We are well into November now, and the weather here is gorgeous. We have been taking advantage of these cooler temps to do a lot of baking, taking a little more time to make meals, especially on the weekends when we have extra time to get fancy. The days of BBQs and summer salads are behind us, and we are officially deep into stew season. I’m not an especially gifted cook, but I am a hell of a breadmaker, if I do say so myself, and I am always anxious to fire up the oven once the weather permits.
Daylight Savings was this past Sunday, and we all set our clocks back, so the evening has been falling a lot earlier. I am so excited to start whittling away at all the books in my To Be Read pile. I hope I’m not the only one who acquires books faster than I can possibly read them. But this is why I buy used whenever I can. And when it’s too cold and dark to do anything outside, that’s when I curl up with a book with a cup of tea on the side table and my dog’s big fat head snoring in my lap.
And this turn of the seasons is kind of the catalyst for today’s topic. I want to talk about Kitchen Witchery. I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really vibe with the idea of trying to cram your practice into one narrow niche or giving ourselves definitive labels, like kitchen witch, or eclectic witch, or forest witch, or what have you. I think many of us do trend toward maybe a specific aspect or kind of witchcraft if you will, but most of us sort of pick and choose from different aspects of witchness, and we blend those aspects together to form our own specific practices. And that’s so cool.
But we can certainly dive deep into these different definitions to tease out those little facets that speak to us and that we want to fold into our own practices. So that’s what we will be doing today with Kitchen Witchcraft. Now, you can go online and find a thousand different explanations and cute little graphics that describe what it means to be a kitchen witch, but for me it really comes down to witchcraft that is borne from the desire to create a peaceful home environment, that seeks to promote a harmonious sort of refuge from the outside world for a witch, in which she or he can create powerful magick or find solace, especially in times of external chaos.
If a witch has a family at home, then that’s fine, but if a witch does not, if a witch lives alone or still lives with their parents, or if a witch’s family does not support or condone witchcraft, the purpose of kitchen witchery is still the same. The haven that a witch creates can be meant for the witch alone. If a witch has a full time job, works outside the home, lives in a tiny apartment, doesn’t have a big, beautiful kitchen, whatever, kitchen witchery is still there to be drawn upon, to create that calm, comfortable environment.
So how do we use kitchen witchery to create this?
I have probably sung the praises of tea in nearly every episode. We could probably call this the middle-aged tea lady podcast and it would be dead-on balls accurate. But this is simply because tea is such an easy, accessible, AFFORDABLE, and effective form of witchcraft. Consider it: the very act of making tea is such a ritual. You’ve got to choose the blend you’re going to use, according to your own personal tastes and the properties of the herbs you’re trying to take advantage of. Even if it’s something as simple as a cup of chamomile before bed.
You’ve got to boil your water, steep your herbs, wait for it to cool a little bit, and then drink it carefully and with mindfulness. Stir a little honey into it, clockwise to draw in peace and restfulness, whatever you need or counterclockwise to banish stress or negativity or whatever you’re trying to release.
Teas are one of the most common potions that we as witches have access to. And this is a witch activity that we don’t need privacy for, we don’t have to hide it, we don’t have to cast a circle, we don’t have to wait for a moon phase, we can do this at any time of the day or night. I keep boxes of different kinds of tea at work. Sometimes, if it’s a particularly hellish week, having a cup of tea at my desk saves my sanity. Having favorite teacups or mugs is a total witch thing. These vessels are tools of the craft, just like your cauldron or your altar. And again, it’s easy and inexpensive to find a few that you love.
So when life is chaotic, or you feel like things are starting to spiral, or you just really need to press pause on the world and take back a little control, consider tea as a ritual for creating that for yourself. If you absolutely cannot stand tea, then use coffee, or cocoa, or hot cider. I prefer tea, just because the herbs that you choose can be so powerful and can add so much beyond the pure ritual aspect of it, but this is your craft, and you can practice it in whichever way you damn well please.
Cooking and baking of course will always spring to mind when we talk about kitchen witchcraft, and this is for good reason. The food we eat can be medicine for our bodies, minds, and souls. But this is reality, and we are all very busy. We rarely have the time to make a big meal for ourselves. But we can make small gestures that add up to witchcraft.
Making a pasta sauce from scratch is awesome, but try stirring some extra basil into a jar of Ragu to draw in wealth. Or adding a little extra ginger to your Panda Express for confidence. Add some extra garlic to your can of chicken soup when you’re not feeling well. It will support you in your healing, and frankly it will improve the taste. We don’t have to be Martha Stewart; we just have to consider ways that we can incorporate the craft into our daily lives. And by taking those few extra moments to do these things, we are also practicing mindfulness. We are more easily able to keep our intentions in mind throughout the day.
Baking is a really potent form of witchcraft, and of course baking anything from scratch is an opportunity to create something very magical. But even when we use shortcuts like box mixes and store bought pie crusts, we can find ways to call in Kitchen Witchery. If we are using a refrigerated pie crust, we can use a knife to carve intentions, manifestations, even sigils into the bottoms of our pies. We can add extra cinnamon to the apple pie filling for protection. If we’re baking a cake from a box, add some vanilla to the mix for love.
Obviously, there are larger and more complicated forms of spellwork that we can and do perform as witches, but in terms of daily acts that we can take to support ourselves in our practices, kitchen witchery is some of the easiest and least labor-intensive. Because all we are doing is adding intention to things that we already have to do each and every day.
Consider simple chores, like cleaning our houses, washing our floors, doing laundry. All of these acts can become witchcraft. Sprinkling a little salt in the rug before vacuuming is a great way to get rid of funky old energy. Adding some rosemary to your Pine-sol before you mop or scrub down the kitchen and bathroom will do the same. We spoke about it in the Herb and Plant Magick episode, but creating infused sprays can serve as a great way to clear out the energetic cobwebs as well.
Briefly, put some water in a jar, add some carefully selected herbs, like rosemary or lavender, do a little research to find herbs that will match up with whatever your purpose may be, cover the jar and charge it overnight in the full moonlight. In the morning, strain out the herbs and pour your infusion into a spray bottle. This is good for spraying into the air, onto your carpets or rugs, onto your furniture, even your bedding. Don’t soak everything, just give it all a light spritz. Boom. Kitchen witch.
Another aspect of kitchen witchery that I like to emphasize is the protective power of houseplants. If getting a houseplant or two has never really crossed your mind, it’s just something to consider. If you’re a witch who has a ton of houseplants, consider enlisting them to help protect your home, if you haven’t already done so. I didn’t include this in the Protection Magick episode because I felt like it was a little overloaded as it was, but it is a really good way to practice Kitchen witchery and protective magick at the same time.
Houseplants are naturally a very strong earth magick element in the home, and of course earth magick is naturally very protective. So the simple act of owning and caring for a houseplant is going to offer your household some measure of that. And I know a lot of witches simply don’t have much of a green thumb, but there are some plants that require very little of you. Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy, is probably one of the most common houseplants here in the States, and it is so easy to care for. It just needs a bright window, and some water every other week or so. That’s literally all you have to do for it, and it will reward you with beauty, cleaner air, and that earthy protection.
It will also grow like an absolute bastard. You can clip off sprigs and stick them in water for a few weeks until a new root system starts, and now you’ve got new plants. Aloe is another plant that’s easy to grow, and the added benefit there is that in addition to the magick it provides, it also gives you literal medicine. The same is true for potted basil, which I’ve recommended many times before. Basil will draw in money, as well as be delicious sprinkled in your tomato soup. A small pot of mint will also encourage wealth, and it makes mojitos. Win-win.
And one last little thing I jotted down in my notes, and I wasn’t sure I’d even mention it but what the hell. Buying a witches’ calendar is a good, low-effort way to keep track of things like retrogrades, moon cycles, and sabbats. I know that Llewellyn sells one every year, and I know that’s not the only one available. But the artwork is always really beautiful, and most of us need a calendar anyway. And just so we’re clear, this is not a paid endorsement, I don’t personally even have that specific calendar, I just happened to see it the other day when I was at our local occult shop. It’s really cool though, and I will probably go back this weekend and get it.
And that isn’t actually kitchen witchery per se, but it’s just kind of an easy way to sort of stay organized in your mundane life as well as your witch life. I am like most of us, I have a lot going on all the time, I always have several balls in the air at any given time, and the only way I get anything done is by writing shit down. Again, these aren’t grand magical gestures, these are small, doable methods for bringing extra magick into your daily life.
We aren’t witches ONLY during the full moon or on sabbats or during elaborate spells. We are also witches when we’re at the grocery store, at work, when we’re sick, when we’re spending time with family and friends. We are witches 365 a year, 24 hours a day. And kitchen witchery is a really good way to reflect on that and to remember that. We are so goddamn powerful, even when we’re sipping a cup of lemon zinger tea on the couch watching Supernatural reruns. It’s not always dark and mysterious; we can’t maintain that 100% of the time. And that’s why I like to bring in those simple elements of Kitchen witchery.
I would love to hear your favorite kitchen witch tips. As always, you can drop me a line via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Facebook and Instagram at @middleagedwitch. I can’t wait to talk to you again next Thursday. My name is Eli, and this has been the Middle Aged Witch Podcast.