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A Spell in the Wild: A Year (and Six Centuries) of Magic

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  63 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Witches occupy a clear place in contemporary imagination. We can see them, emerging shadowy, from the corners of the past: mad, glamorous, difficult, strange. They haunt the footnotes of history - from medieval witches burning at the stake to the lurid glamour of the 1970s witchcraft revival.

But they are moving out of history, too. Witches are back. They’re feminist, indep
...more
ebook, 400 pages
Published October 1st 2020 by Two Roads
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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Claire
I randomly came across this book in a newsletter I read by Tramp Press, who published two nonfiction books I recently read and loved, Doireann Ni Ghriofa's A Ghost In The Throat and Sara Baume's Handiwork.

Laura Waddell talked of hibernation season approaching and the desire to curl up and zone out, which she'd been doing with A Spell in the Wild, describing it as " a witch’s year broken down month by month, full of foraging, feminism, magic, and making meaning" and expounds further in this colu
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rosamund
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nature-writing
Atmospheric yet scholarly, A Spell in the Wild is an account of witchcraft, both as it is practiced in modern times, and its history over six centuries. Tarbuck describes the Medieval witch trials, those horrific tortures experienced by women accused of witchcraft, as well as visiting sites of ancient worship in Scotland and England, and describing the gods and goddesses that may be associated with them. She talks about the revival of magic in the late 19th and early 21st century, including Alei ...more
Dave
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm commander shepard and this is my favourite book on the citadel.

Seriously though, Tarbuck is the best guide through witch matters I could imagine, toeing the line beautifully through the spiritual, historical and practical aspects of contemporary magic, both accessible to newcomers like myself, and full of expertise for folks more advanced in their journeys.

Unambiguously recommended.
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Nicky Adkins
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Of all my reading, this book fits most closely with my sense of what magic is and where we can find it in the world. It felt like finding a friend.
☼ Sarah ☼
"The magic is in the wild, and it is also inside us. We are the wilds, and we are the hearth. Come along, won't you? All the world is waiting, and you are waiting too, and there is so much joy, and power, and there is so much work to be done. Let's get to work."

A Spell in the Wild is a brilliant and beautifully written account of one woman's journey through the year as a witch. Tarbuck takes a different topic each month (foraging for September, fortune-telling for July, fairies for February) and
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Vera
Dec 13, 2020 rated it liked it
Roughly the first half of this book is absolutely wonderful - intriguing, informative, exciting, everything I'd expect from a modern witchy book :) unfortunately I think the second half could have done with a thorough edit. There's a lot of repetition and deviation from the original intent of the book, diving into the murky depths of the history of witchcraft - not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you! It's just that that's a different book. Alice is clearly very knowledgeable, sweet ...more
Liz Treacher
Nov 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life-enhancing
I recommend this book if you want to explore nature, magic and childhood memories, because they are all entwined in Tarbuck's enchanting writing. I loved her descriptions of nature - beautiful and vivid. A dive into the natural world and our place within it. ...more
Matthew
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful, captivating, deeply personal exploration of witchcraft and what it means to inhabit the world. Tarbuck takes us on a journey through the wheel of year, blending autobiographical experience with rigorous research in such a way that one cannot help but be captivated.

A real strength of this book is the narrative voice which, each chapter, entices the reader in with poetic, evocative images, inviting us to share Tarbuck‘s journey. From the very first line of the introduction, I was entr
...more
Helen
Dec 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this book. The writing is beautiful, and draws you into the author's world, opening your eyes to the magic in everyday things all around us, seeing beauty where others only see ugliness. It's an honour to be on this journey alongside the author during this insight to her year, to read her thoughts and learn about witchcraft, nature, and so much more.

There is a spell at the end of each chapter, but I feel that the real magic is in the author's words and thoughts, which are tra
...more
Abi Nottingham
Jan 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I loved the balance this book struck between the personal and the historical. There were also lots of wonderful ideas on how witchcraft can evolve with our changing world.
Each chapter ends with a spell, some of which I’ve done and have helped me a lot.
Charlotte Burns
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much. It's the perfect magical, witchy hug in a book. ...more
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