Read an Excerpt
From Cauldron to Table
Food is magickal. To verify this, just watch anyone's face transform as they see their favorite meal appear from the stovetop or oven. Even the simplest of meals has the ability to fill a growling tummy and produce warm contentment! All you're going to do now is give the whole process a little more alchemical focus, saturating each ingredient with a healthy dose of whatever energies you most need.
Sound difficult? I promise it won't be. By the time you're done reading this section, you will have rediscovered the mystical and magickal potential in everyday culinary tools and ingredients, the hearth god/dess within yourself, and ways of honoring and manifesting the spiritual energy in each.
To begin, think about the way people used to treat the kitchen. Picture your grandmother puttering away, humming happily to herself over a secret recipe. Her joy filled every morsel of that meal. Likewise, picture a man telling his children a family story at the kitchen table. His focus on unity filled that room and any foods eaten in it. All this warm ambiance, and so much more, is part of the magick of the kitchen.
The art of cooking and the daily task of eating have also long been mini-rituals performed with family, friends, or even alone. To these mini-rituals each person added elements of personal taste, tradition, and culture for truly meaningful edibles filled with tasty, satisfying energy. The goal of Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble is reclaiming this special spark in our homes every day. After all, we need to eat -- so why not stir in a little spiritual sparkle to spice up the food?!
What Stirs theCauldron?
So where does one begin? Exactly which tools, processes, and outlooks make for effective, meaningful kitchen magick? To sum up the ideology behind pantry enchantments: we should regard all things in this world as potential tools on the altar of our lives.
In kitchen magick, simpler items and methods work much better than complicated ones, because they allow the greater part of your focus to be on your intention. This makes the process more comfortable. In turn, any anxiety you may have about kitchen magick will disappear altogether when everything makes perfect, simple sense and when it feels really right!
Kitchen Magick's Philosophy
Everything you'll read in this book boils down to what could be called a metaphysical face lift -- shifting and uplifting your spiritual outlook and demeanor to one that is playful and creative. Along with a fun-loving and inventive perspective, by far the best attitude to spoon liberally into your kitchen magick is one of self-awareness. There should never be discomfort or awkwardness in choosing, preparing, or serving spiritually augmented foods. Keep your inner voice active, and listen to it often when puttering in the magickal pantry. This voice will be your guide when you are trying to sort out personally significant ingredients and processes.
There need be no hocus-pocus about the energy you whip up in your pantry. What counts is your intention and the feeling you put into any process. In fact, at least 80 percent of the success in this area begins with common sense. You'll still be following the cooking procedures you're used to, and you'll still be using ingredients found around the house or at the supermarket.
The other 20 percent of the formula is summed up in five words: love, joy, intention, will, and wonderment. Love and joy have a magick all their own, and one that I'm sure I tasted in many of my mom's meals. She loved to cook certain dishes, and even when the meal didn't come out perfectly, the taste of her happiness filled every morsel.
Intention provides the whole process with a distinct focus, so the energy of love and joy can flow to the areas of your life where you most need them. Rather than just rambling through a recipe, you are enacting each portion purposefully, keeping your particular goal in mind all the while. Magick is always a function of the will -- of taking that extra step and truly believing that you can effect positive changes with but a thought.
In considering your thoughts, also consider your overall demeanor. Do not enter your kitchen with magickal goals in mind when you're angry, sick, tired, or tense. The negative vibes these conditions create may leech into your food and produce very real mystical indigestion. Under these conditions, I recommend treating yourself to take-out. Wait until a better time to whip up some magick.
Last, but not least, always trust your instincts. Around the kitchen cauldron there is no specific "right" or "wrong" way to perform hearth magick. Ultimately, the right way is the one that works for you. Keep this in mind as you read every spell-recipe that follows in Part II, so that the blend you ultimately create fulfills all your requirements in a personally pleasing way. Always stay true to your heart and vision, and you will rarely go wrong in magick -- or in life.
From Store to Table
Every ingredient in your spiritual sustenance has potential meaning for the whole, and the way the ingredients mix together will change both the food's flavor and its energy.
Think of it this way: when you bake a cake, certain ingredients must be present in the right proportion for the cake to rise properly and taste good. Magickal cooking works the same way, but has an added dimension -- symbolism. Just as you normally measure and blend your cake's physical ingredients carefully, you also have to measure and blend the symbolic energies carefully to create a harmony of purpose.
Thankfully, kitchen magick offers you many different ways of doing this. The first way is the one we talked about already: your demeanor. Purposefully and sensitively putting together a meal or beverage is a huge part of what makes a successful magickal menu...Bubble, Bubble, Toil & Trouble. Copyright © by Patricia Telesco. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.