The kitchen has been the heart and hearth of many homes, past and present. When you have a gathering in your home, where do most of your guests end up? The kitchen, of course! The kitchen is like an old pair of sweat pants. It’s comfortable. It’s warm. It’s where you watched your mom make your favorite meals and ate cake batter off your grandmother’s spoon. It’s a familiar place to be, even if you’re in unfamiliar surroundings. This connection to the kitchen is the same as our ancestors had with the hearth of the house. The hearth was the center of the home, it provided heat on cold winter nights, and it was where the meals of the day were cooked. The hearth was also the focal point for many magickal and spiritual practices. It was and acted much like a household altar. Many of today’s fireplace traditions can be traced back to the days of the hearth’s predominance in the home.
Magick in the kitchen and hearth goes back thousands of years and its practice can found across many cultures. Fire and stone ovens were thought to be magickal because of their transformative powers. As society progressed, a large iron cauldron may have hung regularly over the fire of the hearth. In many households, this is where dinners were cooked and laundry was washed, and medicines were made, all in the same pot. What we consider old world Witchcraft, folk magick, and superstitions today were common practices that could be found in the days of the hearth. Many of which can now be seen in the two modern paths or “traditions”, known as Kitchen and Green Witchcraft.
A few years ago, there was a TV commercial that would show someone drawing a heart in peanut butter before making a sandwich and then presenting it to someone. Could you just see the potential of a spell happening to all the unsuspecting mothers copying this act, if for the moment they unconsciously were in a magickal state of mind.
Kitchen Witchcraft is a unique modern tradition of many solitary practitioners. It is about finding sacredness in everyday simple acts such as cooking and cleaning. Kitchen Witches make the simple chores of everyday life a sacred and magickal act, and for many, this is also how they honor their gods and goddesses. Kitchen witchery can be seen as one of the oldest forms of a magickal practice in that it follows the traditions of what some see as the wise women of ancient times. Even if you do not practice any sort of kitchen magick, the power of food and how it sparks emotions and memories is almost magick in itself. Is there a meal or dish that creates a feeling of happiness or love? It is this magick that can be shared with anyone. From cooking a meal for a significant other on Valentine’s Day to making a pot of chicken soup for a sick friend, everyone adds a little magick to their cooking. At its simplest form, it’s about the intent and emotion behind the cooking. For Witches and non-Witches alike, we all add a little magick to what we prepare. Then there is also the concept of using food itself within spell work. Spells that use food or those that are focused within the kitchen are some of the oldest practices of folk magicks. This may be due to the easy access and commonality of food in our lives. Today, the hearth can be seen as a stove and in what has become known as kitchen witchery. From baking bread with bay leaves to egg divination, kitchen-based magick and spells can be found in every tradition and culture.