By Amber C. Snider
As part of our new series, our Magical Farmer’s Market Guides bring you plant-based ritual tips from authors, folklore, and spells using local, seasonal ingredients, as well as custom-carved candle suggestions.
Plants are magic. That much we know. Here's a guide to selecting winter veggies and herbs at your local farmer's market for their overall wellness and spiritual benefits. Of course, you should consult a professional doctor for any physical ailments or dietary restrictions (magic is best coupled with physical action and good sense). We love a little kitchen witchery at Enchantments, so you can consume the following foods with specific intention for magical manifestation, add to your spell work, or create family/deity altars using the following foods for the winter season. Blessed be, witches.
You'll often find borage used in health and magical elixirs at the farmer's market, as I've purchased a few at my local Brooklyn Farmer's market. It's a hearty, resilient plant that can grow in the cold, and helps with matters of the heart (heartache, grief, and emotional wounds). I personally associate this plant with the Goddess, due to its spiritual energy and benefits, but every person is different! Mostly you can find borage fresh at the market during the winter months and use it for cooking or for teas. According to WebMD, borage flower and leaves are also used to help with cough, fever, and depression.
In her Backyard Garden Witchery, Woodward cites borage as an "herb of cheer thought to inspire euphoria," making it an excellent plant to use with magical intention during the winter months. Woodward writes that the plant is associated with Jupiter and Leo and recommends brewing young leaves to make a green tea to "improve mood and lift spirits" or adding a handful of leaves to a "hot bath to ease exhaustion and aching muscles." She also cites the power of the plant as helping with courage, harmony, protection, psychic powers, and beauty.
Custom-carved candle at Enchantments: Great Mother Candle, a custom-carved devotional candle for the Goddess.
As a ubiquitous "super food," kale is a great source of vitamin A, C, K, folate, and alpha-linolenic acid. It's a versatile little plant too: you can sauté it in a pan with garlic and olive oil as a side, add it to salads and stews and smoothies, or drizzle some olive oil over it and pop it in the oven for about 15 minutes to make "kale chips."
In her Backyard Garden Witchery, Woodward cites the leafy green as being good for psychic and emotional, too, including "expansion, happiness, health, mood enhance[ment], and sight." Incorporate kale to your morning routine by adding a cupful to a green smoothie (with coconut milk or water, other fruit, and low-fat yogurt) and sip with the intention of expanding your happiness and psychic sight.
Custom-carved candle at Enchantments: Love & Happiness Candle, a custom-carved candle similar to the Solar Blast candle, but focuses specifically on bringing in an abundance of love and joy, as well as paving the way for new relationships and/or friendships, memorable moments with loved ones, and increased self-love.
Ah, the calming joy of a chamomile tea. It's a well-known plant used to induce tranquility, sleep, and peace. Most "sleepy time" tea is made with chamomile tea, but it's really a wonder tea. Studies have shown its potential at "managing illness, including cancer and diabetes," as well as reducing inflammation, treating colds, and helping with relaxation.
In magic, you can create a satchel of the dried tea leaves to help with sleep, add to ritual baths with sea salt, make a simmer pot on the stove with other herbs and flowers to refresh the home with feelings of peace, create a healing/calming salve, or ingest the leaves in a tea with magical intention.
Recipe Tip: In her book Enchanted Kitchen, author Gail Bussi has a great "Loving Spray Mist" recipe to invoke your inner Love Goddess made with chamomile tea. Add the steeped tea liquid to a bowl to cool, then add witch hazel, lavender essential oil, and lemongrass and vanilla oils to a spray bottle and combine.
Custom-carved candle at Enchantments: Aesclepius Healing Candle, a custom-carved candle, invokes Aesclepius, the Greek God of healing and is designed to help heal on the physical plane through the emotional aura.
Like chamomile, rosemary is also a wonder plant. It helps with memory, psychic vision, focus, creativity, and mood. I love to create a simmer pot on the stove with dried rosemary from my mother's garden, cloves, and cinnamon sticks and let its fragrance float through the house when I need a little "pick me up," especially when working from home. If my house feels a little stagnant, rosemary helps clear out any negative energy and help with my overall creativity.
You can add it to stews, soups, and meat dishes for extra flavor, but also eat it with the intention of boosting your mood and harnessing good memories. As you sprinkle on the herb over your food, chant over your dish "May this rosemary spark joy and happiness." It's also good for protection and releasing negative energy, so you can carry a sprig in your pocket, bag, or place around the entrances of your home or create an oil-infusion to wear as you would perfume.
Custom-carved candle at Enchantments: Song of the Elder Gods, a custom-carved candle for artists, musicians, and performers. The candle, which burns for 7-10 days (continuously) helps provide inspiration, focus, and creativity to achieve success in the arts.
Packed with vitamin A, and a decent source of B vitamins and vitamin C, carrots are helpful during flu and cold season. It's best to get them fresh from the farmer's market rather than go for those packaged "baby carrots," which often have a chemically taste and come in plastic bags. Opt for the bundle with the greens in-tact, which you can sauté as a side, add to stews and soups for extra flavor, or blend up in sauces (especially Green Goddess sauces).
Magically, carrots are associated with virility, lust, beauty, and potency, so you can eat the vegetable with those intentions in mind. Since carrots are also good for eye health, it can help open up your Third Eye, and according to Laurel Woodward's Backyard Garden Witchery, carrots can also help boost awareness.
Recipe tip: Author Gail Bussi has a great South African vegetable recipe that uses carrots called Chakalaka in her book Enchanted Kitchen.
Custom-carved candle at Enchantments: Hypnotique Candle, a custom-carved candle offered at Enchantments that helps make you appear mesmerizing to others and enhances sexual and romantic attraction. The candle will burn for 7-10 days (continuously) to create a highly seductive atmosphere.
Cabbage as long been a staple food for those surviving through the long, harsh winter months and can be added to stews, soups, sautéed, or grilled with olive oil. My favorite way to cook cabbage is to cut it into four parts and bake it in the oven as a "cabbage steak" and serve with a balsamic drizzle and gorgonzola cheese.
Healthline states the veggie is a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K, as well as fiber and antioxidants. It also helps reduce inflammation. On the psychic level, Laurel Woodward cites the spiritual benefits of cabbage as "healing, health, luck, and protection." Associated with the moon and element of water, Woodward recommends eating it before bed to "help fix your sleep cycle or gain protection from nightmares," as well as money-drawing food magick.
Custom-carved candle: Divine Protection Candle, a custom-carved candle originally designed by Jeffrey Whitfield (now deceased) of Enchantments Inc., it was originally called the "Magus." It calls forth the higher mysteries of the God energy and helps prevent psychic takeover and psychic attack.
For more plant magic, including farmer's market guides and herbal magick, check out our Plant Magic Series section here.