Tuesday 2 May 2023

Book Review: The Witch's Survival Guide

I love the introduction to The Witch's Survival Guide because spring is my favourite time of year and this book is written by another witch who feels the same. Author Jennifer Lane writes: "I sometimes wish there was a world I could exist in where I was perpetually surrounded by the white fuzz of of spring blossom."

Me too. Jennifer's book aims to show how witchcraft can bring more of that springtime feeling into our lives. Like me, Jennifer gave up a working life in high-stress office jobs long before the pandemic, and believes many of us would feel happier by having a greater connection with the magic of nature. Her book shows ways in which witchcraft can help with that.

The Witch's Survival Guide contains spells, rituals and elemental magick for those dealing with the stresses and strains of home, school and the working world. As the description from publisher September says:

"The modern world has pushed many of us to breaking point. Our bodies and minds were not designed for constant notifications, emails, meetings and commuting. We were meant for a very different life – one that connects us with swaying trees, wild creatures, and the rush of the elements across our skin. We were meant to see the magick of being at one with nature...

"This book shows you how you...can take back control of your busy life through the healing power of witchcraft. Through guided spell work, those with a love of green and positive witchcraft can manage stress and anxiety, harnessing the natural forces of the four elements – Earth, Air, Fire and Water – to cure and restore their souls."

The Witch's Survival Guide presents a variety of useful and practical techniques: going outdoors and connecting with trees, making calming herbal teas, guided meditations to still the mind, shadow work to face our fears, cleansing practices, spells to focus on specific problems, and rituals to work on our own personal happiness among other things. I think most of us could find something useful within its pages. 

The book also offers an introduction to modern pagan witchcraft. So, if you're a complete beginner to the craft you'll find an early chapter that introduces the basics, such as explaining the concept of the elements in magic and the foundations of how to cast a spell or do a ritual. The rest is also intended to be accessible for novice witches, giving clear and easy to follow instructions. 

I feel it's worth mentioning that some of the techniques and information in the book are a bit idiosyncratic. For example, many witches find manifesting magic is easiest to do on a waxing moon up to the full moon, and spells to get rid of things are best done on a waning or dark moon. The Witch's Survival Guide has this almost reversed. Also, Jennifer writes that air elementals are called fairies, whereas traditionally they are more often called sylphs. The fairies of old Irish and British legends aren't air elementals. 

However, I'm not someone who believes there's only one way of doing magic. It can be worthwhile comparing material in books and trying out what works best for you as an individual. On the whole, this is a useful and practical book and I very much enjoyed reading it. It has a wealth of techniques in it for any witch who wants to look after themselves and feel more in touch with the natural world.

About the author

Jennifer Lane is a green witch and nature writer with a background in wildlife communications. As a journalist she has written for Vogue, Dazed and the BBC, promoting the wider health benefits of nature, birdwatching and living in tune with the land. In 2018, she won a Northern Writers’ Award. She lives near Manchester.

You can view The Witch's Survival Guide on Amazon. 

Notes: Magic and witchcraft are not substutes for qualified professional medical or mental health services. Always consult a qualified herbalist before taking herbal remedies.  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: