I have been a Pagan since I was a teenager in the 1970s. I've dabbled in this, that and the other, and attended lots of festivals in my travels around the U.S. My bookshelves are loaded with volumes on ritual, Wicca and Paganism and so I was somewhat reluctant to buy yet another. I'm glad I listened to that little voice that said I needed this one. I have been following its rituals for nine months now, and it's been a wonderful journey.
The format of the rituals in this book are the way I have done them for years. Sure, from time to time it's fun to do things differently, but I find comfort in familiar things. I also find that my experience is deeper this way. I work mainly on my own, but enjoy ritual with friends when we can manage to synchronize our schedules. It's great to not have to "transpose" everything for solo ritual. Ms. Kynes' intention that the book be used to brainstorm our own rituals has proven to be an incredible catalyst for our group.
I think I am one of the few Pagans not wild about Lord of the Rings, but the Tolkien ritual is very heartfelt. It really illustrates the power of myth and the importance of storytelling -- stuff we've lost in our crazy society. I think it's a nice tribute from one writer to another. The other rituals have a good balance of creativity, history and meaning for today.
This is what I would call a soft and gentle approach to ritual -- not to be confused with fuzzy bunny because that it is not. The rituals are not wild and showy. They have kept me in touch with my inner self and I can feel the cycle of the year in my heart. I recommend this book for anyone who calls themselves a Pagan.
In "A Year of Ritual: Sabbats & Esbats for Solitaries and Covens" author Sandra Kynes brings the reader through a year of ritual and ceremony just as the title suggests. As an advanced practitioner I felt a desire for less defined structure and more ideas to incorporate into my magical year. This is a good book for those who need total structure because there is not a lot of wiggle room for inserting your own ideas or beliefs. Sandra Kynes is a fine writer with a very concise, somewhat elfish style that is endearing. At the back of the book there is even a glossary and some pronunciations for elfish words, which is a really nice touch.