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Magic for Change, by Cerridwen Greenleaf

Magic for Change: Spells and Rituals for Social Transformation, by Cerridwen Greenleaf
CICO Books, 1800652623, 144 pages, October 2023

When I first started reading Cerridwen Greenleaf’s Magic for Change: Spells and Rituals for Social Transformation, I wasn’t fully sure what to expect. I had read other books with similar themes in the past, so I wasn’t completely unfamiliar with the concepts that were going to be introduced; however, I know that there are some methods of discussing social justice and social change from a (very) narrow perspective, so I didn’t necessarily have high hopes that this book would be different.

I was pleasantly surprised. Greenleaf discussed several different manners and topics for activism, including chapters on climate change; peace, which featured not only country-level conflicts but also gun violence as a whole; ending hunger, not only in the world, but also in your local community; witchcraft for feminists; and ways to manifest money and other material gains for the benefit of all. According to Greenleaf:

“This book stems from my years of activism and is based on the magical intention to provide practitioners with the tools, ideas, and inspiration to make this a better world.”1

Out of everything in their book, I was particularly interested in some of the concepts and practices that Greenleaf discusses in their chapter about feminist witchcraft. Their section on Solidarity Shrines was especially interesting to me because I can’t always have an obvious shrine set up in my space; their suggestions for small things to use in place of a full altar that will still attract like minded people motivated me to set up a small Solidarity Shrine of my own! (And if you’re curious, I think it has worked so far; I’ve met several more writer friends both in-person and online, and have even found a local group to go play trivia at bars, which is something I’ve never been able to do before!)

Greenleaf’s discussions about tea were also some of my favorite parts of Magic for Change. I’m a huge tea drinker, so it seemed natural that I would gravitate toward these recipes, especially since I could very easily translate them into my morning or nighttime rituals. Most of the herbal teas that they discussed were equal parts magical and delicious, with their herbal money brew being one of my favorite new recipes that I tried. As to whether I’ve been able to manifest more money, that remains to be seen… but I have found money in unexpected places that I must’ve stored away and forgotten about, so if that counts, then the herbal money brew works quite well!

Throughout the book, Greenleaf’s writing style was very approachable and accessible for all levels of practitioner, from beginners to those who are more advanced in their craft; the content seems to be more geared toward beginners and early-intermediate practitioners, though. If you’ve been practicing witchcraft for years, you most likely will know a lot of the information that they discuss already, though you may not know exactly how to apply it in the context of creating social change, which could make this book an interesting addition to any witch’s bookshelf.

Another aspect of Magic for Change that made the book very accessible to read was the fact that it wasn’t all simply blocks of text; rather, there were a lot of illustrations included, many in what would be considered the borders or margins of the page, but that served to break the text into easily digestible pages.

It seems that they have a very strong understanding of kitchen and home/hearth styles of witchcraft, which is what a majority of this book focuses on; I would have appreciated if they included some material on more diverse forms of magic that could also be used for change, protest, and resistance, but it did not impact my enjoyment of the book in any way. It’s probably just a personal preference, but if you’re like me and something like divination or ancestor worship are at the forefront of your practice, you might find it a little difficult to fully immerse yourself .

I also would not recommend this book for anyone who is unable to practice openly or who doesn’t have any safe spaces to practice, also known as being “in the broom closet.” A lot of the rituals Greenleaf suggests will leave physical evidence or will require the practitioner to acquire supplies that may raise some red flags for nosy individuals in their life.

However, if you’re looking to expand your knowledge of magical practices that can very easily be adapted to activism, Magic for Change would be a good choice. There were a lot of examples of rituals that I had never thought to apply to the context of activism; if you have a coven, this book will give you ideas of how you can all work together to manifest change, but there are also plenty of rituals and ideas for a solo practitioner to develop their craft.

The Book of Norse Magic, by Cerridwen Greenleaf

The Book of Norse Magic: Charms, Incantations and Spells Harnessing the Power of Runes, Ancient Gods and Goddesses, and More, by Cerridwen Greenleaf
CICO Books, 1800651244, 144 pages, September 2022

I’ve always been drawn to runes, believing they are one of the most accurate divination methods, but my lack of knowledge of Norse magic has always made me a bit hesitant to explore this curiosity. While I know the well-known gods and goddesses – Loki, Odin, Freya – I had never taken a deep dive into Norse mythology or background that would give me a foundation for expanding my practice of rune reading.

But when I first picked up The Book of Norse Magic: Charms, Incantations and Spells Harnessing the Power of Runes, Ancient Gods and Goddesses, and More by Cerridwen Greenleaf, I felt my trepidation and anxiety about learning more about Norse mythology, magic, and beliefs melting away, replaced by an excitement that I might have finally found my in to explore Norse magic. Greenleaf has distilled the essentials to open a door for beginners to gain insight into how one can use Norse practice in their own magickal practice.

Divided into six chapters, this book covers different aspects of Norse magic: runes and divination, goddesses and gods, folklore of the forest, crystals and healing, essenes and incenses, and norse astrology. All throughout, there are beautiful graphics and color pages that make the information pop out to the reader. Whether one is looking for a quick spell or hoping to initiate a deep personal transformation, this book provides all that is needed.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much information Greenleaf provided about runes. From helping the reader pick the runes that are right for them (there are different sets spanning from the 2nd to 19th century!) to create a runic blessing bowl and altar, Greenleaf covers all the steps to get started doing readers. In addition to sharing the rune meanings, she also offers different methods of casting the runes, so the reader can discover their own divination style. There’s even information about how to create one’s own rune set! And my favorite part of this section was suggestions for how to use runes magically in one’s daily life through spellwork, candle magic, and creating charms.

The section on Norse legends covered the main gods and goddesses, as well as other spirits, such as Puddlefoot, a nature spirit, fairies, meremaidens, and Nidhogg, the dragon of envy. There’s also rituals for calling down the gods and goddesses, quelling restless spirits, and conjuring spirit guides. While these all are more in-depth magic practices, Greenleaf also includes more light-hearted sections, such as a table to create your own mythical name using dice. Mine turned out to be Queen Amethyst the Enchantress of the Night. Lol!

The section “Folklore Forest” felt really grounding, as it opened with a ritual for earthing, or connecting with Mother Earth. Greenleaf teaches the magical properties of various trees and how to use tree essences and herbal oils. There’s also bath potions (my favorite!), spellwork for prosperity, and guidance on how to create a wand from a tree branch.

Next Greenleaf’s focus switches to crystals, teaching the readers about the legends and magical properties of different crystals and gems. She includes spells for invoking Thor’s thunder and grounding with earth and water. Briefly tapping into lithomancy, Greenleaf shows how crystals can be used for divination and shares the meaning of different crystals. There’s also tons of rituals for a variety of things, including creating healthy habits, boosting your enthusiasm, relaxation, and inspiring creativity.

The following section, “Transformative Essence and Incense” was my favorite because of the recipes and “cozy witch” hygge vibe! Greenleaf writes, “I have incorporated everything I have learned from the wise women in my family and the greater community to which I I belong into my mindfulness regarding home and the creation of sacred space.”1 There’s brewing spells for magical potpourri and teas, DIY self-care blends, and aromatherapy guidance. All of which inspires me to bring a bit of enchantment to my home!

 The final section details how the “Germanic and Nordic pagans of old saw the year as only two seasons-winter and summer”2. Greenleaf includes rituals for Yule (start of winter) and Litha (start of summer), along with information on the nordic lunar system, astrological seasons, energy of the days of week.

I cherish authors who take their expertise, which this absolutely is for Cerridwen Greenleaf who is a scholar and dedicated teacher, to open new pathways for those eager to learn. It could appear this book is only skimming the surface or that the book has a Wiccan spin to it, but I’ve found that by making my way through The Book of Norse Magic and taking the time to do the exercise, spellwork, and recipes, there is potency in the content. I highly recommend it for those looking for a beautiful book to expand their magical cultural knowledge.

Wiccan Teas & Brews, by Cerridwen Greenleaf

Wiccan Teas & Brews: Recipes for Magical Drinks, Essences, and Tinctures, by Cerridwen Greenleaf
CICO Books, 1800652003, 144 pages, March 2023

Wiccan Teas & Brews: Recipes for Magical Drinks, Essences, and Tinctures by Cerridwen Greenleaf is a practical, while still undeniably engaging, book that takes readers on a magical journey into the enchanted realm of tea, blending the worlds of witchcraft and herbalism to create a delightful collection of recipes, rituals, and insights.

From the very beginning, the book immerses readers in the rich history and significance of tea and brewing in Wiccan traditions, weaving together spirituality and healing properties of herbs. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a novice, the book caters to all experience levels, providing clear instructions and explanations throughout.

The heart of Wiccan Teas and Brews lies in its carefully curated tea recipes, each thoughtfully designed to align with specific intentions, seasons, and rituals. From invigorating morning brews to calming bedtime blends, each recipe is accompanied by its magical correspondences, allowing readers to infuse their teas with intention and purpose. The book goes beyond mere recipes, encouraging readers to explore the art of tea making as a sacred ritual, a way to connect with nature’s elements, and a means of spiritual growth.

The captivating illustrations lend a personal touch, almost as if you’re peering into the private journal of a Wiccan practitioner. One of the book’s most admirable traits is its accessibility. The recipes are clear and straightforward, making them easily understandable, even for those new to blending their own teas. The book offers a delightful array of tea recipes, catering to the simple and readily available ingredients and those that require more effort to find.

Each recipe comes with a detailed list of ingredients and step-by-step instructions, ensuring you can effortlessly recreate these magical potions in the comfort of your home. The book’s logical organization makes it a breeze to locate the information you seek whenever you need it. Greenleaf also provides readers details about the diverse herbs and flowers utilized in the teas, including guidance on cultivation, harvesting timings, and an enjoyable exploration of which herbs align perfectly with each zodiac sign!

In addition to the recipes, the book emphasizes the importance of mindfulness and intention during these ceremonies, creating a space for self-reflection and connection to the natural world.

Overall, Wiccan Teas and Brews is a captivating and irresistible resource for anyone interested in the magical world of Wiccan tea magic. The author’s expertise and genuine love for the subject shine through every page, making it a pleasure to read and an invaluable addition to any witch’s bookshelf.

Enchanting witches with a penchant for exploring the magical realm of tea and curious new seekers alike will find Wiccan Teas and Brews a cherished resource and an absolute essential for their bookshelf. Whether you seek healing, empowerment, or a deeper connection to nature, this book offers a delightful journey into Wiccan tea magic, inviting readers to savor the magic in every sip.