Tag: astrea taylor

Book Review: Air Magic by Astrea Taylor

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Air Magic by Astrea Taylor, part of the Elements of Witchcraft series. Released, April 2021 by Llewellyn Books.

I was instantly drawn to this book, Air Magic by Astrea Taylor, when I learned about it, because Air Magic is something so unusual to me. In my own craft practice I work Earth, Water, and Fire Magic often. But beyond incense and feathers, Air Magic was an enigma. This book clarified so much.

So when I saw that Taylor had authored the book, I was happy to dive right in, getting a special autographed release of it as well. I had already read her previous work, “Intuitive Witchcraft” which was such a great guide to what many of us in the Craft are truly practicing and a book I regularly recommend to my fellow pagans. Air Magic arrived with a sweet note, book mark and Air Magic stickers. It was an added bonus that really helped put me in the mood to learn all about Air Magic. And learn I did. Like did you realize that birthday candles on a cake are Air Magic. Of course, duh! But I never thought of it in regards to Air Magic. Fire, Earth, yes. But, it is also Air, as detailed in this book. And when you think about, it, yes. That fire cannot mold the ingredients into cake or light the candles without its fuel: Air. Make a wish, Witch.

Special bonus reminders of Air Magic accompanied the special autographed edition of this book during its inaugural release.

Air Magic is the second book in a series of the Elements of Witchcraft. It not only digs deep all that encompasses Air Magic, but even gives you meditations, rituals, and spells to begin your understanding of Air Magic and incorporating it into your personal practice. It also featured one of my other favorite Witches, Laura Tempest Zakroff. Taylor takes us through not only the history and mythos of Air Magic but also where Air Magic is aligned with animals, crystals, deities, and more. I was thrilled to learn that one of the trees on my property is aligned with Air Magic specifically with the Norse traditions. It will now become the place of my Freyja altar.

But the practical parts of how the reader can use Air Magic in their own practice is the most dynamic part of the book, so earns a top shelf placement in my bookshelf. I appreciate that some of the practical information, the how-to if you will, leans on the simple. Simple, everyday Magic is something that even novice Witches can begin to put into their lives. But there is more in depth rituals as well for those who feel best doing something more formal and detailed. I especially like the Air Magic for travel. And as I deepen my connection to Air Magic, I’ll be using the meditation she outlined in order to get in touch with the element of air.

Before reading this book, Air Magic felt so foreign. Taylor’s Air Magic lifts away the caul of Air Magic and spotlights its interwovenness in our every day lives and easy ways to incorporate it. Packed with deep references, you could easily grab tome after tome from the book’s bibliography and go down an Air Magic rabbit hole if you like. This Scorpio appreciates anything well researched. This book also revealed places where the Air element was way more active in my own practice. Praying Mantis familiar, anyone?

This book is a great blessing to learn about Air Magic.

Lastly, the fact that the word Magic is used in its typical sense – minus the K – in this book also spoke to me. If you’ve been here a bit, you know my feelings on Magic with a K.

Even as a Crone, practicing the Craft is all about learning. Books are the best way to get there, in my opinion. Air Magic is certainly a cornerstone to unravel the mysteries of Air Magic and presented in a clear, practical, and engaging way. If you find yourself drawn to Air Magic you need to add this book to your Witch Library. I’m glad I did.

You want to be a Witch?

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Get yourself a book, darling

I often get inquiries from what the internet has termed “baby witches.” As time goes on, I’m less enamored with that term, but people instantly know what you’re talking about. However, I am likely to use Novice Practitioner, or Emerging Witch or some such instead. Regardless of the term used, those beginning on their magical path ask me about how to learn. Without hesitation, I tell them to begin to grow their Witch Library. Read everything you can get your hands on. Use what speaks to you; discard what you don’t vibe with naturally; and embody the things you love. 

When I was first starting on my path, circa 1979ish, hunting down books on living a magical life were harder to find than they are now in this time of “new age” shelves at commercial book stores. Calling yourself a Witch in public was not as accepted as it is today or even necessarily safe. For many of us, we still work under a glamour of “normalcy.” Finding books became a bit easier with the strengthening of Weiser Books, Llewellyn, or even the now defunct Walking Stick Press, and of course that behemoth Amazon, and the surge of independent publishing. My Kindle was my mobile Witch library whilst living the traveling life and holds dozens of Witchy texts like Witch: Unleashed. Untamed. Unapologetic by Lisa Lister, Intuitive Witchcraft by Astrea Taylor, and Waking the Witch by Pam Grossman. But back when I was a Wtichlet, I had to hunt libraries, and used book stores, couching it in terms of Neo Spiritualism or Occult Curiosity. One particular Saturday, all dressed in black with matching gothy eyeliner and obnoxious pentagram earrings, the clerk in a long-gone secondhand book seller in the heart of Detroit pointed me to the very back room without a word. I still giggle about that.

Reading with the familiars (Granny Shadow & Ms. Snickle Fritz), one of my favorite pastimes and how I grow my craft.

One of the first books I read on magic was Witch Amongst Us by Lois Bourne, who entertained letters from a young girl living in the East side of Detroit. This led me to The Spiral Dance by Starhawk, whose continuing bibliography populates my bookshelves, both physically and digitally. Next I found myself reading Positive Magic by Marion Weinstein, which I often re-read when things looked dark. Yes, I re-read it in 2020. The point is I systematically found myself reading everything I could get my hands on — books on crystals and spells and on and on. 

When I lived in Europe (1993-1996), I was able to get many more volumes on everything from palmistry to tea-leaf reading. I spent time in the woods or on mountaintops with established covens and learned more from them. It was then that I learned about dream interpretation and Runes and deepened my connection to those things as well as herbalism and alchemy. And although I encountered people along my journey that shared and gifted me some of their knowledge the bulk of it has been by self-education through reading and practicing.

You can explore everything and really dive deep into the callings that speak to you best via books, whether it be Moon Magic, Solar Holy Days, or Divination, and more. It’s out there to explore. My tactic was to acquire everything I could and read everything I could. In doing so, I recognized that things like Wicca didn’t appeal to me, and that being in a coven or circle wasn’t always good for my energy. I felt more empowered and aligned with the cosmic energies by doing my craft as a solitary. 

My Library before The Great Purge of 2017.

I am currently in the midst of rebuilding my Witch library, having gifted many of my books in the great purge of 2017, including the first volumes that nudged me along my path, as we readied for a life of nomadic existence. Thankfully, I had my book of shadows throughout the years and those records let me know where I need to refresh my Witchcraft texts. As I rebuild this library, I plan to post reviews of books I read that would appeal to both early and experienced Mystics, Witches, Healers, Lightworkers, Energy Workers, or any of the other names that Witches call themselves. I hope to do the first review here next week. So look for a continuation of this Witches Library discussion to come. 

Slowly but surely rebuilding my Witch Library. As I do, I’ll review the books here.

If you are just beginning on your magical path, may I suggest you meditate and ask Source to guide you to what book(s) would serve you best and allow you to be your truest self and live your best life. You could also just go into a book store and head over to their spirituality shelf and find something that makes you pick it up. 

Like many Witches having a library, a garden, and some familiars makes life super magical. And they all seem to go hand in hand, like a Triple Goddess Venn Diagram. What books did you start with on your path? What books are you looking for? Where is your favorite place to read? Do this Writing Witch a solid and tell me what book has informed your path and clarified things for you. If you, like me, had to sell all your books, which ones would you keep? If you’re re-building a library, like me, which ones are must haves? Let’s talk books, Witches.