Guest Post by On the Broomstick!

I would like to give a warm welcome to Dana over at On the Broomstick and thank her for contributing this lovely review of “The Earth Child’s Handbook,” a two part series of crafts and pagan ideas for parents and children. There are lots of lovely Yule goodies in here as well! Stop on by Dana’s blog when you’re finished here for lots more reviews of books and pagan products.

The Earth Child’s Handbook – Crafts and Inspiration for the Spiritual Child

Books 1 & 2

Brigid Ashwood

Genre: Pagan Parenting, Pagan Kids

Book 1

ISBN-10: 1479265519

ISBN-13: 978-1479265510

Book 2

ISBN-10: 147927108X

ISBN-13: 978-1479271085

E-Book   Direct from author  Amazon

Book Description:

The Earth Child’s Handbook is a primer, reference, craft and activity book series for families that follow Pagan, Wiccan and Earth Based spiritual paths.  Designed to appeal to all age groups (and grown-ups too!), the books address common Pagan beliefs and practices, explaining the principles and traditions behind them.

Each chapter features:

•             Recipes

•             Instructional craft projects

•             Coloring pages, mazes and word searches

•             Color, cut and assemble projects

Younger children will delight in the coloring pages and paper crafts. Older children will find educational fun with word searches, mazes, connect-the-dots and instructional crafts. And parents might find it a lifesaver with easy recipe ideas and inspiration for teaching and building Pagan traditions.

The Earth Child’s Handbook – Book 1 features chapters on the joy of family and diversity, honoring the earth and the principles of the four elements, the universe and Pagan beliefs regarding the Sun and the Moon, explanation of Deities, and an introduction to Magick and Ritual with simple spells and exercises.

Special topics include Shapeshifting, Runes, Book of Shadows, Animal Guides, Chakras, Meditation, Astrological Signs, The Elements, Cycles of the Moon, Magickal Correspondences, Sun Deities, Moon Deities, Triple Goddess and Triple God, The Four Quarters and Casting a Circle.

Featured activities include making a Chakra shirt, rain stick, homemade face paints, herbal infusions, bath salts, a moon phase wheel, moon cake recipe,  a complete “color, cut and assemble” paper altar and much, MUCH  more.

The Earth Child’s Handbook – Book 2 features chapters on the Seasons, the 8 Pagan Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year. Each Sabbat chapter includes facts, traditions, correspondences and information about that holiday as well as recipes, altar decorating ideas, rituals and crafts, coloring pages, mazes and word searches.

Special topics include Seasonal Altars, Solstice Sabbats, Equinox Sabbats, Quarters and Cross Quarters.

Featured activities include cinnamon ornaments, Yule wrapping paper, Brigid’s cross weaving, handmade paper, flower beads necklace, Beltaine masks, prayer flag, magickal broom and much, MUCH more.

Coloring pages, moon signs, Goddesses, Gods, Divination…anything you can think of are in the books. Author Brigid Ashwood has done a delightful job in her crafting of these knowledge filled books. I love how she teaches you to make runes.

One of the topics covered in the books is the 8 Sabbats and the various traditions associated with them. The Pagan holiday that is most recognizable to Non-Pagans is Yule, which has a close association with Christmas.

Yule is the holiday of winter solstice. The Sun is below the Celestial Equator now and we have the shortest day and hence the longest night. After Solstice night the days will slowly get longer as the Sun climbs higher in the sky and stays out longer each day. Yule is celebrated as a holiday because it is considered the rebirth of the Sun God. Pagans celebrate this time as a return of light and warmth into our lives. The Suns new light warms our frozen Earth and prepares her for the coming seasons of growth and fertility. This is a time of renewal and rejuvenation. Yule is is a festival of light and shares qualities with the holidays of other religions found at this same time of year such as Hanukah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. All of these holidays recognize the principles of light, rebirth, and joyous expectation of the coming new year.

Some common Christmas traditions have Pagan origins. The Yule Log and the tradition of Wassailing in particular have very ancient roots and are associated with well wishes, celebration, good health and prosperity for the new year.

The Yule Log

The Yule log is an old winter solstice tradition and often the highlight of solstice night. Traditionally the log was acquired off of your own property or received as a gift, you were not supposed to purchase your Yule log. Once a log was selected it was decorated with evergreen, holly and other seasonal green plants found on hand and placed in the fireplace.

It was then set to light with a piece of wood saved from last years Yule log. In this way the fire from this night was linked back to all those other fires that had gone before, all lit from a piece of wood saved from the previous year. Then the log was left to burn throughout the night and allowed to smolder for 12 days after.

On the twelfth night the ashes are dispersed outside to fertilize plants. If you have a fireplace in your home you and your family can create your own Yule log for celebration.

Wassailing

Wassailing means to wish good health to. It is an old winter holiday tradition and was generally performed on the 12th night, the same night that the Yule Log burns out. Originally wassailing was an evening long event that included homemade apple cider or “wassail” and involved caroling and singing to local apple tree’s to wish them good health and a good production in the coming year.

This custom evolved into general caroling and a wishing of good cheer and good healthy to family, friends and neighbors alike throughout the holiday season. Traditionally drums, bells and whistles were also used to wake up the tree and people often placed cider soaked pieces of bread onto the trees branches or lay them at its roots.

I read these books for hours and they were so packed full of information that I couldn’t put it down. The alter with the paper cauldron, athame, wand and chalice was perfect.

If you are looking for a book that covers all the basics with some creative craft ideas, then you need to check them out. These are going to be in my witchy library for a long time to come!

 

5/5

 

About the Author:

Brigid Ashwood is an artist, illustrator, blogger and author of various and sundry titles such as The Earth Child’s Handbook (Books 1 & 2), Oracle of the Tarot Deck and more.

 

She is a core contributor to Wired’s GeekMom Blog and creates freebies for Geeky Kids with her monthly Printable Fun feature.

 

Her artwork ranges from New Brow contemporary, Pop Surrealism, Steampunk, Fantasy and Fairy illustration, Celtic Knotwork, Witchy Pin-up to New Age, Pagan and Goddess imagery.

 

The Book http://www.earthchildshandbook.com

 

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/brigidashwood

 

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/brigidashwood

 

Facebook page for book:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Earth-Childs-Handbook/124662954255734

Art & Blog

http://www.brigidashwood.com

 

http://www.brigidashwood.com/blog/

 

Wired Blogger author Page

http://www.wired.com/geekmom/author/brigid

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/skwerlgrrl

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrigidAshwoodArt

 

Tumblr: http://www.skwerlgrrl.com

 

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/105571732813733771460/posts

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