Monday 23 January 2023

Review: The Wildwood Way by Cliff Seruntine

When there's frost and ice outside, I like nothing better than to curl up on my sofa under a blanket with a good book, a cup of tea and my cat. What I've been reading this January is The Wildwood Way: Spiritual Growth in the Heart of Nature by Cliff Seruntine, and it's delightful. 

Cliff Seruntine is a permaculturist, shamanic practitioner and writer who lives in a remote cabin out in the wilds of Nova Scotia. In The Wildwood Way, he writes about living in harmony with nature over the course of a year. The book starts in winter. In a place far more frozen than my corner of the world, where snowstorms rage for days, it's a constant struggle just to keep livestock safe in the barn and enough wood chopped for the fire. Yet The Wildwood Way also describes the beauty and magic of this landscape even in the harshest times.

Lovely descriptive passages are mingled with practical bushcraft lore and magical knowledge such as how to forage, how to make wildcrafted potions, and how to journey to the realm of the spirits.

 Publisher Crossed Crow Books says on its website: 
"The wild places are not far out of reach and shaman, writer, naturalist, and fiddler Cliff Seruntine does a wonderful job of reminding us of this in The Wildwood Way. Having retreated to the wilderness to live with his family, Seruntine has weaved storytelling as well as practical, hands-on instructions together into one tome that anyone, regardless of their magical or spiritual tradition, can use to intensify their connection with the land. Instructions for connecting with the spirits of the landscape run beautifully alongside techniques for bushcrafting and foraging. Truly a work of art and a must have for anyone who follows any earth-based spiritual or magical tradition."
While I'm very much an urban witch, this book rekindled my desire to get off the sofa, visit green spaces, travel to woods and forests, spend more time in nature and feel the energy of wild places. I'm sure anyone reading it would be similarly inspired and learn a few things to look out for. 

This edition of the book also includes a foreword by John Matthews, co-creator of the Wildwood Tarot, which is one of my own favourite divination decks. The Wildwood Way is the first title by Cliff Seruntine to be released with Crossed Crow Books although he has previously been published by Llewellyn. 

You can view The Wildwood Way on Amazon. (Note: I earn commission from advertisers for some links. This helps support my blog at no extra cost to those who read my posts.)

No comments: