I need to start writing shorter descriptions if I want to get through all of these! Here are the books I acquired that came out this summer.
Magical Gardens – written 15 years ago by the late and great Patricia Monaghan, a couple years ago she contacted me to see if we’d be interested in releasing a revised and updated anniversary edition. Of course I said yes! This book is a treasure, and if I ever have a yard, I will use this book to design an enchanted garden – maybe Bast’s Cat Garden, maybe Kuan-Yin’s Garden of Mercy, maybe the Sorcerer’s Secret Garden – it all depends on the light and location of the garden. I learned so much about gardening and beauty from this book. Pat passed away just a half year after this book was reissued; you can read our thoughts on her passing here.
Seasons of Witchery – I have worked with Ellen Dugan on a lot of books in my time here, and each one is better than the last. If you are a fan, or your friend is one, make sure you add this to your collection. It contains Ellen’s personal musings on her garden, her coven, herbs, and life in general as she travels through one full wheel of the year. Of course, it also includes spells, decorating ideas, and recipes you can use in your own home!
Ecstatic Witchcraft – a book that I really would only recommend to the experienced witch or mage. Gede Parma’s lyrical style will bring you deeper into the mysteries of trance work, possession, spirit allies, soul retrieval, and seership. The depth and complexity of this book is not for the easily deterred. As Phyllis Curott wrote in her endorsement of this book, it is “a worthy contribution to the continuing growth and evolution of shamanic Wicca by a passionate and poetic member of the next generation.” I spent a fun week with Gede and his friend Brendan here on the Minnesota leg of Gede’s North American tour this summer.
Here is a pic of Gede and Brendan at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis:
We went hiking, boating, and to comic book stores when Gede wasn’t busy teaching classes or giving readings.
The Magickal Retreat – who doesn’t need some time away, or just some time with the ringer off the hook and the computer turned off? This is an excellent guide to carving some time away from your everyday work and responsibilities to focus on developing your spiritual life, whether that’s a retreat to focus on herbal potions, pathworking, arts or crafts, ritual magick, or something else entirely. Also includes how to best prepare for and integrate your experience into the rest of your life after the retreat. Written by Susan Pesznecker, author of Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink.
A Teaching Handbook for Wiccans and Pagans – this is not a book to learn Wicca – it’s a book to teach Wicca! (Or whatever spiritual path you are called to teach.) Not everyone wants to or knows how to teach, but at some point on this path, you may not have any choice if you truly want to help others. The book has lots of tips on creating lesson plans, teaching to different adult learning styles, finding and screening students, and much more. Written by Thea Sabin, author of the bestselling Wicca for Beginners.
Jesus Through Pagan Eyes – if your eyes are rolling right now, and you actually believe we (Llewellyn, me, or the author Mark Townsend) are trying to convert Pagans to Christianity (ha!), well, maybe this book is not for you. But for many people whose upbringing was Christian, sometimes they don’t feel the door is really closed completely. They may have hated the church and its teachings, but didn’t think Jesus was such a bad guy. And of course, there are also Pagans who never have and will never have anything to do with Jesus, because he’s simply not part of our cosmology. Both viewpoints and many others are covered in this courageous and ambitious book, which includes essays and interviews with well-known Pagans. It’s hard to sum up, so if this sounds intriguing at all, check out my post, “Jesus has really got Pagans talking” to learn a bit more about the book and the controversy surrounding it. Publishers Weekly wrote “This work admirably promotes understanding between belief systems that have a sometimes uneasy relationship.” What better way to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, then? ; )