Return to Cauldron Home Page

Please donate now to pay our monthly server fees:
Donate to The Cauldron
[More Info]

Community Menu
Community Home

Message Board
Board Home
Board Rules
Board Extras:

CauldronMUX [Client]
Sister Forums:
   Asatru Lore


Site Info & Rules
Site Archives
Volunteers Needed
Advertise Here

Pagan Supplies
Buy Pagan Books
Buy Pagan Supplies

Books & Media
Books Home
Games Home
Music: Free | Pagan
Online Books
Pagan Book Browser
   Academic Books
   Divination Decks
   Fiction Books
   Pagan Books
   Speculative Books
   DVD & Videotape
Submit Review

Pagan Features
Article Library
Chat Log Index
File Library
Pagan Holidays
Pagan Primer
Pagan Rituals
Pagan Supplies
Pagan Youth
Spell Grimoire [Blog]
Web Resources

Pagan Living
Cauldron Cookbook
Take Political Action

Back Issues

Other Features
Greeting Cards
Syndicated Articles
World News/Opinion

Cheap Web Hosting
Doxy's Bazaar
Witchcraft Course

Old Indexes
Article Index
Webcrafting Index

Network Sites
Cauldron and Candle
Cauldron's Grimoire
RetroRoleplaying: The Blog
Software Gadgets
The Terran Empire

Site Search
Entire Web
The Cauldron

Member - Pagan Forum Alliance
Charter Member

Get Firefox! While this web site is designed to work in all major browsers, we recommend Firefox.

This site hosted on
a Linode VPS
Formerly hosted by

Why Use Dreamhost?

Site copyright
© 1998-2009
by Randall

Home > Books & Reviews > Pagan > Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara Search

Order from
Buying books via our links helps support The Cauldron.
Book Review:
Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara: Lore, Rituals, Activities, and Symbols

Author: Ashleen O'Gaea
Trade Paperback, 221 pages
Publisher: New Page Books
Publication date: 2004
List: US$14.99, C$22.50
ISBN: 1564147312
Price & More Info: Click Here

I read Ashleen's first book (Raising Witches) years ago, and was impressed by her common-sense approach to conveying information, so I was looking forward to seeing this first half of her work on the Sabbats (the second half, Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon is due out this fall).

By dividing the year into two parts, as did our ancient Celtic ancestors, Ashleen accomplishes several different things: she gives herself more space to discuss each Sabbat; she restricts the space she can devote to each Sabbat; she reinforces the ancient perception of the division of the year into Winter and Summer; and she can make it easier to compare rituals, symbolism, and activities among the Sabbats. Doing it this way also makes it more convenient for the reader - at a bit more than 200 pages each book is a more convenient size. If some of these accomplishments (especially the first two) seem to be contradictory, that is simply an illustration of life itself. No one ever claimed that life had to make sense.

Dedicating 40 to 50 pages to each Sabbat -- its lore, rituals, activities and symbols, allows for an adequate development of a feeling for the Sabbat while still leaving a thirst for more. It is that thirst which impels the personal development of Witches and Wiccans. Too little information frustrates and too much stifles individual creativity. Ashleen seems to have found a happy medium in this book. While there are no startling revelations, it is not a lot of rehashing of other authors. What you have here is Ashleen's personal take on the topic. Whether you agree with her or not, you have to respect her desire to share her own experiences and knowledge, as well as her ability to convey that knowledge clearly.

She wants to plant ideas in your mind and allow them to grow within you. I think she does this very well. Her suggested activities for each Sabbat are fun (and that is, after all, an important connection to the gods) and easy to do. They can involve all ages.

This is not the final word on Sabbats. As Ashleen says in the conclusion "By this time next year, you and I both will be able to say more about the Sabbats, and how we celebrate them, than we can right now." It is, however, a good start. If the second book is as good as this, and I have no reason to doubt that, they will form a good basis for learning about the relationships among the Sabbats.

She includes suggestions for casting a circle (for the newbies among her readers) and suggestions for conveying age-appropriate information to children about the Sabbats, as well as a short list of correspondences in the appendices. All of these, as she reminds us, are simply suggestions, and need to be viewed through our own experiences.

Reviewed by Mike Gleason

Top | Home | Message Board | Site Info & Rules | Report Site Problems
Thanks to Cauldron Sponsors
(Sponsor The Cauldron!)

Cheap Web Hosting Report | Pagan & Magick Supplies
Witchcraft Course
Download Hundreds of Magic Spells