Book Review: Air Magic by Astrea Taylor

Review and Photo by Wren Harris | Website | Instagram | Facebook

About the Author

Astrea Taylor is an eclectic/intuitive pagan Witch, writer, and speaker whose goals include empowering other Witches and encouraging them to use intuition in their witchcraft. She’s the author of Intuitive Witchcraft (Llewellyn, 2020), and is well known for her blog Starlight Witch on Patheos Pagan. She has published passages in The Witch’s Altar, The Witches’ Companion, Witchology Magazine, Soul & Spirit Magazine, and Lune Bleue Magazine. When she’s not co-leading the Aurora Fire dance group or writing rituals and astrology for the Blessed Be Box, she leads workshops and rituals at gatherings across the country. Learn more at AstreaTaylor Instagram   

 

About Air Magic by Astrea Taylor
Whilst I haven’t read Intuitive Witchcraft just yet, I’m a huge fan of Taylor’s intuitive approach to witchcraft, and was really excited to be asked to review Air Magic; book 2 of Llewellyn’s essential Elements of Witchcraft series. As the title suggests, this book is all about strengthening your connection with, and utilising, the energy of air.   

There is a beautiful quote by Raven Grimassi at the start of the book, which is a glimpse to the sort of book it will be; which is exactly the sort of book I want to read. It is clear from the start that this is going to be an intelligent, inspiring and insightful book. We learn in the Introduction that Taylor has amazing credentials; an introduction which immediately catapults us into the three different ways to relate to the element of air; expertly readying us for a journey that will educate and inspire, and bring us closer than we’ve ever been to the element that keeps us all going. 

After getting to know Taylor and all the wonderful ways she is deeply connected to the element of air, she takes us on a historical journey covering the mentality, mythology, religion and philosophy of the Middle Ages up to the present day; relating the element of air to peoples’ beliefs and practices. We learn about air as a magical element; the origins of the elements, and the philosophy behind them. Whilst the first chapter is about history, folklore and myth we quickly come to realise that the first chapter is actually about human mind and spirit. 

“Watching the skies is an ancient and mesmerizing practice. When air fronts collide and the winds pick up, the feeling of electricity in the air can build up so much that it feels like magic is at your fingertips, ready for your words.” – Air Magic

The second chapter of the book is possibly my favourite, and covers the huge array of airy mythological beasts and places of the world. We travel from Mount Olympus to Shamballa to the Faerie Realm; having met the fire birds of Arabia, the thunderbird of North America, and the feng huang of China. We meet sylphs and faeries and wingless animals that fly, and are encouraged to research the ones we are interested in, or have a connection with. 

We then work our way through the element of air in magic; herbs and botanicals, crystals and stones, animal guides, incense, sounds and words, spells, rituals and holidays. We learn how to set up shrines and altars, and what to put on them. There is a comprehensive list of herbs for those wishing to work with plants of air, and there is an equally comprehensive list of air gods and goddesses, perfect for those who enjoy working with deity, or wish to connect with them. A helpful air correspondence chart can also be found in the Appendix, giving the reader all of the tools needed to start a magical air journey. 

The Book’s Strengths

This is a simple, yet incredibly well-researched and detailed read. There is a lot to learn but the author lays out a comprehensive study, educating the reader on the culture, correspondences and capabilities of air, without being too stuffy or heavy. She makes clever observations surrounding today’s modern technology and advancements, and how they correspond to the element of air, whilst simultaneously covering historical occult figures and practices. The excerpts from other writers are a welcome addition, giving a broad and balanced view of air, only adding to the magic of Taylor’s work. 

There is a sense of wonder throughout the book. The author urges you to embrace your imagination, and allow your creativity to take flight. She encourages you to dance with airy creatures, and visit airy places; speaking in words that call to you, embracing you and supporting you. She opens up and deepens our understanding of the element of air, consequentially deepening our understanding of the other elements. We come to know the gestures, energy, direction, season, timing, moon phase, senses, colour, tools and astrology of air. In fact, we come to know air so intimately we wonder how we ever managed before. 

The author gets the reader to think in terms of the actions and beliefs of ancient pagans, and how to apply these lessons to their Craft in a modern setting. The conclusions at the end of each chapter are an excellent way to reflect on what we have learned, and these short passages inspire the reader to examine their own relationship with air, helping the reader to develop and hone their practice further. 

What You Can Learn…

Through following the concise historical timeline put forward by the author, we learn not only about the element of air, but how occult and spiritual practices have evolved over time. Through the historical lessons in this book we come to understand how lucky we are to have books like Taylor’s. 

Taylor helps us to navigate all aspects of air in magic. She empowers the reader into confidence by educating and encouraging an intuitive take on witchcraft, as is her signature style, and by examining traditions and associations that may be troubling for the reader – for example, do wands and knives actually correspond with fire? The author makes you feel that no matter when you started on your path, the magic of air is within reach. Covering a huge amount of information that is clearly laid out, the author teaches us that there are so many ways to work with air; so many connections and correspondences. 

The practical aspects of this book are inspiring. The recipes, spells and rituals contained in this book are as profound as they are accessible, leaving no practitioner out. We learn that the elemental guardians of air are beings of immense power. We learn when and how to work with sylphs, and through meditation we learn to travel to an air deity’s temple. We learn how to connect with air, how to communicate our wishes to air, and how to harness its abundant energy. We are taught to think magically, emboldened to work intuitively, and are immersed in beautiful descriptions of fantastical creatures. It is here we realise that this book intersects in so many ways. If you love working with the elements, this book is for you. If you enjoy creation stories and mythology, this book is for you. If you want to learn more about mythical beasts, this book is for you. If ornithomancy sings your name, this book is for you. If you’re called to work with plants or deity, this book is for you. If you want to work more closely with the single element of air, this book is for you.

This book embodies all of the powers of air: refreshing, inspiring, light, intelligent, empowering, powerful, and full of spirit. I don’t think a single review, and certainly not mine, could ever do this airy masterpiece justice. 

Purchase your copy of Air Magic by Astrea Taylor HERE.

 

 

About Wren Harris: Wren is a Traditional Witch from the South of England, living in a cemetery, and enjoying the beautiful arable landscape around her as a source of inspiration. A lifelong student of the Craft, she is a forager, hobby herbalist, fire spinner, tarot reader, and qualified Holistic Therapist. She has modelled for pagan-based artists such as Chris Down and Neil Geddes-Ward, appearing in seven paintings, a tarot deck, and on the front cover of Chris Down’s book “Otherworld: The Collected Works of Chris Down”. Wren is fascinated by the magic of colour and can be found on Instagram and Facebook

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