ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

Praise to the Moon

Magic and Myth of the Lunar Cycle

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2003

To witches and pagans the moon represents the many facets of life and the human spirit. The author takes the reader back through time to visit the Gods and Goddesses of the past as they flow into the present. She explains the moon as a celestial body, and its role as a deity, offering meditations and invocations to help readers further connect with the Goddesses and Gods of the many phases of the moon.

Hawke is a British Witch living in Oxford, England, and has written two other books on Witchcraft: In the Circle and The Sacred Round. A practicing healer and teacher of Witchcraft, she does meditation and chakra work and celebrates the moon and its festivals with her coven.

This book covers the full spectrum of the moon’s phases, including eclipses. There are chapters on moon zodiacs, which are different from the sun zodiacs found in newspapers. Hawke introduces two moon zodiacs: the Indian Lunar Zodiac (from India) and the Celtic Tree Calendar. Although most witches and pagans are familiar with the Celtic Tree Calendar, many are unfamiliar with the Indian Lunar Zodiac. She explains the qualities represented by each “lunar mansion,” but it is difficult to discern where a person’s sun zodiac would fall within the Indian system.

Hawke has done a great deal of research, both in and out of Witchcraft. She presents all sides clearly. For example, in her description of the Goddess Aradia, she writes: “Aradia supposedly comes from Italy… . There is some controversy surrounding her origins and whether she is a true part of Tuscan folklore.” She proceeds to describe the controversy, and then dismisses it, stating: “Whatever the truth behind Aradia’s legend, she is one of the most popular deities among the Wiccan community.” Hawke also prompts the reader to think. At the end of the chapter titled “The Man in the Moon,” which explores the masculine energy in the moon, she suggests: “It might be worth asking how far our ideas about the sun and the moon as archetypical symbols are based on the gender stereotypes of our culture.”

The book offers information about various aspects and rituals of Witchcraft as well as about the moon. Hawke includes five appendices, ranging from getting further information to a basic circle-casting ritual.

Praise the Moon is a book for moon lovers who are looking for some history and good practical information about the moon’s energies and how to use them.

Jennifer Griffin