Halloween may be the time that people think more about “being witchy,” but this new book, The Spirited Kitchen, hits the shelves on October 31 and is a book that will be useful year round. These recipes and rituals for a happy home will help you infuse magic and love into your life on a daily basis.
Carmen Spagnola has put together a book that’s not only amazing with its calming purple theme — from cover to cover — but reading through it is calming. It’s a 256-page hardcover book, built to help believers of all levels learn more about the properties of everyday ingredients and how they can be combined or used to enlighten and hone your intuition.
There is a lot of misunderstanding and inaccurate assumptions about “being witchy,” and even those terms aren’t really appropriate. Being spiritual doesn’t mean just going to church; it can pertain to your own spirit, which grows and learns and blooms in many different ways. It’s fed by how you define spirituality, and there are so many definitions, none of them wrong.
I come from Scottish descent (in addition to a few others), and there is a lot of historical data showing how heavily entrenched certain clans were in mysticism or spirituality. It has always fascinated me, and this book just brought my interest more to light. It was sent to me by the publisher for this review, but it’s done so much for me and I’m excited to be able to add it to my book shelf.
Reading through it is like opening little windows into myself, little glimpses into things I just want to learn more about. For example, I’ve cleansed my home for years, and I don’t mean with cleaning supplies. I burn sage (sustainably grown here in my garden or provided by a sustainable proper source), but The Spirited Kitchen has shown me other ways to do this. Removing negativity from your living space is a real thing. The increased availability of crystals attests to the interest and need by people to find something that helps them to reduce stress and anxiety without ingesting a pill. Just think what we can do if we allow ourselves to move beyond judgment or worry about what people will think and allow yourself to partake in some rituals.
Rituals may mean different things to different people, but adding sacred to everyday life IS a good thing. Feel more. See more. Do more. Relax more. Enjoy more.
The book goes into a lot of detail about rituals for a happy home, and so much more, as well as the staples necessary, creating a sacred space, and how to use them. There is so much history in rituals, reasons why people use things in certain ways, yet diverting from tradition can yield new things, so there’s no hard and fast “must do” steps to rituals. Intention is everything, and we work with what we have.
Timing plays a big part in performing rituals to maximize success. This can be where the Wheel of the Year comes into the picture, a roadmap to the four Gaelic festivals that take place throughout our typical year as we know it. The book starts at Samhain (pronounced SOW-in — a great example that the Gaelic language can be a lot harder to learn than one thinks) and moves through the Wheel, breaking down each ‘season’ with relevant rituals and recipes.
The Spirited Kitchen has far too much great information to include in one review. I’d need pages to fill you in on all the reason why this book is worthy of purchase, no matter what your belief. Each page has little nuggets of history, particularly interesting to me due to my Scottish descent, as much of it is steeped in Scottish history and folklore, but you don’t need to have any Scottish ancestry to enjoy this book and get a lot from it. All you really need is an open mind. And a kitchen.
I have a lot of books, but this one is unique in that it takes you through the year in a way that you can refer to it during each season for just what that season requires…or just what feels right during Yuletide, Imbolc, Beltane, Midsummer, and more. It’s like a guidebook of sorts, teaching you what fits for each season. Incense blend, burn bundles (similar to sage, which you may be familiar with), salt mixes, and crafts or teas. Picture a garden party during the summer, and you’ll be equipped with beverage recipes (alcohol and non-), entree recipes, desserts (like shortbread), and more.
It really is an all-in-one primer on basic spirituality, full of gorgeous muted photos that fit the peaceful theme, pullout tips (like which type of salt does what), tidbits of the origination of rituals, and unexpected uses for things you either have at home or in your garden or yard. I want to give a copy of the book to each of my kids for reference, or just a wonderful book to peruse while enjoying coffee during a quiet time of day.
I’ve barely scratched the surface, but I hope you’re intrigued. If this doesn’t sound like your thing, that’s even more reason to take a peek at this book. The blend of history and explanation and year-round guidance may just turn a skeptic into a believer. Believing in rituals and spirituality doesn’t mean you can’t believe in your existing beliefs. It can all co-exist.
The author’s done a fabulous job of packing in so much good stuff. As an interesting side note, Carmen is a Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef who became a trauma recovery practitioner and clinical hypnotherapist. This isn’t someone living off the land in the woods, but someone who applies this in her very successful daily life. (And no beef if you DO live off the land in the woods — there are many, many days that sounds very appealing.) She’s also the founder of the Numinous Network and podcast, leading folk magic workshops online and in-person in British Columbia. I wish she lived closer, I’d love to do an in-person class, but for now, the podcast and website will have to do. I already have this fascinating book to make more positive change in my life.
Being spiritual doesn’t mean anything crazy, like people frequently associate. It can mean appreciating the full mean, the seeds you plant in your garden, and cleansing smoke pushing negativity out the window. It’s not deep or dark or evil — it’s about your intention and guidance from people that have been doing this a lot longer. That’s pretty special, the ability to learn from ancestors who did this long ago. I didn’t know when I agreed to review this book that it would include so much about the Celtic and Scottish people, and I could not be more thrilled.
Find it on Amazon with this affiliate link, for $30 for hardcover or $15.19 in Kindle format. I highly recommend hardcover, because a lot of what makes this special is the layout and being able to page through at leisure, reading all the little added tidbits and letting the color photos lure you in. Let it do its magic on you.
Something I think is really cool: spiRITUAL. Rituals for a happy home isn’t a “witchy” thing, it’s a very personal path towards your own spirituality. For every single person, it will be different. Embrace whatever yours is.