I am so happy to have the pleasure to write on the topic of Cottage and Kitchen Witchery. I never thought I would see myself in a sect of Folk and Domestic Magick or getting a chance to write on them so I hope those who are reading can feel my excitement. I haven’t had much “formal training” and my practice is an eclectic mixture of Green, Garden and Cottage Witchcraft practices. While I will try to stay focused, forgive me if my style of work deviates. I’m not used to coloring within the lines.
Before I get started on the introduction I wanted to make a few statements:
This is written from a perspective standpoint. The opinions stated here are neither right nor wrong. I am not the person who makes the final word on anything. I’m honestly just here to share my insight, experiences and tips.
I do not carry a Pagan vs. Neo-Pagan outlook on life. I understand that some people do and that’s perfectly fine. However, I have no tolerance for the whole “Battle of the Brooms” nonsense. It is completely okay to disagree. But to heckle, poke and prod at other Left Hand Path members for their outlook on something is not okay. It is never okay. I do have a traditional view on witchcraft and the occult. Although I don’t exactly agree with all of modern paganism’s views does not mean I will degrade them like I have seen in some blogs. I damn sure will not stand for that kind of jacked nonsense. I believe that occultists should hold themselves to a higher standard than that. That buck stops here and civility picks up. Free-Spirited Mind is a safe learning environment.
Now we’re on to the informative piece!
What is Kitchen Witchcraft?
Defining Kitchen Witchcraft was the hardest part of writing this post. You have to understand that I didn’t decide to “become” a Kitchen Witch I just sort of slipped into it. After drafting many elaborate answers to the question, I decided on this:
“Kitchen Witchery is Cottage Witchery with culinary emphasis.”
I have always understood and practiced Cottage Witchcraft by spinning and conjuring energy from the home, hearth, kitchen, garden and surrounding greenspace. The magick was primarily focused on healing, a bit more feminine than masculine, normally associated with folk practices but most importantly… it was simple. It was simple, mindful and mystical. It forced me to truly understand how much energy and intent really goes into actions including the most boring and repetitive ones. You stay alert about these things until it is second nature to you and then you see life through a whole different window. At least I did anyway. The tools you end up using are home based for the most part. In my own practice I personally don’t stray from this idea. If I’m using my home as my temple and in my mind it registers no other way… why wouldn’t I use home objects as my ritual tools? Use your temple to run your temple. For example: a lot of people have special wooden spoons for different reasons. I have also seen mentions of a special cleaning buckets somewhere, preserve jars, the possibilities are endless.
In the long run, I treat Cottage and Kitchen Witchcraft as the same thing. There isn’t much of a difference (in my experiences) to distinguish the two aside from where they center most of their magick. Kitchen and Hearth Witches both fall under Cottage Witchcraft when you look at the big picture. It’s the all thumbs are fingers but not all fingers are thumbs analogy. While I can’t talk about the passions of a Hearth Witch here (I don’t practice anything over a hearth nor do I particularly feel drawn to one) the background responsibilities are the same as those of a Cottage Witch in the end. Of course there are people out there who will disagree with me and they will have their reasons why. No one ever agrees one hundred percent on anything. Also as I learn and grow as a witch I may determine a greater distinction between them with the people I meet, and things I learn and experience. But until then, this is my understanding.
Some Things to Consider
I know some of that stuff up there sounded really glamorous but to be completely honest, it’s not. I call it the Craft of the Housewives because it seems to be popular with them. That’s not to say that you have to be a housewife to get in the cool kids club. I’m not married nor do I have any children. However, there are some serious things to consider (it’s about to get brutally honest up in here):
- If you have no housewife or husband (men can get in on this too I don’t care what anyone feels or thinks) instinct you’re gonna struggle here. However, if you are trying to learn, then you are on the right path. Take it slow. Rushing gets you nowhere fast.
- If you have no basic understanding of witchcraft and you’re trying to move into some sort of sect… then are you doing? Turn around, go back to any Witchcraft 101. Before you can adjust your craft… you gotta learn it. Don’t run before you can walk. You’ll just fall over.
- Can you cook a meal from scratch? Picture this: You’re in a grocery store and you need food. You go into the produce section. Can you pick out ripened produce that’s in season? Now we move to the meat department. Can you pick out fresh meat that pair well with the produce (if you eat it)? Now seasonings. Besides salt and pepper, can you pick out seasonings that pair well with each other, the meat and the produce? Do you know how to use a stove and an oven? Do you know how to bake bread from scratch? If not, can you follow a recipe to do so? If you are willing to learn and can’t do any of this, you have some work to do. If you can’t do any of this and are not willing to learn, the next path is waiting for you. More often than not, someone WILL be relying on you to feed them. Be it a partner, a child, a parent or the fact that you’re the designated homemaker and sometimes you have to cook for guests. Breaking it down further, your cooking is also part of your magick. You become a working part of the dish. When you cook with Hamburger Helper, so many steps are missed that the practitioner should have been a part of. It’s hard to put an emphasis on this step over a blog post. It’s not until you live this step that one truly understands.
- Can you garden? Although this is not a major requirement all the time it is an important one. If you have never grown a plant before, choose something easy to grow indoors. Make sure it is something you can keep an eye on. What you can grow, you should. Always take advantage of the fertility of the greenspace around you. Now some people live in apartments (like me), or their yards may not be the best environment for a garden. Some herbs can be grown indoors. Not everything has to be grand or big. Sometimes the answers are small and oftentimes tasty.
- Can you clean a house and do your own laundry without crying about it? Yes the crying part is crucial. Your chores are part of your daily life and give you opportunities to fill your home with energy and magick. I will go over tips and guidelines later. One fast reminder: if you mumble and groan through your chores with disdain… it will go through your home and can be absorbed by your occupants.
- Can you repair clothes if they for some reason tear? I mean… Swiss Cheese chic is just not a good look for socks, or shirts, or underwear.
- Do you know how to be responsible with money? The last thing a household needs is to be plummeted into debt because someone was negligent with a checkbook. Whether its household funds or personal funds, being responsible with money will save everyone a lot of grief.
- Does anyone remember anything from Home Economics? Home Ec notes would be wonderful here.
The truth is only so much can be taught. No Craft can be taught entirely from a book or even from a person. There is always something to be learned and discovered. Therefore, I will be up front with everyone right now:
– I will not attempt to claim to know everything.
– I will not attempt to know everything
– I will not attempt to make this the biggest everything-est thing on the internet about Kitchen Witchcraft
What I will do is be my silly self and share guidelines about what I do know until I’ve dumped my brain out empty. My brain is pretty vast so we should be good for a while. With that said, let’s get cooking!