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Hearth Witch

By Anna Franklin

The business of the home rotates around the hearth - it is the place where people meet to cook, eat and talk together. It is the traditional place to house the shrine of the goddess of fire and the guardian genius of the dwelling, tended by the woman of the house as domestic priestess.


“A surprising amount is packed into this volume - including the history, mythology, and folklore of the hearth witch. But mostly the book concerns the practical magic of the hearth. There are few “spells” here. Instead, there are recipes for seasonal dishes (all vegetarian), for incenses and dyes, for traditional natural toiletries and cleaning products. And there is advice on raising plants, storing and preserving produce, the uses of different woods, and candle making. Only a few generations ago, such knowledge was the inheritance of every woman. The traditional wise woman was also a master of the healing arts, and over a quarter of this book is devoted to “wort cunning” (or “knowledge of herbs” to use the more familiar Latinate words). The numerous ways of preparing herbs are explained, and a lengthy directory describes the uses of many common herbs. Necessarily this is only an introduction to the vast subject of herb lore, and the bibliography contains pointers to more in-depth studies (including Anna Franklin’s own tome Herb Craft). All in all, this is an excellent source book for all 21st Century pagans, which I for one will be referring to time and again.” Libra Aries


Introduction - the Eightfold Paths of Magic

Chapter 1- Wise Women and Cunning Men

Chapter 2- The Sacred Hearth

Chapter 3- Kitchen Witchery

Chapter 4- The Still Room

Chapter 5- Garden Magic

Chapter 6- The Land Beyond

Chapter 7 - Wort Cunning

Chapter 8- Tides of the Year

Appendix 1- Protected Plants


Logs to burn! Logs to burn!

Logs to save the coal a turn!

Here’s a word to make you wise

When you hear the woodman’s cries.

Beechwood fires burn bright and clear,

Hornbeam blazes too,

If the logs are kept a year

To season through and through.

Oak logs will warm you well,

That are old and dry

Logs of pine will sweetly smell

But the sparks will fly

Birch logs will burn too fast

Alder scarce at all,

Chestnut logs are good to last

If cut in the fall.

Holly logs will burn like wax

You may burn them green,

Elm logs like to smouldering flax

No flame to be seen.

Beech logs for the winter time

Yew logs as well,

Green elder logs it is a crime

For any man to sell.

Pear logs and apple logs

They will scent your room,

Cherry logs across the dogs

Smell like flower of broom.

Ash logs, smooth and grey

Burn them green or old,

Buy up all that come your way

They’re worth their weight in gold!

Kitchen Protection

To keep your home and family safe and happy, take a sprig of each of the following herbs:

Sage for wisdom

Rosemary for remembrance

Lemon Balm for joy

St John's wort for protection

Lavender for peace

Tie the herbs with a red thread, making sure that some herbs are tied one way, and some the other, so that you are left with a bunch with herbs sticking out both sides, instead of one end herbs, the other stalks. As you tie them say:

I tie this sage for wisdom, to know what is truly important

I tie this rosemary for remembrance, so that I might never forget it

I tie this lemon Balm for joy, that I might celebrate it

I tie this St John's wort to protect it

And I tie this lavender to keep it in peace and harmony

Published by Lear Books 2004

Hearth Witch by Anna Franklin

Hearth Witch




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