kitchen witch

Positively Pumpkin

September, 2017

 

It’s easy to feel swamped by pumpkin everything in the autumnal landscape but pumpkin to some of us is quite a modern thing.

 

 


While there were definitely pumpkins for sale in my childhood they were expensive and certainly not the size and multitude they seemed to be in the US. No we had turnips (which is as exciting as it sounds) and last year I thought I’d carve one to honour the ancient Irish tradition. I was even using Dremel and it was still a nightmare! It fought me the whole time, it refused, it spewed gross out me, it was a serious fight and took me 3 hours over 2 days to carve one! I swore never again, but as the pumpkins rotted away within weeks to a sticky stinky paste my turnip hanging up shriveled and look, well a like severed head. In fact it hung out through rain, rain and some frost all the way until Beltane!

 


I haven’t sworn off pumpkins (though many Brits still are not sold on them) I do have the advantage that I got gifted a load of canned pumpkin.

 


Again pumpkin pie isn’t really big in the U.K. at Samhain time. That said, I like it a lot. However I think it’s much under-rated in sweet and my personal preference, savoury food. You can eat the pumpkins for sale around Halloween, though they are breed to look pretty not taste good you can wash and slice, steam or roast them up a treat. You can wash and dry the seeds and toast them and eat them too! Where I give measurements of pumpkin, I’ll be using mostly canned because I have it but you can always use fresh cooked pumpkin.

 

 

 

In the U.K. we use a lot of dried fruit. The reason for this is natural dried fruit has a high sugar content and was used to sweeten before mass produced sugars were available. Things like spices and raisins were also medicinal. Often used to add warmth into the body living in a rather cold, damp and windy climate. This is why treacles (molasses) and dried fruit are common in everything from bara brith (a Welsh sweet bread loaf) Christmas puddings, Christmas cake and mince pies. Molasses is also known for its medicinal properties being as it is high in iron, B vitamins and Magnesium. Many sweet treats were a way to get these health benefits into children who might refuse otherwise. Parkin is a traditional sweet treat from the wet and windy areas of Northern Britain, eaten around the Autumnal time of year. It has more treacle than my pumpkin recipe, and more ginger but I wanted to have that smoky warming quality in my bread. I also added white chocolate and dark chocolate chips because again our British palette prefers less sugar and I didn’t want to make a loaf you wouldn’t want to eat! I also had to get the giant bag of chocolate chips out of the cupboard to reach the flour and stuff and it seemed rude not to! You could leave out the chocolate and use dried fruit soaked in something boozey, like a rum or brandy or strong black tea. This recipe makes two regular loaves.

 

 

 

Spiced Pumpkin Bread (Sweet)


Much like banana bread you can use this batter to make muffin shapes should you desire, you’ll need to adjust the cooking times accordingly.


1 can of pumpkin
115 grams of butter or replacement
3 eggs (or 2 large duck eggs)
250 grams golden granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp fine salt
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp fresh grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp allspice
230 grams self-raising flour
1 tbsp. rye flour
1 tbsp. treacle (molasses)
¼ cup white chocolate chips
¼ cup dark chocolate chips.

 

I creamed my butter and sugar together and beat with a balloon whisk (feel free to use a mixer) and add my spices. Adding your spices to your fats allows the essential oils naturally within them and flavours to develop more deeply. I added my pumpkin puree and eggs one at a time. I then added the treacle.


In a separate bowl I mixed my salt, flours and baking powder whisking to aerate and remove lumps. Then slowly folded with a spatula into the wet mix. I wanted to give a nod to Parkin’s rich nutty flavour without adding fine oat meal to the mix, which is why I add the rye flour. This again is very high in iron and B vitamins but it also gives a really great depth. This gives the loaf a deeper darker flavour to it.
I then gently mixed in my chocolate chips and dived the mix between two greased loaf pans.


I then put them into a pre-heated oven at about 180 C for thirty minutes or until a tooth pick comes out cleanly.


Shoo away your children and partners until cool enough to cut sensibly. Great as a desert alone or cold with sharp Cheddar cheese. It should last well if kept in a cake tin or airtight container for about a week, but good luck with that!

The Kitchen Witch

September, 2017

Harvest Stir-Fry with Shrimp

 

     If you are like me, you either make too much pasta or not enough. Generally, I err on the side of too much. So I often use leftover pasta in stir-fries. Pasta reheats fabulously in the stir-fry pan, and absorbs the flavors of the cooking oil, vegetables and other seasonings.

     The other day, I went to the farmer’s market in Downtown Buffalo. I bought these wonderful purple and pale green peppers, as well as cherry tomatoes and zucchini. I decided to use them in the stir-fry with the leftover pasta. I also had onion and shrimp.

Here is the recipe and how you prepare this yummy stir-fry:

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium zucchini, cubed (about 1 cup)

1 purple pepper, diced (about ½ cup)

1 pale green pepper, diced (about ½ cup)

¼ cup diced red onion

13-15 cherry tomatoes, halved

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

2 cups leftover pasta, broken into pieces

¼ cup white wine or chicken broth

10-12 medium cooked frozen shrimp, thawed, with tailed removed

Fresh parsley and basil to taste.

     Heat the olive oil in a heavy cast iron pan or wok until just about smoking. Add the vegetables and toss in the hot oil. Season with salt and pepper and keep moving in the oil. Add the leftover pasta and stir it in well. Add the white wine or the chicken broth, stirring well. Add the shrimp, then the parsley and basil. Toss a final time and serve. With a salad, this is a perfect light dinner for two people.

Enjoy! BB!

The Kitchen Witch

August, 2017

Sauteed Zucchini with Onions and Mushrooms

 

Since my last posting, I have moved into a new home and I finally have a real kitchen again! It’s so nice to have counter space and storage space! I am still getting settled but I have lots of plans for magical meals and witchy ways to make your culinary life more charming.

It’s the height of the summer harvest season and everywhere you look, there’s zucchini! Your garden is overflowing with the bountiful green squash, at work, your co-workers bring in extras from their gardens, every farmer’s market has baskets filled to the brim with zucchini and summer squash both.

There are literally hundreds of zucchini recipes – from stuffed baked zucchini to pickled zucchini to zucchini salad to zucchini bread – and every one of those has a dozen subsets of recipes – honestly, you could make a zucchini dish every day of the year and never repeat yourself. There’s even a mock apple pie recipe using zucchini – which I have never made – but it tastes like the real deal. All you need is vanilla ice cream.

One of my favorite ways to use zucchini is to saute it with onions and mushrooms. This is a recipe I got from my mother. Of course – like so many of her recipes – it’s not actually a recipe at all – it’s just something that she did. I learned how to make this simply by watching her do it.

It’s wicked simple. All you need is:

1 to 2 tablespoons of butter &/or olive oil &/or a mixture of both

1 or 2 zucchinis or a zucchini and a summer squash

1 small onion or half a large one, sliced

2 cups sliced mushrooms

¼ cup white wine

Sea salt & freshly crushed black pepper to taste

You start by melting some butter in a pan – or heating some olive oil – whatever your preference is – I use a mixture of the two. While this is happening, slice your zucchini. I generally use a mixture of zucchini and summer squash, because I like the look of green and yellow in the pan. Slice your onions and if your mushrooms need slicing, do them as well.

Toss all of the vegetables into the bubbling butter-oil mix and saute until just tender-crisp. Add the white wine and stir until it cooks off. Season with sea salt and freshly crushed pepper and serve.

This is a great side dish to any meat or fish. You can also put it on top of pasta or rice for a vegetarian meal.

The Kitchen Witch

July, 2017

Quinoa Pancakes & Waffles Recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

1 1/2 cups Quinoa flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 cups milk

3 eggs beaten

2 Tbsp of butter melted

2 tsp of honey

 

 

 

Mix together & make into pancakes.

To make waffles, just add another teaspoon of milk to the mixture above.

 

I suggest you use real Maple Syrup and KerryGold butter.  

I am gluten-free and these were so light and delicious. This has become our go to dinner if we are wanting something quick and sweet. 

Notes from the Apothecary

June, 2017

Notes from the Apothecary: Apple
apple1

 

The apple is a fruit that is either revered or maligned, depending on which tradition or religion you look at. For Christians, it is the forbidden fruit, the ultimate temptation in the Garden of Eden. Strangely, the bible itself never names the type of fruit as an apple, and some studies suggest it may actually have been a fig, a pomegranate or even a grape. Despite this, the image of the apple as a fruit of seduction and forbidden knowledge has persisted into the modern age. For the Celts, however, there was nothing sinful about the apple at all. The fruit was associated with the afterlife, yet also with immortality and health. It was also closely associated with the faerie realm, and those who ate an apple whilst in the world of the good neighbours, would never again be able to return.

The Kitchen Garden

There is so much you can do with apples one hardly knows where to begin. For me, it’s my ‘go to’ fruit for jams and jellies. As well as making a fantastic preserve all by itself, it can be added to other fruits low in pectin (the setting agent for jelly and jam) to ease the preserving process. I’ve mixed apple with blackberry, blackcurrants, rowanberries, elderberries and even citrus fruit, all with good results.

As well as preserves, apples make fantastic crumbles, pies and cakes. One of my favourite apple cake recipes can be found here, and is an absolute doddle to make. I use eating apples rather than cooking apples, but experiment and find out what works for you.

 

apple2

 

One of my favourite uses of apples is something I’ve not yet experimented with, and that’s the craft of making cider, or cyder. There is a difference, other than archaic spelling! Cyder is traditionally made from apples that have only been pressed once, rather in the same way that extra virgin olive oil is produced. Cider is made from a repressing of the same apple pulp, mixing it with water. This makes a longer and lighter drink. I’ve always fancied making my own apple press, although I have a friend who uses a hand blender on chopped apples, with some fantastic results! There’s a guide to making your own cider press here at Mother Earth News. If anyone does this or has done this please let me know how it turns out!

The Apothecary

Surely everyone has heard the aphorism, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ The original saying stems from 1866 and was originally, ‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.’ Pithy though these little rhymes are, the apple certainly has many qualities that recommend it as a health food, if not actually a cure-all.

The pectin mentioned previously is a type of soluble fibre, and we need fibre for a healthy diet. There is some evidence that pectin can also lower blood pressure and glucose levels. Apples also contain nutrients that promote healthy bones and brain, and they also contain vitamin C which boosts the immune system and keeps cells healthy.

So while apples won’t necessarily keep all ills at bay, they will certainly contribute to good all round health.

The Witch’s Kitchen

The apple appears throughout various myths from many different backgrounds. We briefly mentioned the Celtic links between apples and immortality. In Norse legend, the apple was given to the gods to provide them with eternal youth. Apples also appear associated with fertility, including the gift of an apple being given to one praying for a child. Apples are also associated with the goddess Hel, and possibly her realm of the same name, the ninth of the nine worlds on the world tree, Yggdrasil. Hel is a realm of the dead, so here we have apples associated with fertility and birth, long life, and death and the afterlife. They are a fruit of cycles, circles and representative of all aspects of being. They are of this world and of magical realms, and represent the link between this world and others.

The apple is also a symbol of poetic inspiration. A branch of apple can symbolise a Bardic or Ovate path. If seeking inspiration yourself, a leaf or small twig from an apple tree in your sacred place may help, or place an apple leaf under your pillow and see what dreams may come.

There is an old superstition that if you can peel an apple in one go, without removing the knife until the peel has come off all in one piece, then toss it over your shoulder whilst looking in a mirror, it will fall in the shape of the initial of your loved one to be. The root of this is most likely an older association with prophecy and fortune telling.

 

apple3

 

Apples are strongly associated with magic of all kinds, in fact they are a kind of catalyst. Any spell can be ‘offered’ to an apple tree. Charge items with intent, and hang them from the tree, trusting that the intrinsic magic of the tree will aid your spell. Water the tree, and if your spell is successful, plant an apple pip at some point in the future as thanks.

The apple is a wonderful offering to many gods and goddesses (always research first though!), and also to the good neighbours (fairies), along with butter and milk.

Home and Hearth

Towards the end of summer, or start of winter, make a Wassail Bowl. There is a druidic celebration known as ‘Day of the Apple’ after Samhain, and a Wassail Bowl is one interpretation of the brew that was made at this time to ensure a good apple harvest the following season. You don’t have to wait until Samhain though. As soon as you have good apples, you can roast them, and mix them with ale, cider, honey or sugar (honey is nicer) and spices such as cinnamon or ginger, to make a warming, hearty drink to share with family and friends.

Pass your brew around while you brag and boast; not merely an excuse for showing off, but a serious exercise in sharing your ambitions and achievements with your loved ones and your gods. Any commitments made at this time must be seen through, or a forfeit paid.

I Never Knew…

In Greek mythology, Atalanta, the virgin huntress, was tricked into losing a race by Hippomenes rolling three irresistible golden apples in front of her. She had to marry him, which just shows, keep your mind on the job and your head in the game!

 

(Image credits: Top: Red Delicious, copyright Bangin via Wikimedia; Next, De Klok jam apple and roses, copyright Queeste via Wikimedia; Final, Malus Sylvestris, copyright Per Arvid Åsen via Wikimedia.)

 

***

 

Mabh Savage is a Pagan author and musician, as well as a freelance journalist. She is the author of A Modern Celt: Seeking the Ancestors and Pagan Portals: Celtic Witchcraft. Follow Mabh on Twitter, Facebook and her blog.

The Kitchen Witch

April, 2011

Kitchen Witch Cleaning

Now we don’t all have to be complete domestic Goddesses, but a kitchen that is tidy and smells clean helps with energy I think.

When you are cleaning how about singing a song or playing some music?  Singing a Goddess or pagan song as you clean can really help raise the positive energy in your kitchen.  Doesn’t even have to be a pagan song, it can be one of your favourite disco ones if that’s what makes you happy and fills you with the energy to clean!

I always like to put on an apron when I am in the kitchen, it is somehow a mental switch that puts me into kitchen witch mode.

There are so many chemicals on the market now for cleaning, and yes they all work pretty well.  But, you can make safe, effective household cleaners from simple and natural ingredients. Check out the usefulness of lemon juice, baking soda and white vinegar for cleaning.  In fact some of the supermarkets even stock eco friendly cleaners now although these tend to be a bit more expensive.

Don’t forget the compost heap to, a lot of your kitchen scraps (no meat) can go into the compost bin to recycle themselves.

When I wash the floor in my kitchen I always add a few drops of essential oil, or even drop a herbal tea bag into the cleaning bucket.  Basil is good for protection, chamomile is excellent for purification and calm, try cinnamon for a happy and protected home, clove promotes love and purification, fennel is good for protection and lavender is wonderful for peace and happiness.  Rosemary works for cleansing and protection as does sea salt and sage is brilliant for purification.  Try some out and see what works best for you.

Once you have done the normal cleaning routine, give the room a sage smudge.  Let the smoke waft into all the corners, if you don’t like sage use your favourite incense instead.

I have the sort of cupboards that once in a while need a good clear out – usually when I open the doors and everything falls out I find is a good time to do it!  I put it off for a while as it seems boring, but once you have done it, and the cupboards are sorted and neatly arranged you get a wonderful feeling of achievement.

Once your kitchen is all clean, cleansed and tidy – enjoy it!  Make yourself a cup of tea maybe even grab a slice of cake and just sit there, feel the spirit of your kitchen. Usually it is the hub of any home, and if you have the space to put a chair in there it can also be a wonderful place to meditate or to ground and centre before you start your day.

HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

September, 2009

First I would like to say Merry Meet to you all and ask how your summer has been so far. Secondly I would like to ask you all to help me out a bit. I would like to write these columns about the things YOU want. So please e-mail me at thehearthkeeper@gmail.com
with your ideas and desires for the Hearthbeats notes and recipes columns…

Now as I would like to share a poem with you. It was shared with me years ago and often I remember it when I feel like a crackpot… hopefully it will help you as well and as often

Blessings

Some wise words from the Kitchen Witch

An elderly Witch had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole, which she carried across her shoulders. One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the long walks from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the witch bringing home only one and a half pots of water.. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the witch one day by the stream.’ I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.’ The old witch smiled, ‘Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?’

‘That’s because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower and herb seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them’.

‘For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers and herbs to decorate the table and cook with. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house and feed us.’

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You’ve just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them. SO, to all of my crackpot friends and family, have a great day and remember to smell the flowers on your side of the path!

Life is short, Break the rules, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably and Dance often.

Never regret anything that made you smile. And remember that being a Crackpot is a good thing!!!

This poem was given to me years ago, I do not know who wrote it nor have I been able to find out. But I did modify it from its original form to be “witchy” rather than what it was.

If anyone lays claim to it or know who wrote the original let me know and I will give credit to them.

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

The Hearthkeeper

Blessed Be the Kitchen Witch

March, 2009

Thank you for welcoming me back into the Pagan Pages family. It is good to be home.

Knowing if you are pagan is relatively simple, but choosing your path is a little more complex. There are hundreds of pagan paths that a practitioner can follow. Before you choose your path research them. Follow your heart when you make your final decision.

The title of this column is Blessed Be the Kitchen Witch. I am a kitchen witch but I am so also much more. I have brought many more practices into my craft, hearth witchery, cottage witchery, green witchery and garden witchery. I am an earth based witch and all of these practices are centered on the hearth and home so to me all fall into Kitchen Witchery. They are what make me the witch I choose to be. This column will have a little bit of all.

All of the spells, advice, and tips in this column are used with harm to none. Please follow the Wiccan Rede when doing any of the workings found here.

The following was found on the internet and I don’t know who the Author is.

The Kitchen Witch’s Creed

In this pot I stir the sun,

an’ follow the rule of harming none.

Banishment of bane when goin’ windershins;

an’ with water and salt negativity is cleansed.

Household duties are more than chores,

Magick abounds when mopping the floors.

With this broom, I do sweep,

To clean my house and safety keep.

Marigold, Basil, Thyme, and Yarrow,

My spell is cast for a better tomorrow.

Lemons for joy and apples for health,

The pow’r within brings great wealth.

And in this kitchen I do pray,

To truly walk the Witch’s Way.

The tools of a Kitchen Witch do not necessarily have to be bought. A simple wooden spoon can become a wand. A cup or bowl can become a chalice and vessel. Ordinary kitchen knives can be used for an athame and boline. The kitchen broom becomes a staff. The slow cooker or crock pot or a heavy duty cooking pot can be used as a cauldron. A simple coffee grinder takes place of the mortar and pestle. A Kitchen Witch’s magick comes from within, so be sure to use natural materials. Ie: glass, metal, wood, pottery, and ceramics, the broom should be made of straw.

A Kitchen Witch uses essential oils and incense to create balance. He or she turns everyday mundane life into magicak moments. They will take pride in the meals they prepare, and the recipes they create. There are many spells involving a broom and mop. They use these items to cleanse their home which is also their sacred space. He or She will also keep to the rule of harming none as not to jeopardize their magick. Their symbols involve household items such as a cauldron, broom, corn dolls, the triquetra, and a kitchen witch doll. Of course they will use any symbol that is comfortable for them.

A little lore using simple elements from the house.

The refrigerator is the appliance dedicated to air.

Fire dwells within the stove

Water rules over the kitchen sink

All the foods and herbs in the kitchen are ruled by the earth element.

It is thru the use of these basic everyday items from our kitchens that our magick is created.

Even more lore from a Kitchen Witch’s home

Be sure to wash all of your dishes every night is you work with fairy magick. Faries don’t like a dirty kitchen and they won’t let you sleep until you clean it!!

Hang wind chimes in doorways, in front of windows outside, or from a balcony rail to ward off negative energy and keep away intruders.

Sifters and strainers kept in the kitchen are good for protection and will keep the kitchen safe.

If you have a bunch of accidents in your kitchen it is time to magikcally cleanse it.

Sew herbs or magickal powders into the lining of your drapes. Place packets of herbs or magickal powders under your throw rugs. This helps protect and scent the home at the same time.

Herbs for alternate healing


NOTE: Before using any of these remedies please check with your doctor. Some may be bad for your health if you have an existing condition that will interact with the herbs.

hritis: Comfrey

Flu: cayenne pepper

Gout: comfrey.  Gout is also in the arthritis family

Headaches: rosemary

Insect Stings: Marigold

Nightmares: chamomile, rosemary

I will have more for you next month.


Natural Remedies

Cool whip will condition your hair in 15 min.

Dump Nestea into a bath for sunburn

Use meat tenderizer for bee stings

Puffy eyes? Preparation H….I know it sounds gross but it works…yes I have used it…lol

Use that old time favorite snack jell-o for stinky feet… I know.. now I am really grossing you out, but these really work.

Put Kool-Aid in plain yogurt and let your kids use it for finger paints. Your kids will love it and it won’t hurt them if they eat it.

Use Pam cooking spray for a sticking bike chain

Pam will also remove paint and grease from your hands

Peanut butter will take the ink off the face of dolls

Stay tuned for more

March brings us our Spring Equinox. It is also the sabbat of Ostara. Ostara is celebrated on this equinox. It is also known as Lady Day. Ostara is named after the Goddess Eostre. While modern day Wiccans equate Ostara with the spring equinox, the original Ostara was a lunar holiday celebrated on the 1st full moon following the equinox. The significance of Ostara is the beginning of spring and the renewal and rebirth of nature herself.

The full moon for March is called the Chaste Moon. March is the month when spring is upon us. With spring comes the rebirth of plants and animals. Now is the time for new beginnings, new projects, and planting your flowers and new herbs.

I live in an apartment complex so I don’t have flower beds (the BIG downfall of apartment buildings) I do however have a balcony. Since this is the 1st spring I have been here I am going to try my hand at balcony gardening. I will get planters for the railing and plant some of my favorite flowers and a herb garden. I can’t wait. This month’s gardening will be geared towards the apartment dwellers.

For those of you who have a sunny kitchen window (I don’t) the windowsill full of potted plants and herbs not only looks good, but they release magickal energies into the room. Plant some common herbs that are used in your kitchen. Of course plant some of the herbs you like so you can have their energies too.
This month’s craft

Doorway Protection for those living in an apartment

Items Needed:

1 purple candle   glue gun and glue sticks  wire cutters

¼ yard ½ “ lace, gathered and color of choice

2 yds ¼ “ satin ribbon in your color of choice

4 yds ½ “ satin ribbon in a contrasting color

10 small silk rose buds ( found at Hobby Lobby or Michaels)

Gather these items into your sacred space. Light the purple candle. Before making this protective charm, sit and clear your mind and think of how you want this charm to protect your home. When you are ready begin.

1. Take the broom and “very carefully” pass it thru the flame of the candle, the fire will help infuse your charm with your energy. Do this for each item.
2. With the ¼ “ ribbon tie a double bow and glue to the top of the handle. Cut the wire stems off 2 of the silk rosebuds. Glue these to the center of the bow.
3. Take the ½ “ ribbon and tie it into a triple bow. Glue this to the base of the handle. Cut the wire stems off 4 of the rosebuds. Glue them to the center of the bow.
4. Glue the gathered lace along the bottom edge of the bristles(about 1” from the bottom) Cut the stems off the remaining rosebuds and glue them evenly spaced across the lace.
5. Hold your finished broom in your hands as you visualize its intent.

The following incantation is recommended but now necessary. I know it doesn’t rhyme but I haven’t yet mastered that.

Wrapped in ribbon and lace

This broom is enchanted.

Cleansed in fire, now may my wish be granted.

Magic broom of mine protect from harm,

Ward off negativity

Blessed be.

Hang the broom bristles up over your door.

Allow the candle to burn for a bit then extinguish. Put the candle away and use the next time you work any protection for your apartment.

As I told everyone in June 06, I had a “kitchen witch doll” that hang in 7 different kitchen’s and had made it thru all the moves. Well I had to give her a decent send off as she didn’t make it thru my last move intact. Next month’s craft will be the making of a Kitchen Witch Doll.

In closing: Everyone has their own magickal or sacred place. Mine is my home. I feel the magick of my home as well as work my own magick. For some this is their magickal place too. Whatever your place, make it your own. Decorate it to your taste. For those who’s space is outside, enhance your place by adding nice chairs and pots of flowers that you feel drawn too. This place too can be made your very own. Whether inside or out, have fun making your space. Let it take on your personality as well as keeping its own.

Remember: Magick happens all around us.

See you next month

HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

February, 2009

I recently found this amazing graphic…although it is set up counterclockwise (for me) it is wonderful to see how the Sabbats and esbats connect and flow with the death and rebirth of plants as well as the world.. so I wanted to share this as well as some herbal information in this edition of Notes…

hearthbeats

This is in no way a complete list of herbs… but it is as complete as I have and will use..

Herbs A to Z

Aloe Vera – Moon and water. It powers are used for protection and luck. Carry it with you to protect yourself against evil or clumsiness. Aloe is used for its antibacterial, anesthetic and antiseptic properties; it is a good tool for restoration of tissue. It is most commonly used on burns, minor cuts, sunburns and is being used for the treatment of skin cancer.

Angelica – Sun and fire. The root carried in a blue cloth bag is a protective talisman. It was considered to be under the guard of angels and therefore a good preventative charm against the plague. Put the whole root in a blue or white cloth bag and hang it in the window as a protection against evil.

Agrimony – Air. Used in protection spells, used to banish negative energies and spirits. It can also be used to reverse spells and send them back to the sender. An infusion of the leaves is used to treat jaundice and other liver ailments. Externally, a fomentation is used for athlete’s foot, sores and insect bites.

Anise – Jupiter and air. Used for protection, a pillow stuffed with anise seeds is reputed to keep away nightmares..

Apple – Venus and water. Was used in love spells for hundreds of years, cider can be used in place of blood or wine where called for in ancient spells and rites. The wood is made into wands and used for love spells and rituals. In Cornwall, a large apple was given to each member of the household to be eaten at Samhain for good luck.

Ash – Sun and water. A protective tree used to make besoms and healing wands. Ash leaves placed beneath the pillow, are thought to induce psychic dreams. The leaves are considered lucky, carried in a pocket or etc., the leaf is supposed to bring good luck.

Basil – Mars and fire. Used in wealth and prosperity rituals, carrying basil in your pocket is supposed to attract money.

Bay Laurel – Sun and fire. In ancient Greece, bay leaves were used to make the crowns of victors in competitions. The leaves can be burned or chewed to help induce visions. Worn as an amulet it wards off negativity or evil. Leaves under the pillow will help bring prophetic dreams. It is also used in protection and purification rituals.

Benzoin – Sun and air. It is used in purification incenses. A few drops of simple tincture of benzoin will help to preserve oils and preparations.

Betony – Jupiter and fire. Added to incense of protection and purification, If you sleep on a pillow stuffed with betony, it will prevent nightmares. In ancient times it was supposed to prevent drunkenness.

Blackberry – The berries and leaves are considered to protect against evil if gathered at certain times of the moon.

Borage – Air. The fresh blossoms bring courage when carried. A tea will induce your psychic powers. Borage is used for treating bronchitis, rashes and to increase mother’s milk. An infusion is used as eyewash.

Broom – Mars and air. Can be used to create a besom to cleanse the circle of outside influences,it was considered a sign of prosperity to come if the broom plants had many flowers.

Buckwheat – Earth. Buckwheat is used in money and protection magick. You grind the seeds to make flour and sprinkle it around your house in a circle to protect it. You can also use it to form a circle on the floor or ground around you while performing magick. Also keep some in the kitchen to guard against proverty.

Chamomile – Sun and water. Used in prosperity charms and rituals. It also induces sleep, the tea brings peace and tranquility for those times when you need to do a ritual but the emotions are stirred.

Caraway – Mercury and air. Used in love charms to attract a love.

Carnation – Sun and fire. Thought to be worn by witches to prevent capture and hanging. It produces energy in ritual when used in incense.

Catnip – Venus and water.. Catnip is a member of the mint family; it is an edible herb for humans as well as a fragrant herb for cats. It is know to be a relaxing herb taken in a tea, also helps with flatulency, stomach acid and stomach spasms. Catnip is an antispasmodic, astringent, aromatic, carminative, diaphoretic and an anodyne, helps promote menstruation and lessen menstrual cramps.

Cinnamon – Sun and fire. Used in incense for healing, clairvoyance, and high spiritual vibrations, use in prosperity charms.

Cinquefoil – Jupiter and earth. This was an ingredient in many spells during medieval times. Hang on the house entrances as protection. Can also be used in spells and charms for prosperity, purification and protection.

Clove – Sun and fire. Wear to drive away negativity and stop gossip. Cloves strung on a red thread can be worn as a protective charm.

Clover – Mercury and air. Used in rituals for beauty and youth, Four-leaved clovers are carried to see fairies, detect evil, heal illness, and avoid madness and a general good luck charm. Red clover can be used as a nerve tonic and a sedative for exhaustion. It is often used in combination with many other drugs in the treatment of cancer. It can also be used for skin eruptions.

Coriander – Mars and fire. Used in love spells and charms.

Cowslip – Venus. These flowers were believed to bring luck in love to the wearer. It was traditionally woven into funeral wreaths to be laid on the deceased one’s grave at the full moon for thirteen moons after death. Posies of cowslips, placed under the pillow are said to allow contact with the dead in dreams.
Dandelion – Jupiter and air. An herb of Hecate, used in Samhain rituals; It is said that if you rub yourself all over with the dandelion, you will be welcome everywhere and all your wishes will be granted. Dandelion benefits all aspects for the liver. It clears obstructions and detoxifies poisons and promotes healthy circulation. The juice from a broken stem can be applied to warts. When allowed to dry, use for 3 days or so, it will dry up the warts.

Dill – Mercury and fire. Used in love charms. Hang in a child’s room to protect them. In olden times, dill was considered an excellent protection against evil.

Dragon’s Blood – Mars and fire. Used in love and protection spells. A piece under the bed is reputed to cure impotency. Carry a piece with you for good luck. Dissolve a little in the bath for a strong purification bath. Dragon’s Blood is also used to make a magickal ink.

Elder – Venus and air. Branches can be used for wands and staves.. In ancient times, it was considered unlucky to burn elder or to bring it into the house.

Eucalyptus – Moon and air. Used in healing rituals and charms of all kinds. Surround blue candles with the leaves and burn for healing vibrations. Hang green pods around the neck to cure colds and sore throats.

Eyebright – Sun and air. Anoint eyelids with the infusion daily to induce clairvoyant visions. It stimulates the liver to remove toxins from the body. It can be used internally or externally to treat eye infections and afflictions. The herb also strengthens the eye and helps repair damage.

Fennel – Mercury and fire. Connected with mother’s milk and breastfeeding, traditionally bought for new mothers and hung near the cradle to keep away flies. Fennel eases the appetite, relieves gas and expels worms.; can also be used as a gargle, mouthwash and eyewash. Helps with coughs and it is also used for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Fern – Saturn and earth. Extremely powerful protection’s, grow in the house and include in vases of cut flowers. Ferns are supposed to protect any house that contains them from damage by storms.

Frankincense – Sun and fire. A very powerful scent which aids meditation and induces a spiritual frame of mind, burn as a general protective incense. Frankincense has been used in purification and protection incenses since ancient times, although it was the only incense not burned by the Greeks as an offering to the gods. It is still used as incense in Christian churches. .

Gardenia – Moon and water. Wear the flower to attract love.

Garlic – Mars and fire. Extremely protective herb., carry the bulb with you on trips over water to prevent drowning. Hang in the home to protect. The ancient Greeks placed bulbs of garlic on the stone cairns at crossroads as an offering to Hecate. Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic. It can stimulate cell growth and activity. It reduces blood pressure in hypertensive conditions. A main advantage to using garlic for its antibiotic properties is that it does not destroy the body’s natural flora. It is excellent for use in all colds and infections in the body.

Ginger – Fire. Used in passion spells to heat up the relationship. Used in success spells and ensures the success of spells. Ginger is an excellent herb to use for strengthening and healing the respiratory system, for fighting off colds and flu. Helps remove congestion, soothes sore throats, relieves headaches and body aches. Combined with other herbs, it enhances their effectiveness. It is also very useful in combating motion sickness and morning sickness and digestive problems.

Ginseng – Fire. Carried it will guard your health and attract love. Ginseng is an effective substitute for mandrake in all spells. Ginseng stimulates the body to overcome all forms of illness, physical and mental. It is used to lower blood pressure, increase endurance, aid in relieving depression. The dried root is used for healing purposes. Used in conjunction with most herbs, it is effective in treating all sorts of illnesses, including cancers, digestive troubles, and memory. It also helps overcome fatigue. During menopause it aids in rejuvenating the system, balances hormones and aids in regulating hot flashes.

Goldenseal – Fire. It is used in prosperity spells, and healing spells and rituals. Goldenseal is another natural and powerful antibiotic. The herb goes straight to the bloodstream and eliminates infection in the body.  When taken in combination with other herbs, it will boost the properties for the accompanying herbs. Pregnant women should not use this herb!

Hawthorn – Mars and fire. Used in protection sachets. In ancient times, it was associated with happiness in marriage and carried by brides. The Romans put Hawthorn leaves into the babies’ cradles to protect them against evil. Burn Hawthorn berries as an incense when you feel the need for energy and dynamism in your life.

Hazel – Sun and air. Good wood for all purpose wands. Forked branches can be used as diving wants. Tie two Hazel twigs together with a red or gold thread to make a solar cross as a good luck charm.

Heather – Water.  When used in potpourri, it adds protection and when burned with fern, it is said to bring rain. A tea made of heather blossoms is used to suppress coughing and is an aid for sleeplessness.

Holly – Mars and fire. Because of its red berries and evergreen foliage, holly has always been a powerful symbol of life, protection and safety. Leaves and berries can be carried to heighten masculinity.

Honeysuckle – Jupiter and earth. Use in prosperity spells and charms.

Hops – Mars and water. Used in healing incenses and charms. Hops in a pillow will induce sleep. It is unwise to use hops if depressed, they are believed to engender melancholy. Hops is a sedative. It us useful in treating insomnia and nervous tension, it is mild and safe, also used in brewing beer and ales. Hops can be used for treating coughs, bladder ailments and liver ailments. Externally it is used to treat itching skin rashes and hives.

Horehound – Air. Use as an incense for protection.. Horehound is used in children’s cough remedies because it is a gentle but effective expectorant. It acts as a tonic for the respiratory system and stomach. In large doses, it acts as a laxative.

Horsetail – Earth. Whistles made from the stalks are used to call the spirits.  It aids in coagulation and decreases bleeding. Helps broken bones heal faster, helps with brittle nails and hair. This is because of its high silica content. Has also been used as a part of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, when the plant is boiled in water, it makes an effective foot soak for tired feet or for the treatment of athlete’s foot.

Hyssop – Jupiter and fire. Use in purification baths and protection spells. Associated with serpents and dragons, can be burnt as incense or thrown on the fire to tap into dragon energy.

Ivy – Saturn and water. Guards and protects the houses it grows over, Often given to newlyweds, in conjunction with holly, as a good luck charm.

Jasmine – Jupiter and earth. Used in love spells and charms.

Juniper – Sun and fire. If a sprig of Juniper is worn, is said protect the wearer from accidents. The berry or hot plants such as thistle, chili peppers and bougainvillea, desert dwelling cacti, coffee beans, and Almond Trg seeds, generally help with visualization.  It is high in natural insulin and has the ability to heal the pancreas where there has been no permanent damage. Useful for all urinary infections and water retention problems, It can be used externally as a compress to treat acne, athlete’s foot and dandruff. .

Lavender – Air. Lavender is used in purification baths and rituals. Used in healing incenses and sachets. Carrying the herb will enable the carrier to see ghosts. The flowers, when burned, induce sleep and scattered throughout the home, maintain a peaceful harmony within. Carrying lavender brings strength and courage. Lavender tea made from the blossoms is used as an antidepressant. When used in combination with other herbs it is a remedy for depression and nervous tension and stress. It can also be used as a headache remedy.

Lemon Balm
– Drink as in infusion to soothe away the emotional pains after a relationship break-up; considered useful in recovery from trauma and sexual assault. It has long been considered to drive away melancholy and low spirits.

Lemon Verbena
– Venus and air. Wear as a love charm and to increase one’s attractiveness. Add to charms to increase their power.

Linden – Jupiter. It is associated with conjugal love and longevity.

Lovage – Sun and water. Add the root to cleansing baths. Carry to attract love.

Marigold – Sun and fire. In a vase, renews energy of everyone in the room where the vase is placed, can symbolize constancy and endurance in love.

Marjoram – Mercury and air. Add to love charms. Place a bit of the herb in every room in the house for protection. It was used in an anointing ointment for love divination in combination with marigold, thyme, honey and wormwood.

Meadowsweet – Jupiter and water. A sacred herb of the Druids, arrange fresh meadowsweet on the altar when mixing love charms or performing love spells. Strew around the house for love and peace. Wear garlands of meadowsweet to Lammas to join with the essence of the Goddess.

Mistletoe – Sun and air. Worn as a protective amulet, or to help conceive, Mistletoe was held in great esteem by the Druids, and was suppossed to protect the wearer from evil.

Mugwort – Venus and air. Put into the shoe while travelling, for protection from sunstroke, wild beasts and evil spirits and to prevent fatigue on long journeys. Mugwort tea will induce clairvoyance. Rub fresh leaves on magick mirror and crystal balls to strengthen divinatory powers. Add to scrying, clairvoyance and crystal balls to strengthen divination incenses. It is said that putting it under the doorstep, insures no unwelcome person will enter. It is also used to help induce menses, especially when combined with cramp bark.  Fresh juice of the plant treats poison ivy. Pregnant women should not use it.

Myrrh – Sun and water. Purifying and protective incense, can be used to consecrate tools. It is a powerful antiseptic, being a remedy second only to Echinacea. It is a strong cleaning and healing agent, soothing the body and speeding the healing process. It is used in mouthwashes, gargles and toothpastes for fighting and preventing gum disease.

Myrtle – Venus and water. Sacred to Venus and used in love charms and spells of all kinds. If grown indoors it brings good luck. Carry Myrtle leaves to attract love, or the wood to preserve youth. Wood can be used to make magick charms.

Nettle – Mars and fire. Stuff a poppet with nettles to protect yourself from unwanted attention. Sprinkle around the room as protection or add to protection charms. If carried, said to instill courage.

Nutmeg – Jupiter and air. Carry a nutmeg to strengthen clairvoyant power and to prevent rheumatism.

Oak – Sun and fire. Sacred tree in  many cultures. It has long been associated with royalty. Rites were often performed in groves of oak trees and mistletoe that grew on oak was considered the most powerful. Burn oak leaves as purification. The wood is used for all purpose wands. Acorns are carried to preserve youthfulness and to ward off illness. Hang in the windows to protect the house.

Olive – Sacred to Athena. Regarded as a symbol of peace and wealth, also a sign of safe travel.

Onion – Mars and fire. Used in protection and healing. Place cut onions in a room to absorb illness, leave overnight and throw away in the morning.

Orange – Sun and water. The dried peel is added to love and fertility charms and is used in Solar incenses. It is a traditional Chinese symbol of good luck and prosperity.

Orris Root – Venus and water. Add to love charms, baths and incenses.

Parsley – Mercury and air. In ancient times, parsley was considered symbolic of death and was made into wreaths to crown the graves of the dead. It was sacred to Persephone and used in funeral rites. Because parsley seeds take so long to germinate, it was said that they went to the devil and back before sprouting.

Patchouli – Sun and earth. Both men and woman can carry as an aphrodisiac and to attract lovers. Patchouli is used to treat dysentery, diarrhea, colds without fevers, vomiting, and nausea.

Pepper – Mars and fire. Used in protective charms.

Peppermint – Venus and air. Use in healing incenses and charms, also good in a healing bath, burn as winter incense. Any mint infusion can be sprinkled around the house as a cooling-off influence after arguments.

Periwinkle – Venus and water. Hang on the house entrances as protection.

Pine – Mars and earth. Burn as purifying winter incense, pine nuts are eaten and carried as fertility charms. Pine needles can be added to healing or cleansing baths.

Plantain – Earth. It is considered to have healing, strengthening, protective and snake repelling properties.  Also when placed under the feet, it is said to remove weariness. Hung in the car, it protects. When taken internally, plantain has a soothing action, particularly in the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems. It relieves irritates and inflamed conditions such as colitis, gastritis, bronchitis, harsh coughs and cystitis. It has an astringent action, stems bleeding and encourages healing, internally and externally. It can be taken for colds, sinus congestion and allergic conditions such as hay fever and asthma. It is an antiseptic, cleansing and a good expectorant.

Poppy – Moon and water. Eat poppy seeds as a fertility charm. Carry seeds or dried seed pods as a prosperity charm.

Rose – Venus and water. Carry roses to attract true love. Drink a tea of rose petals for divinatory dreams. Add to charms and incenses for sleep, love and healing.

Rosemary – Sun and fire. Use in protection charms, incenses and baths. It was thought as a preventative against the plague. Wear to aid memory and learning. Can be used in sea rituals and sea magick. Wash your hands in with rosemary infusion before performing magick as a substitute for a ritual bath. Drink the tea before exams or interview to make the mind alert. It can also be made into a protection wreath.

Rowan – Sun and fire. Tie two twigs together with red thread as a general protection and luck charm. Use as a divining stick. The berries are used as a good luck amulet. A necklace of the berries can be used as a healing charm.

Rue – Sun and fire. It was once worn to guard against plague. Added to charms, it is designed to keep illness away. The smell of the fresh herb clears the mind of emotional clutter. Use a sprig of rue dipped into water to sprinkle an area for magickal purification.

Saffron – Sun and fire. Used in prosperity and healing rituals, charms and incenses.

Sage – Jupiter and air. Used in healing and prosperity charms, regarded as a great safeguard of health and has a reputation for promoting longevity. It is supposed to grow best in the gardens of the wise and was once thought to flourish or sicken as its grower’s fortunes did likewise.  It is beneficial to the mind by easing mental exhaustion and by strengthening the concentrating abilities. In a lotion it is useful for treating sores and skin eruptions and to stop bleeding in all cuts. Chewing the fresh leaves soothes mouth sores and sore throats, as will sage tea. It is good for all stomach troubles, diarrhea, gas, flu and colds. As a hair rinse, it removes dandruff. Sage combined with peppermint, rosemary and wood betony, provides an excellent headache remedy, and is used as a deodorant.

St. John’s Wort – Sun and fire. Used in protective charms of all kinds, it was supposed to be so protective that its mere presence would cause evil spirits to fly away. Wear to ward off fever and illness, burn as banishing incense. Gather on Midsummer’s Eve, pass through the smoke of bonfires to purify and hang in the house as protection. Wear to instill courage and strengthen the will. Drink the tea of the herb to cure melancholy. St. John’s Wort is said to combat stress, minor depression, alcohol cravings. It is an antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant, astringent, expectorant, vulnerary, helps with insomnia and bed wetting. Drink the tea for help with anemia, headaches, jaundice, feminine difficulties and pain, and chest congestion. Use the oil externally for burns, wounds, sores, bruises and skin problems.

Sandalwood – Moon and air. Used in purifying, protective and healing incenses.

Slippery Elm – Air. It can be burned to stop gossip. It can be used to neutralize stomach acids. It is also used to boost the adrenal glands, draws out impurities and heals all parts of the body. It is most useful for the respiratory system. Externally it is an excellent healer for burns, skin cancers, poison ivy and wounds.

Sunflower – Sun and fire. Brings the blessings of the Sun into any garden in which it is grown. The seeds can be eaten by women who wish to conceive.

Tansy – Water. The ancient Greeks thought that Tansy would preserve dead bodies. Used in love charms, It can be used internally and externally for gout, roundworm, ague, spasms, epilepsy, bruises, strains, colic, hysteria, skin diseases and to prevent miscarriages. Can be used preserve dead bodies because it can drive away flies and stave off decay.

Thyme – Venus and Air. Burn as purifying incense, use in magickal cleansing baths. Inhale the scent for refreshment and renewed energy. Wear to protect oneself from negativity and grief at funerals. When worn, it is thought to inspire courage.

Valerian – Mercury and water. It was used in a love charm and spells and purification baths.

Vanilla – Jupiter and fire. The bean can be carried in a love charm.

Vervain – Venus and water. A herb sacred to the Druids and used by the Romans as a ritual cleansing plant. It can be used in magickal cleansing baths, purification incenses and safety amulets. Hang above the bed to keep away nightmares. It can be used in love and protection charms. Burn as a good purification incense, it also brings good luck and inspiration. It has no odor or taste, which is why it is regarded as magickal or otherworldly. Vervain can be used for ailments of the eye, thinning and ailing hair, sleeplessness, inveterate headache, scrofulous diseases, indolent ulcers and sore throat. It properties also include sedative, and astringent.

Violet – Venus and water. Violets mixed with lavender for a powerful love charm. A violet compress can aid headaches. Carry the flowers as a good luck charm. Violets are supposed to absorb ill will and evil spells. The scent is said to soothe and clear the mind.

Walnut – Sun and fire. Carry the nut as a charm to promote fertility and strengthen the heart.

Willow – Moon and water. Willow wands can be used for healing. The Willow will bring the blessings of the Moon upon those who plant it or have it on their property. Willows have been used to bind together witches besoms.

Wormwood – Mars and air. This was once burned to raise spirits. It can be used in divinatory and clairvoyance incenses, burn first at Samhain to gain protection from roaming spirits. Used in initiation rites and for tests of courage and endurance. It should not be used by those suffering from shock or grief as it has an affinity with the world of the dead.

Yarrow – Venus and water. It can be used in love and marriage charms. It is said to ward off negativity when worn.  Drink yarrow tea prior to divination to enhance the powers of perception.  It was a famed herb for staunching blood flow in all forms. It can also be used for hysteria, flatulence, heartburn, colic, epilepsy, rheumatism, toothache, colds, internal bleeding, loss of appetite,  sore throat, sore nipples, heavy menstruation, piles, cuts and contusions, eliminates toxins. This herb intensifies the efficiency of other herbs when taken in conjunction.

So there you have it.. Many Herbs and some uses.. Please consult with your Doctor as well as a Nutritionist that can work with you to best use these herbs. Do not use without researching more intensely as well as skin testing to see if you will react badly.

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

HearthBeats: Notes from a Kitchen Witch

December, 2008

Kitchen/Cottage Witchery

Kitchen witchery or Cottage witchery is a special kind of magick. Many times you can be in the home of a kitchen/cottage witch and never know it. You may never see a pentacle or any other sign of witchery. We are just your normal every day people. If you sat at our table you would see many of the same things you would see in your home… only we may use them differently.

But the earmark of a kitchen /cottage witch’s home is the “feel” of it. Here you will be at peace. Calm, centered, comforted. That is what many of us infuse our homes with. For Kitchen/cottage witchery is the sort of magick that puts welcomed guests and family at ease.

These are subtle types of magick: think handmade and homegrown-a sheave of dried herb from our garden, a flower grown in the yard, herbs and spices dried and sitting in jars, candle spells and color magick. The magickal household accessories, charms, and spells may not be obvious, but they are there nonetheless. Many of the ingredients kitchen/cottage witchery calls for are, for the most part, already readily available to you, probably sitting in the spice rack or cupboard or outside, compliments of good old Mother Earth.

Home is where the hearts is, and remember that the most powerful magick always comes from the heart. That makes a Kitchen/Cottage Witch’s home a powerful magickal place. There is actually a spiritual connection between us and our homes. When we use the energies of nature and bring them into our homes, they become blessed with magickal purpose, they become sacred spaces.

Much of our magick is done in our kitchens… not because we are all culinary wiz’s but because much of our lore is centered around the “hearth” For generations the hearth is where the family prepared herbal remedies, cooked their food, and gathered together. It was the natural place for magick, as the hearth exuded light and warmth and was literally the heart of the home. We extend that now to our kitchen as many of us no longer have “hearths and fireplaces”… Think back to any family gatherings… where do you congregate?? Where do you wander when you have guests… do you end up having all of your Coven/circle members crammed into the kitchen… well then … think now how much energy you have placed there. So while you’re thinking about this, get up and take a walk around your place. Close your eyes after you enter the rooms and cast out your senses. Really try to get an impression for what type of energy you have going on in there. You will often find a couple of places that pull both visitors and family members alike.

Periodic cleansing and blessing of your home is a good Idea… it helps to remove negativity that may be brought in as well as keep some of the future negativity from entering.

I borrowed this Blessing from another source… but it has been a while since I have read the original as well as having read about a billion other things since… I really cannot say where I got it… so if anyone knows… let me know so I can give credit in the future. I have modified it a bit from the original… so it is not illegal… but I would like to know anyway…

Here is a natural magick blessing to try out.

Pick the room or rooms that you feel are the heart of your home and gather these simple and elemental supplies.

* A small dish of salt to represent the earth and prosperity

* A stick of incense (your choice of scent) and a holder; the scented smoke represents air and knowledge

* A red candle and a coordinating candleholder for fire and passion

* A small bowl of water for water and love

* Matches or a lighter

* Small white “birthday” candle to place a protective symbol on the window

* Small purple candle and candle holder for spirit

Straighten and clean the room or rooms to be blessed.

Then light the candle and the incense.

Place the candle in the center of the room.

Beginning in the east, and moving in a deosil (clockwise) motion, work your way slowly around the room. First mix a bit of salt in the water., Then carry the incense around, waving a little of the smoke to help it flow, Next sprinkle a bit of the water around the perimeter of the room. Visualizing prosperity and love

Then carry the incense around, waving a little of the smoke visualizing passion and knowledge

Take the white candle and at the windows and doorways place a small pentacle at one corner. This represents all of the elements including Spirit

Then settle in front of the purple candle and visualize the blessings from each of the four elements and spirit.

There is the gift of prosperity from deep in the earth.

Knowledge is sent along a fragrant breeze from the air.

Passion is rewarded to you from the bright, dancing flames of fire,

And love embraces you from the emotional element of water.

Spirit is in everything you touch and connect with… it entwines all the elements into you.

Picture these elemental gifts in your mind and then visualize both you and the people or pets that live with you receiving an equal share of these offerings.

When you are ready, center yourself and repeat this blessing:

Elements all I call, release now your power,

As I bless my home in this magickal hour.

No negativity can enter, no spirits shall roam,

As I consecrate and protect the heart of my home.

As you finish the charm, draw a circle in the air above the candle flame with your

finger. Spiral it up faster and faster, higher and higher, until you fling the energy off

and out into the room. Then close up the spell by saying,

This home is now blessed by my will and desire,

I close this spell by earth, air, water, and fire.

You may allow the candle and the incense to burn themselves out.

Does the house feel different.. better .. or just balanced? I bet if you

pay attention, you’ll notice a subtle change in people’s reactions as they enter the

heart of your home, your energy will radiate out to the rest of the place.

Now you may think that because you do not live in a huge sprawling cottage in the woods somewhere you cannot be a Kitchen/cottage witch… but that is sooo not the case. Your Hearth is where you make it. No matter where you live, in the city or a rural area, kitchen/cottage witchery can successfully but you will need to be creative. For example, if you can’t decorate the outside of your door, then decorate the inside of the doors. The energy and the intent are there. So then will the enchantment be there as well.

Many apartments have a deck, patio area, or even a little fire escape. Set a few pots of flowers or herbs out there; see what you can conjure up. How about a few houseplants on the windowsill? Use your imagination! Don’t be afraid to take what you have to work with and adapt it to make it uniquely your own.

You do not need a cauldron… not when you have pots and pan, wooden spoons and other such utensils..

Kitchen/Cottage witchery is about using modern ways to creatively turn the place where you live into one of comfort, happiness, to use those things you have to bring balance and magick.

Kitchen/Cottage witchery embraces a magickal style and atmosphere in the home that is

down to earth and definitely hands-on. It is all about nature and energy and magick… and how to use it in YOUR life and YOUR home.

I know that this has had nothing to do with the Sabbats.. Either Yule or Mid-summer / Litha. But it has to do with the every day. The fact that we do these things because they are natural… second nature. Not due to a holiday or a sabbat. We Kitchen / Cottage witches work year round to use the season and the world to our advantage, to make a warm safe place out of our Home and Hearth. Now if you look for the Recipe column, I will have some Yule/ Litha recipes for you all.

Until next time

Blessed Home and Hearth

The Hearthkeeper

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