Seasons of a Magical Life

Seasons of a Magical Life

A Pagan Path of Living

Amy Blackthorn, H Byron Ballard
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An invitation to return to a simpler time of earth-based spirituality and ritual living, through writings from a small forest-farm in the Appalachian Highlands. This book looks at the agricultural year as a starting space for a deepening of earth-centered spirituality. It gives a set of backstories to ease the reader into a time between the pre-industrial era and the modern one, into a place where the fast-moving stress of American life can be affected by a better connection not only to the natural world but to the elegant expression of the year as expressed through seasonal festivals and celebrations. The chapters are broken into four seasons, with the quarter days a highlight within each, and feature simple skills that accompany each marker in the year. Author H. Byron Ballard offers advice on spiritual and physical immersion into the seasons that applies to readers from all areas: rural, urban, and suburban. This is also a deeply practical book, including insights into the following: Farming & gardening: composting, manure, soil preparation, pests, seed-savingFood: cooking, preserving, foraging, the summer kitchen, mushrooms and myceliumFiber arts: knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving, decorative cut-work, and embroiderySewing: treadle machines, electric machines, hand sewingHousehold crafts: candle-making, soap-making, broom-making, sharpening toolsHealth: medicines, tending the dying, death and death rituals A glossary is included for any unfamiliar terms.
"H. Bryon Ballard has written a completely original book, designed to reconnect Pagans to the land and to the Wheel of the Year. Part lyrical philosophy, part guidebook, and part instruction manual, Seasons of a Magical Life will stay with you long after you have read it. "--Deborah Blake, author of Everyday Witchcraft "A cozy stroll through H. Byron Ballard' s forest-farm, Seasons of a Magical Life offers inspiration for a down-home yet revolutionary Pagan, animist path. "--Christine Grace, author of The Witch at the Forest' s Edge and co-host of the Betwixt & Between podcast "Our world needs elders speaking their truth and sharing their wisdom teachings. H. Byron Ballard is such a global elder, unafraid of using her voice. Seasons of a Magical Life demonstrates an earth-based spirituality which seamlessly weaves together land and soul, building fences and seeking solidarity, tending bees or chickens, and the practice of laundry as a meditative practice. Brava!" --Imelda Almqvist, author of Natural Born Shamans, Medicine of the Imagination, and Sacred Art
H. Byron Ballard is a teacher, folklorist, and writer. She is senior priestess and cofounder of Mother Grove Goddess Temple and the Coalition of Earth Religions/CERES, both in Asheville, North Carolina, and writes as The Village Witch for Witches and Pagans Magazine, where she is also a regular columnist.