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Night of the Witches: Folklore, Traditions & Recipes for Celebrating Walpurgis Night
Title: Night of the Witches: Folklore, Traditions & Recipes for Celebrating Walpurgis Night
Author(s): Linda Raedisch
Published 2011 by Llewellyn
Paperback, 238 pages
View this Book on Amazon
Reviewer: Mike Gleason
This is a book which is dedicated to one specific observance (May Eve). It is not intended for the active practitioner or even for the individual striving to learn about Witchcraft, rather it is aimed at the individual who has no background in folklore. It is set against a backdrop of European custom and beliefs, which makes sense, because of the dominant European derivation of modern witchcraft beliefs.
There are numerous recipes - some old, some new - to help you plan your Walpurgis Nacht feast. You don't do a Walpurgis Nacht feast? What kind of Witch are you? Wait, don't answer that question...this book really is not intended for Witches. There are wonderful little tidbits of information, and lots of ideas and suggestions for handicraft projects you can make (ranging from the playful ["hag" masks] to the practical [your own besom] and some just for fun), and a way of presenting information which is entertaining as well as informative. Without a doubt, the recipes and handicraft projects make this book an excellent value. If there was nothing else in the book, it would be worth it.
Ms Raedisch reminds the reader periodically that Walpurgis Night is directly across the wheel of the year from Samhain. As such, the veil between the worlds is equally thin at this time of the year. Since Samhain has traditionally be associated with fun and games, why shouldn't we celebrate its opposite number the same way?
There is a bit of history included, but the emphasis is less on that and more on practical, hands-on ideas. And they aren't all about fun and games, there is some herblore and a few other things to keep your interest running high.
The last fifth of the book contains endnotes and an index, which may seem a trifle excessive, but it really isn't. Considering the source material which went into this book, the endnotes are an absolute necessity.
I have several books in my library dedicated to the various Sabbats and this one is going to find a place on that shelf, not because it contains information needed to celebrate it, but as inspiration.
Legal Notes: Some description text and item pictures in this post may come from Amazon.com and are used by permission. The Cauldron is an Amazon Affiliate and purchases made through the Amazon links in this message help support The Cauldron. List Price is as of the date this review was originally written and may not be current. The reviewer may have received a free copy of this book to review.
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