Lughnasadh is the first harvest festival of the year, and one I had not celebrated before. My practice has always loosely followed along with the Wheel of the Year, and I enjoy sabbat traditions as much as the next person. But as my practice has been ramping up over the past couple of months, I felt drawn to do more.
I also have been falling in head-first to the bread world on TikTok, and have found myself oooh-ing and aaah-ing over fresh loaves pulled out of the oven, and compilation videos as people mixed ingredients, shaped dough and doing something I always wanted to do. Ever since I was a kid, I was fascinated by the idea of baking bread.
So, cook bread on the bread holiday (an over-simplification, I know), I figured if there was ever a time, this was it. And in total Rikki fashion, I decided to do even more — I added a homemade stew onto my to-do list as well. Then, because I apparently like a challenge, I bought a book shelf to provide me with more workspace in the kitchen. Since we planned a friends-monopoly day on a strict schedule, there was only so much time for our friends to help us build it — which was right while I was cooking everything.
As if that wasn’t enough, my over-analytical brain decided to heap on the pressure. I knew that if I failed, which is something I wasn’t used to doing until I started majorly failing in my adult years, my little aspiring-kitchen-witch heart would be broken, and I would be back to ordering out food for our family entirely too often.
So, there was a lot riding on this bread. I found a no-knead recipe that claimed to be fool proof, and….it actually was. I found myself reading and preparing, excited for the process, and waiting for it to bake like a kid on Christmas. I was so excited. And when it came out of the oven all crispy crust and soft, squishy center I LITERALLY TEARED UP.
It was the perfect ritual for my first Lughnasadh, and I was very grateful to have the process go so well. My grandmother, one of the main ancestors that I honor, was a southern woman who took great pride in her cooking. Her fried chicken, mashed potatoes and biscuits were no joke. I don’t even like fried chicken now and I would eat it given the opportunity. I didn’t get to spend a lot of time with her, as she lived in Alabama, but this time in the kitchen made me feel so close to her.
And something funny happens after a successful kitchen ritual. All of a sudden, you have confidence in your skills. The stew was also a success, and the days since then have been filled with excellent homemade meals. We still have a balance of ordering out — I still have two toddlers for goodness sake — but I feel like progress is being made. The extra space in the kitchen has made it a joyous place to work in, I even find myself cleaning it more often.
So it comes back to one of the main factors of my practice coming so far this past year. As a stay-at-home mom, creating a comfortable, happy and clean living space has been a struggle for me. I have an aversion to cleaning. But after reading The House Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock I discovered my love for hearthcraft, and found a way to infuse magick into the boring tasks in my life.
We always hear the phrase “mundane before magick”, which is totally valid in certain circumstances, but what about imbuing the mundane with magick? One of the strongest areas of my practice has been appreciating the simple moments, placing intent behind these repetitive actions, and practising mindfulness during the process. So keep that in mind the next time you’re working on spring cleaning, or cooking a meal for your family. We can infuse moments of our life with magick, and suddenly the world becomes a much more enchanting place.
What are some of your favorite kitchen witch and house witch moments?