Picnic Portals: Creating Your Own Magical Picnic!
By Kalyn Anderson / @sweetbitterritual
Even without adding any mystical bells-and-whistles, picnics are pretty damn magical! Usually, they involve gathering with friends or loved + enjoying delicious food together in the beautiful outdoors...that in itself could be a spell! But of course--I'm a witch and I can't resist adding some extra magical *oomph* to my favorite activities! With the weather warming up and safety restrictions lifting, I don't know about you, but I'll be taking EVERY meal I can outside! Food just tastes BETTER sitting under the open sky! If you feel the same, it's time to put together a magical picnic of your own! It's nearly as simple as planning a regular picnic outing...just with added intention and enchantment! Here's how we went about putting together our own magical picnic at Hauswitch HQ:
1. Gather Your Coven
Your coven might be your actual coven, but really I'm referring to whoever you want to attend your magical picnic! Maybe it's just you and your partner, or a few friends you haven't seen in-person in a while...either way, find a time to get together and discuss your plans ahead of time! You don't have to do this face-to-face, of course! You can "gather" on a text or e-mail thread to get organized! You just want to make sure everyone is on the same page before the picnic of your dreams! I'm a firm believer in never feeding anyone enchanted food without letting them know first, so this "planning party" also serves as a way to make sure the whole group is in on the magic and consenting to participate! Besides--you want your picnic to be fun for the whole group, and having everyone involved in planning the menu ensures everyone's desires are heard!
2. Choose Your Intention
Before you get to planning your menu, you need to choose a magical intention for your picnic! Think of this like choosing a theme for a theme party! You can choose any intention you like as a group: celebrating your success, calling in love or abundance, or honoring a certain deity, festival, or holiday! Those are just a few ideas--let your intuition lead when it comes to setting your own picnic intention! This step is important because it will help guide you as you build your menu and is the first step that begins to bring this picnic from "super-fun" to "super-fun-and-magical"! For our magical picnic, we focused our intention on celebrating friendship + fun after a long quarantine...we were going for big 3 of Cups vibes!
3. Plan Your Magical Menu
Once you've set your intention, it's time for the REALLY fun part: planning the menu. Maybe it's because I'm a Taurus, but I love putting together a magical menu ALMOST as much as I love eating it! Just like herbs, flowers, and crystals, most foods have magical associations to look to when it comes time to spellcraft! There are plenty of books out there on kitchen witchery, but you can also use your intuition to brainstorm foods that feel as though they align with your intention. For example: candies, cakes, or honey would be a natural fit for calling in sweetness! For beginner witches, this can definitely be the most daunting part of the process, so here are a few of the items we had on our 3 of Cups Picnic menu to help get those witchy wheels turning:
- Bread | Bread of varying kinds has been a symbol of abundance and community throughout MANY cultures and spiritualities. Plus, packing some bread with a variety of spreads/dips is one of the simplest ways to pack a picnic! You can get fancy and make your own bread, mixing in magical herbs or marking sigils of your intention into the dough before baking! Of course, a nice baguette or handmade loaf of bread from your local bakery is the next best thing! As always, go with what your budget and time allows! I made crostini with a store-bought baguette for our own picnic!
- Olive Oil | On its own, olive oil has been revered and used for spiritual and culinary purposes throughout the Mediterranean for ages! It also makes an excellent base for adding in your own magical herbs + flavorings tailored to your intention! Make an infused olive oil to dip your bread into by slowly heating your oil on LOW, then removing from heat and adding dried herbs, citrus peels, or spices! Cover your container and let your oil infuse for as long as desired (the longer it steeps, the stronger the flavor). Once cooled, you can pour it into a glass bottle and you're good to go! Some of my favorite add-ins for Olive Oil are Rosemary (for healing + love), Lemon Peels (for happiness), Garlic (for protection + health), Thyme (for love), or Peppercorns (for protection)!
- Honey | Honey is used in lots of spells for drawing in love and sweetness...but just like Olive Oil, it's a perfect canvas for other magical ingredients like herbs + flowers to match your intention! To make, fill your container about halfway with dried herbs or flowers, then fill the rest up with honey! Just like the oil, you want to make sure you're using DRIED ingredients--water content can encourage mold growth. Once you've filled your container with herbs and honey, cover it and put it in a warm, sunny spot, turning the jar over at least once a day to encourage all those flavors to really pop! Let this infuse for at least a week (or longer for stronger flavor) before straining out the solid ingredients...voila! Magically infused honey! Some of my favorite add-ins for honey are Ginger (for love + money), Marigold (for happiness), Rose (for love + happiness), and Vanilla (for love + sensuality).
- Spiced/Candied Nuts | Can you tell we went with charcuterie for our magical picnic yet?! Like the other magical menu items on this list, these are easily customizable based on your specific intentions! Spices like Cinnamon and Cayenne are often used to increase power and motivation in magic, while sugar or honey are all about the sweet life! You can also look up the magical associations for certain TYPES of nuts in order to choose which to work with...or just go with your favorites! After all--it's still important that you ENJOY all this magical food!
- Colorful Foods | You know what they say...you eat with your eyes first! Using COLOR MAGIC to plan your magical menu is a simple and intuitive way to bring more magic to your meal. For our picnic, I chose some bright Orange and Yellow foods (like Apricots, Clementines, and Lemon Bars) to encourage happiness, joy, friendship, and laughter! See which colors your coven associates with your intention, and then seek out some yummy foods to match!
- Mythical Foods | If you or your picnic coven associate a certain deity with your intention, choose some foods that deity is known to enjoy or be associated with! I associate the first few months of warm weather and blooming flowers with Persephone, the Greek goddess of Spring and the Underworld--so of course, I decided to include some Pomegranate seeds in our magical picnic to celebrate life returning to Earth and our bodies (and as a little reminder to enjoy it while it lasts...Winter will return, it always does)!
- Festival Foods | If you're planning your picnic to celebrate a certain holiday or festival, all you need to do is find out what foods are traditionally eaten for such a celebration! As always, you can customize your magic to accommodate any dietary restrictions or taste preferences, but a holiday picnic is a fun chance to try your hand at making some traditional dishes!
- Drinks | No picnic is complete without some delicious beverages--and there are SO many ways to make magical, drinkable potions for your picnic. You can create a magical cocktail using herbal or floral simple syrups or bitters! For our picnic, we went non-alcoholic and created an herbal infusion of Ginger, Tulsi, and Rose and poured over ice to create a magical iced tea! (We found this blend in the section on "embracing joy" in Radical Remedies!) You could even freeze edible flowers or herbs into your ice cubes to add some extra power to your potions!
One of the most vital parts of taking your food from simple sustenance to full-on spellcasting is (you guessed it) intention. As you stir, chop, knead, season, or plate your food, focus on filling it with the energy of your intention for this picnic. You can even repeat some "magic words" of intention as you go about your cooking!
4. The Full Fantasy
When it comes time to pack up your magical picnic, the details count! Try to find a blanket or ground covering that has colors or designs that align with your intention! Collaborate with your picnic-coven-members to mix-and-match dishes and plates that you already own that best match your intention (color magic is handy here, too)! You can also pack any crystals, tarot cards, candles, or magical talismans that you want to incorporate into the magic of your picnic! We brought along the 3 of Cups Tarot Card, some Citrine points, and our Pyrite Gem Essence to sprinkle on ANYTHING! You could also have an affirmation or small ritual you use to begin or end the meal to create a sense of sacred space at your picnic!
Now, all that's left to do is enjoy your magical creations among friends or loved ones!! Eating together is a beautiful way to create bonds of community, strengthen friendships, build trust, and reconnect. In my opinion, sharing a meal is the most magical part of any picnic. I sincerely hope you found some of these ideas inspiring and will consider putting together a magical picnic of your own this Spring/Summer! If you do, I'd LOVE to see it, so make sure to tag @hauswitch in your magical picnic posts! Get creative! You can base your picnic around ANY intention: I'm already making plans for a magical picnic by moonlight with intentions for strengthening intuition + spiritual connection! As always...it's YOUR magic, and YOU get to choose!
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