Coffee magick

With all of the good news about the health benefits of our favourite beverage in the past few years, it almost seems as if coffee really is a potent source of well-being and life force: a wonder elixir. In the wake of Halloween, it got us to wondering: is coffee more than just magically delicious and good for us, is it actually - doo do, doo do, doo do, doo do - magick?

When it first appeared in written history, coffee was recognized immediately for its obvious energizing properties, as well as its observed good effects in aiding digestion, relieving headaches, enlivening the organs, and - given how things were back in the day - improving one's personal scent. Coffee has even been considered heaven-sent at times thanks to the Archangel Gabriel who is said to have promoted the cause of coffee as a cure for plague and narcolepsy in certain instances.

But is the bean itself magic?

Certainly, coffee has a ceremonial presence. Coffee is utilized in the Afro-Cuban Lukumí faith (known as Santería) and the various branches of voodoo throughout the African diaspora as an offering to ancestors and deities, as well as for the creation of sacred symbols in rituals. Coffee, like tea, has a rich tradition as a method of divination or "tasseography" - particularly in Turkey and Greece. And, in the same way herbs have been used for eons, both medicinally and ritually, coffee is another item to be found in most pantries that can be drawn on for expressly magical applications, or rather, applications that require magical thinking.

In the lingering spirit of Halloween, let's take a wee look at some of those coffee "craft" applications.

A frequent magical recommendation involving coffee calls for a bath. Coffee is not only effective at warding off depression and disease and lengthening our lifespans, it can apparently take care of other business: the business of bad vibes (a suspected curse and what have you). Adding coffee to a bath is thought to reverse negative energy (and boost recovery from illness); strong and fresh coffee is key to sending the nasty packing. Here's one suggestion: run a slightly warmer than usual bath, add a generous pinch of sea salt and 1-2 cups of (strong) coffee and half a squeezed lemon. Have a good soak as you normally would but stay put while the bath drains (to allow the mixture to remove the bad juju), then rinse off. Repeat this for the next seven days for a complete "cleansing" (no one said this would be easy).

Meanwhile, burning coffee is said to ward off nightmares, bad spirits - and for sure mosquitoes. Place dry grounds (unused) in a flame-friendly bowl and then burn as you would incense. Monitor closely lest you summon forth a very real nightmare in the form of an actual fire.

Coffee can also be mixed into a paste using a drop of cooking oil for use in spell work. Don't know any spells? Make 'em up! Spells are activated by the intention and force of feeling behind them, although it helps to keep track of moon cycles and to incorporate natural elements (earth, air, fire and water) into your rituals. Coffee paste or coffee grounds can be used, once again, to block negativity, remove blocks, improve clarity, accelerate a desired outcome and add oomph to spells and rituals in general.

For an easier, more coffee-focused practice that doesn't involve esoteric knowledge, try these simple steps for a better day each morning.

To draw good things to you, stir your coffee clockwise before drinking and imagine something nice occurring before the day's end. To ward off something not nice occurring, stir your coffee counter-clockwise. And if you're really worried about a particular outcome, try eliminating the unwanted altogether with your coffee grinder! Hold the beans you are about to grind and concentrate on what it is you wish to prevent that is holding you back and then pulverize those beans in your machine! If nothing else, it will be satisfying. For more tips on coffee craft magick, see GrannyMoon's Morning Feast.

Lisa Peryman
Lisa Peryman


Lisa Peryman has worked with Greenpeace Australia and The Wilderness Society (Australia). She studied journalism in New Zealand and book and magazine publishing in Canada. Her background includes reporting and editing for daily newspapers and trade magazines, as well as creative copywriting for broadcast. Lisa is continuing her studies in Canada and currently works with Probe International as an editor and writer. Earnings from Green Beanery operations support the work of Probe International, a Canadian charity that works with citizens' groups around the world to protect their lands and their livelihoods. Probe International is a Canadian trust.