Saturday, July 28, 2012

Not a Kitchen Witch?

I have a confession to make.  I call this blog “Witchin’ in the Kitchen”, but to be honest, I’m not really a kitchen witch.  Well, I’m most likely not a kitchen witch as you know them.   

There are really as many definitions of kitchen witch as there are people who identify kitchen witches, but I just don’t know if it’s me.    I’ve seen lists of things that do (and do not) a kitchen witch make.
 For example, a kitchen witch practices more rustically, using what is on hand.  I do that, sure.    I work with seasonal ingredients as much as possible.  My tools are simple – wooden spoons, metal pots, knives, and other basic kitchen tools, plus candles, charcoal for incense, and my goddess figures.  All right, then, in that sense I am a kitchen witch.  Hmm…

I guess it’s just the whole “witch” aspect.  I think the term is a great term and people should own it in a positive way, but when I think of the term “witch”, I think of more than just someone who is wise.  My mind focuses on the spells and rituals, which I just don’t really do.   I can’t tell you the last time I really observed a sabbat.   I know there are other definitions of the word; I’m just talking about my personal connotations.  What people think of as “witchcraft” isn’t really part of my path.   Although, once in a while…

I just don’t think “kitchen witch” is the *best* term for me.   I focus more on showing honor and respect to kitchen deities and to the turning of the wheel via my cooking.   Preparing a meal or kneading bread dough is a ritual for me – no circle casting, no scripted invocations.   Just me, my mind, my energies, and my hands. But I really don't prepare tinctures by moonlight or mix up batches of *luv* potion.  

 This is prayer time for me.  I chant while I cook.  I try to infuse the food with love, healing, and prosperity.   
Some would call that magic, but I’m simply praying for the people who will eat the food, and giving thanks to the gods and the elements and the animals that provide the food.  I think that in that sense I am more of a priestess of the hearth.  That’s how I like to think of myself: a priestess of the gods of the hearth.    I keep the hearth flame burning for Hestia and others.   I remind others of the changing of the seasons by using what is naturally available at that time of year.  My meals reflect the changes from cold and dark weather to warm and light
Maybe I’m just having an identity crisis. Maybe the stress has finally gotten to me, who knows.  What are your thoughts?   I dunno.  I just think I identify more with something like “Priestess of the Hearth” than “kitchen witch”, although I think the term is great and I want to use it.  I just don’t know if I feel it. 


Dragonfly J said...

You sound like my sort of witch :)

I don't do circles or talk of the moon being in a particular place or in retrograde etc I just look at it to see if it's new, full or waning etc. I use what's to hand and believe a pebble of the beach has as much power as the finest shop brought crystal.

If I had to give myself a name it would be a folk witch or old style but normal I just try to think like the wise women of old. I use what is natural to my area, they wouldn't have had a local witchery shop to pop to for all the latest must have's or some crystal from a far off land.

I don't think in terms of spells or incantations more of wishes, hopes, dreams and luck. I believe in magic but it's all around in nature, not conjured up with a wand.

Those that were called witches of old would not have used the term themselves. They just had the knowledge of the local world around them, felt connected to it and use it the best they could. They didn't need calendars to tell them when the seasons changed or that they must celebrate on set days.

Does a name really matter if what you do feels right to you?

In frith
Jane x

The Blue Faerie said...

I like the way Dragonfly J thinks. :) I call myself a kitchen witch not because I necessarily cast spells on every recipe I cook. Heck, I don't remember the last time I did. Cooking can be its own magick - especially if you do it with love and respect. Look at how well a good meal can bring together people at a family gathering or put some life into a party (Or in my case, sending people running for the milk b/c of how spicy everything is. :P)

Besides Zedral, you're already doing something magickal when you think about the millions of people whose only form of "cooking" is heating up a HungryMan dinner. Being able to cook well with natural ingredients from scratch is a beautiful thing. :)

Sapphire said...

Thank you!!! I've been going through the same "identity crisis" for the past few years. My personal way to practice is fluid and organic, based on what's around me, what I feel and what's driving my curiority and need at a given point in time. To be perfectly honest, the rules and requirements from my last teacher felt a little overwhelming, technical and impersonal, and ended up making me feel alienated from my path. The end result was that I essentially stopped practicing for years because I became so out of tune with myself.I'm easing myself back in, rediscovering, relearning as a solitaire. It's how I began anyway, and where I'm happiest.

I love your description of yourself as a priestess of the earth rather than as a witch. I understand what you're saying, there are certain expectations that come with that word. It's a loaded word. I think at some point many pagans move on from being a "witch" to being a "priest/ess". At risk of making some people mad, it's a natural evolution as you begin to lose the need for the complicated and embrace the simple yet profound.