Tuesday 1 November 2022

Book Review: The Wheel of the Year

From now on The Wheel of the Year, by Rebecca Beattie, is a book I will be recommending to anyone wanting to begin or deepen their practice of solitary pagan witchcraft. It's a lovely volume, beautifully written and full of inspiring ways to develop a nature-based spiritual path. The subtitle is A Nurturing Guide to Rediscovering Nature's Cycles and Seasons, and that's exactly what it offers. 

Rather than being just a series of rites to perform at the eight Wiccan festivals of Yule, Imbolc, Spring Equinox, Beltane, Summer Solstice, Lammas, Autumn Equinox and Samhain, the book encourages exploring nature with suggestions for gentle personal development work. There are also ideas for creative projects, recipes and magic. All of these combine to give each reader the elements they need to create their own personal rite for each festival.

On its website, publisher Elliot and Thompson invites you to: "Nurture yourself through the turning seasons with the Wheel of the Year: an enchanting celebration of eight restorative moments in nature’s cycle – from solstices and equinoxes to those midpoints in-between.  Let Rebecca Beattie – Wiccan priestess and nature lover – take you on a magical journey around the Wheel of the Year." The description adds:

"Rooted in an appreciation of the rhythms of the seasons, every six weeks the Wheel of the Year allows us a moment to pause and still the chaos of modern life. This book is alive with what is happening in the ebb and flow of the natural world, helping us to connect with its rejuvenating power and offering rituals to celebrate each seasonal festival, its enchanting folklore and traditions.

"The Wheel of the Year will connect you to the turning of your personal seasons too, enabling you to chart your own moments of transition, reflection and healing alongside the changes in the outside world. Get to know your true inner self and rediscover wisdom and wonder as you start to live in step with nature."

Rebecca Beattie is a Wiccan priestess with a PhD in Creative Writing. I know her because we both teach practical witchcraft through Treadwell's in London and have had earlier books published by Moon Books. She previously wrote Pagan Portals - Nature Mystics, which I really enjoyed.

Interestingly, we were both crafting books on the Wheel of the Year at the same time. Mine began as a series of posts on the Moon Books Blog. I didn't allow myself to read Rebecca's book until mine was finished, because I didn't want to be unduly influenced. As soon as my final manuscript was off to the publisher, I allowed myself to enjoy this one. I'm delighted to say I feel our books complement each other. Although they are on the same subject, and both aim to encourage personal work with the cycles of nature, they are different enough that I believe they can happily sit side by side on the same shelf. But don't wait until my book is published, go out and get yourself a copy of Rebecca's lovely hardback or ebook (the paperback will be out next year). Use it to deepen your connection with the natural world in a way that is nurturing and kind.

You can view The Wheel of the Year via Amazon or buy copies through Treadwell's at 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London. Please support local bookshops if you can!

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