by Cora Anderson, author of Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition
Autobiography, Cooking, Poetry, Body/Mind/Spirit
Paper, 168 pages
List price: $14.95
Also available in a special cloth edition, previously titled Childhood Memories, and limited to 600 numbered copies. Click here to ORDER.
It was not long until I learned that my aunt knew much more than housework and caring for her children. She took me with her to gather some wild herbs she needed for her medicine box. She taught me to recognize gingseng, butterfly root, and many other wild medicinal herbs. She told me how the different herbs were used. She believed that every plant had a use and there was a cure for every known illness if we could only find it. She would talk of the people that my grandfather had cured and the people of the neighborhood who came to her for remedies. Her medicine box held many herbs, all neatly tied up in clean rags, along with a pair of scissors, some clean cotton cord, and clean pieces of muslin. These were used to cut and tie the cord after she delivered a baby, for she was the midwife for many of the local settlements. She also had a bottle of corn whiskey. There were some salves for sores ... One was made of marigolds ground until all the liquid was out, then mixed with sheep tallow. ... I had a wonderful time and took with me a box of the herbs and an interest in herbs and in folklore that has never left me.
A personal narrative filled with homespun wisdom, this memoir recounts the life and times of one of the foremost elders of the Feri (Fairy) Faith of the Old Religion. Her journey proceeds from an impoverished childhood in rural Alabama before the Great Depression to her marriage to the blind poet, shaman, and co-teacher of the Feri Tradition, Victor H. Anderson, and their life together. This warm, intimate, and bittersweet life story provides a glimpse into the world of a true American kitchen Witch. Part biography, part "receipt" book, Kitchen Witch includes the author's recipes, personal spells, and poetry.
Cora Anderson helped train some of the most influential voices in neo-Paganism, including Starhawk and Gwydion Pendderwen. A natural kitchen Witch, Cora worked as a hospital cook for many years and often charged the food with healing energy for the patients. Her articles were featured in Witch Eye and Circle magazines, and her recipes were published in Potpourri of Cookery and Women's Circle.
Like her face-to-face teaching, her wisdom and knowledge are here for those who can see them.
—Michele Jackson, from the Foreword
A delightful, sorrowful, but overall amazing account of a woman’s and a witch’s life. Cora was such a gem to the community and will be greatly missed. An autobiography that any hearth or kitchen witch would love, as at her core, it was who Cora Anderson was. A daughter, a sister, a witch, a professional cook, a wife and mother, Cora’s long life was full of as much joy as it was hardship. Her tales from the Depression caused tears to roll down my cheeks, while others from her childhood had me giggling. ... It is not one fluid story, but instead each chapter is a tale from her childhood, youth, to womanhood. ... A beautiful book full of beautiful tales and wisdom.
—Pagan Bookworm, Book & Media Reviews for the Magical Masses