wasn’t about me putting together a mojo bag in this case; it was about choosing my actions carefully and doing everything with intent. There would have been nothing wrong with making a mojo bag, but it was more important in this situation to write in a magically charged environment for me to get this show on the road.

Get a Base Education in the Lower Arts. Yeah, yeah, you like to put on your robes and call on all the archangels and whatever. Cool. But sometimes for whatever reason, you’ll need to know how to do things quick and dirty, so learn how. Learn what salt and kitchen herbs can do for you, learn about mojo hands and honey pots and spirit bottles. I recommend of course the incomparable cat yonwode’s Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic as your Idiot’s Guide. Test yourself if you’re super structured magically, pretend a friend needs a fertility charm tonight and you need to get to her just using stuff around your house. What do you do?

Get a Base Education in House Wifery. Some men back in the day got married because they had no clue how to take care of themselves. While that’s not so common in this day and age, you still need a base education in house wifery to be a successful hearth wo/man. Thanks to most of the first world being a convenience culture, you may have been getting by on relying on take out, a dry cleaner, and a cleaning service. That’s all well and good, but you’re missing pieces you need to be a successful hearth wo/man. If you are missing any of these things, that’s okay, don’t feel bad about it. But a lot of people cry, ‘Oh I’m no good at it’! Or, I don’t know how! Ignorantia juris non excusat. Ignorance of the law excuses no one, so get to work. It won’t be perfect from the gate, but nothing is. Ask someone better versed for help, if you know someone. Worst case you burn a few casseroles and shred a few shirts; it’s no big deal. Even if you won’t use it for a while or ever (though you’d be surprised) , these are all good life skills to have that will translate over into your magical life. Think of them as Hearth Meditations.

Can you:
* Do your own laundry?
* Have your house clean enough to have your mother or mother-in-law or Miss Martha over without them making a face?
* Cook a dinner for yourself and others?
* Meal plan?
* Budget and financially plan?
* Be able to make a casserole quickly for an emergency?
* Host/ess a party?
* Know how to bake something from scratch?
* Know how to do your own grocery shopping that’s more than just “box food”?
* Know how to do basic clothing repair?
* Know what to bring as a hostess gift?
* Know how to conduct yourself socially at various social obligations?
* Know how to give yourself self-care?
* Know v. basic first aid?
* Know how to care for small children for a day?

It’s okay to have untargeted kitchen Witch practices. Look, I’m the first to say that some of my more focused practice is lacking. You don’t have to use every bread baking experience as a magical attempt to influence a situation. You can use it as a meditational practice and focus on the magic of the experience, that’s perfectly valid. Think about why whatever is you’re doing – baking, cooking, cleaning, sewing, whatever is a magical experience for you. This is a free form essay, you’re not being graded, whatever reason you have for it being a magical experience for you is right. There are things in everyone’s life I think (I hope!) that are magical to him or her but not targeted for results. It’s good to have and share those experiences too.

You need to know how to do this stuff. That does not mean you need to do it all the time. I had suggested a base education in house wifery, but that doesn’t mean that you’re responsible for it all the time in some kind of psychotic Valium laced Stepford scenario. I know how to do laundry, but my significant other does it in our household. If he ever said, do your own laundry, I could. If you know how to clean your house sparklingly clean but chose to not live in a constant Miss Martha police state, that’s okay. If it’s part of your strategy as a hearth Witch, well then you must be a clever kitchen Witch! My house would not pass Lakshmi inspection at all times (or really like 29 days out of the month) either. If you have the means to send out your laundry or order take out every night, rock out. You just need to know how to perform these functions should you ever need to. It’s sort of like knowing how to do long division. It’s good to know how to do by hand, but the gods made calculators for a reason.

Sometimes, simple is best. I suggested a basic practice in kitchen/hearth Witchery for people who work primarily in “higher” magic because like a proper dilettante, I believe in being well rounded. And frankly sometimes if you need to do something on the fly, it’s a lot easier to pour some salt into a bowl and spit into it than to do a long formal practice. I also think it’s good to know simple magic in order to be able to obtain simple things. You need fifty bucks to make your bills this month? You could do something v. formal or you could do something quick and get on with your life. Formal magic often requires a lot more time, energy, and effort. And there are certain things that are better suited to those practices, but you need a quick little something, low magic just seems like a better way to do so.

Furthering the math analogy, you may become so accustomed to Calculus and using a calculator to do so, you forget how to do basic level math. This is not going to help you when it’s your job to do bistro math for the table ’cause you’re the math chick and you left your cell phone at home.

Some of what I suggest needing to know may seem unnecessary and sort of Mr. Miyagi, but look at it from a kitchen Witch’s perspective: You claim to be a kitchen/hearth Witch, I’m supposed to trust you to do a love spell for me using hearth magic, but . . .you don’t know how to take care of your hearth which functions as your temple, your magical work space? Fill in your own mechanic/gyno joke here.


Footnotes:
http://www.polyamorousmisanthrope.com/2007/07/15/being-used/ – Article referenced in “Homemaker” section