Whether you believe in witches or not, this book is an entertaining way to become acquainted with the workings of a witch’s life. The author, Ellen Dugan, is a self proclaimed garden witch who has written over twelve books with the theme of witchery including such amusing titles as The Enchanted Cat and How to Enchant a Man. In this volume, Seasons of Witchery, she writes about how she, as a garden witch, celebrates the Wheel of the Year, complete with personal anecdotes as well as history and lore.
The book is divided into eight chapters with each one representing a different seasonal event. Beginning with the summer solstice (June), Dugan moves on to Lughnasadh (early harvest in August ), Autumn Equinox (September), Halloween (October), Winter Solstice (December), Candlemas (February), Vernal Equinox (March), and Beltane (beginning of planting in April/May). The entries for each of the sabbats include history, seasonal rituals, and ways to celebrate the sabbats in tune with nature. You learn that October 31 was Nut-Crack Night to the Victorians before it became Halloween, and that Candlemas was the time in the Middle Ages when the Church blessed candles for the whole year. Information of plants also turns up interesting facts; did you know that hellebores are considered classic witch garden plants used for protection or that dandelions are a special favorite of fairies? Celebrate the summer solstice with gold and green to symbolize the sun and the leaves, and light up the firepit as the evening turns cool. Choose evergreens, holly, ivy, and mistletoe for the winter solstice. You already do? Humm.., maybe witch’s celebrations aren’t so unfamiliar and scary after all.
This book is not for everyone and will offend some. Many people, however, will find it a fascinating adventure into a different world while others, perhaps, will find it inspirational. Dugan’s easy, conversational style guides the reader through her life as a practicing witch including her activities in her garden. She enjoys her plants and sharing her experiences with them. Spells, magic, and pagan beliefs are evident throughout the book for those who want them, but you certainly don’t have to make them part of your life.