Book Review: The Witches’ Almanac Issue 35

I am a sucker for a good almanac.  They are such a trove of information and insight and are one of the most valuable resources for newbies and seasoned Pagans alike.  This year I obtained a copy of The Witches’ Almanac Issue 35, Air: The Breath of Life.

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Source: http://www.amazon.com/Witches-Almanac-Issue-Spring-2016/dp/188109832X

The actual almanac itself starts at the Spring Equinox, the beginning of the astrological new year.  It then gives both practical information–horoscopes, Voids of Course, etc–and about a score of research articles.

What I liked the most about this almanac is the diversity of perspectives and information.  It in no way felt homogeneous or like it was drawing from one particular tradition.  The article’s connecting thread really drew from the theme; articles on everything from  “Herbs for Air” to the importance of fairies. In particular the articles I found the most interesting tended to be on the magical importance of objects and practices that also seem to permeate our mundane lives.  I will never put on my eyeliner in the morning with irreverence after reading “The Magic of Kohl” or think of my keys in quite the same way after “A Taliesin of Love, Trust, and Conquest.”  There were quite a few articles like that in this publication, which really got me thinking about the bridge between mundane and spiritual life.  Which is what a good publication geared towards the lives and ideas of a spiritual community should do.

Now design wise, the Witches’ Almanac needs a little updating.  I do have to admit to a little bias towards more modern and cleaner aesthetics.  But in this case, I felt like the plethora of illustrations and the at times quirky layout detracted from the wealth of information in this publication.

But you also know you’ve got a good publication when its only serious issue is the layout.

Overall, The Witches’ Almanac Issue 35 is a resounding intellectual and spiritual  success.  The discourse is rich, the articles are meticulously researched, and the passion of the authors and the editing staff shines through the publication.  I would recommend this periodical to anyone in any stage in their path.

BONUS: There is an accompanying coloring book to this almanac, which has been a delightful and relaxing companion to my Game of Thrones watching.  I’ll post some of my finished coloring pages to Twitter!

© Ariadne Woods

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