When I first came to magick and started walking a Pagan path, I was often paralyzed into non-action by trying to write the perfect ritual with a specific list of ingredients set to the energy of the moon, day, and hour. And while there is a time and a place for these big rituals, it wasn't until I embraced the magick of everyday things that my day-to-day life became truly magickal.
I came to understand that magick isn't found only in a moonlit ritual, but waits to be acknowledged in the everyday-moments of our lives. The secret to finding it is to be present. When I face the world awake and aware, magick happens. The small things I took for granted gained the power to fill me with joy and wonder: The spicy-sweet scent of a rose, the hummingbird dropping down mid-flight to buzz around me, the sunlight in my eyes warming my skin. A simple shift of attention turns brief exchanges into intense, expanding, magickal moments that allows me to find my place within the natural world, a place where I may commune and interact with the world around me, where I am not alone but part of a great thrumming web, and suddenly everything becomes so much more.
It is in these small but precious moments, as perception sharpens and swells, and we become fully engaged, that the mundane takes on an enchantment of its own. We become aware of the whispers and stirring around us and become a witness to the transformative power of everyday magick. When we turn off our electronic devices, quiet our minds, and greet the world with expectation it responds and begins to speak in a language of signs, symbols, and synchronicities that when recognized, stimulates our intuition creating radiant glimpses of insight and Divine inspiration. Messages come in the playing card you find on the walk, in the butterfly that lands on your wrist, in a repeating song or number. Intuition finds its voice and as we begin to listen to it our perception expands so that we become aware of this cosmic interaction. Each day becomes an adventure as curiosity blooms and everyday routines fill with mystery, magick, and wonder.
The Universe is sentient and it is brimming with energy; you only have to be present to witness it. Magickal energy is all around us. It is in the plants at our feet, the feather of the bluebird lying on the sidewalk, the shell on the beach, and it is also in every single ingredient in our kitchen cupboards. Each and every ingredient has a magickal correspondence that can be applied to work magick to charm, sweeten, heal, nurture, comfort, and even compel.
Through the application of intention, focus, action, and will, Kitchen Witchery turns the act of preparing food and serving it into alchemy. With thought we shape the energy. With our breath, our words, with emotions, with our voices, with our movements by mixing, stirring, kneading, and chopping we raise the energy as the focus of our will channels it to manifest the work. We can do this every time we create, no matter the medium. Each time we consciously create, fixing intention and linking our thoughts with the magnetic/vibrant energy of the earth, immersing our creation process in our thoughts, emotions, and actions, the results are a change in structure. This act of conscious creation is magick and can be applied to every aspect of our lives.
It is when we embrace mindfulness that magick happens. When we treat something as sacred, it becomes so. Our efforts go from half-hearted to conscious acts of creation. Bring mindfulness into the kitchen and our cooking takes on a whole new level of meaning. Garden favorites become a source of magickal energy waiting to be tapped into. Take for example the common pepper and tomato. Both hold energy to stimulate creativity and inspire affection—which means a spicy dish of salsa can be made to refresh thought, encourage creative inspiration, or arouse a lover's affections.
Like any magickal ritual it begins with an intention and a recipe.
Taqueria-Style Salsa with Chili de Arbol
You will need:
While half the magick comes from the ingredients, the other half comes from you. Tell each ingredient what you want it to do. Voice your intention or simply hold it in your mind as you cut each tomato and onion into four sections and peel the garlic. Take each pepper and cut off the stem. Remove the seeds and discard.
In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Put the tomato and onion pieces into the pan and cook for 5 minutes turning the slices so each side browns. Add the garlic and roast for 2 minutes. And lastly add the chilies. Cook only until they begin to brown. This happens quickly. Be careful not to burn or the flavor will become bitter. Spoon the cooked ingredients into a food processor and whiz. Pause and add two more tablespoons of oil and whiz until creamy. Season with salt and serve warm or cold. This salsa thickens as it cools. It will stay fresh for several days in the fridge.
Serve with tacos to spice up the meal. Serve with chips at a meeting to inspire a flow of fresh ideas. Serve at a friendly lunch to loosen tongues and encourage conversation. Serve to a date to rouse affection.
Five Tips to Empower Your Food Magick
If you are interested in learning more about the art of food magick, pick up my book, Kitchen Witchery, a cookbook filled with recipes, and the history, lore, magickal correspondences, and suggested uses for each culinary ingredient.
Laurel Woodward (Portland, OR) has been a witch for 20 years and is also a tarot reader. She has written for magazines and ezines on the subjects of healthy living, organic gardening, sustainable living, and the magick of ...