Crafting Articles

Wreathing the Wheel

A Miracle Tomato, First Harvest, and Kitchen Witchcraft

This is my miracle tomato. I’ve been trying to grow tomatoes for years, but after repeated failures, I gave up on the idea, and figured I’d just have to remain happy with store-bought. Which is why this is my miracle tomato: I did not plant or buy this tomato; I have no idea where this tomato came from. This planter was supposed to have nothing in it but dirt, but a month or two ago, it started pushing up this little mystery sprout. It didn’t look like any of the weeds I tend to eradicate from my garden, so I decided to water it and see what it was. It grew quickly and seemed healthy, so I kept watering it. As it grew, the tell-tale fuzzy stems and five-petaled yellow flowers made me pretty confident in a diagnosis of Solanaceae, and now the first tomato is finally starting to grow!

This unexpected harvest, and its coincidence with summer’s harvest festivals, is what inspired this article. While the summer harvest festival is generally associated with grains — wheat, oats, or corn — it’s probably best to use whatever your actual harvest is for this if you are a gardening witch who wants to bless your garden. However, there’s absolutely no reason why this spread couldn’t be used for pure kitchen witchcraft and store-bought ingredients.

One commonality of most harvest festivals is the sharing of food: if you want to keep reaping a good harvest and growing in abundance, you must both pay it forward and pay it back! I plan to do this in two ways. First, I am planning to return to the earth what it gave me, and replant some of the tomato seeds from this plant. Separating the seeds is pretty easy, but it does have a couple of specific steps for the process of curing the seeds and saving them. Second, I decided to use these tomatoes to make some finger-food, to make it easy to share with others. Since the plant is so small, I don’t really expect it to produce very large tomatoes, so this recipe is intended for small cherry or plum tomatoes; I also added rice to bring some grain into this dish in honor of harvest festival traditions.

As an atheistic animist, my approach is to invoke the spirits of the plants themselves, so I don’t address my rituals to a god or goddess as many witches do — but this type of ritual could easily be adapted to any type of magical system. For a ritual that involves working with multiple deities or other types of spiritual forces, this information could even be included in the correspondence information above.

This recipe spread is perfect for kitchen witchcraft: the left page deals with the recipe, the right page with the craft. There’s plenty of room for correspondences, art, and ritual, so I decided to craft a moderately complicated ritual and recipe so you can see how easy it is to build this kind of layout. As usual, I drafted this layout with pencil before I inked the whole spread, and made notes for the text on my laptop before adding it as well. I realize that many people who keep a journal don’t have the patience or time for this extra step — or feel it’s somehow unnatural to the whole journaling process — but there are a number of advantages to developing this type of process, and I’d like to mention a couple.

For one thing, it helps you avoid mistakes (and this is probably the number one reason that people do it); you can keep your layout fluid and adjust borders and spaces as needed to accommodate the information that you’re presenting. But for another, you may find some reward in the process of distilling your information to fit. As an example: I noted the many intentions that correspond with each plant that I used in this recipe when I was designing this ritual. However, I only included one intention for each plant in the final version, because I wanted to focus on the intentions that are most important to me, rather than just turning on a fire-hose of magical correspondences and hoping that something sticks. If you are the sort of person who likes to design your own rituals in the first place, you may even find that this becomes a useful part of your process.

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About the Author:

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com

Sarah McMenomy is an artist and witch. Her craft incorporates herbalism, spellwork, trance, divination, auras, and more. Her work can be found at https://sarahmcmenomy.tumblr.com