EVERY KITCHEN IS MAGIC. ALL FOOD IS MAGIC.
And when you look at your kitchen (your home, your life) as sacred and enchanted, then so it is.
With a few carefully chosen ingredients, intentional cooking, and directed energy, we are able to infuse and boost our foods. Think of it like spiritual nutrition and goodness to go along with the inherent nutrition of the food. Plus, food comes to us right from the Earth, the body of Goddess.
Setting up a Magical Kitchen is really just about recognizing what you already have. A practicing Kitchen Witch usually stocks a good amount of fresh and dry herbs that can be used to enhance food and have magical properties as well.
I am an herb and spice hoarder. I have 3 cabinets … and numerous shelves… and possibly a box or two filled with all manner of charms and enchantments of the herb and spice varieties. For those who have green thumbs, some of these are wonderful to cultivate in your own garden in the growing season. Sadly, I have a black thumb so I take snippings from my Mom and friends who have the fertility gifts, or get the herbs fresh at the market.
Tell me Kitchen Witches, how many do you already have?
ALLSPICE is warm, fragrant, pungent are just a few words used to describe allspice. It is native to the West Indies and tropical Central America and the best quality comes from Jamaica where it is a primary component of jerk spice. While many consider allspice to be a combination of spices (usually cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves), it is actually a single spice from the unripe berries of evergreen trees.
In the Middle East, you will find it being added to roasting meats. In India, allspice is added to pilafs and some curries. Interestingly, the European uses tend more towards mulling spices, desserts, cakes, preserves, and with fruits.
In Ancient Mayan culture, allspice was used as an embalming agent. In South America, it was used to flavor chocolate!
Magickal Uses of Allspice: Money, Luck, Healing, Energy Fertility, Attraction, Love, Renewal Aphrodisiac
- Burned as an incense for money and luck and added to mojo bags for the same. Use the essential oil to anoint your wallet and attract money.
- May also be burned for extra energy and as an astral boost for workings. Best used as a catalyst with other ingredients than as a single use.
- Add to a healing bath.
- Considered a Mars herb so may be used in Mars influenced workings (aggression, courage, defensive magick, exorcism, healing after surgery, hex-breaking, lust, physical strength, politics, protection, sexual energy, sexual potency, and strength)
Basil is called the King of Herbs and like a true royal, Basil has a rich history and as many varieties as the loyal subjects of an emperor. This exotic herb is popular all over the world and has now become a regular ingredient in every day dishes.
In Greece, the word basil means “king” and its power includes healing. The Italians regard it as a symbol of love and in India it is an emblem for hospitality. Basil’s diversity and ability to blend with other herbs to complement a range of dishes make it an herb of choice in kitchens internationally.
Basil’s season IS summer, but I have mesmerizing applications for all year round. Think Pesto … think herbed rice and grains and pasta. This is an hearty herb.
**Please note that this is NOT Holy Basil or Tulsi which is completely different in application.
Magickal Properties of Basil:
- Carry dried leaves in your purse to draw in money.
- Used in English folk magic, like so many other things, to ward off harmful spells as well as to keep away pests.
- Rumor has it, witches drank basil juice before flying on their brooms (astral projection).
- Steadies the mind, brings happiness, love, peace, and money and protects against insanity.
- Good for love and attraction spells.
- Brings luck in physical journeys.
- I LOVE using basil in prosperity and money altar work (see my candle working above)
BAY LEAVES are cooling, astringent, and slightly bitter when fresh. They are native to the eastern Mediterranean, but cultivation extended into Northern Europe and the Americas. Their use is primarily in stocks, soups, stews, sauces, marinades, and pickles since bay leaves yield their flavor slowly. In Turkey, you will find it in slow-cooked lamb dishes, while Moroccans use it to flavor their infamous tagines. May be used as a bouquet garni (a bundle of herbs used to flavor low-cooked dishes or soups) with sprigs of thyme and parsley. Usually, bay leaves are removed from dishes before serving.
Magickal Uses of Bay Leaves:
In ancient Greece and Rome, bay leaves symbolized wisdom and glory and the glossy leaves were used to crown kings, poets, Olympians, and Generals.
The Greek word for Bay is dhafni, after the nymph Daphne who was changed into a bay laurel tree by Gaea (or her father Peneus, or herself, depending on who’s telling the story) to protect her from the unwanted advances of Apollo. The tree is sacred to Apollo and it is said that the Oracle at Delphi chewed the leaves and inhaled the smoke when seeking visions.
Bay Leaves – Bay leaves have long been used by Mediterranean priests and priestesses for visions and ritual. When rubbed against one’s forehead (third eye), will produce psychic visions and increase intuition. Also used in protection magick and to grant wishes.
Chili Powder – are you ready to heat things up in the kitchen and at the altar? Chili powder is usually a spicy blend of cayenne pepper (which is pure ground dried chiles) and a few other spices that may include cumin, garlic powder, oregano, and paprika. If you are going for off the scale heat in your recipe, then just use cayenne!
Chili peppers are one of the largest spice crops in the world today with hundreds of different varieties.
Magickal Uses for Cayenne and Chili Powder:
- I use cayenne and/or chili powder in direct proportion to the situation – something needs a gentle nudge? Use the chili powder. Ready to LIGHT. A. FIRE.? Use the cayenne. Or Ghost Pepper powder (consider this the nuclear option).
- Also used for protection, spell and hex breaking, separation, fire practices, as a boost to other spells and workings, and may also be added to love mixtures for increased passion
CINNAMON is warm, sweet, and woody. It is the bark of an evergreen tree of the laurel family and authentic cinnamon is indigenous to Sri Lanka. Cinnamon is really an all-purpose spice for culinary uses and magickal properties.
In Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines, cinnamon is a common spice in many meat and vegetable dishes. Tagine dishes in Morocco with lamb and chicken use it, as well as bstilla (a squab and almond pie). Mishmisheya, an Arab stew of lamb with apricots, also uses cinnamon. And in India, masalas, chutneys, condiments, and spiced pilafs all contain tantalizing tastes of cinnamon. Mexico is the main importer of cinnamon and is found in coffee and chocolate drinks. Cinnamon tea is well-loved through Central and South America.
Magickal uses of Cinnamon:
- originally used in the East to purify temples
- Talk about an all-purpose spice! Uses for Cinnamon: clairvoyance, consecration, divination, energy, good luck, love, money, passion, peace, prosperity, protection, psychic development, success, communication, happiness, harmony, healing, inspiration, knowledge, meditation, purification, spirituality, tranquility, wisdom (PHEW – that is alot)
- Herbalist Paul Beyerl likes to pair it with tourmaline
- think solar, think active, think energetic, and use cinnamon!
Rosemary is aromatic, slightly peppery, and is a dense, woody, evergreen perennial. It has been used as a “strewing” and incense herb since Roman times, before the Middle Ages. Due to its pungency, rosemary is best used with a cautious hand. Whole sprigs may be used in marinades or even as a basting brush. Rosemary is also used as an aromatic for oils, milks, creams, and syrups, as well as an addition to crackers and breads. It is one of the essential herbs for the infamous Herbes de Provence.
Magickal Uses for Rosemary:
- Traditionally used for purification/cleansing rituals
- Used for love, friendship, remembrance, as well as emotional balance
- Rosemary’s name comes from the Latin rosmarinus. It means “dew of the sea”.
- Placed rosemary under your pillow to help in remembering dreams and warding off nightmares
- Most powerfully used in fumigation and purification
- I also like to lay sprigs on my altars
Thinking about all the good foods coming our way for this season AND all the potential for special magical blessings, I picked these herbs and spices for a good foundation during Autumn and Winter.
Some of the other herbs and spices that are great for culinary and witchy purposes: coriander, fennel, garlic, ginger, mint, oregano, sage (kitchen sage), salt, thyme.
Want more Kitchen Witchery? Check out my online course – FEAST:AUTUMN AND WINTER