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Book Review: Wheel of the Year by Rebecca Beattie

"Magic is natural. It is a harmonious movement of energies to create needed change. If you wish to practice magic, all thoughts of it being paranormal or supernatural must be forgotten."

Rebecca Beattie is a Wiccan priestess with a PhD in Creative Writing. Beattie has been practicing solitary witchcraft for 20 years and has been an initiate of the Gardnerian Wiccan tradition for 15 years. She’s been teaching people about the pagan Wheel of the Year for years at a bookshop in Bloomsbury called Treadwell’s.

Right off the bat, Beattie recognizes that Wicca and the Wheel of the Year is “modern-created, ancient-inspired.” This means that there are no hard and fast rules about how to practice and celebrate. This is especially the case when you consider how agricultural seasons are not the same all over the world. The author emphasizes how this book is not about religion, but about connecting to nature.

The cyclical nature of the Wheel of the Year also means that the practioners can begin celebrating the sabbats whenever they’re called to do so.

This book offers short rituals for each of the sabbats to give the reader an opportunity to participate on their own.

This book covers the following festivals: 1. Midwinter or Yule 2. Imbolc or Candlemas 3. Spring Equinox 4. May Eve or Beltane 5. Midsummer or Summer Solstice 6. Lammas 7. Autumn Equinox 8. November Eve or Samhain

For each festival, the author provides a history, dates, themes, planet, direction, Tarot Card, zodiac, ritual, and recipe.

I enjoyed how the author provides personal anecdotes throughout the book. Most reference books are cold and straight to the point. Here, she makes a personal connection to the sabbats, mirroring her goal of having her readers connect to the festivals through nature.

I recommend this book for people who are new to the craft and are interested in beginning their journey with Wicca or another nature-based path. The Wheel of the Year provides a sturdy frame to learn about the history of modern witchcraft. This book in particular provides history, avoids dogma, and inspires creativity. Overall, it’s beautifully written and educational.

The Wheel of the Year: Your Nurturing Guide to Discovering Nature’s Seasons and Cycles by Rebecca Beattie will be published on February 1, 2023. I received a free advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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