Preparing and cooking food is an act of magick itself, so for me, I like to have an altar in my kitchen. Back in the days of old, the kitchen hearth was a place of magick especially when it came to folk magick and it continues to this day since many of us practice the craft in our own homes.
Crafting in the kitchen can often evoke warm, safe and happy memories. Considering this is a place well known to most, it can be used to work magick through creating food and drink in a familiar loving surrounding. Food itself contains energy and the spark of life, therefore it is only understandable to honor this gift of the gods by creating an altar in your kitchen. Having a kitchen altar can increase the vibration of your home, especially if you consider that an altar is sacred space and can further empower the process of food crafting. This starts with the ingredients and tools used, to the methods employed to prepare and cook the food, all the way to the finished product.
Altars in the home have been around since ancient times as this was sometimes the only place an ordinary person could commune with the gods in sacred space. Since the kitchen was the main room where meals were prepared, which were often seen as gifts from the gods, it was often an ideal place to put a household shrine. Kitchen altars can be the power spot of the house where energies can be used to bring balance and harmony into the home and those who live there.
A simple kitchen altar can be placed in a niche, shelf mounted on a wall, in a cupboard, on the kitchen table or on a surface like a bench top. It can be elaborate which can bring attention to it or it can blend in with the décor of the kitchen and be overlooked by inquisitive guests.
What you place upon your kitchen altar is completely up to you and your own tastes. These items can include a blade, used for cutting up herbs, can be placed on the kitchen altar along with a mortar and pestle for grinding up salts, spices and herbs. Remember to keep the altar clean and free of clutter to further resonate this magickal energy into your home and your life.
When food crafting I find myself instantly drawn to the kitchen altar. Here I light a candle and offer up a little hymn to the goddess to imbue and bless my food with health, vitality and delicious flavour in her name as well as guarding and protecting my home and those who live within it.
Like the Ancient Greeks, Anatolians and Romans, Hekate has always had a place in my home. In times gone by, shrines to Hekate were placed above doorways to people’s homes, at the entries to cities, villages and towns as well as the roads traveled in between (predominately at a three way crossroads). This was done as a way to supplicate Hekate’s connection as Queen of the Dead and Sorcery and to ensure the dwellers and travelers were protected from the restless dead and evil magick. Offerings were made in these liminal places during the new moon to show devotion and request protection.
In modern times many Hellenic practitioners, witches, magicians and the like continue this tradition and create a shrine in her name. The most ideal place to create a shrine in Hekate’s name is within the home, in a place of high volume of traffic, like the lounge room, kitchen, dinning room or near the front or back door of the home. To create a basic shrine to Hekate ensure it contains an image representing her, a flame of some kind (which can also be an electric light), purified water, incense/oils and offerings.
It’s prudent to dedicate your shrine when creating it in honour of Hekate as is ensuring the shrine is kept in a state of clean and good repair. Making fresh offerings on Noumenia and cleaning shrines during the Deipnon is traditional and ensures it’s done on a regular basis. Here are some simple steps of how to dedicate a shrine to Hekate:
Dedication of a Shrine to Hekate – (C) Setjataset 2020
Purify body by showering or washing head, hands and feet.
Set up shrine with purified water, bread/crackers/fruit/nuts – anything you have which signifies food to you, small bundle of bay leaves or other purifying herbs, any ritual items you want to place on your shrine like a knife you use to cut herbs or a mortar and pestle and an oil lamp/candle/electric light before an image of Hekate.
Wash your hands in Khernips or purified water before assembling your ritual items, whilst saying:
“Αφήστε όλα αυτά που είναι βλαβερά να φύγουν!” (Let all that is profane be gone!)
Take your bay leaves or other purifying herb and dip into Khernips and flick water onto the shrine whilst saying:
“Xerniptosai!” (be purified!)
Light the oil lamp/candle or turn on the electric light.
Offer bread/crackers/fruit/nuts etc, in Hekate’s name and state:
Great Goddess of the hearth and household
Watch over and protect those within our fold
To your honour we feast and drink
Bless us with your eternal link
Filled with health and vitality
So I speak the words – so shall it be”
Spend some time in quiet contemplation and visualise yourself, your home and your loved ones being purified and always having an abundance of food and drink.
Thank Hekate and farewell her.
You may keep the shrine and refresh offerings as required, remembering to keep it clean.
(C) T. Georgitsis 2010, Updated 2020