What is a Kitchen Witch?
A kitchen witch is grounded in the magic of the old ways. Usually a solitary practitioner, the kitchen witch honours the mundane and finds the sacred in every day tasks. Magic is not just limited to the kitchen; this is a Craft of hearth and home, nature and the wild, gardening and crafting.
There are numerous forms of 'natural' witchcraft, the most commonly referred to being that of the hedge witch. Cottage witchery, green witchery, garden witchery - all follow similar paths that weave together the magic of nature. Kitchen witchcraft is somewhat unique, however, in that it makes even the most humdrum of chores a sacred act. Devotion to the presence of the Goddess is demonstrated through ordinary tasks. This is a Goddess path that truly finds the Goddess everywhere.
There are those who might look down on the Way of the kitchen witch, because she does not practice formally or create structured ritual for working her 'simple' magic. But this is witchcraft in its most natural form, harking back to the wise women of the Burning Times, who kept their herbal remedies and magic-making subtle and discreet, for fear of reprisal. Working with nature to make magic in the kitchen, garden and home connects with an ancient, primeval power that is inherent in all of us.
First and foremost, you will indeed find kitchen witches most at home in their kitchen. Cooking was once considered a sacred act - and rightly so, for not only is food essential for survival, but it can also nourish, heal and soothe. The kitchen is the perfect place to brew up a little magic - the stew pot making a suitable cauldron for some hubble bubble - and by turning each recipe into an act of love and intent, the food prepared is likely to be far more delicious than if it was thrown together with hardly a thought.
Kitchen witches make their kitchens more magical by turning them into a sacred space. The area is kept clean (using natural products, of course), and a kitchen altar created. This altar may be large or small, depending on the size of the kitchen, but even a tiny shelf can house a shrine to the Goddess. Some fresh herbs, a statue of the Goddess, and objects of meaning all contribute to making up a kitchen shrine.
Utensils and gadgets are all at hand, and blessed to ensure successful baking. As to the act of cooking itself, it is carried out with love and meaning. The ingredients used are fresh, in season, organic where possible, and much comes from the kitchen witch's own garden. Cooking magic can take many forms, but the three most common include magically cooking with the intent of creating a healthful, blessed meal, using food in a spell or ritual, or a combination of both, where a spell can be brewed up whilst making a meal.
The kitchen witch also spends a lot of time in her garden. Vegetables, fruit and herbs are grown seasonally, for cooking and spell-making. There may well be some sacred trees under which to meditate or make ritual, or even commune with the nature spirits of the garden. Gardening keeps the kitchen witch close to nature, and attunes her to the changing moons and seasons.
There will most likely be plants grown for medicinal purposes as well as culinary, for the kitchen witch is not unlike the wise herbal woman of old. She will know how to use herbs in healing salves and strengthening tonics; as likely to concoct a delicious tea or fragrant beauty cream as she is to cook. She may even be known locally as a healer.
The kitchen is not the only place within the home that the kitchen witch focuses her concentration. She will use her creative wiles to make light of household chores, keeping hearth and home clean and tidy by cleaning with natural products and putting joy and love into her work. Each act, from cleaning the floor to scrubbing the bathroom, is seen as sacred, for each act has its place and meaning. Keeping the house clean honours the Goddess, and creates a pleasant sanctuary in which to live. Faeries also favour a clean and uncluttered house, and are more likely to come visiting if they think the inhabitant is hard-working and house proud.
Kitchen witchery also involves caring for the surrounding environment, by living in an eco-friendly manner. Recycling, composting and using products that are kind to the Earth are all second nature to the kitchen witch. She will honour the Earth by caring for her plants and creatures, sharing her harvests with garden wildlife and birds.
Traditional ways also find their way into the kitchen witch's life in the form of arts and crafts. Talents range from mending and sewing, to making seasonal decorations and household materials such as curtains and quilts, to keeping the old traditions alive, for example weaving and working a loom. The kitchen witch may also go wildcrafting; the art of collecting nature's bounty from the wild and using it to cook, craft and create.
As for magic, the kitchen witch will know many a spell, charm or remedy for healing, protection, abundance, balance, health, good harvest, harmony and other worthwhile needs. Unlike many mainstream forms of witchcraft, such as Wicca, the kitchen witch practices informally, without complex rule or ritual. The althame and other ritual tools are unlikely to be found here, although the kitchen witch might admit to owning a magical apron...
The kitchen witch's home is also the perfect place for other forms of magic, such as crying and divination (with tea leaves, for example), weather magic, candle magic, ribbon spells and so on. The kitchen witch may study specific knowledge, such as weather lore, augury or herbalism, according to interests.
As aforementioned, the path of the kitchen witch is a Goddess path. There are many goddesses with whom kitchen witches identify, and most will work with several, encompassing their dedicated goddess, regular favourites, and those called upon for specific needs. The most famous include Hestia, Greek goddess of Hearth and Home, and her Roman counterpart, Vesta. Goddesses of harvest, corn, grain, earth, sky, fire, creativity, craft and other similar representations are all relevant to the path of kitchen magic.
The way of the kitchen witch would suit those seeking a solitary witchcraft path, who want to feel fulfilled in the home and garden. A passion for nature and her bountiful harvest is essential, as is the ability to use creativity in order to make magic out of the mundane. Being a kitchen witch means becoming consciously aware of how your actions connect to the surrounding world, and to the Divine. By honouring the ancient ways of cooking, healing, homemaking, growing and crafting, the kitchen witch not only celebrates the Goddess, but the feminine within herself as well.