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 Be A Kitchen Witch: Cooking as Magick

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Be A Kitchen Witch: Cooking as Magick Empty
PostSubject: Be A Kitchen Witch: Cooking as Magick   Be A Kitchen Witch: Cooking as Magick EmptyFri 09 Jul 2010, 10:48 am

Written by Sr. Dea Phoebe
Order of Our Lady of Salt

Be A Kitchen Witch: Cooking as Magick Cookbooks

Before the advent of the industrial age, the hearth or stove was generally the center of the home. Not only was it the center of activity for meals and nourishment, often it was the main (if not only) heat source for the family. What was cooked was driven by the seasons and recipes were very much centered around what was available during the particular time of year and in a particular region.

In the Middle Ages cooking was often a communal affair, at least in villages. Individual homes often didn’t have stoves, so baking was done in the center of the village—a fine place to gather and gossip at the same time, according to The Wicca Cookbook: Recipes, Ritual and Lore by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt.

In these days of fast food and microwave meals, we may not think about the magick of cooking very often. Some of us even dread the idea of cooking like most people dread taxes. But with the right approach, cooking can be spellwork, energy work, consciousness-raising, or worship of the divine.

Cooking is alchemy, the transformation of base elements into something new and different. The key to magickal cooking, like so many other things in magick, is to go through the steps mindfully and focused on your intent. Remember, ritual makes the mundane meaningful.

Scott Cunningham, in The Magical Household has this to say on the subject:
“Cooking is a magical process of transformation that utilizes the four elements: Earth (the food itself, which sprang from our plane), Fire (the source of heat/flame, solar, electric), Water (the liquid used to prepare or cook the food), and Air (the steam that rises from the heated substance). Through the use of the elements, the cook prepares magically nourishing meals.”

Ingredients and Intent

As with any spell, the goal you are working toward is going to influence how you go about it. We have discussed in the past how herbs used in incense correspond to particular element. The same applies not only to herbs for cooking, but to vegetables, fruits, and meats, as well. If you want to create a romantic meal for you and a lover to celebrate your relationship, you might go with traditional aphrodisiacs such as strawberries, chocolate, or almonds, but know that many other foods are associated with love—beets and garlic among them. Of course, as taste is a major component of magickal cooking, if a recipe calls for a food that you absolutely can’t stand, go with a substitute. Beets aren’t going to be very romantic if they make you gag!

Use fresh ingredients when you can. If you have the space and the inclination to grow some of your own food, these items can be particularly powerful, as they are imbued with your energy from the beginning.

As you prepare your ingredients, focus on your intent. Cooking for yourself or others should be done with love. If we cook with anger or resentment in our hearts, that energy may be reflected back in the food we prepare.

Do each step with intent and focus: Cutting the vegetables, grinding the spices, adding them to pot on the stovetop. To ensure the flow of your magick, it is best to cook mise en place—having all of your ingredients prepared and any tools you will be using ready to go before beginning your recipe. It’s difficult to keep your focus on your intent when you’re flustered because your broth is boiling and you’re rushing to chop the potatoes!

While magickal cooking certainly can be done with modern appliances, to truly connect to the process, you may want to use the stove or the oven. Cooking (as opposed to baking) is an intuitive process as much as it is a strict following-of-recipes, and if you are in tune with the process, you won’t necessarily need the kitchen timer to tell you when to turn the heat down, when to add an ingredient, or when it needs a stir.

Always stir in the same direction. For most goals you will want to stir deosil (clockwise) to raise energy and imbue the food with your intent. For banishing goals, stir widdershins (counterclockwise).

Giving Thanks

Once our magickal meal is complete and ready to share, we have another opportunity to imbue it with our intent. Remember that the work of many lives has gone into the creation of this food—your own, in the preparation and cooking, but also the life of the animal or plant itself, the work of those who harvested the ingredients, even the work of those who transported the individual ingredients to the grocery store and the staff who stocked the shelves and the cashier who rang up your purchase. And if you have grown even part of the ingredients with your own hands, you are intimately familiar with the life and energy that has gone into this simple meal!

So our final step is to honor that work and energy, to give thanks to the lives that have gone into our meal. It can be as simple as a “thank you” or as complex as a full prayer.
Earth, Water, Air and Fire combined to make this food.
Numberless beings gave their lives and labor that we may eat.
May we be nourished that we may nourish life.

—Joan Halifax
Books and Links on Pagan Cooking

* Cooking by Moonlight: A Witch’s Guide to Culinary Magic by Karri Ann Allrich
* The Wicca Cookbook by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt
* A Kitchen Witch’s Cookbook by Patricia Telesco
* Witch in the Kitchen: Magical Cooking for All Seasons by Cait Johnson
* Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen by Scott Cunningham

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