(RNS) — It’s a good time to be comfy and cozy — especially if you’re the Comfy Cozy Witch herself, Jennie Blonde.
Blonde’s “Comfy Cozy Witch Podcast” won outstanding podcast of the year at the 2022 Witchcraft & Occult Media Awards, or “Witchies,” hosted in November by Modern Witch. Around the same time, it hit No. 1 among Spotify’s religion and spirituality podcasts in the United States and United Kingdom, a category dominated by Christianity, including messages by popular preachers like Joel Osteen and daily Bible reading podcasts.
The past year also saw the release of her book “Hearth & Home Witchcraft: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish Home and Spirit” and the continued popularity of her Comfy Cozy Witch account on Instagram, where she shares soft-hued images with “cozy ways to connect” to the sabbats and seasons, among other things.
The success of the podcast, “an audio version of a grimoire,” which she started near the beginning of the pandemic, came as a surprise to Blonde since, she said, she only releases episodes sporadically, doesn’t really know how to edit audio and hasn’t hosted any guests — except for her dog occasionally barking in the background.
But, she said, her message of nourishment and self-care appears to be resonating not just with other witches, but with all people “who want to find a little bit more magic in their everyday.”
“Until recently, I feel like most people would hear the word ‘witch’ or ‘pagan,’ and they would run the other way, because of what they’ve been taught through their beliefs,” she said.
“And I wanted to create this environment where people felt welcomed. ‘Witchcraft’ is not a scary word.”
Blonde, who identifies as a house and hearth witch on her website, talked to Religion News Service about her podcast, why she believes witchcraft is grounding and what it means to be a comfy, cozy witch. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Where did the idea to be the Comfy Cozy Witch come from?
My type of practice is very much centered on the hearth and home — ways to nourish my family through food and through protection, ways to nourish my home and the animals in my home. My practice is very much focused on everything that makes me feel warm and comforting inside.
I feel like there is this stereotype of paganism and stereotype of witchcraft that you see from, yes, social media and you see from the media in general — this dark aesthetic, conjuring all of these scary things — but my practice has always been very comforting in nature to me.
So that’s how I came up with it. I’m just a comfy, cozy witch. My idea of witchcraft is to sit in the morning with a cozy cup of tea or coffee and meditate and do some journaling and pull some tarot or oracle cards and do some small rituals as the seasons change throughout the year. It’s all about being warm and comforting and cozy in my practice, finding magic in the everyday, little things.
What is hearth and home witchcraft?
It is finding small, tangible ways to connect to my practice on a daily basis. It is a person who finds magic in the everyday, whether that is packing my son’s lunch and saying a blessing over his peanut butter and jelly sandwich or whether that is cleaning my house and asking Hestia or Brigid, who are goddesses of domestic life and hearth and home, to watch my house and protect my home as I’m cleaning and adding corresponding oils and herbs into what I use to clean. It is someone who stirs warmth and comfort into my morning cup of tea through honey and through a little pinch of cinnamon. And it’s someone who honors the natural cycle of the Earth and the natural cycle of life and honors the changing of the seasons.
How are all the mundane things in everyday life magical, or how can people bring magic to those things?
For me, I think a lot of magic is in intention and setting intention around whatever it is that you’re doing — being intentional with choices you make, with what you put in your recipes, with how you decorate your home.
I start my morning with my morning ritual. I have my coffee or tea. Bringing magic into that experience is being very much in the present. When I add my cinnamon, I’m stirring it in three times, stirring it clockwise, which is inviting in warmth and protection and positivity because cinnamon is associated with those things. As I’m stirring that into my coffee, I am just thinking to myself, you know, ‘This is going to be a great day.’ And then I stir in my honey. Same thing: I invite in sweetness and kindness for my day.
Although some people might not see that as magical, per se, to me, that’s magic. That’s magical — ritualizing some of these things, not going through my morning in a habitual manner, but in a more ritualistic manner, inviting these qualities into my day, into my life.
A lot of people think of magic, too, with tarot cards and all of that. I pull my cards, and my journaling is reflecting on how the cards that I’ve pulled apply to my day, and it makes me go be a little introspective. Maybe I have just a very rosy, rainbow-and-butterfly approach to magic, but, to me, that’s magical.
Those little, tiny touches — picking out things to decorate my house. Lanterns represent light and hope, so the first thing you see in my house is a lantern because I want people to come in. I want them to feel welcomed and warm and that this is a hopeful, happy place. All of these little touches, to me, are bits of magic because there’s intention behind them.
Self-care comes up a lot in your book and Instagram posts. Can you explain how self-care is magical and part of what it means to be comfy cozy?
First, if we aren’t caring for ourselves, how can we care for those around us? I always come back to that when I think about self-care and the guilt so many feel over allowing themselves time to relax, take a bath, binge on a favorite cozy (or not cozy) show.
And self-care isn’t just about those ritual baths, and relaxation time; self-care also deals with our mental and physical health as well — letting our bodies move and connect with nature through a walk outside, allowing our minds to slow down in self- or guided meditation, for example. I find grounding myself through meditation or mindful movement or connecting to nature to be essential to my self-care and magical practice because the basis of any magical working is grounding.