(book purchased by reviewer)
It’s been a while since I’ve read Pagan parenting books and really expected to learn something new – many of the reviews on this site are ones I’ve written over the years, some of books that I bought long before I had kids. But there’s a few newer ones out in the last few years, and I had been wondering if there were new ideas in them or new viewpoints – especially now that my kids are tweens.
Enter “The Magickal Family.” The author, Monica Crosson, is a master gardener and witch living in the Pacific Northwest, and her book definitely comes from that as a foundation.
There’s lots to like here. Stories of raising her own children – both things gone wrong and things gone right, discussions on rites of passage and child-friendly rituals, lots of craft ideas and gardening tips. In fact, the gardening chapter is by far the longest, nearly twice as long as any other chapter. Crosson also offers recipes for foods and for herbal remedies in other chapters. She focuses a lot on living simply, close to nature, and with an eye toward frugal living and recycling. She has a chapter on each Sabbat, as well, which offers craft and ritual ideas, and information about each Sabbat.
On the other hand…not all of us have several acres of land to garden and forage on. Not all of us have the ability or desire to homeschool, nor do those who do homeschool all find diverse and supportive local co-ops. For me, this is one of the big places where I did not find the book as helpful as I had hoped. Our suburban life is definitely not like the life her family leads, and to be honest, even in my rural childhood, life was substantially different.
In any case, this is a good book, and I think many families will find inspiration here in ways to lead a life where children are enveloped in nature and reverence for it.