“…the term kitchen witch refers to pagans who practice informally, with the tools at hand and a deep appreciation for the sacred in the everyday.“
-Cait Johnson, Witch in the Kitchen
A kitchen witch is usually a solitary practitioner of folk magic and herb lore. They don’t have spend a lot of time or money acquiring a collection of magical tools in order to conduct their rituals. For instance, a wooden spoon can become a wand, a drinking glass can be used as a chalice, and the dinning room table can act as a temporary altar.
A kitchen witch uses whatever is found around the home to work magic and is focused on making their own recipes, lotions and potions which often feature herbs and spices. Kitchen witches may also be experienced gardeners who grow many of their own herbs and vegetables.
The Kitchen as a Sacred Space
Before you begin to cook you should take the time to prepare your kitchen so that it has a healthy balance of positive energy. You can use a broom, which is also called a besom in certain pagan traditions, to ritualistically sweep away any negative energy that may be present in the kitchen. An added bonus is that you are also clearing the floor of any dirt and debris that may be present making for a neat and tidy environment in which to create your kitchen masterpieces. Then you may want to smudge the kitchen by burning a bundle of white sage which cleanses and purifies the air. Burning a green candle while you are cooking symbolizes the healing power of the all natural, herbs that you are adding to your recipes.
You may also want to cleanse yourself before undertaking any magical work. A ritual herbal bath can help to purify your body, mind and soul. Add a handful of fresh or dried herbs to a muslin bag or tie the herbs in the middle of a double layer of cheese cloth. Some favorite herbs to use include rosemary, peppermint and basil but use whatever ones that you find to be the most pleasing or that have a special magical significance to you.
Place the herb bag into the tub as the water is being drawn. This herb bag can also be used to scrub and cleanse your skin while you are enjoying your bath. The herb bag should be wrung out and discarded at the end of your bath. The contents of the used herb bag can be added to your compost bin to be recycled back into our sacred mother earth.
To further enhance the mood of the cleansing bath light some unscented white or green candles to place throughout the bathroom in order to enjoy their ambiance while partaking of your purifying ritual. You could also use scented candles that correspond to the aroma of the herbs that you have added to your herb bag to further enhance this ritual.
If you would like to learn more about the kitchen witch tradition here are a few books to research.
Kitchen Witchery; A Compendium of Oils, Unguents, Incense, Tinctures & Comestibles by Marilyn Daniel. Published by Weiser Books, 2002. Paperback, 274 pages.
Kitchen Witch’s Guide to Divination; Finding, Crafting & Using Fortune-Telling Tools from Around Your Home by Patricia Telesco. Published by New Page Books, 2004. Paperback, 218 pages.
The Kitchen Witch Companion; Simple and Sublime Culinary Magic by Patricia Telesco. Published by Citadel Press, 2005. Paperback, 296 pages.
The Wicca Cookbook; Recipes, Ritual & Lore by Jamie Wood and Tara Seefeldt. Published by Celestial Arts, 2000. Paperback, 200 pages.
Witch in the Kitchen; Magical Cooking for All Seasons by Cait Johnson. Published by Destiny Books, 2001. Paperback, 224 pages.
The Backyard Diva