Book Review – The Scent of Lemon & Rosemary: Working Domestic Magick with Hestia by Raechel Henderson

Review by Vincent Higginbotham | Instagram | Twitter 

About the Author

Raechel Henderson lives in Chicago where she is a practicing Pagan and witch. She is a dual class seamstress/shieldmaiden and has been sewing professionally since 2008. She follows an eclectic and independent path, currently working with Hestia and Turtle in her magical practice. She contributes articles to Llewellyn’s almanacs and calendars and she blogs about magic, creativity, and living by your own patterns. Raechel is also the author of Sew Witchy (Llewellyn, 2018). Raechel . You can follow Raechel on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter

About The Scent of Lemon & Rosemary

It is said in some mythology that in the beginning there was a titan named Kronos. He was so worried by a prophecy that one of his children would overthrow his rule that he began swallowing them at birth. His first born was Hestia. This continued through five more children until there was Zeus. In an effort to save the baby god, Rhea gave the Titan a stone instead and left Zeus to grow strong. Eventually Zeus did overthrow his father and rescued his siblings as well. They came out in the reverse order they went in so Hestia was the last one out of Kronos’ belly. This origin story is where Hestia gets her status as the first and the last. 

There isn’t much more to say about Hestia, Mythologically speaking that is, except that she is associated with the hearth and home. This is the basis of The Scent of Lemon & Rosemary. Raechel dives deep into both the mysteries of working with Hestia and the simplicities of household magick in an amalgamation that could only be deemed as brilliant.  

Through a focus on five main areas of the house: the threshold, living room, kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom; we, the readers are led on a tour of the home and the many ways in which one can align their practice with Hestia. This is not about setting altars in every room of your dwelling but rather a fresh look at expanding one’s practice into everyday spells and rituals that take a seemingly mundane experience and adds magick to it in new and interesting ways. 

Raechel teaches us how to turn our homes into a sacred space meant to foster feelings of abundance, safety, and acceptance. By breaking down our environments into the five key spaces. We are taught that four of the most common rooms we live in can be associated with the elements many Witches work with in magick. The living room is associated with air, the kitchen being fire, our bedrooms having a connection to earth, and the bathroom clearly being the domain of water. We learn to embrace these elements in these spaces of the house. Ultimately using the individual energy of each room, we bring balance to the whole of our home.

Pick Up This Book Because

We are first taught to access the four magickal techniques of visualization, centering, grounding, and raising energy in order to deal with our state of mind and magick. The third chapter is filled with exercises for each aspect of these approaches. This is excellent even for the seasoned Witch because while these ideas may seem commonplace for many who have been practicing for some time, they still serve as a reminder and refresher course on the  method of working magick that could often become stale or taken for granted. 

Later in chapter three we are reminded about making charms and then walked through some of the main ingredients used throughout the book. Some of these ingredients include. Lemon, Rosemary, Olive Oil and Vinegar to name a few. Finally no introductory chapter on the basics would be complete without a walkthrough on making your own herb infused oils. 

The real meat of the book begins in chapter four with the Threshold. Through exercises, spells, and rituals we are guiding into first protecting our home. From keeping your place clean to creating talismans for your door our guide Raechel always keeps Hestia first in every practice. 

Regardless of which room we are focused on It is Hestia who remains ever present throughout the book. As she is the deity of the home we begin to see why working with her in such a situation is ideal for any practitioner regardless of the deities they typically work with. 

The Magic You Could Learn

From the very beginning of the book we are learning. Whether it is the mythos of Hestia or guided exercises in developing a practice in one’s home, the lessons are plentiful throughout. This book is filled with lists of correspondences and recipes for incense blends, oils, self care products, and even edible magick. 

Any Witch reading this book will become educated on consecrating their cookbook, creating cleaning products, and working with the typical items found in the home to make a magickal space that feels inviting and safe. 

The book rounds everything up by helping the readers create their own personal wheel of the year that breaks tradition from the typical holidays that we in the Witching and modern world are accustomed to. We are led to identify what is important to us in each season and then focus on those things in our own personal timing. 

Finally one will learn about connecting the world around them. This is not about the world at large but rather your environment. What grows near you. What exists within your realm of existence. By doing so we are invited to personalize our magick and not pull from traditions that are foreign to us but what is already a part of our lives. 

The Scent of Lemon & Rosemary: Working Domestic Magick with Hestia by Raechel Henderson can be purchased here

About Vincent Higginbotham 

Vincent is the author of How Witchcraft Saved My Life: Practical Advice for Transformative Magick which is published by Llewellyn Worldwide and will be released in June 2021. It is available for pre-order now. He has been called to Witchcraft his entire life but failed to pay attention for much longer than he would like to admit. Since truly taking this path seriously he has found his hunger for education is insatiable, he consumes books in an attempt to quench a thirst for knowledge. It is never enough. There is no subject Vincent finds taboo and he believes that every Witch’s voice is deserving of an audience.

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