Ashleen O'Gaea has written another original book here. Once again this author has broken out of the tried and true formats of Wicca 101 books to deliver a unique and useful book.
The book, subtitled Lore, Rituals, Activities and Symbols, delivers exactly what it promises on its cover. In its few hundred pages we are treated to an in-depth look at the holiday, its origins from a historical viewpoint and the customs as they pertain to today's practices. This book focuses on the first half of the Wheel of the Year. (This fall will see the publication of the sister book for the final four Sabbats.)
I have found many other books that contain Holy Day celebrations to be less than useful for my particular situation. Since I have a family, solitary solutions for ritual don't work, and as we are too small to be a coven, neither does group ritual. However, contained in this book's pages are rituals that are directed toward the solitary, the family or the coven practice. Even if none of the rest of this book is used, the cost of purchase is well covered just by this feature alone.
But the rituals themselves are just a small part of the wealth of information contained between the covers. There are ideas for crafts and a few yummy looking recipes. There are also suggestions for holiday related activities that can be used no matter what your age or coven affiliations. Plus, the book is written in such a way that the reader is truly inspired in the understanding of how each Sabbat ties into the one before and after.
I found the book well written and easy to read. Even an old Pagan like me found a few tidbits among the pages that added to my knowledge and deepened my understanding of the Holy Days. I would recommend this book for any Wiccan's library, beginner or long-term practioner.
W. Lyon Martin Author/Illustrator of "An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child"
I have several of Ms. O'Gaea's books, all of which are givin a parenting slant. With so few books on pagan parenting, I love her writing style, it is very personable and she is extremely knowledgable.
"Samhain to Ostara" is a unique book among all the other books on the Sabbats out there... instead of rehashing all the stuff previously beaten to death in other books, Ms. O'Gaea instead goes deeper and explores the meaning of these sabbats to us in modern times.
What really piques my interest, is near the end, where Ms. O'Gaea categorizes things to teach about each Sabbat to children, grouped by their ages. Very useful!! I can hardly wait to get my hands on "Beltane to Mabon"!!
All in all, this book is a fantastic addition to my library!