Thursday, September 15, 2022

Book Review: Hearth and Home Witchcraft by Jennie Blonde

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

There is nothing quite like reading a book, curled up on the couch with the kitties as the Wheel turns toward fall. I love a hot cup of tea and a good book to get my coziness on, and Hearth and Home Witchcraft: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish Home and Spirit by Jennie Blonde, the Comfy Cozy Witch, is the perfect book to do so.

Hearth and Home Witchcraft is a basic introduction to hearth or cottage witchcraft, a form of witchcraft that centers the home, garden, and kitchen. The book is broken down into seven chapters that cover deities, the Wheel of the Year, self-care, creating sacred space, kitchen witchery, and even everyday rituals. Scattered throughout each chapter are a number of spells, rituals, and recipes that go along with the topic at hand, and while this would normally be a turn off for me because there would be no way to, other than marking, to know where all the spells and recipes are that isn't the case here. Thankfully, this book includes a complete alphabetic list of all the spells, rituals, and recipes with page numbers at the beginning so you can easily find what you are looking for in a pinch. There are a large number of new and creative spells throughout, including a pet protection charm, cozy affirmations, and a broom enchantment, as well as herbal remedies and delicious recipes for every occasion. It should be noted, however, that many of the recipes are not vegetarian- or vegan-friendly, but most can be modified to accommodate dietary restrictions.

Blonde takes a practical yet "cozy" approach to witchcraft, believing it should be authentic, sustainable, and fulfilling, an approach I wholeheartedly agree with. She dedicates several passages to discussing the topic and how sometimes it feels witchcraft has turned into less of a practice and more of an aesthetic which is something I know many of us are noticing. She makes it clear that influencers on TikTok, Instagram, and other apps and sites are creating a brand, and often times those brands are not practical, functional, or sustainable in practice. This resonated with me a lot because I often feel, as a blogger, authors, and creator, that my content isn't "good" enough or my practice isn't "real" enough because it doesn't match what I see online. I've had to remind myself on many occasions that I have been practicing a lot longer than some of these Gen Z TikTokers and that my practice is authentic and meaningful to me. It doesn't matter what it looks like to anyone else. There is so much I do not post about and choose to keep private because it is deeply spiritual and doesn't need to be turned into a dog and pony show. I appreciate Blonde's insightful comments and reminder to new and old witches alike that real witchcraft doesn't look like what we see online.

Because she is an advocate for low-energy, cozy witchcraft, Blonde offers plenty of simple, easy ways you can incorporate more magic into your life, such as going outside, stirring your coffee or tea with intent, wearing enchanted jewelry, meditating, lighting candles with intent, stretching, cuddling with a pet or loved one, listening to music, and even taking a nap. I loved her practical advice and that she followed up with examples from her own life. I love when other witches talk about their personal practice, instead of just giving information. This makes the text relatable, and gives me real world examples of how this could look in my own life. I also just enjoy learning about others, so if you learn the same way, this is the book for you. Blonde also offers a variety of options for simple spells and rituals, giving a quick and easy guide to changing simple ingredients to match your intention. Her base spells are highly flexible, which is great for new and old witches alike. My favorite suggestion, however, was how to quell different emotions through food prep; if you are angery you can take out your anger by mashing potatoes or calm anxiety by focusing on making exact cut.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but, as always, there were some things I didn't like. First, it is a very simple introductory book. If you are looking for more advanced witchcraft, this is not the book for you. Its also heavily influenced by Wicca, which is fine, but not for me. Keep this in mind when reading about the Wheel of the Year and other correspondences. Blonde does make the mistake of equating Easter and Ostara, even though there is no evidence to support this statement. Are they similar? Yes. Did Easter come from Ostara? No. Blonde also discusses chakras so be mindful of cultural appropriation.

Hearth and Home Witchcraft: Rituals and Recipes to Nourish Home and Spirit by Jennie Blonde is available now, just in time for sweater weather. If you are looking to add some comfort and coziness to your practice, this is certainly the book for you.

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