This book was not what I expected. One of the few books I've requested this year, my interest was sparked because I teach witchcraft and was hoping to improve my knowledge or curriculum. What I found was not very useful for my beginning students, but my advanced classes will benefit, and I believe the author would be pleased.

Billed as (paraphrased) "a book for all magickal practitioners that goes beyond Witchcraft/magick 101, and 102; a resource that allows a Witch to grow and learn without the constraints of tradition and at their own pace" The Modern Witch's Curriculum succeeds at being a rich resource for delving deeper into one's magickal practice.

The curriculum provides for a daily practice with a weekly focus within a larger theme for each calendar month. Although the book begins with October (Ancestors and the Dead), the reader does not have that constraint and can begin anywhere. Other months' themes cover: Lunar Magick, Deity, Hearth & Home, the Elements, Meditation & Healing, Altars & Cleansing, Science & Art of Magick, Solar Magick, Journaling, Herbalism, and Crystals, Stones & Space. That last chapter is the oddest combination thematically, but that is an extremely minor criticism. Some specifically great ideas found in the curriculum are:

  • Hold actual conversations with an ancestor (October, Thursday, p. 20).
  • Spend at least 30 minutes spiritually 'walking' around your home (January, Monday, p. 76).
  • Research the lore and myths of your pantheon that contain plants and herbs (August, Wednesday, p. 179).

While a comparison can be made to Timothy Roderick's "Year and a Day" books, The Modern Witch's Curriculum does a better job of deepening one's magickal and spiritual practice. That said, all of these books suffer from the problem of giving the reader too much knowledge and work to be done in an ordinary day -- or, it's too much if you have no other life commitments, such as a full time job. Also, this is not a 'pretty' book -- there are few illustrations and the practices assigned in a fairly straightforward template of a style. It would have benefited from a touch of art here and there.

Moreover, The Modern Witch's Curriculum has a number of practices that don't feel very deep, such as keeping a magickal journal or spending a week at a time working with each of the four elements. While it may be refreshing to return to such basic practices, it can feel formulaic and shallow if one is just skimming. But skimming would never reveal the richness of the practices revealed herein nor do it the justice it deserves. It's taken me much longer than I expected to work with enough suggested practices to get a sense of the book's quality. That said, I noticed a deepening of my practice very soon after starting and I look forward to seeing what new changes come. That's pretty interesting considering I'm nearing four decades of being a witch in a wide variety of groups and situations.


~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Creator: E. Massey, 2018

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