Strengthen your practice, deepen your faith—Wiccan rites and rituals for every season.
Rooted in nature, spiritualism, and a reverence for the divine, Wicca is a religious practice focused on the balance and harmony between life and nature. Seasons of Wicca offers practical guidance and empowering rites and rituals that will bring the magic of Wicca into your daily life. (Ambrosia Hawthorn)
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Cover is Beautiful
I really enjoy a good book cover, and Seasons of Wicca is one of those covers that is simple yet complex. The colors around the title – as well as the symbols – do a wonderful job of conveying the message of the book right from the start. The focus on the Wheel of the Year in the imagery and colors is elegant and eye-catching. Plus, I love hidden little details like the symbols, colors, and wheel in a book cover.
Simple Discussion of Magick
In Seasons of Wicca, Ambrosia does a good job detailing quite simply the fact that magick is neither black nor white. It is neutral, and it is up to the user to determine its intention. Ambrosia also mentions that you should find a path that works for you. This is refreshing to see in a Wiccan book because many that I’ve come across seem to just tell you how to do things. They don’t always encourage you to think for yourself.
Rituals for Days – and a Good Framework
The first part of this book, Wicca Demystified, is full of basic information on Wicca, altars, and different tools. The rest of the book, from about page 50 on, is nothing but ritual. If you’re looking for a book that has multiple Wiccan rituals for each Sabbat and esbat, plus other rituals and rites that mark passages of life, this is a great book for you to start with. The framework for all of the rituals follows the same basic structure so these rituals are easily adaptable for the solitary practitioner or those in a coven.
Two Solid Pieces of Advice
I wanted to point these out directly. The first piece of advice is something that doesn’t get talked about often and that is the fact that you should never dismiss a deity. You should only thank Them for the honor of joining you, give Them the offerings, and let Them know that your ritual is finished. It is up to Them whether or not to leave.
The next solid piece of advice that Ambrosia gives is that you do not have to be gifted your first tarot deck. I’ve spoken about this before, but it seems to be a misconception that gets floated around the pagan and witchcraft communities on a regular basis. There is no reason that you cannot buy your own tarot decks and Ambrosia let’s you know that, too!
Lack of In-Text Citations
Always something that bothers me, but I did learn recently that the inclusion of in-text citations is almost always the decision of the publisher. Not sure why this would be something they wouldn’t want to include in their books when something is being stated as fact. I wish it was, because there are a few sections in Seasons of Wicca that I would have loved to either read more about or just know where the information was coming from. The main section is when Ambrosia talks about altars. They say that your altar should never be in the same area where you spend a lot of time on a daily basis or where you sleep. There was no explanation for this and I would be interested to know if this comes from the Hellenic Polytheism concept of miasma or just something that Ambrosia does in their own practice.
Incorrect and/or Inaccurate Information
This wasn’t a huge problem in Seasons of Wicca, but there were two sections in the book that stick out to me the most. The first one came in the section on Sabbats. Ambrosia correlates Day of the Dead with Samhain and appears to say that they are the same. However, this is far from the case. Although Day of the Dead and Samhain share similar themes, Day of the Dead is a specific tradition that comes from some European and Latin American cultures that honor their ancestors. Samhain comes from Ireland and other Celtic cultures and marks the end of the harvest season.
There is also the issue of the Celtic Tree calendar that Ambrosia uses in chapter six about the esbats. From what I’ve been able to find, the idea of the Celtic Tree calendar is quite possibly a bunch of BS that was invented by Robert Graves in his book, The White Goddess. Ambrosia describes the Ogham, which the names of the months in the Celtic Tree Calendar correlate to, as being the “Celtic Ogham”, which simply isn’t true. The Ogham is Irish, and you can read more about it here.
Use of the word Smudge
If you’re not familiar, the ritual of smudging comes from the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. It is a specific smoke cleansing ritual that follows specific steps and uses specific ingredients. Those of us outside of this culture should not be partaking in the cultural theft of millions of people who, up until the late ’70s when the American Indian Religious Freedom Act was passed, were not free to practice the beliefs and religious ceremonies of their culture.
Lack of Safety Message
When Ambrosia speaks about herbs, spices, and essential oils, there is no mention of consulting a physician or medical professional – be it traditional or otherwise – before using any herbs or essential oils. These ingredients and tools can cause adverse reactions for those with underlying medical conditions or allergies, and some herbs and oils are not okay to use around pets. This is an important section that got left out and I encourage anyone to do more research before they use any herbs or oils in their practice.
So overall, I give this book a three out of five stars. It’s a good book for ritual foundation and ritual ideas. It’s not necessarily a good book that covers the basics of Wicca or witchcraft in general. There is a lot of basic information that I believe is lacking that doesn’t make it good for beginners. But if you are someone who is looking to get a foundation of ritual or just get some other ideas of things that you can do to celebrate the Sabbats, then this would be a good book for you to pick up. Just remember, as I always say, take everything you read with a grain of salt, cross-reference anything that is stated as fact, and use your critical thinking skills and common sense.
– Visit Ambrosia’s Website: https://ambrosia.journoportfolio.com/
– More Book Reviews: http://www.roundthecauldron.com/category/book-review/
– Get Seasons of Wicca on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2TDsItm
– A Native’s Perspective on Cultural Theft: https://nativeappropriations.com/2018/09/sephoras-starter-witch-kit-and-spiritual-theft.html
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