I thought it would be a good idea to look at some of the spices that we associate with winter and Yule. They are usually used this time of year for the Yule cake, mulled wine and other Yule recipes, but before you banish them to the back of your food cupboard in January, think about adding them to your collection of magical ingredients. They can be used in place of some of the more expensive and hard to get spell ingredients, and are useful for a wide range of magical uses. Don't throw them away when they are out of date to use for cooking either, they will still have their potent magical properties. After each article I have added a few various recipes, magical and tasty.
Cinnamon - Cinnamomum zeylanicum/ cinnamomum verum
Folk names: Sweet wood, Ceylon cinnamon, Cassia
Planetry ruler: Sun
Associated Deities: Aesculapius, Aphrodite, Ra, Venus
Magical properties: Spirituality, Success, Healing, Power, Psychic powers, prosperity , lust, protection, luck.
The Cinnamon tree is native to Sri Lanka and China, and is cultivated in Jamaica, India, Brazil and the Seychelles. It grows to between 20-30 foot and has a thick bark and stocky branches. It grows best in pure sand.
In the East it was burnt in Temples to purify them. The ancient Egyptians used it in the mummificaton process and along with the Romans and Greeks added it to food and drink. It is one of the oldest known aromatic plants and is mentioned in the Old Testament. In ancient Chinese medicine it was seen as a cure-all.
As well as being associated with love, lust, healing and protection, Cinnamon will give any spell a huge power boost, making it work quicker and stronger.
It can be added to incenses to increase psychic powers and raise magical vibrations. It can also be used for healing and divination rituals as well as in magical pouches, infusions and candle spells, to bring love and success into your life.
Tie a bundle of cinnamon sticks with a red or black ribbon and hang it in your doorway to bring protection, love and success to your home.
Wear a dab of cinnamon oil diluted with a carrier oil as a perfume when you are going on a date, to encourage love and lust. Always dilute it when using on skin as it is an irritant.
Cinnamon is one of the most popular warming and stimulating spices. It is used in a variety of dishes including curries, biscuits/ cookies and cakes and it has an affinity with apples making it a must have ingredient in apple pies, crumbles etc.
3 parts Frankincense
2 parts Myrrh
1 part Cinnamon
Burn as a general incense on your altar to purify the area.
250g ( 9oz) plain ( all purpose) flour
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
125g (4 1/2 oz) butter or margarine
100g (3 1/2 oz) caster sugar
2 tbsps caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsps cinnamon
Preheat oven to gas 4/180c/350f
Mix flour nutmeg, baking powder and salt together. In another bowl cream the butter with 100g caster sugar until it is light in colour then beat in the egg and vanilla. Stir in the dry ingredients untilt he mixture comes together.
Mix the 2 tbsps of sugar and 1 tbsp of cinnamon onto a plate. Take small blobs of the mixture ( about the size of a walnut) Then roll each ball in the plate of cinnamona nd sugar mix till they are completely covered. PLace them on a baking sheet thats covered in baking parchment. Bake for about 15 mins.
The Snickerdoodles recipe leads me to.....
Nutmeg - Myristica fragrans
Other names: Mace, Nux, Moschata
Planetry ruler: Jupiter
Magical properties: Money, luck, fidelity, protection
Nutmeg comes from a tall tree that grows in the Indonesian islands with a smooth grey bark, it flowers 3 times a year and takes 9 years to produce it's first crop of fruit which is known as nutmeg apples. This fruit contains a single nut, the net-like covering of the nut is what we know as Mace. Once the Mace is removed the nuts are dried for 6 days in the Sun and then for 3-4 weeks over a slow charcoal fire.
Nutmeg is used inn Chinese medicine for the treatment of the spleen, stomach and intestines.
In the Middle Ages nutmeg was seen as a treatment for all mental disorders, since it resembled the brain.
Caution: Large amounts of nutmeg are very toxic.
Carrying a nutmeg was said to increase clairvoyant powers, bring good luck, attract money and ward off rheumatism.
Sprinkle powdered nutmeg round your property to protect against negative energy.
Add to money and prosperity pouches and sprinkle onto a green candle before burning for the same purpose.
To ensure your partners fidelity, keep a nutmeg under your pillow at night.
2 parts Frankincense
1 part Cinnamon
1 part Nutmeg
1 part Basil
1 part Mint
Lemon and Nutmeg cookies
100g butter or margarine
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
200g caster sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsps milk
250g plain ( all purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
Preheat the oven to 190c/ gas 5. Line baking trays with parchment.
In a bowl blend butter, salt, lemon and nutmeg together. Add sugar and beat well. Beat in eggs and milk and mix well. Sieve flour, baking powder and bicarbonate soda together and add to buuter mixture, blend until combined. Drop tsp of the batter onto the baking trays and flatten with the bottom of a glass. Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 8-12 minutes.
Ginger - Zingiber officinale
Ruling planet: Mars
Magical Properties: Prosperity, success, power, money, love, passion, cleansing, protection, healing, consecrate.
Ginger is a herbaceous perennial plant whose root is used as a spice, flavouring, medicinally and magically. It has a long history for relieving digestive problems like nausea, loss of appetite and motion sickness, and it can be added to sweet and savoury dishes, drank as a tea or crystallized in sugar and chewed as a sweet.
Like cinnamon, ginger can be added to any spell to increase it's strength and power.
Wear a dab of diluted ginger oil to attract love and passion, or put it on your purse/wallet or a green candle to attract prosperity.
Ginger is also used for success spells or to ensure the success of your spell.
The root itself can be used as a poppet or added to poppets, pouches, spell bottles and incense for healing.
Pass your magical tools through ginger incense to cleanse and consecrate them.
Slice 20-40 g of fresh ginger and steep in a cup of hot water for 5 minutes with a slice or two of lemon. Strain and add a tsp of honey if desired.
Draw money oil
7 drops patchouli essential oil
5 drops Cedarwood essential oil
4 drops Ginger essential oil
2 drops Chamomile essential oil
Add to 1/4 pint of any oil you have in your kitchen ( sunflower, olive, almond etc) Wear, rub on hands and anoint green candle to attract money. Or anoint your purse/wallet.
Cloves - Eugenia carophyllus, Syzygium aromaticum, Caryophyllus aromaticus
Ruling planet: Jupiter
Magical properties: Love, money, exorcism, clarity, protection, abundance, repels negativity, prevents gossip, stress relief, truth.
Cloves come from a small evergreen tree. They are the beginnings of the seeds that form just after the flowers.
Cloves are a stimulent and will increase blood circulation and metabolism and generally warm you up.
They were considered a cure-all for many centuries and are used for tootchache, coughs and throat infections.
In ancient China they were chewed to freshen breath before meeting the Emperor as a mark of respect.
Cloves are one of the most strongest spices for protection.
If you suspect someone is gossiping about you, stud a candle with whole cloves and burn it down, or burn powdered cloves as an incense while stating your intent.
Add to incense to clear negative energy in your home and attract abundance.
Carry cloves with you or wear a dab of diluted clove oil to attract the opposite sex.
Use clove oil on a pink or green candle to bring love and friendship into your life.
Keep a clove in your purse or wallet to attract money.
Hang a sachet of cloves by your front door for protection.
Add an infusion of cloves to your floor wash water to purify and bring protection to your home.
Festive tea - makes 1 mug
pinch of ground nutmeg
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of ground cinnamon
1 Herbal tea bag ( raspberry or apple work well)
1 mug of water
1 tsp honey if desired.
Pop the spices and water into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Turn off heat and add the tea bag. Leave to steep for 5 minutes. Strain into a mug, add honey if desired and enjoy.
Protection oil ( this did start life as an incense, but it caused so much smoke I changed my mind and the recipe ! ) The spices and rosemary can also be used dried in a protection pouch, poppet or spell bottle.
6 dried cloves
1 tsp cinnamon, ground or small pieces of bark
1 tsp dried rosemary
100 ml oil ( as before use what you have)
Keep in a jam jar on a sunny window sill for 2 weeks. Strain and pour into a dark glass bottle. Label. Use on protection candles.
A Kitchen Witches World of Magical Plants and Herbs - Rachel Patterson
A Kitchen Witches World of Magical food - Rachel Patterson
Cunninghams Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs - Scott Cunningham
The Complete book of Incense, oils and brews - Scott Cunningham
Herbcraft: A Guide to the Shamanic and Ritual use of herbs - Anna Franklin & Susan Lavender.