It's for these people that I'll post this poppy photo, as I'm constantly thankful for my freedom. I appreciate the language that I use to write my spells and rituals, I love our rich history and I'm eternally grateful for the countryside. That blast of colours and smells that our beautiful country throws at us at this time of year.
Samhain is a time that's special for another reason. It coincided with the first time I planned a feast. I was never the worlds best cook. I'd struggle, and basically, food wasn't top of my list. If I was in the middle of a project, I'd pray for the day boffins make a dinner pill you can just swallow rather than interrupt yourself to cook. Well, little by little, I got my confidence, and one year, I applied my new found confidence to knit two things I love together: Witchcraft & Cookery. It also helped me include my husband within my Samhain ritual. Mr Jules is a Christian, and very interested in Wicca and has encouraged me on every level.
If someone had told me twelve years ago that my first book of shadows would have been turned largely into a recipe book, I'd have rolled on the floor laughing. But it's connected me with the divine. Simple practices like chopping fresh vegetables are an absolute pleasure - looking at the beautiful rings inside an onion, the shape of broccoli, the smell of fresh peas, herbs, the list is endless. The preparation is the best bit. It's the core of the Craft for me. And no Samhain kitchen would be complete without it's own altar space. I set mine up and let the magick weave it's way into the food.
The altar I'd previously have set up in the kitchen, now gets brought through to the dining room. We have two candles lit, which are blown out, to mark the end of the year, and to honour death and those we've lost. We then relight the candles, and celebrate the new year.
An important point for anyone solitary who is reading this is, it's very easy to feel disheartened that you're not part of a group. But Wicca doesn't have to be celebrated alone just because you don't know other witches, even for solitaries like us. There is nothing more spiritual than feeding people you love, whatever their path is. The point is to focus on the properties of the foods and their healing qualities. To concentrate on these attributes when taking care in your preparation is hugely beneficial to the results. I find I can enter a meditative state whilst cooking, simply by focusing on food acting as a healer.
Whether you're focusing on chopping garlic to bring health to your guests, or stirring in juniper berries and mentally ridding your guests of rheumatic pains, it's an effective way to practice your Craft, and a hugely uplifting one when you find it. What better way to celebrate than to sit down and answer questions to your nearest and dearest about what you do and why? Kitchen magick has shifted my focus in such a big way: it's the most nourishing way I have found to nourish others.