Welcome to the new series "Herbs in Witchcraft." This month we're focusing on humble potatoes and how they can be used in witchcraft, herbalism, and kitchen magick. And naturally, I'll share a couple awesome recipes.
We know witches can be a little loose with their language sometimes. All rocks are crystals, all plants are herbs. I certainly know that in the culinary world, a potato is a root or tuber, not an herb, but for magical purposes, we're going to look at each plant with this overarching term.
We're starting with the humble potato because I love them and because they're one of those hearty vegetables that are available year round, even in the dark of winter. Though it is a new world food originally from Peru, it has been a staple in crop throughout Europe, and especially in the UK and Ireland, for centuries. They actually weren't grown in North America until they were brought over by Irish immigrants in 1719.
Healing properties of potatoes
Potatoes are often villified by the carb-averse, but they actually have lots of health benefits. They're high in vitamin C and fiber, and they can even be mashed and mixed with honey for skincare. They have anti-inflammatory properties and can help lower blood pressure. Potatoes are also believed to benefit brain health.
Cooking potatoes with the skin on will help them to maintain their nutrients during the cooking process.
According to Locust & Honey, raw potato slices can be used directly on the skin to help heal burns, bruises, and black eyes. Potato juice can be applied to sprains. A poultice of mashed potato and ginger can be used for a fever.
Magical properties of potatoes
When they were first brought to Europe in the 1500s, potatoes were believed to be an aphrodisiac. Since then, they've become much more common and are now more likely to be thought of as having the energy of stability and grounding. They can also have protective qualities.
The grounding, earthy qualities make perfect sense. Since the edible part of the potato grows underground, it's logical that this plant would give us solid, stable, grounding energy.
The common correspondences of potatoes are:
- Gender - feminine/receptive
- Element - earth
- Planet - Moon
- Zodiac - Virgo
- Chakra - root
Witchcraft uses for potatoes
Potatoes can be carved into poppets to use in sympathetic magic. You could also use an old summer camp craft, making a potato stamp. Carve a sigil into your potato and blend a magical ink to stamp into a petition or other spell object.
Call on the protective qualities of potatoes by cutting one into quarters and burying a piece at each of the four corners of your property.
Possibly due to their high water content, they're also believed to have absorbing qualities, soaking up harmful energy. You can carry a small potato in your pocket to ward off disease. When it starts to smell off, it has been filled with harmful energy and can be discarded.
Potato recipes for the kitchen witch
Of course, my favorite way to use potatoes is to cook and eat them. They're one of my favorite foods. Both their grounding energy and their mild flavor make them the perfect vehicle to build a kitchen spell. Start with the grounding potato, and add intention and flavor from there. Here are a few of my favorite potato recipes:
- Potato Rolls - Combine the grounding energy of potatoes with the abundance energy of wheat and the transformative magic of yeast.
- Indian-Spiced Pea & Potato Wraps - Give each spice an intention.
- Ham & Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes - Add your favorite toppings and mix in your own magic.
- Ridiculously Awesome Mashed Potatoes - Celebrate and enhance the potato at its most delicious.
- Grilled Potato Foil Packets with Lemon Dill Creme Fraiche - Dill can bring prosperity and good fortune.
Just put potato into the search bar for tons of awesome recipes.
I absolutely love cooking and eating potatoes, and they can become a staple in your witchcraft practice as well as your kitchen. Take advantage of their healing properties and their strong grounding energy.
- Eat the Seasons
- Organic Facts
- Locust & Honey
- Plentiful Earth
- Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells by Judika Illes