“The best way to describe a hedgewitch,” writes Tudorbeth, the author of this satisfying little book, “is a folklorist or a follower of nature craft.” Tudorbeth is the Principal of the British College of Witchcraft and Wizardry and teaches courses on witchcraft. This book is her second to appear in Llewellyn’s Little Book series.
After a quick introduction that offers a basic description of hedgewitchery and a few chapters covering supplies, cupboard necessities, and magical timing according to moon phases and festivals, Tudorbeth swings right into recipes, crafts, and activities specific to the four seasons. These chapters are each divided into two sections: From the Kitchen, featuring all kinds of recipes, and From the Cauldron, featuring crafts, spells, seasonal Elementals and tips on how to connect with them, Esbat rituals, and seasonal correspondence charts.
This little book (about 5 ¼” x 6 ½”) is packed with information and steeped in Celtic witchery. Tudorbeth has an approachable writing style that is straightforward and authoritative. She writes, “because hedgewitchery is determined by the environment the hedgewitch finds themselves in and which culture they stem from” there will naturally be slight variations in how you may approach the recipes and crafts she presents. This flexibility and encouragement to personalize your hedgewitchery serves to empower readers to explore how a hedgewitchery practice might work for them.
This is a charmingly British book. Measurements are given in both the metric system and U.S. system, and any unfamiliar terms (such as demerara sugar or runny honey) can be easily researched online. I was particularly pleased to see the jam and chutney recipes and interested in the syrup recipes she’s included. Tudorbeth is very clear that these simples are not intended as a substitute for medical counseling or treatment as prescribed by your physician but, that said, these syrups have long been in use because so many people find them effective. She writes of her Cabbage and Coriander Syrup, “this may sound absolutely disgusting, but on a chilly spring day when your sinuses are all bunged up, this syrup can help – plus making it really channels your inner witch.”
In the chapter on Winter you’ll find a nifty recipe for Waes Hael (good health) Punch, and another for an old, hot, spiced ale popular in the Middle Ages known as Lamb’s Wool Brew, as well as recipes for drinks to make for the convivial season of Yule. The Winter section also covers cloud divination and the five types of clouds one might see in a typical winter sky.
Truthfully, the above doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Seasonal Magic. I won’t give anything away about the lore Tudorbeth shares about elves, unicorns, salamanders, and so many other Elementals that are active across the seasons because readers should be able to experience the pleasure of discovering these passages for themselves. Careful readers will also notice how the vegetal illustration that frames each page of the book changes with each season, which I found delightful.