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Despite being billed as a book to read "when you've mastered the basics, and want to take your spiritual practice further," I found Elen Hawke's newest book, The Sacred Round, to be yet another beginner's manual. That said, I also found it to be one of the best beginner's books I have ever read.

 

Written as a companion to her first book, In The Circle, this one clearly demonstrates the author's depth of knowledge and ability to present it in an easy-to-understand manner. Covering many areas, including elementals, chakras, meditation, visualization, festivals and divination, there are two that stood out. The first is the chapter on the chakras. I have an understanding of the chakras through my personal practice, but my knowledge is derived from personal experience and reading within the Eastern literature. Hawke clearly describes how these energy centers fit in with witchcraft and Wiccan beliefs while avoiding the problem of trying to jam an Eastern concept into a Western belief system.

 

The other area is her marvelous meditations, visualizations and rituals. Her invocations flow easily from one's mouth (unlike so many of my own writings, for example) and conjure up exquisitely creative images for us to explore. From moon rituals to Sabbat rites, as well as within the < chapter on "Magical Practice," the author manages to weave information and exercises together in a poetic, almost lyrical, fashion. I especially enjoyed her New Moon invocation:

 

o Maiden of the waxing moon,

Wild lady running strong and free,

Bring growth to all I choose to nurture in this moon's cycle,

To the free will of all and the harm of none,

In accordance with what is right for me.

 

I highly recommend The Sacred Round for beginners of all levels and to anyone wanting to add a lovely book to their library. It will definitely shine amongst the dross of most beginner books.

 

~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: Elen Hawke

Llewellyn Publications 2002

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