Rosemary and lavender by the full moon found,
A sprig of sage and a long twig of thyme,
Soaked in oil, in a mortar ground,
I’ll blend them and brew them and You will be mine!
– drinking song
Another indispensable tool for both cooks and herbalists, the mortar is a must-have for every Kitchen Witch. It allows the use of such spices as cinnamon, cumin, nutmeg, pepper and many others, in their natural form.
A Witch equipped with mortar and pestle can keep those herbs as they are, and grind them only when necessary. This ensures the maximum of spices’ freshness, aroma and taste. It is also a great way to connect to the power of the herbs that are being used, since You are working on them with Your own hands.
Keeping the spices separate and only mixing them when necessary gives You the possibility of creating Your own spice blend based Your own proportions and preferences. It also prevents the herbs from mixing their aroma, with the stronger overwhelming the milder ones.
A mortar with pestle will be of great use to any Kitchen Witch who needs to prepare a medicine such as an ointment or a cream.
- Mortar types
Mortars can be made of various materials, but they will most often be heavy so they can grind hard materials effectively. Two most common types are ceramic and metal mortars, closely followed by those made of natural stone. Glass mortars are sometimes used in pharmacies for mixing acid-based substances. Wooden mortars, while very beautiful, have some innate disadvantages : wood is a much softer material than metal or stone, and it will always absorb some particles of the ingredients that are being ground, together with their aroma and energy. They can also leave splinters.
Personally, I have used a bronze mortar and pestle for a long time.
A few years ago, however, I have become the owner of a beautiful mortar and pestle made of green marble that can be seen above. Not only is it easy to clean, does not absorb any smells at all (I can mash garlic in it, wash up and proceed to grind lavender flowers). It is also a gift from a dear person, so any work performed with it is a great pleasure.
- Magic uses for mortars
Witchcraft, especially our cozy Kitchen Witchcraft, is all about the dedication to whatever You want to do, and one of the most important things in cooking, healing or magic is the care we put into the preparation. That is why it is much better to keep spices and herbs in as natural a state as possible and only work on them when necessary, right before using and with Your own hands.
Grinding herbs in a mortar can be a very soothing activity, a form of physical meditation. Concentrate on what You are doing, feel the aroma of freshly ground herbs, allow their energy to flow through You. Think about the purpose You are trying to achieve. Say a small prayer or sing a song to keep the motion rhythmic – whatever You feel like. That way even this small motion can be a magic ritual, and that’s what Kitchen Witchcraft is all about.
Common recipes You will need a mortar for :
Remember to wash Your mortar toroughly and keep it dry. This will prevent it from absorbing different aromas.