Book Review: The Witch’s Wheels of the Year by Anjou Kiernan

Review and Photo by Miss Snow | Instagram

Photo by Miss Snow

About the Author

Since the mid – 1990’s, Anjou Kiernan has sought the magic that resides within us and the natural world. From a magical homestead in the rolling hills of rural Maine, she has cultivated a craft based on her own observations of nature and continued her spiritual journey through the hedges.

Named as one of Refinery29’s ”Magical Women on Instagram You Really Should be Following”, Anjou thrives on sharing her lifelong exploration of witchcraft and cultivation of magical spaces.

She enjoys painting, writing, gardening, reading, antiquing, conserving and exploring nature, and being a mama to the most magical boy.

Visit her at LightOfAnjou and you really should be following her on Instagram.

About The Witch’s Wheel of the Year

Here is a book meant for constant referral, The Witch’s Wheel of the Year features stunning photography and soft pages filled with words meant to be read like a year long story infused with seasonal magic.

In my opinion, the book is not meant for the bookcase but for the altar and the table, where it will become a constant companion through the Pagan holidays, with dates for both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, giving us a reminder of the never ending rhythm of nature.

It begins with the origins of the wheel of the year, with cultural background and traditions, the earlier practices by the Druids, the work by one of the Grimm brothers in 1835 that provided the basis, to the variations made by other cultures, and ultimately reconstructed into what we celebrate today.

In one page alone, there is enough information for a new witch to take a deep breath and understand that celebrating the wheel is something that has been done for many years and needs not any kind of category to fit into for it is something that comes natural to humanity and by knowing and following the earth’s natural cycle, we become better equipped to harness its power, going as far as suggesting the creation of a map of our region’s energetic hotspots.

Because at the time of writing this review, we are headed for Beltane in the Northern hemisphere, that was the chapter I jumped straight into, and since this is my second book by Kieran, I went in with high expectations and was not disappointed.

One full page on correspondences alone and several others on historical background set the stage for an appropriate mindset of celebration, with plenty of details that are bound to make its way into many Grimoires. Full elemental correspondences and ritual elements can be found at the end of the book.

It is in knowing these details that we become aware of how these connections make sense, why some foods are used in the altar or which colours become a staple during a festival.

These seasonal transitions once held us firmly in their grasp. 

Our survival depended on cultivating a connection with the natural rhythms of the land under the influence of the sun.

Each chapter combines rituals and projects, which makes this a book after my own heart, as I believe that creating and doing handwork is a great way to connect to our ancestors, by doing as much as possible as they once did and this is what grounds us to the festivals, how we create the memories and our soul remembers.

Each project is deeply rooted within the season and that is why it is a book that becomes a companion, whispering with each turn of the wheel ”Let us make magic.”

Beltane projects include an Hawthorn Flower Charm, Sacred Bel Fire and a Woven Witch’s Ladder, among others.

The Samhain chapter is particularly dark, in the most beautiful sense of the word, as it should be, a time for celebrating darkness, embracing the winter of going within, with the Death Mask being my favourite project from the book.

This is the book I will now recommend on festivities and the wheel of the year, as it is filled with good information, rituals and knowledge, and done so in a way that never feels overwhelming.

It is not something you read in a week but a journey to go on, learning and growing as we go, planting the seeds and caring for them.

And the photography is a delight for all of us visuals, who thrive in beauty, knowing that beauty differs from one individual to another, and those who find great comfort in ”aesthetically pleasing” spaces.

It is time to revel in the beauty of chaos and breathe life into our wildest dreams.

Something to learn…

The incredible history surrounding the celebrations around the world, from different cultures and societies to the astronomical foundations, provided in each chapter.

Not only is there an overview in the beginning of the book but within each chapter we dive deeper into the cultural background, sites of honouring and celebrating, potentially increasing the thirst to know more.

More about ourselves, our culture, our background, our land.

And ultimately, our magic.

Something to make…

With an average of six activities (rituals and projects) per chapter, the difficulty lies in choosing one, but thankfully I won’t have to because there is no need to.

However, two stand out for being what I would consider the first to try;

The Tarot Wheel of the Year spread featured in the Yule chapter and the map mentioned in the first pages. Although it is not introduced as a project from the festivities, I believe it is something that would be beneficial to the work of connecting to both our ancestry and the land where we perform our magic.

And the must-make would have to be the Death Mask, a project that calls for patience, trust and embracing the shadow.

The Witch’s Wheel of the Year 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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