The kitchen is the hearth center of the home, a place where we spend lots of energy, time and magick. It’s a place of creation, comfort and security. Whether your kitchen is more of a pit stop on the way to the living room, or the center of your home, the kitchen remains a focal point in most cultures. It is where we make our coffee and tea, prepare our meals, and stare in wonder at our refrigerator, opening the door several times, waiting for food to appear (do you do that, too?) For witches especially, it is a place of creation and magical intentions.
For many of us, there are fond memories of times spent with grandparents, making some sort of meal, and sitting around the table, cozily chatting. For myself, I have so many memories of my grandmother cooking and baking, followed up by sitting at her table, regaling us with her memories and spirited conversation. Even my mother, not the best of cooks (she didn’t inherit my grandmother’s skills and was a resentful cook) loved making a huge pot of a meal, satisfying all of us momentarily, as we nosily chatted around the table.
I recently rediscovered the joys of kitchen altars when I moved in with my partner. This kitchen is much more spacious than my little apartment one, and cooking is more often an event now, rather than a hurried make-do repast. It brings to mind all the kitchens of my youth, which I associate with the sights and smells of family, home and comfort. Growing up, I remember little kitchen altars, and both my mom and grandmother had kitchen witches, as was customary in our German-Austrian heritage. Theirs usually consisted of a cutting board, some salt, an herb sprig or two in a jar, and other assorted kitchen knick-knacks and photos.
I’ve tinkered with a few these last few weeks, and have discovered they all share similar elements that I feel are important for kitchen witchery.
Nature: Some sort of sprig or greenery is always on my altar. Reminds me of the world outside, and is a joy on gloomy, rainy days.
Candle: For light and warmth. I tend to avoid scented candles, but I have enjoyed a rosemary and sea salt candle I was gifted. Candles are always a cozy accompaniment to cooking.
Salt: Salt is life. It is the most basic form of earthiness I can imagine, and is grounding.
Symbol: Whether a card from one of my decks, or a goddess statue, I love the representation of my spirituality in the kitchen.
Mortar and pestle: Not only useful for grinding herbs, it is a symbol of pride, and reminder of the love and healing energy I like to put into my cooking. It is a visual reminder of my intentions, and never fails to bring a smile to my face.
Food: I always have a bulb or two of garlic and a few onions available, as they are the basis is most of my cooking. If there are certain herbs you always use, add those. I also love the many uses of bay leaves, so will usually add a leaf or two as well.
Do you have a kitchen altar? What items do you have on yours? Let me know in the comments.