A Witch at Home: A little on Witchcraft in the Kitchen

black frying pan with spaghetti sauce near brown wooden ladle and ripe tomatoes

Photo by Dana Tentis on Pexels.com

Although, my last blog post had me in a position of sharing my practices, once again my guides have taken me off one path and on to another. Sometimes I think they are just as lost as I am. However, I do understand why they are having me jump around. It’s like looking through old photo albums to understand where I have been and to where I will be heading. Good and bad memories need to be left in the past to allow oneself to be in the moment. This post came from one of those moments, in how I was conversing about how cooking can be just as a magickal act as casting a spell.

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 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 is practiced across cultures. Fire and stone ovens were thought to be magickal because of their transformative powers. As society progressed, a large iron cauldron 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 was a common practice that could be found in the days of the hearth. Many of which can now be seen in two paths or traditions in modern Witchcraft, known as Kitchen and Green Witchcraft.

Kitchen Witchcraft is a unique 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 Witchcraft in that it follows the tradition of 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. 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 in Witchcraft. This may be due to the easy access and commonality of food in our lives. Witches of old did much of their practices around the hearth. Where today this can be seen as a stove and what has become known as kitchen witchery. From baking bread with bay leaves to egg divination, kitchen-based spells can be found in every tradition.

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. I immediately could see the potential of a spell happening to the unsuspecting mothers coping this act. Kitchen witchery is about transforming the ordinary and mundane tasks and making them sacred and magickal. Cooking is no exception; even simple morning toast can be a magickal act. Bon appetit!

Back to the Basics: The Beginning

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Photo by Joy Marino on Pexels.com

This last Full moon had an interesting effect on me, In the middle of my personal ritual I started reciting and performing a few of my older parts of ritual that I have not done in years. Many of which come from my earlier Wiccan/Witchcraft days and some even further from my learning years. It was though I had forgotten my current practices and my mind filled in the blanks with the ones that were embedded from the beginning.

After I was done, I had to pull out my first BOS just to verify that what I had just automatically did was in fact from that time period. It was! For most of the following day I pondered what to do with this and why it happened. Was there a reason I went back to these basics, was there something I needed to learn from this? The truth is these practices do not resonate with me anymore, or so I thought.

I decided to use the remaining night of the Full moon to experiment and do another ritual only utilizing these past practices. I even dusted off a few of my older tools, which surprisingly still held their energies. What I discovered was more than I had expected. I felt more connected, more in the moment and even better yet, more on the threshold of being between the worlds. As much as I feel that my belief systems have changed or evolved, I felt that certain something I haven’t felt in a long time, excitement. It was like the first time discovering a new practice or being shown a new way of doing something from your guides. The only downfall to all this was this raised a lot more questions.

What followed next was what led me to this blog post. I needed to find out why and what this was all about. So, what is a Witch to do? Well… meditate of course. I sat in meditation for over 3 hours conversing with my guides, ancestors and the various Deities I keep in high regard. In their typical fashion, no one would give me straight answer. Which then lead me to realize this is something I need to figure out for myself. It wasn’t until I figured that out, that Hekate shed some light on a few things that I started to see the bigger picture. My path was to change direction again, but before that I needed to close out a few past receipts that I had and cash in on some that I have been neglecting.

I will not disclose all of these here as many are personal. However, there are few that I can share and plan to keep sharing, right here. As many who have been to my classes and signings know, I have always stated that I never wanted to be an author, it was my guides who led me to do so. From that I found myself down a path I never would have thought I would be on. From running successful events like the Pocono Witches Festival to owning my own store. Unfortunately, the one thing that took a back seat was my writing, that’s not to say I haven’t been writing, I just haven’t done a whole lot, especially here on the blog. Well, that was until now. So, the plan is to go through my old BOS and “re-live” my past rituals and practices and share them here. This will keep me writing and also fulfill another aspect that is needed, routine and structure!

With so much going on, keeping the routine and structure in my practices has declined. That’s not to say I do not have them, I have just gotten side tracked with everything else. Over the years I have followed less of the structured rituals most often found in many wiccan based traditions that I had started with. I feel this event of going back to my roots that was presented is guiding me to put more structure into my practices. However, I have to figure out how this will flow into my current spiritual beliefs. I hope you will join me on this new and exciting curve of my path. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing many of my past personal rituals and practices, as well as my journey as I return to the beginning.

“Cantaloupes” and Little Witches, The Best is Yet to Come!

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Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

Happy Samhain and New Year!!!

For those of my readers who keep up on me via social media may have seen the ton of projects and events I have been organizing and participating in. I finally have some time to sit down and write a blog post. As you can see, along with my new and magickal adventures, I decided it was time for a new look to the website. So, with this new look comes so many exciting things that are in the works for 2020. A few months ago, I didn’t think half of what is to come would even happen. I was forced into a depressive state that sent me into a place haven’t been in years. Although, I know that It has always been an ongoing battle, I didn’t see this coming, nor did I see the outcomes that came from it either. Its crazy how one “stupid thing” can create a personal Armageddon. Thanks to some amazing people in my life who stood behind me, I have been able to keep a good head on things and continue on my guided path. Yet despite all the amazing things that have been presented to me on this path, it has been hard to feel the joy and excitement as I work through this bat of depression and hollowness. Self-empowerment and shadow work are what is on the menu for this coming year. That and removing the hurtful and negative “cantaloupes” out of my life. Yes, I did say cantaloupes, I hate them, they ruin fruit salads with their overriding selfish flavor. There aren’t many things I hate in this world but they are number one on my list, next to cucumbers. Yuck!!

Despite all this my fruit salad has seen some great fruition and promise. Especially in the success and overwhelming response to the Pocono Witches Festival & Ball. When my guides said I was going to throw a ball I didn’t expect it to become one of the biggest Witch Gatherings in Eastern Pennsylvania. The support of the community has been beyond modest. The turn out saw over 1200 people over the weekend and despite being protested for being “evil”, we were able to help many children in need receive a warm coat this winter. Where is the evil in that? Not bad for its inauguration, and 2020 will see a bigger and better PWF. From holding this event, I have seen an influx of promotion and support in the Pocono area. In fact, this is how I got tagged in an article as the “Pocono Witch”, Which I still laugh at but I am rolling with it. Which brings me to my newest and next project, happening as we speak. I am days away from signing a lease on a storefront for The Hierophant, which will now become “The Pocono Witch Shoppe”. The Hierophant will remain the name for the online store, but thanks to this silly tittle I thought it would be a great way to tie it all together.

2020 Will also finally see my third book, “THE LITTLE WITCHES CURRICULUM: A parent’s guide to teaching witchcraft, magick, and Pagan spirituality”. Although, this was actually the first book I began writing four years ago, I have been holding off releasing it due to wanting it to be fully organized and reflective of the ever-changing ECE theories and practices.  I finally feel confident in the content that I knew that if it was ever going to happen, it would have to be now. So, for all those people who have asked me over the last 2 years of its release, it will happen this year. And for those who haven’t yet heard about it……

“The Little Witches Curriculum” is a resource for those parents that would like a comprehensive guide to raising their children in a magickal environment. It combines spiritual and magickal education with early childhood development practices and theories that make up one of the most comprehensive curriculums for their “Little Witches”. The curriculum provides hands-on magickal and spiritual activities and experiences that create “teachable moments” for parents rather than the traditional “forced” approach in education. Although, the chapters are broken up into a lesson format the activities are inclusive to the child’s own developmental stage and interests. This is done by allowing the child to dictate how the parents encourage spiritual education through their own interests rather than a direct approach. “The Little Witches Curriculum” explores the topics of meditation, magick, and the common lore found in many Pagan and Witchcraft traditions.

Best of all, the information and lessons in this book are built on the most up to date practices that are commonly used in early childhood education settings and classrooms around the world. Most importantly, the information is communicated in an easy to understand, fun and relaxed language and is relevant to anyone of any magickal tradition or spiritual background. Whereas, other books may only teach the “one-way approach”, “The Little Witches Curriculum” can be an open-ended resource for all Pagan tradition parents. Similar to my second book, “The Modern Witches Curriculum”, the Curriculum and layout can be started at any time of the year and on any day of the week. There is no beginning or ending to this book. It can be used over and over again. This is done by allowing the parent to choose how far and how much they want to explore in the topics. The lessons and activities have been publicly tested with both parents and children and have been well received by members of the Pagan community, known and unknown.

Just to give an idea of some of the activities you will find in the curriculum here is a sneak peek at part of the “Table of Contents”

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I am also in the process of the possibility of releasing two other books within the year. This will also see me doing multiple book tours and Pagan community events, which is my favorite part because I enjoy meeting and talking with all the amazing people of the community.

This is only a taste of what is happening and planned for 2020. With all this I will have no other choice then to have the most amazing fruit salad and what’s best of all is that I get to share it with the community.

Thank you all for your support and kindness.

Event: E. Massey at South Jersey Pagan Pride

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E. Massey will be at South Jersey Pagan Pride doing readings and with a workshop at 4pm
The Faces of Gods and Goddesses: Understanding the essence of a Deity
Explore how the Gods and Goddesses of the world’s traditions are more than the faces and names we give them. Go beyond the myths and find the inter-connectedness of various pantheons through energies and not images. Learn how understanding their essence can break down the confines of how we view our own spirituality. Through a group meditation, attendees will tap into the primal energy of a choice Deity to guide the direction of the class. E. Massey Discusses how to build a stronger relationship with your Deities through energy and ritual. Acquire new practices by building upon your own teachings and views of the Gods and Goddesses. Discover how indigenous teachings and the Hermetic philosophies can reshape the modern spiritual concepts of Deities.

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16th Annual Event @ Cooper River Park, 10 am to 6 pm
Free to Attend * Family Friendly * Leashed Pets Welcome!
Kids Crafts * Food * Music * Local Crafters
Psychic & Tarot Readings
Free Spiritual and Magickal Workshops!
(see event or for schedule)

10 to 6 pm, Cooper River Park, Gazebo Park (before the dog park)
Public Ritual at 2 pm by Distelfink Sippschaff Kindred

Music by SoundWeaver, and Rich Donahue

2019 Confirmed Vendors & Groups:
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Two of Cats Apothecary
Ladymysticmagik
Kaos Forge
Restorative Aromatics
necronomicharm
StrangeSpace
WizardsTower
Moonlit Gems
Lickyourface8
A Touch of Glass…and then some
Grams Good Juju Gems
Deltastrike Concepts
Trinity’s Magickal Intentions LLC
Intuitive Holistix South Jersey / Astraea Moons Art
The Troth/Distelfink Sippschaft/Heathens Against Hate
Metal Reign and J.Leigh
Violet Fae’s Realm
Teri’s Tumbles dba www.findyourharmony.com
Mystic Sky Design, LLC.
Crimson Melodies
Breath Before Sound
Mystikala
Sparkles and Spirit
Red Oak Grove ADF
Seraphic Wood & Soundweaver
Seekers of the Wild Heart coven
Midnight Enchantment
E. Massey, Author
Readings by Sherry

Event: E. Massey at Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day 2019

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Join E. Massey and a slew of other amazing authors and presenters at Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day. This year’s event will take place in Clark Park B in Philadelphia.

E. Massey will be doing Tarot Readings and providing his workshop:

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Pillars of Belief: The Hermetic Principles in Modern Witchcraft – Discover how the Hermetic philosophies found in The Kybalion can be related to the modern Witchcraft. Explore these “universal laws” and why they are the pillars of many belief systems found around the globe.

The event will run from 10am to 6pm.

Admission to the event is free but  attendees can bring a donation of non-perishable food items which will be donated to a local food bank and/or cat food for Forgotten Cats.

This year Laura Tempest Zakroff will be Keynote Speaker.

In addition PPPD will feature 55+ vendors, 12 workshops, 4 entertainment acts, 3 rituals, 2 raffles, all-day children’s activities and a beautiful labyrinth.

Connecting with the Elements: Water

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Photo by Matt Hardy on Pexels.com

Happy Lughnasadh!

For me, this month of working with the element of Water and the direction of West has been a whirlwind or in keeping with the theme a whirlpool.  So much has happened over this past month, I don’t know where to begin. I think the element has made experience every emotion a human can feel and then some. I will be glad when this one is over and I can move into the North and ground. I found it really interesting that everything that was pre-planned within this month fell in line with the element. From events that centered around the elements to taking a break with a camping and rafting trip down the Delaware River. The scary thing is that I still have a week or two before I am finished and I can see it getting worse. As I come to a close, I can feel situations pulling my moral compass into directions that are going to fuel emotions and my mouth. Retrograde has nothing on the element of Water.

This Month I put a focus on not only the element itself, but its associated direction and my traditions animal spirit of Bear. Bear for me has many personalities. Bear can be the two-sided mamma Bear who is loving and nurturing, and yet be the fierce protector. Bear is also the guardian and doorkeeper of the underworld. When working the Wheel, Bear takes over your journey after Wolf/Coyote lead you down your path. He takes you the land of the dead where you find your true self. Bear introduces you to your ancestors and puts in dangerous situations that rip you apart from the inside out.

Bear resides in the West, he lives at the base of the mountains, where lies certain death (hence his association with the dead).  But enough of Bear and the West lets talk a little about the element of Water.

The element of Water is most often connected with our emotions. Water is life’s necessity without it nothing can live. It is a component in the cells of all living beings; it is our very essence. It is the one common denominator that connects all as one. Water is constantly flowing and changing, which is why it’s associated with our emotions. Both cannot remain in one state for long and are always in constant motion. Our emotions are what define and shape who we are as living beings and as Individuals. In “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum”, I replaced the word Water with LOVE to help the reader subconsciously connect with the element. So, I will do the same here from this point forward. When we focus on increasing the LOVE element in our lives, we begin the process of cleansing and healing our spirit. The element helps us purify and cleanse our spirit of harmful emotions that could be holding us back. Once these emotions are removed or at least acknowledged, we can begin the healing process while working within this element. This is a time to focus on working out those unresolved issues that so many of us hold on to.

I have listed the practices that I will be working on over the next few weeks, as well as a few others that you can do to connect with the direction and the element of LOVE.

Mindful Bathing

I tend to do this more often than meditation when exploring this element. Although, I do still like to listen to the sounds of the ocean or rain when going to sleep, which usually turns into a conventional meditation session anyway. When doing mindful bathing, I recommend not using candles, incense, or salts. This will keep your focus on just one element. Prepare by drawing a warm bath. Before stepping in, request the element to physically, mentally and emotionally cleanse, heal and purify you. As you step in, envision the healing LOVE enveloping your body and spirit. Once you are settled and comfortable, breathe slowly and deeply.  Allow the LOVE to help you relax. Imagine becoming one with the LOVE. When you are finished remember to that the element of LOVE.

Devotionals

During this month I choose to devote time to two of the most important allies in my life, my Ancestors and the Orisha, Oshun. Although, both are always a normal focus for me, I really made it a point to sit and talk with them each day, rather than just my normal morning rituals. I have a strong relationship with both already, that this didn’t put me out of my comfort zone too much.

When creating a devotional routine to a Deity in connection with the element of LOVE, I would do this with a Deity that has some form of linking the element in their mythos or to you personally. You do not have to make it lengthy, just spend a few moments with your deity, asking for blessings, advice, or just thanking them. I usually like to offer incense and say a few words.

Ritual

Because each month begins and ends with a Full Moon ritual as I work through the ritual becomes a major part of connecting with the elements. I started this month off with a full moon cleansing ritual. Even though the members of my group are not going through the prep work of connecting with each element. They get to reap the benefits of the elemental focus of the rituals. For this Full Moon we utilized the cleansing and healing magickal properties of water by washing away the harmful energies that may lay dormant in our mind, words, and heart. We also put a lot of focus on our ancestors with a meditation session and then sending any messages we had for them down the river.

There are many ways you can add water to your Full Moon rituals, in my first book “Casting Creative Magickal Circles” I have a circle casting that uses water taken from the four directions to cast a circle.

Divination

Many divination practices work well during this month as well. From scrying to dreams, this element has a profound effect on our ability to use our intuition. As with any types of magickal practices I always recommended keeping a journal, so why not keep a journal of your dreams this month. You find that your dreams will be heightened as you work through the element. Although, dreams are most often associated with the element of fire. It is the actual dream and the messages contained within them that can be attributed to the element of LOVE and not the actual act of dreaming.

You can also incorporate the use of tarot in when working with the element of LOVE. Here are a few ways to use tarot this month:

– Refresh your knowledge of all the cup cards of the deck.

– Pick a card that is associated with the element to mediate on each day.

– Use a spread that focuses on the magickal correspondences of LOVE. Here is one from “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum” that I tend to use often.

 

Place card 1 on the far left, then place card 2 and card 3 diagonally going down. Then place card 4 and 5 diagonally going up. Place card 6 between card 1 and 5 and above 3.

 

  1. Your tide. What state are your emotions?
  2. Your dam. What blocks you?
  3. Your depth. Where does my compassion lay?
  4. Your swell. What enlightens you?
  5. Your crest. What is your breaking point?
  6. Your ship. What will make you successful?

 

Some other things you can do

I have listed other things that I will be doing throughout the month and that I have done in the past as well.

– Write a Letter to someone who you have something to say too.

– Clean your house, car or office

Research and learn about how other traditions and cultures view and use the element of LOVE. If we look at the history of our ancestors, there is a direct correlation between LOVE and spirituality. For some Native American tribes Love is the creative life force. Hindu traditions consider LOVE to be a purifier, life giver, and the destroyer of evil. In the more recent western cultures, the Christian church places significant importance on LOVE as well, in their practices of baptism. Research your own tradition and ancestral practices and their uses and beliefs associated with LOVE.

– Attune yourself to the element of LOVE by evaluating your relationships (parents, children, companions, friends). Science states that our bodies are comprised of approximately 60% of LOVE. Metaphysically, then we can only assume that LOVE and its energy can affect us on a spiritual level and vice versa. According to the Japanese author and researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, he claimed that our thoughts and emotions could influence water’s molecular structure. He analyzed frozen water crystals that were exposed to thoughts and feelings of positive emotions and found them to have beautiful geometric designs and water influenced by negative thoughts and emotions appeared to create jagged and ugly looking shapes7. Although, Emoto’s work is widely regarded as pseudoscience and has yet to be proven scientifically, there may still be something in his findings, spiritually. If our thoughts can affect the molecular structure of LOVE, then what effect might our thoughts have on our bodies and our emotions? Because our emotions also affect our relationships these two are both closely related to the energy of LOVE. Evaluate your relationships and the emotions they cause. In doing so, you open yourself up to a better understanding of the energy of LOVE.

– Study the correspondences of herbs, oils, and crystals associated with the element of LOVE. Create your own incense or oil recipe. The belief that unconnected things share a metaphysical connection is not an uncommon belief in many cultures and religions. Correspondences are not limited to just Witchcraft, Pagan, and other magickal traditions. Correspondences can also be found in Chinese and East Indian traditional medicine manuals and in many of the worlds religious teachings. This may be the reason that there are so many connections and yet so many differences among the teachings of Witchcraft. Nonetheless, this is what makes modern and eclectic Witchcraft so wonderful. Today, many Witches create their own correspondences based on their own experiences and personal beliefs. However, the one core concept they all share is that everything in nature has a special meaning and can be used in the magickal world. Use these special meanings to create your own LOVE oil or incense based on what you researched.

Create and perform a spell using the element of LOVE as its focus. LOVE and its magick are often used for healing and purification. For centuries, believers have journeyed to sacred springs and source of LOVE, and more recently people visit spas and hot springs in the hope of relaxation and of being healed. Just as then, the Witches of today understand the energy of LOVE. The practice of ritual bathing to wash away unwanted energies and to shift their consciousness can be seen in many traditions of Witchcraft and many other religions as well. However, these are not the only purposes. LOVE has many uses in magick. Create a spell using LOVE as its main focus or tool.