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by Dorothy Morrison
Llewellyn Publications, 2000
ISBN 1-56718-496-0

Review by Daven

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

This is another in the “Sabbats” offerings from Llewellyn, and it lives up to the same high standards as the previous titles in this series.

Dorothy Morrison is a wonderful author with several innovative ideas that I found truly refreshing. Considering that this particular season and holiday is probably THE most written about holiday in the Western World, that’s saying a lot.

For example, she has an innovative method of harvesting a Yule tree. First she finds the tree and makes friends with it. Then on the day she wishes to cut the tree, she asks the tree to move it’s spirit deep into the tap root, and she cuts off the section of the tree that the spirit has fled from. She knows where that is, and ties a rope around the trunk about 8 inches off the ground. Once all that is done, she cuts the tree. By way of thanks and care for the tree, she then inserts fertilizer sticks into the ground around the stump of the tree to encourage it to regrow the top of the tree. She also comes back several times to give it more fertilizer and talk to the tree. Thus she encourages the trees she has cut from to regrow their tops. I don’t know if she returns and re-harvests trees but I would bet she could.

She covers the other celebrations occurring around this holiday briefly, enough to give the reader a feel for the season so you will know what is being celebrated and why. The holidays thus covered are Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukah, since between those four celebrations, most of the parties during this time of the year are covered.

I was happy to see “Holiday Customs around the world” in this book. She has a chapter dealing with how different countries celebrate this time of the year. It’s good to know that people are being taught just because we do it *this* way in America, it does not necessarily follow that the whole world does it that same way.

Dorothy has an extensive knowledge of folklore and it shows in this book. She shares a lot of crafts, customs, folk traditions and other information. I truly enjoyed the wealth of information she has assembled, things like the omens of the season are needed in many cases these days.

The projects are interesting. One of the projects is how to turn a can for holding chips into a can for holding incense. I thought, “You know, this sounds really interesting. Apparently they ARE good for something other than holding change.”

One other thing, this book probably has more recipes for food than any other book in this series. This is certainly understandable since this is the time for eating. This book also has a day by day breakdown of what happens during this time of the year, and good suggestions as to what to do with all those left over decorations.

It is a book that focuses on the season, rather than the Pagan celebration of Yule. There is only one ritual in there, if you discount the granny projects. It would be good for those who want a book on the season and general ritual information. There is not much about the Pagan history or the pagan celebration in here, but that lack does not really detract from the book overall.

Dorothy has done a good job with this book, and she and her book have earned the 4 stars I’m giving it. This one is another that anyone who wants in depth information should get.

Originally posted 2014-10-24 13:17:23. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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