Confessions of a Kitchen Witch
My Historical Kitchen in Florence, Italy
For lovers of the Medici, Florence, and the Renaissance
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I have never dabbled in the Occult, nor do I allow anything of that nature in my home. There is no hocus-pocus, no spells or incantations, no funny business.
Throughout history, people have documented paranormal activity. They have tried to explain the inexplicable with angels, demons, spirits of the dead, gods, aliens, or anything else their imaginations could conjure up. Science has successfully proven the existence of other dimensions beyond our own. Who knows what's out there?
Humans, however, are arrogant and vain creatures. To admit not knowing is to admit weakness, so people must invent something in order to have an answer for everything. It was true in ancient times and it is still true now.
I believe that our universe is so incredibly vast, so awesome, so beyond our comprehension that there are many things which cannot yet be explained. As an educated person, I try to look to Nature and Science for answers, but sometimes, these answers cannot be found. For example, some people have a sensitivity that is beyond normal; they can predict certain events before they happen via dreams or visions. Or perhaps they are more intuitive and perceptive than most.
Such is the case with me. Since childhood, I have had certain abilities that just came naturally. In addition to being unusually perceptive and intuitive, I have predicted events via dreams and visions and I have a knack for helping to heal others (both physically and emotionally).
For example, a few years ago the image of my sister's friend popped into my head and I simply knew she was pregnant. Both my sister and her friend live over 5000 miles away and I have not seen, nor spoken to my sister's friend in over 3 years. When I told my sister of my vision, she immediately called her friend and relayed the story. The girl was surprised and laughed, claiming she was not pregnant.
Two weeks later, my sister contacted me to let me know that her friend WAS indeed pregnant and did not know it. Curious about my vision, the girl had bought a pregnancy test and later confirmed it with a doctor visit. How did this happen? I did nothing to conjure up this vision, it simply came to me. I also predicted both of my sisters' pregnancies.
I do not claim to be a witch, nor do I take offense if I am called one. Long before the word "witch" had a negative connotation in our modern society, it was used to describe a wise woman or a healer.
The power these women held within their communities was no doubt an intimidation to men- keep in mind that most societies throughout history have been patriarchal. In order to demean female power and firmly establish all-male domination, witches were made to appear as evil, horribly tortured, and killed, thus conveniently eliminating the threat.
In college, my dorm-mates and many neighbors would come to me when they were sick. They were all struggling students and couldn't afford doctor visits or expensive medicine, so they came to see the "witch doctor" (that was the nickname they gave me). I would whip up something in my kitchen that would make them feel better.
When I met my husband here in Italy, he gave me the nickname of "Kitchen Witch" once he got to know me and my culinary / healing skills.
So what exactly is a Kitchen Witch? She is a Homemaker, a Domestic Goddess, a Diva of her Domain, a Mother, a Sister, and a Wife...She is the woman who cares for her loved ones to the best of her ability and keeps her home safe and clean. When I say clean, I don't just mean she gets rid of dirt and grime, but she also rids her home of negativity or harmful thoughts, feelings, etc. Remember, we are all beings made of energy and this energy can be transmitted from one person to another.
Everyone who enters my home is treated with great respect. I like to feed them well, and I am known for being an excellent and generous hostess. People have told me time and time again that my home is "welcoming" and very comfortable, which is why they feel at ease. I am the person my friends can call in the middle of the night if they are in serious trouble, and the shoulder that both friends (and acquaintances) feel comfortable crying upon when they are having problems in life and love. I always offer help and lots of good, practical advice (only if it is asked of me).
People sometimes ask me: what is in your kitchen?
There are usually lots of herbs & spices (dried and fresh), plenty of olive oil, garlic, onions, various types of hot peppers, various types of tea, rock salt (for cleansing and bathing) and fine salt, organic apple cider vinegar, lemons, and a good selection of wine. Many of these items are used to heal, not just to add flavor to food. I like to surround myself with organic materials like wood, stone and glass, and keep lots of plants (except cactus- I don't like them indoors). I like to burn incense and sage once in a while to "clear the air" (and rid my home of any cooking odors). I tend to store things in glass jars instead of plastic (I dislike synthetics). By keeping my kitchen as organic as possible, I feel more in touch with Nature.
I hate wall to wall carpeting and prefer wood, stone or terracotta floors. I don't own a vacuum, but rather, a good, sturdy old-fashioned broom. When I get a bit stressed out or problems arise, I sweep my home- especially my kitchen. By the time I'm done, I feel better and have a clear head and my home feels lighter. The physical act of sweeping is therapeutic because you are seeing the dirt being swept away. This act not only keeps my floors clean, but also rids the area of negative energy, which can be so harmful to your home if ignored. Your personal space is sacred. This is especially true of your kitchen, which is the beating heart of your home.
When I am sick, I immediately go into my kitchen and begin pulling out all the things necessary to heal my body. I make comforting soups and soothing elixirs (go ahead and call them potions if you have an overactive imagination). Speaking of elixirs, I remember one time when my husband's friend came to visit and admitted how nervous he was about the important interview he had the next day, which would determine his admittance into a prestigious university.
As he spoke, I went into my kitchen and instinctively began to mix things together in a tall glass. I handed him this concoction of lemon, pepper, honey and a few other ingredients- and I told him that if he drank it, he would no longer be nervous and that his tongue would know just what to say the next day. The poor guy closed his eyes and threw his head back, gulping down every last drop. The following day, he let us know that the interview went exceedingly well and a few weeks later he received his acceptance letter. Witchcraft? I think not. Positive energy and power of suggestion? Definitely! All I did was enable him to do well by making him believe in himself.
The kitchen is not only the place for health and healing, but there are at least a dozen beauty secrets hidden away there! Yogurt facial masks, chamomile tea eye compresses, olive oil for smooth knees and elbows, the list goes on and on...
Every woman can be a successful kitchen witch! Just pay close attention to Nature and bring as much of it as you can into your home. By doing this, you will not only feel and look better, the people around you will notice and also benefit from what you are emitting, which is positive energy, or Luz Branca.
As always, thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist