I received an email the other day from Anna at http://anasacredgrove.blogspot.com/ letting me know that she has bestowed upon me a wonderful blog award. I feel very privileged to be given The Dardos Stamp which is "bestowed for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."
For me this brings so many emotions, especially thankfulness. Due to many health issues, I was forced to quit working about a year and a half ago in an effort to gain my health back. It has been a struggle for us financially, but I can say that I am doing better in the health arena and have started looking for part time work again. Not in my field that I worked in prior to this, as it is just too stressful, but something in the retail area where I have more flexibility and low stress. Sorry, I kind of got off of the subject; I am most thankful for blogging, the many art and creative groups I've become a part of and Facebook. If I did not have these avenues of socialization, I think I would have gone crazy. They've opened up so many outlets for me, I truly believe that this is what helped me to gain some of my health back.
So, without further adieu, by the rules:
First, accept the award by posting it on your blog along with the name of the person that has granted the award and link to her blog.
Second, pass the award to another 10, 15 or 30 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgement, remembering to contact each of them to let them know they have been selected for this award.
I am honored to award with this Dardos Stamp to:
Angela Kennedy at http://pennystamper.blogspot.com/
Anna at http://www.frostedpetunias.blogspot.com/
Anglique at http://fortheloveofcreativity.blogspot.com/
Justina at http://www.labohememagique.blogspot.com/
Itkupilli at http://bohemianitkupilli.blogspot.com/
Wendy at http://blissangels.blogspot.com/
Little Messy Missy at http://reveau.blogspot.com/
Celina at http://scrapvamp.blogspot.com/
Mother Moon at http://mothermoonsmessage.blogspot.com/
Karen Valentine at http://mydesertcottage.blogspot.com/
You are equally special to me and it was so hard to choose from among the many blogs I follow.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Kitchen Witchery is a simple, eclectic Pagan practice that can pull its resources from a variety of religions and practices. It is does not involve a lot of ritual or set up; it is earth-based and focuses on hearth and home. The center of life for a Kitchen Witch is family, hearth and home. They may call themselves, Pagan, Wiccan or simply Witch. Often a Kitchen Witch can practice and perform their magick with very little notice or speculation from the outsiders because it is such a low-key practice. It’s not that they are hiding what they are; it’s just that there is not a lot of pomp and circumstance to what they do.
Kitchen witches use a variety of spells or resources to accomplish their means and desires; however, they tend to keep their roots firmly planted in anything that is earth and home-based. Spells involving stones, crystals, string or knot magick, candles, divining, use of the elements, herbs, essential oils and tea reading tend to make up the majority of his/her spell book.
Everyday kitchen items are used as altar or magickal items. A good example is a wooden spoon. The wooden for a Kitchen Witch is his/her wand; a cup or bowl becomes the chalice or vessel, kitchen knives used as athames; a broom can be used as a staff; and the crockpot (slow cooker) used as the cauldron. A shelf on the wall, a kitchen counter, a baker’s rack, table, or cutting board can be used as an altar. And, of course, what Kitchen Witch is without a mortar and pestle, none that I know. It is always best to use items made of natural materials such as straw for the broom or a wooden spoon; however, for items that do not come in natural materials, it is fine to use what is available. The Kitchen Witches’ magick comes from within not without. The following are some natural materials to keep in mind: glass, wood, metal, ceramics, and pottery.
Generally speaking, Kitchen Witches love to cook and love their kitchen. They take great pride in their food and recipes and will do nothing to jeopardize this. The Witch will imbue the foods with magick. This does not mean that they add some kind of foreign objects to the food or add anything that could be a potential health risk. Quite the contrary, they often use food to heal, to bring out emotions, or use it to bring people closer together. For example, a short incantation or prayer could be said over a simmering pot of chicken noodle soup to bring forth healing powers for the person who is intended to eat it. A practicing Kitchen Witch might also use foods or herbs for healing, beauty treatments, as protective spells around the home, or other such practices that go beyond just food. Cleaning is often a ritual of which they may have spells involving the use of a mop or broom, just as a Wiccan or Pagan will clean the space they use for rituals prior to doing a spiritual cleansing. I have a very set way that I clean my kitchen and at the end I use either sage or sweet grass to cleanse as I thank the Goddess and God for all their abundant blessings.
Symbols you will often find for the Kitchen Witch involve household items such as a cauldron, broom (besom), corn dollies, witch figurines and pentacle.
Generally, a Kitchen Witch honors Goddesses or feminine aspects because in the pastimes the kitchen was the responsibility of the woman (or women) of the household. The following are some common Goddesses associated with Kitchen Witchery:
Brigid, a Celtic goddess associated with fertility, creativity, marital arts and healing.
Hestia, the Greek Goddess of hearth, fire and family (Roman name is Vesta)
Hera, a Greek Goddess who is often thought to be the “mother” of the other Gods/Goddesses. She and Zeus were married and Hera is generally thought to be the Goddess of married women.
Hecate, this Goddess is often associated with wilderness and childbirth and is often thought to be a Greek Goddess.
The Kitchen Witch also works with the elements. There are 4 elements: earth, air, fire and water, however, many practices also consider a fifth element: spirit. A Kitchen Witch cooks which is an act that often utilizes all of the elements: water for cooking, heat (fire) for cooking, steam (air) from the food and the food (which comes from the earth). There are certain meals that can also be prepared that represent the 4 elements as well. Vegetables contain a lot of water and would represent water, meat or bread would represent earth and so on. Colors of foods can also represent the elements such as foods in red, orange and yellow would represent fire. There are so many different ways to represent the elements that it can be very fund and creative to find new ways to work with the elements this way.
In conclusion, the kitchen is the heart of the home and most often the place where all the family gathers; however, a Kitchen Witch will view the entire home and yard as a sacred space rather than having just one room that is designed or fitted for ritual.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
A Kitchen Witch can be defined as a Witch or Wiccan who does spells using food, herbs, crafts and kitchen utensils. This type of Witch does not cast a Circle while doing these spells. I have formed the opinion that as Kitchen Witches use their own power and the power inherent in their tools, rather than call for divine power or tap the energy around them; they don't need to use a Circle. Using the energy or power from within makes it less dangerous as the Witch is not opening herself to the outside.
The types of spells that I cast as a Kitchen Witch focus on what can be done in cooking a special dish. As I mix the ingredients together and prepare the food, I concentrate my own energies into the properties of the food. The Kitchen Witch uses her energy to enhance the food and in doing so, she imprints her purpose onto the food. The spell is 'activated' when the food is eaten. As the personal energy of the Witch is used, emotions are especially easy to impart. Healing and a sense of wellbeing can be very easy things to accomplish through Kitchen Witchery. However, if a Kitchen Witch feels frustrated with a particular dish or ingredient, these feelings can be transferred to the finished product. This is why a Kitchen Witch, or a good cook, will never cook an unfamiliar dish for a special occasion.
The kitchen can be the most important place in a home for a Kitchen Witch. My kitchen is most definitely the heart of my home. I do the majority of my spells in the kitchen, whether it is baking a cake for a family member’s birthday or make an herbal tea for a sick friend. You will find in my kitchen a glass bowl holding many little plastic bags of my apothecary herbs, herbs growing on my window sills, herbs hanging from my pot rack drying for use later, cookbooks galore, crystals, statues, a bakers rack filled with essential oils and the mundane things too. These items can be fairly standard in a Kitchen Witch’s kitchen.
Fruits and vegetables have special powers, just like essential oils. There are many lists in existence, which describe their powers but my tradition dictates that a Witch must discover them his/herself. This discovery can be a slow process as the Witch learns their uses through cooking and intuition. Each list will always be a little different anyway. For spices, their powers are similar to those in oils or incense.
Recipes are often handed down through families or from teacher to student. As they are highly personal, it is always an honor to receive a recipe from a Kitchen Witch. My family has many cookie recipes in particular that go back generations, along with many other recipes. You will find some of these recipes listed in my recipes section.