I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect when I began this book. The title makes it sound like the book is about adding spiritual practice into a busy schedule, but it’s really about expanding your concept of spirituality so you can make everyday life sacred. Even after many years of practice as a Pagan, I found new insights and helpful hints in Everyday Witchcraft.

The book is largely filled with common sense ideas about how to turn ordinary activities into sacred ones, and this is a fabulous idea. Ms. Blake includes a number of five-minute rituals focusing on various subjects such as the elements, deity or gratitude. I can always find five minutes somewhere in my day, and her ideas get right to the point. I also like that all her suggestions use ordinary, readily-available materials that most folks probably already have on hand. It’s much easier to add a spiritual focus to a busy life when you don’t have to plan ahead and seek our unusual herbs or stones.

We live in a world that compartmentalizes spirituality as a separate activity to be done only on specific days, at specific times. Though the specified purpose of Everyday Witchcraft is to help the reader find ways to fit spiritual practice into a fast-paced modern life, what it really does is remove that artificial boundary between spirituality and daily life, allowing the reader to turn the  mundane into the sacred.

The practical aspects of the book are easy to understand and easy to work into daily life. Like so many other Pagan books, this one includes lists of correspondences (deities, colors, days, stones and so forth) but this book stands out because the author then shows the reader what to actually do with those correspondences. She also includes helpful tips for involving kids and friends and for making non-threatening connections so the reader can begin to educate people about what they do. There’s so much misinformation about Paganism out there, this is a very helpful set of information.

Ms. Blake makes a good point, that throughout history witches wove their magic during everyday activities. Those candles, cauldrons and brooms that we find so enchanting because they’re different from our electric lights, saucepans and Swiffers were actually the ordinary household equipment of our ancestors. Turning ordinary daily activities into a part of your spiritual practice, as the author suggests, does two very positive things: it magically creates more time for spirituality and in turn also adds a sacred dimension to everyday life. To me, that really adds value to life in general.

I like that Ms. Blake emphasizes paying it forward: sharing what you’ve learned with others, either formally or informally. This helps build community and provides more ways to make daily life sacred. She also includes environmentally-aware ways to incorporate Earth-oriented spirituality into daily life, such as being aware of water and electricity use and working to minimize them. These are helpful ways to ‘walk your talk’ as well as expand the realm of your spirituality.

In the same vein, Ms. Blake offers a wide range of ways to become more in turn with Nature, not just to honor the Earth but also to make life easier and more fulfilling. This includes being in tune with the seasons rather than fighting against them, a go-with-the-flow kind of attitude that encourages us to appreciate the cycles of the world we live in. The author shares her own story of learning to accept the harsh upstate New York winter for what it is instead of spending the whole season wishing it were spring. I know I feel the same way about the ridiculously hot Georgia summers, but I’m going to try Ms. Blake’s method and see if I can learn to appreciate Nature where I live for what it is instead of what I wish it would be.

Each chapter in Everyday Witchcraft ends with a short essay or two by other writers. These differing perspectives offer interesting glimpses into a variety of spiritual paths and styles. I did find that some of the essays didn’t fit terribly well with the subject matter of the chapter they were a part of, but having worked on multiple-author books myself, I know how difficult it can be to get everyone on the same wavelength, and I don’t think the ‘poor fit’ essays detract at all from the overall value of the book.

On the whole, I would say this is a quiet little book that holds a great treasure both for people new to the Pagan path and for those who have walked it for many years. In the process of showing the reader how to incorporate bits of spiritual practice into daily life, Ms. Blake shows us how to make every day sacred.

~review by Laura Perry

Author: Deborah Blake
Llewellyn Publications, 2015   
pp. 199, $16.99

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