My Initiation Into Kitchen Witchery

I’ve been interested in domestic witchcraft for years and have been magickally fortifying my living spaces since I was a neophyte in the Craft.  The one place I never flexed my magickal muscles, however, was the kitchen.  I was always too intimidated.  Then I attended a workshop at this year’s Pagan Pride taught by Dawn Hunt, founder of Cucina Aurora. Her fun and upbeat introduction to kitchen witchery was just what I needed to light my culinary candle and to brush away the cobwebs of fear.

Following Dawn’s example I purchased a cute black apron that has “witch” bedazzled in red across the chest.  This apron has become my ritual robe for performing kitchen witchery.  I also bought a small pumpkin spice-scented, magickal housewarming candle that I light before performing any kitchen magick.  Now I have a little ritual I perform before baking or cooking.  I begin by making sure my kitchen is clean.  That’s a given in my OCD world.  I wash my hands and happily slide into my apron.  Then I light the candle and say a quick prayer to Hestia.  I ask Her to inspire me with Her sacred light and to help me prepare food that is both nourishing and delightful.  When performing longer kitchen rituals I will cast a whole circle and invite the spirit of the elements, as well.

Ritualizing my work in the kitchen has done many things for me.  It has given me structure, which has boosted my confidence.  Now when I prepare food it always feels meaningful and fun.  Working in the kitchen has changed from a domestic chore into a time for personal expression.  I love spending time in the kitchen now and it seems like everything that I produce is touched with a bit of magick and joy, even if I do make a few mistakes. :{  As my confidence in the kitchen grows I hope to become bolder with recipes, learning to branch out and experiment a little.  This is a whole new, delicious path that I’ve embarked on and I can’t wait to see where it leads me.

My Calendar Ritual

The limbo time between the New Year and the old is one of my favorites.  I get so excited about the New Year.  There’s something magickal about this time of endings and beginnings.  It’s also one of the few times when our modern society stops to formally observe the turning of the Wheel.  Over the years I’ve developed a calendar ritual that helps me shed the unwanted pieces of the old year, while embracing and planning for the opportunities of the new one. 

My New Year’s ritual, which takes place over several days, begins with choosing a new calendar and a new day planner.  I know that sounds incredibly mundane but to me a day planner is more than an appointment book.  My day planner is a year-long record of my thoughts, celebrations,  trials, setbacks, and dreams.  In addition to recording birthdays, anniversaries, and appointments, I also record the first snow fall, spiritual musings, and inspiring quotes.  Am I going to entrust all this valuable information to just any book?  No. I am exacting when it comes to choosing my day planner.  I lean toward planners that were created for Witches.  I like to have all the important lunar and solar information at my finger tips when planning my life.  It’s also important that the imagery and the notations in the planner reflect and inspire my life.  Ditto all of this for my wall calendar.  For the past two years I have chosen the Seasons of the Witch weekly planner and Llewelyn’s Witches’ Calendar for my wall.  Both are possibilities for this year, but I am feeling the urge to try something new.  We’ll see.

On New Year’s Day I take out my new planner and calendar.  I set them side by side with the old calendar and planner.  Then, over a period of about an hour, I meticulously copy all the information from one year to the next.  This is my favorite part about my New Year’s ritual.  As I copy birthday’s and anniversaries I weed through the relationships and information that are no longer pertinent to my life.  I add new birthdays and new anniversaries.  I update addresses and contact information.  I love to highlight these entries with brightly colored stickers and pens.  When all the writing is done I sit back and meditate on the year past and the year to come.  I marvel at the names that have shown up on my calendars for ten, even fifteen years, and feel a sense of contentment.  I also contemplate the names that are left behind and give myself permission to let those relationships go.  Finally I hang my new calendar, admiring it for the wall art that it is, and loving put my day planner away.

My New Year’s ritual has many parts, including spells and the creation of talismans, but my calendar ritual is one of the most loved and long-standing rituals in my life.  Tuesday I’m setting out in search of the perfect calendar for 2010.  Already I’m giddy with excitement.

For those of you who are as picky about your calendars as I, here are some useful resources for Pagan/Wiccan/Witch/Nature-based organizational tools.  Brightest blessings for a New Year!

Llewellyn Worldwide – publishes the Witches’ Calendar and many astrological, magickal, and herbal almanacs.

7th House Publishing – publishes Seasons of the Witch, one of the most complete Pagan planning tools I’ve seen.

Friday Press – publishes Lunaria, a unique calendar and planner that divides the year into 13 lunar months.

Mother Tongue Ink – publishes We’Moon, which features amazing art and writings for and by womyn.

Living In Season – Waverly Fitzgerald publishes calendars and e-books to help you align with the rhythms of nature.