Monday, June 3, 2013

Witchin' In The Kitchen

cookie jar by
Original to the Pagan Blog Project, week K
My name is AmethJera, and I am a Kitchen Witch. I'll admit it. I love being in the kitchen. Occasionally, I'll share a recipe on this blog, or something from my personal grimorie.

A little historical context: The traditional Kitchen Witch looks like this amazing cookie jar from Storybook Ceramics
[ ] with a few variations depending on the source. She represents the Russian Arch Crone Baba Yaga, also known as the Bone Mother. Although often depicted as sweet faced old woman with a rather large nose, she is far from the average grandma, and numerous wild stories about are pepper cultural legends. Here's one of the most over the top I've found on the Web: [ ].

All I have to say out for those little old ladies, no matter how cute they look! Things aren't always what they seem.

Somewhere along the line, the marketing geniuses (heavy sarcasm here) replaced the European peasant version of the Kitchen Witch with the western version of the witch-on-a-broom. I suspect the agenda behind this was to reinforce the familiar stereotype... and because most publicists and those in marketing believe that consumers/the public is a bit sub-par in the imagination department and we must be told and shown what is meant, because, you know...We just can't figure things out on our own. The ornamental wicked crone in the pointy hat riding a broom was introduced to the modern day kitchen as a decorative accent...and as a subliminal talisman. Many are deliberately cute. Not all of them ride brooms...I have seen variations on wooden spoons, egg beaters, and forks.

However the Kitchen Witch is portrayed, her presence in the  kitchen-ancient or modern- is a reminder of the days when the kitchen was not only used for meal preparation, but as a social center and classroom.
Family and friends gathered in the comfort of an intimate kitchen not far from the warm hearth, for bodily nourishment and to sustain the spirit and soul as countless hours of story-telling (mythical and historical) took place. Genealogies were handed down, stories of the famous and infamous people and places in the area, all in the cozy kitchen in front of the stove or the fire while being renewed by a bowl of soup. Because it was more than likely the warmest part of the house and they would not mold, herbs for cooking and medicinal purposes were dried in the kitchen. A primitive form of herbalism took place as people not only learned to cook food, but to compound medicines for various common ailments. There is a thin line between folk medicine and folk magic, and in some parts of the world the two are inseparable. A Kitchen Witch doll- which is actually a magickal poppet- is wholly appropriate to be hung in the modern kitchen as a reminded of our historical roots.

Blessing for a Kitchen Witch

Little Witchling I adore
Keep us safe from harm and more-
Bless the food we need each day,
Guide us in the Mystical way.
Bless my hands and heart and hearth,
Watch over all with sacred mirth.

copyright 2013, AmethJera

1 comment:

  1. Love the Kitchen Witch blessing. I've never had a kitchen witch decoration in my home because I felt they were derogatory of women. Thanks for the history lesson.


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