Lucya Starza’s Rounding the Wheel of the Year is an approachable and succinct look at the entirety of the year, and not just the eight Sabbats that many witches observe – after all, we’re witches year-round!
I especially enjoyed the introduction of the book as Starza is very clear about the aims and particulars of her book, and she writes in a friendly and accessible voice. This book feels like a friendly talk at your local with like-minded folks.
The book focuses on Starza’s experiences of the year as a whole as a citizen in London, England, and that things that are available to her in that part of the world. However, her suggestions, meditations, and ideas for celebrations can be easily adapted or used as a creative touchstone for your own location. There is also a fair bit of over-arching history of where practices and names for the things within the craft come from, and folklore and folk practices. I was pleasantly surprised to learn some new things that I honestly hadn’t questioned or known before because I never thought to look further.
Starza quotes other authors and is quite upfront when she runs into academically or otherwise problematic material or practices (she calls out the “…ableist, sizeist, ageist and racist.” (p. 43) choices for May Queen in her own childhood).
In terms of being sensible and inclusive, Starza really gets it right: there’s no call to buy expensive things, take trips to far-off locales, or to do anything in a particular way. Starza is very clear that whatever feels right to you as a practitioner, is right. Period. There is a beautiful simplicity to Starza’s suggestions that make this the sort of book where you can take things you find have value for you and leave the rest with no hard feelings (and Starza herself also says this in her book).
If you are looking for a friendly and useful collection of history and practical suggestions to celebrate the entirety of the year, this is an excellent place to start.
~review by Mara McTavish
Author: Lucya Starza
Publisher: Moon Books
pp.: 224, Price: $16.59 (CDN)