What is the Year of the Witch? Recently, it was pointed out by an astute commenter that I am not Wiccan. I thought that would be fairly obvious based on how much I let people know that but contrary to popular belief, I don’t hate Wicca at all – I’m just not Wiccan. This person went on to point out how I wrote a wheel book and intoned that it is essentially “stealing from Wicca”. Here are my thoughts on that.
The wheel of the year has been around a lot longer than Wicca. Wicca, being formed mid twentieth century, cannot lay claim to the observance of every solstice and equinox. Additionally, the cross quarter days were not gnosis created specifically for Wicca but were historical observance days part of other European cultures specifically primarily Celtic, Cornish, and Germanic.
‘Year of the Witch’ differs in a few ways from traditional wheel books. First, it gives non-Wiccans the framework they need to celebrate the solstice, and equinox days WITHOUT Wicca. These days are not owned by any one religion and quite frankly the pool of earth based pagans is much deeper than JUST Wicca. Secondly, this book adjusts for both climate specific days and climate change.
Year of the Witch is not just a wheel of the year book, its a map for solitary earth based pagans to create their OWN wheel of local harvests, personal holidays, and celestial events. The seasons will continue to cycle whether you stop to observe that or not and no-one own the change from fall to winter.
Why Year of the Witch? Why now?
Year of the Witch was a book born out of a love and frustration with my personal path of paganism. Living in South Florida, and practicing folk magick, I have found myself in a unique position where I do not connect with the wheel of the year as it has been written. It is not that I don’t live on the earth, and obviously Florida has equinoxes and solstices too, but the actual traditions and lore built around the Wiccan calendar is just something that geographically did not make sense to me.
As I’ve taken a more public role online in the witchcraft and pagan community over the past few years, my followers began to notice that I wasn’t posting about the sabbats at what they considered to be the appropriate times. I would receive a lot of questions about what was different, how I celebrated it or if I even did, and what that looked like. I have received tons of messages from other frustrated witches across the globe who felt like they just couldn’t connect with the Wheel and felt like something had to give.
The Blessing and Devotion of Writing
A passion project turned actual project, Year of the Witch is not just my idea alone but is something I have developed over my years of practice. It has been my biggest blessing that not only do I get to live a magical life personally, I was blessed to be able to write about it both in a physical book and online as well. Year of the Witch was written for every witch to add depth and understanding to their practice. Creating your own wheel makes every day intentional, and reminds us that each day we have a chance to connect to the things that are sacred and divine.
As far as books go, my writing and my life is an open devotional to the gods that I serve. While that phrasing might seem subservient, it is absolutely not. This book was a message from spirit, devoted to my Patron, and deeply personal. Throughout its pages I share many personal stories, talk about some edgier aspects of my personal craft, go through recipes and ideas and shadow work methods that I use. It is a part of me and now hopefully will become a part of you as well.
What Year of the Witch is not a sabbat guide book. All of the traditional 8 festivals are discussed in the book, but that is not the primary focus. Throughout the pages we cover topics ranging from elements and spirit to climate science and gardening. Entering an earth based path of paganism requires a certain level of rudimentary knowledge about these topics that will allow each reader to tap into their intuition much easier.
One of the most commonly asked questions I have received about Year of the Witch is if the reader should do anything specific either before or after they read it. Honestly, I think before anyone picks up my book they should do a quick google search of the specific climate zone they live in. This will help tremendously as they map out how they want to start working their craft. Year of the witch will not hold you hand and create a personal path for you, but will create a solid foundation for you to build your own landscape.
I’d love to point out as closing thoughts that there is nothing wrong with Wicca and I have a deep respect for it. The intention of this book was to fill a gap for people who felt like the wheel doesn’t work for them and give them something that is uniquely their own. I think it is a valuable tool for any witch INCLUDING Wiccans. It will give you ideas and tools to go deeper with your daily personally practice and I genuinely hope you guys see the love and time I put into this work.