Cancer season kicks off June 21, bringing a nurturing and homey energy to the table that’s perfect for rolling up your sleeves in the kitchen. The desire to warm hearts and bellies will be pronounced during this time, inspiring many members of the zodiac to try new recipes, host friends for dinner, and pour their hearts into the stove. While grandmothers everywhere will claim that love is the secret ingredient for all their delicious dishes, understanding the archetypes affiliated with certain foods can bring your cooking and mindfulness game to the next level.

For centuries, humankind has turned to food for more than just sustenance as our ancestors embraced specific plants for their healing and mystical properties. While many professionals have devoted their lives to unlocking the secrets of our leafy friends, you don’t have to be an expert herbalist or chef to reap the secret benefits laced throughout each ingredient in your spice rack, fridge, and cabinets. So, the next time you prepare to create a hearty plate, consider looking beyond the surface when drafting a shopping list for the grocery store.

Connecting with your intentions is also important to keep in mind when cooking with a purpose, focusing on specific goals while you chop, peel, or sauté. Visualization is a powerful tool whether you’re over the stove or deep in meditation, so be sure to think about your desired outcome as you move about the kitchen, pouring the energy of this practice into your dishes. The direction in which you stir or sprinkle ingredients can also amplify this practice, working in a clockwise direction when calling in abundance, love, or creativity, and counterclockwise if you’re hoping to banish certain people, habits, or situations from your life.

woman preparing dinner
Create intention with your cooking ingredients.
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While there are multiple schools of thought when it comes to the healing power of foods, we’ll be using an astrological approach to showcase which ingredients are most suited to your needs. Ancient astrologers developed a system to outline which planet can be worked with to promote certain outcomes, a practice that was used to make matches, ensure a prosperous season, and was at one time the basis of many formal medicinal practices. Find the planetary ruler of your sign below, and work with the affiliated ingredients whenever you need a boost.

The Sun — Ruler of Leo

The source of life and warmth comes from this very special star, making it the perfect archetype to work with when you’re looking to amplify your vigor, creativity, and health. Foods affiliated with the Sun are also perfect for reclaiming a sense of identity and self-expression, so be sure to include them in your meals whenever you could use some inspiration or an ego boost. This archetype is also considered the father in astrology and can be used to amplify masculine energy while providing a sense of steady and solid support.

What to cook: bay, cashew, chamomile, lime, olive, pineapple, rice, rosemary, saffron, sesame, tangerine

The Moon — Ruler of Cancer

Intuition, maternal energy, and emotions are all affiliated with the Moon, making it the perfect energy to turn to when your soul needs some soothing. Whether your feelings are particularly raw at the moment or you need to hold space for a downtrodden loved one, the ingredients affiliated with this celestial body can help you feel more supported. If you’re hoping to sharpen your third eye, the foods listed below can also take your psychic gifts to the next level.

What to cook: cabbage, coconut, cucumber, grape, peach, pear, lemon, poppy, potato

Mercury — Ruler of Gemini and Virgo

Mercury is the planet that provides each of us with a voice and a mind of our own, making it the ideal planet to work with anytime you’re stuck battling brain fog or need to reclaim your voice. Consider working with the ingredients listed below before your next important conversation or when studying for an important exam. These foods can also act as a shield when Mercury is in retrograde, so be sure to keep some on hand!

What to cook: almond, caraway, dill, fennel, lavender, lemongrass, marjoram, mint, parsley, pecan, pistachio

Venus — Ruler of Taurus and Libra

The planet of love, aesthetics, sweetness, and everything nice is none other than our beloved Venus. This archetype is astrologically responsible for matches made in heaven, making it the ideal energy to work with when you’re trying to step up your allure, conjure a new partner, or strengthen existing bonds. Next time you’re in need of some extra self-love or it’s your turn to cook on date night, consider working with the ingredients listed below.

What to cook: apple, apricot, avocado, banana, blackberry, caper, cardamom, cherry, corn, hibiscus, licorice

Mars — Ruler of Aries and Scorpio

Another source for energizing vibes, Mars is a planet known for motivating us to take action and follow our gut instincts. Work with this archetype anytime you need to access your drive, allowing the heat from this celestial body to stoke the fires within. When it comes to romance, the ingredients associated with this planet can also help revive connections that have lost some of their charge.

What to cook: allspice, basil, carrot, cumin, garlic, ginger, mustard, pepper, onion, radish, shallot

Jupiter — Ruler of Sagittarius and Pisces

Considered the most auspicious planet in our skies, Jupiter is the gas giant astrologers turn to when their fortunes could use a boost. Lean into these vibes anytime you need some extra support from beyond the veil, especially when trying to conjure abundance and new opportunities. The foods associated with this celestial body can also help you reconnect with your spiritual side and should be used in dishes anytime you hope to promote philosophical conversations.

What to cook: anise, asparagus, chestnut, clove, endive, fig, maple, nutmeg, sage

Saturn — Ruler of Capricorn and Aquarius

If you need to feel more stable in your life, consider turning to Saturn as a way to reclaim a sense of order and control. The energy here can help motivate you to act more responsibly and can repel negativity and ill fortune from your life. Be sure to access your sense of accountability, as these vibes don’t take kindly to those who can’t own up to their mistakes. Many astrologers also believe this planetary archetype promotes a favorable outcome in court or legal matters.

What to cook: barley, beet, kale, kava kava, legumes, parsnip, potato, safflower, spinach

Uranus — Ruler of Aquarius

Known as “The Great Awakener,” Uranus is considered one of the more inspired and transformative archetypes in astrology. Its purpose is to push us into the future, acting against outdated ways of thinking and being. While this planet certainly has a role to play in politics and world issues, on a personal level it can help promote enlightenment and genius. Use plants affiliated with this celestial body anytime you need to move outside of your comfort zone, break habits quickly, or simply crave more excitement.

What to cook: cornflower, chia seed, chive, dark chocolate, dragon fruit, oat, mace, pumpkin seed, tofu

Neptune — Ruler of Pisces

Perhaps the most soothing archetype in astrology, Neptune is great for relaxation, promoting dreams, smoothing out rough edges, infusing your aura with glamor, and expanding the creative mind. However, it can also have a hazy or deceptive effect, so you may want to avoid working with it when pursuing clarity. These vibes are much happier living in a fantasy world, making the ingredients below perfect companions when you need to escape for a bit.

What to cook: banana, cantaloupe, chickpea, coconut water, milk chocolate, quinoa, rice, seaweed, sesame seed, yogurt, winter squash

Pluto — Ruler of Scorpio

Pluto isn’t a planet that likes to play games, making it the perfect archetype to work with when you need to pull out the big guns. Whether you’re ready for serious change, are preparing to leave a bad situation, or are reclaiming your sense of autonomy, these vibes will support your mission to move forward. Deep and intense bonds can also form when this energy is present, and conversations around commitment or breakups can seem less scary. The ingredients below may also come in handy when you need to release something or simply wish to cleanse your aura.

What to cook: chili flake, cheese, corn, green pea, mushroom, nettle, rye, sage, salt, turnip, yucca

Renée Watt is a Pacific Northwest-based professional psychic, astrologer, and witch. Her mystical insights have been featured in Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and InStyle. She hosts the weekly podcast The Glitter Cast, which features celebrity ghost stories and interviews with leading professionals in her field.

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