Kitchen Witch: Rice

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(Oryza sativa)

Planet: Sun

Element: Air

Energies: Money, Sex, Fertility, Protection

Lore:

Rice is to Asia what corn is to the Americas. It has been laboriously cultivated and eaten in the East for thousands of years. Linked with deity and served at every meal, rice was and still is a vital staple food for many peoples. More than half of the world’s population regularly eats rice. It’s of central importance in China, Japan, and throughout the Pacific area.

Because of this, numerous rituals and customs have been attached to rice. Among some peoples, if a man and a woman eat rice out of a common bowl, it is a binding declaration of marriage.

In China, rice is thrown at newlywed couples to confer luck and many children. This is the origin of our similar custom.

The Japanese, who still revere rice, eat it with red beans (azuki) to bring good fortune. Interestingly enough, these are the same beans added to shaved ice (a flavored ice treat) enjoyed in Hawaii; and red beans and rice is an old Cajun luck food in Louisiana. In Japan, red rice, produced by cooking a special type of rice with azuki beans, was once eaten on the first and fifteenth days of each month for good luck, as well as on birthdays and festivals. Red is a colour of joy.

Wasting rice, to a Japanese, is an inexcusable action. In feudal times, rice was used as money to pay salaries, allowances, and retainers.

The Japanese used rice to startle and scatter “evil spirits.” In the past, one spirit, in particular, was believed to disturb babies who cried in the night without apparent cause. A bowl of rice was always placed near the infant. When trouble began, the mother or father threw a handful of rice from the bowl onto the floor. This frightened away the spirit and allowed the child to peacefully sleep all night. Ancient magic clings to rice. In cooking rice, if a ring forms around the edge of the pot, the owner will become rich.

Cooked rice, mixed with sugar and cinnamon (a common treat), is believed to “make a man skilful in his relation
with the ladies.”

Magical uses:

Though white rice has outstripped brown rice in popularity, choose the brown variety for the best nutritional and magical effects. Rice cakes, those cute circles of pressed, puffed rice, are a deliciously simple way to bring rice energy into your life. Hold a plain rice cake in your hand and visualize money, enhanced sexuality, fertility, or protection. Eat the cake while retaining the visualization.

Before cooking brown rice , pour some of the rice to be used onto a clean, flat surface one grain thick. While visualizing, use a finger to trace an image of your needed change in the rice (a heart for luck, a dollar sign for money, and so on).
Cook and eat this charged rice.