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Today on the A Pinch of Magick podcast I’m joined by Melissa Jayne Madara, author of the The Witch’s Feast & her latest book The Witch’s Workshop

In this interview, Melissa shares their profound knowledge and personal journey through the realms of magick and nature.


We discuss:

  • Historical Magickal Recipes: Melissa takes us on a journey through ancient grimoires, unearthing age-old magical recipes and the fascinating “medieval party powder.” Discover how these recipes offer a glimpse into how magic has been practised throughout history.


  • Witchcraft and Medicine: We explore the intertwined history of witchcraft and medicine, revealing the lost art of understanding plants from an animist perspective. Learn how the spirit of the plant has evolved into modern materialist views.


  • Connecting with the Divine: Melissa discusses the importance of viewing our relationship with the land and nature through the lens of spirit and divinity. They emphasise how modern interpretations often miss the profound connections our ancestors had with their environment.


  • Ancient Rituals: Discover the oldest magickal recipe Melissa has come across—a Mesopotamian ritual involving casting circles with different flours for various magical purposes. Melissa sheds light on the significance of these ancient practices.


  • Reconnecting with Nature: Melissa’s projects aim to reconnect people with the land, even in urban spaces. They stress the importance of intentionally cultivating relationships with the land and its spirits, highlighting the presence of nature in cities through resilient plants, often the witchy plants like weeds and mugwort.


  • Crafting and Recipes: The power of making your own magickal crafts and recipes is a central theme. Melissa shares how they’ve revived historical recipes for modern times, encouraging listeners to venture beyond their comfort zones in their magickal practices.


  • Experimentation in Witchcraft: Witchcraft is a path of exploration and experimentation. Melissa emphasises the value of learning from mistakes to become a more skilled practitioner, sharing their own journey of finding the right magick for them by following what interested them.


  • Non-Linear Communication with Spirits: Understanding how spirits communicate with us is essential. Melissa explains the non-linear nature of these interactions and how to trust your intuition in recognising these communications.


  • Developing Intuition: Melissa offers insights on developing the ability to trust your intuition, recommending their favourite essential non-magical book that has influenced their own magical career, that they recommend to everyone.


  • Divination Practices: Melissa advocates for having both a structured and non-linear divination practice, sharing their own experiences of scrying on top of cocktails in exchange for drinks in their younger years.


  • Magickal Experiments and Innovations: Melissa discusses how creativity and experimentation, and not fearing getting it ‘wrong’, drives the evolution of occult technologies and thoughts.


  • Edible Magick: Melissa is passionate about making magickal food that is both delicious and filling and they share the importance of investing this time and labour in magickal workings.


  • Poisonous Plants: Melissa shares their most potent experience with a plant, a dream-induced encounter with a poisonous plant that guided them to course-correct an imminent life choice. This experience reoriented their practice and deepened their respect for these powerful plants.


  • Facing Fears: Embracing what terrifies us is a theme Melissa explores, recounting their work with poisonous plants and the profound lessons learned from these experiences – including being poisoned by them.


Join us for this episode filled with insights and very practical wisdom from Melissa.

Tune in and let the magick unfold!

About Melissa Madara

Melissa Jayne Madara, is a witch, herbalist, and educator based in New York City.

You may know them through Catland Books, the now-closed occult bookshop in Brooklyn, or through one of their two books, The Witch’s Feast & The Witch’s Workshop.

As a writer, Melissa loves discussing plant magic, herbcraft, and presenting deep analysis of historical spells and charms.

Most of their research is centered in the magical traditions of classical antiquity, but you can find them writing about folklore, mythology, and rituals from the ancient world all the way through the modern era.

Melissa is passionate about making witchcraft accessible and easy to learn, while providing high-quality research and education to those who want to pick up this work for themselves.


Connect with Melissa

Instagram: saint.jayne
Patreon: Moon Cult


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