This is a lovely, large, hard covered book on pagan rituals and rites throughout the year; beginning in October - as it does for the Northern Hemisphere. It's full of information about where these traditions came from, old-fashioned pictures, photographs of ivy, mistletoe and animals; as well as spells, potions and sayings for each season and Sabbath of the year. If you are a beginner at the Craft, this is most certainly a book you must track down and use as a reference in your first year or so as it's full of the information I wished I had when I was starting out and didn't have.
I have a section in my bookcase dedicated to the Craft and its traditions. However, this book is a much simpler way of looking at it; in its layout and feel. All the information I have collected through my books is inside this one; and is perfect for the beginner; as I have said.
Paddy Slade was born Patricia Harlow, 29th September 1931 and lived in Canterbury, Kent, and was the youngest of seven children. Her Mother as she was of Scottish decent and practiced the old ways of the village Witch or Wise Woman; and Patricia picked up on the traditional ways quickly and carried them on.
For her education Paddy went on to study at Cambridge University, from where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Medieval History and English. After leaving collage she joined the signals branch of the Women’s Royal Air Force (WRAF). In 1955 while still serving in the air force, Paddy married her husband Philip (Pete) Slade and a year later gave birth to their first son Robert, a second son Peter followed in 1957. Most of their time with the RAF was spent serving overseas, mainly in Singapore and Fiji, and only returned to England after leaving the Force in the early 1960’s.
As time passed Paddy became known for her knowledge of herbal and magical remedies, and soon had a steady stream of students waiting to join her teaching courses, what she called “the Old Wild Magic. In them she would stress the need for individuals to experience the powers of nature and the elements for themselves, and before even trying to employ the use of spells or magic. With the sudden growth and interest in modern witchcraft as practiced as a religion and inspired by those above, Paddy felt that much of the basics of real magic was being lost.
If your looking for an “Occult book of Ritual and Magic”, then her books are not for you, but if you want a down-to-earth real book of Kitchen Witchery, her books are easy, fun and compulsive reading. I might mention however, that while her earlier book “Natural Magic” is beautifully illustrated, her later book “Seasonal Magic” is a re-write and basically the same, it has a few bits of added material and of course contains her now famous “Rite of Chocolate”.
If you'd like to know more about Paddy Slade, I've put a link to her website on the sidebar.