When you reach for magical ingredients for spell working or incense making where do you look for them?
Some people will immediately click on the internet and search for the ingredients there or if you are lucky enough to have an occult shop nearby that will get a visit too.
I look in my kitchen cupboards or my garden.
Your spice and herb rack hold a huge wealth of magical ingredients in fact your kitchen cupboard does too.
The Kitchen Witch in me drives my intuition and I am a great believer in listening to it especially when I am working magic. I don’t want to use expensive exotic ingredients that have to be shipped from the other side of the world, I am happier using things that I have grown myself or items that I already have to hand. Magical ingredients should not cost lots of money (in my humble opinion). Every single item of food, ingredient you use in the kitchen along with all the herbs and spices has magical energy.
Open the cupboard
Let’s start with herbs because I bet most people have the usual array of thyme, parsley, sage and rosemary kicking about their herb racks. All these regular herbs that we use in our culinary dishes hold immense power, just because they are an everyday herb doesn’t mean they don’t pack that magical punch.
Your spice and herb rack can be a smorgasbord for incense ingredients, cloves, cardamom, star anise and cinnamon sticks all make brilliant loose incense components. Chuck in some thyme or rosemary stalks, pop on your charcoal and you have created an amazing incense blend.
It's in the bag
Have you ever purchased a box of herbal tea bags, tried one, thought it was revolting and not used them again? Yep me too…but don’t throw them away. You can use the tea bags in a bucket of hot water for floor or surface wash or you could open up the tea bags and tip the tea blend into a jar, you can use this for magical workings, magic powders, to dress candles with, for poppet filling or burn as incense.
Out of date, not out of use
Take a look in the back of your cupboard, yep right there at the very back in the shadows…did you find out of date bags of flour, rice or lentils? Don’t throw them away. All of the items like this plus porridge, pasta and even the bag of healthy quinoa you bought and never used can be utilised for magical purpose. These ingredients all soak up liquid in one way or another so it stands to reason that they can be used in magic for soaking up negative energy. I re-purpose these ingredients to use in witches bottles and for filling poppets. Don’t throw away out of date spices or herbs either, although spices don’t really go out of date they do lose their flavour but they can all be used in magical workings rather than culinary ones.
I have jars filled with nut shells, whenever I eat a pecan, walnut, Brazil, pistachio in fact any of the nuts I keep the shells. They carry the magical properties of the nut, it is a win win situation firstly I get to eat the nut and secondly the shell gets used for magic. Shells can be used whole or ground and added to incense blends, magic powders or in medicine bags. Most nuts bring the magical energy of prosperity so you want to hang onto those…
What about wrappers? Well I have to admit I seem to end up with quite a few chocolate wrappers, I have no idea why…ahem…chocolate is full of prosperity, happiness, love and positive magical energy so the empty wrapper can be used to write petitions on or to wrap around a herbal working to bring the essence of chocolate to the spell.
Keep ‘em peeled…
Whilst I don’t actually rummage through the dustbins I don’t like waste and I do like to keep culinary left overs for magical use such as fruit peelings. Orange and apple peel particularly can easily be dried laid out on kitchen paper in a warm, dry place or popped into a very low oven for a few hours. It can then be added to incense blends or any magical workings.
The same goes for the apple and orange pips and any fruit kernels such as cherry or apricot. Leave them out to dry and then use them whole or ground for spell work. The peel and pips hold the magical properties of the fruit – apples are excellent to use in love, abundance or healing spell work and oranges are full of happiness, love, clarity and energy and the scent is incredibly uplifting. Cherry stones carry the magic of fertility, love and new beginnings and apricot brings peace, passion and romance – so don’t throw the pits away!
And then to the bones…whether you are vegetarian, vegan or a meat eater animal welfare should be paramount. For those of us that choose to eat meat I wholeheartedly believe that we should honour the animal that gave its life. If your joint of meat or bird has the bones make full use of them after you have eaten, boil the bones to make stock and then dry them to use in magical workings.
If you are able to purchase your meat direct from the farm you may even be able to get hold of the skin as well to create something useful with or the feathers from a bird make sure you use them as well. All life is precious and if one has been taken to be used as food then we owe it to the creature to use everything it has provided for us. I feel that the bones of an animal carry the magic of the animal itself and this can be utilised in meditations, magical workings and as amulets or talismans. So for instance the chicken bones from your Sunday lunch can be cleaned and dried and will bring the magic of healing, prosperity, luck and fertility and of course if you collect together a set of small bones these can be used for divination too.
Kitchen Witchcraft - In the garden
I only have a small garden but I make the most of what I have, even if you only have a windowsill you can grow a few herbs. But I save everything – the petals, the seeds, the leaves and fallen twigs. Even the weeds get harvested especially the dandelion seed heads as they are brilliant for wish magic. Don’t forget the most common of all…grass, yep grass…the green stuff you have in your lawn, on roadsides, in the park…well pretty much everywhere really – I know it might seem common and boring but it still has magical properties.
If you have the patience you can ‘weave’ a ball of grass and hang it up in your home to provide protection you can also plait the longer stems to make witches ladders. Use long blades of grass for knot magic. Use grass in incense blends to increase your psychic powers and bring abundance your way.
Basically my philosophy is not to waste anything, to re-purpose as much as possible and to make the most of what I have to hand.
I think the most important part of any magic is the intent and that comes from within YOU.
Originally posted on Beneath the Moon, Patheos Pagan - 13.2.17