A kitchen can be one of the most magical rooms in your home. By its very definition, your kitchen is the room most often used for magic. Essentially cooking is a very potent type of home magic. It bears all the basic aspects of spells
* What scent reminds you most of "love" in the kitchen?
The sense of smell is one of the most potent reminders of our deepest memories. Often, cinnamon or chicory, dill or nutmeg can overwhelm our senses with a flood of feelings. Feeding those you love is emotionally based and we grow as children, storing those wondrous memories of certain scents in our hearts. It is rejuvenation.
* What taste suggests "passion" for you?
Ask yourself what food or flavor most brings a feeling of sensuality to your body. Perhaps basil or oregano? Or chocolate and strawberries? Learn to appreciate the manner in which a food or spice or herb "hits" you right in the spine. Practice connecting the body and heart and mind.
* When cooking, do you crush herbs or sprinkle them into the pot?
There are a few who steadfastly maintain that to handle the herb as little as possible leaves it more potent. I personally disagree. To take the herb between your palms, open your energy to its own and begin to blend them is one of the most powerful things a pagan can do. By absorbing some of the plant's energy and mixing your own with it, you are ensuring a smooth and non-chaotic dance between you, to best enhance the magic.
* What three herbs would always be in your cupboard?
If you were to have only three herbs on hand at all times, what would they be. Would you choose them for taste? Or vibration. The reason I include this question is because every person has herbs they seem to connect with more strongly than others do. Because of this blending, those should be found in your cupboard always. You will find that they provide a stronger magic and a deeper connectedness.
* When was the last time you really "tasted" your food?
We live in a hurried world. Fast food, microwaves, no time, no time, no time. Stopping to smell the roses is all very well....wonderful for the soul. But pagans must try to remember that food in its glory and abundance is a gift from the gods and must be held in reverence, as any fine gift would be. Creativity, strength, shelter, rains when the land is dry... and food. The source of our survival. Taste the food you eat. That is the finest way to show appreciation. Because when we start taking a thing for granted, we may find ourselves without.
* When did you last "clean" the corners?
Energy, like drafts, tends to move or swirl in a circular pattern. Just as dust gathers in corners because of this pattern, so too does "old" energy. Energy you may have missed when last you (metaphorically speaking) swept your home clean. Pay attention to the corners. Clean them as you do the rest. Quarter apples length-wise and dip in salt. Sit them in the four major corners of your homestead. Place comfortable plants in these areas. Clean them out, scent them and bless the area. You'll be surprised at the
* How do you protect your hearth?
Most pagans feel very comfortable with salt as a purifier and protector of the hearth. Salt is almost essential for me in that respect. I do love to use a few other things though. To complete the symbology for me. I incorporate a representation of a lock and key, a brown item (a base shade of strength), a personal item to those in the household (small lock of hair, signature, etc.) and an egg. I am sure that the first three are fairly self-evident. The egg however you may look strangely upon me for. Well, here is my reasoning. And please, as pagans, freedom is your first right. Exercise the freedom to practice comfortable magic, not by rote. Pick what feels right to you. For me, the egg represents the protection the Mother (hen, human or omnipotent) places around Her children. It represents strength to me. It sums up the essence of what is love from the protector.
* How often?
I try to magically clean my home at least once every turn of the moon. If possible, at the dark and full. This works for me. Another schedule may work better for you. I do however try to make an offering each day so that I keep alive the protection I've placed around the home.
* Which element is prominent?
There are differences of opinion on which element is best highlighted in a protection spell. Some say the strength of fire is paramount...others believe earth is the predominant protection. Of course, the ideal is a representation of each in a protection. But that is not always possible. I do believe that the element is best suited to taste once again. Each of us has a predominant element with which we work well. Use it; its gifts are offered freely.
* Does your altar get dusty?
Everyone's does. Fact of life. However, keeping it clean also reintroduces your energy to it. Strengthening the effects of the altar proper.
* How many times per day do you acknowledge the altar?
By acknowledgement I do not mean a glance, blowing incense dust away or replacing candles. By acknowledgement I mean deliberate and concentrated connection with the force emanating from the altar space itself. Consciously taking in the atmosphere you have created there. This is an important step in increasing your awareness.
* Which direction is your altar sitting in?
Many pagans, especially those living in large cities where direction is not usually noticed, often set up their altar in a place appropriate or suited to it. There is nothing wrong in this. If the altar feels right in a certain place, then it works. No rule says it must be set up in a particular direction although many writers suggest north as the preferred. However, the reason for this question is for you to be aware of what direction it does in fact face. Knowing which, is an important part of acknowledgement.
* What adornment do you use?
I am a firm believer in working with your altar. Altar areas are generally in a constant state of movement. We fuss with it, clean it, bless items, rearrange things, adjust stones and sacred pieces. I also believe that an altar should be adorned with the symbols of the season. Witches and many pagans believe the year to be divided into eight parts. Each is represented by a particular time of the season. Use that symbology and decorate it with care and love. Offer this adornment to the gods and you strengthen your space.
* How do you cleanse your body?
Just as our food is hurried, like our lives...we generally do not take the time to enjoy or relax with our ablutions. Using the water element in its primal capacity as a Universal cleaner, the entire action of cleansing is a ritual. Take the time to absorb the magic in it and enhance your own energy.
* What color suggests passion to you?
Does your choice of color stem from commercialism and a barrage of models sporting red, black and purple? Or does it coincide with who you are and the color of your most erotic moments? Allow yourself the freedom to choose the color you find most sensual, without letting the outside world decide for you.
* Which is more important to you.....soft lighting? or scent in the air?
If you are of the general population, lighting is rather important. Bright lights serve to make many people self-conscious of their bodies and feel that light only enhances any flaws. However, many people like the atmosphere that scent can create. Of course, both are ideal. But this is a question meant to enhance your awareness. So ...which shall it be - light or scent? One thing you may want to remember, if we are talking of an atmosphere of passion....your lover usually does not provide soft light, but his or her body can provide the most sensual of scents. And that scent is truly magical....it is an aspect of the joy of passion.
© Janet Thompson
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