Friday, 2 February 2018

Review: Witchcraft...Into the Wilds by Rachel Patterson

If you want to know which magical book I have read recently that totally resonated with me - Witchcraft...Into the Wilds is it. The book is by Rachel Patterson, who is most famous for her books on kitchen witchcraft. Now, while I think her earlier books are great, my personal sense of tapping into magic comes more from experiencing nature than from stirring up witchy brews.

Nature is all around us, whether we are out in unspoilt wilderness, sitting in a park or even just observing the wild flowers growing in the verges beside a pavement.

As Rachel says: "You can tap into the energy from any place and each area or location will have its own unique energy. Forests, ponds, parks, streets, seashores and even city centres will all have that magical energy – it is just a case of plugging yourself into the source."

Witchcraft...Into the Wilds is perfect for solitary practitioners, especially those who are either new to the craft or who are moving away from a very formal witchcraft tradition or coven. Rachel starts by recommending keeping a journal. That's something I heartily agree with. This very blog was started by me both as a record of my craft as a witch and an incentive to keep going.

The book covers a huge range of practical magic including working with the energy of the seasons, ethical wildcrafting, using found objects, understanding symbols in nature, working with the weather and elements, and natural divination. There are spells you can try, rituals you can perform and even a guide to hedge riding (the witchy term for shamanic journeying).

Publisher Moon Books says about Witchcraft...Into the Wilds on its website:
Witchcraft... Into the Wilds leads us through the wilds of nature and back to the roots and bones of witchcraft, a natural witchcraft that works with the seasons and all the natural items that Mother Nature provides, drawing on magical folk lore and a little bit of gypsy magic too. No fancy tools or ceremonial rituals, this is about working with the source. Mother Earth provides us with the changing of the seasons and within that turning of the year she gives us everything we need to work magic with, from natural energy in the form of storms, rain and sunshine to tangible items packed full of magical energy such as seeds, leaves and stones.
Rachel Patterson is a high priestess of the Kitchen Witch Coven and an elder at the online Wyld Witches/Kitchen Witch School. She describes her craft as being a combination of old religion witchcraft, kitchen witchery, hedge witchery and folk magic.

Her other books include Grimoire of the Kitchen Witch, A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food, Pagan Portals - The Cailleach and Pagan Portals - Animal Magic. She also contributed to Every Day Magic - A Pagan Book of Days.

You can view Witchcraft...Into the Wilds on Amazon.

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