cover image Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living

Seasons of a Magical Life: A Pagan Path of Living

H. Byron Ballard. Weiser, $18.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-57863-723-2

Ballard (Roots, Branches, and Spirits) encourages modern pagans to “return to a simpler and quieter time” and “re-enchant the world” in this engaging guide. She blends the idea of an agricultural wheel of the year with Christian concepts, such as Ember Days (three-day seasonal celebrations that she repurposes as times for reflection and spiritual recharging) and the Roman crop blessing Rogation Day, to create a rich sense of appreciation for the natural world. For each season, she proposes activities: Samhain (the end of summer) is a time for telling stories and tending to the dying; midwinter is a time for chores, creative projects, and foraging. Included are many ideas for crafting and exploring, such as nature walks, candle-making, and gardening. She recommends a daily routine of “wake, work, wonder, and sleep” and describes the pagan practices on her Appalachian homestead. Ballard closes with an exploration of the concept of hearth—a safe hub from which to live one’s values while building kinship with one’s environment. Ballard’s gentle tone and appealing descriptions of a bucolic lifestyle will appeal to spiritual readers looking to connect with the natural world. (Aug.)