Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen

Rate this book
There's a reason caviar has a reputation as a love food, but a little vanilla or peppermint can work wonders too! You'll savor mushrooms like never before after experiencing their intuitive-raising effects, and a munch of celery will resonate with new meaning as it boosts your sexual desire and psychic awareness. Virtually any item in your pantry can be used for personal transformation. From artichokes to kidney beans to grape jelly, food contains specific magical energies you can harness for positive results. This encyclopedia of food magic offers twenty-seven of Scott Cunningham's favorite recipes. Magical menus for more than ten desired goals including love, protection, health, money, and psychic awareness are provided as well. This commemorative edition also presents special features and articles celebrating Scott Cunningham's remarkable life.

400 pages, Paperback

First published November 1, 2002

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Scott Cunningham

140 books1,177 followers
Scott Douglas Cunningham was the author of dozens of popular books on Wicca and various other alternative religious subjects. Today the name Cunningham is synonymous with natural magic and the magical community. He is recognized today as one of the most influential and revolutionary authors in the field of natural magic.

Scott Cunningham was born at the William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, USA, the second son of Chester Grant Cunningham and Rose Marie Wilhoit Cunningham.

The Cunningham family moved to San Diego, California in the fall of 1959. The family moved there because of Rose Marie's health problems. The doctors in Royal Oak declared the mild climate in San Diego ideal for her. Outside of many trips to Hawaii, Cunningham lived in San Diego until his death.

Cunningham had one older brother, Greg, and a younger sister, Christine.

When he was in high school he became associated with a girl whom he knew to deal in the occult and covens. This classmate introduced him to Wicca and trained him in Wiccan spirituality. He studied creative writing at San Diego State University, where he enrolled in 1978. After two years in the program, however, he had more published works than several of his professors, and dropped out of the university to write full time. During this period he had as a roommate magical author Donald Michael Kraig and often socialized with witchcraft author Raymond Buckland, who was also living in San Diego at the time. In 1980 Cunningham began initiate training under Raven Grimassi and remained as a first-degree initiate until 1982 when he left the tradition in favor of a self-styled form of Wicca.

In 1983, Scott Cunningham was diagnosed with lymphoma, which he successfully battled. In 1990, while on a speaking tour in Massachusetts, he suddenly fell ill and was diagnosed with AIDS-related cryptococcal meningitis. He suffered from several infections and died in March 1993. He was 36.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
720 (47%)
4 stars
439 (29%)
3 stars
254 (16%)
2 stars
65 (4%)
1 star
27 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 60 reviews
Profile Image for Chiara.
Author 35 books29 followers
November 27, 2010
I read this book because I was curious: I like cooking and I'm intrigued by magic, so it seemed to be a nice and possibly amusing book to read.

I was disappointed.
It might even have something good in it, I wouldn't say no. But it seems to me that it was written just because. It does not seem to be a book that took years to write.
It is too much simplistic in many ways: we must not use microwave ovens because they aren't "traditional". But we are allowed to use electricity ones: are they "traditional", then? And we should avoid white rice, but can buy tortillas at the supermarket.

I agree there is a relation between what we eat and what we are; I agree that we should consciously eat; I agree that we should aknowledge the link we establish to the earth when we eat... but there is more in "food" than this book talks about.
If we love our earth and our fellow-humans, we should consider where the food we eat comes from and what (or who!) was sacrificed to allow us to have that food on our table. Which this book seems to totally disregard. If we want to live in a "natural" way, these aren't things we can easily ignore, on the contrary: we are supposed to be informed and do something concrete to help. Instead of eating a bowl of oatmeal visualizing our own magically produced wealth, I say check out if that particular brand of oat flakes is produced by a company that does damages to the environment, which is possible.

I think if we show respect to the Mother Earth and her fruits, we already have all the Magic that we'll ever need!

All in all, this book seemed to me nothing more than a politically correct (do not drink alcohol! do not exceed in drinking coffee! demons and bad ghosts are not real! even: leave your husband, if he beats you up!), very cheap and America-centered guide for the professed Wicca devotee.

Profile Image for Anie.
904 reviews26 followers
May 5, 2017
I do not have particularly nice things to say about this book.

It's your typical Llewellyn book, although perhaps better researched than most. There is a real and viable bibliography, and I almost bumped it up to two stars just for the bibliography. And as much as this book frustrated the hell out of me, it's hard for me to not feel kindly toward Scott Cunningham.

But omg everything else.

Why do these foods have these correspondences? Who the hell knows, really, though there's a little collecting of myth to back up some of them... or give an opposing opinion. There's no real magical system backing any of this up, and although I know that this is essentially an introductory fluff book, I like seeing actual *systems* in play -- what can I say.

Where does the health information come from? Not any sort of NIH study or anything like that. Just... wherever it is that people decide to pull health information from. It's one thing to say "hey, eat your veggies they're good for you" and another to start talking about the pointed benefits of certain foods without backing those benefits up. I mean, I know it's a woo-woo book, but still. Don't dole out health advice if you can't back it up.

There's also some really weird light-n-love judginess in here. There's no place for drunkenness or drugs in magic and spirituality!... but then mention Dionysian rites in under a page. You can't be loved if you don't love yourself!... really hoping no one who's depressed is reading that. I understand the impulses he's getting at -- don't rely on booze and your life improves immeasurably if you make the effort to get to know and love yourself -- but damn. Phrasing does actually matter.

That being said, some of the recipes from the back of the book DO look tasty and I may try them.
Profile Image for Carrie (The Butterfly Reader).
1,017 reviews96 followers
January 28, 2018
This is full of simple every day items that can be used for magic. It's also full of diets to help bring in what you want. It's so handy and I love it so much. I love anything that man writes and has put out. It's so helpful. I think this is a great place to start because pretty much everything in here can found at a local supermarket which makes it so easy for someone like me so lives very far from the local pagan store.
Profile Image for Carly O'Connell.
543 reviews14 followers
May 24, 2020
A handy reference. I may try some of the recipes such as the pentagram almond cookies.
Some of Cunningham's language and opinions are a bit outdated. It's definitely got those 90s sentiments of "salty foods are the worst for you" and "there are only two genders."
You can either look up a specific food to see its magical properties, or look up chapters on love, money, protection, etc. to see what foods fall under those categories. The book also contains a section on Scott's favorite recipes.
Profile Image for Bee Lumi.
57 reviews2 followers
August 30, 2023
It isn't strictly vegetarian but it's a "non-meat book" - their words, so it not only contains dairy, honey, and eggs, it also contains "food from sea and river" - again their words. Easily veganized😉👉! The most substantial/important part of the book - for me personally - are when they write about the origins, symbolism, energies, and lore about the produce, and the ancient folk practices from all over the world. And yes, it does transpire a bit that the author isn't vegetarian (specially in the "Part One") and goes on with a few experiences to justify it (though that was completely unnecessary, in my opinion). I mean the book is from 1990, so my expectations weren't that high 🤗... It's still an interesting read, but they're possibly better (easily beteter) contemporary books on the subject.
Profile Image for Sarah.
179 reviews9 followers
April 5, 2008
Everything you wanted to know about Magical Cooking! Cunningham provides a familair and friendly voice, and an informative, entertaining look at the history and magical uses of all our favorite foods! Did you know Roman Soldiers were once paid with Salt? How about placing cups of Vinegar (or Onions) around the house to absorb negativity? Next time you put Syrup on those Pancakes, visualize Money coming your way! Wanna know how to make The Drunken Pumpkin for your next Samhain feast, or Charmed Potatoes? Recipes, Lore, History, it's all here, and is an indespensible guide to Kitchen Witches.
Profile Image for Patricia.
123 reviews5 followers
May 3, 2009
While this is a cookbook, it is much more vital. It details why and how the kitchen plays a central role in everyone's daily lives. It made me appreciate the need to keep my cooking utensils and appliances clean and orderly by telling me why these rituals were important to the ancients as well as their modern relevance. As I consider myself a Kitchen Witch this tome remains a spiritual wellspring for me.
Profile Image for Julie Jenks.
16 reviews
July 15, 2012
This book is so interesting. Teaches you all about the positive properties of foods. What foods to eat to bring abundance, good luck, and prosperity into your life. What foods to eat if you are trying to attract love into your life... Fascinating! I respect Scott Cunningham's books very much. Even though this man has since passed from this phase of life since 1992 I am just now reading his books and it always feels like he is still alive. Like he just wrote the book this year!
Profile Image for Robin.
110 reviews8 followers
April 10, 2016
Wonderfully written and gives a great overview of hearth witchery and home-based practices. Cunningham provides information on herbs (mundane and otherwise) and how they can be used in cooking and spellwork at the stove. The tone is nearly conversational, making this an easy read and while there are some section geared toward more advanced practitioners, this book can largely be read and utilized by Pagans and Wiccans at any level of practice and knowledge.
Profile Image for Alexia ✨.
409 reviews19 followers
July 21, 2019
Pretty good book! even though it is called "Wicca in the Kitchen" it has no relation to Wicca except for the fact that it doesn't have anything for curses or any type of negative use of Magick. Besides that it's mostly a folk/kitchen Magick kind of book. It has several correspondences, recipes, tips for using magick in the kitchen and many uses of it for love, health, money, sex, work, purification, psychic development, etc. Recommended for any fan of Kitchen Witchcraft!
Profile Image for Colleen Criswell.
Author 110 books9 followers
January 30, 2012
Lots of interesting and good information. I particularly found the information on the different color of corn used in making flour and its different correspondent element (white and air, red and fire, blue and water, gold and earth) very interesting.
Profile Image for Teri Stich.
704 reviews
February 22, 2021
I really liked the correspondence sections. Well laid out. I find him a bit contradictory with shades of his personal prejudices coming through. All in all a good reference work to have on hand if you want to explore Kitchen Witchery. Oh and don't let the title throw you, it's not just Wiccan.
Profile Image for Ronda Snow.
Author 2 books4 followers
January 11, 2014
This is the third of Mr. Cunningham's books that I've read, and they are consistently excellent. The information is clear, useable, comfortable, accessible. Wicca in the Kitchen is interesting not only from an energy / magic / spirituality standpoint, it temps the tastebuds too. I've gotten some tasty cooking and meal ideas here too!
Profile Image for Mandy.
218 reviews2 followers
April 4, 2011
This is a great resource for practitioners! Love it!
Profile Image for Bianca.
138 reviews4 followers
May 25, 2011
Not just recipes! It's much more than that. Even if you don't necessarily consider yourself pagan or wicca, I think this is a great book about food and cooking.
33 reviews
January 7, 2020
To make things clear, I’m not against Cunningham, or magic books. He’s written some decent stuff. This is not exactly his finest work, by which I mean it’s one of the worst magic-themed books I’ve ever read.

The long lists of magical correspondences with elements and historical details are typical to Cunningham’s work, but there’s a lot of stuff here that’s not historical or that doesn’t reflect well. Particularly offensive are references to Indigenous spirituality that pretty much anyone could tell you was wrong, and that have been understood to be wrong since long before this was written, but nearly every reference to European and postcolonial American lore that isn’t mainstream is wrong too, e.g. claiming chicory coffee contains coffee beans and promotes love - uh, no it doesn’t contain coffee beans, that’s the whole point; also, though Native and Indigenous correspondences vary, it’s historically considered a symbol of faith and abstinence in postcolonial America, not love. As far as I can tell, Cunningham’s main sources are “I think this” and “I heard somewhere that...”; that’s fine if you’re portraying your work as a UPG, but he isn’t.

Equally annoying: the recipes in this book are just bad. His recipe for baked fish suggests that any fillet of any kind of fish (pick your favorite) should be cooked in the exact same way for the same amount of time and with no seasonings but salt and pepper. Uh, a good baked salmon and a good baked cod do not use the same recipe. I can forgive his teriyaki not containing mirin - it would’ve been hard to find at the time - but not the fact that it’s using an eighth of a teaspoon of ginger for two *pounds* of steak. Leave it out or use enough to taste, man. Another stew uses two cloves of garlic for all the vegetables and four pounds of meat. What? There’s a handful of okay ones, but man, you can do better than this. I’ve had freezerburned discount brand spaghetti TV dinners with more flavor.
Profile Image for Tiffany Spencer.
1,484 reviews18 followers
April 27, 2021
Cunningham’s Encyclopedia in the Kitchen
This book teaches what different foods have certain magical properties (love, protection, money, etc) and it also gives the planet’s, the energies, the lore’s, and the magical uses in the different food categories. I choose this book because I needed something slow to wind down in bed until I fell asleep and this seemed like that kind of book. It starts off with how to prepare different foods with the key being visualization for the thing you’re after, maybe cutting the food in that shape, and letting the thing come to pass. While this is an ... interesting concept, I’m not so sure because I’ve eaten some of these foods’ tons of times and. For example, Milk is supposed to bring love and spirituality (so says this book). However, a lot of mornings not only have I had a bowl of cereal with milk, I’ve had a glass of milk, and guess what? I don’t see anyone coming up to me asking me for my phone number. No rings on my fingers (other than the ones I bought for myself). Now true while I was eating the cereal and drinking the milk I was seeing me sitting across the table with someone having breakfast, but. that’s not to see that I don’t envision someone special in my head from time to time. What this book leaves out I think is that you can’t just visualize it. You actually have to do something *towards* it. I think that’s where people who don’t do magic get confused. For example, I have an aunt that always tries to get me to do a money spell because she wants to win the lottery. However, she has yet to even go purchase the ticket. If this book is to be believed all she has to do is eat some Chocolate (fudge, chip, ripple, etc) ice cream, and scoop it out in a dollar sign shape. It did start off slow, but I actually found the lore’s interesting. Some amusing. Some where just flat-out STRANGE (the psychotic attack from being a vegetarian and the advice to just eat some meat?) The lore’s definitely made this an informative and interesting read.

Rating: 7
Profile Image for Meagan.
137 reviews3 followers
August 14, 2020
I jotted the following down while reading:

- Learning various world mythologies and folklore surrounding certain foods and ingredients
- Some pretty solid sounding recipes, though I have yet to try any
- General life advice is pretty on point - e.g. eating healthy, managing money. SC also frequently points readers towards medical professionals and such in dealing with health issues, financial matters, domestic abuse, etc
- I enjoyed his writing style. Written in an interesting, and at times tongue-in-cheek, style kept the book from being too dry.
- As a dietitian by trade it’s very interesting seeing overlap between believed magical properties of various foods vs modern day science pointing towards related health benefits...

- As a dietitian, magical properties aside, some of the information (from a scientific and health perspective) is wrong or outdated
- A fair number of recipes don’t seem realistic and I’ll likely never make... but you never know
Profile Image for Cordélia Leite.
27 reviews3 followers
February 3, 2021
When I found out, many years ago, that one could use kitchen ingredients to do magic I was amazed and delighted! And the cover is really pretty! Some question the validity of the correspondences he uses...why not question the other correspondences too then? What make the others more authentic? Tradition? Popularity does not equal truth. What are the sources of other magical systems? Questioning is good, but then question everything.
Profile Image for Joshua.
10 reviews1 follower
September 20, 2018
Half history half cook book

I didn’t know what I thought I was in for with this book but I was surprised at how much context for ingredients and recipes he was able to fit in. I think that was a good choice because it gave me ways to relate to those ingredients, forming a personal connection with it.
Profile Image for Sara.
58 reviews6 followers
December 10, 2019
It's kind of dated but some of the material is still good. This is a book defiantly used for reference and not a one time read. A little harsh on the alcohol consumption and it got a bit weird in the beginning with vegetarian and veganism but again it is a product of it's time as it's almost 2 decades old now. Overall an OK book for beginner kitchen witches.
Profile Image for Ulvhud.
75 reviews1 follower
June 11, 2023
Utile in quanto contiene liste, divise per "ingrediente". Lo conservo e ne sfrutto le corrispondenze. Tuttavia l'autore presenta diverse idee ormai considerate superate. Insomma, utile per la lista delle corrispondenze proposte, ma nulla più. Un must per chi invece vuole approcciarsi alla magia in cucina ma non sa da dove iniziare.
195 reviews
November 5, 2021
This is a meat and potatoes reference book for correspondences in basic spell working. In summary, many foods can be used for many purposes. Your intent during preparation is what determines its (the foods', that is) magical properties.
12 reviews
April 18, 2023
To be honest, I really wanted to love this book but it made me cringe a few times. It just doesn’t feel very accurate- how can almost all foods be “protective”. ? At a certain point it loses its meaning.
Profile Image for Braydan.
5 reviews
December 16, 2017
Worth the Read

I’ve been using his books for years when working my Craft. These one though was the most helpful I’ve recently realized. ^_^
Profile Image for Jowie.
42 reviews4 followers
April 30, 2020
It’s good for teaching the basics to someone completely unfamiliar. It reads like a beginners guide and is a great place to start for those who are just curious or who are trying to learn.
Profile Image for Ana.
44 reviews9 followers
November 10, 2020
Structured by food categories or magic purposes, even some recipes. I love this book. Only missing the teas, but hopefully they are in the encyclopedia of herbs
Displaying 1 - 30 of 60 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.