Foreword Reviews

Seasons of a Magical Life

A Path to Pagan Living

Seasons of a Magical Life is a thoughtful pagan text that suggests ways of incorporating earth-focused spiritual practice into everyday life.

H. Byron Ballard bases her work in personal experience: she lives and works on a small farm in the Appalachian Mountains. Each season there is described in evocative, loving detail, from the sights and sounds of the winter landscape to the work she puts into growing her garden, maintaining her house, and participating in myriad magical crafts, such as seed saving, sewing, and broom making. As the seasons change, so too do the activities and spiritual practices that Ballard participates in.

Beginning with essays that explore connections between the past and present and between the sacred and the mundane, Ballard shows how she connects her spiritual practices to the environment in which she makes her home. This connection is the central focus of the book. In the following sections, Ballard goes through the agricultural Wheel of the Year and the eight primary sabbats, discussing the meanings of each, suggesting corresponding activities, and showing how to immerse oneself and one’s home in the changing seasons.

Ballard’s ideas for reconnecting and revitalizing pagan spirituality are abundant. They include activities like fiber arts, candle making, and soap making. She writes that simple satisfaction can be had from chores like sharpening a garden implement, sewing tea towels, or washing dishes. But all of the listed activities are merely suggestions: the idea is to find what is meaningful for the individual in their environment and in their home.

With its philosophical and practical explorations of contemporary pagan life, Seasons of a Magical Life is a spiritual self-help book that invites its audience to reconnect to the natural cycles of the earth and expand their spiritual practices.

Reviewed by Catherine Thureson

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the publisher for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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