Llewellyn have recently published a series of books on the Four Elements, called Elements of Witchcraft, and the two that I was asked to provide endorsements of are excellent. All the authors of this series are experienced occultists and Pagans, so these books are well worth your time, whether you are a beginner or a more experienced practitioner, or someone who is interested in folklore and mythology.
Earth Magic, by Dodie Graham McKay
Whether you are new to the Pagan path or have been walking it for decades, this excellent book will deepen your relationship with the land you live on, the element of earth, and with planet Earth. Dodie Graham McKay’s perspective on this fascinating subject is informed by her deep love for and knowledge of the land and the Earth. It is evident that from the sections on ritual and magic that Dodie has decades of magical experience. Taking a deep dive into mythology, history, folklore, and symbolism of humanity’s relationship with Mother Earth, geographical features, human-made landforms, megaliths, rocks, minerals, and mythological beings, the book invites you to explore and enrich your own relationship with this element. Part 1 looks at the whole planet, then at the history and mythology of the Earth. Part 2 looks at working with the element of Earth, including practices such as geomancy, dowsing, alchemy, astrology, making altars and shrines, and different types of minerals and herbs that you can use in your
rituals. This section also includes some excellent guidance on safety, sustainability, and respect for Indigenous cultures. I especially loved the sections on paying attention to the trees, the ethics of buying crystals, and making compost! Part 3 contains spells and recipes, earth magic, and seasonal foods. It starts with how to connect to the spirit of place (a subject very close to my heart), and how to create a land acknowledgement if you live on Indigenous lands. Each chapter contains exercises, reflections, and prompts for you to create journal entries, artwork, and rituals. There are also guest essays from other practitioners, giving their perspectives. The book is poetically written but also accessible, fascinating, pragmatic, and helpful. I heartily recommend it as a valuable addition to your Pagan or occult library.
Fire Magic, by Josephine Winter
A beautifully crafted guide to all aspects of fire as it is used in magic, ritual, and the home. A must-read for beginners and experienced Pagans alike, exploring the history, mythology, and symbolism of fire as a key ingredient of magical, religious, and spiritual practices. There are essays from other practitioners and experts on fire in history and ritual, giving different perspectives, and suggested rituals and activities for working with fire. There is a chapter on mythical fire beasts and places, and the association of fire with the Divine, as a sustainer of life, and a source of transformation, creation, destruction, and inspiration. Very importantly, it includes safety considerations around indoor and outdoor fires, as it was written during the huge forest fires in Australia. It explores the stories of deities associated with fire, different types of sacred fire, spells, recipes for food and incense, making wreaths with candles, divination with fire, and how to use fire in magic and ritual, including seasonal rituals, high days and holidays. This will be a valuable addition to your magical library, and is a very comprehensive and inspiring guide to all aspects of fire.
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