Orange is one of my favourite foods, colours and scents to work with, mostly because just the scent cheers me up! It’s also readily available and so diverse. I eat some variety of orange every day, I find when I’m feeling lethargic in the middle of the day it picks me up, when I’m a bit down in the dumps and also when I’m sick I not only eat orange, I also wear an item of orange clothing! These are the times I reach for orange as I know I am in desperate need of a mental and physical boost.
My grandmother would tell me to concentrate on a yes or no question while eating an orange and then count the pips/seeds – an even number means yes and an odd number no. I’ve read that old wives tale all over the internet!
I believe the orange brings happiness. I love Karma from LUSH, which has two distinctive scents, orange and patchouli. It makes me feel so good, so I have it in perfume, soap and bath bomb! I’ve heard that orange essential oil added to a bath increases attractiveness and beauty. The blossoms of an orange tree bring peace, harmony, emotional openness and love. When I was on Cyprus where Aphrodite was said to have been born of the sea foam with my husband we visited her baths where the water is supposed to make you beautiful, we came away with a bag of the most beautiful smelling and tasting oranges I have ever tasted. Since then when I have an orange at home I share a segment on Aphrodite’s shrine.
Carrying on the love theme, some believe the “golden apples” in the garden of the Hesperides (sunset) were actually oranges. And the garden was a wedding gift from Gaia to Hera for her marriage to Zeus.
I dry orange peel and grind it up to add to incense which I burn when I need some creative inspiration. I also add the peel to sachets to attract abundance. Which I think I read in one of Scott Cunningham’s books. Orange Bergamot or mint is particularly money drawing, I’ve rubbed money with the leaves of orange mint before spending it to ensure its return. Well I won a £5 on that £2 lottery ticket! Other uses for orange peel might be luck, love and house and business blessings. I sprinkled some orange peel around my place of work in the garden when we were going through tender and potentially facing loss of employment, the negotiations went well in the end and I still have a job!
These are just some of the ways I use orange in magic, for more ideas check out this website: http://eluneblue.com/orange-magical-properties/ one of my favourite oranges sources.
I will always be a kitchen witch, there is magic in the food we eat, I believe whenever I cook with orange I am adding the magical properties to my food. One of my favourite chefs Nigel Slater literally describes his Seville orange marmalade as sunshine on a plate, and I wholeheartedly agree. This is my take on his recipe, my energy boosting creativity sparking marmalade:
Making marmalade is a kitchen activity to wallow in, to breathe in every bittersweet spray of zest, enjoy the prickle of the fruit’s oils on your skin and fill the house with the scent of orange nectar.
This will make 5 or 6 normal jam jars worth, so it’s quite handy for gift giving, and who wouldn’t want their very own pot of sunshine for Christmas?!
You will need: 12 Seville oranges (available between January and February here in the UK)
1.25kg unrefined golden granulated sugar
The method - Using a sharp knife, score four lines down each fruit from top to bottom, as if you were cutting the fruit into quarters. Let the knife cut through the peel but without piercing the fruit, peeling it.
- Cut each quarter of peel into fine shreds (thicker if you want a chunkier texture). Squeeze each of the peeled oranges and lemons into a jug, removing and reserving all the pulp and pips.
- Make the juice up to 4 litres with cold water, pouring it into the jug with the shredded peel. Tie the reserved pith, squeezed-out orange and lemon pulp and the pips in a muslin bag and place into the peel and juice. Set aside in a cold place overnight.
- The next day, tip the juice and shredded peel into a large pan (stainless steel or enamelled) with the muslin bag. Bring to the boil then lower the heat so that the liquid continues to simmer. It is ready when the peel is totally soft and almost translucent. It can take from 40mins to a good hour and a half.- Once the fruit is ready, lift out the muslin bag and leave it in a bowl until it’s cool enough to handle. Add the sugar to the juice/peel and turn up the heat, you want a rolling boil. Squeeze every last bit of juice from the reserved muslin bag into the pan. Skim off any froth and leave at a fast boil for 15minutes.
- Remove a tablespoon of the preserve, put it on a plate, and pop it in to the fridge for a few minutes. If a thick skin forms on the surface then it is ready, and you can switch the pan off. If the tester is still liquid then let the marmalade boil for longer. But test every 10-15 minutes. - Ladle into sterilised jam jars and seal immediately.