Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Beltane: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for May Day - Melanie Marquis [Llewellyn's Sabbat Essentials]

Beltane: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for May Day - Melanie Marquis [Llewellyn's Sabbat Essentials]
Source: NetGalley
Originally Reviewed: January 13, 2015
Rating: ★★★☆☆

This book was provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is another book published by Llewellyn that I’ll have to go back and make notes on. Everything was very clearly explained, and it’d be difficult to misunderstand the information. There’s a lot of information on Beltane available, but the kind of clarity Ms. Marquis brings to it allows for a lot more detail, and there was obviously a lot of thought put into this book. It was great to finally know where some of the most common information actually originated from.

I found a lot of the information refreshing, but it took an excessively long time to actually get to the information, plus there was not-so-common history bits that are still relevant today. As opposed to the included Tarot information, which could be found in any introductory book on Tarot, or with a few clicks on Google.

Oh, but the recipes. And the crafts! And the explanation of prayer from a Pagan perspective… brilliant, and the best I’ve ever read.

This book would probably be best for the solitary Witch who doesn’t already have an established practice, or perhaps for the experienced Witch who wants to freshen up what they already do.

I ended up skipping the section on modern Beltane celebrations. They got kind of repetitive, plus there wasn’t anything included that’s local to me so it wasn’t very interesting.

Speaking of repetitive, there was a summary of Beltane at the start of almost every chapter. I think after the second or third time it gets pretty well ingrained and we don’t need to be reminded. The additional details on the astrological timing of Beltane was nice.

Reading through this book I’m reminded of some friends I had in high school. They were part of this masonic-type organization for young women – I forget what it was called – but every year they would decorate plates and make a bunch of goodies and leave them on people’s doorsteps early on May 1 before school.

The author could stand to find some more creative segways. The word “another” can only be used so many times before it starts reading as gibberish. And I can understand the reasoning behind knowing the history of what you’re celebrating, but… I was starting to fall asleep. You don’t need quite that much.

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