[Above] Just a standard mundane non magickal pantry, right…🤔 – Photo taken by /\ \/\/ /\
Whenever somebody begins that wondrous search for good occult information on the internet, in sorting through endless frameworks, perspectives, and beliefs – something is sure to happen. You’ll certainly run across a diligent use of herbs for magical purposes (particularly if you fall into the “witchier” side of the occult world).
If you’re like me, when first seeing the phrase “magical herbs”, you probably expected some sort of unattainable flower that can only be found halfway up the Himalayan mountains, on the third afternoon of every summer month. In other words, you might have expected the herbs would be, well, inherently magical or special in some sort of way. However, many of the herbs most commonly used in the makeshift spells of witches are common cooking ingredients that you could find in a well-stocked pantry. Easy to grab, subtle, and versatile, these spices and herbs can be some of the most useful tools in the closeted practitioner’s arsenal.
After making sure you have a grasp of what spices are available to you, it’s time to research, research, research. The list below has some general rules of thumb (which can be changed to fit your own needs).
You have to admit this, nothing about this overtly screams “WITCHCRAFT”. Picture taken by Goatling – CC BY 2
Typical Witchy Uses for the Most Common Household Spices
Salts are excellent for cleansing or acting as a “vessel” for certain energies (particularly if you want to work in the energy model)
Pepper is an excellent warding, banishing, or cursing agent
Cinnamon and nutmeg are often associated with helping the psychic senses
Bay leaves are iconic for writing intentions, wishes, or even sigils or seals
Sugar/Honey are great for sweetening things up, however you might interpret that (perhaps for better outcomes or attracting lovely things?)
Spicy things like chili pepper or curry powder are generally great fire element stand-ins, and speed things up, rituals for empowerment, etc.
Garlic, if it can ward off vampires, it can probably ward any other unpleasant things you don’t want in your life too!
Vanilla – while not strictly spice, is great for working with friendships and relationships
Coffee might as well already be considered magical, but it can obviously benefit any spells aimed at alertness, motivation, or energy
I’m sure that you can find many other flavorful ingredients in your practice. Get creative!
In the next From the Broom Closet article, I’ll start to give concepts and spell ideas for creative and difficult-to-detect ways to use these spices and cooking supplies in your practice, including examples out of my own craft that have worked wonderfully for me. However, in terms of what you can come up with, a great way to apply spice magic is to simply read examples of other spells that use fancy, inaccessible ingredients and methods, then figure out how they could be easily substituted for things you already own with methods you can already do.
Always try to break down why exactly the author brought in a particular element into a spell, what they were trying to achieve through said element. How could you achieve the exact same thing? Like in a cooking recipe – except, you have a world more of freedom, since it’s magic (and magic doesn’t involve chemistry, thank the gods). Happy casting.