If you’re at all immersed in the online witchy community, doubtlessly, you’ve come across the term “Kitchen Witch,” but what exactly makes a kitchen witch?
After all, we all have kitchens, and if you’re reading this blog, you’ve definitely got the magick in you… So aren’t we all kitchen witches in a way? We all certainly can be, and it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or time-consuming!
All you need to get started is the intention to infuse good vibes into your home and your food, and you’re already well on your way!
Today, I’m just going to scratch the surface of the concept of Kitchen Witchery by sharing a little story about how I learned just how powerful it is to work in tandem with Mother Earth in the kitchen. I’ll also be sharing a little Kitchen Witchery incantation and some simple practices that I like to use to ritualize what could otherwise be viewed as mundane housework. I hope these ideas add some extra magick into your housekeeping!
It Begins with Self Love and Respect for Mother Earth
Before getting into the 3 practices I want to share with you today, I feel it’s necessary to provide a little background story to illustrate the power of food in our spiritual journey!
Something I haven’t discussed much on the GypsyWytch Diaries blog is that I suffered from moderate anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorder between the ages of 16 and 22. Those were the years when I was making the long, confusing transition from my dogmatically religious childhood to what would eventually become my spiritual awakening, which took place in 2012. I guess I couldn’t have known this at the time, but the basis for my eating disorder was a lack of connection to nature and its cycles.
Because I was no longer feeling fulfilled by the teachings of my previous religion, everything in life seemed meaningless and fragmented. I was always compassionate toward animals, so I was already vegetarian by the age of 13, but other than being conscious about the suffering of animals, I had very little understanding of how powerful food could be. Growing up in middle-class Western society, I had no idea what it was like to (unintentionally) go hungry, or to have to grow my own food, and had practically no idea where my food came from or how it was made. Rather than living with an attitude of gratitude, I hoarded junk food, compulsively gorging myself with overly processed snacks, and then feeling physically and emotionally sick afterward. I would then punish myself by forcing myself to throw up, working out excessively, and starving myself.
Rather than seeing food as a gift from nature for the purpose of nourishing the body, mind, and spirit, I saw food as the enemy. Other areas of my life felt empty, so I would unconsciously overeat to fill the void, and then hate myself for it. This vicious cycle continued on and off for years, and my physical, mental, and emotional health suffered as a consequence. At some point, it occurred to me how wasteful this lifestyle was, not just to myself, but to the world. It only made me feel worse about myself to know that I was angrily taking for granted an abundance of food options, while other people in the world were starving… but it wasn’t until I learned that I could reverse this unhealthy relationship that I was cured.
Around age 23, I was still struggling with body image, but I was slowly beginning to listen to my intuition more. I still desperately wanted to loose weight, but I finally resolved to go about it in a way that I felt would make me happier and healthier. For several years, I’d felt bad that I wasn’t totally vegan, and part of the pattern of self-hatred had stemmed from the guilt of knowing that my dairy habit was supporting the unfair treatment of farm animals. I also figured that cutting out dairy would improve my body image, so I looked up “vegan diet” on the internet. I quickly stumbled upon The Life Regenerator on Youtube, and literally everything changed after that!
Changing the way I thought about food actually kick-started my whole spiritual awakening.
It was then that I came to understand that naturally grown food is interconnected with everything else we experience in this reality. We are a part of the ecosystem of the earth, and the cleaner we eat, the closer to nature and more at home we feel in the universe. The shift from self hatred to self love happened very quickly when this idea was introduced into my life. I went on a juice cleanse, began doing yoga, meditating, and spending more time in nature, and the rest is history! Another huge breakthrough was the concept of composting. I’d always avidly recycled things like paper, plastic, and glass containers, but now I was learning that composting is an option for recycling excess food that has gone bad or uneaten. Realizing that food never goes to waste when it is intentionally returned to Mother Earth as fertilizer completely dissolved my compulsive tendency to overeat.
I remained raw vegan for about a year, and then began to incorporate a wider variety of foods back into my diet again. Today, I indulge in processed foods some of the time, but because I know from experience that the best food for me is produce, living in a state of balance comes so much more naturally than it ever did in my teens and early 20s. I’m still learning to live healthier and greener, and to consume even more consciously, but overall, I’m happy, healthy, and thankful to be where I’m at along this journey. Of course, discovering that I’m a “witch” has fit right into this grand scheme of awakening, and over the years since that time, I’ve also come up with some magickal practices that keep me on point when it comes to cooking and eating. And now, I’m excited to share some of these practices with you! So, without further adieu, I give you:
3 Acts of Kitchen Witchery You Can Do Today!
1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… And Compost That Sh!t!
It might sound silly to you, but this one was a complete and total game changer for me! Growing up, I always heard my parents complain that we were “wasting food,” and I watched my dad overeat our leftovers just because he couldn’t bear to see us kids throw food away. The fact is, little kids have “abundance mindset.” They don’t force themselves to eat things they don’t like, and they stop eating when they’re full. It’s adult’s “lack mindset” that teaches kids to have hangups about eating. In my parent’s eyes, when we didn’t finish eating something, it was a shame, and it had to go in a plastic garbage bag, never to be useful in any way ever again… But my parents apparently had no idea what composting was! Now, in their defense, my parents worked very hard for the money it took to buy groceries, and they both grew up in New York City. Their parents were metropolitan professionals who had little time for things like gardening, so its not their fault they didn’t know any better… But never the less, I picked up my dad’s compulsive eating disorder because of that “lack” mentality.
At some point in my adult life, I learned that biodegradable “waste” could be tossed into a pile or bucket in the yard and allowed to turn back into extremely rich soil! MIND BLOWN, you guys!!! At the time, I lived in a small city apartment with no gardening regimen, so I hoarded my kitchen scraps and brought them to the local community garden or nature preserve each week to compost. It was pretty out of the way, but I was so freaking excited about it! I absolutely loved the idea that my unused food was not going into a plastic bag in a landfill, but would be easily transformed into fertilizer for the Earth. It was the most natural thing in the entire world, and I could not believe I’d never heard of it before! I began to become really conscious about which “waste” receptacle I put different materials into. I now have my compost, recycle bin, collection of scrap materials to be turned into upcycled art, and very little goes into the “trash.”
It became even more rewarding when I finally started my own garden, and got to watch the scraps turn into food for new life right in my very own little ecosystem! It reminded me of the life-death-life cycle that is so important to witches and pagans. I began to think of the story of Hades and Persephone whenever I visited my beautiful little pile of decay, and saw new plants growing out of it. I began to hum the tune, “we are a circle within a circle, with no beginning and never ending…” One day, while working in the garden, I came up with a chant of my own, which I began to repeat to myself any time I chose to place something in the compost, recycling, or trash:
Do no harm
Do only good
Return to Nature
As you should.
This little incantation feels amazing when you know you’re doing the right thing with your waste materials, and when it isn’t the ideal situation, it reminds you to be conscious that research on a better option for disposal is necessary. In our society, we are told that we can just “throw things way,” but this planet is our home, and there really is no “away.” Do the right thing with your waste, and when a system for the “right thing” isn’t already in place, create a new plan to keep our Planet healthy!
2. Bless Your Food and Bless Your Water
An attitude of gratitude is seriously the way to go if you want to enjoy the journey of your life! Depending on where you’re at along your path, you may have a lot, or you may have a little. Regardless of what seems to be the case, you have far more to be thankful for than you could have in an alternate universe! Every bite of food you eat, every time you flush the toilet, every time you drink clean water, you should give thanks to the Universe for that huge blessing!
If you’ve ever heard the teachings of Dr. Imoto, you know that water holds whatever frequency you program it with, just like a crystal. If you program it with good vibes, you get good vibes from it. If you program it with bad vibes, you get bad vibes from it. This is why almost every spiritual path promotes the idea of praying over your food and drink. Regardless of whether you’re thanking some deity for the gift, or whether you’re working with the law of attraction, or if you’re simply being mindful of how fortunate your life is, taking a second to insert good vibes into your meal will improve the quality of your life! Even if you don’t believe in programming things with energy, I’m sure you can understand the psychological value of taking a moment to notice your blessings every day. It makes you conscious of what is good in your life. It is for these reasons that I always ritualize the process of preparing a meal.
Every time I pour water, whether it be for me to drink, to fill my cats’ bowl, to cook with, or to water my garden, I recite this chant:
Blessed be the Garden
Blessed be the Home
Blessed be our Hearts and Minds
Wherever they may Roam.
This practice serves a few different interconnected purposes: It gives thanks for what I already have, it creates space for more blessings where that came from, and it makes me conscious of the present moment. This is the formula for a happy life.
3. Be Conscious of the Elements in our Daily Lives
A lot of the time, we are so wrapped up in our own daily whatever that we don’t stop to think about how our lives are interconnected with everything else in the universe. In our modern society, it’s really easy to be disconnected from the elements, and yet, elements are considered such an important part of the Craft. So, without going out of our way, how can we incorporate awareness of the elements into our daily lives? Well, it’s quite simple actually. Just think about the things you use every single day to make your life manageable! Plumbing in your kitchen and bathroom: WATER. Stove and heater: FIRE. Air conditioner and dryer: AIR. Food and the materials your house is made out of: EARTH. And lets not forget the element of SPIRIT, which is US in the whole experience of life. That can easily be represented by electricity, the internet, and even just your own conscious awareness of what is going on in the universe to make life worth living! To honor these elements, I chant this incantation while cleaning, cooking, or any other domestic task:
Fire, Water, Air, and Earth
Bless my home and bless my hearth.
See how simple that was! And that’s really it! These are just a few ideas on how to cultivate a conscious, healthy, magickal kitchen! I’ll be sure to share more with you guys as the journey continues!