Book Review: Life Ritualized by Phoenix LeFae and Gwion Raven

Review by Miss Snow |Instagram

About the Authors

Phoenix LeFae is a professional reader, rootworker, teacher, and ritualist. She has been practicing Witchcraft for twenty-five years, and her teachings are connected to the Reclaiming tradition, Druidry, and Gardnerian Wicca. She is also the co-owner of an esoteric goddess shop called Milk & Honey.

Visit Phoenix at Phoenix LeFae and follow her on Instagram.

Gwion Raven has been a practicing Witch and ritualist with the Reclaiming tradition since 2003. He has taught Reclaiming Core classes, week-long Witch camps, and embodied devotional work. Gwion has studied Druidry as well as Tibetan Buddhism with Ven. Segyu Rinpoche. He co-owns Milk & Honey, and he writes for Witches & Pagans and a Patheos Pagan blog called The Witches Next Door.

Visit Gwion at The Witches Next Door and follow him on Instagram.

Photo by Meg Rosenbriar

About Life Ritualized

With the constant pressure upon us to become something, anything, we may find it hard to connect to our real self.

In the fastness of the everyday, many rites of passage may go uncelebrated, even unnoticed, without a proper ritual.

Life Ritualized guides us on the journey inwards, acknowledging those same rites, breaking them into steps and stages, in a way that will truly bring light into what’s gone unseen.

Both Phoenix and Gwion share personal stories, creating a connection between writer and reader, taking us with them to that particular moment in time.

We don’t talk enough about setting rituals for ourselves, particularly the ones outside the mainstream “wedding/birth/graduation,’ but as the book will tell you, “everyone is in a constant rite of passage”; for example, myself, as I write this, have just moved into a new house, in a new city.

Apart from taking the usual – and mandatory – rules of good manners before moving any personal item, I regretfully realised, as I read this book, that I had not performed a proper ritual, even though it’s not the first time I have moved house, this one carries extra meaning.

Chapter 4, with “Rites of leveling up” and its house blessing rituals immediately fixed it.

In defining the stages that occur with any transition, we become aware that’s it’s always either a calling or a demand, each having their own set of “rules” and the equivalent tarot card, namely, The Fool and The Tower.

Each one is given their own ritual, and of all listed in the book – from birth, adoption, first day on the job, graduation, first blood, becoming a man, calling the coven and many others -, these are the ones that feel most valuable, and that could be celebrated many times over, during our life journey, mainly due to the amount of times a calling or a demand occurs.

It’s also not a ritual that happens on a day, it’s something that is worked on, put aside and returned to later.

It’s the ritual within the rite.

With the stages of the transition defined, knowing what comes after can lift the weight of the unknown, becoming easier to ground ourselves, by being aware of what is happening.

In many cases we are still unable to see or know what’s coming ahead, but knowing where we are, and that plenty of other people have gone through the same is often enough to bring comfort.

“We know the journey you’re on is new, scary, strange, confusing, or painful, but we went through this too.

We made it to the other side.

We’ll wait for you there and celebrate you once you arrive.

You’ve got this, even if you don’t believe that right now.”

For many years, I disliked birthdays, particularly my own, until I read that birthdays are meant to be a celebration of YOU.

Our birthday is not about the people who bring the gifts, it’s the day to celebrate our birth – one of the two rituals that everyone, no exceptions, goes through.

It should be the day around ourselves, what we like, what we really wish to do, regardless of what society or family has deemed appropriate as far as birthdays go.

When reading this book, I became aware of how the birthday ritual was celebrated when I was young and how I had created a new one as an adult, creating a rite of passage for the birthday ritual itself.

By creating rituals, we honour each change in our lives, giving each moment their very own “birthday moment”.

When celebrating my new home, that day was about the house, about feeling its story, making sure it was known I was there for love, adventure and nurturing.

And this goes for any ritual you wish to celebrate, whether it’s found in the book or not, know that the most important rite of passage is the one that is important to you, as Life Ritualized so beautifully states.

Something to learn…

Of all the wisdom in the book, learning about the distinct stages that occur with any transition may just be the biggest take away.

Learn about the 6 steps essential to creating a ritual, from setting an intention to post-ritual activities, and the 4 stages that occur within a transition.

Then, knowing where you are and what you are celebrating, choose from the many rituals listed or create your own, using the corresponding times of the day, week, colours, moon cycles, herbs, stones, and all that may be in alignment with your need.

Something to make…

A journal to keep visual illustrations of the Stages and Steps, along with written rituals, both from the book and future ones you will definitely create after reading Life Ritualized.

The DIY chapter not only gives a list of significant and personal events you may wish to celebrate, but also explains how to create ceremonies for those same moments, and how to add and adjust to them, therefore creating the ritual deserving of the rite you are going through or about to enter.

Life Ritualized may be purchased here.

About Miss Snow:

Miss Snow is a Folk/Green Witch who loves studying the old ways and is currently living on the sunniest side of Europe, nestled between mountains.

She uses the elements of the earth in her magic, working with the moon, herbs, flowers and her trustworthy tarot deck to light the way and fight the dragons.

You can follow the adventures on instagram where she often writes with the assistance of the Muses.

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