There are not many pagan books that center on self-help when dealing with depression. The book Empty Cauldrons has fills the void. In today’s world, especially of late many people suffer from depression. We have experienced so many major historical events of negative things that it is almost commonplace now for depression.

One of the things that immediately caught my eye was in the author’s introduction. The very beginning expresses with clarity what most people who are going thru depression feel like. The author starts off, “I didn’t want to write this book. If you experience depression, you probably wouldn’t want to either. There is a certain quality of depression that makes it hard to name, hard to discuss, hard to acknowledge. It is easier to look away from depression, whether it’s impacting a coworker, a family member, or oneself. I didn’t want to write this book because depression doesn’t like to draw attention.”

This book is presented into two main parts. In the first part (Depression in the World) the author paints a picture of the relationships of science and religion in regards to depression. The second part (Strategies for Life with Depression) focuses on helping the reader deal with the depression using exercises, rituals, and spells. It is recommended the reader keep a separate journal as they begin this journey with the author to battle depression.
The book has the list of exercises easily found to reference again and again.

The chapters in part one include: defining Depression, Depression as Spirit, Your Relationship with Depression, and Depression and the Gods. Part two chapters include: Strategies for Body and Mind, Strategies for the Mind, Strategies for Spirit, Rituals and Routine, Prayers, Offerings, Dreams and Spells and lastly Community.

The book itself is geared for those who follow a pagan path however it is easily adaptable for those who do not. One of the key takeaways from the book, it does not shame someone for having depression. It helps the reader feel they are not alone and that depression is not something to feel ashamed for having. Many people suffer with depression and may just not know the best ways to help cope and deal with the condition. The book is written in an ways to read manner and gently leads the reader down a healing path. The author does not promise to take away the depression magickal but rather how the reader can improve and live their best life while dealing with depression. The book is compassionate and a great book to have on the shelf.

~review by Amber Barnes

Author: Terence P Ward
Llewellyn Publications, 2022
pp. 288, $16.99