Strawberry Passion Spell

Right about now, the ruby-colored jewel of the spring garden emerges:  strawberries!

Yesterday, I tip-toed barefoot into the garden to find the vines heavy with gorgeous, juicy red fruit.

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When I see them popping out, I automatically think, “Beltane is coming!”

I often think of Beltane as “our” Valentine’s Day, and an ideal time to cast beauty spells for attraction.

But this year, I decided to go with the closely related lust spell to enhance romantic feelings and encourage . . . recreational fun for lovers.  *wink*

If you plan on celebrating Beltane “the old-fashioned way,” why not try enhancing your passion with a little kitchen magic?

strawberry passion spell for the kitchen witch

For this spell, you will need:

*strawberries
*1 part cocoa powder
*1 part honey
*1 part water
*splash of vanilla extract
*pinch of cinnamon

Also:
*a small saucepan
*a whisk

In folk magic, the strawberry symbolizes passion, romance and fertility, making it the ideal ingredient for a love spell in the kitchen.

Grow your own strawberries for the best quality spell ingredient, but at least get your strawberries from a local farmer.  Or, as a last resort, find organically grown strawberries in the supermarket.

Cocoa powder finds a place in traditional medicine almost anywhere it grows.  Particularly, some indigenous healers use it as an aphrodisiac.

Its metaphysical properties share this energy.  🙂

cocao powder

Honey “sweetens” temperaments and softens hearts.

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Okay!  Let’s whip up a little passion potion to pair those little beauties with.

Combine cocoa powder, water and honey in a small sauce pan over medium heat, whisking constantly for 2-3 minutes and stirring in a clockwise motion.

In kitchen magic, the spoon or whisk equates with the wand.  Take this opportunity to raise power and infuse your ingredients with the energy of your intentions.  Try a simple, cutesy chant or “draw” symbols in the chocolate with a spoon and watch them disappear.

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That’s a lot of powerful love ingredients in one little potion, but let’s add a couple more.

A splash of vanilla extract adds warmth to the heart and dispels any lingering or hidden resentment.

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Finally, add a dash of ground cinnamon to “heat up” passion.

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Bring your chocolate and strawberries into the bedroom.  Or wherever.  (A naughty picnic somewhere secluded?  *wink, wink*)

How you eat the magic is up to you.

strawberry dipped in chocolate

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Faerie Cakes with Candied Violets

Spending Beltane in the kitchen this year?  Make it magical with these charming little faerie cakes.

beltane candied violet faerie cakes

Whimsical yet elegant, candied violets make a striking addition to love spells, wishing magic and faerie rituals.

Use candied violets in faerie cakes for a spring ritual, a “dressed up” cakes and ale or to serve at any spring gathering — especially Beltane!

beltane faerie cake

The best part is, they’re practically free!  If you’re in the Eastern US and you haven’t put down pesticide this year on your lawn, there’s a good chance your yard or a nearby one has wild violets in abundance.

violets

Go spend some time outdoors, bring a basket and gather those little beauties up for a Beltane with a splash of purple.

wild violet

Gather a clean, washed, dry paintbrush with a fine tip, an egg white, and some sugar.

eggs, paintbrush, sugar

Start by gently washing the violet blooms.  A spray bottle and a strainer work well for this, but be careful!  Even for flowers, wild violets are delicate!

washing violets

Allow them to dry on a paper towel.

wild violets

Dip the paintbrush in egg whites, and paint each blossom.

candied violets

Then sprinkle sugar on the violets.  Most recipes call for powdered sugar, but I use granulated because it reminds me of late frost.

sugar on violets

Finally, bake some cupcakes!

Any vanilla cupcake recipe will do, but make it from scratch.  The more you put into your ritual food, the more “fragrant” the magic of it.  Be connected to the process.

Bonus points for making the vanilla extract yourself.  Vanilla inspires passion in kitchen spells.   Here, we use it to wink and nod at Beltane’s celebration of “spring romance.”

Pipe on some cream cheese frosting and arrange violets in tiny “bouquets.”

beltane faerie cakes

beltane faerie cake

Serve and enjoy!

beltane cupcakes

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Ostara with a Kitchen Witch: Cabbage Dyed Ostara Eggs

Every year, I try to do something inspired and kitchen witchy for this most decidedly food-friendly holiday.

Perhaps you’ve noticed the concept of naturally dyed Easter eggs floating around Pinterest the last few years.

I thought this made for a perfect Ostara activity.

I tried tumeric, spinach and cabbage.

Spinach was a dud.  I boiled and boiled, but the dye wasn’t strong enough.

Tumeric worked okay, but it stained everything!  I can see why they use this in India to dye cloth!

But the humble cabbage, at 79 cents, proved to be both the cheapest and most effective option.

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The idea is pretty basic.  Start with a base for extraction.  In this case, we have our head of red cabbage.

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Shred it and place it in a pot with a 1 to 1 ratio of water.  I did 4 cups shredded cabbage with 4 cups of water.

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Meanwhile, make your hard boiled eggs.  Some recipes call for boiling the eggs with the dye, but I like my eggs cooked a certain way, so I did them separately.   (Place eggs in pot with cold water, bring to boil, turn off heat, let them sit for 10 minutes in a covered pot, then rinse with cold water—perfect every time!)

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Once your dye is done, allow it to cool and add 1 tablespoon white vinegar per cup of liquid dye.

Then submerge the eggs in the dye for 24-28 hours in the refrigerator.

But before you do that, there are some creative options that I didn’t try.  The internet rumor is that if you write or draw on the eggs with crayon, it won’t dye there.  You can imagine all the possibilities for spell work there!

I wanted to keep my eggs as natural as possible, so I skipped this, but I might try using beeswax in the future for a similar effect.

I really loved the way the dye turned out.  It felt so earthy and wholesome.  I see myself using this for a lot of things, maybe even cloth.

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And there you have it!  Charming, naturally dyed eggs for your Ostara ritual.  Use them on the altar as an offering, or for your Ostara meal as a beautiful table decoration.

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With eggs on sale at my market for 28 cents a dozen, my total cost for this project was a mere $1.08.

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Candlemas with a Kitchen Witch

I decided to whip up a little something in honor of the upcoming Imbolc/Candlemas holiday.

In the past, I generally neglected Imbolc.  Maybe because by February, I was over-holidayed, or maybe because unlike Mabon, Samhain, Yule and Ostara, there aren’t really any corresponding mainstream holidays.

But now, Imbolc is one of my favorites.  I love that while every else considers the winter holidays to be over, we have one more to look forward to, and it’s the coziest of the year.

I chose a poppy seed cupcake for this Sabbat.  The key ingredients represent some of the classic, deep-winter symbols of Candlemas.

For reference, I used this recipe.

Because of Imbolc’s strong association with seed blessing, I wanted something that features seeds.  Poppy seeds in particular symbolize deep meditative states and spiritual insight.

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In this context, powdered ingredients like sugar and flour represent the lightly falling snow of the season.

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Known sometimes as the “Festival of Lights,” Candlemas celebrates the return of the sun and the waxing of the light after the Winter Solstice.  Lemon symbolizes solar energy and light.

lemon-half-web

Imbolc celebrates animal husbandry and dairy farming in particular.  For this reason, I am adding a cream cheese frosting in addition to the light lemon glaze in the recipe.

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The inclusion of butter also compliments this theme.

butter-web

I kind of imagine the time in the oven as “when the magic happens” in baking.  So for a ritual meal, I like to say a blessing before it goes in.

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And like magic, out they come!

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Happy Imbolc!

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Baby’s First Mabon

With Mabon on the way and its special emphasis on food, it seemed like perfect timing to open my baby’s eyes to the wide world of natural, earthy eating.

As a new mother, I felt intense, surprising excitement at the idea of introducing a little human being to the pleasure of a fresh, made-with-love meal for the first time.

The kitchen witch in me instantly came alive.   I knew immediately that I wanted to make his food myself.  So I consulted many herbalist manuals, international baby food recipes and general meal blessings to make his baby food healthy and sacred.

In many (if not, most) places around the world, food is a deeply spiritual experience that connects us to our life force and links us to the fruits of the earth.  Breaking bread with others in a communal setting connotes a moment of spiritual thanks in many traditions, and paganism is no exception.

We spend so much of our lives preparing and enjoying food—think how much richer if we daily took the time to savor it and honor what it offers us spiritually and medicinally the way so many others do around the world.

I want to instill this sense of gratitude and appreciation in my own child.

Hopefully, when he is old enough, he will even have his own garden to deepen this sacred connection to food, which I discovered much later in life.

During the weeks leading up to Mabon, I decided to experiment with different baby foods, appropriately using the season to introduce the new addition to natural, healthy foods and their meanings one by one, with a “feast” on Mabon of a little of everything.

After reading an enlightening book called French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billion, I decided on the french approach of starting with pureed vegetables rather than the traditional American cereal.

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The cleansing, purifying properties of asparagus blended with the protective but joyful spirit of fresh garden mint in this puree nourishes baby’s body and soul.

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For pagans, medicinal and metaphysical knowledge of plants and herbs is a birthright.  I believe this education begins with the very first foods introduced to a baby.

I have to admit, leeks would not have leaped to mind as a first baby food, but the are apparently rich in folklore and food magick.  In Cuningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen, leeks are identified as

“. . . worn over the left ear [in 12th century Persia] to prevent intoxication.”

Obviously, this is not a typical concern for a baby, but leeks are also used in protection stews or as a metaphysical substitute for onions and garlic.

They also apparently make a great, if unorthodox, introductory vegetable.

leeks baby food

I was pleasantly surprised to learn that babies can eat most herbs and spices.

The spice cinnamon, as well as apples, are symbols of love and affection.  This apple/cinnamon yogurt baby “smoothie” seemed like the perfect Mabon-season treat.

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Even bolder, we tried the traditional Mabon dish of sweet potatoes, but with a kick of curry powder.

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How to Make Florida Water

how to make florida water

Wait.  What’s Florida Water?

Florida water is a traditional American cologne water recipe adopted by southern practitioners of the hoodoo and voodoo tradition to cleanse the home and use in ritual.

You can put it in a spray bottle as a spiritual “disinfectant,” anoint doors and windows with it, use it in place of holy water or pour it into a bowl and place it on the altar for offering.

There are dozens, maybe hundreds of recipes for florida water.

Rather than give you a straight up recipe, I’ll show you how to customize it according to what you have on hand.

Despite the name, it is not a water-based potion.

Most people use vodka to steep the herbs and flowers.

I recommend the cheap stuff.  As cheap as you can get.  Bottom shelf.  I’ve tried top-shelf vodka to make this, and it’s just a waste of top-shelf vodka.  In my opinion, it really doesn’t make much difference in the final result.

Choose at least two items from each group:

Aromatic greens:
4 parts fresh mint
4 parts fresh basil
4 parts fresh rosemary

Florals:
3 parts rose petals (fresh)
3 parts jasmine (dried or fresh)
3 parts lavender (dried)

Citrus:
2 parts lemon peel
2 parts orange peel
2 parts lime peel

Spice:
1 part allspice berries
1 part cinnamon sticks
1 part cloves

Put the vodka on low heat.  Add the dry ingredients and allow them to simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Simmer on low for an addition 40 minutes.

And there you have it!  Blessed be!

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10 Ways to Use Oranges in Wicca

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Pile them on the Litha altar.  Valencia oranges in particular are associated with the high midsummer season, when they commonly come into harvest.  Place a few on the Midsummer altar for a bright, natural adornment.

Include in creativity magic.  I love creativity spells, and there really aren’t enough of them.  Dried orange peel is a perfect addition to a creativity sachet.

Use as a sun symbol.  
Oranges are an obvious sun symbol.  Use them in sun magick and solar rites.

Leave dried orange peel by the bathroom sink.  Or wherever you get ready in the morning.  Oranges have an energizing effect.  The bright hue and citrus flavor awaken the senses.

Use in spells for prosperity.   Associated with abundance,  oranges make the perfect addition spells of monetary success.

Blend dried orange into ritual incenses.  
Oranges can be combined with a variety of other scents, particularly spicy ones like cinnamon, allspice and ginger, or florals like lavender.  Decide on a theme for your sachet or incense, and experiment with one of orange’s compatible fragrances.

During the solar holidays, use orange as libation or as a substitute for ale.  Fill your chalice with orange juice to welcome the sun back at Yule, or bid him farewell on Midsummer.

Use for ritual cleansing.  
Combine a few drops of orange essential oil with a natural alcohol base like vodka, put it in a spray bottle, and spritz it over the altar for a lovely energy cleansing.

Make orange marmalade from scratch.    
For the kitchen witch, make some orange marmalade from scratch and bless it for joy.  Orange’s mood-lifting properties make it a natural anti-depressant.  Makes a perfect gift for a friend in need of a pick-me-up after a rough time.

Carve it like a Jack-O-Lantern and use it as a natural candle holder for the altar.  A lot of people do this for Samhain, but I like to carve sun symbols and use for the summer holidays.  This tutorial shows you how.

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