By Robin Rose Bennett
Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, 2004
192 pp., $12.95
When reading Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook, you should know two things: Bennettâ€™s definitions for â€œgreen witchâ€ and â€œguidebook.â€ Green witches, she writes, â€œhave a special love for the plants and trees of the earth, and are often gifted in working with them as gardeners, herbalists, artists and teachers.â€ And: â€œthis guidebook is a map made up of words, stories, songs, rituals, recipes, instructions, invitations, meditations, trance journeys, warnings worth heeding, and heart-centered teachings.â€ Sound like a bold claim? Bennet, however, does not disappoint in this delightful book filled withâ€¦well, all of the above! And I would even add, then some.
Prefaced by a wonderful foreword by wise woman Susun S. Weed, the book jumps right into practical suggestions to reconnect with the earth, including simple ways to draw in earth energy and communing with plants and trees. As the author describes living for many years in New York City, and then moving to the country, she has a balanced viewpoint regarding practicing magic in urban settings, something missing in many books of the same ilk. As long as there is a park nearby, there is no reason that one cannot connect with natureâ€¦and Bennett gives many tips for doing so, based on personal experience with her own group of green witches.
Moon magic and herbal magic are discussed at length, with the authorâ€™s expertise being particularly in working with herbs and plants. We are given the magical properties of lavender and mugwort, for example, and even trees as well! The author then moves on to spells and rituals. Many of the spells incorporate the herbs, plants and trees we have already learned about earlier in the book. The author does a fine job of explaining the ethics of spellcasting â€“ for example, in working with love spells, it is never a good idea to focus on one specific individual as that would be manipulative, but to focus on the qualities one would like to find in a potential lover. I liked the way Bennett set up one love spell so much that it was Xeroxed and sent to a friend who is currently in the market and looking, so to speak!
This book is well-written and full of many personal tales, which I found enjoyable. Ultimately, Bennett shares a philosophy where magic is meant to enhance life: â€œYou will never lack for challenges in this world, but by celebrating your kinship with the living magic of the elements, you will stay in touch with what is real within and around you. There is great freedom in this. Being in relationship with what exists beyond this lifetime can ground and center you so fully that you can create good relationships with your neighbors, like-minded or not, and engage the life youâ€™re living with more trust and less fear. Always remember, life isnâ€™t about practicing magic; practicing magic is about living.â€
Healing Magic: A Green Witch Guidebook, by Robin Rose Bennett, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc, 2004, 192 pp., $12.95
Review by Diane Saarinen