I have many old copies of The Witches’ Almanac from past years, back when they were done in paper without glossy covers. This should give you an idea about how useful they are, and this edition is certainly no exception. The theme of this particular issue is “Fire, the Transformer”, and many of the articles deal with “fiery” topics. If you’re working with fire in your magickal practice, this is definitely not an edition you will want to miss. Similar to other almanacs, there is very useful information in here for your magickal edification that would make it a useful purchase even with that information alone, such as holidays, moon cycles, and horoscopes for the coming year. But as usual there is so much more.
I was thrilled by the amount of astrology articles in this edition. I don’t recall seeing as many in the past, or perhaps I just wasn’t looking for them. But one of the best articles in this edition for me is the one about the “galactic center” in astrology, from approximately 25-29 degrees of Sagittarius. This is an important area of an astrological chart, and you should definitely check and see if you have any planets in that area. They will take on an added significance in your life, as their energy is being chewed up and recycled. What liked was that the article gave a nice introduction to the concept of the galactic center, and gave some planetary transits over that point in the next year.
I also enjoyed the article on the planetary days and hours, especially since it gave a calculation so you can figure out which planet is ruling a given hour in a day or night where you are. Certain computer programs will calculate this for you, but I’m totally excited to try it by hand! For fire-themed articles, I definitely enjoyed the one on fireflies, a nice look at some of the legends of fireflies and how to attract them to your outdoor spaces. Who knew that having lights on in your house will interfere with their breeding?
Two page-long articles also attracted my attention. One was quotations from various people about fire, which includes, “Fire is the most tolerable third party,“ by Thoreau. The second was a short article on the Devil card in the tarot, which did a great job encapsulating some of the major themes and imagery on the card. Since the Devil is not a card you want to see come up in a reading, it’s important to know what it means when he does.
Finally, another short article that crossed my mind is on cardinals. They’re a bird I have always loved, and I’m guessing I’m not alone since seven American states have chosen them as the state bird, more than any other. If you’re looking for lengthy articles, this isn’t the place, but The Witches’ Almanac shows consistently that an article doesn’t need to be wordy to be meaningful.
~Review by: John Marani
pp. 208, $12.95
The Witches’ Almanac, LTD
Red Wheel/Weiser, 2014