Getting Started as a Kitchen Witch
Kitchen witchery is a branch of witchcraft that works closely with the everyday tasks of life such as cooking and cleaning. Many kitchen witches also enjoy gardening growing herbs, vegetables and other plants that will be useful in their practice. The home is the centre of a kitchen witch’s practice and much of their work and magic is involved with creating a happy and balanced atmosphere and home life. Kitchen witchery is a flexible branch of the craft in that it can be combined with any religion, practised alongside worshipping hearth and home gods and goddess or kept separate from religion entirely.
In addition to these home-based activities, other practices commonly connected to kitchen witchery are those that help in caring for nature and mother earth. This aspect of practise can vary greatly depending on skills and resources available but may include:
- Repurposing old or unused items
- Buying locally grown or produced food
- Reducing waste
- Using environmentally friendly cleaning and body products
Although, many people think of cooking and keeping a home as a women’s domain there is no reason for this to discourage others who wish to work in this area of magic. This simple form of magic is a great choice for anyone who enjoys taking pride in their home and creating a warm, welcoming and positive environment regardless of gender. Age also need not be a defining factor in whether you practice kitchen witchery or not but may create differences in how your practice. For example: if you are young and still living with your parents or live in student accommodation you may not get to cook or create as much as you would like, but as with many things quantity does not necessarily equal quality. Conversely, an older person may have already raised a family and now be living alone and so feel that home-based magic does not suit them. However, this situation can come with its advantages in that you may have more time to commit to your practice or feel more comfortable working with potentially difficult or dangerous ingredients, such as those used in making soap. Kitchen witchery lends itself well to eclectic practices meaning that you can pick and choose which aspects fit well with your family and lifestyle rather than having to follow a prescribed set of rules. As with all witchcraft, your intent is your most powerful tool.
Practise of kitchen witchery can vary from witch to witch but often includes bringing magic into everyday tasks. Even the most mundane tasks can be used as a basis for creating powerful magic. Ideas for incorporating magic into your life and building a magical practice include:
- Household chores – perhaps using natural cleaners and herb infused waters
- Using seasonal and locally produced food
- Recycling, reusing and repurposing
- Creating and maintaining a kitchen altar
- Spell work, for example using herb or candle magic
- Being in tune with and following the cycles of nature and the seasons
- Drying herbs for cooking and magic
- Preserving food using methods such as pickling, canning and drying
- Casting magic for abundance, prosperity, harmony, health, well-being and protection
- Creating natural products such as shampoo, soap, floor washes and cleansing sprays
- Working with natural remedies such as herbal medicine, homeopathy and crystal healing
- Brewing teas, tinctures, salves and creams
- Sigil magic
- Working with poppets and sachets
When thinking about kitchen witchery many people automatically think of cooking meals or baking. Although cooking is likely to feature greatly in the work of a kitchen witch, it is important to remember that there is more to magical cooking than simply combining ingredients to create an edible dish. Kitchen witches work with the magical and healing properties of foods and combine these with their intent to infuse the food with magic, healing and positive energies. They are also likely to create teas, elixirs, tinctures, powders, salves and other healing and beneficial brews to aid or enhance the well-being of themselves, friends and family. Try not to feel put off by feeling that you are not a good cook or that you lack experience or particular ingredients. It is more important and effective to prepare a meal with loving intent and fresh humble ingredients than struggle with unfamiliar ones and feel rushed or stressed during their preparation. Your energy and intent during the preparation and cooking of ingredients is infused into the meal, making magical cookery a powerful and versatile form of spell casting. Therefore, the more relaxed and able to concentration on your aims, the more likely your magic is to succeed. Incorporating magic into food is a versatile method that can be as simple as seeping healing herbs fused with intent or tracing sigils onto food as you cook or before serving. Food magic can be combined with other forms of magic such as herbal, colour or candle magic.
Kitchen Witch's Garden
Even in a small space, it is possible to grow plants that will be beneficial to your kitchen witch practice. Herbs, flowers and some varieties of fruit and vegetable will grow happily in containers on a patio or balcony. Not only can your garden space give you somewhere to grow plants it can provide you with a tranquil and restorative place to spend your time. If space allows, your garden can also be used for spiritual practices such as yoga, meditation or reiki. Studies have also found that gardening has a great number of benefits for mental and physical health including improving depression and anxiety, reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.
By growing your herbs and food plants at home you can be sure that they are free from harmful chemicals such as pesticides or weed killers. You can also grow varieties that best suit your family and local climate rather than relying on imported foods. For example heavy cropping varieties can be great for making the most of small spaces and fast growing plants can be good choices in places with short growing seasons. If space allows you can follow the traditional method of growing in long straight rows of individual crops but there are other methods that you may wish to consider. If you cannot dig the ground pots, containers and raised beds can transform an area into one suitable for growing. If you have a small garden square foot gardening is a flexible method that is idea for productive growing in a small space. It can also be adapted for use in containers.
Throughout the growing process, from the initial sowing of the seeds right through to harvesting you can nurture your plants with love and positive energies. Many people also talk or sing to their plants as this is believed to have a beneficial effect on the plants health and growth. It is also thought that plant growth can be effected by music played close to them. If you are growing a plant with a specific use in mind you can begin infusing it with your intent right from the start. Reiki is also believed to be of benefit to growing plants.
A Kitchen Witch's Tools
If you have your own home it is likely that you already have many of the common tools of a kitchen witch. If not you may be able to borrow those from your family kitchen or if you prefer, buy your own. Tools do not need to be expensive or elaborate to be effective through many people believe that natural materials such as glass, wood and ceramic are best. You do not have to purchase items from specific pagan or witchcraft shops though you may wish to support pagan artists by buying their creations. The tools you need will vary depending on your focus. If you love to cook you may build quite a collection of tools, gadgets and ingredients whereas if you work a lot with natural remedies you are likely to need a stock of containers with good seals for storing herbs and oils, funnels, sieves, alcohols and a drying rack for herbs. Of course, many tools are multi-purpose, just take care that you are not using the same tools when working with edible and inedible ingredients. For example, it is sensible to have separate pestle and mortars for cooking and making incense to avoid contamination with non-edible ingredients.
Wooden spoons are often the first thought when thinking of magical cookery. These can be regarded as a kitchen witches wand and are used to transfer energy and intent into food as it cooks. A plain wooden spoon from any kitchen store is fine. You may like to choose a variety of sizes for use with different-sized pans, for example, one with a long handle for deep pans such as those used in making jam and other preserves. A broom, also known as besom is another common kitchen witch tool and has a range of folklore associated with it. You can use a traditional witch’s besom if you wish but a regular household broom can be used just as effectively. Brooms are used for cleaning and sweeping out negativity and stale energy. Many also regard them as a protective item that should be kept by the front door. In this case there are small besoms that can be bought or made and used and may be a more practical option.
When cleaning the home a kitchen witch may opt to use only natural products such as lemon juice and vinegar. They may also add herbs to water used in cleaning or that are associated with their magical intent at that time. For example rosemary can be used to bring protection to your home and herbs such as lemon balm and lavender are well-known for their calming properties. It is possible to create many natural cleaning product at home using everyday ingredients however, you can also buy many good quality products ready-made. These are becoming increasing common even in mainstream supermarkets or can be found in health food shops as well as online retailers.
Creating a Kitchen Altar
Like many witches, kitchen witches often keep an altar dedicated to deities, ancestors, spirits or elements depending on their personal beliefs and practice. This is not essential but if you do decide to create an altar it can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. This can be used as a place to store your tools, for creating remedies or as an area to add items relevant to your practice such as crystals, plants, element representations or candle holders and incense burners. If you combine religion with your practice of magic you can also include deity statues or symbolic representations. Altars can also be used to make offerings to gods and goddesses, the fae, elements, spirits, the universe or Mother Nature.
Some witches like to decorate their altars based on the seasons or upcoming sabbats. You may also like to add items that correspond to the type of cooking you are doing. For example, in the winter when we are more likely to be enjoying comforting hot foods or suffering from colds you may like to add items relating to this such as squashes, gourds, autumn leaves and herbs. A windowsill is commonly used as a kitchen altar space but your altar can be as large or small as you wish or space allows. Other ideas for kitchen altars include a shelf, a bowl or plate placed beside the cooker or unused space on top of an appliance or cupboard. When deciding where to place your altar it must be easily accessible, even if you do not plan to add to it or change the items regularly. This is because it is important to keep your altar clean and tidy to avoid stale or negative energies accumulating in your kitchen and potentially affecting you, your family and your magic.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Claire