My mom was the best cook, evah! She came from a long line of German-descended folk who knew not only how to grow vegetables and raise animals, but also how to blend the powers of fire, herbs, minerals, animals, and effort to turn those raw ingredients into a material form of pure love that created change in accordance with their will: namely, to nourish the bodies and the souls of the whole family, and the community beyond. They may have been good Lutherans, but tell me that isn’t some good magick?
Like a good mama does, she taught me all the ways of the kitchen, and passed on her secrets for some seriously delicious potioneering, also known as SOUP! Whenever we were sick, she’d tuck us into a special “nest” on the couch, make hot tea, turn on the cartoons, and get to cooking. Now I’m the Mama Heron in the house and as tradition dictates, when one of my babies is home sick, I whip up a favorite family curative, chicken noodle soup. Since I’m a witch, I know which attributes to awaken within the ingredients so that it becomes an act of magick. I do things somewhat differently than my mother, but the end result is the same; the main ingredient is still LOVE.
Awakening the Ingredients
How does a witch “awaken” an ingredient to their powers? I’ve heard many techniques from many teachers, but this is what I do: I touch it, focus on it, and reach out with my consciousness to touch the divine spark of consciousness within the ingredient. Tap it three times, say “awake, awake, awaken to your powers of _________.” Sometimes I blow across it (but not when I’m sick…bleck…no bueno.)
Then I thank it and welcome it by name to the “team” as I stir it into the pot. To me, this part is like saying “namaste” to my allies in the plant, mineral or animal world. “The spirit within me, honors the spirit within you. Will you please help me with your skills of XYZ?” Wait for an answer. You’ll know. Consent is paramount to beneficial magick. Plus, if they say “no” its probably because that ingredient isn’t good for you in some way.
Now, go forth and do it whatever way works best for you.
Chicken Noodle “Elixir” Recipe
(optional) Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts: Fresh is good; frozen is fine. I keep them on hand because you never know when someone is going to get sick. I aim for the free-range, organic meats as often as I am able…that is some beneficial, ethical mojo to throw into the pot. If you leave out the chicken, this recipe is Vegetarian.
A few tablespoons of organic, extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): Olive is used magickally for healing, peace and protection, makes a great base oil for all kind of preparations, but is among the more healthy of plant-based fats necessary to consume for good health. The higher quality the oil, the healthier for you it will be. Don’t skimp, trust me.
1 large, chopped yellow onion: MUCHO onion, don’t be shy. Besides, you are sick, quarantined, who cares if you stink? Just for interest, folk spells often call for leaving half an onion under the bed of a sick person to absorb their illness, then bury it later. I suggest eating the thing, and crapping it out later, but I’m just practical that way.
(at least) 2-3 tablespoons of minced fresh garlic: The more the merrier. There is no such thing as “too much” garlic in a restorative brew. The anti-microbial and immune system boosting benefits of both garlic and onions are basically WHY these sorts of soups are actually “medicinal.” Magickally, garlic and onions are both called upon for their powers of healing, protection and exorcism. Casting out all baneful threat from your body could be considered a kind of exorcism. Vampires (and mosquitoes) don’t like it either, which is always handy.
Celery: Here is the trick direct from my Mama: buy a whole celery, then chop off the bottom where the stalks are connected, and crack that baby open. The part you
want for soup is the very heart of the celery plant – the light green, tender little stalks with all the leaves. Chop the heart stalks, along with their leaves and then the leafy parts of the rest of the big stalks, too. You’ll want maybe 2 cups total. Magickally, Fire and Mercury are associated with celery, and while it is primarily used for psychic work, and clarity of thought…my brains are pretty muddled when I’m sick, so I’ll take a dose of that! Hail Mercury!
Carrots: dice up maybe 5-6 big carrots, because carrots are awesome. Magickally, they correspond to the element fire and mars, and both carrots and celery are said to promote fertility and lust…maybe that is why rabbits like them so much. While lust doesn’t do so much for curing the flu, I’ll always take more Mars/Fire when I’m in a battle, and they are delicious!
White Button Mushrooms: I’m pretty lazy, so I buy the big package of pre-sliced and dump in the whole thing. Plus, its nice to welcome to the pot a player from the fungus family of the plant world…which are inherently witchy, and full of minerals and proteins. This is especially important if you’ve left out the chicken and are making a vegetarian version.
Egg noodles: 3 cups of dried noodles. I think the large, wide, egg noodles hold up the best in soups, but obviously, if you use noodles with no eggs in them, this recipe can become vegan. Consider welcoming to the pot the energies of Mother Earth and Grain Goddesses and Gods, as noodles are made of grains. To me, these are the mamas and papas that give of themselves so that we here in the middle world may thrive. Call on their strength when you need it the most.
1/4 cup Bragg’s raw, unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar: this is medicine all by itself, other types of ACV are no substitute. Apples are associated with the goddess, and we know that fermentation is the holiest of holies to many a god of wine…welcome them to the party!
1 teaspoon of celery seed: This was a key ingredient in many of my mother’s recipes and soups just aren’t the same without it…totally tastes like motherly love to me now.
1 bundle of fresh thyme tied together with thread and added to the pot whole, fished out and discarded later. The oil found in thyme, called thymol, is known to have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. As you add the thyme to the pot, speak to it…asking it to bring to the work its restorative, strengthening and antiseptic powers.
“Thyme was called thymos by the Greeks, which meant “fumigate” or “smoke”. They associated thyme with valor in battle, and the restoration of physical power. Roman soldiers were known to bathe in a decoction of thyme before going into combat, to boost strength and courage. The Sumerians used it as an antiseptic, and in Egypt, thyme was one of the herbs which was used in the mummification process. Herbalist Nicolas Culpepper recommends using thyme as a treatment for whooping cough.” source
Copious black pepper: freshly ground is my preference. Magickally corresponds to the planet mars and the element of fire and is used for protection from evil, and summoning up courage to do what must be done, even when we dread the task….like suffering through illness, and taking our “medicine.” It is also an ingredient in curse-breaking and exorcism folk spells. You could awaken the pepper to help you “cast out” the sickness, and “break” the illness within you, and protect you from all harm while you recover.
8 cups of filtered water: Obviously…call on the powers of water to restore you to balanced health and “ease.”
2 tablespoons of Red Miso Paste: I used Eden brand organic Hacho Miso made from aged and fermented soy beans. I found it at Freshmarket, but I bet it can be found anywhere with a decent Asian foods section.
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley: Magickally corresponds to the planet Mercury and the element of air, and is often awoken to be used for purification and protection, strength, health and vitality.
4 Tablespoons of Bragg brand Liquid Amino Acids (in lieu of salt) can usually be found near the soy sauces, condiments and barbecue sauces in most grocery stores.
Start with a big, fat soup pot, preferably stainless steel or cast iron. You know, a modern day “cauldron.” If you haven’t already researched the detrimental health-effects of cooking in aluminum or non-stick cookware, go do that now. My mother taught me that, too.There really is no point trying to cook “medicine” in a pot that will cause long-term ill-health. Remember that metal magick is also very important to spellcrafting, and even on the metaphysical level, we can pay attention to what metals infuse our works. Iron will call MARS into the working. Red-blooded human beings need iron, especially when we are building up our immune systems to fight the good fight against invading germs.
Ok, pot on medium heat, add the olive oil and once heated, the chicken. If you are using frozen chicken, just add it frozen. I usually let this sizzle on medium to medium high heat, while I’m chopping the veg in this order, adding to the pot as I go and giving it a stir between each addition, so it takes a little while: onions, celery, carrots, mushrooms, garlic, celery seed, thyme, black pepper. Let everything saute for at least as long as it takes for the onions to become translucent, stir frequently.
Now, add the Apple Cider Vinegar, which will de-glaze the pot, and then the water, miso paste, and parsley. Cover, turn down to medium-low so that it will simmer, and set a timer for 30 minutes.
If you started with frozen chicken, you’ll need to fish them out, dice into bite-sized pieces (making sure they are completely cooked.) Goose the heat a bit so that the soup is boiling, add the noodles. Check the package directions and set another timer for however long the noodles need to boil.
Check the doneness of the noodles and carrots, which should both be al dente. Add the chicken back in.
As the final step, add the Liquid Amino Acids and stir in. Taste it. Want it saltier? Add a bit more of the liquid aminos. I promise black pepper will kick it up a notch in fabulous ways. Needs more richness? Add a bit more Olive Oil.
Make sure to take time to bless and charge this concoction before you eat it. Call up the powers of earth mother and sky father, or Reiki, or however it is that you do the magick that you do, and infuse that into the soup; set the elixir to it’s work. I stir the pot by drawing in the soup a pentacle with my ladle…circling round deosil (clockwise) three times, then I declare SO MOTE IT BE! I tap the spoon on the edge of the pot three times.
It is good form to express gratitude to all the spirits of animal, plant and mineral who’ve given themselves to nourish your family and bring them good health. Someday it will be your turn, and your bodies will be given back, your minerals will enrich the earth, feed the worms, and push up the daisies, but with their help today is not that day!
*This link is helpful for correspondences of herbs and cooking veggies: http://www.earthwitchery.com/herbsa-g.html