By Amber C. Snider
As part of our plant series, our new Magical Farmer’s Market Guides bring you plant-based ritual tips from authors, folklore, and spells using local, seasonal ingredients.
Super easy to find at your local farmer’s market, especially during the fall months, squash associated with the Sun (as are most yellow vegetables), the element of fire, and the festival of Samhain on October 31st/November 1st, as well as Mabon on September 21st.
According to Laurel Woodward’s Backyard Garden Witchery, butternut squash is “loaded with dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, and beta-carotene to support eye health and fight muscular degeneration” and can be added to meals to support healthy relationships. Woodward also cites its magical properties to help with “beauty, deepening relationships, health, influence, and prosperity.”
In his seminal work Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen, Scott Cunningham says that eating squash in dishes can “increase awareness of the nonphysical reality around us," adding that it is a "fine spirituality-inducing food.” Squash is great when roasted in the oven with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt, sautéed or fried in the pan for breakfast, as well as pureed for hearty fall soups.
Custom-carved candle: Solar Blast. Helps the Sun come through to cleanse, purge and rejuvenate your entire being. Provides positive energy for all your endeavors. Invites joy into your life. A great 'wishing' candle. Traditionally used to celebrate your solar return/birthday!
Lavender is one of the most popular herbs around and can be used for so many things, including teas, in baking, aromatic oils, baths, and more. I personally love to combine lavender with Himalayan sea salt to sprinkle on foods or add dried lavender to sea salt for a relaxing ritual bath. You can normally find it fresh or dried at the farmer’s market and easily create your own infusions and oils with the herb.
Associated with the element of air, according to Laurel Woodward’s “Kitchen Witchery,” it’s excellent for spellwork involving “calm, clarity, communication, healing, love, protection, and sleep.” For sweet dreams, add a couple teaspoons into a sachet bag and place under your pillow at night, carry a few sprigs in your pocket for luck and protection, or combine with dried rose for a blissful beauty tea.
Custom-carved candle option: Peace & Protection. This candle helps to keep out people who are invading your life through astral vibrations, visitations, psychic attack, verbal abuse, bickering, and paranoia and to quiet people who incite violence, slander and harm to others. It replaces their negative energies with ones of peace and tranquility.
Fall is definitely the season for apple picking and if you’re on the east coast, you can find an abundance of varieties at the farmer’s market, from granny to honeycrisp and pink ladies. Associated with the water element and the planet Venus, apples are also used in many magical spells, particularly love and sex magic.
Whether it’s apple bobbing for Samhain, sipping mulled apple cider on chilly autumn evenings, or baking them into pies for the fall equinox, there are many ways to use the sweet fruit. In Laurel Woodward’s Kitchen Witchery, apples are also a symbol of fertility and sexuality, and associated with “beauty, garden magick, healing, love, and youth.” They're also associated with love, health, and peace and were “valued foods in ancient Egypt...and intimately linked with spirituality in the British Isles," as well as for the Norse and Yoruba peoples, writes Scott Cunningham in his Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen.
Cunningham recommends carving a heart into the apple’s skin before eating it to reign in love (remember self-love is a thing, too!) or baking an apple pie with ginger and cinnamon to share with your lover.
Custom-carved candle option: Empress in Venus. Goddess based candle to help magnify self-love and confidence. Also can be used to attract romantic attention.
This hearty, resilient vegetable is great all year round, but you can find it in abundance during the fall months. Try making your own Ukrainian borscht for a delicious, warming meal or adding to fall salads with walnuts and goat cheese. Associated with the earth element and the planet Saturn, in magic, beets are used for love and beauty spells.
According to Cunningham, “beets have been eaten for centuries by persons wishing to lengthen their life spans” and are also associated with the fall festival of Samhain on November 1st. They can also be added to love-attracting diets! “Cook and eat beets while visualizing yourself enjoying increased beauty,” he writes. Or make a love spell ink using the liquid from boiled beets and a dash of vinegar (recipe can be found in Backyard Garden Witchery by Laurel Woodward).
Custom-carved candle: Catch a New Love. For use in attracting a suitable new romantic partner.
Associated with the element of fire and the planet Mars, carrots hold strong sexual energy and traditionally associated with the masculine. According to Laurel Woodward’s Backyard Garden Witchery, carrots are associated with “beauty, clear sight, fertility, protection, strength, and youth” and can help boost women’s energy for courage or strengthen male virility. When “prepared and eaten with the correct visualization, carrots may play a part in overcoming psychological impotency,” writes Cunningham in his beloved Encyclopedia.
I especially love roasting different carrot varieties, including white, deep purple, and yellow shades (aka kaleidoscope) in the oven with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt, thyme, and rosemary, finished off with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.
Custom-carved candle: Mars Candle. Invokes the God of war for strength, perseverance, passion, virility, victory, protection, courage and willpower.
Sage has been around for thousands of years and is particularly sacred to the Native Americans. When burned in a ritualistic manner, aka smoke cleansing, it’s used for purifying a space, banishing unwanted energies, and enhancing psychic ability. “Its energies include longevity and health,” writes Scott Cunningham, and has been “used in cooking, medicine, and magic for at least 2,000 years.”
Associated with the planet Jupiter and the element of air, according to Scott Cunningham, sage is also useful for “promoting money, employment, and overall prosperity.” Laurel Woodward cites its magical uses as an aphrodisiac, as well as a great plant to promote cheer, creativity, and mental power.
At the farmer’s market, you can normally find it fresh and add it to soups, stews, or roasted vegetables. If you’d like to use it for smoke cleansing, simply hang the herb in a dry area in your kitchen and when completely dry, bundle it with thread. When used for cooking, store the dried herb in a mason jar.
Custom-carved candle: House Blessing candle. Cleanses and blesses your living space - whether you've been living there for years or just moved in. It will help put the house in order and keep it blessed with good energy and peace.
Cinnamon actually comes from the inner bark of an evergreen tree and is widely used in magical practices and spells. Its warming scent can also be found in scented candles, body oils, perfumes, soaps and more. It’s also used in many love spells, either to attract new lover, entice passion, and enhance sexual desire, as well as spells involving productivity and success.
Associated with the Sun and element of fire, cinnamon can be used to raise vibrations and increase mental clarity, so it’s great to use while working or studying, too. Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to your coffee for an extra magickal boost.
Cinnamon “holds energy to draw money, stimulate psychic abilities, kindle love, boost attraction, and increase magickal energy in general,” writes Woodward in Kitchen Witchery and can be used in spellwork involving luck, love, protection, raising vibrations, and overall success. According to Scott Cunningham, “the ancient Egyptians used cinnamon in medicine and religion as early as 1450 BCE, while “in Greece, it played a part in processions to Dionysus.” When working with magical food, oils, or perfumes, it’s said to double a spell’s power. Also, if you’re trying to quit smoking, I’ve found organic cinnamon sticks to be an effective deterrent.
Custom-carved candle: Fast Luck candle. It speaks for itself! This candle helps to bring luck in a safe and correct way so that you can succeed in your endeavors. Good for money magic spells.
Associated with the earth element, lunar energies, and Samhain celebrations on November 1st, pumpkins can be found at your local farmer’s market throughout the months of September - November. In magic, according to Laurel Woodward, they can be used for banishing unwanted spirits, people, and energies, as well as divination and prosperity spells. They hold “stable, positive energy,” as well as “energy to fortify health, cheer spirit, and attract prosperity,” she writes.
Cunningham cites pumpkins in healing and money spells, as well: “Pumpkin is also a nutritious money-attractant. Make a pumpkin pie and add cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg to flavor it with money-drawing energies.” In addition to making pumpkin pies, pumpkin spiced beverages, and roasting in the oven with sea salt and herbs, you can also roast the seeds for a delicious snack. Of course, pumpkin spice lattes are all the rage in the fall months too, but make sure the syrup is made from real pumpkin and not just artificial flavoring. Pumpkin-scented candles add a coziness and warmth to the home, offering a welcoming energy for guests, too.
Custom-carved candle: Uncrossing Candle. A purification. Removes negativity, blocks, curses and hexes from all elements of one's life. Can be used to cleanse your home, office, self or those around you. It clears the way for positive vibrations to come into your life.